Fennels Wood stories

Folk drawing

Sally Scagell b.1950s
I was about seven when the news came that they were going to build a motorway through the middle of Fennels Wood. All the families who lived by the wood were horrified but nothing could be done to stop it. So over the next few years we regularly went down to watch the bulldozers and huge-earth moving 'caterpillars' at work and cried over the loss of 'our' trees and 'our' fairy glades. One cold winter weekend we were playing by the bit where the pedestrian tunnel is now. The chalk here was very sticky and, defying my parents' instructions to return to firmer ground, I went and stood in it. My friend came too. Our wellingtons got firmly stuck and the more we tried to get out the more the chalk sucked us in - like quick sand. In the end my parents had to stretch across the 'gloo' and lift us out. We had to leave our wellingtons behind and walk all the way home in wet socks. I got a big telling off (parents don't change do they?) and my mother gave my friend the money to buy some new wellingtons since it was all my fault. Then I had to wait until the cold weather and the ground started to freeze before I could go back and chip both pairs of wellingtons out. I returned the boots to my friend but by that time she had spent the money!

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