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!