Tuesday, 20 January 2015

FIELD OF DREAMS...



The spot these children are standing on no longer exists - at least not in the form you see in the photographs.  Approximately 21 years after the pictures were taken, the foundations for an old folks' home were laid directly into the area of field where these kids once played.  I'm actually in the photos and remember with startling clarity the Sunday afternoon or early summer evening they were taken back around 1967 or so.

As you can see, we were playing cricket.  Only a short while before, I had narrowly managed to dodge a heavy cricket ball and thus avoid a nasty knock on the noggin which could well have rendered me senseless.  (Go on - I'll allow you the predictable retort.)


From left to right in the 'cropped' photo above are myselfRobert Fortune, Tony Tierney, Allan Robson and Kenny Tierney.  The photos were taken by Mr. Tom Tierney, who later became a regular contributor to the letter columns of the local newspaper, under the nom de plume of 'Goofy'. If he were alive today, he'd no doubt have a blog in which to record his whimsical (and sometimes serious) observations on sundry subjects, but sadly he's been deceased for quite a few years now.

When we first moved to the area in 1965, it was Tony Tierney who introduced me and my brother to the rest of the kids in the neighbourhood. I haven't seen Tony in quite a few years, but I still run into Kenny today from time to time, and it was his good self who supplied me with the photos you see on this page.  As I said, the field no longer exists - except in photos, memories and dreams - dreams which increasingly seem far more enticing than the rather drab reality of the here and now.


Photographs are marvelous things, aren't they?  Looking at a photo is like gazing through a window into yesteryear, at a moment frozen in time which grows all the more precious to us the further we become removed from it.

******

UPDATE:  (January 2015.) The field remained undisturbed until 1988, a period of 23 years from when we first moved  there in '65 (we flitted in '72).  I therefore find it rather startling to think that the old folks' home has now occupied the spot for 26-odd years - three years longer than the time which preceded it.  And yet it seems to me as if the three-storey building was erected only a few years ago.  The mysteries of Time, eh?  I don't think I'll ever be able to fully comprehend them.


 Long has paled that sunny sky;
Echoes fade and memories die;
Autumn frosts have slain July.

Ever drifting down the stream--
Lingering in the golden gleam--
Life, what is it but a dream?

From "Life is but a Dream" - by Lewis Carroll.

******

After posting this, I was going through some old papers and found this letter from my local rag, dated Wednesday 24th April - Thursday 30th April, 1996.

Goofy will be missed

I was saddened to read and hear of the death of Mr Tom Tierney, great story teller in your column and other publications in his life.

He brought many a smile, with his wit and local stories bringing back many a cheery laugh.

My thoughts to his family.

Ann Robertson
Address supplied 

This post is therefore dedicated to the memory of Mr. Tom Tierney, aka 'Goofy'.  Thanks to him, the above snapshots of a moment from my childhood are preserved forever.

11 comments:

  1. My youngest recently asked me, "Dad, don't you ever fancy trying to track down any of your old schoolmates from the Midlands on Facebook?" I said,"In a way I would, but I would never attempt to, in case I found out some of th are no longer with us."
    And that's how it is. All my old chums are still alive in my mind, they haven't changed one bit and that's just how I'm going to keep them all!
    Seek and ye might not like what ye find!

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  2. I sometimes find myself wondering what's happened to 'so-and-so' - then I realise I'm probably better not knowing, just in case they're dead. Like you, I prefer to think of them still out there, alive and well.

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  3. Kid, it'll be spooky if you end up living in that old folks home right on top of where you once played. Did you know you aren't the only one with a blog called Melancholy Musings - I wanted to bookmark MM on my tablet so tried to do a google search but couldn't find it, only another MM. In the end I just went to Crivens and accessed MM from your blog list and then bookmarked it. There's no point trying to bookmark MM on my phone as it's blocked due to supposed adult content which I've mentioned.

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    1. Could it be the other MM (which I didn't know about) that's got the adult content, CJ, or do you get that message when you try to access the site from Crivens! on your 'phone?

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  4. Kid, the other MM blog was a woman's and it seemed innocent enough but I haven' t tried accessing your MM via crivens on my phone so I'll try that. What's happened with the time on the comments - mine says 14:49 and your reply says 15:04 which was nine hours ago.

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  5. Hold on, I don't think I'm able to access a blog via a blog list on a phone - the blogs are surprisingly simple when you look at them on a phone, just the post and the comments underneath but I'll check anyway.

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    1. I never really pay attention to the time of the comments, CJ. As long as they're there is what counts with me. As you'll have noticed, I've now modified the Blog's title to avoid confusion with the other one.

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  6. Kid, everything's solved - I can now get MM (or MMMM) on my phone and I've bookmarked it. I think you were right that it was the other MM that was the cause of the adult content blocking - it looked innocent enough with a picture of a rose but when I read one of the posts it was downright pornographic !!! Anyway even that MM is no longer blocked. On a phone you have two options for looking at a blog : 1) the mobile version which is the post and comments but nothing else or 2) you can scroll down to the bottom and press "see web version" to.....er...see the web version but I never normally do that as it looks tiny on a phone screen but on this occasion I found the blog list and accessed MM (that's when I noticed the new name) and bookmarked it so everything's right with the world again :)

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    1. Now you need never be without all the p*sh I write ever again.

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  7. Lovely story, Kid and such a shame that your friend Tom was taken early. A couple of years previous and that could have been me playing cricket in the summer holidays. There used to be a long thin field behind our house which was ideal for cricket. I wasn't very good at batting, but I had the knack at bowling. Ah, the satisfaction of knocking those stumps off!

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    1. JP, I inadvertently published this post twice and you were kind enough to comment both times. I've removed the second posting and cut and pasted your comment and moved it here. Below is my reply, which I likewise cut, pasted & moved.

      Tom was the father of Kenny & Tony who we sometimes played with as kids. Although he'd have known my name, I doubt he'd have recognised the adult me, JP, as we moved from the area 24 years before he passed away. Still, it's strange to think that he no longer inhabits the neighbourhood (at least, not physically) as he was such a 'fixture' there. That one occasion is the only time I can specifically recall playing cricket, but I have a vague sense that there must've been other times with different people.

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