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Memories of Fern Road, by Peter Waring 2007
Fern Road - 1925-1935

Living on the edge (1925-1935)

A few weeks after I was bom in Park Road, Rushden. we had to move to Fern Road because there were then three generations living in the home.

Fern Road then was only a cart track to allotments and an orchard at the top belonging to Mr Charles Mole the fruiterer and greengrocer of Wellingborough Road. It was very primitive by today's standards. Lighting was with oil lamps, the cooking was done on a kitchen range, and water was drawn from a well outsisde the kitchen. My mother had to pump up the water through a pump over the kitchen sink. Washing was done with a copper built into the comer of the kitchen and had to have a fire lit under it (no washing machines in those days). Water was squeezed out of the washing through a mangle kept in the barn, before being hung out to dry. One year when the well was dry, my parents had to fetch water from the Chattell family who lived in Palm Road as their well had not run dry.

At the end of the garden there were two pig styes where my father kept a few pigs. This proved to be very helpful during the times of recession in the 1930's. Next to our home there was a spare plot which had some fruit trees at the end and was a play area for children. It also served as a feeding ground for the pigs - they liked apples We children also liked apples, plums and pears and the summer holidays provided the opportunity to climb the trees and taste the fruit.

Hig hfield Road Baptist Church
The Baptist Church in Highfield Road
Our first school was Moor Road Infants and we walked there and back twice a day, then later to Alfred Street. No school car run!. If our mother wasn't there to meet us as we came out of Moor Road school, we had to wait in Knight's the butcher's across the road.There was a field over our back fence where Masefield Drive is in which we could also play, unless chased out by "Tubby" Dickens, the farmer. This had two ponds, one of which was very exciting in winter when it had frozen over. We used to climb over our back fence and walk across the field and through the "Mission Hollow" (Melloway Road) to Highfield Road Baptist church for our Sunday School. After the afternoon school, there was time to walk to the Hall Grounds before going home to tea. With all that fruit and exercise, no wonder we grew up healthy! Come back the old days!

Peter Waring

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