Memories from the Midlands

Joan Cook, who now lives in Nottingham, grew up near St.James’ Park in the 1960s; she writes:

Joan and her brother on the balcony
of the flat above the bank, 1963

“We lived in the flat above the National Provincial Bank on the corner of Romsey Road and Anglesea Road. There was a small yard at street level with a bike rack, and metal stairs up to the balcony where the front door was. I don’t know how Mum managed to get the pram up the stairs.”

Joan in the Park, c.1963

“The park was the nearest open space, and was also half way between home and school – Shirley Infants – so we spent a lot of time there when I was little. I loved running around the rough track worn into the embankments around the sides of the park.”

Joan Cook, 8th July 2011

Editor’s Note – Our Heritage Coordinator was invited to a conference of the Oral History Society at the University of Sunderland to share how people’s memories have been integrated into the new designs in the park, and whilst there met Joan.

Joan followed up these two photographs with two more of her and her brother in the Park.

Joan and her brother on the seesaw, 1964
Joan and her brother on the swings, 1964

“I think you’ll be excited about these pictures that my Dad has fished out, taken by my Mum, we think probably in 1964.”

“I wasn’t very clear about the seesaw, and this sort of explains why. It’s a wooden boat type of thing, with the middle portion that could be sat inside, a raised seat at each end, running boards all along each side, and a wooden crossboard with studs on in the middle. You can see quite a bit of detail on one photo, and see the seesaw in the background between the swings and the church on the other photo. I don’t remember seeing a similar seesaw anywhere else.”

“The seesaw photo also shows details of the sliding covers on the brick hut windows, and a wooden hut at or on the north side of the brick building. Dad thinks that the wooden hut was where you paid for tennis court hire.”

Joan Cook, 28th August 2011