Tawd Bridge Child

I have often thought that we children of the “Baby Boomer” generation are the luckiest generation in history. WW2 was over and there was a new spirit of optimism. We never had to survive the Great Depression. In my family we were pretty hard up during the 50s, but we were never starving or lacking in the basic comforts of life.  We didn’t have the technology of today, or the vast array of material goods, but I don’t think we needed it.

I recall having a very happy childhood in our little world of Tawd Bridge. I had a little group of friends to play with and lots of interesting things to do. No mobile phones, no computers no hugely expensive toys. Even at school we only really had one item of play equipment, a pair of swings on the field at the back of the school. Everything else depended on our imagination and ingenuity.

We walked, unsupervised, to school. We had to go up Ormskirk road then turn up the “pads” – a footpath giving a shortcut to Daniels Lane. In the last couple of years that I was there we had a Lollypop man to supervise us crossing Ormskirk road to get to the pads. Whatever the weather, we had to walk, (or run!) We thought it was fun when it was foggy and you could not see the school from the pads. “Oh, no! The school has disappeared! No school for us today!”

There seem to have been few restrictions on what we could do. I vividly remember playing outside in the snow at night when it was dark, and I have sometimes wondered about why my Mam would have allowed me to play outside at night. Then I suddenly remembered that in winter in England it is often dark at 5:30, so I guess that is the answer, we could play outside until we had to come in for the evening meal, and it would have been well dark by then.

When it wasn’t winter, we could have a wonderful time outside. The houses at Tawd Bridge were crowded closely together along Ormskirk Road, but if you went a hundred yards to the back of the houses you were in open country. It was a real adventure playground! There were trees to climb, birds nests to find, brooks to paddle in (and fall in, sometimes!) We used to walk as far as the actual bridge over the Tawd River, then turn along a path towards “The Lump” as we used to call it. Or you could go the other way and go up the back lane. Along there was an old shed and a sort of allotment that belonged to “Owd Bill”.  Near there by the side of the lane was a spring, water constantly bubbling up into a little pool. I always found it fascinating. The last time I was in England was in 1989, and I went down to Tawd Bridge to try to find that back lane. There was a sort of abbreviated and modified lane where I thought it should have been, but no sign of the spring.

Another thing that my friend and I liked to do was to walk up the brow to Dick Valentines farm. At the side there was a paddock in which was kept a friendly chestnut horse. We loved him. He allowed us to pat his nose and feed him with a handful of grass.

If you kept on walking along from there you came to a place that we called “Tom Brown’s Garden”. I can’t remember anything about the house apart from the fact that it had a lovely garden. We used to just stand there and admire it.

If any of this jogs the memory of any of the other Tawd Bridge or Digmoor children, leave a comment!

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About Edith C

Born in Tawd Bridge, attended Digmoor school and chapel. Migrated to Australia in 1958, but have been back to Upholland for visits on several occasions since. Was a teacher, now retired. I would like to keep in touch with the people of Tawd Bridge, Upholland and Skelmersdale, I still have a fond and deep connection with the home of my childhood.

7 thoughts on “Tawd Bridge Child

  1. Those where the days long summer nights swimming in the resys going to the old delphs we used to call the green waters walking up to ashurst beacon over elmers green sitting on the pub step bottle of pop packet of crisp friday night kenyons shop for fish and chips happy times

  2. Love reading this blog , feel like Im back in the 50s.Do you remember when the gypsies camped up towards Holberts farm near the quarry.We would walk with our parents either to the Beacon or to Skelmersdale.If we went to Skem via the devil steps we always counted them !On the way back we would call at the shop we called Whitegates at the top of the slack(Wigan rd )for some sweets,

  3. Remember it all well. Apart from the swings on the playing field there was the “sand pit” or at least a sandy hole near the edge og Jack Gregsons field. And how many of the lads remember the school garden at the bottom of the field. I can remember planting spuds etc but can`t remember ever digging them up.
    Bill, who had the yard round the back of Tawd Road just below the spring had a little cart with two bicycle wheels. He lived in the row above Watkinsons shop next to a little entry if I remember rightly. His name was Fairhurst and he lived there with his brother I think.
    Twice a year the gypsies camped by the spring with their horse pulled caravans and tether the horses at the side of the road. They would arrive just before Wigan`s spring and autumn fair and call at the houses trying to sell clothes pegs made from small branches. Unlike the travellers of today I don`t recall them leaving piles of rubbish for others to clear.
    Strangely enough, I have just uploaded some photos before looking at the comments and think one of them is of the “garden on Moss Lane” referred to by Tawd Bridge Child. The only garden of note down there was White Gables rockery the photo of which will hopefully appear in due course.

  4. Well, Dave, you may recall that my mother’s family were strict Methodists, so never went to the Pub! I often felt very envious of kids who got pop and crisps from the pub on Saturday night!

  5. Jim, I am glad that somebody else remembers that spring. I remember the gypsies camping near there, too. The gypsy women used to always call at my Nana’s, and she would always invite them in and have a cup of tea and have her fortune told. For my family there was always friendship and good accord with the gypsies, and they always told Nana a good and optimistic fortune!

  6. I moved away from Skem in 1979 and have many happy memories. We lived on The Mount just off Spencer’s Lane. I remember an old bridge which we always referred to as Tawd Bridge. One day workers arrived with heavy machinery and completely covered the bridge with a massive amount of soil! It will still be there to be uncovered and restored to its full glory some day!

  7. The river Tawd was our favourite place during the 1960s. My family lived on Sandy Lane next to Dr Bell and then moved to the High St opposite the newsagents the Storeys – At that time I coveted this shop – comics, colouring in books, sweets, books = Heaven.
    Then we moved to Pine Close and liked catapults and pellet guns and roaming around. We had a rope tied to a high tree across the Tawd which from the top of a slope, you had to climb higher to stop skidding, mostly upside down to stick a knife as low down the hill as possible to Win. Once, whilst doing this stupid act, I got shot by a pettet gun in my ear.
    It is really odd that I remember the Devil Steps – but not the Bridge?
    I do remember walking down the Devil Steps and following the bank to a tree on the right that had roots growing over the embankment. You could walk under them into a cave like space, I told my younger sisters it had the eye of the devil carved into the clay like soil!
    Other memories include my mum asking Why? we had summer dresses on, and coats in Winter? to easily cross the Tawd!
    Lot’s of Idyllic Memories
    Janet in Australia

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