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Railway crossing gates"

Church Road, Buckley


From "Common Interest: The Magazine of St. John's United Reformed Church. Easter 2004"



by Nellie Kendrick


I have seen many changes in my lifetime. The monetary system, the Bank Holidays, the weights and measures are now different. Buckley itself has grown - there are streets, avenues and housing estates now situated in the fields and woods where we used to wander, the land having been developed for homes.


We used to walk to 'Pentre Wood' when bluebells carpeted the ground. My friend of those teenage years and I would enjoy a long walk through the fields down to Padeswood via the 'Coppy Fields' to the White Steps or down past Bucket Row and Gypsy Lane to the Black and White Gates.


There were footpaths and fields nearer home too. We would cross the Dukes Fields to the main street and the Bulls Foot Fields, which ran down from Chapel Lane (now called Hawkesbury Road) to the 'Alley'. We would go through the 'Trap' and down the lane to Gibson's brickyard and then up to the railway line to the sidings in Church Road. The line used to carry coal from the Mountain Colliery and bricks from Davison's brickworks to the Docks and Connah's Quay. There was a level crossing in Church Road. We used to like watching the steam engine cross with the coal wagons when the crossing gates were opened. The last time I saw what was left of the lines, it was overgrown with bushes and weeds. There are no collieries in Buckley now and no brickworks, where there used to be about fourteen once. Buckley bricks were renowned all over the country and even abroad.


Miss Emily Jones was headmistress of St. Matthews Girls School then and she would call the girls who attended school in the winter 'Buckley Bricks' for braving the snow and ice. Those who had stayed at home were labelled 'sugar sticks'. Many children had a long walk to school - no cars or school 'bus in those days - but we survived.

I don't know if it is imagination, but the summer seemed longer and hotter too. We spent many hours out of doors, maybe on the Common - we always called it 'The Mountain'. Bulrushes grew there and we would make hats and umbrellas or other things with the rushes. We would paddle in the reservoir - that was our 'seaside' during school holidays - which was four weeks in August. The Knowle Hill was another play area. We would pull each other downhill in a 'sack' in turns and catch tadpoles in a jam jar from a small pond. We could play in the streets then too, perhaps skipping with a rope stretched across the road. We used to beg ropes from the greengrocer from the crates of oranges which had been secured by these ropes. A game of marbles would be played with a ring drawn on the ground. Each player tried to knock the marbles from the ring with a 'pop ally' which was a glass marble usually from one of Gregory's pop bottles. Children cannot play on the street nowadays due to the amount of traffic but have Sports Centres, etc. but I still think we had more fun inventing our own games. We were full of mischief sometimes but there was no vandalism - we were reprimanded if we chalked on walls. As I have said before - times have changed - 'for the better' - I wonder!


Author: Kendrick, Nellie


Year = 1960

Landscape = Urban

Transport = Rail

Work = Transport

Extra = 1960s

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