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  • Alice Kilroy

Memories of my Welsh childhood

On remembering my life at Great Harmeston Farm. It was free and lovely. No other people to deal with just trees, animals, scratchy blackberry bushes, streams and trees.





















A railway ran through the middle of the farm. I loved watching the trains passing. They were steam trains with a guard at the back. The trains whistled at us. On crossing the line was a bog which was a bit scary. scary. scary. Had to be careful where you walked. I had a horror of being sucked under. I don’t know where the horror came from. A book? We had no television and the height of entertainment was Children’s Hour and the Archers on the radio.

Bats used to get in our bedroom which I found worrying even though I knew they would not touch me but that made no difference.


I was given a thermometer to take my temperature when I was ill. It broke and my mother put the mercury on a tray so I could play with it. Madness and dangerous.



We had a lodger a Welsh poet called Waldo Williams. I loved him. He let me

eat glucose and fall asleep on his lap in front of the fire. He had lots of books which my sister and I classified by colour. He said that was as helpful a way of classifying as any!


There were outdoor cats to catch field mice so they were not fed. I felt sorry for them so I took some cattle cake from the cowshed (which was dry and hard) and I put it in a bowl and mixed in water - they weren’t very keen. The field mice scared me almost senseless in the middle of the night. I could hear them scratching and running about about the floor boards. I curled up into a ball in my bed tucked myself in as much as I could and just hoped they would not climb into bed with me.


More to follow .....

June 10th 2019

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