i was born in Ardsley. i grew up there. i love it.
when i say i was born there, i mean just that. i was born in the house my mum and dad still live in.
it’’s a town three miles from the centre of Barnsley.
nothing special. a balanced mix of the have’s and have not’s, but all got along well. i liked living there. we had a big park at the end of our estate. the Welly, or Welfare as it was known. kids would congregate on the Welly wall. the ages getting higher, the more you advanced up the hill. there was a football field, a bowling green, concrete tennis courts, a huge expanse of grass where in the summer we’d play 50 a side football matches that seemed to last all day. a rose garden and the playground. baby and grown up swings, monkey bars, roundabout, a small slide and a massive slide.
there was a lump of earth that was perfect for launching yourself and your bike skyward if hit at the right speed!
opposite was a petrol station that sold sweets and the ever requested ice pops during the summer.
now, as you may be able to see from the photo, it’s changed.
now the playground (bottom, right) is fenced in to keep dogs from crapping everywhere, the tennis courts (middle left) are covered in moss, the rose garden (just below the courts) are just another area of grass and they’ve put up a BMX/skateboard type thing slap bang in the centre.
i wish it had been there as a kid, then maybe my dad would have understood the whole fascination with BMX’s and might have bought me one of those instead of the 15 speed racing bike that i promptly broke the forks of by riding it down the quarry with my mates. who, almost to a man, were on raleigh burners!
more to follow. if you want to hear it.