Instinctively human beings, like other animals, have a sense of place. They need it to find their way home. But what happens when home keeps on changing, as it did in my early life? As far as I was concerned, it made me super-sensitive to the spacial dimensions, and I believe accounts for my love of maps.
When we lived at Featherstone I covered the wall which curved around the staircase up to the turret bedroom in the South Dressing Room (which by then was Jeremy’s and my private bedroom during the holidays) with adjoining one-inch maps. My memory is that this linked Northumberland with Shrewsbury, but I don’t think the wall would have been big enough for that. Nor do I remember having maps for the area between Lancaster and Chester.
But the fact that I remember such a big spread of maps suggests that I wanted to connect the two places which until that time had been most deeply impressed upon my consciousness. And I wanted to do it because I was confused by the stark contrast between these two ‘homes’.
Danny referred to ‘the red Shrewsbury’ after we’d left, and no doubt contrasted this with the grey stone walls of Northumberland, and I suppose that summarised the difference from a child’s point of view. My father said once that children hate being moved about. His evidence was, of course, the effect on us children of what happened to us as a result of his career changes.
Under this page are a number of places which have particularly significance for me. Remembering places is, for me, the best key to remembering my past. If I want to recall an incident or person, but first thought is: Where did it happen? So click on the links to see what I remember about them:
The Lake District, including Grasmere, Glenridding, Lamplugh and Drigg
Lancaster, including Morecambe
South West Northumerland including Bellister, Featherstone, Haltwhistle, Park Village & Ridley.