To the ‘ Friends of Colwick Woods:
‘I lived on Greenwood Road – at number 133 – from the age of 7 years until I was 24 when I migrated to Australia. I have lived a happy and contented life here – married, raised three children and have four grandchildren and have been extremely fortunate in my working life here. So fortunate in fact that in all the 65 years since I settled in Australia I have been able to visit Nottingham many, many times and when I visited again a couple of years ago I was delighted to find that ‘the woods’ as I recall we referred to them are now in the hands of a group of ‘carers’ who, from what I read on their website really do care.
I went to school at the Jessie Boot primary school just up the road there and then when I was eleven had to move to the Sneinton Boulevard Senior Boys School. That was a bit of a wrench but on the days when one had to set off for school the prospect was lightened by the fact that one could get to the ‘big’ school by enjoying a fun start to the day by going through what we called ‘Round Wood’. One could risk being late for school – and having to endure a telling off by the head master – by dawdling along looking at birds nests or perhaps violets in the Spring and Summer and in the Autumn shuffling along when the paths were covered in brown and gold leaves and then being in trouble for arriving home with one’s boots – yes boots – covered in mud. I can still recall some of the names of the families of the other children I went to school with and who lived on the council estate across the road from the ‘woods’ – amongst them being Brassington, Hintons, Hammonds, Wicks, Richmonds, Eastons, Eastwoods, Bartles, Noaks, Marriots, Greenfields, Lees, Bowers and so on.
And I recall down in the ‘valley’ to the east of round wood there was an old farm house wherein lived an old couple who I imagine would have been associated with the running/managing the farm for years before the Greenwood Road estate was established. I recall them both as being very old – very, very old. They weren’t farming then but they had quite a large garden running to the south from the house where they grew quite an assortment of vegetables. I remember being sent by my mother down to the cottage to buy a bag of potatoes from time to time. And I recall going to the door of the house with trepidation because the old chap with his long grey beard scared the life out of me.
Backing on to this cottage was a large shed which I remember as the council park-keeper’s ‘office’ and in which was stored various tools and equipment which the park-keepers used for general maintenance around the woods. Also kept in this shed were goal posts etc which the local ‘football clubs’ had to cart up the hill to the south where at the top would be marked out in a rough sort of way the football ground. The only football ground I ever came across that had a dip in the middle where the centre spot was. I don’t recall who it was who organised it all and rounded up a bunch of us lads as a soccer team but we played our home games up there – and took the goal post down when we had finished.
On leaving school at the age of 14 I started work at the boot and shoe makers shop which was situated on the corner of Kirkdale Rd and Oakdale Rd and where I worked until I was 17 when I went off to join the Royal Navy in 1943. Yes, I have many happy memories of fun in Colwick Woods both in the Summer and Winter too and I wish all the ‘Friends of Colwick Woods’ good luck and success in all your endeavours there.
I am now 89 years old and I hope that I shall be able to make another visit before long.
Gerry (Ged) Tacey.