Every holiday, the family would be sent to Granny Haigh’s at Bundys, until she got fed up with so many of us and my father bought Upper Lee. I have Granny’s notebooks, full of details of butterflies and insects, some of them you don’t see here now. She made a point of teaching us about them – we’d only listen for so long – but I can still identify any that come our way.
We could run around the fields, between here and Retreat ( now ‘Molehills’), with no one supervising us. There was one rule – you did have to wear your Wellingtons in the fields because of the adders. I’d see maybe two or so a year. I remember once, on my way to look for orchids, coming across an adder curled up in a spiral, rearing up with its head pulled back. I ran!
Going through the fields to Retreat was always a bit of a nightmare because of the young stock. The grownups always used to say, just keep going and if they run towards you, just make yourself as big as you can, and shout at them. They’ll go away. I wasn’t confident about that!
We spent a lot of time in Thorley Brook, paddling about, making up games.
Sue Langford nee Haigh b 1946