Author Topic: What I Miss  (Read 21783 times)

pkkontario

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What I Miss
« on: June 15, 2015, 07:30 PM »
I left Ashton to become an adopted son of Canada, almost thirty five years ago.
I live in a beautiful part of Ontario known as the Kawartha Lakes Region.
Kawartha is an Ojibwa Indian word meaning, Land of Shining Water. Never was a place so well named. Canada boasts one tenth of the global fresh water supply, and part of it could not be situated in a more wonderful setting, a far cry from the rugged beauty where I spent my formative years at the base of the Pennine Hills.
In culture, weather, geography, and quality of life, my home, and my former home could not be more different.
Culturally, Canada has one foot placed firmly in the US, and the other placed firmly in Europe. I believe that we draw the best traits from both, but I am a little biased.
Weather-wise, here just north of that inland sea known as Lake Ontario, we are blessed with four distinct seasons, combining extremely hot summers with cold, snowy winters.
What we do not have, are hills... I'm talking about substantial hills like the ones seen to the east of Ashton, those majestic heather shrouded mounds that dominate the landscape.
Oh how I miss those hills!
As a boy, I would set off early in the morning with a bunch of friends. We packed jam butties, some biscuits (if we were lucky), and a bottle or two of corporation pop. Real pop was a special treat for special occasions, something rarely seen in our house.
We would be gone for the entire day, trekking across Hartshead Pike and down into Mossley, the gateway to the Moors. That was our favorite playground. Our energy was boundless and our imaginations infinite.
I miss that boy as much as I miss the hills!
How I miss the Moors!
I miss the pubs of my youth, and the camaraderie of my friends. Darts and dominoes at Sunday midday, then off home for a Sunday dinner of roast beef, mash, Yorkshire pud, and peas. Home-baked cake for dessert and the struggle to stay awake before heading out again on Sunday evening.
I miss the pubs and the social life we enjoyed!
I miss the Ashton of that era because it seems that now it is no longer a welcoming place at night.
I miss the history and heritage that surrounded me in Ashton, and I feel a little shame that I took it for granted when I lived there. Only when you lose something do you truly understand how much you should have cherished it!
Finally (but by no means the only other thing), I miss the bustle, smells, and sounds of the market. I would walk there from Smallshaw every Saturday as a child, with my spending money clutched tightly in my hand, to wander the inside and outside markets to see what treasures I could acquire.
Sometimes I went home with a plastic dinosaur that emerged from a Lucky Dip from the corner stall in the Market Hall. Other times it might be the latest copy of the magazine, Famous Monsters of Filmland, or even the latest Superman comic (oh how I wish I'd kept those!). Another time it was a kazoo from the music store.
It really did not matter what I bought, it was the fun of finding it that I recall with such fondness.
Do not take the market for granted, cherish it for the historical prize that it is.
How I miss the Market!
I am fortunate in that I return to my boyhood town every two years and spend time wandering and remembering. Sometimes, when I am in a truly nostalgic mood, I can picture the trolley buses turning at the market, and that's when I know I need to get a bloody grip, and remember that none of us can go back. And quite honestly, who would want to? I live firmly in the present, where Ashton is like a re-run movie in my head... a very good, charming, and well-loved movie!
And, yes, I do miss Ashton!

Fudge

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Re: What I Miss
« Reply #1 on: June 16, 2015, 11:31 AM »
Its funny how some people miss were they lived my mum was born in a small place just out side Newcastle on Tyne but spent a great deal of it in Dunston not far of the same places. She met and married my dad and after the war came to live in Ashton but really struggled with not being with her family Dunston was my 2nd home till my Nan died in 1959 at the age of 12 she was buried on my 13th birthday after that visits were not on the same scale I still go up but a few years pass in between and I enjoy going to see my large family of cousins who are now starting to dwindle and spread all over the Country. I was born in Ashton but my older brother by 16 years was born in Dunston and came to ashton about 1946 and only ever went back 3 times as he loved Ashton and never wanted to go back so I think it must be a thing you are born with. I would not move from Ashton and it does not worry me about going out at night. But I loved Ashton more as it use to be but changes happen and live goes on Fudge

Son of Nomad

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Re: What I Miss
« Reply #2 on: June 16, 2015, 01:40 PM »
I was born in Ashton in the 1940s (actually in a private nursing home on Villiers Street, paid for by my grandfather who was a co-founder of UCP Cattle Products and therefore had a bob or two). I lived there until 1978. To me the Ashton of that era was a happy place in which to grow up. Waterloo where I lived had a real village atmosphere and there was the countryside of Hartshead Pike and Daisy Nook almost on my doorstep. Ashton bustled with shoppers, the two markets, several cinemas, trolley buses and I loved watching the steam trains shunting at Ashton Moss. Many of our neighbours were 'characters' and as I get older my memory seems to get sharper remembering the smallest detail and most trivial incidents about them. But I am utterly dismayed at the desecration of Ashton Moss. Still, we Ashtonians have out individual memories and I count myself lucky to have grown up there.

Too shy

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Re: What I Miss
« Reply #3 on: June 16, 2015, 03:28 PM »
Its funny how some people miss were they lived my mum was born in a small place just out side Newcastle on Tyne but spent a great deal of it in Dunston not far of the same places. She met and married my dad and after the war came to live in Ashton but really struggled with not being with her family Dunston was my 2nd home till my Nan died in 1959 at the age of 12 she was buried on my 13th birthday after that visits were not on the same scale I still go up but a few years pass in between and I enjoy going to see my large family of cousins who are now starting to dwindle and spread all over the Country. I was born in Ashton but my older brother by 16 years was born in Dunston and came to ashton about 1946 and only ever went back 3 times as he loved Ashton and never wanted to go back so I think it must be a thing you are born with. I would not move from Ashton and it does not worry me about going out at night. But I loved Ashton more as it use to be but changes happen and live goes on Fudge

Well said, Fudge. My mother was born in County Durham but came to work in Ashton just before the war - her younger sister had already arrived here before my mother and they both got decent jobs (albeit manual) in the hospital, where they lived in. There was no work for girls where my mother came from as they lived in a succession of pit villages, depending where the best coal seams were. She met and married my father down here and we only made occasional trips to County Durham. Both her sisters raised their families in the Ashton area. She saw the North West as her home and didn't want to live anywhere else. Although her roots were in the North East, her heart was definitely in this part of England and where she, peacefully, ended her days.

Ashtongirl

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Re: What I Miss
« Reply #4 on: June 17, 2015, 08:25 PM »
How strange but I miss the hills too. Left Ashton in 1963 and live in Kent with its rolling Downs but they are nothing compared to the moors. Recently went back for the first time in a dozen years and it did my heart good to look up at the Pennines. It was the one bright spot in an otherwise sad visit. What has happened to dear old Ashton a once vibrant town whic has suffered from planning blight. Nothing open in the evening and shops everywhere. It made me sad when I remembered how it used to be.

PJackson

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Re: What I Miss
« Reply #5 on: June 18, 2015, 11:25 AM »
I was missing the hills yesterday, but the weather lifted and I could see them again in the evening. :)

jaywit

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Re: What I Miss
« Reply #6 on: June 18, 2015, 02:39 PM »
Our only visual hill is The Niagara Escarpment (250 ft.) 20 miles away.

Albert

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Re: What I Miss
« Reply #7 on: June 18, 2015, 06:28 PM »
Should I put what I dont miss I think some folk look back with rose tinted glasses
 I dont miss all the cotton mills putting out all there smoke
 Ashton Moss was market gardens now employs more people and more to come
 I dont miss the Snipe pit were my grandfather worked
 Ashton market as been voted Best market for two years
 enough said

Dannyx6

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Re: What I Miss
« Reply #8 on: June 19, 2015, 07:57 AM »
Such a realist Albert! Last time in England I can remember looking across the sky line from Harts Head Pike and "not seeing" any Mill Chimmneys.........still its lovely to go back if you can and try to remembers, places, smell and people. I do understand you though. The whole world changes at sometime,  sometime to please, others to disappoint.
Danny

Ashtongirl

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Re: What I Miss
« Reply #9 on: June 19, 2015, 08:10 PM »
Well that's me told then. You're absolutely right, smokey chimneys, smog, grim winters. Memory is a wonderful thing, it filters out the bad and coats the good in a glorious haze. I lived in a house with a coal fire in the living room and no other heating and an outside toilet. But we played out until all hours and even as a very small child was allowed to go to Oxford park on my own. When do you see children playing out or walking to school on their own any more. Yes they have all the modern technology but I think they have lost a lot.

Too shy

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Re: What I Miss
« Reply #10 on: June 19, 2015, 09:19 PM »
How strange but I miss the hills too. Left Ashton in 1963 and live in Kent with its rolling Downs but they are nothing compared to the moors. Recently went back for the first time in a dozen years and it did my heart good to look up at the Pennines. It was the one bright spot in an otherwise sad visit. What has happened to dear old Ashton a once vibrant town whic has suffered from planning blight. Nothing open in the evening and shops everywhere. It made me sad when I remembered how it used to be.

Not quite sure what you had expected, Ashtongirl" as in "nothing open in the evening." Ashton has never had (to my knowledge, at least) a selection of restaurants to frequent in the evenings - even the numbers of town centre Indian and Chinese retaurants seems to be down compared to what it was in the Sixties and Seventies. As for the pubs, mostly either turned into noisy bars for the younger end exclusively or gone completely. You missed the best years, the mid to late Sixties when the pubs heaved with customers and all had live music - the George and Dragon was standing room only on Friday and Saturday nights. As for the Palais, gone but certainly not forgotten.

Albert

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Re: What I Miss
« Reply #11 on: June 19, 2015, 09:32 PM »
Sorry Ashtongirl but I am the same when I think about going to school the sun was always shining.
But the year I started work 1946 lees rd and Mossley rd were closed for weeks with the snow   

Fudge

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Re: What I Miss
« Reply #12 on: June 20, 2015, 10:18 AM »
Children can not go off on there own these days as in the park youths gather and have drinking parties. Or there is perverts on the loose only last weekend at 3pm  one stopped a 9 year old on Ripon St that why children are being stopped from doing anything. Glad mine are grown up now. But even when Grandsons go on a night out you still worry Fudge

PJackson

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Re: What I Miss
« Reply #13 on: June 21, 2015, 03:47 PM »
Ashton seems to be picking up from what it was. There are three new restaurants opening in the leisure park this year. Puccini and San Rocco are pretty good.

As a child my mother did not like me going out alone after the moors murders, so that is not new.

greeny

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Re: What I Miss
« Reply #14 on: June 22, 2015, 01:45 PM »
hi i miss the old ashton in the late 50s and the 60s it as changed along with the people but there are still areas of ashton  that when you go by the memories come flooding back , like parts of turner lane the junction inn near charlestown station king georges park ,all the main entertainment areas have moved to moss leisure park , no cinemas in the town centre or dance hall , and i still say when they built the precinct and arcades that cut ashton town centre in half at night time  :)