Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Exploring the Bacon Pits. (1948)

Exploring the Bacon Pits

Thinking that we were being chased, an almighty scramble started,
Following the path we came in, and round first pit we darted,
A mate behind through in a stone, and frightened us the more,
Shouting squealing cracking of twigs went even faster, such uproar.

It was always depressing, the thought of having to go back to school after an exiting weekend exploring up on the old airfield that had just closed. We were sent out from home in good time, to walk the half mile up the village to school, but we met up with our mates on the way and walked even slower, more often than not the bell had gone just before we had arrived.   

They had just started school dinners, for which mother sent us with one shilling and a penny for five dinners, (that just over 5p in new money for the week). No choice you just had eat what was sent on the van or do without. On the whole we seemed to eat most things, and those that refused, meant that we could have as "seconds", and an almighty clamour to get to the front of the queue for that. In certain class rooms you could see the church clock and could not wait for three thirty and home time.

This is the village school (the farm house where I live now is just out of the picture on the right that is our garden hedge)
The main block on the left and the main entrance down there as well, the school house on the right hand side with its front door.

 In 1944 to 1950, when I was attending this school, there was a very old lady lived in the school house with her daughter, the daughter worked in town, and the mother was often left in bed at home on her own. Her bedroom window over looked the play ground.

No one was aloud to play in that area under here window for fear of disturbing her, but she almost caught us this one day when she opened the window and emptied the contents of he pee pot just missing us, she was shouting at us and all the kids got a bit excited as to what would have happened if it had landed on us. 

First day of the week to school

Monday morning what a drag, five whole days of school,
Get up slowly rubbing eyes, washed our selves in water cool,
Down for breakfast a glass of milk ,porridge in a bowl,
Tie our shoes and jacket on, out the door we strolled.

Up the village join our mates, dawdled all the way,
School bell it had just gone, what a long old day,
Strode through the gates, my brothers our mates and me,
See what mood the teacher's in, try to educate you see.

Take the register, next assembly, then chant times tables all,
English history geography, and learn all about Nepal,
We learned about the plants and trees, gardening as well,
Germinate a bean in jar, see its roots and shoots all swell.

Good to hear the final bell, home we race full speed,
There to see what mother baked, just to fill our need,
Change of clothes and out to play, often have some jobs,
Feed the hens and collect the eggs, all with fresh baked cobs.


It was around the time the airfield closed in 1948 ,and I would be 10 years old we found a way to get up onto the perimeter track of the old war time aerodrome. The bomb dumps around the woods that surrounded the airfield still had the full fake grass camouflage netting over.

We explored all round them inside and out, to see if any bombs had been left behind. There must have been ten or more of these dumps all round the outside of the perimeter track tucked under the sides of different woods.

One wood that intrigued us was "Williams" wood, and we had heard the old men of the village taking about two pits in the middle of this wood that were called the "Bacon Pits".

The gates were still closed and the airfield was patrolled by a guard to stop just such kids as us. So we were very frightened going in and even more frightened on the way out of the wood, so much so that with short trousers and brambles and nettles, we never felt them until we had a count up to see if we were all there, then there was evidence of blood, and scratches from coming out in such a rush.

I Remember Exploring the Bacon Pits.
We went to Seighford Airfield, soon after it had closed,
To have a look for William's wood, and find the mystery posed,
We heard tales about the pits, in middle of the wood,
These were called The Bacon Pits, and thought we would explore.

On our bikes we did set out, along the perimeter track,
Turned off through the bomb dumps, into the far outback,
We came along the side the wood, and down we dropped our bikes,
Decided to go through the under growth, must be a big long hike.

We found a stick for each of us, to beat the brambles down,
A path to make so we could find, the pools of such renown,
Eerie echo's thought we heard, while progress it was bumbling,
Looking up for what we could hear, the sticks the scrub a thwacking

Our legs were scratched and nettled, but soldier on we must,
Our nervous tension it was showing, the guard we might be cussed,
Out in an opening, first pit we could see, deep in the wood through the leaves,
The pool was dark, the water smooth, surrounded by tall trees.

Press on to find the second pool, onwards through the scrub to find,
Each step we took cracked the twigs, not knowing whose behind,
It was difficult to keep on moving, eventually we found it,
We all stood still and thought that we could, hear the enemy emit.

Thinking that we were being chased, an almighty scramble started,
Following the path came in, and round first pit we darted,
A mate behind through in a stone, and frightened us the more,
Shouting squealing cracking of twigs went even faster, such uproar.

Having got back to our bikes, we had a count to see,
If all the men had got back, none drowned or captured by a nazi,
We peddled fast all scratched and bleeding, home to safety to our mums,
Blood wiped off all patched and plastered, then had a meeting all us chums.


Earth and sky, woods and fields, lakes and rivers, the mountains and the sea, are excellent school masters, and teach some of us more than we can ever learn from books.John Lubbock (1834-1913

No comments:

Post a Comment