Hester Thomas

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Signs

There’s a farm on two sides of the rec’. A sign says: Keep Out. Alison, Lorraine and I climb over the fence and step into the field. Black and white cows lazily munch their way through the long grass, their tails like old ropes flicking against the flies.

We pick daisies, make long chains and trail them through one another’s hair. We blow the fluffy white seeds from dandelion heads to tell the time. They parachute gently to the ground. I take a buttercup and hold it beneath Alison’s chin and then Lorraine’s. Their skin shines yellow, a sure sign that they love butter.

Another summer. The cows are gone. The farm buildings are boarded up. The farmer has disappeared. Diggers move in: both men and machinery. A housing estate is being built. A fresh sign appears: Trespassers will be prosecuted. Alison, Lorraine and I climb over the fence anyway.

Creative Journey – Cockton Hill Road, Bishop Auckland, Co. Durham

I lived at Bishop Auckland from 1961 to 1970 with my parents and sister. We left when I was twelve.

Outside school, we could do what we wanted, where we wanted as long as we came back in time for meals! I had more freedom then that at any other time in my life. There are so many memories I could draw on, but decided to capture the time when the local farm, which looked like it would last forever, suddenly changed.

Of course the building site became our new, exciting playground even if we were chased off repeatedly!

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