Because our family left Bramley in the late 60’s and returned only rarely afterwards, Old Bramley is the one which remains in my mind . It is easy to follow the old streets, and stone cottages and ginnels which we as children scampered around. There was so much greenery and open space , of which there is little now.
Readers of SHUDDER will recognise Waterloo Lane, Broad Lane, Bramley Town Street, Bell Lane and Wood Lane. But in Mill Town and Village, which is what I call Bramley in the book, I only describe it as it was. The odd times I have been back, I am thinking about how it used to be , with the mill and the shops on Town Street.
I can’t really have an opinion on  whether or not the heart was blown out of Bramley along with the old properties , because we left and didn’t come back. But it definitely had a different character back then.
Town Street has so many memories for me. I would hang on to my mother while she pushed the Silver Cross containing  my brother and sister up Waterloo Lane to the crossroads at the top. We passed the old barbers on the left and the two banks on opposite sides of the road. Turning right,  we went shopping, buying items from individual shops. Butcher, baker, greengrocer and the rest. I seem to remember the road on Town Street being so much higher than the pavement, but perhaps that was because I was little. Mum would leave me outside guarding the pram while she went in the shop. That wasn’t dangerous  as she could see us through the shop window. We could shop along the street, reaching the Bell Lane junction and beyond. These road junctions were very narrow, the shops or cottages seemingly almost meeting each other at the top.
Visiting the park at Bramley would be reserved for a different trip and we would never buy fish and chips from the shop almost opposite the park, but from the one opposite the mill on Broad Lane.
If we walked to the end of Town Street and turned left, then we would be going to Bramley Baths, a place recently rejuvenated and now thankfully being used again.
When we went on holiday to Blackpool, with my grandma,  we would walk from Wood Lane, up Bellmount and Bell Lane until we reached Town Street. Then there would be the long walk along Town Street, past the top of Waterloo Lane and on to Stocks Hill, where the bus would pick us up . I am not sure, but I think the bus then drove back along Town Street where we had just walked!
My first school was St Peters and I remember walking there myself, crossing Town Street, when I was so young. I can remember the classrooms only vaguely, but I do recall the playroom bit. There was a pretend house, I think with pretend food. I embarrassed myself when I tried to eat one of the pretend jam tarts and everyone laughed. I didn’t find it funny for some reason.
As I said, we left Bramley when I was five years old, but if I close my eyes right now, its Bramley of the late 60’s which is the only one that exists for me.
Old Bramley.

Wellington House (2)

Old Bramley - Fact meets Fiction
Mill Town