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A Shout From The Attic: The Living Room

...The only time I remember my dad taking me out one-on-one was when he made a kite for me and took me to the Rifle Fields to fly it. It didnít fly and we went silently home. I guess that about sums up our relationship... Ronnie Bray recalls his family, and the living room of the house in which he lived as a child.

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In the cellar living room, against the wall opposite the Yorkshire Range - which was in time replaced by one of those modern tiled things of little character and less charm - sat a sort of sideboard. I cannot now recall what was in its drawers and cupboards. Above that was a framed mirror with a sepia tin pastoral scene either side of the looking glass.

Above that was a shelf on which things that needed a safe lodging had their homes and above that ranged a long row of brass bells on spiral flat springs. These were once the summonsing bells to get the servants scurrying to whichever denizen had pulled the handle. Some of the rooms still had bits of the bell-pull mechanisms left sticking out of the walls, but none of them worked.

I can remember having an aeroplane construction kit on that shelf. Now and again I would get it down and stick some more bits of balsa wood together with nice smelling glue. I canít recall that the aeroplane ever flew - probably because it never got finished.

Speaking of flying things: the only time I remember my dad taking me out one-on-one was when he made a kite for me and took me to the Rifle Fields to fly it. It didnít fly and we went silently home. I guess that about sums up our relationship.

On either side of this sideboard were bronze or spelter statues, each about twenty inches high. One was a man looking out to sea, wearing a souíwester, with a coil of rope over his shoulder. His companion was a sailorís wife, also looking out to sea. Both of them seemed to be peering anxiously at a stormy sea or a shipwreck.

Most of the upper rooms had gas jets mounted on the walls. These were no longer in use and the house had no gas supply by this time.


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