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A Shout From The Attic: The Bushes And The The Faery Place

Ronnie Bray tells of an enchanting boyhood "playground''.

To read further chapters of Ronnie's autobiography please click on http://www.openwriting.com/archives/a_shout_from_the_attic/

The bushes were vast tracts of thick-grown and beautifully efflorescent rhododendrons rising like sudden green hills from the pathways to reach back into the dark and almost impenetrable interior of the hidden places of the park. Almost, but not totally, impenetrable, the bushes were interspersed with a network of mud tracks that shone when the rain managed to reach them.

These were no more than six inches wide where the silent feet of brave children who knew the hidden entrances and exits entered the secret system and left after roving for some distance through the night-dark undergrowth, unseen and, sometimes, unheard.

From one of the levels of wide balustraded terraces leading up to the temple-columned War Memorial, was such a hidden path leading through the bushes out to the top of a boulder-capped ravine that ran a short distance before dropping to the main level of the park, where it was enclosed and hidden by the bushes that skirted the narrow lawn by the path that ran from the Oastler Memorial playground to the bowling greens. Water ran slowly down the sides of the red-brown boulders forming the side of the ravine and ferns grew out from fissures between the craggy courses, making it a truly enchanted place. All it lacked was a band of flitting faeries, and although I did not see them, I do not doubt that more spellbound eyes than mine saw them frequently.

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