Tuesday, 15 January 2013

A Forgotten Memory.

Lately, possibly because I have two young toddlers in my life I have been wondering if they'll remember their time spent with me and all the fun things we do. Exactly how far back do we remember?
I always thought my earliest memory was of my younger brother being born. I was three and a half years old and the reason I know it was my own memory and not something my mum told me about is I can remember how it felt.
He was born at home and I was sent to stay with a neighbour in the flat upstairs. After he was born the girl who lived in the flat with her mum brought me back down to see my new brother. I wanted to hold him but they said I was too small and gave him to the girl from upstairs who was seven years older than me. I remember how mad I felt back then, he was my brother and it was so unfair.

Another memory came to me over the Christmas period, it was the photos of reindeer on cards that brought it from the deep recesses of my brain.
My dad used to take me to Tollcross Park in Glasgow, I don't remember my brother being there so he must have started taking me when I was younger than three.
I was too young to appreciate the beauty of the park, but every time we went there we visited the children's museum but there was one thing that made me apprehensive about the visit, getting in the front door. You see, I loved seeing the room full of Victorian Dolls in their fancy dresses and hats but to get there we had to go through the main door and standing facing the door and taking up the whole of the front hall was a huge stag in a glass case and another stag's head just as big on the wall.
Dad at Tollcross park probably 1959/60
I was terrified. My dad had to pick me up and I would bury my head in his jacket with eyes tight shut so I wouldn't glimpse either of them. I can still smell that nippy tobacco smell from his jacket and feel his tight grip on me as I trembled and he promised me he would tell me when we were in the next room. He never let me down.
The thought still sends a shiver down my spine. The magnificent Stag's name was Bobbie and he was the last stag to be shot in the park but I was never too sure whether we might still bump into one on our way home.
The most famous exhibit was a case containing "Who Killed Cock robin" The rhyme is about birds and insects and the were all there in the glass box, stuffed and made to hold books and shovels etc..
You can find the rhyme  here. I think I quite liked that exhibit but I didn't like the stuffed eagles and owls and rabbits that were in the room. I more enjoyed time spent on my own with my dad.
When I was a bit older we would often visit the larger Art Galleries in Glasgow and I wasn't to keen on the stuffed lions,tigers and huge dinosaur skeletons. I haven't been for many years but maybe it's time for a return visit to find out if I like them any better now.

We have no way of knowing what will frighten children and it's usually the silly things. My  17mth granddaughter is scared of a remote control car and the toddler boy I look after who is  two and a half is scared of a spider which we made together from an egg box. I wonder if they will remember those things when they are older and have a laugh about them.


This is the museum. It was built in 1848 and the grounds and house were sold to Glasgow Corporation in 1897 because the area around was becoming too built up for the owners. It is a very imposing house and considering that we lived in a tenement flat I was probably a bit scared of the building itself.
 It is no longer a museum and everything is in storage, some surprisingly held in a building a few streets away from where I now live. The house is now used by the charity Crossreach and there's talk of it being turned into luxury flats, as they now do to all those lovely old buildings.


And this is scary spider.














Can you remember what you were scared of as a child? Just how far back can you remember?

19 comments:

  1. I remember the day my sister was born (and the reason I know it's my memory - like you say, it's hard to tell sometimes - is because mum and dad weren't where I was). I was sent across to a neighbour's house, and spent a long time with one of those 'magic' drawing pads where you cover the page with a pencil and the picture appears underneath. I was 4.

    What was I scared of? Worzel Gummidge. I used to have nightmares, and mum banned me from watching it, thankfully. I was also banned from watching Lassie because it used to upset me so much!

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  2. i have fragments of early childhood memories, esp. of the time we spent in Yonkers before my grandfather died. He was buried the morning of my 4th birthday. But I do remember one thing that scared me. There is a restaurant in Provincetown that has tons of caricatures on the walls. Although we didn't go up there often, the couple times we ate there I was so frightened of the pictures. I forced myself to go back in when I was in my teens and early 20s and the pictures weren't near as creepy or sinister as I thought. The other thing that scared the bejesus out of me was whenever a TV show or cartoon would use the moving eyes in a painting. Scooby Doo used this a lot and I hated it.

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  3. Seems we were all sent to a neighbour's house. Worzel was quite scary if you were that bit younger. It's as I get older I don't want to watch sad films,I cry too easily. Thanks for reading.

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  4. I did say children were scared of silly things. I remember those moving eyes on painting on Scooby Doo and its still quite a scary children's programme but they seem to love it. We seem to be able to remember back as far as three or four. I actually remember my first day at school when I was five quite vividly.

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  5. Interesting post! I think you're right - it's sometimes hard to tell what is a memory from what you've been told, but remembering feelings and sensations makes a difference. I remember going to my aunt's wedding - she picked me up and I had a scratchy feeling on my legs, which I assumed looking back was her dress. I checked with her a few years ago, and sure enough, the dress was lace and net. I know when she got married, so I'd be about two and a half. I think I can remember things before that, but that is the first memory I can date accurately.

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  6. Hi Anabel,Isn't it amazing that we still remember how things felt and smells. I think we remember things more that had strong feelings attached to them like your aunts scratchy dress that annoyed you.

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  7. Memories must be in the air! I've just been reading another blog about earliest memories. As for things we are scared of as children, I can remember being frightened of my bedroom curtains when I was a child. They had pictures of red Indians on them by day, but by night, they looked as if they were covered in terrible monsters and I was petrified of them! I must have been about four or so then. Great post, Anne. One to get you thinking!

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  8. I love it when I recall something from my childhood, it sometimes makes me sad, but mostly makes me smile. Like hot summers, remember them? And what about when you used to be able to go out in the morning, play in the fields all day and come home early evening, and no one worried for your safety, coz the world was a safer place. Them were the days... ;-)

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  9. We lived near a common - and loved to play there during the day. One evening, when my parents were out, my little brother and I decided (against the rules of course) to investigate it at night - and suddenly all the tree roots were in the wrong place and the owls hooted in my ears and there was the smell of fox. I had to pretend to be big and brave (I was the oldest after all) but neither of us suggested doing it again (until we were much older and it was the short cut back from the pub!)

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  10. I remember my first day of school. I ran home at lunch time, with one of the minders chasing me, saying I was to come back. Mum was in big trouble as I was too shy and scared to return. She always tried to force me until a year later when my younger brother started and then there was no problem. I was always shy and timid during my young school years.
    (yes it's me, I finally downloaded google chrome and have found I can comment on blogs that I couldn't comment on before....Yay!!!)

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  11. I was scared of so many things as a child I doubt there'd be room/time to list them all. My biggest fear were motor bikes and I do remember almost being run over by one on a piece of rough ground near our home, though I must have been at least 6 then. My earliest memory is from when I was about 3 and went on holiday with Grandma and my two Great Aunts. It's strange to think that my little grandson won't remember any of the fun times we're having together so far in his two and a half years of life.

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  12. Thanks Val,yes I can imagine those curtains being scary.

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  13. I know what you mean Maria when you say it sometimes makes you sad. We played in fields too and wandered far and wide no way could you let a child do that today and it's sad.

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  14. Ha Ha! Well you are brave now Jo and I'm so impressed at you reading blogs all the way from Laos.

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  15. Hi Diane yes good to see you back again. It's funny but my son (oldest) always needed his younger sister to do things first then if it seemed ok then he would follow.

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  16. Scaredy cat!!Yes it is sad they won't remember when they are older that's why I write a journal for my granddaughter.

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  17. I wish I had a time machine, I'd love to relive happy days...

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  18. If you're commenting on the ipad or phone it has my name beside all the comments I can't find out why this is as on the PC it's fine. I assure you I didn't write all the comments myself.

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