‘The Toll’, Lynsted.

In 1928 my father’s quest for work brought us to Greenstreet. Here we stayed with my maternal grand-parents until we moved to ‘The Crescent’ in May 1929.

During this time my father and I took many walks together, especially in the Spring of ‘29. Our favourite stroll was up ‘The Fields’, by the allotments and orchards, eventually coming out through the ‘Kissing Gate’ into the top of Mill Lane. Carrying on pastLynstedChurchwe turned left beyond ‘Aylmers’ into ‘The Toll’.

Half way along the lane through ‘The Toll’ was a tree with a low horizontal branch and two vertical ones, much in the manner of a child’s swing. We would rest here quietly and watch the rabbits and any other wildlife that dare show itself.

I learned to recognise many birds and their song, the colour of their eggs and the style of their nests. Sometimes we paused to pick a bunch of violets, which we eventually took home to my mother.

On then to ‘Bumpett’ and along the floor of the valley and up the hill to join the road from ‘Cellar Hill’ to Lynsted Lane. At ‘Cambridge’, a rest on the wall to watch the antics of the ducks on Mr Dixon’s pond, then on to Greenstreet and home for lunch.

In those days such peace and tranquility in this area, never, I’m afraid, to be repeated in my lifetime!

Before there were cars and the aeroplane
You could stroll at leisure down a country lane
Listen to the lark as it sang on high
And behold the beauty of the butterfly.

The air was pure and verges green
A horse and cart rumble on the scene
We watch sheep and rabbits crop the grass
Then step apart as cattle pass.

A roadman sits on an upturned barrow
Eating lunch, feeding crumbs to a sparrow
His hedges trim, gutters clean
Not a scrap of rubbish to be seen.

A mighty oak for an age has stood
Where bluebells carpet a wayside wood
Bold primrose blooms on either flank
While bashful violets hide in the bank.

Clouds in the sky that were not man made
Sunshine on trees throws a welcome shade
We sit on a log and rest a while
Then venture forth on the homeward mile.

Oh how I long for those days gone by
But, then can I only stand and sigh
For no money could buy, no fortunes worth
That blissful heaven once here on earth.