Never Go Back?

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caravanman

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Never go back?

Something a little different this time for my weekly outing. I had been wanting to re-visit the area where I grew up, and decided to book my tickets for two nights away, leaving onTuesday, 29 June.

I grew up in a town about 20 miles to the east of London, called Romford. At one time it was in Essex, but after boundary changes in the early 1960’s it became part of “The London Borough of Havering”.

I do remember seeing farm animals being sold in the Romford market as a child, quite hard to believe nowadays, as it has become a place of sprawling shopping malls and car parks.

I left the area about 40 years ago, so I was not expecting much to be the same, but nevertheless, I was surprised by how much Romford had changed. Not just the shops, buildings, roads, but also the way that the population had altered, a much more mixed local population.

I had a look at my old junior school, and the house we lived in, and strolled around the local shopping area.

After a night in the hotel, I set out by bus to see if anything remained of a favourite wooded play area, back in the day. Gosh! It was pretty much as I remembered, very unspoiled!



I had a tear or two in my nostalgic eye as I walked around, remembering my younger self, and my playmates of the time.

Being on the edge of London, I had forgotten quite how much open countryside we had to play in as youngsters.

My train ride from Nottingham terminated at St Pancras in London, and I transferred to the Underground (aka tube) for the journey to the Liverpool Street terminus for the train to Romford. I had worked for British Rail back in the 1970’s but again the station was much changed. Hamilton House, the main offices of BR at the station have been turned into a pub! I liked the alterations, all brighter and cleaner, with all electric train units, different to the noisy diesel locos chugging away, in my day.

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Two pics above are of Liverpool Street station, this serves East Anglia.

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St. Pancras station exterior photo above.

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I love the huge old metalwork supporting the roof.

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This old chap seems to have an identical travel case to mine! (Poet and rail fan John Betjeman ).

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A Eurostar train for Paris waiting to depart in the International area. A nice view of the canopy.

Hmm, wonder when it will be safe to venture abroad on the Eurostar??

Trains were all fairly sparsly occupied, even the tube. Covid still inhibiting many folk from using public transport.
 

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anumberone

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Excellent post. Nice photos.
Like you, I like to check back on places I lived as a kid. Unfortunately I mostly do it by Satellite viewing. It is nice to see wooded areas still the same, brings back memories, so much has turned to blacktop.
 
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Railroad Bill

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Enjoyed your trip back in time Eddie, Similar circumstances in my old hometown. House where I was born is gone, my schools are all torn down, the places I worked are all gone. Time marches On.
 

jis

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I just went back and checked all the places where I lived since I was born. All of them are there as are all the schools and colleges I attended.

The house where I was born in Calcutta is not somewhere I would want to live at present as there is now an elevated highway right in front of it.

Everywhere else is more or less as it was when I was there.

I did get to visit the houses that I lived in when we were in Pilani in Rajasthan, India (roughly 1960-1977) last year, and they look pretty much the same, though there are many hosues around them now in what then were open fields.

All of the various Apartments and houses that I lived in in the US appear to be all there as is.

Actually, it is quite amazing that they are all there!
 

flitcraft

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The pace of urban change is rather unsettling. We moved to Seattle in 1980--lived in two rentals, then bought a house in 1985. Both rentals have been torn down to make way for townhouses, and our little house from 1985--a two bedroom one bath house built in the early 50's--has likewise been torn down and replaced with a 'box house' monstrosity that swallowed up our lovely little back garden in service of making the lot capable of carrying a 3000+ square foot box-style house without any charm. This is happening all over Seattle--little starter homes being bought, demolished, and box houses occupying the maximum space in the lot put up in their places. How will today's young people get their first house if they have to compete with the builders of box house McMansions?? I know I sound like an old geezer, but the changes I am seeing seem all for the worse.
 

MARC Rider

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About a year and half ago, I went by my old elementary school and house where I grew up (we moved when I was 13.) It seemed like nothing had changed, though it was a Sunday and the place was deserted. Our old house looked pretty much exactly like it was when I last lived there, except maybe some of the trees are larger. On the other hand, I also drove by the Junior High School I attended for 7th Grade, and, although the old building is still there, it appears much less imposing than I remembered. Also, the neighborhood around it seems much more urbanized than I remembered, even though the buildings look like they date from the 1950s and 1960s, so it's night like there's been any major redevelopment. Of course, I missed the old Ardmore Trolley (Red Arrow Lines) that ran past the school and was abandoned the year after we moved into the city. (SEPTA still runs two of the old Red Arrow Trolley lines, one to Media, the other to Sharon Hill, though, of course, with updated equipment which is now so old it's historical, but at least they're air-conditioned. I'll have to ride one of the lines on my next trip to Philly.)
 

danasgoodstuff

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Going back home can be a risky business, I've had both good and not so good experiences, but mostly good.
 

Qapla

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When I saw the title of this thread ... this is what came to mind
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In another Jack Reacher book
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He has some character knows as "The Romford Boys" who are a criminal gang

Funny what things can come to mind when reminiscing about trains and such ...
 
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jis

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Going back home can be a risky business, I've had both good and not so good experiences, but mostly good.
What I find disquieting in going back to places is that even if all the building look as familiar as ever often there is absolutely no one left that I know there anymore, in case of many of those places. So in a way it is a very different place all in all which looks physically similar to something that was very familiar.
 
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Who was it that said " You can't go home again!"???
Thomas Wolfe. His editor was Maxwell Perkins, whose other writing clients included F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway.

One of the rare editors who became almost as well known (at least in editing circles) as his authors.

Back to the original topic, I moved back to where I grew up when my parents were getting older and I needed to be near them. It was much more developed but still had rural pockets.
 

Bob Dylan

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What I find disquieting in going back to places is that even if all the building look as familiar as ever often there is absokuteky no one left that I know there anymore, in case of many of those places. So in a way it is a very different place all in all which looks physically similar to something that was very familiar.
Ditto!
 

oregon pioneer

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We moved to Seattle in 1980... the changes I am seeing seem all for the worse.
I moved to the Seattle area in 1973, and it is almost unrecognizable now. Two of the houses I have owned (North Bend and Ballard) are still there, in fact I believe both still occupied by the parties I sold them to in the 1980s. But the whole atmosphere of the city was cool, moist and sleepy in 1973 at the end of the Boeing depression, and now it is a bustling megalopolis.

I did go back to the city in Vermont where I grew up, a few years back, for my 50th High School reunion. I walked around the areas that I used to know well, and not much has changed except the occupants of the lower town. There is much more diversity now, and I am happy to see that! The folks that live in our old family home knew my Dad, and were pleased to meet me and show me around. One of my classmates bought her childhood home when her parents moved to a smaller place, and still lives there around the corner. What had really changed was the outskirts and suburbs. Lots of built-up areas and sprawl, where there used to be woods. :(
 
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Bob Dylan

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I moved to the Seattle area in 1973, and it is almost unrecognizable. Two of the houses I have owned (North Bend and Ballard) are still there, in fact I believe both still occupied by the parties I sold them to in the 1980s. But the whole atmosphere of the city was cool, moist and sleepy in 1973 at the end of the Boeing depression, and now it is a bustling megalopolis.

I did go back to the city in Vermont where I grew up, a few years back, for my 50th High School reunion. I walked around the areas that I used to know well, and not much has changed except the occupants of the lower town. There is much more diversity now, and I am happy to see that! The folks that live in our old family home knew my Dad, and were pleased to meet me and show me around. One of my classmates bought her childhood home when her parents moved to a smaller place, and still lives there around the corner. What had really changed was the outskirts and suburbs. Lots of built-up areas and sprawl, where there used to be woods. :(
Sounds like most American Cities and Larger Towns now days!

Someone who hadn't been to the town where I went to High School and College over 50 years ago,wouldn't recognize the place or the people!

It went from being a Small College Town of 5,000 Population, to a City of 100,000 located in a developing Mega Plex of 4 Million between San Antonio and Austin.
 
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