85772979 the-gravel-pits

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85772979 the-gravel-pits

  1. 1. The Gravel PitsAt the age of nine I lived in the suburbs close to the countryside, where Iwould enjoy to roam with my friends at the weekends or in schoolholidays. We would climb trees, make tree swings and scramble on pushbikes. We would dare ourselves to descend steeper and steeper drops.We made a den each, deep into the woods where no one could find us.We would retreat spending hours of play time amusing ourselves increative curiosity at our rustic enviroment. The stream was afascination, for hours we would watch clear shining waters flow down,teaming with life. Near by there were air raid shelters left over from thesecond world war and the old skellingthorpe airdrome. There weregravel pits too. Their deep excavated craters had long since floodedwhere bulrushes, gauze bushes, thistles and nettles grew wildly about.My friend Andy lived down the street from me. His back garden led ontothe gravel pits. It was a good place for wildlife and fishing. Andy hadalways liked animals and kept many pets. We would often go over thegravel pits to play. One day two men were over there shooting birds.This met with Andys disapproval. We started shouting at them from adistance to put them off their shoot. It seemed to work, so we carried onplaying like children do. Suddenly a gunman appeared from nowhere," Dont Move or Ill shoot!" he shouted loudly. We were terrified andran, but we were trapped by water. I thought of diving in then changedmy mind, in a flash the gun went bang! I froze, shaking with fright. Mylegs nearly gave way. They threatened to throw us in the water withconcrete socks. After some time they told us to walk off. As I walked offI thought they were going to shoot. Just then I felt a hard boot up myarse and ran off to play another day.Things have changed since I was nine, I am thirty three now. Thegravel pits are private land for fishing. The airdrome and air raidshelters have been removed. The land is now part of the city domainwith blocks of flats where dogs bark and children play in the streets.I think back with plaintive emotions.Adrian Cox 1998

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