I Must Confess…memories of my hometown
Welcome to another round of I Must Confess, the home made confessional where we all have the chance to get the big and little things off our chests.
The prompt for this week is to share stories of your hometown.What does your hometown mean to you?
I must confess the prompt for this week was inspired by a group set up on Facebook called “You Know You’re From Maitland When…” which brought back a flood of memories for me this past week.
I was born in Maitland Hospital in 1975 and lived there for the first 20 or so years of my life.
Maitland is known for the destructive floods of 1955…
champion boxer Les Darcy…
the politically incorrect “Little Black Boy”…
and having one of the oldest regional newspapers in Australia…
I love my hometown. So much so that even now I only live 30 minutes away and continue to head back there on a regular basis. Most of my close school friends still live there and I probably would too if I didn’t have a job in Newcastle. 30 minutes might not sound like a long commute but the traffic congestion on the highway during peak hour really is the pits.
I have good and bad memories of Maitland. I loved walking to and from school through the Maitland Mall (which is ironically set to be re-opened to traffic this year). I remember going shopping with mum as a young girl and always being treated to a milkshake at the Tucker Box milk bar. I remember Nature’s Wonderland, a local theme park where I somehow swallowed a piece of grass and nearly choked when my Dad gave me the only drink that he had, coffee!
I also have vivid memories of flood warnings – where the Hunter river swelled to near overflowing. Living on the riverbank for a time had it’s scary moments during those periods! I remember the old drive-in at Rutherford that later turned into a rubbish tip and now (fully rehabilitated) hosts a new housing estate. Then there’s the Maitland Show. Despite the organisers moving it to different times of the year, it still rains. Nearly every single year.
I loved catching the “red rattler” train from Maitland to Newcastle to visit “the city”. Newcastle had cool things that Maitland lacked, like a beach, a cinema and McDonald’s – very important to an impressionable young country girl! But Maitland did have a central library close to my house which became a second home to me. Plus, we were also lucky enough to score a visit from Charles and Di back in 1983 – that’s nothing to sneeze at!
Most of all, I’m proud to have grown up in a regional centre like Maitland. It was a fantastic balance between having all the essentials, proximity to farms and the country and being a mere 30 minutes away from the beach. Everyone knew everyone and I still see people I know whenever I head back there, even after being an ex-resident for over 15 years now. There is a real sense of community and belonging – that’s what has always made me hold my hometown so dear.
Confession time – do you have any tales of your hometown? Or do you have something even more pressing to share? If you do, you are in the right place!
– I Must Confess is a link up that runs every Monday and remains live for the whole week.
– You can link up something old or new, we’re not fussy around here.
– Feel free to go with the prompt for the week or add your own confession, whatever suits.
– Please go forth and share the comment love – it is bloggy crack after all!
– We’re always open to suggestions for the weekly prompt!
Next week’s prompt – what is the strangest and most exotic food that you’ve ever tried?
Do you want to become a more positive special needs parent?
Sign up to grab your free guide now! Full of practical advice from a fellow special needs parent.