I was one of five children, two bothers, David & Colin and two Sisters Daphne & Glenda, I was the baby of the family. Dad worked on a local farm and grew vegetables on his allotment which he sold to make extra money. I used to help him by weeding, rotovating and picking fruit and stuff, he really loved his garden and was very good at it.
I have very few photo's of me as a child. I was born at the hospital in King's Lynn and we lived at Westacre, however my earliest memories are of living at Wiggenhall St Mary's, Just down the road from Islington, where we are now. The row of houses we lived in are now gone and belonged to the farm my dad worked on.
This is a very young wee Merv One of the earliest pictures I have of me as a child, I think I was about 3 years old. What a little cutie I was, we must have been going out somewhere for me to be looking so clean and tidy. Strangely I seem to remember that Cardigan, it's funny how some things stick in your mind.
This picture on the right must be the earliest picture I have of me and I really have no idea where this was taken. It was probably on a trip to the seaside and I would guess I was somewhere around two years old. I hope it was a stuffed goat.
Animals played a big part in my childhood. here I am with our faithful dog Rover. He was an adorable old thing and was always very patient with me. I've always loved animals and when you get one as good natured and faithful as this old dear boy was you realise how special creatures are. They have so much they can share with us and add to our lives.
We spent many happy hours together. I suppose he was Mum & Dad's but the whole family saw Rover as their dog, owned by no one in particular, he was just ours. Do you know I can't ever remember him being on a lead, he just trotted happily beside us. We never bought cans of pet food he ate our left overs, we were a big family and he always had plenty.
We also had a beautiful cat called Tiddles who would curl up as close to the fire as possible. It's a wonder she never got caught by a spark but she didn't.
Again I have no idea when or where this picture was taken. It's faded giving it an appealing antique's road show look. As you can see I was and am, still knock knee'd. I remember I used to run in a cross country at my secondary school and running on rough uneven surfaces my poor knees used to get very bruised banging together.
I have a feeling this might have been taken at Gt Yarmouth or Clacton as we did have one or two day trips there.
My recollection of childhood is a happy time, I might not look it here but I was happy honest, and a day trip would have been a very exciting special treat.
A very shy little Merv
This is a highly treasured picture of mine and as I study this, memories come flooding back. I was around nine years old, Mum & Dad said I could go and choose a kitten from a litter that dad's friends cat had just had. I can still remember every detail, how excited I was as I walked around a mile to the shed on the allotment where the kittens were. They were all beautiful but he just stood out, he was mine from the moment I saw him, a special cat in every way. I carried him all the way home and we became inseparable, he really was so intelligent, almost human at times. He would wait at the bottom of our road every night when I came home from school, he'd run to meet me and I'd reach down to pick him up or sometimes he'd run beside me. We spent so much time together, he used to leap from the floor directly on to my shoulder, which I thought was very clever and we used to show every one our trick. I say he was special because as I reflect I realise just how much I learnt from him. We had complete and unwavering trust in each other. If things weren't going well we still always had each other. Sadly Patch died before his time, a victim of poison that some farmer had put down we believe. Yet another lesson that he taught me. How to come to terms with an unbearable feeling of loss and emptiness. Grief is such a powerful emotion and this was my first taste of how destructive and powerful it can be. It took a long while to get over him but his memory has lasted me a life time. I hope that every child is lucky enough to find something as special as we had together. The name Patch came from his black marking over his right eye.
A day trip to Wroxham I loved my Duffle Coat. This proves how important your child is as I still remember that day trip with Mum and Dad. Not an expensive thing to do but it was a special day out and quite an adventure,merv_jdean.jpg I loved looking at all the boats. I'm glad I had my new duffle coat as it was a bit chilly.merv_jdean.jpg
That's me on the right looking like James Dean. This must be my favourite childhood photograph. My brother Colin took this and I still remember him standing me against the door and arranging my shirt collar just so.
He'd got himself a new camera and was trying out his skills.
I think I was around eleven years old at the time.
With the natural shadows it looks quite dramatic doesn't it. Oh to be so young again and know what I know now. How often have you heard that said.