With all the world cup fever going on, I couldn’t resist this title – those of you of a certain vintage may remember this as the title of the ‘official England world cup song’ from 1970, when we played as defending champions. Although we didn’t win, maybe the tournament will be remembered for Gordon Banks making what many people think was the greatest save of all time.
However, I digress – in this post, back home refers to a visit I made back to my home town of Crawley earlier this month, during which I explored some old haunts from my youth and early adulthood, discovering that although many things around us may change as time marches on, it can be quite refreshing to find that some things remain the same.
The initial premise of the trip was to spend Fathers Day with my sons, something that I don’t get the chance to do very often – and the occasion did not disappoint. Along with Mrs E, the day began by sharing a ‘full english’ breakfast with Alex, and in the evening, we all got together again for dinner at the Curious Pig in the Parlour (regular readers may recall me blogging about this place last year), where we were also joined by Jamie, so it was a wonderful and all too rare family day.
My Fathers day cards – there seems to be a theme here!
For the rest of the week that I had arranged to be in Crawley, I had no firm plans so it was very much a ‘make it up as you go along’ trip, but having my camera, my intention was to revisit and capture some of those places that recall memories from the past.
Goffs Park and Tilgate Park
The area around Crawley is blessed with many green spaces and parks, these shots are from my two favourite parks, Goffs Park, and Tilgate Park.
Goffs Park is a short bike ride from my childhood home. I visited regularly during the long school summer holidays, particularly in my teenage years, as it had (and still has) a really good ‘Pitch n Putt’ course – a great way to spend a couple of hours during those warm summer days.
The circus was in town during my visit
The small lake, popular for fishing
A highlight of Goffs Park, is Goffs House. Originally built in 1882 as a private property, it now houses some council offices, and is also home to the Crawley Museum Society
Adjacent to Goffs House is Goffs Manor – today this building serves as a very delightful pub, but it’s history dates back to c1450. At one time, it was owned by the actor Peter Vaughan
Whilst Tilgate Park was not a regular haunt of mine in my former years, it is a great place to explore, especially with young children, as it has wonderful nature areas for the young, featuring a range of animals and their habitats.
Trees always fascinate me, and I found this group particularly interesting, given their sloping angles – The Leaning Trees of Tilgate
A new find – not sure who uses this, maybe a throne for the Mayor?
The view across the park’s spectacular Tilgate Lake.
Enjoying the colours of evening
In and around Ifield Village
Ifield Village is an area within the Crawley neighbourhood of Ifield, which was designated a conservation area in 1981. The area has a number of listed buildings, including the magnificent 13th Century St. Margaret’s Church. Ifield itself will always be close to my heart as I was born and raised here, so it is always great to come back.
St. Margaret’s Church – the venue for many family Weddings and Christenings over the years, plus as both a Cub and Scout, I attended Sunday services here at least once a month!
The area around the Church is very picturesque – dotted with charming cottages
Probably the highlight of the area of many – my favourite Crawley pub – The Plough. Whilst I have partaken of many pints here over the years, my fondest memories are of Sunday lunch times in the 70s and early 80s, with my Dad, family and friends; where a few beers were enjoyed before heading back home for my Mum’s magnificent Sunday roast!
Behind The Plough is Ifield Barn Theatre, where the locals can tread the boards. I helped as a stagehand for the Christmas pantomime one time back in the early 80’s – Oh yes I did!
The quiet lanes of Ifield Village
A redeveloped garage, featuring the cupola and bell from the area’s original School House
An overgrown footpath at the end of Tweed Lane – as a child, I would cycle here regularly to play on and around this bridge – which spans the River Mole
The bridge, just as I remembered it
The River Mole, taken from the bridge – along with my mates, I used to climb down the banks, and armed with my fishing net, try to capture tadpoles or sticklebacks
So, as a nostalgic visit came to a close and I got ready to return to the intense summer heat of Dubai, I was able to look back on great memories, from when my life was simpler, and when all I had to worry about was getting back home in time for dinner!
Ifield Village Conservation Area website
Goffs Park Information
Tilgate Park Information