Some of my fond recollections of the Abbey Gardens began early in life during the summer when I was about 7 or 8 years old, in 1946.
My Mum used to pack a lunch for my sister Gwen and I, and send us off bright and early after breakfast with instructions to be back in time for tea.
We would spend all day down the Park, playing on the Maypole, swings, see-saw, round-a-bout. Handstands and rolling down the bank were all part of a day in the park. We would wander over and watch the old folk play bowls, Ha, we never thought we would ever reach bowling age.
It’s funny a good share of our life involved the park. Watching the brass band concerts.
Practicing our dancing lessons in the cloisters, always remember the huge Oak tree that used to stand there. Even for less admirable things like skipping school and using the park as a good place to spend the day until it was time to go home.
But I will never forget June 2nd 1952, it wasn’t in the park, but outside on Angel Hill when all the school children marched down to Angel Hill to celebrate the Inauguration of Queen Elizabeth. But hey ,after all the festivities, we finished up in the park.
I keep calling it the park, but that’s what we have always called it the Abbey Gardens,The Park . Such an important part of our life growing up in Bury St Edmunds, but never fully appreciating it until you move away.
18th April 2016