It’s all still there

Childhood memories

Andrew Howells
4 min readAug 12, 2022


Author still on a bike

I stared intently into the drive where I’d once lived 40 years ago. My constant journeying with our fledgling business had finally taken me back to The Wirral.

It was bound to happen at some point. I’d even decided to stay local that evening and retrace my steps later, on an old run I used to do. It had been cathartic at the time, treading water, desperate to recover from a first love lost.

This summer’s evening was perfectly calm. A casual observer, might have thought I was some sort of surveyor, appraising the road, before finally knocking on one of the detached houses, the occupants about to put their property on the market. In a way, I was.

Nothing moved as I watched nothing in particular. The houses, the cul-de-sac, the low brick walls and pavements, all looked orderly, unchanged a little older. As if it had been waiting, quietly patient for my return. Gardens had changed, as had paint colours, but it was still much the same, just no children playing.

I remember those walls and pavements when the cement had barely set and the road smelt fresh. It was hiding many secrets, but I had a key, I was part of this past.

Two majestic Scots pines were still on-guard at the top, imperious gates, vestiges of a grander garden and house, replaced by secondary glazing, gas fires and fitted kitchens, repeated eleven times for new young families. It was called progress. The original family long gone now, sold up when the mother finally died.

As my mind slowly wandered in the fading warmth of the day, like so many days before, the memories gradually returned, crowding in, until I could hop from one to another like a frog on a lily pond.

The worn tarmac road where I now stood, had once been dirt, dust and potholes, unmade and brilliant for skidding. The frequent punctures, testament to the time spent locking up rear wheels, sliding sideways in dusty clouds to a graceful stop. Sometimes Dad would watch, standing beside his car in his creased

suit, smelling of work, a heady mixture of peppermint and lemon oil.

Races always started at the top. Our favourites was — last to brake, hardly original…



Andrew Howells

Writer, male, London. Enough time to tell stories