Ravensbury Memories

When I was a child, I lived in a town in Surrey called Mitcham, which is now part of South London.  I remember it as a safe place. I knew pretty much everyone in the road where I first lived with my grandparents and later, when my parents moved to a small estate consisting of three blocks of maisonettes, I knew pretty much everyone there too, including the local shopkeepers, mainly because I would be sent to do the shopping. Mrs Brown, who was a widowed grocer, knew about my love of ballet and even took me to a few performances at Wimbledon Theatre.

A place I thought was magical was a local green space on the banks of the River Wandle, called Ravensbury Park. Sometimes my grandmother would take me and my sister, or a neighbour’s daughter would accompany me in the summer when I was very little, and as I got older I would go with friends. It’s still there, although it has changed. It used to have two types of swings, a set for little children and another for the older kids, a massive slide, a roundabout and a paddling pool, which was filled with water every summer. There were wooded areas, flowers and a boating lake with ducks and swans. Best of all, there was a small café that sold cold drinks and ice cream.

ducks scramble for crumbs
sunshine sequins on the lake
distant memories

Kim M. Russell, 2018

Image result for ravensbury park mitcham
Man By Boating Pool, Ravensbury Park c.1960, from Francis Frith – image found on Pinterest

My response to dVerse Poets Pub Haibun Monday: Hometown Haibun

This Monday Mish is hosting the haibun prompt. She reminds us that the haibun is a combination of prose and haiku, beginning with a non-fictional narrative, a true account written in present tense consisting of concise paragraphs, no more than three. The prose is followed by a traditional haiku which gives reference to a season, bringing another dimension or layer to the prose.

For the theme, Mish wants us to think hometown and bring to life a scene or experience from our hometown, a childhood or adult memory. She wants us to reminisce, relive a moment and describe this place using sensory details. We can even view our hometown through new eyes, the way it feels and looks to us now when we visit.

35 thoughts on “Ravensbury Memories

    1. Thank you, Bev. Sadly, children nowadays do not have that freedom and, as a consequence, no real understanding of the world around them, resilience or urge to explore. They just play on their phones and other devices.


  1. What wonderful memories- made even more precious when the landscape changes over time. The lake you describe is almost an exact replica of the lake in Alexandra Palace. Love the haiku…it reflects the prose perfectly.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. the last few lines tells me of a very loved childhood especially the memory of sweets and ice cream. how lovely were those days when our neighbours actually came out of their houses and greeted us and knew each other well. these days I hardly see my neighbours let alone know them. beautiful description of your hometown Kim.

    Liked by 1 person

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