Once or twice a year, Mum would take it in turns to allow one of us not to go to school and spend the day with her instead. `Special Days' started by being told in the morning not to get dressed for school, as it was ‘your turn’. Siblings, naturally, were disappointed but didn't moan, because their day always came too. It was parent sanctioned bunking and felt sneaky from the get-go. Mum's the word.
Tuckton was where we went, or at least, is where we remember going most. With the River Stour running through it, going to Tuckton meant three things - liquorice, the Wick Ferry across to Christchurch play park, and ice cream from Tuckton Tea Gardens. The liquorice and ice cream were books ends to the main event; the excitement of waiting for and getting on the ferry.
That's the main picture from those days; being nestled up to Mum, sharing a bag of liquorice and the river views as we putt-putted our way from one side of the river to the other. It's a 5-minute crossing if that, and perhaps we only did it half a dozen times, but magic nonetheless. Still is.
Tuckton remains a firm family favourite. It's the start of a decent length walk along the river Stour, meeting the River Avon and opening up into the estuary at Hengistbury Head. It's where the boys battle for crazy golf supremacy, and where we go to watch one of the rugby lads, Jack, help people onto the hire boats, whilst we eat yet another ice cream. In fact, in terms of people-watching, it doesn't get much better than the giant size bench where it’s so very easy to stop, take stock and watch the world go by.
People to follow