Memories from our childhood - a fun topic not an argument

How far back can you go??

I’ve got a few flashes of incidents from baby/toddler time… which my mother verified when I questioned her about them later on in my youth…

And, I have almost total recall of certain things we did as kids, places we went etc etc … and I can visualise the interior of each of the 3 houses we lived in from about 3 to 10… and my Primary school that I left when I was 10… I could talk you through its corridors and classrooms…

Funny how (nowadays) I can make it to the top of the stairs and then wonder why I have made the effort… :thinking::wink::roll_eyes::worried:


I did an OU unit on Brain, Biology and Behaviour and it appears that we remember remembering more than we remember events. Souvenirs are useful too as are any aide-memoirs like photos, diaries or getting together with family or old friends who can trigger forgotten facts and occasions. It’s a fascinating subject, very complex and, of course, varies enormously between individuals. I have vivid memories of living in a Cornish village that I left when I was four years old but I’m sure they are so clear because I remember, remembering, remembering, about them. There is a chance of Chinese whispers occuring but quite often what I remember has been confirmed by others.


We had a very tame budgie when I was about 5 years old. He used to sit on my spoon when eating breakfast. One day he fell into my porridge…took him a long time to clean himself up :rofl:


At this moment I’m listening to Radio 4 where the presenter is talking to her father and sharing memories about growing up in Ireland.

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:joy::joy::joy::joy::joy: it’s the way that you tell 'em!

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I think I may have mentioned it before… but…

Age 3 and spending time with Aunt (Mum was often ill)… it was Easter and I was given my very first Easter Egg at breakfast… no idea what it was… :thinking::open_mouth:

It was normal egg-sized, wrapped in coloured foil and sitting in a pretty eggcup… I had never seen anything like it and had no idea what to do… much to the amusement of my cousins…

I can still “feel” the awe/intrigue that I felt then… :relaxed::relaxed::relaxed:

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David @Aquitaine writes “we remember remembering more than we remember events…”

And I think that is a very cogent statement. Personally speaking, I am much more sceptical about my early memories than I was in my 60s, and - again personally speaking - it is largely because I valued them so highly that they gained lustre, and became more detailed. Now, at 80, I am much less sure of them, and value them less.

I think that, with aging, cherishing memories may be a way of coping with the realities of change, and the gradual reduction of one’s effectiveness and energies. Just a point of view!

Oh Peter, have the courage of your convictions…

When I was in my lte 40’ss I returned to the area of my early childhood and applied for a post at the Primary School which I had attended…

My interview turned into a lively conversation as I described my schooldays in the building… they even took me on a tour and I told them what had changed and what (not much) remained as before…

One of the Panel was an old-timer who verified the details and anecdotes I was saying…about those long-ago people and times.

I decided not to accept the post… and came to France instead … yippee


Yippee, Stella, “the older the fiddle the sweeter the tune”! :wink::rofl:! Yaaaay!

Primary School memories seem indelible, I agree, Stella.

In the corridor at Tinkers Farm infants there was a yellow “doodle-bug” made of yellow felt with black swastikas stitched all over its little body. It had a pointed nose and little dangling arms and legs. The "bug’ had a little noose round its neck and hung from a tiny gibbet. It stood on a table near the Headmistress’s office, at eye level.

I think it was intended to help children not to be anxious when they heard grown-ups talk about doodle-bugs (Hitler’s flying bombs).

I can see it now, and smell the concrete air-raid shelters in the playground where we were taken when the sirens sounded. I must have been five at the time.


My Gran had a budgie “chippy” which lived in a cage in her kitchen… I would sit on a stool beside her coke boiler, with chippy on my finger… me, not daring to move lest my friend flew off…


After my mother died my sisters and I spent quite bit of time together sorting out her house. In the course of that we talked about events we remembered, holidays etc and so on. Except where we were essentially describing something that we had seen many times in a photograph (e.g. the holiday were we stayed in a house with green shutters) we all remembered things slightly differently. Partly I guess due to age differences, but some were startlingly different.

So I no longer assume my childhood memories are true. Although I do remember smells with more confidence.


Ok, here’s my memory from when I was 3. Not sure it’s worth the wait but hey ho!

I was in the car with parents (1972 ish) and I was sitting on my Mum’s lap in the front passenger seat - as you did back then. We had a minor accident, no-one was hurt and the people in the other car gave me a drink of blackcurrant squash from a big plastic container.

I recounted this memory to my Mum many years later and she was astounded at me recall of the events. My brother was not yet born and there was sufficient room on my Mum’s lap for me to sit so it must have been spring/early summer 1972 and I was 3 in March that year.

I also have vivid memories of the time my Mum was in hospital having my baby brother in October 1972. Eating boiled eggs with my Dad for breakfast and my Great-Aunt Win taking me to nursery.


Mention of Granny’s coke-boiler reminds me of bags of “nutty slack” being delivered by the coalman when coal was rationed, and deliveries of coke too, and how it clinked when poured into the bunker under the stairs. :grin:


It is not only our memories… it’s all sorts of things that we see differently.

I only attended one Senior School Reunion… donkeys years later… and met a girl I had “envied” for her relationship with her mother and for the way she looked herself… always so pretty and with fashionable clothes…

Ha ha… over a nice bottle of wine… we chatted… turned out she had envied me because I was always laughing and cheerful… (life and soul of the party)… and had a wonderful mother… :thinking::wink:


Anyone remember University Challenge???..

Vivid memory of my little brother watching avidly and yelling the answers, mostly before the contestants… he was 9 at the time and I was 12… and furious (in a gentle sisterly way)… as I didn’t seem to know any of the answers, right or wrong… (he went on to great things… and I stayed a plodder…) :relaxed:

PS: After that, I didn’t bother to stay in the same room with him when UC was on…

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My parents were avid University Challenge watchers. When I went off to University I discovered that the shows were aired in South East England a week before the South West. I used to watch the last UC of term before returning home and impressing my parents when we watched the same programme together.


Oh, how I would have loved to be able to do that… :wink::hugs:


Complete recall of my great grandpa’s flat and visiting him. His yellow tabletop and the white, flowery biscuit barrel he had. He died in November 1972. I was born September 1970. Had my memories verified by other family members too as being correct in terms of furniture, layout etc.


You remember “big stuff” more - I remember my 1st day at school (aged 4 and a bit as my birthday is late in the school year) vividly because I could not understand why my mother was abandoning me, I remember getting expelled from the same school (loathsome place) aged 8 - also vividly. In between, being the gawky kid with the eye patch I remember merciless bullying and longing for Wednesdays because, instead of the inedible school lunches1 and playground taunts my parents would pick me up for lunch in town (dad always drank Double Diamond).

I really hated that school, I’d love to bloody well forget it.

1] the cook made rice pudding as a desert which would have been OK except that it was always burnt on top - and I really mean carbonised. However the serving staff were too lazy to remove the cremated skin and so just stirred it into the pudding - :face_vomiting: