Homes which lost their newness decades ago also have a forgotten history. New owners or tenants decide on their own utilisation of the back garden space, though elements of what was previously there may remain. Most of us would guess at how the space began and its first incarnation as what could be described as a garden – replacing whatever the builders left behind. Unless of course photographs remain!
An intriguing picture arrived recently, passed on to the present owner by the family who had first occupied the house shortly before World War Two. And because I already have photographs of the back garden further along the same street, Woodland Drive, taken around three or four years later, we can compare the two.
|The builders have left, and the rest is up to you! Photo courtesy JOHN ALLEN|
The top picture shows the daunting task facing any new owner, with field weeds – and probably a goodly amount of rubble. A start has been made with clearance operations and laying out a border. The low and open fences between the properties are friendly, encouraging neighbours to talk with each other. They also made the garden feel so much larger, your own garden blending into those of your neighbours. Today, these seem to have been replaced by six-foot paling fences for privacy.
The houses in the background are in Oakwood Drive, and the undeveloped space between will later become Hazelwood Drive. The family photographer's viewpoint was the window of the back bedroom.
|Gardens brimming with fresh food for the table.|
. Fortunately there is a photographic record of most of these changes.
How many of us have photographic record of our own back gardens; how they were and how they are today?