Childhood things

I've never lived in Tunbridge Wells having lived most of my life in Hove. Now I live in Tonbridge so Tunbridge Wells is slightly more prominent though I've always had some link with it, whether it's family, friends or Christmas shopping.

For my family, my mum was educated there and her sister and brother in law live there with three 'children' who are a bit older than me. I sometimes visited them mainly for Christmas or a family barbeque. I can remember spending one Christmas there, opening presents excitedly. I still have a photo of me in my orange cowboy pyjamas and dressing gown tearing through wrapping paper and inspecting presents. Other memories include a box of safari and farm toys that I'd always play with and even a 'mysterious cupboard' that apparently led down a rather dark basement with slippery stairs that someone disappeared down once. But really it was nothing more than a drinks cupboard. Other interesting features were two pirate faces hanging from a wall, a lamp that had a genie that 'looked like smoke', and a small chair for kids that even now my cousins kids use.

Every year there would be a family picnic on the August bank holiday. This was spent playing around being fussed over by the adults and wondering whom the strangers were that mum and dad seemed to know. Of course my uncle had his family and even now at 22 I'm still trying to work out some of them.

One day I went to stay with my granny in Mayfield, Sussex for a week. One day we went for a visit to Tunbridge Wells. It's probably of my earliest memory of the main part of the town. It was quite fascinating as me and my sister saw 'A Day at the Wells' museum, investigated and climbed some of the many rocks scattered around the area and had a nice lunch in a tea shop at the Pantiles.

Of course now I have a new reason for Tunbridge Wells. For a few years I have called myself a Pagan, which for me is a spiritual relationship with Nature, inspired by pre-Christian myth and lore. Many dark, windy and rainy times have been spent in Tunbridge Wells natural features communing with Nature or sharing some fellowship in a cosy pub with a pint.

So that is my experience of Tunbridge Wells.

Adam Brough, 22
Conservation worker