Happy mispent youth

Internet land makes me feel very small and insignificant; it’s a whole world vying for our attention and money. Finding Tunbridge Wells Tells by complete accident was like bumping into an old friend in the street.

I lived on Tunbridge Wells High Street for the first 14 years of my life, above a menswear shop. I went to Claremont Primary school and later Bennett Memorial. We moved to Sherwood when I was 14 and then to Pembury but I loved living in the hustle of sleepy TW. I was especially annoyed about moving at 14 as my favourite pub was at the end of Castle Street and it wouldn’t have been far to stumble home (age seems to have swiped the pub name from memory).

I lived for Saturdays when I would walk up into town and hang out in Our Price (generally making a nuisance of myself and staring at the long haired employees). We loved the local bands Deuce, Dog Patrol and Parisenne Blond and would follow them around the venues of TW…Doughnuts, Southborough Hall and a multitude of local pubs.

For those first 14 years my whole world was focused in that town; I used to deliver papers early morning around the High Street area, all around the park and down towards the Pantiles. I felt safe even though I had to escape from lecherous milkmen now and again.

I went to Brownies in the High Street Church and then to Guides (hating both), I swam at Monson Swimming club along St Johns and to ballet lessons opposite the old telephone exchange.

I think the town has changed a lot from my days (1970-1984); the shopping precinct changed the feel of the town, making it more faceless, just like any town. But that didn’t matter back then, it was all about friends, boys, music, bikes and pubs which if my diaries are accurate, were all in abundance.

I miss TW; it represents home even though only a niece and nephew live close now. We have all spread around the world and friends have moved on. I now live in Scotland which embodies me now as a married, settled glass artist but my childhood lives on there and whenever I visit I still smile to myself and remember the naughty things I used to do there.

Happy Birthday TW, may you continue to grow and be happy forever.
Amanda J Simmons, 35,
Now in Scotland,
Glass Artist