For my Children – 1 – My earliest memory

One day they may stumble upon these.

I was born in Hull on the east coast of England in November of 1971.  My mother was one of eight and my father one of three.  I was the first grandchild born into what would eventually be a family that numbered somewhere between sixty and seventy, though it is often hard to recall all the names and connections witha family so vast.

The fishing trade was still the heart of Hull and very much at the heart of my mothers side of the family.  My mum’s father was a trawlerman as were a number of my older uncles, with my other aunts and uncles only 7 or 8 years older than me.  My earliest memories seem to be dominated by that side of the family for some reason and I cannot really recall my fathers side at all or even our own smaller family of just mum, dad and me.

My mother tells me how my grandad and uncle would return from months away at sea and turn out their pockets and invite me to help myself to whatever money they had – which was often a lot.  Casting my mind back I can vaguely remember my uncle taking me to the toy store and telling me that I could have whatever I wanted, and I headed home with a blue scooter which had the most fantastic tassles which hung from the handles.

I also remember Queen.  No, not the queen but the band.  Even now so many of their songs trigger memories or shadows of memories that take me somewhere almost now lost to me.

Memories of coming downstairs at my granparents house and the smell of stale beer and cigarettes are also still quite vivid after more than forty years too.  Curiously I can even still see the ash tray on a stand in the middle of the floor with the push top opening mechanism that I was often told to leave alone.

Even before then though I remember being in a pram outside a house on the other side of the street looking back across to where my mum’s parents lived on the Greatfield council estate in east Hull.  It is quite clear to me still and I described it to my mother, pointing out the actual house when we visited forty years later.  She insists surely I could not be rememberin gthat because I was probably only three at the most, but I remain quite certain that I remember it quite clearly even now…


Author: Michael

Husband, dad,(ex)programmer, comic collector and proud Yorkshireman. I have no idea why im here or why im writing but i rather enjoy it. no great fan of punctuation;

25 thoughts on “For my Children – 1 – My earliest memory”

  1. That’s amazing that you can remember all that. My earliest childhood memory is of eating garlic bread on a plane from Germany when I was 2 years old. Lol. My mother insists I could not have remembered that either, but to this very day, I’m sure it happened! Lol 😉

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  2. I just heard a story on the radio not long ago that said we can remember things that happened to us as early as two years old, so that certainly reinforces your recollection. Amazing though that you remember with such detail – I remember aspects of my childhood as well, but I believe I am helped along by a vast assortment of photos as I inherited the family album by default as I have no siblings, and once my mom sat me down and told me who everyone was – this is good you are recounting these stories for your sons Michael.

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  3. And what other bloggers are saying about this it really must be the case that we can remember further back than we realise and yes I agree maybe kind of stories and remembering reinforces those thoughts

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  4. Yes, and especially when there are triggers like smells … food smells especially, but could be industrial smells, smells of a nature type, like a forest – musty smell of mushrooms, decaying leaves.

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  5. Oh yes absolutely as I said Stale beer and cigarettes remind me very much of my mum’s family home in the 70s. There is also a particular type of plant and I don’t know its name but if I smell that I am transported back to when I was about 10 years old because we had this particular Bush growing in our garden

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  6. Yes, you did with the cigarettes and the ashtrays – see, people don’t smoke as much now and my mom smoked when I was young, and I can remember the smell of the ashes in the tray as well. My grandparents had a fruit cellar in the corner of their basement. It had a latch and you had to open it to go in, dark and smelled like apples when they are in the vegetable bin in the fridge too long, they smell like cider vinegar … plus it had a musty smell to me as well.

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  7. Ooh nice evocative smells…

    I think it felt like everyone used to smoke even ten years ago..i can just a bout recall people still smoking at work and on buses n planes

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  8. Yes. I don’t think I know anyone who smokes anymore – of course, I work from home so don’t see a ton of people. They banned smoking in our building (most office buildings) and people would be huddled outside in the rain, snow, sleet to have a cigarette. I don’t smoke but felt sorry for them.

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  9. My earliest memory is when I was about 4… the neighbor girl fell out of her stroller and hit the driveway pavement. I will never forget her screaming and crying. If I remember the rest of the story, she ended up with stitches from the fall. You sure have a good memory!

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  10. Lovely! I’m from East Hull earliest memory was the day my brother was born… 1st of may 1978…. he was born at home.. my grandparents too mearly to withernsea for the day.. l came home with a pink plastic doll house set and to a new baby brother 😊

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