I was searching around or surfing the internet and came across an old favourite Google Earth. (click to download).
Google Earth maps the earth with images obtained from satellites, aerial imagery and what is known as geographic information system (GIS), or 3D images. You are presented with the Earth as a globe, and zoom into a particular place, seeing detailed pictures as if flying overhead like a bird.
I looked at my own home at the moment in Norbiton Hall, Kingston upon Thames, my home in Bukit Mertajam, Malaysia, then my old family home along Spring Hill, Chasetown, where my mother and father raised me.
Norbiton Hall, Kingston upon Thames, UK. Desa Palma, Alma, Bukit Mertajam, Malaysia
68 Springhill, Chasetown, UK
Memories came flooding back. The drive, the back garden with my own little patch which I cultivated, not very well, as it was out of sight behind the garage with a tree that continually produced shoots from under the soil making it impossible to grow anything.
Then there was the back shed where I would play and hide if my mother called me, and I knew I had done something wrong from the tone of her voice.
I wondered up and down the street, “Oh that’s the Bentons’ house.” “There’s were the Ormrods’ lived.” “My friends house, the Pascoe twins, David and Roger.”
Then I looked down at where my old school had been, Chase Terrace Secondary Modern. It was a long, single storey building, I think having been designed by an architect who had just played with the ink blob test.
Place some ink in the middle of a piece of paper, fold the paper in half, pressing the ink. When the paper is opened, the ink image may look like a butterfly, the image is identical on the two halves.
So it was with Chase Terrace Secondary Modern School. The two halves were identical, joined in the middle by the two assembly halls and the kitchens, then one by one the class rooms, ending with the out-buildings the toilet blocks.
In my early days at the school, one half was for boys and the other was for girls, and neither were allowed to meet. The boys started at a different time to the girls, had different play (break) and lunch times. It was only in my last year that the two schools amalgamated into a co-educational system.
Looking down at Google Earth, my old school had gone.
My toilet blocks had gone. I was “Bog Prefect” in my last year, looking after the toilets, and they had gone.
The school field was half its’ size, it now had buildings on it, and the long school building was a square structure.
Chase Terrace School, with a car park on the right where my toilet block was.
Oh Poo Poo, no bogs anymore.