Let’s get back to front gardens!

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September 21, 2017 by Whispering Smith

Whispering Smith Column published in the Littlehampton Gazette September 7th 2017

I was born in a little road called Windy Ridge in Rustington. It was an interesting mix for its time being part council and part privately-owned dwellings. One side was red brick council and the other side of the un-adopted, puddle-muddled road, a mixture of brick or pebbledash bungalows and two storied houses. The road was lined with fir and poplar trees and was pleasing to the eye. All houses, on both sides of the street, had front gardens which were, for the most part, carefully attended. Hedges trimmed, gated fences painted, colourful flower borders and little green lawns. One even had a magnolia tree in its front lawn. There was, my father told me, some disquiet about the name Windy Ridge as it was thought to put off potential buyers on the private side and so was quickly and quietly changed to Wendy Ridge. Residents on both sides of the road rubbed along nicely together and there was little if any friction between the ‘half a crown’ and ‘the tanner’ sides as my mother called them. Recently I took my daughter to visit the street and although the years have rolled by, I could still recall the names of ninety per cent of the folk who once lived there. Sadly, as in so many places, there are only a couple of cultivated front gardens still visible, most are now hard standings for caravan and car. So, I was delighted to see the superb effort some folk in Littlehampton are making to ensure the front garden tradition is not lost and I tip my Stetson this month to those gardeners.

OK, so the popular on-line vote is in for next year’s Green Screening and it is, apparently, Back to The Future, a film that has been flogged to death for the past twenty-two years and now almost as dreary as The Goonies. No sing along or dance along to that one folks or, in fact, to any of the nominees!

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