Missed a Post

I was talking to a friend some time ago about video, how accessible the medium has become and what it offered in terms of recording events and routines of everyday life.

The conversation turned to early childhood memories. One of my earliest memories was of a time we lived up north, Newton Aycliffe perhaps. I was running down an alleyway ahead of my mum and siblings. I reached a certain point and noticed a coin on the ground which I picked up. I was young enough to yet have developed a working knowledge of money. The coin was of the pre-decimalisation ilk. It was a round copper coin with a tall ship embossed on it with all the sails unfurled. It must have been the early seventies so I would have been about 5 years old or younger. Nothing of any apparent significance. Just a very clear memory I have.

My friend Phil told me of a memory he had as a youngster. His Nan used to run a shop at the end of the road where I live now. He used to spend time in his Nan’s shop and she used to walk him home. On the way they would take a short cut up an alleyway. Along the alleyway was a post fixed into the ground. As they passed by his Nan would say something like, “hello Phil, how are you today?” in a little voice as if the post was speaking to him. He would say something back and they went on their way enjoying the joke between them.

Phil still lives around here. I pass by the alleyway every time I walk to the local co-op shop. I nearly always look up and think of Phil’s story. The post is still there. When I walked up to the shops today I took a picture of it. Here is the picture –

Mister Post

Say hello to Mr. Post.


  1. I walked past that very post only yesterday, on my way back from visiting Nan. She’s 88 today.

    The small boy with me looked rather like the small boy in your story. The alleyway is less changed than much of the surrounding area. Nan’s shop has gone, and Mr Sutton’s opposite, as well as the Post Office that used to sit near the bottom of the alley. The only difference in the alleyway is that Philip is now some thirty-five years older and there’s no white dog poo.

    The lady who made the post talk wasn’t Nan though. It was her sister, my great aunt. She’s long gone now, but comes back to me in Nan’s memories and anecdotes from time to time.

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