Given every respect

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It was interesting to read of the Tees archaeological dig at Hart Lane cemetery.

It brought back memories of when this was a playground for us. Even then it was given every respect.

Games of hide and seek were all enjoyed. One day in particular comes to mind.

We were playing on the tips near the Mill House pub.

There was a very large wagon tyre abandoned by the driver.

Take it to the cemetery and roll it down the bank, but with someone daft enough to get inside it.

I won’t mention names but those who were there will remember it well.

The tyre must have been all of four feet high, maybe even bigger.

We all took turns in pushing it to our launching point, the highest part of the cemetery near to where the recent dig took place.

It was time to set wheels in motion or, in our case, a wagon wheel tyre.

A volunteer was selected. Or should that be we grabbed the smallest, put him inside and sent him and the tyre hurtling down the bank.

His screaming could be heard all over the cemetery.

Eventually the tyre ran out of momentum, wobbled and stopped, its passenger falling out on the grass. When he stood up, walking was almost impossible - staggering all over, shouting some sort of obscenity.

We remembered back on the tips was a large piece of rope.

If we tied that to the tree and fixed the tyre to it, then... Well we did.

Trouble was, with it being so heavy, help was needed to get it to swing at all. But there were enough of us to do just that, all in turn getting in and being pushed.

When it was going we just stepped back and waited for it to stop. The only thing was it hit me with such force, knocking me 10ft..

The lodge opposite the Nursery Inn was occupied by Johnny Mottram and Mary, his wife.

He often came to ask if we would get his jug filled at the pub for him, giving us a few coppers to get some sweets from the shop in Blake Street.

Happy days filled with adventure and fun.

Victor Tumilty,

Collingwood Walk,

Hartlepool.