Memories of childhood, the good, the bad and the ugly made the me the confident person I am today / Tracey Smith
I hope my mum doesn’t take this the wrong way, as I had a fantastic childhood but...I still have vivid memories of the things my parents and I’m sure all parents in the 1970’s and 80’s made us do.
Having to go to church every Sunday morning was one of them. Now I can be religious when I want to be, but while my friends were playing out, I was sent down the road to church.
Our vicar was not the most enigmatic vicar I have to say! I remember sitting on the pews upstairs on the balcony, away from everybody, I must have been bored as I was waving around my envelope with my “offering” in
containing the obligatory 50p when it flew out of my hand and whizzed straight across the congregation down below onto some lady’s lap! I ducked out of sight and often wonder if she knew where the money had come from!
Pennies from heaven?
While still at primary school, me and my brother were sent for elocution lessons (or electrocution lessons as we used to call it) with the adorable and very eccentric Mrs Heys who taught us to speak properly, you know, the Queen s English, and to recite poetry. We would all stand to attention in Mrs Heys' kitchen reciting “How now brown cow, grazing in the green green grass” whilst balancing a book on our heads! I think I stopped going after Mrs Heys' sausage dog bit me quite badly on my hand!
I must not have been pronouncing my H’s properly!
Me and my brother were regularly entered in 'spoken word and poetry' exams and then, as my mum became a qualified singing teacher, we were taught to sing and entered the singing examinations and competitions.
Now my brother was a particularly good boy soprano and won quite a lot of medals and cups when he was younger. Me, I cannot sing a note and I’m still flat as a flute and tone deaf……but God loves a tryer right? You will be pleased to know I preferred playing the piano rather than singing!
Now do we broach the subject of the ballet classes at the Silverman Hall in Nelson? I was surrounded by dainty fairies, floating across the polished floor. Then it was my turn! My mum can still remember the thud as I landed from an attempted……and failed pirouette!!!
Having said all this, I have been lucky enough in my childhood to have had dance, piano, ballet, singing and “electrocution” classes and feel this has made me the confident person I am today.
Our house was always full of theatrical people, and I can always remember rehearsals going on in our front room, especially when my mum was singing with the local Gilbert and Sullivan Society productions and Pendle Opera.
My dad helped with the scenery along with the other singers’ husbands and in one production me and brother were roped in for the chorus.
No one can ever say my childhood was boring.