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Going back to where you were raised

(105 Posts)
nanna8 Tue 16-Aug-22 07:05:26

For those who don't live near where they were born and brought up, do you ever go for a look at that area? What were your impressions? I last went back in 2002 when my mother died and although a lot had changed, many things remained the same. A blast from the past. I could still remember the names of many of the small side roads ( we lived on a main road) but my school had disappeared and we knew no one in the road. It is about 17,000 kms or 10,560 miles away from where we live now.

boheminan Tue 16-Aug-22 07:47:00

A few years ago I returned to my childhood area in London. The old council maisonette I lived in was gone and the land built on. The thing that struck me most about returning was just how small everything there now seems!

NanKate Tue 16-Aug-22 08:01:12

I occasionally look at all the places I have lived on Google Instant Streetview and see how things have changed. At times it has made me very emotional.

LtEve Tue 16-Aug-22 08:14:06

I go back quite often. I would love to move back there but am near my children here and see them regularly particularly my daughter. She would move areas at the drop of a hat but she has bought a flat with our youngest son. He has special needs and is settled in a good job here. I think he would find it difficult to change jobs.

Daisymae Tue 16-Aug-22 08:14:51

We lived in a big Edwardian house with a long path lined with tea roses. Except we didn't as when I went back it was a regular sized house with a regular front garden that had been laid to concrete and a bungalow had been built on to side garden. My mum used to cut the rises from the front garden for me to give to my teacher. She kept them on her desk.

vampirequeen Tue 16-Aug-22 08:32:37

We lived on a new estate and there were lots of rules in the deeds about where and what type of fences could be put up. I remember it as a spacious green area (front gardens had to be open plan with no fences) but now the area seems cramped and untidy because the no fence rules are no longer in place.

Witzend Tue 16-Aug-22 09:31:55

My folks moved a lot, but I’ve been back once or twice to two Surrey areas where we lived from when I was maybe 3-6, and then 6-9, when we moved 100 miles away - and that wasn’t the last move, there were 4 more.

The 6-9 house is much as I remembered, but the 3-6 was nothing like - I had to ring my elder sister to check the numbet. It was correct, but the black and white 20s or 30s semi had been replaced by something nothing like the rest of the road - plain red brick. I had to assume that no.32 had burnt down and been replaced.

Dh’s folks, OTOH, until shortly before MiL died, had lived in the same house for as long as he could remember. We live not far away now, so he knows the whole area like the back of his hand. I’ve never had ‘roots’ like that - I’ve often felt a bit envious.

BigBertha1 Tue 16-Aug-22 09:35:41

I went back several years ago to take my father's body to the family grave in East London. The terraced house we lived in was still there but the whole row had been 'refurbished and probably very expensive now. I enjoyed the visit and have happy memories of living there with lots of family in the nearby roads ...many gone now or moved away.

grandMattie Tue 16-Aug-22 09:35:50

I was born in Mauritius and left when I was 21. Went back several times as my parents still lived there. The last time I went back was 20: years ago. The change from Third World post war poverty to almost First World wealth was stunning!
I didn’t visit the immediate area where I was brought up, but the surroundings were unrecognisable.

Kate1949 Tue 16-Aug-22 09:40:27

Yes I've been back. It was a dump then. It's even more of a dump now.

henetha Tue 16-Aug-22 09:44:02

Last week I took my grandson to Torquay to see the house where I was raised and the little park I played in. It's only about 15/20 miles from here, so I do go back sometimes.
I'm glad to see that the park is still lovely and well kept.
And my old house looks cared for.

lemsip Tue 16-Aug-22 09:51:22

yes I've been back. Everything seemed so small to what I remembered... I go on streetview and check out the area and also my places of work in London to see if they are still there.

Ladyleftfieldlover Tue 16-Aug-22 09:58:34

After living abroad and various places in England, we are settled about an hour from where I grew up. The last time I went back was in 2017 when my brother was visiting from Australia. He insisted on going to our childhood home, knocking on the door and asking to have a look round. We hadn’t seen it since 1976. Well, the son of the house was visiting so he let us have a look. Bizarre.

nanna8 Tue 16-Aug-22 09:59:46

Interesting how small schools look especially. When you are little they seem so huge. One school I went to had the tiniest concrete playground but when I went there as a pupil it seemed really large. Sadly my main school has been bulldozed, even though it was of historical interest. No soul, some of these town planners.

hollysteers Tue 16-Aug-22 10:07:16

I don’t go back and the inner city area has been raized to the ground.
No happy memories for me apart from the freedom of the streets with gangs of kids who played on bomb sites.

Georgesgran Tue 16-Aug-22 10:16:18

I spent my early years in Harrogate and often go back as it’s only 70 miles and a nice day out.
The house is still very well maintained, but now split into flats. My DM loved living there, until she was forced to move back to Durham, where she was later diagnosed with RA which, as the years passed, took over her body and mind.

Charleygirl5 Tue 16-Aug-22 10:18:53

I was brought up in Scotland 2 miles from the nearest town but few buses each day. It was very much "country living" which was great as a youngster but not so good in my teenage years. I have never been back and I do not think I will ever return to Scotland.

MrsKen33 Tue 16-Aug-22 10:35:49

I was brought up in the Welsh valleys. The particular town where my grandparents lived is very run down now. But the people are still wonderful. Many happy memories.

Mollygo Tue 16-Aug-22 10:41:35

I’m another Streetview user. My early childhood area hasn’t changed except getting older.
Places we lived in Liverpool - the long row of terraces looks much the same, but the area with our ‘posher’ house with the gardens looks more run down. I wouldn’t go back.

Caleo Tue 16-Aug-22 10:46:49

I don't even want to look at a Google map of the place, because I want to remember it as it was.

This is different from my sons who have maintained regular and quite frequent visits to their beloved boyhood home, and consequently have not seen abrupt changes.

Yammy Tue 16-Aug-22 10:50:03

I've retired nearly back. Though still have lots of relations there.All friendly people especially if we talk in dialect.
It's just a small run-down market town that used to have beautiful Georgian houses around a pretty market square. The docks have all been tidied up and new housing built but it still was not the place I wanted to return to.
I now realise my school must have been an early Victorian one ,and the house I was born in has been knocked down.

Smileless2012 Tue 16-Aug-22 10:50:08

I went back years ago, saw my primary school which hadn't really changed and then went to look at the house where we grew up.

Everything looked the same but smaller somehow. The garden was well tended which would have pleased my dad as he was always very particular.

Chestnut Tue 16-Aug-22 10:59:28

Streetview is wonderful. I have visited not only my own areas but where my parents were born and my ancestors!

Much of London was bombed and redeveloped but where the original houses remain they are usually very well maintained now because you need money to live there. They look so much better than they did 50-100 years ago.

My own Victorian street in SW London looks fairly smart now. What I really notice is that the street itself seemed much bigger and wider back then. Now it looks smaller and cramped. There are cars parked either side now, but even so the street actually looks smaller. I have photographic proof with a picture taken in the 1950s! Is it possible for buildings to move?

Chestnut Tue 16-Aug-22 11:21:26

Just to show what I mean, a picture from 1958 and another from 2001 (21 years ago!) There are cars both sides in the old picture and yet the street still looks wider. What is going on? The street is shrinking!

J52 Tue 16-Aug-22 11:52:05


Just to show what I mean, a picture from 1958 and another from 2001 (21 years ago!) There are cars both sides in the old picture and yet the street still looks wider. What is going on? The street is shrinking!

I grew up in a house just like these, but in West London. I remember playing in the snow in the 1960 snow fall!
The house is now at least 3 flats!