Just outside the stationmaster's house at
the junction of 'Bushell Road', there was a small grassy area, rather
like a mini-roundabout, with a lamp in the centre. This was known as the
'Cock-Pit and was the site of the old cock-fights, many years before.
Note the two ploughs to the left, either heading out from 'Mealor &
Sons' in Ness or being brought in for sale.
About a hundred yards down from the station was a wooden paddock... and
each year, when the circus was due to play at the Parkgate Fields, the
elephants would arrive by rail and spend a couple of days parked up in
a hay-filled railway wagon. One year, the handlers allowed some of us
younger children, with our mothers, to enter the truck and feed the animals
with handfuls of the hay. I can still imagine the hot, sweet smell of
the elephant's breath inside that enclosed space. I also seem to recall
being allowed to clamber over the stacked, hay bales and slide down...
great fun!!! This 'opening up to the public' could have been going on
for years but I just have a memory of that one visit.
We had a royal drive-past, one year and I think we were, probably, given
a day off school. I remember every house that backed onto the tracks,
including our own, had relatives and friends round to stand and cheer
at the bottom of their gardens as the Queen went past. Unfortunately,
it was lunch time when she finally arrived and all the blinds were down
on the coaches!!!