Childhood memories with Rachel Gibbens

Rachel Gibbens
Rachel Gibbens
Dr John Steadman, archivist of Portsmouth History Centre based at Portsmouth Central Library     Picture:  Malcolm Wells

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Rachel Gibbens, is 19-years-old and lives in Lee-on-the-Solent. She works as a marketing assistant at the Kings Theatre in Southsea. Here she recalls some of her fondest memories.

· What’s your earliest childhood memory?

Moving to Italy when I was five. My dad was in the navy and was posted to Latina – a 40-minute drive from Rome.

We were very lucky and were given so many opportunities to travel and see parts of Italy few get to see.

· What do you remember about your birthdays?

Each birthday I’ve had has involved some form of surprise. One of the best was when my parents arranged for a limo to pick me and eight of my friends up to go for a ride. Like any 16-year-olds would, we had the music up and the windows down.

· What did you get up to with your friends?

Behind where I live there used to be a quarry and it was a great place to explore as the terrain would quickly change from mud to sand. We once had to go back to my friend’s house and get hosed down after getting covered in the stuff.

· What toys did you play with?

I preferred playing outside and would often be on my bike or out playing in the local parks. This, on occasion, would get me into trouble as I was told not to explore the park with my friends and without parents until I was 10. I chose to explore when I was eight.

· What did you watch on television?

I would always make sure I was awake for SM:TV. I also loved Jungle Run and wish I could have been on the show. The challenges always included climbing rocks and swimming in lagoons. I tried to recreate this near where I lived, but a suburb isn’t the same as a jungle.

· What music did you listen to?

My music taste has been very varied over the years. The first album I bought was Busted’s Present For Everyone. However, being a child of the 1990s, the Spice Girls had to be my go-to girl band when I wanted to prance around in the living room.

· Any clothes that stand out in your memory?

I recall having logo jumpers and T-shirts, often for a good cause or a band. I once owned a crop top with the Spice Girls on which I wore when creating dance routines.

· What was the naughtiest thing you did?

I once thought it would be fun to play hairdressers with my cat. He soon hissed and ran away, as mum walked in and asked why the cat’s hair was all over my bed.