Childhood memories with Pam Marshall

Pam Marshall
Pam Marshall
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Pam Marshall, 42, runs a holiday home in the New Forest for recently bereaved families or those with sick children. She set up the charity after her daughter Hannah died from Hodgkin’s disease at the age of 10. Here she recalls some of her fondest childhood memories.

· What is your earliest childhood memory?

We used to have a pet tortoise, so we played hide and seek out in the garden with it. We used to have a poodle we’d got from the RSPCA, which used to go mad when we hid the tortoise in the garden, and ran around trying to find it.

· What do you remember about your birthdays?

Having house parties, friends coming round for jelly and ice cream, playing pass the parcel. Sleeping lions was a bit of a parents’ cop-out so they could relax for five minutes. I do remember one of my friends falling asleep – she won!

· How was school?

I went to Horndean infants, junior and senior schools; I enjoyed all of them, really. I remember walking to school every day, whether it was snowing or raining.

· What did you get up to with your friends?

We used to go out playing in the woods – there was a pond there so we used to go newting and tadpoling. There was an island in the middle where we used to build dens. We’d use a wooden plank to get on to it, then take it away so nobody could get on after us.

· What did you watch on TV?

I remember watching Grange Hill, The Clangers.

· What toys did you play with?

I remember as a young teenager having a Girl’s World. You turned a dial on her shoulder and it made her hair longer or shorter.

· Where did you go on holiday?

We used to rent a friend’s caravan and go to the same place every year. We went to Swanage for a week at a time with buckets and spades and watched Punch and Judy, and we played on the beach.

· What music did you listen to?

I used to love ABBA back then – I was in the ABBA fan club. I liked Duran Duran, Tears for Fears and Depeche Mode when I got older. They always used to come down to the Guildhall, doing small concerts to give everyone a chance to see them.

· What sweets did you enjoy?

They’re still around now, the flying saucers with the sherbet in the middle. And Spacers, the little orange and red sweets that popped on your tongue.

· What was the naughtiest thing you did?

I remember I always wanted to see an egg hatch. I remember getting a chicken egg from a box from the shop when I was about seven. I wrapped it up in cloth and put in the wardrobe and forgot all about it for a year! When I was clearing out the wardrobe it fell out and cracked – we couldn’t get the smell out of the carpet.