This is a gulley between Kingshurst Road and Hazel Croft. A gulley is just an alleyway, a path between houses, I don’t know how widely the dialect is spread. It’s the bit that runs behind what used to be my grandparents’ house. I used to walk to school this way as it was a (very minor) short cut to Great Stone Road. It’s the gulley I referred to in this story.
In the early seventies, as well as shortcuts and ways to avoid the watching eyes of people who sat in their front windows, these were our bicycle race tracks. Hazel Croft is a cul-de-sac in the middle of a circle bounded by Great Stone Road and the crescent of Kingshurst Road and as well as riding in the street, we would find adventure further afield between the houses. One garage was the home of a witch. Someone found a dead cat behind that tree, allegedly its eyes had been removed. The pathways were rough untended gravel and dirt. Who knows how many knees and shins must have been ripped open there over the years?
Now it’s just overgrown with grasses and weeds. Not just because we don’t let our kids out to play like that anymore – mostly because these gulleys are fenced off to protect the houseowners from trespass and burglary. To take that first picture I had to stick my camera through the gap in this: