Winner of I Capture Watford announced
17 March 2017
We are very happy to announce that the winner of the I Capture Watford writing competition in the 26 and over category is Helen Nicell. Read on for her touching account of Watford.
Congratulations also to the runners up in this category, Jan Rees and Jane Parker. Thank you to everyone for their wonderful submissions.
Big Wheels Keep On Turning - by Helen Nicell
On a bright bank holiday weekend in the 1960s my grandmother took me on an adventure that would remain a buried memory until almost 45 years later.
In the house that she had lived in for nearly six decades, opposite Leggatts’ School, Nanna had been told to rest after a nasty fall. It turned out she had broken her hip. For the first time since she lived there, the fair came to the field opposite and she could see it from her bedroom window.
As I brushed Nanna's thick white hair, I asked if there was anything she wanted or needed? She looked over at the Big Wheel and said,
"Take me to the fair darling, I'd love to go on that Big Wheel."
I kissed her cheek, "Maybe tomorrow Nanna."
I remembered the 5 year old little girl catching a bus to Watford town centre, Nanna holding my hand all the way. We went to the fair in Cassiobury Park. Music, laughter, smells of diesel and candy floss, the colourful rides and smiling faces. The first time I had ever been on a Big Wheel.
"Pull the bar down and snuggle into me." Nanna said as we sat in our seats.
The ride started slowly as the metal clanked its way to the top. Peering above the avenue of lime trees, I could see the gated entrance to Cassiobury Park and beyond, the High Street. That little whoosh in my tummy as we started the descent. Nanna beaming at me,
"Isn't this wonderful?"
Faster and faster, my tummy left behind, but feeling safe.
I told the story of The Big Wheel at Nanna's funeral service a few weeks later, my grandmother always had the best sense of adventure and fun, a wonderful memory of growing up in Watford.