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This article is taken from PN Review 39, Volume 11 Number 1, July - August 1984.

from On the Lookout C.H. Sisson

The streets around had each its special ambiance and social tone. If the people of Berkeley Street were wilder and rougher than those of Gadshill Road, Freemantle Road had the advantage in decorum and politeness over Gadshill Road. In Freemantle Road all the houses were identical, as near as makes no matter. The same pattern filled both sides of the road, and nothing disturbed the quiet except the milkman. That fiery passions could none the less live inside such houses I knew, for in one of them lived Howard Smith with his choleric and sadistic parents. But Freemantle Road was on the opposite side of Fishponds Road from us, a territory more benign than ours, even where it was dowdy, perhaps because the dowdiest quarters in it were associated in my mind not with violent boys but with the hunchback lady who used to come sometimes to sit with my invalid sister. On our side of the road, beyond Berkeley Street, lay Freeland Buildings. There it seems the tone was lower than in Berkeley Street, for Pooch Horseman lived there, whose father was a drunk, and the children ran in the road without shoes or socks; it was difficult sometimes for Pooch to find the clothes to come to school in. Below that one came to the spacious grounds of the Eastville Workhouse - no doubt it is called a hospital now. The walls of its estate ran far over towards Greenbank, where my elementary school was, and I ...


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