“I came here to begin a new story, but maybe all my stories begin with this one story – this love story, this ghost story…”
Springfield Road is a journey into childhood. My childhood, maybe your childhood too. I set out to capture a snapshot of the seventies, a world without health and safety, a time of halfpenny sweets, fish and chips in newspaper, cassette tapes of the Sunday night top ten, scrumping apples and foraging for conkers, through the eyes of my child self.
It is the memoir of our family home on Springfield Road in Hastings, but it is also a memoir of the journey I took writing this book. These are my memories of my attempts to understand the beauty, the brutality and the contradictions of the adult world; why my Irish jazz musician father mysteriously disappeared from our lives; how my mother’s transitions from her Jamaican girlhood to her teenage dreams to represent Britain in the Olympics, to her life as a go-go dancer and then single-parenthood affected us all. It’s about discovering that life is unfair and that parents die. Its also about seeking the good in the world, the humour and the tenderness, this book is not a misery memoir.
Springfield Road is peppered with daydreams, a poetic and universal child’s eye view from the cracks in the pavement to the faces in the clouds. This book is a salute to every curly-top, scabby knee’d, mixed-up, half-crazy kid out there. We had afros, we had free school dinners and hand-me-downs. They haven’t told our story like this before, and I believe it's about time. This book will make you craugh, cry and laugh at once. When you read it I imagine you will say, Hey! I remember, we did that too! You might say I remember being closer to the ground; I remember riding my bike with my feet off the pedals; I remember summers were longer and how oranges were bigger; I remember struggling to comprehend sex and death, heaven and hell, war and God, and perhaps you’ll say, I remember I missed my dad too. This is my story but I think maybe its your story too. With your help and with thanks to Unbound Books this story can finally be shared.
When you travel to a new city you can imagine what it must be like, even if you have never been there. You can conjure up London, New York or Paris by their names alone, picturing your destination whilst on your way there. This journey is in reverse, my father is the stop I missed, he is the station I dreamt of when I was sleeping.
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