I have begun stitching together past threads of my life. This is a google map photo of The Abbey in New Barnett, UK, where I stayed with my parents for a short period in 1948. 

Reading the Times. (Sketch by James Wigley-Sketchbook 1948)

William Ohly, was the owner of The Abbey where many Australian artists stayed and worked in the late 1940’s.

I remember very little about the Abbey, other than sitting outside on the ledge of a bay window, in the sitting snow, sulking because my father said the snowman was made for another child. 

I remember large rooms with tall windows, a long kitchen table and a wonderful garden with several mud walled broken roofed huts.

Discussion at the abbey dinner table about poltergeists breaking things in the kitchen and throwing objects down the stairs.

There was a Travellers camp in a paddock outside the walls of the Abbey. I walked past it going to school. 

My memory of the school is of a big hall with boys sitting at tables and food being served for lunch. The headmaster standing in front berating his pupils about the use of conkers being used more as a cosh rather than playing conkers. (A conker is made using a large chestnut seed threaded by strong string. The conker is swung to smash an opponent’s conker.

That’s it. Open to additional tales of the Abbey.

The Abbey. (Google Earth)

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