Walking in Greenhall Park in August 2015, I noticed that large areas of the sloping field were covered in little mounds of earth. This is of course due to the burrowing nighttime activity of moles.
It reminded me of my grandmother, Mary Duncan (nee Danskin) of Stonefield Crescent. During the 1970’s, my gran, then in her 60’s would pull a little shopping trolley (you know the kind you pulled behind you on a handle with 2 wheels) and head off to the Calder. She would collect that fine soil and wheel it all the way back to the garden at Stonefield Crescent. An avid gardener, this soil would then be mixed through the flower and vegetable patches, which were originally laden with clay and heavy soil. The fine soil made the digging more manageable and changed the content of the soil to something much more suitable for maintaining and growing a thriving garden. The concept of buying a bag of topsoil in a shop, would have been horrifying to her!
To this day, my sister now living at that house, (and probably unaware of the above), has a garden that has a fine soil, due to years of gran and her trolley trips to the Calder! It must have worked too. My childhood memories of gran’s garden include seeing and tasting raspberries, gooseberries, peas, potatoes, carrots, onions and many more fruit and veg! Who knows, maybe it is the secret she lived a long life.