What's the first proper memory you have? Mine is of climbing over the big pile of rubble that used to be my house.
I don't actually have any memory of living there, just of climbing on the rubble after it, and the rest of the estate, was demolished. I do remember the house we (Dad, Mam, Me, Little Sister) had been rehoused in by whoever it was that's responsible for rehousing 1000's of people when a developer offers a backhander for a plot of land. (May not be true. I honestly don't know the politics/economics of what happened, I was about 4!) The new house was about 5mins walk from the demolition site and we had to pass the heaps on the way to the park. At first their were fences up and barriers and stuff and the parents all made sure to issue strict warnings about the dangers of getting in amongst but that soon went by the wayside and all of us local kids would be swarming all over it like flies on... Huge mounds of bricks, shattered glass, rotten timbers full of rusted nails, it was heaven for an adventurous young lad like myself. Loads more fun than the park we were supposed to be going to.
Looking back, it's odd that the rubble mounds stayed where they were for as long as they did. You'd think that if the estate had been cleared for redevelopment the crap would have been shifted straight away. Unless a deal fell through or the money ran out I suppose. Even then, fear of public injury and the dreaded compensation claim would never allow it these days. As a child though, you don't think like that do you? We had our very own adventure playground, with added puncture wounds. No-one ever got really badly hurt though, at least that I can recall and lets be honest, gushing leg wounds and gouged out eyeballs make an impression don't they?
We (now with added Baby Brother) moved out of there when I was about 7 or 8. We still lived in the same little village but I don't recall ever going back to that demolition site (or the park) after the move. Maybe it was because I was lazy and the extra 10 minute walk put me off, I don't know. Perhaps we'd moved far enough that we'd crossed that magical invisible line that parents have that dictate which places are "too far for you to go on your own." A statement that never seemed to be followed by "I'll get my coat and take you" Funny how that works.
Between moving out of the house and moving into our new place there was a bit of a gap. Which meant a little stopover with some Grandparents.