Birthdays and Humps and Bumps

Another year has passed and I am a bit older and supposedly a bit wiser. I just feel the former and the latter seems to elude me but I suppose wisdom is not something you notice creeping up, it just permeates through you in more or less a degree depending on experience and circumstance.

I remembered something today that I want to mention. When I was a kid I lived in a place called Debden in Loughton, Essex (in fact I was born there) and in a road called Borders Lane there used to be a pathway from the road in between Luctons School and Loughton College through to Loughton Hall. We kids used to call this place the “Humps and Bumps” because although there was a tarmac path, anyone riding their bike used to take an alternative route along the path on the loose ground and trees that ran along side the path. This was a special place because the ground there undulated with big dips and humps that made riding ones bike like riding a thrilling roller coaster in a shaded wood. Only the bravest kids needed apply of course because it was dark, dangerous and scary. Tree’s would almost seem to reach out to grab you or your bike as you sped along and may a kid went home with grazed knees or bumps on their heads (this was before cycle helmets of course).

I Googled “humps and Bumps” and it didn’t seem to be mentioned anywhere and the path alas is now gone with the redevelopment of the college and school grounds, but if you were interested it was right here:
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2 Comment

  1. Keith says: Reply

    Hi,
    Thank you for your posting about the “Humps and Bumps”. Strange how these places develop a life of their own with a name perpetuated by word of mouth.
    I spent much of my childhood in Debden. When I lived there the humps were smoothed and polished by bike-riding children; there being no such thing as mountain bikers then. When I visited much later as an adult the H&Bs were overgrown and I remember thinking that times had changed and children no longer went out on their bikes, or at least not as before. I always wondered how the H&Bs came to be. Was it an overgrown earth dump left over from a building site?
    I also used the nearby footpath as a cut-through to the bus stop on the way to school. In the summer is was like a jungle in there and somewhat scary.

    Best Regards
    Keith

    1. Brad says: Reply

      Hi Keith, thanks for the comment. I think it was just a bit of spare land at the end of Lucton Boys school field that ran alongside the path. There were lost of well established trees along the bumps so they incorporated them.
      They later put an all weather pitch next to it.

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