Memories of a LANCASHIRE CHILDHOOD
Lancashire Life|November 2020
Blackburn-born Sara Foster has had a string of bestsellers on the other side of the world. With her latest novel now out, she reflects on her Lancashire roots
Sara Foster

I haven’t lived in Lancashire for more than thirty years, but my formative memories are as vivid as ever. Blackpool Illuminations and the Pleasure Beach; the Liverpool Garden Festival with its yellow submarine; long walks in Bluebell Woods; the disquieting witches of Pendle Hill.

I was born in Queen’s Park Hospital, christened at St Gabriel’s and went to the church’s school on Wilworth Crescent. My mum wasn’t from Lancashire but she grounded my early life in the area, and she loved to explore. Whalley and the Ribble Valley were favourites. We’d have the Houghton Weavers on in the car as we travelled around, and sometimes went to their concerts – I can still remember the words to Matchstalk Men and Matchstalk Cats and Dogs!

My mum and dad divorced when I was a baby, and mum and I lived in a semi-detached house on Rhodes Avenue in Blackburn. Behind us was a huge field with a small stream, and I spent hours playing there. Occasionally mum would hide notes in tree hollows from the fairies. She was head of Religious Education at Billinge High School, but when I was eight-years-old she got a new job in Norfolk, and we left Blackburn.

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