Back to the old house for BBC Radio 4’s Any Questions? (Rousse)

The venue for this week’s BBC Radio 4 Any questions was Stockton-on-Tees or – more precisely – the childhood bedroom that I shared with my sisters at the White House, Hartburn.

The room had been cleared of bedroom furniture to make space for armchairs and provide seating for the audience. In the event, only a couple of people turned up so I had my choice of seat. I selected a small chair upholstered in red velvet and waited for the broadcast to begin.

I positioned my seat in the location of my childhood bed from where I looked around the room. Most impressive was the new marble fireplace. However, it didn’t match the shabby cream vinyl wallpaper, which was already old when my sisters and I slept and played in here. It must have been up for over half a century.

Then a man started talking to me, reminiscing about the old days. He gave the impression that he used to know my mother very well. He found it hard to reconcile the glamorous 1970s dolly bird with the little old lady that he had spotted from a distance earlier that day.

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