An enchanting and utterly absorbing memoir of growing up in the Forest of Dean in the 1920s and 1930s
'Few people visited the Forest of Dean. They thought us primitive, and looked down on us.
Winifred Foley grew up in the 1920s, a bright, determined miner s daughter - in a world of unspoilt beauty and desperate hardship, in which women were widowed at thirty and children died of starvation. Living hand-to-mouth in a tumbledown cottage in the Forest of Dean, Foley - our Poll - had a loving family and the woods and streams of a forest better than heaven as a playground. But a brother and sister were dead in infancy, bread had to be begged from kindly neighbours and she never had a new pair of shoes or a shop-bought doll. And most terrible of all, like her sister before her, at fourteen little Poll had to leave her beloved forest for the city, bound for a life in service among London s grey terraces.