Most of the people at our end of Dalkeith Road very much kept themselves to themselves and neither Mum nor Dad would have regarded any of their near neighbours as friends. There was never any sense of community spirit but neither was there ever any hostility between the different families.Looking back one or two events did strike me as rather strange. The lady at number 66, so our immediate neighbour, saw burglars climbing into our house through a back window in the late evening while Mum and Dad were away overseas. What did she do about it? Nothing is the answer, because as she said later, “I didn’t want to get involved.” What made her behaviour even stranger was that she subsequently went to quite a lot of trouble to make sure that the window was replaced and the house left secure once the police had finished their investigation.
For many years there was an understanding that “For Sale” boards were not to be used by Harpenden estate agents. So when our neighbours at number 62 put their house on the market there was nothing to make us look at the, usually ignored, property section of the Harpenden Free Press to make us realise that they were moving. That said it was a great surprise when a removal van arrived and burly men started emptying the house. Unsurprisingly Mum went round to see what was going on – to be told by our neighbours of at least 10 years standing that they were moving to St Albans. I think Mum and Dad were rather hurt by the way the neighbours had kept their departure such a secret.Number 64 was sold in 2005 not long after Dad died and when Mum had moved into a residential home for the elderly near Rugby and I have only been back to Harpenden a handful of times since then.