Nostalgia by Robert Heaven

I READ that Cadbury’s have been inviting people to dig for Easter eggs near sites of archaeological interest to win a prize.

If we did this in Ciren, most of the town would be dug up!

When I was growing up in Ciren in the 1950s and 60s, chocolate Easter eggs were never as far as I remember, hidden or buried - and certainly not anywhere up near the Bullring or the Roman Villas that were being excavated at the back the Regal Cinema and the Avenue.

If there had been any, we would have found them as many Ciren teenagers (myself included) helped out on the “digs” that went on in the 1970s.

Volunteering for the digs around Ciren during the Summer holidays was an exciting enterprise.

We stepped outside the classroom- taught history and into it for real, getting our hands dirty as we delved into our town’s past with a trowel and a small brush.

Digging brought history alive to me and made me proud to be a Ciren boy - born in the town with it’s ancient origins (with or without Easter eggs)

I can’t actually imagine there would have been many Easter eggs in Ciren during the time of the Romans: Ciren was a long way away from Mesopotamia where they were introduced by early Christians, and chocolate as we know it, wasn’t invented until 1847 by Joseph Fry.

Ciren has had a long tradition of hot cross buns. Hot cross buns have been regularly dispensed from the Plough at Stratton for as long as I can remember.

Each Easter, by tradition, the Landlord or Landlady hands out the delicious locally made buns to the Stratton School children.

Another tradition, and kicking off the Easter period, is pancakes. For anyone who grew up in the 60s and 70s, Jif lemon, the stiff crunch of granulated sugar and mother’s assurance that “the first pancake always goes in the bin”, provide early memories of pancake day.

I don’t think my mother did actually bin the first pancake, but I do remember the taste of the first one she would serve up to me on a plate - complete with a dollop of jam!