My memories of personal experiences tend on the whole, to be relatively full and plentiful, but – I am now seventy years old – there’s quite an exception, as regards memories of approx. my first decade of life. Odd sections of such memories from earlyish childhood, are definitely sharp; but there are indeed some vague bits, and a very great majority of total “holes”.
There is one particular connection, in which I greatly wish that my first-ten-years’ memories could be a lot more precise and complete. I’m a railfan (“railway enthusiast” as the British term it): here in the UK, the delights of the old-fashioned railway scene – for those of us in this fancy, who regard said old times as delightful – came to a fairly rapid and precipitate finish, as from near the end of the 1950s. This “falling over the cliff” was the combination of the sudden rapid decline of the use of steam traction on the country’s national rail system – the very end of same, in 1968; and the closure of many hundreds of miles of the system’s lesser and less-used routes – many of such, traversing beautiful country.
I had a good amount of exposure to this milieu in the first ten-odd years of my life, before it all started to go sour, as above. In much of the UK then, the railway scene was fairly ubiquitous; plus, as a family in the 1950s, for necessary / desired getting from A to B we made a fair amount of use of rail passenger services, as opposed to the private-automobile option. These factors combined to kindle for me, a lifelong passion for “things railway” – in my case, for better or worse, chiefly a backward-looking one. I’m aware of having experienced assorted journeys and doings in childhood, involving rail travels and sights: my actual true memories of these are frustratingly sparse and largely in “flashes”, compared to what the various experiences – which I can reconstruct in hindsight, from knowledge / imagination – must have been like. I would give anything to be able to have a goodly amount more of genuine memories of things lived thus some two-thirds of a century ago; but save for – essentially – fragments, vanished forever down the “hole of forgetment”.