My World: Coming of age at Habershon House

Do you ever look back on certain points of your life and think ‘what if?’

I look back at a certain week in my primary school education as exactly one of those moments.

What if I hadn’t been to Habershon House for a week while at primary school? What if that week away from my parents had come much later?

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It hadn’t even really occurred to me until I read this week that the legendary Habershon House in Filey was under threat of closure.

Memories flooded back to me of fossil hunting on the beach, staying up late with friends and long walks on the windy sea front.

These memories had sort of been lost, they were there in the background of my aging mind, they were cloudy, foggy and distant.

But this shocking news brought them firmly to the forefront. They reignited a time of my life and stirred up some old emotions.

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That is why the news of the possible closure hit me hard, I wasn’t expecting it.

Maybe I took Habershon House for granted.

It is a coming of age experience for many primary school students in Rotherham. It had always been there, my dad made the trip, as did my older brother, as did I.

It was the first time I had spent an extended period of time away from my family, it was the first time I’d been given a level of responsibility, it was the first time I felt like my own person.

We talked about it for weeks beforehand and weeks afterwards, reminiscing about late night ghost stories and pencil drawings.

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I felt a million miles from home and thrived on that independence.

That is why Habershon House is such a vital part of growing up.

As the Facebook page ‘Let's save Habershon House Filey’ rightly states, it is a rite of passage for young children in Rotherham.

If anyone who hasn’t been has seen the film Stand By Me with River Phoenix and Corey Feldman then you will get the idea, it’s a journey and an experience, that you share with a group of friends.

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There is a petition doing the rounds on the internet, one that’s bidding to keep the guesthouse on Primrose Valley open.

Habershon House is a part of me, and admittedly so, a much bigger part than I first realised.

I’ve signed it, along with a lot of my friends and I hope that if this place ever meant anything to you, anything at all to the person you have become, you will sign it too.

Link to the petition: