"In my 84th year, I still look back with nostalgia and pleasure to my first ten years living in the village of Broughton Astley. In those days it really was a lovely village of about 1000 inhabitants, most of whom I knew. Broughton, where the Church of St. Mary was situated was the prettiest part of the village, especially in Spring time when the roads were made bright and colourful with red hawthorn blossom, laburnum, lilac, orange blossom, and chestnut trees, some flaunting their white blossoms like giant candelabra and others were of the pink variety."
"Broughton was made interesting by the brook that flowed along by the main street. It entered the village by Mr. Berridge's Water Mill, through the village to Pegg's Bridge, by the Bull's Head Public House, where it turns North to meander through the fields to Cosby and Whetstone before joining the River Soar. The brook became deeper after Pegg's Bridge and passed by the rear of Mrs. Evans' shop. She kept a small sweet shop and was much liked by the children because she always gave good measure, adding one or two more sweets to the scale pan after it had gone down. She also sold wet fish. As a small boy, I thought that she caught these fish in the brook! In the evening she sold bowls of mushy peas, flavoured with salt and vinegar, to the boys who had money to spend."
"The flow of water in the brook varied for two reasons. First, the rainfall. After rain had fallen, there was a lot more water in the brook. In Winter, when there was a lot of rain, the brook ran so high that it reached the top of the bridge arches and overflowed. It used to flood the Frolesworth Road and cut off Six Acres, so we were unable to go to school until the flood had gone down. Second, when the Mill was working, the water in the Mill's dam was released and the brook became a quick running and much deeper stream."
"The Mill dam was a favourite resort for us youngsters and we had some good times there, rather precariously I must admit. At the neck of the dam, where the water entered the Mill to drive the machinery, was a plank about a foot wide that we passed over with great care and fear in our hearts. In the water were small fish, tadpoles and frogspawn. We often sat on the bank dangling a home made fishing rod, made from a cane and a length of cotton, to which was tied a bent pin with a worm attached, waiting for the sticklebacks to take the worms and be caught. The water in the dam and the stream that supplied it was not very inviting but the older lads bathed there and thoroughly enjoyed themselves."
"The banks of the brook were lined with Willow trees, pollarded and very old. The branches had been cut off many times and the tops of the trunks had become rotten and hollow. Birds built their nests in them. Robins, Tits, Wagtails and Wrens. The banks were riddled with holes made by Water Voles and as one walked along one could hear the 'plop! plop!' as the animals dived into the water. Where the water was deeper an ugly little fish called a Bullhead was occasionally caught using a net."