Re the letter about about dirt being good for children; York Press Thurs 26th.

Our generation had a very valuable benefit which our grandchildren do not have; the freedom to roam. We got up to all sorts of adventures, some questionable, and discoveries, some dangerous, but we learnt a lot about life, free from adult interference.

My younger brother John attracted accidents. He fell off trees and swings and fell on hidden glass in deep grass. He was one of the best young divers in his year and put his hand through a classroom window he was pushing to keep two girls out, the day before the school swimming championships. If there had been loyalty cards at the County hospital he would have been the first to get one.

He hit his knee on a swing in Tang Hall park one Sunday. We were looking after a younger brother in a wheelchair and had to put him in it to get him home. They diagnosed TB and he was at Fairfield hospital in plaster for two years.

After qualifying as a joiner in York, he became a clerk of works for the Air ministry and served in Cyprus during the troubles, Egypt and Gibraltar. they kept him on after his retirement date to finish a big job on Dover Castle. He and his wife Alma have six children, all doing well, and quite a few grandchildren and they are living out their retirement in Folkestone.

It's a different world today, not necessarily worse. The youngsters I see in prams, taking everything in, and our grandchildren and great grandchildren, seem far more forward than we were.