‘We’d bring back tadpoles in jam jars’ - Caroline Flack’s fond memories of growing up in Norfolk
PUBLISHED: 14:43 16 February 2020 | UPDATED: 09:09 17 February 2020
Caroline Flack spoke of her fond memories of growing up in Norfolk in her 2015 Autobiography. ABIGAIL NICHOLSON reports...
The 40-year-old, who took her own life and was found in her east London flat on Saturday, named a chapter of her autobiography, Storm in a C Cup, after the Norfolk village she grew up in.
After being born in Chase Farm Hospital in Enfield, Miss Flack's family moved to Scotgate Close in Great Hockham after her father received a promotion whilst working for Coca-Cola.
In her book, she said: "It was too far to commute, so for a whole year he left the house on a Monday and came back on the Friday. But that was hard on Mum.
"I have to admit that there was something a bit strange about that part of Norfolk. There was talk among us kids of witched (probably untrue) and abandoned villages (true) filled with ghosts (not sure . . .).
"At night there were no lights anywhere beyond the village, and no sound except owls and neighbours' televisions.
"Great Hockham itself was like a lit-up island in the middle of a flat black sea and I am still scared of the dark and always sleep with the landing light on.
"It was a lovely place to grow up."
READ MORE: Norfolk television presenter Caroline Flack dies age 40
The chapter also talks about her struggles with eczema when she was younger.
"Eczema was the reason we didn't have pets, and I still can't eat fruit like apples or nectarines or cherries. All of which bring on an attack," she said.
She later moved to East Wretham, which she described as 'even more remote' than Great Hockham.
The book said: "We spent much more time on our own, most of it singing after we'd written down the words of the songs we liked from the radio."
READ MORE: School dance group in Norfolk to Love Island fame: Caroline Flack's rise to stardom
Miss Flack and her twin sister Jody were both seasoned performers and members of the East Wretham drama society, where they performed a pantomime every year in the village hall.
She also talks fondly of walking in Thetford Forest with her sister and her father.
When talking about her favourite route she said: "Our favourite was 'No. 83' mainly because it had a pond at the end where you could catch tadpoles, and at the right time of year we'd bring them back in jam jars and transfer them to our own pond."
Miss Flack started Wayland High School in Watton in September 1990.
She said: "Going to Wayland had been a shock, we had really led a very sheltered life up until then.
"All the cool kids used to hang out after school on 'the Green' which was in the middle of the fifties' council estate just off Watton High Street.
"The Green was where everything happened, where they'd all be smoking and drinking."
READ MORE: 'My heart is broken': Caroline Flack's boyfriend in emotional tribute
Due to living further away from the school than her friends, Miss Flack had to find more creative ways to keep in touch with them.
"We would call in to Norwich Radio - Broadland FM - Late Night Love," she said.
"Jo and me and all our school friends used to listen when we went to bed because that's the only way we could communicate.
"We had this little portable with an aerial that you pulled out and we'd put it by the window to get reception.
"The DJ would go, 'I've got a request here from Caroline; she's asked for Mariah Carey for Sue, Jackie, Heidi, Sarah, Carla and Jody."
"That was the full extent of our social life."
Miss Flack also writes about the Watton teenager Johanna Young in her book.
The-14-year-old was found dead in a flooded clay pit at Christmas 1992. To this date the case still remains unsolved.
She said: "We knew of her, but she wasn't a friend. She lived directly opposite the school and was a year above us.
"Every day the school bus turned into the school gates just past her house, and every day we would all fall silent.
"You could see her Christmas presents piled up in the window and it was so, so sad."
In 1993, Miss Flack's family moved back to Great Hockham before moving into a flat just off Watton High Street.
Miss Flack left home in her final year of college at The Bodywork Dance Studio to move in with her then boyfriend in a village north of Cambridge called Cottenham.