Marlie Packer

Growing up with Good Neighbours

As part as our Happy Neighbours campaign we caught up with Marlie to find out what life was like growing up in her community.

Back home in Yeovil, I was always really close with my neighbours. Having grown up with pretty much the same people throughout my entire life, I guess you could say our relationships are special.

Growing up in a cul-de-sac, we all hung around together as kids and played-out on the street after school. We would always meet up at the circle which was the name we gave to the road layout at the bottom of the cul-de-sac. We’d always be up to no good and I particularly remember one of our neighbours, Mrs Alderman who would always tell us off whenever we ran over her garden!

I used to have a treehouse at the bottom of our garden that we’d spend most of our time in; either playing games or just talking and messing around. As we grew up we started to outgrow the house so me and a couple of friends decided to build a second level. Thinking back it might not have been the safest of things to let a group of teens lead but our neighbours used to borrow us their tools when it came to chopping things up and sawing them down. We got the job done and I guess, we weren’t phased by how reckless it was!

There was an elderly woman called Molly who lived a couple of doors down from me. I always remember her because she was always so nice to everyone; growing up I helped her out with little snippets of gardening and small jobs around the house which she was always so appreciative of. 

Marlie and her neighbour

We lived next door to our immediate neighbours for 12 whole years and as a family we had a really good relationship with them. They even sponsored me when I was starting out in rugby and bought me kit and some boots; my first unofficial sponsors!

Now, well, being so busy with rugby and saving the nations drains, I don’t find much time to socialise with my neighbours. Whenever I do head back to Yeovil, I’ll always pop in and see everyone, check in with Mrs Alderman – she always comes around and check up on me to see how things are going with Rugby and HomeServe - and spend some time catching up with friends.

Having moved out, I wouldn’t say I’m as close with my current neighbours, we always give each other a hi or wave in passing. I’ve spoken to a few of them about our pets and dogs but it’s never been much more. When people see my work van I usually get questioned whether I take on personal work as a plumber followed by jokes about being a lady plumber!

Image caption: Marlie and Molly