Is There Any More Tea In That Pot?

Everyday events in the life of a tea lover.

Monday, 30 May 2011

Childhood games we used to play in the 50's.

Here I am on the right-hand side, at the top of my street, wearing one of my mother's old dresses.
It is 1st May. We used to borrow an old broom or brush handle, sometimes with the brush head still attached and go through the surrounding neighbourhood, where we would stop at each location, and we
twirled around the pole, making a pattern with the ribbons.
"Dancing round the maypole 
Merrily we go
Hip-a hip-a cherry, to and fro.
All the lovely maidens on the village green
Dancing in the sunshine,
Hurrah for the Queen"
Our games followed a seasonal track.
In spring, when the evenings grew lighter, we could play out after tea for longer during the week. We had tops and whips, with coloured chalks, and drew patterns on the tops, before using the tiny whips to set them spinning along the pavements. The original pavement I used is here, in this picture, on the left. As the paving slabs were so uneven, it was a work of art to keep the tops going. As they whirled around we could see each different "design" emerge.     
The bottom of my street is just visible on the right a little way along.These streets were our playgrounds, along with the fields at the top.
Skipping games
We had skipping ropes and used different rhymes as we skipped to the rhythm. 
Sometimes we used an old washing line.Two people stood at each end and turned the rope, saying various chants, such as: 
"All in together girls,
The cows are in the meadow girls,
When you hear your birthday
Please jump in"
Then as we each heard our own month, we would jump into the rope and there could be as many as 5 all at once skipping. Counting would begin, until the one by one we would "jump out" when we      
couldn't stand the pace anymore!    
If we skipped alone we had other rhymes, such as: 
"Blue  bells,
Cockle shells,
Eevy, Ivy, Over" 
Ball games
Individual games were always played either using the backyard wall, or the brick walls out in the street. I used to play "two ball" when you threw one ball at the wall and as it returned, you caught it as you threw the second one, and so on, in a regular beat.   

 I used to say
"Nebuchadnezzar, the king of the Jews
Bought his wife 
A pair of shoes, 
When  the shoes began to wear 
Nebuchadnezzar began to swear
When the swearing began to stop
Nebuchadnezzar bought a shop
When the shop began to sell
Nebuchadnezzar rang a bell
When the bell began to ring
Nebuchadnezzar began to sing,
One, two, three, four, five.............................."    
These rhymes must have been handed down as I really hadn't a clue then who he was!!      
In another team game, someone would be chosen to stand with their back to the rest of us, and then would throw the ball over their shoulder.
 Whilst we would ask "Queenio, queenio, who's got the ballio?"
                      The person who had thrown the ball had then to guess which of us was holding it behind our backs. A process of elimination! The one holding the ball then stood at the front, and we would begin again.    
There was far less traffic then, and close communities "kept an eye " on their children. So we were ringfenced.
Group pastimes included "Hide and Seek", and "Tig" as we called it. 
Playtime at St Paul's Constable Lee C of E Primary School
This is the school at which the majority of us began our education. 
 We could use the wooden PE hoops in the play yard,at break time, until the advent of the Hula Hoop which swept the country like wild fire. And is still in use today, as you can see from the picture.
We badgered our parents for one of the coloured plastic hoops,and proceeded to master the art of twirling it round and round our waists, and even necks, until the latter was pronounced "dangerous"
So we had to stick to waists and ankles!      
There are so many more games that we played, that I will save that for another time. 
But I think we were extremely healthy children, who had lots of fresh air and loads of exercise without even realising it!
Links to  old blogs

Sunday, 29 May 2011

Return to Rossendale................9 days and counting!

I just absolutely adore this picture.
In the course of looking for old photos for the proposed dvd of our old neighbourhood, Woodcroft, this  picture has emerged. The girl in the lane lived at the farm which was situated to the rear of the person taking the shot.
Locally always referred to as "Pickles'" farm.
This is Dorothy Pickles, the farmer's daughter. She has sent several old snapshots to Ken Stott, to be included.
I must admit to simply staring at it for ages, and being transported once more back to my early years.
Here is the very lane along which I used to walk, whether with family, or friends, or simply alone.
Turning left at the five-barred gate and following the track back down between the bordering fields, to our streets and houses, and home.      

Walking straight on along the path brought us to a small wooden bridge, which crossed the stream running off the hillside. Here we would spend hours, once we had negotiated the barbed wire when clambering  down to play on the banks.
It was in a hollow and so unseen from civilisation it seemed to us........
Our own world.
I loved it.
That stream had such clear running water, and in it were minnows and sticklebacks.
We fished with jamjars and on one occasion, I had the fiercest looking water creature in mine. It was fighting with a minnow, and round and round they went in my jar. I very excitedly took it home to show my dad. He pronounced it to be a dytiscus beetle, or diving beetle, which apparently have voracious appetites, and eat tadpoles and small fish!
So, I took them both back and released them..............
I also loved caddis fly larvae.
Here in this photo the larva is crawling out of his home made shell, constructed of old bits of gravel and sometimes broken twig stems which have fallen into the stream. I used to watch them for ages, meandering their way along the underwater stems of grass, or on the stream bed.
Dad told me when he was at school, they would put the shell-less larvae into a fish tank, and then drop in all kinds of bits of beads and twigs, of small coloured gravel, and marvel how painstakingly the larva constructed their shell-homes.These were then veritable works of art having multicoloured additions!

The big woods, in the background, amongst which you can just glimpse Crawshaw Hall, was where the land owner, Cicely Brooks, resided.
We would play in amongst those trees.
One day when galloping along under the tree canopy, with my friend to whom I was tied with a skipping rope, having become, magically, "Champion the Wonder Horse", and my friend holding my "reins" we suddenly came face to face with Madame Cicely.........................who was not best pleased!
Normally we kept well away from the immediate environs of the Hall and gardens, but had strayed a bit too far this time!
All my friend could think of to say was "I'm a Girl Guide" and showed her the Company belt around her waist.
Cicely, supposedly, having something to do with the Guides.
Well, if she did or not, we had a real ear wigging and were walked in silence, through to the main gates on the road.
This then meant we had to walk all the way back from the outskirts of Crawshawbooth along the main road to Woodcroft.
The spire of the church in the distance, St John's Crawshawbooth, was just a short distance from the main entrance to the hall itself.
Did it put us off playing in the woods again? What do you think? ;-)
But most of all I can smell the fresh air of the fields, now covered in houses, and feel the icy coolness of the water in the stream on my bare feet.
 The sound of the wind in those trees in the woods, and remembering the ever changing colours of the leaves. In spring the whitebeam was always out first, and the tapestry of all the many shades of green as others followed, before the dirt and grime from the factory chimneys and myriad coal fires, dulled their transluscence.
And in a little over 9 days time, I am going back once again, to rediscover old haunts and history.      
Links to old blogs     

Another new start!

I have had to begin posting here on another new blog, same title, as I used to write on my other ones  using my old blueyonder log in and password. 
I now find during the last few days I can no longer do so.
Seems changes have been made around the Blogger sites. 
I have left the links to the old ones at the foot of this page. 
The content is still accessible.
So, for those of you who do actually read the random  musings, and comment, I will keep you posted!

I now need to fortify myself with yet another cuppa, so watch this space!