The Games we Played in the Olden Days

The Games we Played in the Olden Days

For #throwbackThursday this week I’m off for a wander down memory lane with the games we played in the olden days.

But first, as is customary, a word about the weather, and it turned out nice again for us folks yesterday after a cold grey morning with overnight rain. Well at least the gardens enjoyed it, looking on the bright side. It’s a good job it fined up because the council workmen have at last turned up to put our new sign boards up.

Installation of Rossall Beach Wildlife Boards
Installation of Rossall Beach Wildlife Boards

They were supposed to be here on Monday so where they were is anybody’s guess! (Jane: apparently they had to order a drill bit to cut the holes out of the sea wall for the legs). Anyway they’re here that’s all that matters, as Jane was having a fit thinking they wouldn’t be installed before Friday, which is our grand opening day!

The Games we Played in the Olden Days

I write my blog in the afternoon for Jane to publish early in the morning, so I suppose it’s memory Wednesday for me. The subject being ‘what we used to do to amuse ourselves when we were children’.

When I was at the coffee group on Friday morning, I was talking to some friends who brought the subject up. One of them was saying that children nowadays, not all of them of course, don’t seem to play at the things us ‘oldies’ did when we were young. Of course, that led us on to talking about what we actually did, as there were no mobile phones and computers to occupy our minds and quite frankly, I’m glad we didn’t have them in the dark ages.

When we came home from school, the first thing we did was to go and play on the road with our friends. We lived on a cul de sac and traffic was rare on our road in those days, only someone who lived there would drive on the street but not much more, so safety wasn’t as big an issue as it is today.

We played all sorts of things. If there was anything that I loved, it was to get my hands on a new packet of chalks, oh those pastel shades did it for me then, and still do as a matter of fact as I love pastel shades to this day. Another one of my favourites was a whip and top. The top was a sort of conical shape flattened at the top of it with a metal stud on the bottom.

Whip and top, photo from Pinterest, one of the games we played in the olden days
Whip and top, photo from Pinterest, one of the games we played in the olden days

The flat top was where we drew circles of colours with the chalks, then when you whipped your top, the colours all merged into one. We had a stick with a piece of leather, quite thin, which we used to wind round the top and then sort of throw it out so that it spun like mad on the road. You had to then keep whipping it until it ran out of steam and stopped. Then we used to rub the chalk off and make more different coloured circles. It was great fun and we had loads of exercise and fresh air in those days.

Tin Can Stilts

Another thing that kept us entertained was to get two Tate and Lyle golden syrup cans when I would pester my dad to make a hole on either side of the can, thread string through which then you put one under each foot, held the string and walked all over the place making a great clatter  as you went up and down the road. Obviously this photo is one off the internet – these aren’t my feet!

Tin can stilts, one of the games we played in the olden days
Tin can stilts, one of the games we played in the olden days

Just simple fun but it was great to us kids. Hopscotch of course was another firm favourite and I only learnt yesterday that Jane played the game entirely different to how I did. She was telling me about this video she’d shared on Facebook of a hopscotch game and what fun it would be to have one on Cleveleys high street!


We threw a stone into the first square (I think we all know the layout of hopscotch don’t we) and then hopping on one leg we had to kick the stone all the way to the top not missing any square on the way. If your stone went out of the box and onto a line, the next one had a go.

Jane’s method was completely different with the stone going in the first square, hopped over the second and when they got to the top they went back and put the stone in the second square and so on which doesn’t seem as much effort as ours by a long way! How did you play hopscotch?

Skipping of course was a firm favourite, there seemed to be fads on different activities and Summer saw the mum’s washing lines come out and off we went skipping again on the road. I always seemed to end up being the one turning the rope, maybe because I was a quiet little mouse in those days, but I did enjoy it when it was my turn to skip. If there were only a couple of us, we would fasten the rope to our gate post with just one turning the other end and one skipping.

There was no wonder you never saw plump children in those days as we were all out playing all the time. I don’t think my mum bothered at all where I was in those days, although when I was young I couldn’t wander off our road or else.

Winter was no exception, we would get our jam jars, this time with string tied around the top to make a handle. Next we had a candle that we lit, dropped melted wax into the bottom of the jar, stuck the candle in that and off we went up and down the road, swinging our eerie lights in the dark, but we loved it. We would be out under the gas lamps, which were very dim, on our roller skates or just inventing new games to play.

Today you wouldn’t dream of letting your children out in the dark nights (well I wouldn’t anyway) but I feel it’s sad that whole generations didn’t enjoy the childhood that we had of pure clean fun, enjoying one another’s company and not being spiteful to each other. I would be a nervous wreck today with social media being what it is, I don’t know how parents cope with some of the nastiness that can go on with Facebook and all the rest. At least I knew what a true childhood was all about and after all, we never get it back do we.

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