Web Page No 2224
30th December 2015
Top Picture: 1950’s pen knife
Second Picture: Hayling Sand Dunes
Third Picture: Commercial catapult
Happy New Year everyone and congratulations in making it to 2016!
There was a Parliamentary Report published at the back end of last year that modern children were not being allowed to play with traditional things because they were too dangerous. Heavens if it wasn’t dangerous when we were kids we did not play with it!
The report stated that the following were now too dangerous for children to play with:-
Sharp knives; I do not know about you girls but when I was a kid every boy had a sharp penknife in his pocket for whittling, carving and general use. Many of us had sheath knives or Swiss Army knives, in fact for many of us a clasp knife or sheath knife were an essential part of our Scout uniform. I will stress here never a flick knife!
Bathing in the sea; This was another thing that was criticised because it is dangerous. None of us bothered about water pollution, strange objects floating in the sea, jelly fish, Portugese Men of War or cuttle fish as we spent hours in the sea next to the sand dunes at Hayling Island, even those sand dunes have been flattened as they were declared dangerous! I spent many happy hours in those dunes!
Climbing trees; Everyone I knew, both boys and girls, climbed trees, in fact in my own garden we had several great climbing trees which we would climb all over or build tree houses in and I never remember anyone falling and really hurting themselves.
Carrying matches; Most of us at some time have built a camp fire either on the marshes or on the hill. Sometimes these fires grew a little larger than we anticipated but after a minor panic the flames were soon under control and we could get down to cooking our sausages or baked potatoes perfectly safely and we caused no harm to anyone. After all without matches in late October and early November we would not be able to light the 1d bangers we bought from the toy shop so we could blow holes in the mud of the local streams.
Playing in dangerous area; Most of my friends all played on the marshes and we always stood a chance of discovering some form of discarded Army ordinance somewhere in the bushes or in the mud, don’t forget the days I am talking about were only 10 or 11 years after the end of the war. We often came home with some form of trophy, shrapnel, bullet cases and odd things that we had no idea what they were. We also went bait digging in the soft mud and sea fishing off the Eastern Road Bridge, spending our time either hanging over the parapet or sitting on it. After all half the fun was walking along the top of the parapet from one side to the other with the pavement one side and Portscreek the other (that must be another dangerous thing that modern children cannot do, walk along high ledges).
The list could be endless, playing in the chalk pits, digging tunnels and dens in the garden, building go carts and sledges and even scrounging some oil drums and building homemade rafts. What amazes me is that these folks who produce these reports do not seem to realise that for us it was all part of growing up and for a lot of the items, tree houses and rafts for example, the ‘Things to do for Children’ books gave you helpful hints and instructions on how to build the items.
Before I finish I have realised that I have missed off three things which are most certainly frowned on today. I know that I, along with a lot of other children, cut and made my own catapult (some richer folks actually bought commercially made metal ones), or went to the local corner shop and bought a pea shooter and a bag of dried peas, then there was always the spud gun, and some of us even had an air rifle or pistol!
But the big thing is that we were let out on our own and what is even more important is that we wanted to go out, I know we did not have electronic games and suchlike but I am sure the way we grew up we had a more rounded and meaningful youth.
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News and Views:
On this day 30th December 1960-1965
On 30/12/1960 the number one single was I Love You - Cliff Richard & the Shadows and the number one album was Tottenham Hotspur. The top rated TV show was The Arthur Haynes Show (ATV) and the box office smash was Psycho. A pound of today's money was worth £13.68.The big news story of the day was Bootsie & Snudge.
On 30/12/1961 the number one single was Moon River - Danny Williams and the number one album was Another Black & White Minstrel Show - George Mitchell Minstrels. The top rated TV show was Coronation Street (Granada) and the box office smash was One Hundred and One Dalmations. A pound of today's money was worth £13.25 and Ipswich Town were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.
On 30/12/1962 the number one single was Return to Sender - Elvis Presley and the number one album was Everton. The top rated TV show was "Coronation Street (Granada) and the box office smash was Lawrence of Arabia. A pound of today's money was worth £not very interesting and 12.89 were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.The big news story of the day was Take Your Pick.
On 30/12/1963 the number one single was I Want to Hold Your hand - The Beatles and the number one album was With the Beatles - The Beatles. The top rated TV show was Coronation Street (Granada) and the box office smash was The Great Escape. A pound of today's money was worth £12.64 and Liverpool were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.
On 30/12/1964 the number one single was I Feel Fine - The Beatles and the number one album was Beatles For Sale - The Beatles. The top rated TV show was Coronation Street (Granada) and the box office smash was Dr Strangelove. A pound of today's money was worth £12.24 and Manchester United were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.
On 30/12/1965 the number one single was Day Tripper/We Can Work It Out - The Beatles and the number one album was Rubber Soul - The Beatles. The top rated TV show was Coronation Street (Granada) and the box office smash was The Sound of Music. A pound of today's money was worth £11.69 and Liverpool were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.