Memories of childhood

KIDS say they’re bored. We were lucky to find a pothole to play ‘allies’ in or flooding at the road side where we could wave dodge.

There are more places to play now, but peashooters, spud guns and catties are banned. We couldn’t afford much so made our own cricket bats, bows and arrows, trolleys from orange boxes and old pram wheels, mobile phones from tin cans and wire, fishing rods with a bent pin and matchstick for the float.

For money we had paper rounds and went pea pulling, which went towards new shoes and a shirt at Whitsuntide if you were lucky.

Rain or shine we would play football all day in the park and think nothing of walking from Purston to Smeaton Crags for the best conkers, blackberries or tree swings.

TV only had a couple of channels, I remember Huckleberry Finn, The Last of the Mohicans and Davy Crockett. We were eco-friendly, submarines were powered with bicarbonate of soda and when someone got too big for their boots you wore them, cardboard in the soles if they had holes.

The council paid you for rats’ tails, but not for my hamster’s when it died, which would have bought fish and chips, in those days you got two shillings (24 pennies) for filling a 56lb sack of peas.

A penny would buy four fruit salad sweets, a hard juice or a giant gobstopper, two pennies a bag of fish and chips and scraps.


Pontefract Road