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Would We Have Envied The Kids Of Today?

mbenne

master brummie
This response was prompted by a comment by wendylee on the Sheldon thread and made me think about the fun we had as kids and whether we missed out compared to what kids have today...........

In the late 50s, Sheldon was becoming a built up area nearing the final transition from village to busy suburb, but we were fortunate to be never far from the countryside or large open spaces. I can recall walking with my friend to see his grandparents at Castle Hills Farm, having tea and sandwiches in the low beamed living room and being intrigued to hear a story that Charles I had stayed there during the Civil War- though never confirmed we scoured every relevant book we could find in Brays Road library and wrote copious notes, which we placed in a large chest in the farm attic. We intended filling the chest with notes but on seeing our meagre contributions in the bottom, after hours of meaningless writing, quickly moved on to something else!

We would often join the ranks of imaginary armies on secret missions playing war games on King George V playing fields, where all soldiers were heroes and could rise again from sudden death to fight again, to then desert and paddle in the brook without wellies, weather permitting, catching Robin Redbreasts (sticklebacks). Arms outstretched we'd return as fighter planes and on safely landing home I'd endure the wrath of my nan, warning me of the danger of getting polio! I was also questioned if I returned from a mission with sweets from an unknown source. If she disapproved of the doner I'd have to put them in the bin on account of , "so and so has scabby hands and you'll likely catch something".

Special treat - a stick of rhubarb and a bag of sugar and maybe some Dandelion and Burdock pop.

Excitement and anticipation - hearing the ice cream van. Can I have one? Will it be a 3d lolly, a 6d choc ice , Lyons Maid raspberry split? A ice cream cone with nuts and juice and even a flake? Sometimes it was just plain, NO, in which case we would mope and stare enviously at the lucky kids queuing at the van! Then off to play, thinking, maybe next time?

Its hard to imagine that in the summer we might wander quite far from home, often unaccompanied and, in school holidays, play out in the street until 8 or 9pm in the evening without fear. We knew every inch of our territory, and the consequences of being caught in neighbouring kids territories too, and all the short cuts from gulleys (that's what we called them) to neighbouring streets. Gulleys were a parallel world where we could travel unseen and get up to innocent mischief; exploring open garages mothballing long abandoned cars- surprising how many people left their doors open, long forgotten back garden air raid shelters, tree climbing, smoking, lighting fires, eating blackberries, scrumping, making dens, attacking swathes of stinging nettles with sticks, rubbing our stings with dock leaves, conker picking in the autumn, collecting hawthorn berries as ammunition to fire from our bicycle pumps!

Coming home exhausted and going to bed - too late for watching TV then snacking on brown sauce or Lyles syrup sandwiches!

Would we have envied what kids have today or were we privileged? Who has missed the most?
 
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Spargone

master brummie
My nephews were allowed, (forced?), to take letters to the pillar box 100 yards up the road on the same side of the street when they were ten. That was the only excursion outside the front door on their own that they ever made. It wasn't until secondary school that they went to school unescorted.
I was going to infant school by myself (50% of the way via the gullies) and riding my bike from Coalway Avenue to Arden Oak Road for 'secret' meetings with my infant school girlfriend!
What green spaces there are now are sterile, the brooks in culverts, no bushes for dens. Many gullies are now gated off and if they weren't they would probably be virtually impassable, often a gulley would have little pathways through the vegatation on the margins, far more fun than the car track down the centre.
Having said that, as a teenager, I would have loved to have a computer of some sort. I used to spend ages designing things that I couldn't build because I couldn't afford them but once someone has provided the hardware the world of software design is virtually unlimited!
Watching my nephews grow up though they were quite creative before they were given a computer and then they discovered games but never 'got under the hood'. They did spend ages though creating rules for those Games Workshop fantasy creatures or war gaming as it used to be called (boring!).
 

wendylee

master brummie
This response was prompted by a comment by wendylee on the Sheldon thread and made me think about the fun we had as kids and whether we missed out compared to what kids have today...........

In the late 50s, Sheldon was becoming a built up area nearing the final transition from village to busy suburb, but we were fortunate to be never far from the countryside or large open spaces. I can recall walking with my friend to see his grandparents at Castle Hills Farm, having tea and sandwiches in the low beamed living room and being intrigued to hear a story that Charles I had stayed there during the Civil War- though never confirmed we scoured every relevant book we could find in Brays Road library and wrote copious notes, which we placed in a large chest in the farm attic. We intended filling the chest with notes but on seeing our meagre contributions in the bottom, after hours of meaningless writing, quickly moved on to something else!

We would often join the ranks of imaginary armies on secret missions playing war games on King George V playing fields, where all soldiers were heroes and could rise again from sudden death to fight again, to then desert and paddle in the brook without wellies, weather permitting, catching Robin Redbreasts (sticklebacks). Arms outstretched we'd return as fighter planes and on safely landing home I'd endure the wrath of my nan, warning me of the danger of getting polio! I was also questioned if I returned from a mission with sweets from an unknown source. If she disapproved of the doner I'd have to put them in the bin on account of , "so and so has scabby hands and you'll likely catch something".

Special treat - a stick of rhubarb and a bag of sugar and maybe some Dandelion and Burdock pop.

Excitement and anticipation - hearing the ice cream van. Can I have one? Will it be a 3d lolly, a 6d choc ice , Lyons Maid raspberry split? A ice cream cone with nuts and juice and even a flake? Sometimes it was just plain, NO, in which case we would mope and stare enviously at the lucky kids queuing at the van! Then off to play, thinking, maybe next time?

Its hard to imagine that in the summer we might wander quite far from home, often unaccompanied and, in school holidays, play out in the street until 8 or 9pm in the evening without fear. We knew every inch of our territory, and the consequences of being caught in neighbouring kids territories too, and all the short cuts from gulleys (that's what we called them) to neighbouring streets. Gulleys were a parallel world where we could travel unseen and get up to innocent mischief; exploring open garages mothballing long abandoned cars- surprising how many people left their doors open, long forgotten back garden air raid shelters, tree climbing, smoking, lighting fires, eating blackberries, scrumping, making dens, attacking swathes of stinging nettles with sticks, rubbing our stings with dock leaves, conker picking in the autumn, collecting hawthorn berries as ammunition to fire from our bicycle pumps!

Coming home exhausted and going to bed - too late for watching TV then snacking on brown sauce or Lyles syrup sandwiches!

Would we have envied what kids have today or were we privileged? Who has missed the most?
I enjoyed reading your post, it brought back so many memories, it sounded like you were writing my childhood. We were privileged, we were the lucky ones. We lived outdoors and were always busy, always had something to do or somewhere to go, we made our own fun.
A simple skipping rope, a pogo stick , a hopscotch game an french elastic game, daisy chains, handstands up the wall. A park to visit, a tree to climb a game of tag or ball, a stream to fish in, a game of badminton on the lawn ........no computers for us. Happy Happy days.

Wendy
 

Robert Ensor (bob)

master brummie
This response was prompted by a comment by wendylee on the Sheldon thread and made me think about the fun we had as kids and whether we missed out compared to what kids have today...........

In the late 50s, Sheldon was becoming a built up area nearing the final transition from village to busy suburb, but we were fortunate to be never far from the countryside or large open spaces. I can recall walking with my friend to see his grandparents at Castle Hills Farm, having tea and sandwiches in the low beamed living room and being intrigued to hear a story that Charles I had stayed there during the Civil War- though never confirmed we scoured every relevant book we could find in Brays Road library and wrote copious notes, which we placed in a large chest in the farm attic. We intended filling the chest with notes but on seeing our meagre contributions in the bottom, after hours of meaningless writing, quickly moved on to something else!

We would often join the ranks of imaginary armies on secret missions playing war games on King George V playing fields, where all soldiers were heroes and could rise again from sudden death to fight again, to then desert and paddle in the brook without wellies, weather permitting, catching Robin Redbreasts (sticklebacks). Arms outstretched we'd return as fighter planes and on safely landing home I'd endure the wrath of my nan, warning me of the danger of getting polio! I was also questioned if I returned from a mission with sweets from an unknown source. If she disapproved of the doner I'd have to put them in the bin on account of , "so and so has scabby hands and you'll likely catch something".

Special treat - a stick of rhubarb and a bag of sugar and maybe some Dandelion and Burdock pop.

Excitement and anticipation - hearing the ice cream van. Can I have one? Will it be a 3d lolly, a 6d choc ice , Lyons Maid raspberry split? A ice cream cone with nuts and juice and even a flake? Sometimes it was just plain, NO, in which case we would mope and stare enviously at the lucky kids queuing at the van! Then off to play, thinking, maybe next time?

Its hard to imagine that in the summer we might wander quite far from home, often unaccompanied and, in school holidays, play out in the street until 8 or 9pm in the evening without fear. We knew every inch of our territory, and the consequences of being caught in neighbouring kids territories too, and all the short cuts from gulleys (that's what we called them) to neighbouring streets. Gulleys were a parallel world where we could travel unseen and get up to innocent mischief; exploring open garages mothballing long abandoned cars- surprising how many people left their doors open, long forgotten back garden air raid shelters, tree climbing, smoking, lighting fires, eating blackberries, scrumping, making dens, attacking swathes of stinging nettles with sticks, rubbing our stings with dock leaves, conker picking in the autumn, collecting hawthorn berries as ammunition to fire from our bicycle pumps!

Coming home exhausted and going to bed - too late for watching TV then snacking on brown sauce or Lyles syrup sandwiches!

Would we have envied what kids have today or were we privileged? Who has missed the most?
Nice look back but you have the location wrong I did all that but is was Longbridge and the Lickeys, ride our bikes to Blackwell scrumping, picking conkers up the Lickey Road
Ride on the bus to town just because.
Sit on the railway embankment waiting to spot a train or waiting on the train to run over the penny you had placed on the track
Yes a sauce sandwich great times what ever happened to my mates from back then.
Gulleys, dens and short cuts only we knew about through people back gardens
The places we would go where far a field most of the time on foot
 

Astoness

TRUE BRUMMIE MODERATOR
Staff member
moving this thread to the childhood section of the forum folks..so pleased that this topic has been started as i can relate to the last 4 posts...in our day we made our own fun...we had friends that we met up with most days and our mom and dad had a hard job getting us to come in at night...yesterday my brother and myself met up with a mate from the old end...we had not seen each other for 52 years :rolleyes: and straight away it was as if time had stood still.. the memories came flooding back..we all agreed that yes time moves on..its a different world now but we would not swap our world for anything... so the answer to the question is a resounding NO we dont envy the kids of today and i doubt if we knew 50 years ago how life would change we would still have prefered to grow up when we did ...too many happy memories to do that and even my own 4 children say what a wonderful childhood myself...3 sisters and 2 brothers had...i think that says it all really and who knows that in 50 or 60 years time the children of today will be saying the same thing

lyn
 
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Edifi

master brummie
Ooooohh for a ride on theopen top front of a tram down the center of the dual carriage way from Selly Oak to the Lickeys at 100 MPH.WOW that was good
 

Edifi

master brummie
When we moved to Kent in 1984 my girls where 10.At there school I was told they had to have a Calculator when I asked why the Headmaster said it was to teach them maths.No wonder the kids of today can't add up.Having the hotel they soon learned to add up without one.
 

Sugar

master brummie
Yes climbing the walls legs astride up the alleyways ,those dangerous silver metal heavy contraptions they called roller skates they were okay going up and down the alleyways but God help you when you got on the pavements,annoying the big daddy long legs under your window sills with your water pistol as soon as you seen one moving you would scream and run (even the boys did that) and I must say we did kiss chase a few times well a peck really !
 

Robert Ensor (bob)

master brummie
Yes climbing the walls legs astride up the alleyways ,those dangerous silver metal heavy contraptions they called roller skates they were okay going up and down the alleyways but God help you when you got on the pavements,annoying the big daddy long legs under your window sills with your water pistol as soon as you seen one moving you would scream and run (even the boys did that) and I must say we did kiss chase a few times well a peck really !
Kiss and Chase Ha Ha, still playing that game and once in a while I will let my wife catch me .
 

Astoness

TRUE BRUMMIE MODERATOR
Staff member
i remember doing that phil and gosh how that lino was cold..especially in the winter but we survived:)
 

Spargone

master brummie
Girls doing handstands, they would tuck the skirt in their knickers forgot all about that, and doing PE in those knickers how cruel, no shorts for young girls back then
Skirt-tucking was something they did when skipping on a long rope, (a girl at each end). I thought it was obligatory for all small girls to do handstands all times, skirt flowing free, so as to expose their knickers when upside down. What was it about knickers? Maybe it was part of early sex education, "Be careful never to show your...erm...knickers!", and innocent little girls, rightly, not seeing any problem, would rebel given the chance?
Do girls do those group skipping games anymore? All of these children's games are part of a child culture that only survives within child groupings that have some sort of continuity, that might be a school or playground, formal or informal. They don't learn from books or adults but from the older children.
Perhaps YouTube will be the new cultural guardian? My next-door six year-old shows me new 'slime' ideas, "Where did you learn that?" "On YouTube!".
 

Williamstreeter

master brummie
This response was prompted by a comment by wendylee on the Sheldon thread and made me think about the fun we had as kids and whether we missed out compared to what kids have today...........

In the late 50s, Sheldon was becoming a built up area nearing the final transition from village to busy suburb, but we were fortunate to be never far from the countryside or large open spaces. I can recall walking with my friend to see his grandparents at Castle Hills Farm, having tea and sandwiches in the low beamed living room and being intrigued to hear a story that Charles I had stayed there during the Civil War- though never confirmed we scoured every relevant book we could find in Brays Road library and wrote copious notes, which we placed in a large chest in the farm attic. We intended filling the chest with notes but on seeing our meagre contributions in the bottom, after hours of meaningless writing, quickly moved on to something else!

We would often join the ranks of imaginary armies on secret missions playing war games on King George V playing fields, where all soldiers were heroes and could rise again from sudden death to fight again, to then desert and paddle in the brook without wellies, weather permitting, catching Robin Redbreasts (sticklebacks). Arms outstretched we'd return as fighter planes and on safely landing home I'd endure the wrath of my nan, warning me of the danger of getting polio! I was also questioned if I returned from a mission with sweets from an unknown source. If she disapproved of the doner I'd have to put them in the bin on account of , "so and so has scabby hands and you'll likely catch something".

Special treat - a stick of rhubarb and a bag of sugar and maybe some Dandelion and Burdock pop.

Excitement and anticipation - hearing the ice cream van. Can I have one? Will it be a 3d lolly, a 6d choc ice , Lyons Maid raspberry split? A ice cream cone with nuts and juice and even a flake? Sometimes it was just plain, NO, in which case we would mope and stare enviously at the lucky kids queuing at the van! Then off to play, thinking, maybe next time?

Its hard to imagine that in the summer we might wander quite far from home, often unaccompanied and, in school holidays, play out in the street until 8 or 9pm in the evening without fear. We knew every inch of our territory, and the consequences of being caught in neighbouring kids territories too, and all the short cuts from gulleys (that's what we called them) to neighbouring streets. Gulleys were a parallel world where we could travel unseen and get up to innocent mischief; exploring open garages mothballing long abandoned cars- surprising how many people left their doors open, long forgotten back garden air raid shelters, tree climbing, smoking, lighting fires, eating blackberries, scrumping, making dens, attacking swathes of stinging nettles with sticks, rubbing our stings with dock leaves, conker picking in the autumn, collecting hawthorn berries as ammunition to fire from our bicycle pumps!

Coming home exhausted and going to bed - too late for watching TV then snacking on brown sauce or Lyles syrup sandwiches

Would we have envied what kids have today or were we privileged? Who has missed the most?
mbenne yes it was much the same for me in my little kingdom namely William St and area . Good old days
 
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