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U3A Writing: Playing Out

Irene Grundy recalls the joys of playing out when she was a girl.

I was born in Glasgow -
The date, 4th of November.
We lived up there tell I was two,
Those years I dont remember.

When we came down here, the War was on
So times were very tough.
Though all the food was rationed,
We always had enough.

We lived up Benomley Crescent.
There were loads of kids up there,
So when it was Mischief Night,
Everyone beware!

We never did much damage,
Not like the kids today.
We used to knock on peoples doors
And then wed run away.

Then Bonfire Night was lots of fun.
Wed build ours good and high.
What fun to watch the rockets
Shoot up into the sky.

A gang from Highlands Avenue
Tried raiding ours one night.
My mum ran out and tackled them;
They all ran off in fright.

One lad was heard the next day
Telling all his chums,
A fiery Scot came and chased us,
Threatening to smack our bums!

We played out for hours in summer.
We were good at climbing trees.
We came home with filthy clothes
And often well-scraped knees.

We whipped our tops and hopscotched.
Then the skipping season came.
Then when we got fed up with that,
Wed play another game.

I used to love doing handstands
Up against the wall.
Mum didnt like me doing that
She always thought Id fall.

Hide and seek was a favourite.
You stood there on a spot,
Then counted to a hundred,
Then, Coming ready or not!

Wed a field at the back of our house
Next to Pennyspring Wood,
And if the farmer wasnt there
Wed play there if we could.

But if the farmer saw us
(Rostron was his name),
Hed wave his cane and chase us off,
But we did it just the same.

When winter came, no playing out,
No such thing as a T.V.
We had to make do with the radio
(With a very small license fee.)

Paul Temple, then Dick Barton
With his sidekick Snowy White.
We all sat gathered round the set;
Those programmes made our night.

Ive happy childhood memories.
Im sure you all have too,
So now Ive told you mine
Ill pass it on to you.


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