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Post  cyprussyd on 2014-09-08, 4:10 pm

I am a member of a group on facebook that looks back at our childhood days in the village we grew up in and a few weeks ago I posted this about games from our childhood.

How many do you remember playing?




CHILDRENS GAMES
 
Itchy Bays (Hopscotch)
This game was similar to hopscotch but using the pavement stones (flag stones) as the numbered squares. We would first find an old shoe polish tin with the lid and fill it with dirt to give it some weight, put the lid back on and then look for something to mark the bays on the pavement. This was usually chalk or whatever was available to scratch numbers on the pavement. We would throw the tin to land on the first bay. If it landed in the bay without touching the side of the bay you would jump the bay with the tin and walk on the bays to the end of the numbers without standing on the edges of the bay. You would then return to the tin and pick it up and then start again for the next number. Then the thrower attempted the next number and the same procedure followed. If it landed on a bay edge then the next player would take his or her turn. The person who went through the numbers first was the winner. There were usually 6, 8, 10 or 12 bays, the more numbers the farther to throw the tin for the larger numbers. Today the pavement stones have been replaced with tarmac so I’m not sure if the children still play Itchy Bays the way we did.
 
Blonk (Hide and Seek)
Blonk was a game similar to Hide and Seek, one person was ‘it’ and everyone hid where they could. Who ever was ‘it’ had to count to 100 usually, with their eyes closed and then start looking for people. The base, usually a lamppost was where you started. If the person looking for you was away from the base you could run and touch the base and shout 1-2-3 Blonk and you would be safe. If the person could see where you were hiding then they would run to the base and say that persons name and also 1-2-3 Blonk. They would come out and the first person caught would be ‘it’ for the next game. To decide who was ‘it’ was by means of the one potato, two-potato method that I will have to sit down and figure out how to describe later.
 
Tally-Ho
This was where two groups of children chased one another. One set was the ‘fox’ and the others were the ‘hounds’. The team that was the ‘foxes’ was given a hundred start and then everyone shouted Tally-Ho and off we went. Once a person was caught they were brought back to the base until everyone was caught. This type of game could go on for a long time and either your mother was calling you to come in for bed or everyone just got fed up a searching and went home.
 
British Bulldog
This game started by choosing someone similar to the method for Blonk. Once someone was chosen, he/she would stand in the middle of the road and the rest of the children would stand in a line about 10-15 yards away.  The person who was chosen would turn his/her back on the other children and say something like British B-u-l-l-frog (stretching the word to catch people out), quickly turn around and try to catch people moving toward him/her (to be tagged). If they were caught moving they were out. From what I can remember if you said British Bulldog the children could move and you would be tagged so you had to modify what you said to British Bull – something or other, stretching the words as much as you could and catch people moving.
 
Kicky-the-can (Cannon)
This game (the version we used) was played by two teams and both stood across the road from one another on the pavement. In the middle of the road between the two teams was an old tin can, stood up which had used matchsticks on it. Each team took turns to throw the ball (tennis) to knock over the can. Whichever team knocked over the can ran away but still stayed close by. The other team had to hit them with the ball while trying to put the can and matchsticks back again in their original place. If you didn’t get hit with the ball you could kick the can away from the other team.
 
Duck Stone
This game was similar to Kicky-the-can but stones where used instead of a tin. Stones were piled up in the middle of the road and one stone was placed on top(the duck stone). Each side had to try and knock the duck stone off with a ball. The rest is similar to the rules for Kicky-the-can.
 
Hot Rice
This game was usually played on a Sunday afternoon. The idea was that someone had a bat and another had the ball. The person with the ball tried to hit the person with the bat. If they hit that person they would drop the bat and pick up the ball to hit the next person who had picked up the bat.
 
Mounty-Kiddy (Kitty)
This game was mostly played in the schoolyard during ‘play time’. There were two teams and one was chosen to be up against the wall and the others were the jumpers. One boy stood against the wall with his back to the wall. Another boy would bend over and put his head between the other boy’s legs forming a horse. Additional boys would put their heads between the first boys legs and forming a chain of horses. The idea of the games was the boys who were going to jump would take turns to jump on the horses, moving up as far as they could to the boy against the wall while astride the horse. If a boy fell off he was out. The jumpers would keep on jumping until all the jumpers were astride a horse, the idea being to make the horse crumble and break. If this happened then the game would start all over again. If all the jumpers managed to jump on the horses the boy up against the wall would shout ‘Mounty-Kiddy 1-2-3’ and everyone could relax. The horses and jumpers would change places and so on.
 
Kiss Cuddle and Torture
This is one game I could never win. The idea of the game was the boys chased the girls and when a boy caught a girl it was kiss, cuddle or torture. Every time I caught a girl the only thing they wanted was torture!! Usually the torture was the dreaded Chinese Torture. This was where you griped someone’s arm just up from the wrist tightly with both hands, close together and then turned in opposite direction. The skin is pulled tightly in opposite direction but was only for a fraction of a second.
 
Knocky-Nine-Door
This was a great game to play in the winter months when the nights were dark even though it could be played all year round. The idea was simple, knock at someone’s door and run and hide. It was best to hide where you could see whoever came to the door but they couldn’t see you.
 
Skips and Two Ballie
Some of the games the girls played were Skips and Two Ballie. Skips was played to the rhyme of ‘Salt, mustard, vinegar pepper’ (and other rhymes as well but I do not remember them). Two Ballie was where the girls bounced two tennis balls off a wall similar to a juggler and again a similar rhyme. I am open for input on this one.
 
Ball-in-a-Stocking
One of the games the girls used to play was where they had an old nylon stocking and put a tennis ball in the foot part. They would tie that end so the ball would not come out and then tie the other end around their ankle. They could then swing the nylon around and jump over it with the other foot.
 
Top
Someone who lived close to me had a top and whip. We used to start the top by wrapping the string from the whip around the top and making a whipping motion to release the top. The top would then spin and the idea was to keep the top spinning by whipping it when it slowed down. There were different shaped tops but the principle was the same to get it started and keep it going.
 
Rounders
Similar to the American baseball but with the usual English flavour. We would sometimes use a cricket bat if one was available or even use a football and kick the ball instead of hitting it with a bat.
 
Marbles (Muggles/Alleys)
Marbles was a big game in the schoolyard as well as outside of school. The games we used to play were for winning more marbles not necessarily just for playing with them by themselves. For instance a hole was made on the ground against a wall or some concrete foundation. If I had one marble I could go to someone else and say “one zee-up” meaning that the other person would hand me another marble so that I had two. I then had to pitch then at the hole from a specific distance and try to get both the marbles in the hole. If I managed to get the two in, I won. Again I could go “two zee-up” now that I had two marbles and pitch the marbles at the hole. If I could get an even number in the hole I won. If it was an odd number I lost.
Another game with a marble was where two or more players played on some ground where holes had been made with the marbles themselves. Standing on the marbles and producing an indentation in the soil made the holes. There were as many holes as you desired, usually three or four. The idea was to take turns and from a starting point flick your marble from one hole to another going into each hole until all holes had been visited. Once you had made it to all holes you won. The other players could, instead of going for a hole knock your marble away with theirs.
 
Chucks
This was a game you could play with five stones but you could buy chucks shaped like cubes from some of the shops. You could even play this game alone. It is similar to the American game of Jacks but they use a ball. The game is a progression of what you have to pick up in one hand. The game starts by throwing the stones up in the air and catching them on the back of the hand, throwing them up again and catching them in the palm of the hand, the more you catch on the back of the hand the better. If you don’t catch any stones you pass them on to the next person. The stones that are not caught have to be then picked up. A stone is thrown in the air and while it is in the air one stone can be picked up at a time before catching the stone in the air. All the stones have to be picked up. The next step is the same as the first but this time you have to pick up two stones at a time and this means moving the stones closer to one another while throwing up a stone before the pick up. Then it is three stones together and finally four stones. The last part is done by having the stones in one hand with one of the stones between the first finger and thumb. This stone is thrown into the air and the other stones quickly placed on the ground and the stone in the air caught on the way down. Then the four stones are picked up in the usual manner. Other variations are then played but this is the basic version that I have played many times.
 
Jarping
This is a game that we played with our coloured hard-boiled eggs at Easter. The game was played between two people, one holding a hard-boiled egg in their fist with the top of the egg visible between the first finger and thumb. The other player would tap the egg with their egg, the winner being the egg that didn’t break. The eggs were coloured with onionskins boiled with the eggs, tea, or just paint. I remember that my father was a member of The Soldiers and Sailors Club and they had a coloured egg contest every year. One year he used black boot polish and produced a black shiny egg. My friend Greg Wharrier coloured his egg bright yellow one year and painted a Chinaman’s face on it. He came around to my house and we jarped and he beat me every time with the one egg, leaving me with all my eggs broken. I couldn’t believe that he broke all my eggs but little did I know at the time that the egg he used was a porcelain egg. He probably still has that egg, it was a sure winner.
 
Bird Nesting
This was a pastime that I look back at and wish that it didn’t happen but it did. The idea was to steal bird’s eggs, puncture the shell at the top and bottom with a pin and blow out the internal yolk. The result was an empty eggshell, which was placed in a shoebox with the other eggs collected, all placed on cotton wool to protect them. We would climb trees, bushes, and quarry walls just to collect the eggs. Some were better at collecting than others. I look back at those times and wonder how many birds were destroyed that way that may have given a song to the world, sad, very sad.
 
Croup-your-Kreels
This was a phrase, which appears to have been used by people in the Wheatley Hill area in the early part of the century. It was said to describe any sort of gymnastic move – cartwheel, handstand, headstand etc. The phrase was used quite a lot by my grandparents. (From Margaret Hedley from the History Club) A further description (From Ken Trotter) gives the following: - Croup my Creels is simply a forward roll at ground level and then as confidence grows progressing to ‘railings’, placing the tummy on top, holding fast with the hands then swinging over. Possibly a derivative from a fisherman’s ‘Creel’ and Croup is another word for buttocks.
 
Tippy Cat
Tippy Cat is a 6” 2 x 2 bit of wood, sharpened at each end. Roman numerals were burned on each side. The purpose was to hit it with a stick on the end and as it ascended to give it a hard whack for distance or just tip and record the numeral showing. (From Ken Trotter)
 
Shutty Three Hole
This was simply three shallow holes dug in the ground at an agreed distance. The marble was held in the 1st & 2nd flange of the forefinger with the thumb behind to give impetus to the marble. A Penker was made of white pot, about 4 times larger than a marble. Used mainly enroute to school often in the gutter, one scored on hitting opponents ‘penker’ the sound ‘penked’. (By Ken Trotter)
 
Handy Ball (Fives)
As described, played with a very hard Tennis sized ball. It was exceptionally hard. I can feel it yet. One needed a hand like a shovel and just as large. Played on a large sized wall with a demarcation line about 4 feet off the ground. I watched many a game, usually on Saturdays. Long Johns being the de rigeur of the day. Bobby Winter I think was the pub landlord. That particular part of the ground behind the pub was a miniature Olympic Games area. All for money of course, the sprinters preparing for the Powerhall games, handy ball, football, Pigeon racing and whippet dog racing. I won half a crown in the same area as a 6 year old. More fiddling went on there than that!! though not for my 2/6. (From Ken Trotter)
According to my father the ball was a rubber ball with a hole in it. Inside the hollow ball was a stotter or nipple(probably made during the construction of the ball) which had a small hole to the outside. The ball could be squeezed and warmed to make it bounce better. It didn’t have much bounce and was more like a squash ball. Once anyone reached 31 against their opponent they won.
 
Boodies
A game played by the little girls ‘Playing Shop’. (From Ken Trotter)
 
Split the Kipper
A game, usually with two boys when one of them has a penknife. From what I can remember is that the boys face each other and open their legs about the same distance as their shoulders. Each takes a turn to throw the knife and stick it in the ground at the outside of his opponent’s foot. Where the knife sticks into the ground the other boy has to place his foot there. This goes on until one or the other cannot reach the place where the knife has stuck in the ground. (From The History Club)
 
Kingy
A sort of chase game where the one who is ‘on’ tries to hit someone else with either a ball or a piece of sticky grass (sticky jack). (From The History Club)
 
French Skipping
This is skipping with two ropes. (From The History Club)
 
School Party Games
The school parties that come to mind were the ones we had at the Boys School in the Front Street. For what I can remember they were the Christmas parties. We had the usual Musical Chairs which everyone is familiar with but we also had what I can only describe as Flipping the Kipper. This game was a race from one end of the hall to the other in various teams. The kipper was a piece of very light weight brown paper cut in the shape of a kipper. You were given a piece of heavy cardboard and told to flap the air close to the kipper to make it move. It wasn’t as easy as it sounds as one miscue and the kipper would end up across the hall in another direction. Another game we played was a variation on musical chairs called Pass the Parcel. The object was to open the parcel with a knife and fork while the music was playing. The parcel in question had a prize in the middle but was wrapped with lots of layers of brown paper and string. The knives use were so dull that it was difficult to cut the string when it came to your turn.
School days also brought Jumble sales where you could sell anything that you didn’t want. No car boot sales in those days. Looking back at those days the Jumble sales were a little tame compared with the car boot/flea markets which we hear about today.
 
Early Television
As I have mentioned I grew up in the 50’s at the beginning of the television age in Britain. Some of the programs we used to watch are on a web page at http://www.whirligig-tv.co.uk/. Yes I used to watch The Flowerpot Men, Andy Pandy, Noggin the Nog, Sooty etc. to name only a few.
 
Orange and Lemons
This game was based on the nursery rhyme ‘Orange and Lemons said the bells of St. Clements……’. Two children would stand in front of one another and hold hands and form an arch. They would recite the nursery rhyme and the other children would walk under the arch until the rhyme said ‘down came the chopper to chop off his head’ or words to that effect. The arms of the arch would come down and trap the one who was to be chopped!!!!! I’m not sure of the rest of the game but it was played by girls more than the boys.
All In for…..
Before any game could be played(at school) you had to find out who wanted to play. The usual method was to march around side by side with your arms around the shoulders of a friend and shout ‘All in for (the name of the game)’ and then they would join the line with arms around one another. Once there were enough to play then it was time to decide which side you were on. One method was the potato method. Remember one potato, two potato three potato, four, five potato, six potato, seven potato, oh …

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Post  Mackemneil on 2014-09-08, 4:28 pm

Many memories of several but not all of these.
glad to see that my family are not the only ones that play Jarpies on Good Friday!!
When my lads come home at Easter and bring their girlfriends, they have been initiated into the wonders of Jarping .... They think I am mad, but have enjoyed it all the same.
For Blonk we called it Blockie!
 Kingy was like Tag but with a ball ....
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Post  Guest on 2014-09-08, 5:12 pm

CONKERS

Surely Syd you must have played conkers in the Autumn of every year.

Before the Horse chestnut trees started to shed their leaves and nuts (now I know I'll get some stick for that but what the hell) we used to pre-empt that and visit the location of the chestnut trees to throw sticks and rocks into the branches to bring down the conkers in their spikey shells. They were then cut open and the nut inside was subjected all manner of treatments to harden them prior to knocking a nail through in order to thread string through so that we could then play the game. One lad held up his string so that the conker was hanging down on his opponent tried to hit the hopefully still conker and try to break it, if you missed it was your opponents turn to try to break yours. The was the guy whose conker stayed whole was the winner and if the losers conker had won 10 such contests then they were passed to his conqueror. I've many memories of spending September and October nights after school trying to win these very serious games.

Your MOUNTY- KIDDY was called MOUNT THE CUDDY in Ashington
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Post  Hieronymus on 2014-09-08, 8:31 pm

lesmac wrote:CONKERS

...

Your MOUNTY- KIDDY was called MOUNT THE CUDDY in Ashington
In Cramlington too! I remember that and quite a few of those Syd describes. 

Cannon was what we called the game I described on the other thread with the can and the lolly sticks but we didn't run away and I am sure we counted score. I may be mis-remembering mind!

I also remember the hopscotch game with the bays and shoe polish tin, but we also played a similar game called slates, where a small piece of slate was used to throw onto the bay. This slate was obtained by walking up the lonnen, and looking around by the 'garages' where slates regularly fell off the roofs and broke into suitably sized pieces!

Our British Bulldog game was different and involved two teams, the catchers and the runners. On a signal the runners team rushed to try and get past the catchers to the other side of the field or the playground. If a runner got caught the catcher would shout "British Bulldog!" and the runner was converted to a catcher. Those that got past then ran back again, and again, until everyone was caught and most children had torn clothes and were scratched and bloody! This game tended to get banned by schools and mothers, unsurprisingly.

What Syd's post describes as British Bulldog is more like our game of "What's the time Mr Wolf?" where one player is chosen to be Mr Wolf. The other players stand in a line on the opposite end of the playground about 10-12 metres away from Mr Wolf. This line is referred to as ‘home’. Mr Wolf stands with his back to them. The players chant, ‘What’s the time Mr Wolf?’ Mr Wolf replies (for example), ‘3 o’clock.’ The players advance the same number of steps, that is, 3 steps for 3 o’clock. The game continues until Mr Wolf thinks the players are close enough to catch and after being asked the time again he replies, ‘Dinner time,’ then turns and chases the players.  The first child caught becomes Mr Wolf. If Mr Wolf does not catch anyone, he has to be Mr Wolf again. If a player reaches Mr Wolf before dinnertime, they tap Mr Wolf on the shoulder and run for home. If the player gets home then she is safe. If she is caught then she becomes Mr Wolf.
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Post  cyprussyd on 2014-09-08, 8:38 pm

Love these threads I do

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Post  Guest on 2014-09-08, 8:40 pm

Split the kipper,

My ex wife and myself, taught our grandson this game, ten years ago, we used the same old shorter version of the bowie knife, that we had been playing with since WE were sixteen. Quite often the grandson challenges his NaNa, and me to a game.

We are not as supple, so he has a small advantage. but were not beaten yet.
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Post  MrRAWhite on 2014-09-09, 11:36 am

Some great memories from this thread..I remember a few injuries from split the kipper where people ended up with cuts from the knife...
The egg jarping was a massive Easter Monday thing at Ryhope, where adults would have all kinds of methods of boiling eggs to make them tougher...The competition took place at the long gone Ryhope Pops Club, and the competition was always fierce. Easter Monday afternoon at the Pops Club was always one that I strove not to miss, with the pre-karaoke free and easy singing competition and the women's Easter bonnet competitions all part of what was always a great afternoons entertainment..

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Post  Argus on 2014-09-09, 4:25 pm

Croup-your-Kreels

Our version was called 'tumbling your creels' which basically meant a forward roll.

Knocky nine doors

We had to travel afar to enjoy this one best - away from our home patch - to areas where the front doors opened virtually on to the street and Cleveland Road area was  a favourite destination. We became experts at quietly tying a piece of thread (the longer the better) around the knocker as we walked past a house, without breaking pace ( it was so important that we weren't seen stopping ) then hide in a position from where we would pull the thread and observe the door opening. Unfortunately we often gave our position away because one of us would burst out laughing and then it was simply a case of running for your life! This was obviously only possible in the winter when the nights came in early.

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