Some of our most endearing memories from our childhood relate to the games we once played in the school playground or with friends in a park somewhere. Kids today with their computer games and mobile phones generally don’t appreciate the fun we once had with our simplistic although sometimes dangerous games.
Some games came about due to fashion or marketing campaigns. Playing the old “Yo-yo” was very popular when Coca-Cola used it for a marketing campaign. Kids would learn the various moves or tricks such as “Walking the Dog” or “Rocking the Cradle” and many others.
Who can forget the “Hula Hoop” craze? The hoop would swing around your waist or your arm and sometimes fly off into the distance. It provided good exercise as well as fun. Another fun game was “The Limbo” popularised by Chubby Checker and the song “Limbo Rock”.
“Jacks” was popular as a game to test your dexterity. Having five pork knuckle bones (later you could buy coloured plastic bones to play the game) you would place the bones on the ground and then try to pick each one up in one hand with a swift grab without dropping the others.
Remember the “Monkey Bars” where you could hang upside down from your knees or swing from one bar to another. Or perhaps the old wooden see-saw where you and a mate would be at either end and bounce up and down. Sometimes someone may stand in the middle of the see-saw and apply pressure to one side or the other. One minute you would be high in the sky and next you would come down with a bang as you hit the ground.
Another popular piece of playground equipment would be the tall metal slides or slippery dips which after sitting in the sun on a hot summer’s day would just about bake your backsides as you slid down the steep straight metal slide unless you were coming down head first on your stomach.
The swings with the wooden seat where you would work up to go as high as you could and then as it would slow down you would jump off before it stopped were also great fun for some.
Skipping rope to a rhyme or bouncing balls on a wall to catch them again were popular amongst the girls as were also doing cart wheels, somersaults and handstands.
How many of you also used also pieces of asbestos (fibro) used as markers on a chalked out “Hop Scotch” grid on the playground or roadway? No asbestos worries in those days.
Then there was also the “Razzle Dazzle” also known by many other names including “Merry-Go-Round” in many suburban parks. Kids would spin it around getting it to go faster and faster and jump onto it or off it. Many kids suffered grazes or worst as they landed badly. Dizziness was a problem for a lot. When I ask people now about those days they say they were fun and they really enjoyed the razzle dazzle, monkey bars, see-saws, tall metal slides or slippery dips etc just as we also enjoyed neighbourhood or family fireworks and bonfires despite the many injuries and mishaps that occurred.
Don’t forget to contribute your memories and also any old photographs that you would like to see published in this magazine’s “as we were” section.
NOW WHAT ABOUT YOUR MEMORIES OR YOUR STORY?
You can write about childhood memories of where you may have grown up or moving into the area. Tell us about your school days. Where you worked, played or went on holidays; your first car; that first date, getting married or maybe the history of your family, group or organisation in the district. This page is about memories so tell us yours.
If you have some great memories, or perhaps you belong to a local community organisation and would like to share your organisation’s history or story with us then feel free to share your memories or experiences by writing to 17 Rose St, Baulkham Hills, NSW, 2153 or email to ivorjones@hillstohawkesbury. com.au.
You can also share memories on any of my Facebook memories groups including Hills District Memories at facebook.com/ groups/Hills.memories or Hawkesbury Happenings & Memories at facebook.com/groups/ Hawkesmemories.