In my previous post I alluded to the fact that my own childhood may not have been as Health and Safety approved as the one that I would wish for my own children. In fact, it was downright dangerous, including such joys as playing on the railway track, climbing up stuff, jumping off stuff and setting things on fire to name but a few.
I am certain this was all completely standard fare for children growing up in the 60s and 70s, it was a time of reckless abandon and anything goes. If you know this to be wrong please don’t tell me as it would mean that my parents were trying to get rid of me, and I am way too delicate for that sort of revelation.
Anyway, it brought forth a wave of nostalgia for the long gone days of primary school. (Actually, they are not gone as I have spent all my working life in primary schools, but you get the idea.) The marbles, the Top Trump cards, Spangles, Hopscotch, fist fights and the handful of chews from the newsagents across the road. These are all standard school memories that most people reading this will be nodding at and mouthing silently to themselves as they read. (At least those in the UK, it never fails to surprise me how far the internet reaches. For those not from here, I hope it is a window into our lives and culture on this tiny island)
But some of the things I remember are not necessarily on everybody’s list of reminiscences. Some of them are so specific to my own childhood that I am not sure if I even imagined them. I am sharing them in this post in the hope that putting them in writing will turn them back into the real things they once were. So, in no particular order:
- Crawling under the office Portakabin for a dare. Exactly what it sounds like, we would crawl into the filthy, dark gap under the office hut and see if we could get to the far side and wave to our friends through the mesh cover.
- Drinking fountain rainbows. If the teacher left the art materials unattended for more than 5 milliseconds the paint blocks would be pocketed. Bits of these could then be broken off and dropped into the top of the drinking fountain, producing coloured water for our delight and entertainment.
- Peeing up the wall. Lining up in the boys toilet and seeing who could urinate highest up the wall. The aspiration was to be able to pee right over the top and into the girls toilets, although nobody ever did. I was only ever average at this.
- Getting brand new rulers. This was in February 1971, it only really affected people who were in the UK when it went decimal. As children it was our only indication that anything had changed, well that and we all thought we were rich when we started to accumulate coins that we later realized no longer had any monetary value.
- Trying to use the footballs to break the light fitting in indoor PE. This is quite self-explanatory.
These are some of the things that made my childhood unique and special. I am sure there are other people who loved school as much as I did and have their own precious (?) memories. What are they? What did you do when you were young and foolish – and did you enjoy it?