‘No street was without its hopscotch lines chalked on the pavement.  It was mostly a girls’ game, like skipping.’

‘Scraps were a huge craze.  We’d spend hours, days even, swapping scraps.’

‘I remember the highlight of my preschool days was Andy Pandy.  The little boy from next door used to come in and watch it and I remember thinking how babyish he was because he used to cry when the theme music started to indicate that it was over for the day.  Bill and Ben was nearly as good.  I particularly liked WEED.’

‘Cowboys and Indians were really popular – although I didn’t know anyone who had an Indian outfit, we were all cowboys.’

1950s Games‘We played something called Kick the Can.  It was like Hide and Seek, except it featured a can you had to get back to unseen, and kick it to win.’

‘I used to pinch golf balls from the local course and sell them at a shop in town.’

‘Every winter the whole gang would sledge down a steep neighbourhood street on a variety of home-made and bought sledges.  It’s a wonder there weren’t more accidents.’

‘We didn’t have any swimming lessons at school.  You left primary school at 11 or 12 unable to even swim.  We taught ourselves to swim at the local pool – you just learned by hammering away at the water for a while in the deep end.  If you didn’t swim you would drown, so that’s how you learned.'

Extracted, with permission, from The 50s & 60s: The Best of Times – Growing up and being young in Britain by Alison Pressley, published by Michael O’Mara Books Limited.
Copyright © Alison Pressley 1999, 200, 2002, 2003; compilation copyright © Michael O’Mara Books Limited 1999, 200, 2002, 2003. All rights reserved.

1950s Sweets
1950s Schooldays