Here I am on the right-hand side, at the top of my street, wearing one of my mother's old dresses.
It is 1st May. We used to borrow an old broom or brush handle, sometimes with the brush head still attached and go through the surrounding neighbourhood, where we would stop at each location, and sing..................as we
twirled around the pole, making a pattern with the ribbons.
"Dancing round the maypole
Merrily we go
Hip-a hip-a cherry, to and fro.
All the lovely maidens on the village green
Dancing in the sunshine,
Hurrah for the Queen"
Our games followed a seasonal track.
In spring, when the evenings grew lighter, we could play out at after tea for longer during the week. We had tops and whips, with coloured chalks, and drew patterns on the tops, before using the tiny whips to set them spinning along the pavements. The original pavement I used is here, in this picture, on the left. As the paving slabs were so uneven, it was a work of art to keep the tops going. As they whirled around we could see each different "design" emerge.
The bottom of my street is just visible on the right a little way along.These streets were our playgrounds, along with the fields at the top.
We had skipping ropes and used different rhymes as we skipped to the rhythm.
Sometimes we used an old washing line.Two people stood at each end and turned the rope, saying various chants, such as:
"All in together girls,
The cows are in the meadow girls,
When you hear your birthday
Please jump in"
Then as we each heard our own month, we would jump into the rope and there could be as many as 5 all at once skipping. Counting would begin, until the one by one we would "jump out" when we
couldn't stand the pace anymore!
If we skipped alone we had other rhymes, such as:
Eevy, Ivy, Over"
Individual games were always played either using the backyard wall, or the brick walls out in the street. I used to play "two ball" when you threw one ball at the wall and as it returned, you caught it as you threw the second one, and so on, in a regular beat.