Outside play in 1930′s Earith

Boy rolling marbles.

Among the games we boys and girls played in the playground in 1930′s Earith were ‘Big Harry’ and ‘Little Harry’, both forms of Tag.

The boys also played a very rough contact game where one team jumps onto the bent backs of the other team and tries to break the chain.

In another game a boy with a knotted bicycle tube chased you around and whacked you if he could!

The Headmaster had a box made that would hold a single cricket wicket and he would put a sixpence on top of it and we would bowl at it with a cricket ball, trying to hit the wicket and win sixpence.

Outside school our main games were ‘Tap and Whip’, ‘Marbles’, ‘Conkers’ and ‘Hoops’ – all played in the streets as there were very few motor cars.

We also played ‘Hare and Hounds’ – the Low Bridge was ‘home’ and the hares went off and hid anywhere in the village, mainly the orchards and hedgerows.
Meanwhile the ‘hounds’ would try and catch them before they got back to ‘home’.
This was ideal practice for many of us who went into the army a few years later.

Players cigarette cards
Players cigarette cards “Film Stars” of 1920s/30s [i]

We also collected cigarette cards from Players’ packets; these were educational in a way as you learnt about the topic on each set of cards – maybe butterflies, chickens or great cricketers – and did swaps with your friends.

Jack Wales April 2008.

See next article: 1930’s Earith getting to school and learning about farming
Or see first article in this series: [1] John (Jack) Wales: Earith early years, born 1925

[i] Photo Credit: Players cigarette cards

By John (Jack) Wales

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