Loads of Entertainment

I was born in Peddie Street in 1938. I went to St. Joseph's then on to St. John's in Park Place. I worked in Johnston's Stores in Allan Street. After that I had a job in Thomson Shepherd's in Taylor's Lane.

From there I went into the Royal Engineers for three years. I spent some time in Germany then a year on Christmas Island before being demobbed in Ripon.

After that came a series of jobs, NCR, Veedor Root etc, before finally settling in Browne & Tawse where I spent 30 years before finally retiring at 65 last year (2003).

As a laddie growing up in the war years it seems, looking back, that there was a multitude of things to do in terms of entertainment. The "tailor made" type consisted mainly of the cinemas of which there were many, for example the Palace Theatre, where one could see a host of variety acts. From time to time the circus would come to town. This was really exciting and always left you wanting more. Indeed one circus had an added attraction - a menagerie this was magic! As a nine year old boy I remember being open mouthed and goggle-eyed as I looked upon a real live tiger. Something which in my wildest dreams I never thought I'd see. A similar source of entertainment was the carnival which at that time came annually to Riverside or Gussie Parks. We seldom had money in those days but when we did we spent it and had to walk home.

Of course most of the above mentioned was special, the bulk of our fun came in the DIY mould. What immediately comes to mind: football, cricket, rounders, one touch, three and in. These were the staple diet of ball games in the street. Sometimes we would play relefo, walk the plank or join the crew, hoppy Christy, kick the can, catty and batty or tig. A great favourite which you could play in the early dark was,"I Spy" in a lighted shop window. But above them all was the joy that could be obtained from playing on air-raid shelters. We jumped from one to another and back again. If crossing from a low shelter to a high one was impossible to jump we employed the use of the spanny. This meant landing on hands and forearms before pulling yourself up. Challenges would be sent out,"You should try this one" somebody would say. And so we did, not always successfully. Some of us still have the scars to prove it. Because there was an element of danger involved, grown-ups often knocked on their windows for us to get down. Ever respectful we were off like a shot then back again inside 10 minutes.

Just before closing, other pastimes come to mind: Marbles, and Cigarette Cards, whilst the girls played hopscotch, cappie (you could also put the ball in a stocking and hit it against the wall)- minimal expense maximum enjoyment - HAPPY DAYS!!

Terry is the husband of Helen.

Submitted by Terry