Document 1420

Conversation 29: Mother and daughter from Ayrshire and man from USA, part 3/3 - childhood games

Author(s): N/A

Copyright holder(s): SCOTS Project, Dr Margaret Scott

Audio transcription

M964 So from your childhood then, what did you did you play, wh-wh- tell me a little about childhood games you might have played.
F965 Childhood games when I was in school were seasonal,
M964 Mm
F965 more or less.
M964 Mm
F965 Is that a surprise?
M964 Mm
F965 //Really?//
F963 //Oh we had a// we had a marbles season; we still had certain seasonal things //in my day.//
F965 //Did you?//
F963 Yeah.
F965 Our games were non adult-led. And I think we learned them from the older children. We must have learned them from the older children in the playground.
F963 Mmhm
F965 And er there were, you know, the girls played certain things. I'm not absolutely clear on what the boys did, but a lot of it involved football.
F963 Mm
F965 We were so lucky with the space we had, oh!
M964 Mm
F965 You know, I realised, only working in schools, how fortunate we were, because we had a bit tarmac playground, and we had a a field, which I think we were allowed into; //under some//
F963 //Mm//
F965 circumstances we were allowed into the field, which is now I think, I don't know whether, I don't know what's built round, houses probably, but we had, you know, like //a season.//
M964 //[sneeze]//
F965 If it was freezing, [laugh] which it often was, you know, you had slides
F963 Mmhm
F965 in the playground, if it was snowing you had, you know, obviously that was seasonal.
F963 Mmhm
F965 But the rest of the year kind of evolved, so that there was a time when everybody had skipping ropes.
F963 Right. //Yeah.//
F965 //Girls, I'm talking about.//
F963 Yeah, we had a skipping one and a marbles one. And for some reason there was a sort of s- trying to maintain a handstand longer than //everybody else.//
F965 //Yes, against a wall.//
F963 Not against //the wall, no, ours wasn't.//
F965 //Not against the wall, oh mm.//
F963 But it was called "yorkie" for some //unknown reason.//
F965 //Oh I never heard of that.//
F963 And that's what people used to say when they did it; they used to say "yorkie!", and when you did the sort of //[inaudible] you were supposed to kick your legs up in the air,//
F965 //Now isn't that a// //wonder?//
F963 //try and stay up longer.//
M964 //[laugh]//
F965 //Where the// "yorkie" //thing came//
F963 //I don't know.// I really don't know //where that came from.//
F965 //You came back// from school with expressions that I had never heard.
F963 Mmhm //Mmhm yeah.//
F965 //And that's a difference of like//
F963 Yeah. //The one that, the one I remember that//
F965 //[laugh] f-f- fifty years.//
F963 w- used to puzzle me when I was a child was [?]ha-neck[/?].
F965 I remember that. //Cause, I never heard of it.//
F963 //But I remember Jane,// well Jane was talking about that, in in Wishaw.
M964 Mmhm
F963 She was saying they used to say "red neck" to people, like when you were //embarrassed.//
F965 //When you're blushing.//
F963 When you were blushing. And I think this kind of "ha neck" thing was like //the extension of that somehow, you know?//
F965 //What was the "ha", the "ha" was sort of// "aha, //you have a red face".//
F963 //I suppose// I suppose, but it was almost as if people //learned it//
F965 //"Ha neck".//
F963 kind of from somewhere else and //used it.//
F965 //Distorted it slightly.//
F963 Well, they didn't seem to have, you know, the actual kind of focal point; //the embarrassment had been lost somehow.//
F965 //Aye.//
F963 It was like, you know, the joke's on you, kind of //thing, but not, not explained.//
F965 //Right. You should, you should be blushing.// //Eh, it's on you.//
F963 //Well, yeah, yeah.//
F965 We us- we called that a "big riddie".
F963 Uh-huh //Yeah.//
M964 //Mm//
F965 //Somebody's got a big riddie.// When they've got a red //face.//
F963 //Right.//
F965 "Rid" being "red".
F963 Mmhm, yeah.
F965 "Oh he's got a big riddie", you know,
F963 Mmhm
F965 because he was coy or because he was embarrassed or //whatever.//
F963 //Yeah.// But, to me a redneck is, you know, something American, to do //with [laugh]//
F965 //But a redneck's to do with the// //sun, isn't it?//
F963 //[laugh].// Well I think of that as a sort of American //term, but, but, you know, yeah.//
F965 //They're not embarrassed at all! [laugh]// They're not embarrassed. That's to do with the sun on a white guy's //neck,//
F963 //Yeah.// //But this was like//
F965 //isn't it?//
F963 pointing at somebody and saying //"Red neck", like, "you're embarrassed", you know, "this is making fun of you".//
F965 //"Ha neck", yeah, yeah.// Yeah, we would, we would do that in in adolescence,
F963 Mmhm yeah.
F965 you know, I don't think we //did that early on.//
F963 //Yeah, that's that's when I mean,// really. //Yeah.//
F965 //It was// often //to do with//
F963 //Uh-huh//
F965 somebody fancying somebody, //you know?//
F963 //Mm mmhm//
F965 Er, ha- "you got a big riddie when she came in", //you know?//
F963 //Mm mmhm//
F965 Erm, but, as far as, you know, games were concerned, Wheth- I ha- now that I look back on it probably one day somebody thought they would take their skipping rope to school,
F963 Mm
F965 and then it became the skipping season.
F963 Yeah. Cause, that marbles was a bit like that, you know, a couple of people would start off, //and before you knew where you were the sort of//
F965 //Mmhm mmhm//
F963 the whole kind of grassy //bit of the//
F965 //Yeah.//
F963 playground was taken up with //people playing marbles.//
M964 //What was, what were the rules for it?//
F965 I wish I'd charted //that.//
F963 //Erm// you had to hit the other guy's marble three times, you said "Onesy, twosy, threesy, keepsy". //And on "keepsy" you got it.//
F965 //Then you got to keep it.//
F963 It was yours. //That was you winning it.//
F965 //But that's only one marbles game.// //Mm mmhm//
F963 //That we-, that was, that tended to be how they played it.//
F965 And it was how many of the other guy's marbles you could get.
F963 Yeah, uh-huh.
F965 Bit like chips. //Poker, yeah.//
M964 //Mm//
F965 But,
F963 I see to remember gambling all of my //marbles away. [laugh]//
M964 //[laugh]//
F965 //I wish I had.// //You lost your marbles. I wish I had//
M964 //[laugh]//
F963 //[laugh]//
F965 kept a record as a child, [laugh]. Can you imagine a child sitting keeping a record? I wish I'd kept a record of the seasonal //shifts of games, because it//
M964 //Mm//
F963 //Mm mmhm mmhm//
F965 actually might have just been as simple as somebody thought "I'll take my skipping rope //today".//
F963 //Mm// //mm//
M964 //Yeah.//
F965 //and then it became the thing.//
M964 //It's a [inaudible] weather.//
F963 //Yeah.//
F965 Apart from the weather.
F963 Mmhm Right, yeah.
F965 Weather with an E. Apart from the weather, where, you know, like I said, sliding you did when it was frozen.
F963 Yes, uh-huh.
F965 Erm, th- and conkers you did when it was //conker time.//
F963 //Oh, we never had any conkers// //around us//
F965 //Did you not?//
F963 [laugh] so we couldn't do that.
F965 But we went and got them from elsewhere.
F963 Ah //We never did.//
F965 //We haven't got conkers here but we went and got them.//
F963 We never had conkers in school.
F965 Really?
F963 Yeah.
F965 Never never never?
F963 I think of it as a sort of, you know, English public school //thing.//
F965 //Oh we// always had //conkers.//
F963 //Cause I I read about you know the// Jennings books //and things like that with their conkers, but, never, right. Uh-huh//
F965 //Oh no no no everybody in my school, we all had conkers.//
M964 Could you erm, could you tell me what the rules for that would be because once again they didn't have that //[inaudible]//
F965 //Again there would be// many variations like marbles, but you put your, you tied a knot in a string and you threaded your conker, which would be a horse chestnut,
M964 Mmhm
F965 on. And there were cheaty people who baked them or something to make them very //hard. Mmhm//
M964 //I did hear about that, yes.//
F963 //[laugh]//
F965 But, I seem to remember people with a with a string with a lot of conkers on it that they had won.
M964 //Ah//
F963 //Ah//
F965 How do you win them, because you break the other guy's conker? Maybe they were just the reserve conkers. //[laugh]//
M964 //[cough]//
F963 //Mm mmhm//
F965 And you went [laugh], you took a hold of your conker and you went "Whack"
F963 [laugh]
F965 to the other guy's conker. And if you broke his conker, you were the winner.
F963 Mm
F965 But, what was the prize, I don't know.
F963 Mm
F965 And sometimes you could have a brilliantly good conker that beat other folk. What was the prize? Just the glory? //Which children wouldn't understand.//
M964 //Glory.//
F965 Sorry, sorry. [laugh] //[laugh]//
F963 //[laugh]//
M964 //And and when you, and and skipping rope.//
F965 //[laugh]//
M964 I mean in the U.S. of course there are there are skipping rope songs.
F965 Mmhm //Oh yeah, much more complicated//
M964 //[inaudible] here of course.//
F963 //Yeah.//
F965 and and sophisticated than ours ever were. //Mm [inaudible].//
M964 //Right, I've no idea about that.//
F963 //Mm I could never// cope with the two skipping ropes at once business. //[inhale] Too tangly for//
M964 //"Double Dutch". [inaudible]//
F965 //I've never ever, no I've never seen that.// //We didn't do that.//
F963 //me! [laugh]//
F965 We had to be an ender, was the person that was standing at the end, //turning//
F963 //Mmhm// //Right.//
M964 //Mm//
F965 //right?// And I wasn't very good at skipping. And I liked being an ender.
F963 Right. //Yeah.//
F965 //I I liked being in the game,//
M964 //Mm//
F963 //Yes.//
F965 but not particularly //skipping,//
F963 //Uh-huh//
F965 so I was quite happy when it was me. If you made a mistake you e- you had to be an ender.
F963 Right, yeah.
F965 And I quite liked being an ender.
F963 Uh-huh
F965 And you turned the rope,
F963 Yeah. //It was all that//
F965 //you know.//
F963 running in while it was going. I //just never coped with that very well.//
F965 //Running in when it was going, and and there were// rhymes that you had to know.
F963 Mmhm
F965 You know you knew the rhyme like mm "Polly in the kitchen doing some stitching, in comes the bogeyman and out goes she".
F963 Right. //Ah, I remember that as well.//
F965 //So when Polly's skipping,// and then sh-. Did you have that?
F963 Had th- that sounds familiar. //[inaudible]//
F965 //Polly ran out, in came the bogeyman,// the bogeyman came in, that was the next skipper,
F963 Mmhm
F965 and they both skipped and then out went Polly,
F963 Right. //Yeah.//
M964 //Right.//
F965 //and the person// who had been the bogeyman then became Polly //in the kitchen,//
F963 //Uh-huh//
F965 doing some stitching. //And then next//
F963 //Mmhm//
F965 person had to run in, and if you stopped the rope, you had to be an ender.
F963 Yeah. //Mm//
F965 //[tut]// And they had funny ones; they had, oh, I can't remember them now. There were, there was, there were a variety of rhymes, and it had, it always led by the rhyme that you did. You didn't j- didn't just go in and skip.
F963 Mmhm
M964 //Mm//
F965 //It was it// was all songs and rhymes.
F963 Right.
F965 Things that kids have to be taught now //by//
F963 //Mm//
F965 specialist people that come in and teach them playground games.
F963 Well it's funny you should say that because, you know, again Jane was talking about her Wishaw childhood,
F965 Mmhm
F963 and er that they had played this game called er what she called the "pancake game",
F965 Oh you told me. //I'd never heard of. Yeah, yeah.//
F963 //which had this really really sort of ritualised thing about, you know,// who played the role of the //pancakes and there was a witch and there was a spanking girl.//
F965 //Yeah, yeah.// //Oh! [laugh]//
F963 //It all sounded very [laugh]//
F965 Dubious. [laugh] //[laugh]//
F963 //Well, it was very// it sounded like it must be something, you know, that was sort of older and maybe had a different //connotation at a different time, or something, but//
F965 //Yeah, yeah, a fairy tale or something.//
F963 it's in, you know, the Opie's //books on childhood games, and things.//
F965 //Mm did I did I, this is// off the subject slightly, but did I tell you I was in the supermarket one day
F963 Mm
F965 and there was a very nice wee boy, erm with his mum,
F963 Mm
F965 and she was getting apples,
F963 Mmhm
F965 and they were, they were these like er, what are those American ones that are so lovely? Mackinto- Canadian, Mackintosh Red, but I don't think they were Mackintosh Red but they were bright red, you know, beautiful red, //apples.//
M964 //Red Delicious.// //No?//
F965 //Mm, yeah, something like that.// And she's putting them in the bag and and he said, "These are lovely apples", you know, "these look lovely, lovely red apples, are they poisoned?"
F963 [laugh]
F965 And I said //"Too many fairy tales". [laugh]//
F963 //[laugh]// //[laugh]//
F965 //[laugh]// Because they looked so good.
F963 Mm Are you a witch? [laugh]
F965 But er I don't know what we were saying about the the games, //skipping thing.//
F963 //Yes, uh-huh.// Yeah.
F965 Erm, I'll try to remember. //Did you ever play "Peever"?//
F963 //Well I never had any, I mean Jane// Yes.
F965 Did you draw them on the on the playground?
F963 Yes.
F965 I was going to say "Peevers" because that's what we called it.
F963 Uh-huh
F965 Peevers plural, //for some reason.//
F963 //Yeah, uh-huh.//
F965 And sometimes they called them "beds", //because you drew a bed. Did you do that?//
F963 //We would have called it, we would have called it "Peevers".//
M964 //So that would be Hopscotch for us, yeah.//
F965 //"Hopscotch" the Americans called it, yeah, yeah.//
F963 Yeah, we would have called it "Peevers".
F965 Plural?
M964 //And//
F963 //Uh-huh//
M964 the stone that was tossed, if you happened to know it, it was a rather obscure word, would have been called a peever.
F965 //That was a peever, did you call it a peever in America?//
F963 //Oh, and [inaudible] as well?// //Really?//
M964 //The the, just the stone that was tossed, but once again,//
F965 //[tut]// //Do you know? Mm mm.//
M964 //that that like the word that covers the end of your shoelaces is an aglet, it's not a very common word for it.//
F963 //Yes, yes.// //Yeah.//
M964 //Most people would have just said "This is a stone".// //[inaudible]//
F965 //But you've heard, you knew the word "peever".//
F963 //Oh okay [inaudible].// //In the States?//
M964 //Yes.//
F965 //And that// //is not, I'm sure that's not known in England.//
F963 //Mm// Mm
F965 I think that must have come via Scotland.
F963 Mmhm What about what about English, you know, when you were in English schools, did they play Hot- Hopscotch, would they have called it //that?//
F965 //They had already// //by the time I was teaching they had lost a lot of playground games.//
F963 //Mm. [tut] Oh that's a// //shame.//
F965 //They// really didn't know. //In fact, one day I took a class//
M964 //[cough]//
F965 to another school, and this other school I think had had somebody coming in //and showing them playground games.//
F963 //Mm//
F965 And they came home, back to our school,
F963 Mm
F965 wanting to play these playground games.
F963 Right. //Yeah.//
F965 //The-// their culture had lost them.
F963 Uh-huh
F965 And all they all they did was, well I have to say, our school was very very well provided, they had built a wall for instance, you know, there were no school walls to kick a ball against,
M964 //Mm//
F963 //Oh yeah.//
F965 you know, the the the windows used to be so high
F963 Mmhm
F965 that you could kick your ball against the school wall.
F963 Yeah.
F965 Now there are great big picture windows
F963 Right, uh-huh.
F965 and you couldn't kick a ball against them //without getting into trouble.//
F963 //Mm yeah.//
F965 So the school where I worked in England had a, they built a wall out in the playground,
F963 Mm
F965 and the kids could use it as a goal,
F963 Right. //That's a good idea.//
F965 //or they could just play against it.// That was another thing I was going to tell you about. Ball games, there was a season for them //as well,//
F963 //Mm// mmhm
F965 apart from football, //which seemed//
F963 //Yeah.// //Mm//
F965 //to go on all the time.// But the
F963 Did both genders //play football, or was it just the boys?//
F965 //No, no, no, no, no. Never in my day.//
F963 Cause we used to play all together, like //the whole//
F965 //Yeah.//
F963 The whole sort of class would just get //together and play.//
F965 //My kids// //er//
M964 //Same for me.//
F965 the children I taught would have played football, or any ball //game.//
F963 //Mmhm//
F965 But when I was a child, the girls didn't play football, //just//
F963 //Mm//
F965 did not play it.
F963 Mmhm
F965 And, we still played, you know, we brought our balls, little balls to school, you know, little rubber balls. And you would play against the wall.
F963 Mmhm
F965 And it would be the school wall, er or the the, you know, the wall at the field.
F963 Mmhm
F965 And you threw it at the wall and you had all these rhymes,
F963 Yeah, [tut].
F965 erm that you said, and you did different things, you know, you threw it at the wall and you turned around, and you threw it under your leg and you turned around, you don't, //all these different things, and there were wee rhymes that you said.//
F963 //Mm, really?// Mm
F965 But there was one where [laugh], you could buy a very expensive [laugh] ball on the end of a piece of elastic. //Do you think they still get those?//
F963 //Mm// I don't know.
F965 A ball on a piece of elastic. And you stood a- against the wall, back against the wall and you went like that, //batted it off the wall.//
F963 //[laugh]// //Mm//
F965 //Or you lifted, [laugh] lifted up your leg and hit it underneath your leg,// //and there were various permutations you could do with this ball. [laugh]//
F963 //[laugh]//
F965 But if you didn't have a ball on a piece of elastic,
F963 Mm
M964 //[cough]//
F965 //you put a ball in a sock.//
F963 Ah //[laugh]//
F965 //A long sock.// And we were all playing against the wall with our long socks.
F963 [laugh] //Under your leg.//
F965 //[laugh]//
M964 And what were some of the rhymes, do you remember any of them?
F965 I remember against the wall, where you threw it against the wall, you said, [laugh] because it was just an ordinary throw,
F963 Mm
F965 you said "plainy". [laugh] //Plain throw.//
F963 //Yeah.// Uh-huh
F965 "Plainy", caught it. "Clappy" meant you threw it and //clapped. [claps]//
F963 //And clapped// your hands, yes. //It's hardly difficult to do.//
F965 //"Rolly"// you threw it against the wall and rolled your hands.
F963 Uh-huh
F965 And "backy", and when it was "backy" you //threw it up and clapped your hands//
F963 //Uh-huh//
F965 behind your back. //Plainy, clappy, rolly and backy.//
M964 //[laugh]//
F963 //I've probably got that from you. [laugh]//
F965 Right. [cough] Excuse me. "Right hand" you threw it with your right hand,
F963 Mm
F965 and caught it with your right hand. "Left hand", same again.
F963 Mmhm
F965 Right hand, le- oh, I can't remember. Right hand, left hand, touch your heel.
F963 Mm
F965 Touch your toe.
F963 Mmhm
F965 Touch the ground and "birly-o" //meant that you turned round before the ball came back.//
F963 //Ah, birled roond.// //Yeah, uh-huh//
F965 //You burled round.// What is the worl-, the word, "birl" or "burl"?
F963 "Birl". //Yeah.//
F965 //You birled round and you caught the ball before it came back to you.//
F963 Mmhm
F965 Plainy, clappy, rolly and backy, right hand, left hand, touch the ground, touch your toe, [cough], touch your heel, touch your toe, touch the ground and birly-o.
F963 Oh
F965 [cough]
F963 Mm, we also had about umpteen variants of tig.
F965 Oh so did we. So do they have now. //They have now. Yeah, they have now. Yeah.//
F963 //You know, like we had aeroplane tig, where when you were tigged// you stood with your arms out //to either side and if somebody was going to free you they had to run underneath your arm,//
F965 //Do you know? Yeah. Yeah.//
F963 and then you were free and you could go back into the game.
F965 That is probably the most [cough] the most erm, what's the word, [cough], [cough], sorry, [cough]. [cough] [door closing] That's probably the most enduring game that I've seen //in my career, is tig.//
M964 //Mm//
F963 //Mmhm// Right.
F965 Because, I don't know whether they've been introduced by adults, but children will find, wherever, you know, whatever their environment is,
F963 Mm
F965 they will find a tig, that's a variation.
F963 Right.
F965 There was one school I was in where it was drain tig.
F963 [laugh]
F965 If you were standing on a drain //they couldn't touch you.//
F963 //Did they have a lot of drains?// [laugh]
F965 Yeah, yeah, I don't know, you know, y- you make your own rule,
F963 Yeah.
F965 for the the tig.
F963 Uh-huh
F965 And the cowboy tig which may have been adult, //you know, thing,//
F963 //Mm, mmhm.//
F965 wh- when you were tigged you had to get down like a horse,
F963 Mm
F965 and you only got released if somebody came and sat on you and went "Yahoo!" or //you know,//
M964 //[laugh]//
F963 //[laugh]// //[laugh]//
F965 //erm did a// thing with her arm.
F963 A pretend lasso //over your head.//
F965 //Yeah.// //Yee-ha! You know,//
F963 //Mmhm//
F965 whatever, and then you could run loose again.
F963 Right.
F965 And aeroplane, our aeroplane tig I think you had to stand and they had to go through your legs //to free you.//
F963 //Ah, I thought it was under your arm.// //Yeah, maybe there's different ways of doing it, but yeah.//
F965 //But children// even although
F963 Under your arm was easier, //cause it was faster, [laugh], you get away.//
F965 //Yeah, yeah, yeah.// But even although I, as a grumpy old woman I will say they can't make up their own games, they will make up a game //of tig.//
F963 //Mm mmhm// //The one sort of, well I suppose//
F965 //[cough]//
F963 kind of tig variant in a way was played with a tennis ball, when I was in school. [laugh]
F965 Was that "kingball"?
F963 It was called "chippy".
F965 Mmhm //"Chip, crack, broken"?//
F963 //Erm, yes.// //Yeah. And they would//
F965 //Yeah, we played that.// //Yeah, yeah.//
F963 //they would do that when they were starting it, they would bounce the ball three times,// you know, with with the "chip, crack, //broken".//
F965 //Uh-huh// //[cough]//
F963 //And then the person holding th-, well everybody else would scatter,// //person holding the ball would then try and hit somebody else with it. [laugh]//
F965 //That's right!// //Would you believe we actually had rules, sort of rules for that as well,//
F963 //And it could get quite violent sometimes. [laugh]// Mm
F965 that it had to be sort of below the belt.
F963 Mm, yeah. //A lot of our boys were quite//
F965 //But that may have been just,// //oh they hit you anywhere, yeah.//
F963 //vicious with// where they hit you.
F965 It may have been that I I I know I keep coming back to this,
F963 Mm
F965 but I think the fact that people had been regimented
F963 Mm
F965 over a period of time,
F963 Uh-huh
F965 you know? Parents had been regimented,
F963 Mm
F965 we still had National Service.
F963 That's true, yeah. //It was quite different.//
F965 //And there was a degree// of "this is how you do it".
F963 Mm
F965 You do not digress. This is the way it's done.
F963 Right.
F965 And people objected if you digressed.
F963 Mm //Mmhm//
F965 //And they would say "I'm sorry, but you did not do that correctly".// //And there was a//
F963 //Right.//
F965 certain degree of of formality //about some games,//
F963 //Mm mmhm.//
F965 where, I can remember, er, there was a thing called Kingball,
F963 Mm
F965 where, I think we played it with a football actually, I can't remember. I can't remember whether it had to be a football.
F963 Mm
F965 where, the whole "tig" thing was, do they call-, "tag". //call it "tag" in America,//
M964 //We call it "tag" in the States.//
F965 erm if you hit the person, it was aimed, supposed to be aimed low.
F963 Mmhm.
F965 So you hit them on their legs, you didn't try and get them on the head.
F963 Right, yeah.
F965 But that was almost s- sort of self-imposed.
M964 //How did that, how did that work exactly?//
F963 //Mm mm// //I mean wh- when//
F965 //Er, you were the "it"// person.
M964 Right.
F965 What do they call [?]he-he[/?], what do they call it in America? //It.//
M964 //It.//
F965 If you were "it", you had the ball,
M964 Uh-huh
F965 and everybody ran about,
F963 Mmhm
F965 and you threw the ball at them. It's like t-, instead of touching them, you threw the ball so it got there faster than you could get.
F963 Mm
M964 //Right.//
F965 //So you threw the ball at them and// they then ei- [exhale] lots of different games. If if if you hit them with the ball, they became "it".
F963 Yeah, mmhm.
F965 Er, if you missed them you were still "it", you had to get the ball back and do it again. Erm, in "Chip, crack, broken",
F963 Mmhm //Uh-huh//
M964 //[laugh]//
F965 //I seem to remember, if you hit-. How complicated was this? How did they keep a record?// //If you hit them once they were chipped,//
F963 //Hard to remember it, yeah.// Yes.
F965 if you hit them twice they were cracked, //if you hit them three times they were broken.//
F963 //Ah, yeah, right.//
F965 How could you regulate that now?
F963 Mm
F965 Because we would admit that we'd twice been hit. [laugh] //[laugh]//
F963 //So would we!// //And I know.//
F965 //Would they admit it now?//
F963 Yes. //Th- there was no way of playing the game if people didn't obey the rules.//
F965 //There's no, no, [inaudible].// //No that's true.//
F963 //And you- you're sort of// saying, you know, everybody was regimented, like //you know,//
F965 //Mm//
F963 it was all chaos and disorder afterwards, but in my day, you know, it was it was noticeably wrong when one of the boys deliberately picked on somebody that he didn't like, you know, and really chucked the ball at him. //I mean that that//
F965 //Yeah.// //So there was a degree of honour there too.//
F963 //while I'm saying that it took place.// Well it took place, but it was definitely, you know, //frowned on.//
F965 //Frowned on.//
F963 you know, there was an //idea that this//
F965 //Yes.// //But you know something?//
F963 //was abusing the rules, so.//
F965 I'm going to say this again, and this is going to make me sound ancient. //But//
F963 //[gulp]//
F965 frowned on actually mattered.
F963 Mmhm mmhm
F965 Now, a lot of the people that I know wouldn't care if they were frowned on. [sniff] //Because it would be//
F963 //Well our lot still would be.// //[laugh]//
F965 //win, win, you know?// Frowned on, who cares?
F963 Mm, see ours, our games were ev- never about winning. Either because we didn't have, I mean we didn't have time, actually, we used to play in the //breaks.//
F965 //Mmhm mmhm//
F963 And we never really //finished things on time, so there wasn't a sense of, you know, victory over other people particularly.//
F965 //No no. Yeah. No. I kind// //of heartened. I'm a little bit heartened that you were still playing games like that,//
F963 //It was it was getting involved in it was the point really.// Uh-huh yeah.
F965 because er it seems that, you know, that in recent years, those have been lost. //And children have to be//
F963 //Mm//
F965 actually have to shown how to play a playground game.
F963 Is that universally true?
F965 I don't know, I really don't know. //But erm//
F963 //Mm [sniff]//
F965 once they are shown it, they often adore it,
F963 Mm
F965 and they want to do it all the time. //But//
F963 //Yeah.//
F965 often it does seem to depend on an adult presence, you know, because somebody will cheat or somebody will do something that's not in the game, //and it needs//
F963 //Mm//
F965 seems to need a mediator to say "well, you have to agree on a, on rules before you start the game", you know. //It seems to be everything is so//
F963 //But then that's that's true of// that's true of people playing board games and other things, you know?
F965 No, that's different //though, isn't it?//
F963 //In, later in life,// //you still get people that want to cheat. [laugh]//
F965 //But children used, but children used to// evolve their own games, you know, like I say about the drain thing, //you know, I think that's still true,//
F963 //Yeah, mmhm.//
F965 that imaginative children will do that.
F963 Mm
F965 But I, when I was out on pla- I didn't do playground duty for a long time,
F963 Mmhm
F965 which I think is sad in a way,
F963 Mm
F965 the Union doesn't like it, but I I like it because it lets you see wh- how they behave when they're unleashed.
F963 Mm
F965 but it seemed to be all the game they could think of was "I run after you and I catch you",
F963 Mm
F965 that's the only game they had in their head //was//
F963 //Mm//
F965 "I run after you and I catch you", or "I catch you and then I hit you". //Oh.//
F963 //[laugh]// //I think you were unlucky.//
F965 //They didn't have the imagination.// //And I'm afrai-, I'm sorry to say, I think it's to do with being constantly entertained.//
F963 //[laugh]// Mm
F965 You know, I, I was, this sounds really really old, but if if you don't have to make your own entertainment, //that atrophies, you know, you you've, you//
F963 //Mm// //I think we//
F965 //forget.//
F963 still did, I mean I think we still spent a lot of time inventing games and, I mean people used to sort of invent their own wee songs and things, //you know, in my day.//
F965 //Margaret, you're thirty.//
F963 Yes.
F965 I'm talking about now. You know, I'm talking about children now.
F963 [laugh]
M964 And I mean, I remember, for example, when I was a kid, just, I'm talking about first grade which for us would have been I guess P2 maybe //for you, P1, P2.//
F965 //Mmhm//
M964 And erm //Primary One,//
F963 //Primary One, yeah.// //Mmhm//
M964 //or Two, thank you.// //Erm,//
F965 //No, we call them, we call them P1.//
F963 //I'm just making sure we're talking about the same thing.// //I know you do, I'm just making sure that Josh is talking about the same thing.//
M964 //Mm, yeah, and, we are, yeah, wisely.// //A- and,//
F963 //When you're about five.//
M964 er, yeah, I was actually just past that, I wou- er, make make it about six or seven, //and and one of the//
F963 //Okay.//
M964 things that happened was that some people would be playing football, mm soccer, football. Erm, and other people would be doing their own things, and invariably there would be a group of boys who would chase a group of girls.
F965 Oh yeah, boys chase the girls, //that's what it's called.//
M964 //Right.// Yeah. //Eh, eh, which is a very clever name, by the way. And//
F965 //[laugh] Yeah. [laugh]//
F963 //Mm//
M964 and it also happened to that, was that there were two parts of it. You'd chase them. They squealed. //Eventually you caught them, and like the dog that has caught the car,//
F965 //[laugh]// End of story. //[laugh]//
M964 //End of story.//
F963 //[laugh]// //[laugh]//
F965 //[laugh]// What do you do? Yes. //There was no score kept,//
F963 //Mmhm// //mm//
M964 //No, no.//
F965 //or anything like that.// But it was the playing of it that was the fun. //I don't think our kids have, had that, [inaudible].//
F963 //We had a thing called, we had a thing called "British Bulldog".//
F965 Ah yeah. //Is that running across past people?//
F963 //[inaudible]// [sigh] I'm getting it mixed up with something else actually, I think. What was what was the "Red Rover" thing as well? //You used to say//
F965 //Was that a running across past people?//
F963 you used to say "Red Rover, Red Rover, let //so and so come over".//
F965 //Somebody over.// //Yeah.//
F963 //And then// you would, they would they would run at a line of people who are all holding //hands,//
F965 //Yes.//
F963 and try and break through.
F965 Yeah.
F963 And if you didn't manage to break through then you became part of that line, //part of that team.//
F965 //Right, right, right.// //Great game.//
F963 //And there were sort of// two lines on either //side of the field.//
F965 //Yeah.//
F963 And so you sort of tried //to kind of break your way through the the joined arms.//
F965 //I'm I'm very impressed that,// //I'm impressed they were doing that when you were at school.//
M964 //Mm//
F963 Oh yeah, we did a lot of those games when I was in school.
F965 Because it seems to be almost l-, it's becoming a lost art. //We were//
F963 //Mm//
F965 horrified at how few games the children initiated.
F963 Mm
F965 Unless, I know when when a teacher, or somebody interested went out in the playground, you know, you could get them playing things.
F963 Mm mmhm
F965 But they wouldn't initiate it.
F963 Mm
F965 And er it seemed to be a a something to do with overload of of easy access to games, you know, or, what am I going to do? But you know, they'd put out a bench in the summer time for the kids to sit and play cards or to play something
F963 Mmhm
F965 because otherwise they wouldn't be able to think of anything to do,
F963 Mm
F965 in the playground. And actually during that period, you know when Laurie was talking about the [tut] erm the time when that amazingly liberal regime was going on, which I have no recollection of, but what I was working with, in England,
F963 Mm
F965 where you ha- oh, don't make them do this and don't make them //do that.//
F963 //They weren't allowed to teach spelling and things// //like that, it was all very sort of//
F965 //Exactly.// //Uh-huh, well,//
F963 //learn by osmosis, kind of thing.//
F965 I I was in a position where my my school was so small,
F963 Mm
F965 that we could actually give the children the option of staying in at playtime if they wanted.
F963 Mmhm
F965 Instead of going out //they could go to the music area,//
F963 //Yeah, mm.//
F965 and they could play with the instruments.
F963 Oh right.
F965 Fabulous, and at the time I thought, this is great!
F963 Mmhm
F965 Because, you know, sometimes you just don't want to go out and run around with people.
F963 Yeah.
F965 However, we then discovered that the same children were always staying in and not getting any exercise. But that was part of that extremely liberal movement,
F963 Mm
F965 to say "Oh hey, you want to sit in a corner and read a book, you can do that", but we could only do that because it was such a small school,
F963 Mmhm //yeah.//
F965 //because// you couldn't be aware of where everybody //was,//
M964 //[cough]//
F963 Mm
F965 for fire regulations, all that stuff.
F963 Mmhm
F965 And the idea of children going out and letting off steam was passé, //you know?//
F963 //Mm//
F965 Let them do what they want to do, //during break time.//
F963 //Well, in my school they just went out and bullied each other.// //[laugh]//
F965 //Well exactly, and I thought this is ideal.// //This is ideal//
F963 //Yeah.//
F965 for the isolate, this is ideal for the child that really doesn't want to play competitively, that just would love to sit and read a book.
M964 //My brother//
F963 //Yeah.//
M964 received that as a punishment; he was very glad //[inaudible]//
F963 //[laugh]// [laugh]
F965 Being kept in at playtime. //Mm//
M964 //Kept in at playtime because he refused to sit and pledge the allegiance. And//
F965 Do you know they still do that?
M964 Pledge allegiance, yes. //Erm, yes.//
F965 //[laugh] No, they still keep children in.// //[inaudible]//
M964 //But they kept him in, and so instead//
F963 //Because it is a punishment, yeah.//
M964 instead of going out and being bullied h- he got to sit down and read a book.
F965 Hm //which suited him [?]real[/?] down to the ground, yeah.//
M964 //Down, absolutely.//
F963 //[inaudible] [laugh]//
F965 Why did he not want to recite the pledge of allegiance?
M964 Erm, that's long and complicated.
F965 //He's a, he was a rebel, a, really rebel.//
F963 //[laugh]//
M964 Our entire family was
F965 //Really? That's amazing.//
F963 //None of you wanted to subscribe to anything as formulaic as that though. [laugh]// //Yeah.//
F965 //That is amazing.// That's another story.
M964 That's another story. //You you stand up and you try not to disrupt it.//
F965 //Well I, can I hear it later? [laugh]//
F963 //[laugh]//
F965 I'd like to hear that story. But, erm, we thought this was wonderful, so civilised, and I still think it's civilised. You do wh-, you-, it's your break. Do what you want.
F963 Mm, oh yeah, no that //[inaudible] yeah.//
F965 //And we had enough people,// it was a small enough group of children that you could have evacuated the school; it was easy.
F963 Mm
F965 Er, you can only do that under those circumstances.
F963 Yeah.
F965 And then i- it got, you know, it kind of got to the point where I said "Oh, this kid really needs to go out and run about".
F963 Mm
F965 He really needs some exercise. We're going to have to impose that.
F963 Uh
F965 So we had to start keeping a record of who stayed in and who didn't. //[tut] Yeah, ridiculous, yes.//
F963 //Oh dear, nuisance, yeah.// The whole idea that PE is supposed to give you exercise though, I'm afraid I disagree with that very strongly. [laugh] //Because//
F965 //Well, you//
F963 the amount of exercise that we ever got was in no way going to help your general health //and fitness.//
F965 //It's not like// //that now.//
F963 //And what they would// do is that, you know, the best you would get is being forced to run about in the cold, you know, first thing in the morning, usually in the rain, //which,//
F965 //Outside?//
F963 yes, playing hockey, //things like that//
F965 //Mm//
F963 which is, you know, this is not good for your health, //I'm sorry, this is just not how it's supposed//
F965 //No,// //that's that has moved on, that has moved on.//
F963 //to be. [laugh]// //That was in secondary school.//
F965 //[inaudible]// //I was, no, but that's not, that, you know, that was a wee while ago.//
F963 //Mm// Mmhm
F965 The- they're very, well from what I've observed.
F963 Mm
F965 Er //yeah, they're just//
F963 //It was a lazily taught subject though, they just// //threw you out in the rain, "Get out of our//
F965 //very inclusive, they're very inclusive now.//
F963 hair for a while".
F965 And they, you know, they try to make it as attract- the kids do dance aerobics and all sorts of things, indoors,
F963 Mm
F965 it's very very //inclusive now.//
F963 //We got circuit// training as well which usually made you feel sick if you were doing it first thing in the morning, "Do ten press-ups", "No thanks". //[laugh] Yes.//
F965 //Was that secondary?//
F963 But th- it was badly, it was badly taught //it was badly done, I think.//
F965 //Yeah.// //I think they feel their, they do f-//
F963 //Put me off it altogether.//
F965 the unfortunate thing is they feel their way,
F963 Mm
F965 but that might be they feel their way with a //generation//
F963 //Mmhm// //the best the best story I heard about that//
F965 //[laugh] and put you off//
F963 was er somebody who had the option in his school of doing er various, you know, "sport and games" was quite a broad //general subject and it//
F965 //Mm mm.//
F963 included things like playing chess. //And so [laugh]//
F965 //Oh please!// //That's not PE.//
F963 //he would go for the board games options,// //and get away from it.//
F965 //Yeah.//
F963 I know, but neither is neither is hitting, getting hit in the shins in the rain for twenty minutes. //That's not exercise either.//
F965 //Yeah.// //I don't know what it's like in secondary now,//
F963 //[laugh]//
F965 but I am filled with admiration.
M964 [cough]
F965 We had people coming from, are you alright? We had people coming from erm, I guess Social Ser- I don't know where they come from, Social Services or whatever,
F963 Mm
F965 to do stuff with the kids, erm during school time and after school,
F963 Mmhm
F965 where they did aerobics and they did games and all //that stuff.//
F963 //Yeah, if they taught// //martial arts or something interesting, I would have enjoyed it a lot better.//
F965 //Enjoyable things.// Well I don't think they do martial arts in school time but they do they do do games.
F963 Mmhm
F965 Fun things!
F963 Yeah
F965 You know with the big //ball, you know, an enormously big ball.//
F963 //Oh and the worst, the worst// of all which I know was a plague for a lot of people of my generation was the line-up. //"You, you two, pick teams for this game".//
F965 //Oh getting chosen, oh no, oh no.// //Oh that's horrendous.//
F963 //And it was always, you know, [laugh]// //It was always//
F965 //That's cruelty.//
F963 very obvious which people //were going to be the last to be chosen.//
F965 //I know.// //But you know, they have.//
F963 //I have to say I was often one of them. [laugh]// //Ritual humiliation.//
F965 //Now,// //yeah, that's ludicrous because there are so many ways now of separating,//
M964 //[cough]//
F963 //[inhale] Oh dear.// //Yeah.//
F965 //you know, they number them.// //Say "one, two, three, four",//
F963 //Och, we don't want you.// //[laugh]//
F965 //All the ones go over there, all the twos,// and they're fabulous, I've sat in on their lessons, //because I had to.//
F963 //Mm mmhm//
F965 And I'm filled, these are not even teachers sometimes, //you know, they're not//
F963 //Yeah.// //Mmhm//
F965 //trained as teachers.// And I am absolutely filled with admiration,
F963 Mm //Mmhm yeah.//
F965 //for the enthusiasm, and the way they get them; they're sports people.//
F963 Yeah.
F965 And they get these //kids,//
F963 //Uh-huh//
F965 and it's all to do, often, with taking part.
F963 Oh yeah, but when we did it in primary, I mean I liked PE in //primary because//
F965 //Mmhm//
F963 we had sort of dance things and we played //rounders and//
F965 //Mm//
F963 you know we played quite a lot of energetic //games and//
F965 //Mm//
F963 erm it was quite good fun, okay there was still the line-up, you know, //ritual torture.//
F965 //The choosing of the ch-// //But there's easy//
F963 //But//
F965 ways to do that; they should have figured it out.
F963 Well, th- they weren't geared to that, //you know.//
F965 //Mm//
F963 They weren't they weren't interested, //in making people feel good, you know. [laugh]//
F965 //And they didn't care if you weren't the last one to be picked, waaa.//
F963 [inhale] No, I mean, th- there was a lot of bullying in that school but it was mainly psychological, you know, it was mainly, you know, sort of mistreating people or ignoring them or sidelining them. There wasn't so much of the thumping //going on.//
F965 //Oh no.//
F963 But it, there was an awful lot of sort of silly hierarchical stuff that we //could have done without.//
F965 //Mm//
M964 //Did you have Musical Chairs?//
F963 //So,// //As a party game?//
F965 //To play?// //Only as a party.//
M964 //As a party game.//
F963 //As a party game. Only as a birthday sort of// //thing.//
M964 //Right.//
F963 Yeah.
M964 //I was just curious,//
F965 //Why, why do you ask?//
M964 because I think it's a very cruel game. //[inaudible]//
F965 //Because//
F963 //[laugh]// //There's no chair left for you. [laugh]//
F965 //you don't like naughtyism either.// //Somebody has to be excluded each time.//
F963 //Oh dear, yeah.// //Yeah.//
F965 //I don't like par-, we used to avoid party games//
F963 Mm
F965 where somebody, where people ended up being excluded,
F963 Mm
F965 because, for a start it's not very nice,
F963 Mmhm
F965 and then you've got all these people that have been //excluded [inaudible]//
F963 //Sort of sitting with nothing to// //do, right. [inhale]//
F965 //And becoming nuisances.//
F963 Yes, mm.
F965 In the olden days, in my day, they would just have sat quietly.
F963 Mm
F965 But now they don't sit quietly.
F963 Mmhm
F965 Now they find something else to do. And we would for that reason //would avoid//
F963 //Mm//
F965 any game that was exclusive.
F963 Mmhm
M964 Mm
F965 The best games were the ones that kept everybody going all the time.
F963 Mmhm
F965 And I actually explained that to children once.
F963 Mm
F965 Erm, we had a rounders game that I got out of a book. You know how in rounders y- you're out?
F963 Mmhm
F965 Like cricket.
F963 Right.
F965 Well, this game was great because nobody was ever out.
F963 Mm
F965 What you did was, it was a, you know, like a box of balls.
F963 Mmhm
F965 And i- it was fun if you had different sizes of balls, //y-//
F963 //Mm//
F965 a a limited number, you know, it might be four or five or whatever. And the kid, instead of having to hit the ball, didn't even have, have to have that hand and eye coordination,
F963 Mmhm
F965 er no naughtyism here, //the box was there with the balls in it and they chucked them as far as they could chuck them,//
M964 //[cough]//
F963 Mmhm
F965 and then they ran. And if they didn't get right round,
F963 Mm
F965 they didn't score, but they still got right round, you know, eventually. //They didn't ha- they weren't out.//
F963 //Oh okay.// Mm
F965 The the clue was the balls had to be all back in the box, er, for the other team,
F963 Mm
F965 to stop them. They all had to get them back.
F963 Mmhm
F965 But the person who was running was never out, you know, they just didn't get a point.
M964 //Yeah.//
F963 //Mm//
F965 And then the next guy, ururururur and chuck the balls out. And, although it sounds a little PC,
F963 Mm
F965 the fact was everybody was always playing,
F963 Mmhm yeah.
F965 and you didn't have these people being put out, hanging about, disenfranchised by the fence.
F963 Yeah.
F965 It's a bit like rather a metaphor for real life, //isn't it?//
F963 //[laugh]//
F965 You know, you didn't do so well, you didn't get a point, but you're still in the game.
F963 Yeah, mmhm
F965 And there's nothing worse for a child than, a civilised, pleasant, normal child, standing out feeling //excluded.//
F963 //Yeah.// Mmhm
F965 Or an absolute little toe-rag //being excluded and saying//
F963 //Mm//
F965 "I don't care if I'm excluded", and hitting things and //knocking things down and "I'm going to make excluded the best thing that can possibly be",//
F963 //Mm, yeah, uh-huh.// //Yeah.//
M964 //Mm//
F965 which is what they do.
F963 I was trying to think of what they did, you know, by way of punishment when I was in school, because the belt went out, they stopped using it in our school in the sort of early eighties.
F965 Surely before you were
F963 No, there was one boy in my year who actually got it in Primary //One.//
F965 //Oh was that that big fat boy?// //Sorry to say that.//
F963 //Er, no, no, he was not a big fat boy.// But there was actually somebody who did get it.
F965 Whisper his //name.//
F963 //I cannot// //imagine. [laugh]//
M964 //[laugh]//
F963 No! I cannot imagine what he did when he was five. //The idea of, you know,//
F965 //To get a belt, I know.// //I know.//
F963 //being hit with a belt when you're five// is somewhat primitive, but there we go. And er //my school//
F965 //And awful.//
F963 stopped using it about nineteen eighty, eighty //one.//
F965 //Well that was the// there was a blanket //rule, mm.//
F963 //Yeah, well// not, no there wasn't actually, //we looked into this, it's sort of//
F965 //Wasn't there?//
M964 Er e- except in //private schools where it went on to ninety-nine.//
F963 //eighty-six or something and then it went on// later in private schools. //So it's it's later in the eighties.//
F965 //Oh private schools, schmivate schools. [laugh]// //[laugh]//
F963 //But at the state schools it was// kind of mid-eighties I think where they actually. //But it got phased out, you know?//
M964 //Yeah.//
F965 //Well there was a legislation, mmhm.//
F963 It did get phased out. But the legislation wasn't until a bit later.
F965 Is that right?
F963 Yes.
F965 Gosh, I didn't know that.
F963 But erm [tut] they used to make people, when when a child was being disruptive in primary school they used to tell it to go and stand in the corner and face the wall.
F965 Not in your day?
F963 Yes.
F965 Oh no!
F963 Yes. Is true. //And I was just wondering if//
F965 //Gosh!//
F963 you know, I mean I suppose in your day they were much stricter anyway, you know that they could //actually, they could actually whack you when you were in school, so that was rather different.//
F965 //Oh when I was at school, oh.// [exhale]
F963 But
F965 Do you know? Do you know?
F963 Mm
F965 When I taught, as the teacher, //[laugh]//
F963 //[laugh]//
F965 in Glasgow, and as I've said, in places where people were quite poor,
F963 Mm
F965 children didn't need to be put in the corner.
F963 Mm
F965 Do you know what I mean?
F963 Yeah.
F965 You know, i-i-, the worst thing a child could do, I can't I can't even remember, I can't even remember a discipline problem. And I'm talking about an area of Glasgow that was an overspill.
F963 This is going back in time as well.
F965 This is nineteen sixty mm, six.
F963 Mm because I mean, the more recent places where you've worked you've seen quite bad discipline //problems, so.//
F965 //I've seen horrendous behaviour, yeah, horrendous [inaudible],// //in in primary school.//
F963 //Something seems to have changed,// //perhaps.//
F965 //Absolutely.//
F963 Yeah.
F965 But I I think I said to Josh earlier that that you never felt thr-, you know, you didn't feel threatened,
F963 Mm
F965 going out to some of the most deprived areas of Glasgow.
F963 Mmhm
F965 And the children's behaviour, and you would have a class of forty-five, //you know,//
F963 //[inhale] Good grief!//
F965 which necessitated a particular type of teaching, //so there's no way that you could say "Okay,//
F963 //[?]My word[/?]. Yeah.//
F965 all the people, all the red //group do so-and-so".//
F963 //That's a huge number of kids.//
F965 And, you know, just squeezed into the classroom.
F963 yeech
F965 But that was how it was //then.//
F963 //Yeah.//
F965 And everybody did the same thing more or less at the same time, and we had come out of college being told "Put them in groups, and and //ability groups and so on".//
F963 //Mm// mm
F965 But it really didn't work very well //with a class that size.//
F963 //Mm// Yeah.
F965 But, the children were respectful because there was more //respect//
F963 //Mm//
F965 for authority. I don't know what they thought was going to happen to them because the the punishment was probably just being hit.
F963 Mm mmhm
F965 But maybe that was bad //enough.//
F963 //Yeah.// But I can remember kids just being told to go and stand in the corner.
F965 I don't even remember ever telling a child to go and stand in the corner.
F963 Mm
F965 I did use the belt though.
F963 But like I say, I mean the the, you know, the school I went to, they didn't really have major sort of physical //discipline problems.//
F965 //Oh,// //but it's all relative, mm.//
F963 //And so they were all a bit wet when it came to dealing with with anything disruptive,// //they kind of, they didn't really know what to do with it and so they usually, they usually//
F965 //Mmhm, they wouldn't expect it, mmhm.//
F963 reacted in kind of a, you know, //you know, an unthoughtful way.//
F965 //But the thing is, that children,// this might start going in a bit old old, er er grumpy old person //direction, but//
F963 //Mm mmhm//
F965 children had, there were expectations of children's behaviour
F963 Right, uh-huh.
F965 that don't exist now,
F963 Mm
F965 erm, even when you were at school,
F963 Mmhm
F965 that you didn't answer back to the teacher, you probably didn't answer back to your parents, //you know, if they said//
F963 //Mm//
F965 "Go and do so and so" you didn't say "Why?" //You didn't say "No".//
F963 //Mm// [laugh]
F965 It was just understood that that the person in authority
F963 Mm
F965 told you what to do and so you did it.
F963 Mmhm
F965 Er, now that doesn't exist and that has a good side and a bad side, you know, obviously challenging authority has a very good side to it, otherwise we'd all be doing what we're told //always.//
F963 //Working in factory [laugh]// //still, with no rights.//
F965 //Well who knows what we'd be doing?// Er and that's why this country is how it is, //because people challenge it, but//
F963 //Mm yeah, uh-huh.//
F965 erm there's a, there comes a point I think where the power has shifted so much
F963 Mm
F965 that it, you spend all your time //trying to//
F963 //Yeah.//
F965 trying to get people to shut up and sit down and do what they're supposed to be doing now.
F963 Mmhm
F965 A- and really what is your point? //[laugh]//
F963 //[laugh]//
F965 But those little children that I taught in Glasgow //were//
F963 //Mm//
F965 seriously deprived in many ways,
F963 Yeah.
F965 but they still had that compliance and //and er "Yes, you you know what you're//
F963 //Mm mmhm mmhm//
F965 talking about and I'll do what you say".
F963 Yeah.
F965 And there wasn't an illiterate one sent out to the primary I have to say. [laugh] //They could all read by the time they left the primary school.//
F963 //mmhm mm yeah.//
F965 But erm, God knows what they were going to.
F963 Mm //mm//
F965 //You know, they're probably going to some// if, they were going in to work though,
F963 Yeah. //mm mmhm//
F965 //they were going in to work at that time.// Poor wee souls. Did I tell you about the the minister when I was working in Maybole?
F963 Hm, I don't remember.
F965 Well, I was in this school on supply,
F963 Uh-huh
F965 and we went in to this assembly, and it was a special assembly,
F963 Mm
F965 because the local minister was leaving; he was going to America, //somewhere like//
F963 //Mm mmhm//
F965 Kentucky or //I can't remember.//
F963 //Right.//
F965 But he was going there, and he was a young guy,
F963 Mmhm
F965 to me, in some ways. //except he had a grey beard. [laugh]//
F963 //[laugh]//
F965 He had a grey beard and a grey, grey hair,
F963 Uh-huh
F965 and he played the guitar.
F963 Mm
F965 And he was er one of these nice, you know, child-friendly ministers,
F963 Yeah. //Not all sort of fire and brimstone.//
F965 //and the ki-. Not at all.// And they're all sitting there in their school uniforms,
F963 Mmhm
F965 and, lovely children,
F963 Mm
F965 and he stopped to talk to, and we were all sitting up the side, the teachers up the side, and he started to talk to them and he said "you know, looking at you", he s-, they all knew he was leaving,
F963 Mm
F965 and he said "looking at you, it just reminds you of when I was at school,
F963 Mm
F965 because the colour", I think it was red, "the colour that you're wearing is just like the uniform that I wore //when I went to school,//
F963 //Mm//
F965 at Chirnsyde Primary School.
F963 Oh
F965 And I thought, oh, th- that was my first appoi- I couldn't believe it; I hadn't heard it for years.
F963 Right.
F965 That was my first appointment in Glasgow.
F963 You might have taught him. //[laugh] Yeah.//
F965 //Well, I thought, what age is he?// And he couldn't have been outside of that age-group.
F963 Mmhm mmhm
F965 And, I'm sitting all the time trying to remember
F963 Mm
F965 my, I was only there for a year,
F963 Right.
F965 and I had a class of forty-five. //And I could//
F963 //Mm//
F965 only remember the bad ones. //[laugh]//
F963 //Yeah.// //[laugh]//
F965 //[laugh] Couldn't remember the nicest kids.// Could only remember the real trouble kids.
F963 [laugh]
F965 And I thought, oh, who is he?
F963 Mm
F965 Could I possibly have taught him at //Chirnsyde?//
F963 //Yeah.//
F965 And as he was going out, he went out past us, and I said, I thought maybe he would remember, my my my this, you know, on an off-chance, Wilma's name was very unusual.
F963 Mm
F965 And I said "Do you remember Miss [CENSORED: surname],
F963 Mm
F965 at school?
F963 Uh-huh
F965 "Oh yes, she was in the next room to me".
F963 Oh for goodness sake! //Yeah.//
F965 //And I said "What was your teacher's name?" and he said "Miss [CENSORED: surname]"//
F963 [laugh] //So it was you after all?//
F965 //And I said// //"That was me!"//
F963 //[laugh]// //Have I changed? [laugh]//
F965 //And he couldn't, well he// he really obviously wouldn't recognise me but //you know how you//
F963 //Mm//
F965 remember your childhood //teachers very clearly?//
F963 //Oh very strongly actually, yeah.//
F965 So he remembered me as "Miss [CENSORED: surname]", //he didn't remember who I was obviously with my face.//
F963 //Mm mm//
F965 So, it was it was weird, and we went into the staffroom,
F963 Mmhm
F965 and a very nice woman said "Oh were you two at school toge-?" //[laugh]//
F963 //[laugh]// //That's nice. [laugh] mm.//
F965 //And I said "In a manner of speaking", but I was only twenty.//
F963 Right. //Yeah. Mmhm.//
F965 //I was only newly qualified; I was only twenty// //when he would be about//
F963 //Yeah.// Mmhm
F965 nine or ten.
F963 Yeah.
F965 So the age difference was not that //huge. But at the same time I had been his teacher.//
F963 //Well no, that's true. Yeah. Uh-huh.//
F965 And he was off to, and he told me he had come the hard way, //you know, he had//
F963 //Mm//
F965 he had gone, I think he had maybe had an alcohol problem, I don't //know. And then//
F963 //Oh right, uh-huh.//
F965 come into into the church //that route. He certainly hadn't come//
F963 //Mm, right.//
F965 straight from the //school into it because,//
F963 //Yeah, yeah.//
F965 and I couldn't, I still can't remember his name; [laugh] I don't know what it was. //I didn't know his name. It was an ordinary sort of name, and he//
F963 //Mm, mmhm, yeah.//
F965 obviously wasn't a bad boy.
F963 Yeah. It's it is funny though, because you you as a kid spend such a long time looking at these people and listening to these people and //you know?//
F965 //And it was a long// long time for a child.
F963 Yeah, yeah. So that you you remember them very //vividly though//
F965 //uh-huh//
F963 they might not remember you at //all because they deal with so many//
F965 //That's right.// //That's right, and and//
F963 //people [inaudible].//
F965 you know as they come through the school
F963 Mm
F965 there's so many that are similar, //[laugh]//
F963 //Mm//
F965 You see the same faces coming through all the time.
F963 Yeah.
F965 I met a girl in the in the street, a few weeks ago. A great big woman,
F963 Mm
F965 And she hailed me,
F963 Mmhm
F965 and she said "Mrs [CENSORED: surname]", you know,
F963 Uh-huh //Yeah.//
F965 //"How are you?" and I said// //"Just run your name past me", [laugh].//
F963 //[laugh]//
F965 And she told me who she was and I immediately remembered //where, you know, I'd taught her.//
F963 //Oh, yeah, yeah.// Well you worked in different places too //so that must be quite//
F965 //Uh-huh// //That's right. I haven't been in the same place for years.//
F963 //confusing [inaudible].// //Yeah.//
F965 //The kids that I've taught most recently,// I've had them for such a long time, you know, I've had some of them from primary four to primary seven,
F963 Mm mmhm
F965 so I really really couldn't remember that, I mean couldn't forget their //names.//
F963 //Right, uh-huh.//
F965 But erm kids that you've only had for like, this particular girl, I'd only had her when her teacher was away, //I was there on supply.//
F963 //Mm mmhm//
F965 And she was a lovely girl; she was a lovely girl in school and she's a lovely girl now,
F963 Mm
F965 and er she was so sweet and friendly, but I couldn't remember her name.
F963 Mm mmhm. We used to have a lot of people that kind of came and went, as well, in the classes, you know that they had moved house or they came //from somewhere else, and, yeah, uh-huh.//
F965 //Pupils? Mmhm// //Yeah. [tut]//
F963 //I don't know if that's happening more or not these,// //I supopse it does.//
F965 //I could remember, I think this is common,// //and, you know, you could remember the//
F963 //Mm//
F965 kids who went to primary //school with you.//
F963 //Yeah, uh-huh.// We also had people from the the travelling fair //that used to come in to our school for like the two weeks that they were there.//
F965 //Oh yes. I had// that in //in//
F963 //Uh-huh//
F965 er Newbury. //In Tadley.//
F963 //Oh really? Right.// //Yeah.//
F965 //Tadley// had, erm it was a gipsy camp,
F963 Mm
F965 It wasn't really a //but originally,//
F963 //Oh I see, right.//
F965 originally, the the funny thing about Tadley was it wasn't like an English village,
F963 Mm mmhm
F965 which has like the pub and one end of the green and the other pub at the other end //the green and//
F963 //Right.// //Oh yeah, mmhm.//
F965 //church, you know, on the village green.// Tadley was different because it had been, originally had been a gipsy encampment. //And so people//
F963 //Oh for goodness sake.//
F965 came and went and came and went and it was very odd. And every year we had a travelling fair.
F963 Mm mmhm
F965 And this wee girl used to come into the school every year.
F963 Mm mmhm
F965 [CENSORED: forename] was her name.
F963 Oh yeah.
F965 And she had her own roundabout.
F963 Mm mmhm
F965 And she was absolutely brilliant at maths.
F963 Mm
F965 Rotten at everything else.
F963 Oh
F965 Lousy at reading and everything else, //but//
F963 //Yeah.//
F965 fabulous at maths.
F963 Mm
F965 She could do any sum, you know, she could give you your change. //[laugh]//
F963 //Mmhm// //Yeah.//
F965 //Because that's what she did// //a lot of the time. Yeah, yeah.//
F963 //Ah, for the fair. Yeah.// Well I think it was it was Codona's that used to //come round.//
F965 //Uh-huh, that's right.//
F963 And they always set up in the big field beside //the school which is now gone.//
F965 //That's right, yeah. And did the kids come to the school?//
F963 Yeah, //yeah, they used to come along for that time.//
F965 //Oh fabulous, yeah.//
F963 There were two boys I remember that used to come along. //And one of them was in our year.//
F965 //See they were going to// they were going to whatever school, whatever, wherever they were //nearest.//
F963 //They must have been in// //so many schools, you know?//
F965 //Yeah, but that must have been quite good actually,// //when you think about it.//
F963 //Suppose so.// //Yeah.//
F965 //Very, maybe it wasn't as romantic as it// //sounds.//
F963 //Mm// //Mmhm, not much continuity, but//
F965 //It sounds romantic, doesn't it?// //But it sounds fun!//
F963 //I suppose it would be interesting, [laugh] move around.// //Yeah.//
F965 //But anyway whatever's// bad about it, you know, you can move on.
F963 Yeah, yeah, if you really hate the teacher or //something, you're only there for a couple of weeks. So, yeah, uh-huh.//
F965 //Yeah, or people are horrible to you, oh I'm only [inaudible].//
F963 But they were kind of celebrities a wee bit, //to us, you know, they were they were quite special, and everybody was kind of interested in them, and.//
F965 //Uh-huh. This wee girl was a celebrity; everybody loves the fair.//
F963 Yeah.
F965 Everybody loves it.
F963 Uh-huh
F965 And especially children.
F963 Yeah, and it was //fascinating to us, you know, that you might be a kid that lived like that, and you know,//
F965 //Mm mm yeah.// //Oh yeah, I think that's//
F963 //it was interesting.//
F965 quite ideal,
F963 Mmhm //Yeah, mmhm.//
F965 //in it's way.//
F963 Mm
F965 But it's er, gosh, it's erm, it might might have been a problem with her education, //slightly.//
F963 //Mm, yeah.// //Don't know. I suppose if they were//
F965 //But if they were just going to carry on and inherit//
F963 yeah, if they're going to go in to the business //anyway,//
F965 //Mm//
F963 then they were learning their //trade, even when they were young.//
F965 //Yeah, but like like I say this// wee girl could, really could not read that well.
F963 Yeah, mm
F965 But she was fabulous with money.
F963 Mm
F965 And that's an asset.
F963 Yeah.

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Information about Document 1420

Conversation 29: Mother and daughter from Ayrshire and man from USA, part 3/3 - childhood games


Audio audience

Adults (18+)
For gender Mixed
Audience size 3-5

Audio awareness & spontaneity

Speaker awareness Aware
Degree of spontaneity Spontaneous

Audio footage information

Year of recording 2005
Recording person id 726
Size (min) 50
Size (mb) 194

Audio setting

Recording venue Private house
Geographic location of speech Prestwick

Audio relationship between recorder/interviewer and speakers

Family members or other close relationship
Speakers knew each other Yes

Audio speaker relationships

Family members or other close relationship

Audio transcription information

Transcriber id 718
Year of transcription 2006
Year material recorded 2005
Word count 10410

Audio type



Participant details

Participant id 963
Gender Female
Decade of birth 1970
Educational attainment University
Age left school 17
Upbringing/religious beliefs Protestantism
Occupation Editor
Place of birth Reading
Region of birth Berkshire
Country of birth England
Place of residence Glasgow
Region of residence Glasgow
Residence CSD dialect area Gsw
Country of residence Scotland
Father's occupation Research Chemist
Father's place of birth Ayr
Father's region of birth S Ayr
Father's birthplace CSD dialect area Ayr
Father's country of birth Scotland
Mother's occupation Teacher
Mother's place of birth Fyvie
Mother's region of birth Aberdeen
Mother's birthplace CSD dialect area Abd
Mother's country of birth Scotland


Language Speak Read Write Understand Circumstances
English Yes Yes Yes Yes All
French No Yes No Yes
Scots Yes Yes Yes Yes


Participant details

Participant id 964
Gender Male
Decade of birth 1960
Educational attainment University
Age left school 16
Upbringing/religious beliefs Secular Jew
Occupation Researcher, barman
Place of birth Norwalk
Region of birth Connecticut
Country of birth USA
Place of residence Glasgow
Region of residence Glasgow
Residence CSD dialect area Gsw
Country of residence Scotland
Father's occupation Personnel Administrator
Father's place of birth New York
Father's region of birth New York
Father's country of birth USA
Mother's occupation none
Mother's place of birth New York
Mother's region of birth New York
Mother's country of birth USA


Language Speak Read Write Understand Circumstances
English Yes Yes Yes Yes
Italian No Yes No Yes
Scots No Yes No Yes
Yiddish No Yes No Yes


Participant details

Participant id 965
Gender Female
Decade of birth 1940
Educational attainment College
Age left school 17
Upbringing/religious beliefs Protestantism
Occupation Teacher
Place of birth Fyvie
Region of birth Aberdeen
Birthplace CSD dialect area Abd
Country of birth Scotland
Place of residence Prestwick
Region of residence S Ayr
Residence CSD dialect area Ayr
Country of residence Scotland
Father's occupation Doctor
Father's place of birth Lewis
Father's region of birth Western Isles
Father's country of birth Scotland
Mother's occupation Nurse
Mother's region of birth Argyll
Mother's birthplace CSD dialect area Arg
Mother's country of birth Scotland


Language Speak Read Write Understand Circumstances
English Yes Yes Yes Yes
Scots Yes No No Yes