The streets of my early-years Oatlands provided the younger inhabitants with many ways of exercising their imagination, the wire that would hang from the back court telephone poles, end tied round a stick, made for an excellent Tarzan swing. Indeed the test of nerves came from just how far out you were willing to swing and the skill in jumping at the right time to land on the roof of your chosen "dike" (bin area). The full length of the back wall was never one for being to adventurous where "jumps" were concerned, I was more of a "dreepy dooner" and could quite easily manage the short drop from the first up landing windae. Playing "shoaps" out in the back courts, where the traditional exchange currency was that of broken glass and stones for money, many a time I remember when you dropped a "swedger" (sweet) on the ground, regardless of where it landed, the chant of "devil licked it!, god blessed it!" automatically making it edible again. Many a child's playtime was spent constructing crossbows that used clothes pegs for ammo, a simple wooden cross setup with elastic stretching from two slightly bent nails battered into the wood by a makeshift "half brick" hammer. Empty houses were targeted for the supply of doors that were used for building multi levelled "dens", the height of which could get quite dangerous but exciting none the less, and some were even carpeted with remnants salvaged from the same house, makes
you feel awe itchy just thinking about it! The "Richly" was always a favourite haunt for many of us and the swing park with what seemed like back then, the highest chute in the world. (many a skint knee from falls on the way down), then it was a quick refreshment visit to the nearby toilets where the water came in paper coned cups, and unfortunately for those who couldnae wait to go hame...the luxury of San Izal toilet paper....ouch!!!