“Roots In An Ever Changing Environment”
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OLD GLASGOW FILMS
STREET GAMES AND SWINGS

The lamppost`s in the street played an important part in our lives. We used to follow the Lamplighter around and shout “Lamplighter, gie us a shine”.
In the daytime the posts were used to tie captives to when they were captured by the Indians, or worse cannibals.
We had great imaginations . The only thing was the little boys who were the baddies often forgot all about us and wandered off into different back courts. We then had to be rescued by anxious parents when we didn`t appear for our tea. We also used lamppost`s as swings-that was very dangerous.
The boys favourite games seemed to be Cowboys and Indians. The Cowboys were usually Ken Maynard, Tom Mix and his wonder horse Tony, and Hoppalong Cassidy
The Indians were called Tonto, Sitting Bull and Big Chief Running Bear.
One day a group of little Indians appeared looking like present day Rambo's, as they were wearing dazzling white headbands. Then one of their mothers spotted them.
“My goad, wid you look at whit ma Wullies goat oan his heid”
The irate mothers descended on their offspring and removed the offending sanitary towels, then dragged off the defeated Indians.

I loved the swings at Rutherglen Road and spent many happy hours there. The Maypoles were the hardest to master. The trick was to use your feet to swing away from the pole which was made of iron. If you didn’t`t your head got it and you ended up with large bruises on your forehead.
The Dykes were great to play on and there were great jumps. You could climb high or low on walls and jump spaces between middens and washhouses.
The Cuddy was a bit trickier as these were curved tops with slippy brown stone, possibly ceramic. You started by sliding along as if you were on a horse, but as you got bolder you could run along in your bare feet which gave you a better grip.

We went through a period of copy-cat. If someone appeared with a whip and peerie within a short time we all had whips and peeries.
It was the same with chuckies, girds, dabbities, scraps or wooden bogies. Another craze was wooden clogs as these were cheaper than shoes. Could you imagine the racket with hundreds of children dancing around in clogs singing “I`m a little Dutch girl” or “I`m a little Dutch boy” as the case may be.

On Sundays my mother used to take us to Glasgow Green. I remember paddling in the Doulton Fountain. I must have been quite young as it was only toddlers who were allowed into the water. When I was older I went to the Richmond Park to play. There was an old tree on the pavement on Rutherglen Road. It was called the Devil`s Tree. We used to spit on it as we passed, for we believed if we didn`t, the Devil would pull you through the grating that surrounded the tree.
We then went for a paddle in the ducks pond and fed the swans with bread. The boys would bring jam jars and butterfly nets to catch minnows.
There was also a small hill in Richmond Park where we used to roll our eggs at Easter time. Also there was a wooden contraption in the water at Jeny`s Burn and we believed it was used long ago for ducking witches. We played a lot in the Graveyard in Rutherglen Road and there was a statue of a little girl who died by swalowing chewing gum - or so our mothers told us.


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