“My Childhood Games” by James Graham

James Graham was born in 1938 and recalls the memories of the 1940s as a child.

My Childhood Games

High Blantyre was my place of birth,
At Broompark Road near Rochead’s farm.
We played there neath the railway bridge
Where we felt safe and free from harm.

We played beside the railway line,
In farmer’s fields and on the road,
Our own back court in weather fine,
Or where the River Calder flowed.

Most girls played skipping with great skill,
Football for boys and headers too.
We all played chestnuts holding still,
And flew our kites when strong winds blew.

Cans were kicked if we had no ball.
We learned the skill of playing marbles,
Played hide and seek, boys and girls all,
Rode a bike or sat on the handles.

‘Cops and robbers’ was fun for boys.
With bow and arrow or toy gun,
Cowboys and Indians made much noise,
And fought it out to see who won.

With skipping ropes or girds and cleeks
We ran for miles, or so it seemed.
Knock doors, run fast gave rosy cheeks.
We hid and watched; our faces beamed.

We played at tig or free the den,
Climbed walls or trees; how high to go?
Roller skating no matter when,
Sledge and slides in the ice and snow.

Larkfield bing was a place to slide,
Much better than the Public Park.
On board or shovel we did glide,
And often played till it was dark.

Lamplighter came to tend street lights,
Gas mantle flickered with a flame,
‘Twas teatime then on those dark nights,
‘Come home at once.’ Mum called my name

Children playing in the 1940s

Children playing in the 1940s

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