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message 1: by TwoddleBungler (last edited May 20, 2018 08:07AM) (new)

TwoddleBungler | 4920 comments I was prompted to start this by seeing some talk on another thread of noisy weekend neighbours and memories of quieter times.
As my friends and I were probably the source of quite a lot of noise as kids, I'll confess here!


message 2: by TwoddleBungler (new)

TwoddleBungler | 4920 comments As a child I discovered (I don't remember how) that it was possible to make an effective explosive by mixing a particular kind of weedkiller with an easily available kitchen ingredient. I decided to test this out. I took an empty Tizer bottle and drilled a hole through the stopper. Through this I threaded some twin flex attached on the inside to a smashed torch bulb to expose the element. I then buried the bottle, filled with the mixture, at the end of the garden and ran the flex to the kitchen where I plugged it into the mains.
There was a huge bang and earth showered everywhere. Of course all the neighbours came rushing out. The crater in the garden and the fact that everything including the garage roof was covered in a thin layer of soil made it pretty clear where the explosion had emanated from. Needless to say my father wasn't too pleased.


message 3: by TwoddleBungler (new)

TwoddleBungler | 4920 comments Looking back at some of the things I and my friends used to get up to I'm quite surprised that I'm still alive.


message 4: by Lez (new)

Lez | 7490 comments TwoddleBungler wrote: "Looking back at some of the things I and my friends used to get up to I'm quite surprised that I'm still alive."

So am I! You had access to weed-killer, a drill, flex, a smashed bulb, a plug and a live socket.
Where the hell were your parents? 😳🤬


message 5: by TwoddleBungler (new)

TwoddleBungler | 4920 comments Well I didn't have a plug - I just poked the wires into the socket! It was a hand-drill, not an electric one.
In those days children weren't wrapped in cotton wool. I remember the half-hour walk to my junior school (ages 7 - 10) on my own along a busy main road. Then coming home 'the long way' with friends it might take an hour or more. No one seemed to worry.


message 6: by Brass Neck (new)

Brass Neck | 3890 comments It's one thing not to be wrapped in cotton wool, quite another to be stripped naked, tied to a pole and dangled over a croc-infested swamp while wearing a suicide vest with a movement sensor trigger. Parenting of yesteryear, huh - never mind still being alive, I'm surprised you weren't taken into care or sectioned.


message 7: by Lez (last edited May 20, 2018 10:10AM) (new)

Lez | 7490 comments My mum took me to school when I was 4/5 then I walked with other children. Very little traffic then of course.
The only dodgy thing I did as a child was walk over the railway line. There was an underpass but most people walked over the line as there was a sort of crossing and you could see a long way.


message 8: by Brass Neck (new)

Brass Neck | 3890 comments I remember when it were all fie..... actually I DO remember when, from the end of my parent's garden all the way down to the Northern General Hospital was all allotments and woods while over the road the other way was a heliport - just a square of tarmac with a big H and an access road which rarely ever saw actual whirlybirds - the sides of which were steep slopes with scrub vegetation - they didn't see much of me when the weather was fine. Then the council decided to build a massive council estate over the whole of the allotments with three story blocks of flats about 10 feet from the bottom of the garden; bastards.

Remember one day when the allotments caught fire in the dry Summer so me and the other kids pitched in with outer clothing used to beat the flames. Mum wasn't impressed when she saw the colour of me and the state of my jacket!


message 9: by Lez (new)

Lez | 7490 comments I should add that I was actually beaten up by the local nasty piece of work, a year older than me at 6. I accidently wandered into his ‘den’ when I was crossing a field, he found me and punched me in the face. I carried on walking home but had a massive nose-bleed. The mother of one of my class-mates saw me and took me home. My mum (my dad was still in India) was not best pleased and went round to the boy’s (single) mum - a really nice woman who hadn’t a hope in hell of controlling her monstrous child.
I had to be accompanied by 2 older children for a while.


message 10: by TwoddleBungler (last edited May 20, 2018 11:21AM) (new)

TwoddleBungler | 4920 comments Maybe I was brought up in the middle ages. When I was seven I fell over the banisters and broke some bone - I've forgotten what it was called - something in my neck. Anyway I had plaster from the top of my head down to my waist. I was in Wordsley Hospital for several weeks in the children's ward and no visitors were allowed - not for any of the kids. I was sick on the bedclothes on the first day (probably through nerves) and got a good telling off from the nurse.
Funnily enough my main memories from that time were how itchy the plaster cast was. When I eventually got home, I had to wear the cast for some time and my mother used to use a long knitting needle to reach down inside the cast and scratch my back.


message 11: by Brass Neck (new)

Brass Neck | 3890 comments Not so much born in the middle ages as lucky to have reached it?


message 12: by Martin (last edited May 20, 2018 11:47AM) (new)

Martin O' | 2196 comments I also have lots of memories of childhood and adolescence spent in pursuit of bordering on delinquent behaviour. At one time I had the dubious honour of being told I could not have any more tetanus shots due to having so many over two year period from all the cuts and scrapes I acquired so regularly. I think I was about 12 at the time. Corby was and still is quite a green town, lots of wooded areas and open fields. Most houses had large gardens, allotments were very common and targeted for peas or strawberries when available, potatoes were another delicacy, roasted on open fires and eaten al fresco. There were a few good fishing spots round about where you could cycle out to with a pack up of sandwiches, crisps and juice from dawn till dusk and nobody worried how long you were gone or when you come home. Some of our neighbours kept chickens, another kept racing pigeons while another had a sheep tethered to a rope which he moved around his garden every so often, no need for mowing. Round the corner were some larger fields that contained a few cattle and a couple of horses. All in all it was a rich, carefree life that is both carved deep in mind and memory yet as distant as the moon and stars in the night sky, in these future days seems as alien and impossible as dragons and unicorns that I was once that child but I was.


message 13: by TwoddleBungler (last edited May 20, 2018 11:56AM) (new)

TwoddleBungler | 4920 comments Brass Neck wrote: "Not so much born in the middle ages as lucky to have reached it?"
When I think back that's probably true. I can think of a number of brushes with death I had before I was fifteen.


message 14: by Martin (new)

Martin O' | 2196 comments Lez wrote: "I should add that I was actually beaten up by the local nasty piece of work, a year older than me at 6. I accidently wandered into his ‘den’ when I was crossing a field, he found me and punched me ..."

I learned at school after standing my ground with one such specimen that they are mostly cowards and if you pushed back they soon backed down. If they didn't our little group who had banded together for self preservation would retaliate en masse so were pretty much left alone by even the worst of them after a while.


message 15: by TwoddleBungler (last edited May 20, 2018 01:31PM) (new)

TwoddleBungler | 4920 comments There was one boy at our all-boys grammar who had his own stooge to do his bullying for him. There was a teacher who was quite short and had difficulty keeping control of the class. One day the teacher told the 'stooge' (who was twice the size of the other boys in the class and built like a brick sh*thouse) to sit down and the lad lifted the teacher bodily off his feet with his arms pinned to his sides, carried him to the front of the class and set him down. There were no further consequences that I know of.
I was bullied by this pair briefly. They used to seek me out at break time - the stooge would pin my arms behind my back and the 'boss' would pretend to interrogate me Nazi style by slapping my face and saying, "Ve haf ways of making you talk." Actually the level of violence was very low - there was no punching and the slaps were quite light. This didn't last for more than a term, I can't remember what stopped it - maybe they found another victim. I often wonder what happened to them and if they spent their adult lives in a similar manner.


message 16: by Tech XXIII (new)

Tech XXIII  | 6727 comments i remember big jim, couple of years older than me at school, wasn't a bully, but was of a size that meant he could pretty much do as he wished. actually a nice guy, but you knew all about it if he decided on a whim that you were due a nipple crippler.
when we used to see big jim heading for the bus stop thru' class windows, we all wondered what he'd done now? no mystery - the physics teacher (a real s**t), having called big jim out of class for whatever misdemeanor, was lying unconscious in the corridor, recently having had the 'heid' stuck on him! he levelled another teacher with a sweet right hook as well. nice guy tho'!


message 17: by Tech XXIII (new)

Tech XXIII  | 6727 comments i now also recall big joe (lotta 'big' guys at our school) who was a very quiet boy from a travelling family, obviously, by his clothing, not moneyed. he was bullied mercilessly by the two hard man bullies (at the time it seemed to be your status was defined by the amount of buttons you had on the cuff of your electric blue jacket/coat - they had a lot of buttons?!), and subjected to all manner of verbals connected with the gypsy way of life! pretty much stopped when both were found semi conscious in a mangled heap after big joe had resolved the issue, privately, without witnesses! nice guy tho'!


message 18: by Derek (new)

Derek W | 1208 comments Tech wrote: "i remember big jim, couple of years older than me at school, wasn't a bully, but was of a size that meant he could pretty much do as he wished. actually a nice guy, but you knew all about it if he ..."

Gripping stuff:-)

I'm now eagerly awaiting the stories of big jack, big Jeremy, big Joshua, big Jehoshaphat, big jenny, big Julia, big jemima, etc:-)


message 19: by Val (new)

Val H. | 15747 comments Derek wrote: "Gripping stuff:-)

I'm now eagerly awaiting the stories of big jack, big Jeremy, big Joshua, big Jehoshaphat, big jenny, big Julia, big jemima, etc:-) ..."


I very much doubt there were any Jeremys or Jemimas of any size at tech's school. Maybe a Big Jackie, Big Jakey and Big Jock?


message 20: by Martin (new)

Martin O' | 2196 comments There's always Justin, Julian, Quentin, Finlay, Tarquin, Finbar, Simeon, Algernon....... Funnily enough all their parents ran B &B's in Dunoon which boasted that no matter what week you went on holiday you were guaranteed to get browned by the son!


message 21: by Tech XXIII (new)

Tech XXIII  | 6727 comments ho ho, that brings me to the tale of big....em....jichard (he wasn't big either), in primary school, rushing out of the main building in the direction of the outside toilets, backwards, crouched over, trousers and pants around his ankles, shouting the legend 'oot the road ur ah'll shight oan ye!' we did accomodate him! notable, was this chap for his receding hairline (as i said, primary school!) which presented him with a few choice nicknames - reading brew for brow - such as 'irn brew', 'quick brew', 'special brew' and (forgive us, we were only 6!), 'hebrew' - how we laughed! bit of a dick tho'!


message 22: by Tech XXIII (last edited May 22, 2018 08:56AM) (new)

Tech XXIII  | 6727 comments not to mention the day that big jasper rode the goat! well, jasper isnae stuart's real name, and it wisnae a goat neither, but we'll no go intae that in the interest o' the dug's dignity! to be fair, this tale was so heavily rumoured to be true, it became legend - whether he rode the goat or not! children can be so...........bloody funny! an absolute dick tho'!

stuart's no his real name either!


message 23: by TwoddleBungler (last edited May 22, 2018 09:55AM) (new)

TwoddleBungler | 4920 comments I had a friend when I was about 8 who was a couple of years older than me. I can't say he was a good influence. There was the time we broke into a factory on a dark winter's evening (actually the door wasn't locked so there wasn't much breaking). Inside was a lorry and we climbed in and pretended to drive it. Then in the main factory area I discovered the controls to an overhead crane - the sort that runs along a girder under the roof and out through an opening to the yard. This was great fun until I sent it outside and was raising and lowering it. There was a loud grinding/tearing noise. I'd caught the hook on the corrugated iron roof of an outbuilding and lifted it about a foot.
Being kids we were crazy enough to go back the following evening to play in the lorry again. I jumped in the cab in the dark and a big hand grabbed me by the collar. Someone was waiting for us. We were marched off to the police station and got a good ticking off. No-one ever told our parents but I was scared of policemen walking anywhere near my house for a long while.
This friend was the same lad who had heard the phrase 'through a hedge backwards'. One day he decided to push me through an actual hedge backwards to see what what it looked like. I ended up somewhat dishevelled but not really harmed in any lasting way - just minor scratches and a few green stains on my clothing.


message 24: by Martin (new)

Martin O' | 2196 comments Here's one, with the warm weather most of us have been enjoying lately, the inflatable paddling pool in the back garden!


message 25: by Gordon (new)

Gordon (skiiltan) | 2940 comments Martin wrote: "Here's one, with the warm weather most of us have been enjoying lately, the inflatable paddling pool in the back garden!"

...full of leaves and dead bees within about 15 min of being filled.


message 26: by Val (new)

Val H. | 15747 comments We still have an inflatable pool - quite a big one - that we blew up for a family gathering earlier this year when the weather was warmer. Running under or through the sprinkler was another favourite but now with such an emphasis on saving water, I feel guilty using a sprinkler on the garden, never mind just putting it on for kids to have fun in.


message 27: by Grizzlygrump (new)

Grizzlygrump | 5021 comments The garden of our childhood home was tiny, not really enough room for a paddling pool so we used to bugger off across town to the outdoor swimming pool - pay your entry fee then stop all day :)


message 28: by Blastronaut (last edited May 28, 2018 10:05AM) (new)

Blastronaut  | 1019 comments Anyone partial to a bit of hedge-hopping in their younger years? There was a couple of rows of flats and bungalows up the village where the back gardens of each row were aligned perfectly with various sized hedges. We used to call it The Grand National. The last hedge at the bottom was a bit of git as it was about seven-or-so foot high, but if one was still in one piece (obviously the 'race' was always after dark and there was the odd fence made up of a couple of wires which were pretty tough to see) and still going at a good pace, then one could hit it hard enough to go straight through. If ya couldn't manage that last hedge, ya had to exit via the last house's path and chance being caught by the peed off inhabitants.
We were horrible little baskets as kids with no thought to the damage we were doing to folk's gardens.


message 29: by Tech XXIII (new)

Tech XXIII  | 6727 comments absolutely, blastro, but we didnae hauf shight it if the inhabitant happened to be in the back garden!

but, yeah, it's a sobering thought how little regard we held for people's property! we're now at the age of being the peed off inhabitants! "haw, ya wee basturt, git yur erse aff mah fence! ah ken yur faithur" :)


message 30: by Martin (new)

Martin O' | 2196 comments "Guilty yer honour!"
As part of a local group of itinerant waifs and strays, our front doors were often frequented by irate neighbours complaining about our behaviour. As you can imagine our parents did not look kindly upon our nocturnal frolics and stern retribution was dealt out in liberal doses and a firm hand.


message 31: by Brass Neck (last edited May 29, 2018 06:43AM) (new)

Brass Neck | 3890 comments Din't stop yer though, did it? Bring back 'angin' ..... for everyone (to paraphrase John Cooper Clark). That'd learn yer.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KOM61...


message 32: by TwoddleBungler (last edited May 29, 2018 07:17AM) (new)

TwoddleBungler | 4920 comments Knives! These days kids carry them for self-defence or to intimidate others. As young teenagers, my friends and I had what we called sheath-knives. We wore them openly on our belts (not to school of course!) and no-one ever questioned it. We never thought of hurting anyone - we used to practice throwing them at trees. The most dangerous thing we did was throw them into the ground trying to get as near as possible to our own feet.
Little Johnny who lived opposite me was three years younger than the rest of us. His dad didn't let him have a real knife and made him a wooden one. One day he asked to borrow mine. After a few minutes I asked for it back and he refused. We had a bit of a shouting match which ended when he threw my knife at me from about 10 yards away. It spun through the air and hit me just above my right eye. Luckily for me me it landed handle-first. I had a slight bruise but it could have been a lot worse. Here's roughly what it looked like - if I remember correctly the blade was 5 inches long and the handle about 4 inches:



message 33: by Brass Neck (last edited May 29, 2018 01:54PM) (new)

Brass Neck | 3890 comments Yeah, everyone needs a mate who's psycho, cos you can't find enough danger and idiocy without help?

I had one of these for camping, think I opened at least two cans with it but that's about all the practical use I ever made of it.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Victorinox-1...


message 34: by TwoddleBungler (last edited May 29, 2018 02:10PM) (new)

TwoddleBungler | 4920 comments Brass Neck wrote: "Yeah, everyone needs a mate who's psycho...
Not really a psycho. He was only 11 and just somewhat spoiled by his parents. He threw the knife out of petulance. I'm sure he didn't have any intention of hitting me.


message 35: by Gordon (new)

Gordon (skiiltan) | 2940 comments I had one of those for fishing when I was a teenager. Never thought of it as a weapon. Had a catapult, too (for projecting ground-bait into the swim). I never got around to trying any Oor-Wullie-style antics with it.


message 36: by Lez (new)

Lez | 7490 comments We sometimes had a roving gang of skinheads in my Liverpool library. Some of them openly had knives tucked in their belts but strangely they never caused trouble actually in the building. It was usually when I was in charge and I made sure we ignored them. When they’d mooched around a bit and realised there was nothing to nick (books obviously didn’t count) they’d go out and slash a few tyres rather than people.


message 37: by Tech XXIII (new)

Tech XXIII  | 6727 comments *roving gang of skinheads in my Liverpool library"

is that no the title of the new half man half biscuit record? boom!verypoor!

announcement,

'miss pilkington smythe, could you pinpoint the location of the skinheads at the moment? since tuesday, they've set up base camp in the 'periodicals and reference section', but they've been seen in 'biographies' and evidence of an 'away team' has been reported in 'classics'. the 'how to polish your d.m.'s to a mirror standard' manual has some pages missing! thankyou.'


message 38: by Gordon (new)

Gordon (skiiltan) | 2940 comments Someone once said the trouble with skinheads is they have more hair than brains.


message 39: by Martin (new)

Martin O' | 2196 comments "Oy you! You lookin' for bovver?"

Always liked their music though.


message 40: by Tech XXIII (new)

Tech XXIII  | 6727 comments assuming, martin, you're talking about the ska and rocksteady music, rather than the (mostly) racist 'oi' music they later championed? you don't strike me as a fan of screwdriver! :)

for all the negative reputations the skins engendered over the years, they, along with the 'soul boys', were responsible for the bulk of black music purchased late 60'/early 70s! a great number of skins were all about the music and the style, but every culture breeds it's own heidcases! still a few immaculately turned out skins in killie.


message 41: by Lez (last edited May 30, 2018 03:11AM) (new)

Lez | 7490 comments Much more scary than skinheads, armed or not, were young teenage girls. We had a couple of them one evening (Sheffield this time), singing loudly and throwing books around. After several warnings and threats of calling the police, our librarian, J., unwisely escorted one of them to the door, whereupon the girl grabbed her and threw her down the steps, breaking her arm. Both girls ran off but the police recognised them from our descriptions. All they could do was talk to the parents but as the girls denied everything and with no witnesses nobody could prove anything, justice was not done.
Libraries, oases of calm? You better believe it!

Sorry, I seem to have hijacked ‘Childhood Memories’ !


message 42: by Blastronaut (last edited May 30, 2018 03:47AM) (new)

Blastronaut  | 1019 comments Gotta say Tech, I always liked the look of the skins' 'uniform' so to speak. Never wanted to shave me bonce or owt like that but certainly liked my DM's, Fred Perrys and Harringtons when i wuz a kid. Mostly mods or rockers around here in the late 70s/early 80s in any case, with the odd skinhead tending to hang around with the mods and the punks... they hung around with themselves! : )


message 43: by miscellaneous (last edited May 30, 2018 04:02AM) (new)

miscellaneous  (theevilqueenofmischief) | 830 comments When I was a kid, there were no warnings about unsafe toys. We had toys with sharp metal edges, toys with small parts we could choke on, and water-toys that could kill us in our own backyards (see Slip&Slide).

We played hard and we played fast... Killer Dodge Ball, Killer Red Rover, even Killer Monopoly (those little plastic hotels really hurt if you get pinged in the eye). At least once a month, somebody had to go to the ER, and I have the scars to prove it.

It was great!


message 44: by Martin (last edited May 30, 2018 11:59AM) (new)

Martin O' | 2196 comments Tech wrote: "assuming, martin, you're talking about the ska and rocksteady music, rather than the (mostly) racist 'oi' music they later championed? you don't strike me as a fan of screwdriver! :)

for all the n..."


I certainly am Tech. Oddly enough I was a dyed in the wool rocker at the time, or so I thought until I purchased Symarip's Moonstomp on a whim, purely for the cover. It was one of my early brushes with the Caribbean flavour that blossomed slowly, Island records started putting out a lot of reggae influenced material which nudged it along, some of it even made the charts. As we mentioned some time ago even Slade started out in boots and braces with Get Down And Get With It........ "ALLRIGHTT EVERYBODEEE!!!"


message 45: by Tech XXIII (new)

Tech XXIII  | 6727 comments the chart stuff was quite often supplemented by daft string sections if the u.k. labels thought that some of the original, and much rougher, jamaican recordings had chart potential! that would be 'crazee now!' :)


message 46: by Gordon (last edited May 30, 2018 01:19PM) (new)

Gordon (skiiltan) | 2940 comments Tech wrote: "you don't strike me as a fan of screwdriver! :)"

Or, indeed, The 4 Skins (only 2 of whom appear to have been skins).


message 47: by Martin (new)

Martin O' | 2196 comments How do you circumcise a whale?

Easy, send in four skin divers.


message 48: by theDuke (new)

theDuke | 5784 comments TwoddleBungler wrote: "As a child I discovered (I don't remember how) that it was possible to make an effective explosive by mixing a particular kind of weedkiller with an easily available kitchen ingredient. I decided t..."

Better not try that today..you'll get done for terrorism now!


Gingerlily - The Full Wild | 600 comments My brother was quite a little arsonist when he was a kid. I remember him setting things on fire (including my dolls) and experimenting with plastic coke bottles with paraffin in them to blow off the top. He enjoyed melting down solder wire in a teaspoon. Our sandpit behind the garage was the scene of many a fiery experiment. I have no idea how he didn't set himself on fire.


Gingerlily - The Full Wild | 600 comments I wonder how many kids did stuff like this? Fire does have a kind of fascination to it.


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