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Benfleet A1

Hector Of The House
Joined
Jan 19, 2007
Messages
8,502
Location
Slade Prison
While having a wonder around the shop today it suddenly struck me just how little kids know of the real world and what they are missing out on. It started when my missus mentioned our niece and how it must cost her mum a fortune so she can wear all the clobber and make-up yet she hasn't two pennies to rub together. It made think just what pressures are put on parents to provide for their offsprings and how little the little darlings contribute towards it.

In todays world it seems that kids are educated to the perils of life through Play Stations and X-Boxes managing football teams and shooting Germans from 8 years old upwards but wouldn't be allowed to travel two stops on a bus until they hit 16.

I grew up on a rough old council estate where it was a good idea to toughen up pretty sharpish or be buried in a shallow grave. It was a villianous place to live with just about everyone at it in some form and the kids were left to their own devices when it came to entertaining themselves. There was a park with a couple of swings, a slide and an old wooden roundabout with half the slats missing. Running along one boundrey was a ditch, the rest was just field. One game that springs to mind was mud stick fights. All you needed was a bit of bamboo cane, mould a blob of mud onto the top and away you go. Twenty aside was the norm and the sky would turn brown with volleys of mud flying back and forth, screams filling the air when someone took a direct hit straight between the eyes, we looked like a pack of dalmations when it was tea time.

Football was always a serious affair with the bigger lads picking the teams and the small kids getting picked last and either getting chucked out on the wing where the only time you touched the ball was when you had to go and get it when it went out of play or you got lumbered in goal. It was always pop or rush in goal but that only applied if you where at least 12 and had trails with Arsenal, otherwise you never dared step of your line for fear of being battered.

Just down the road from us was West Woods. During the school holidays, kids would take them over from dawn to dusk doing a whole manner of things. Building dams in the ditches was always fun and blowing up termite nests passed the time as well. It wasn't uncommon to see some little git stirring a nest up with a stick then pouring a bit of petrol or meths in. Lob a match in then duck. If you were caught on the hop then the chances of getting a faceful of singed insects increased tenfold. Another good one was to dig a hole just of the path about 2ft square. cover it over with twigs and leaves then spit aniseed juice all over it. Dogs go mad for aniseed. How we giggled when a unsuspecting dogwalker would suddenly be wrentched of the path by their half crazed hound and dragged headlong into a ****** hole in the ground.

When was the last time you saw a treehouse in someones garden and I don't mean one from a garden centre that cost £700. The local chinese takeaway used to have everything delivered in woodern packing boxes. We would nick them and turn them into treehouses. And when I say we I do mean the kids not the parents. One good gust of wind would often bring them crashing to the ground so we would just hoist them back up and bang a few extra nails in. If you wanted money then you got up early on a sunday and started knocking on doors offering to wash cars or cut lawn. I made a couple of quid almost every weekend back in the day and when you consider that 50p was enough for a bus ride to Southend, one cinema ticket, a coke and a bag of chips then a couple of quid to an 8 year old was quite the princely sum.

Who remembers Corona fizzy drinks? Remember how if you took the bottle back then you got 2p back. Well we would jump over the fence of the local Newsagent and clear the lot out then take them all back to claim our money. They never got wise to dozens of kids marching in with bags full of bottles,some didn't even bother with that and just humped in a couple of crates. Little wonder Corona went down the shute. They must have been paying on average about £2.00 to get their bottles back. Penny for the Guy was another good money spinner, well in October/November anyway. Finding some old clothes and drawing a face on a bit of cardboard was part of the fun. Then it would be hauled up to the shops at Vic House Corner and every passer-by would be hounded for a penny. There was a girl around the corner who was a little on the simple side who stuck a mask on and flopped down in a wheelbarrow all day and made a fortune. People were impressed that 'Guy' looked like it was breathing and contributed to the fund for a fine effort.

Now its all computer games and consoles. Ask my nephew for an axe and he would probably pass me his play station guitar. Getting him to come down stairs for dinner resembles a decent of the Aiger going by the huffing and puffing I have witnessed. To be fair he has got a paper round.........which his mother does half the time because he can't be asked to climb out of his pit. I had two rounds and worked in a butchers on a saturday morning to fund clothes, records and football by the time I was 14.

People say it was safer back then but I wonder if that is really the case. I just think it was hidden from kids better and the press didn't scaremonger as much. As an example, I knew a family whos dad was never there. The usual excuse when a dad was missing was he worked on the oil rigs or abroad which normally ment he was banged up in Strangeways or Wormwood Scrubs for whatever reason. But this one never came home ever. He had been abusing his kids for years before he was finally caught and is probably still locked up to this day. Every single parent and adult for a 5 mile radius knew the truth but not one child ever was told. As far as we were concerned he worked away from home and that was it. I'm the same I suppose, my daughter is never out of my sight even when shes in the garden. I was going to school on my own, on the bus, at 5 years old. I was going to judo lessons at 7 by myself in Westcliff from Hadleigh and football on my tod at 8. I can't imagine any of that happening now.

Kids get everything on a plate nowadays and it makes me wonder just how they will cope on their own when good old ma and pa are not around anymore. They really don't know they are born.
 

MK Shrimper

Striker
Joined
Aug 6, 2005
Messages
52,399
I'm the same I suppose, my daughter is never out of my sight even when shes in the garden. I was going to school on my own, on the bus, at 5 years old. I was going to judo lessons at 7 by myself in Westcliff from Hadleigh and football on my tod at 8. I can't imagine any of that happening now.

There's your answer mate. The media has whipped up a frenzy and made every stranger a threat when that is clearly not the case.

I haven't got kids myself but I wouldn't feel comfortable not knowing where they are, despite the stats showing that 90%(?) of abuse takes place in the home by people the kids know and trust.
 

EastStandBlue

Life President
Joined
May 29, 2005
Messages
15,490
I personally think it's a fairly recent problem... I'm only 21, but never spent a minute inside the house before 8pm during the holidays as I was either playing football, building tree-houses or on the ramps with my bike.

I walked to school on my own from 6 upwards, by 10 I was going into town on my own and by 13 I had a morning and evening paper round to fund whatever I wanted, I was rarely bought anything outside of my birthday/christmas, and even then it was usually a pair of football boots.
 

Slipperduke

The Camden Cad
Joined
Aug 24, 2004
Messages
4,333
Location
North London
That's a superb post. Me and my mates used to cycle out of Chelmsford at the age of 11and we'd wind up at Danbury. Of course, once you're at Danbury, you may as well go to Maldon....

The amount of times we used to have to pedal ourselves mental just to get back in time for tea.
 

devonexile

First XI
Joined
Oct 26, 2009
Messages
430
Location
exeter
Dear lord, this is making me feel nostalgic. Many Sunday's my brother and I regularly cycled on the cycle track alongside the A127, which in those days (early-mid 60's) went up almost as far as Romford. Starting at Kent Elmes Corner, we always went well past Rayleigh, sometimes getting up to the Brentwood turn off. I would have been between 9 and 10 ish at the time.
Happy days.
 

devonexile

First XI
Joined
Oct 26, 2009
Messages
430
Location
exeter
While having a wonder around the shop today it suddenly struck me just how little kids know of the real world and what they are missing out on. It started when my missus mentioned our niece and how it must cost her mum a fortune so she can wear all the clobber and make-up yet she hasn't two pennies to rub together. It made think just what pressures are put on parents to provide for their offsprings and how little the little darlings contribute towards it.

In todays world it seems that kids are educated to the perils of life through Play Stations and X-Boxes managing football teams and shooting Germans from 8 years old upwards but wouldn't be allowed to travel two stops on a bus until they hit 16.

I grew up on a rough old council estate where it was a good idea to toughen up pretty sharpish or be buried in a shallow grave. It was a villianous place to live with just about everyone at it in some form and the kids were left to their own devices when it came to entertaining themselves. There was a park with a couple of swings, a slide and an old wooden roundabout with half the slats missing. Running along one boundrey was a ditch, the rest was just field. One game that springs to mind was mud stick fights. All you needed was a bit of bamboo cane, mould a blob of mud onto the top and away you go. Twenty aside was the norm and the sky would turn brown with volleys of mud flying back and forth, screams filling the air when someone took a direct hit straight between the eyes, we looked like a pack of dalmations when it was tea time.

Football was always a serious affair with the bigger lads picking the teams and the small kids getting picked last and either getting chucked out on the wing where the only time you touched the ball was when you had to go and get it when it went out of play or you got lumbered in goal. It was always pop or rush in goal but that only applied if you where at least 12 and had trails with Arsenal, otherwise you never dared step of your line for fear of being battered.

Just down the road from us was West Woods. During the school holidays, kids would take them over from dawn to dusk doing a whole manner of things. Building dams in the ditches was always fun and blowing up termite nests passed the time as well. It wasn't uncommon to see some little git stirring a nest up with a stick then pouring a bit of petrol or meths in. Lob a match in then duck. If you were caught on the hop then the chances of getting a faceful of singed insects increased tenfold. Another good one was to dig a hole just of the path about 2ft square. cover it over with twigs and leaves then spit aniseed juice all over it. Dogs go mad for aniseed. How we giggled when a unsuspecting dogwalker would suddenly be wrentched of the path by their half crazed hound and dragged headlong into a ****** hole in the ground.

When was the last time you saw a treehouse in someones garden and I don't mean one from a garden centre that cost £700. The local chinese takeaway used to have everything delivered in woodern packing boxes. We would nick them and turn them into treehouses. And when I say we I do mean the kids not the parents. One good gust of wind would often bring them crashing to the ground so we would just hoist them back up and bang a few extra nails in. If you wanted money then you got up early on a sunday and started knocking on doors offering to wash cars or cut lawn. I made a couple of quid almost every weekend back in the day and when you consider that 50p was enough for a bus ride to Southend, one cinema ticket, a coke and a bag of chips then a couple of quid to an 8 year old was quite the princely sum.

Who remembers Corona fizzy drinks? Remember how if you took the bottle back then you got 2p back. Well we would jump over the fence of the local Newsagent and clear the lot out then take them all back to claim our money. They never got wise to dozens of kids marching in with bags full of bottles,some didn't even bother with that and just humped in a couple of crates. Little wonder Corona went down the shute. They must have been paying on average about £2.00 to get their bottles back. Penny for the Guy was another good money spinner, well in October/November anyway. Finding some old clothes and drawing a face on a bit of cardboard was part of the fun. Then it would be hauled up to the shops at Vic House Corner and every passer-by would be hounded for a penny. There was a girl around the corner who was a little on the simple side who stuck a mask on and flopped down in a wheelbarrow all day and made a fortune. People were impressed that 'Guy' looked like it was breathing and contributed to the fund for a fine effort.

Now its all computer games and consoles. Ask my nephew for an axe and he would probably pass me his play station guitar. Getting him to come down stairs for dinner resembles a decent of the Aiger going by the huffing and puffing I have witnessed. To be fair he has got a paper round.........which his mother does half the time because he can't be asked to climb out of his pit. I had two rounds and worked in a butchers on a saturday morning to fund clothes, records and football by the time I was 14.

I too had a morning paper round, which became an evening and morning round after the launch of the Echo. Amongst other things this paid the two and sixpence each way my dad invested for me anti post on Foinavon at odds of 500/1. Never mind that I picked it with a pin and it was my first ever bet. It won because all the other horses fell over in a pile up and paid about two years worth of paper round money. It funded me, my brother, father and a dozen mates to go by train to the Swindon-Southend 3rd round cup tie (2-0 southend-goals from Billy Best and Chico Hamilton), and a host of other goodies too.

I've had a bet on every Grand National since, over 40 years on I'm still waiting for another winner!
 
Last edited by a moderator:

osymandus

Life President
Joined
Jan 20, 2007
Messages
5,352
Location
Here there everywhere
Reminds me i used to have 2 rounds as well including the Sunday's used to carry both at the same time . And a walk down Brays lane and back :D

I think you get it spot on with , not less dangerous back in the day just not as well reported or made known . The availability of goods for teen markets etc is obvious as companies knew they had disposable income and a 30 second attention span that needs filing , and who do you aim it at to best badger the parents .

I used to get 10p for my Corona bottles ;)
 
Joined
Jul 12, 2005
Messages
22,733
Location
Canvey Island
Great post Grouty, and plenty of fond memories for me. We did the Corona bottle trick which really supplemented our pocket money nicely. We used to go scrumping in a local orchard and one day jumped over the fence into the arms of the local bobby, who relieved us of our ill gotten gains, and sent us on our way with a thick ear and how he'd be round to see our parents. We ere more worried about that than the thick ear. Nowadays they'd be crying police brutality.

There were people who were deemed "peculiar" but we knew to steer clear of them. One bloke would offer us sixpence to come in his garden. I reckon if he'd offered a shilling we would have come in his mouth. ;)

From this distance in time, summer holidays were long hot days (obviously not), we'd go out soon after breakfast, come back when we were hungry, and back out again until it was almost dark. We'd also exploree very ditch, bids nest etc collect newts, frogs and tadpoles in a variety of jam jars and watch their development.

As there was nowhere near as much traffic as today, the roads were that much safer and we could cycle everywhere. Times move on, and I'd wager future generations will no doubt have the same conversations.
 
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