Diabolo was another game, two thin sticks joined by a length of string with a thick round piece of wood with a narrow waist in the middle, which was thrown in various different ways from the middle of the string.

Chucks could be bought but were often just cube like pieces of wood or such. These were played on the back of the hand and the skill was to see how many could be used at once.

Another back of the hand game was buttony. A bay (square) was marked on the ground containing a few buttons or perhaps a special one. The person who twitched a button from her hand to cover a button in the bay was the winner of that button.

Little girls collected 'boodies' - bits of broken china or stones, and these were used as shop articles with small pieces of grit as money. These 'shops' were often played on the netty steps. At least the kiddies all played near their homes and the mother just had to shout the child's name when he or she was wanted.

The boys played marbles in the back street, it was easy to scoop a hole for the marbles. Penkers and marbles were much prized and carried in trouser pockets. A boy was thrilled if he had a metal booler, if not metal, anything round, like the later hula hoop. The metal ones often came from the blacksmith's shop at the pit, all with a metal rod with a curved end. This was used to set and keep the booler moving, the boy running with it, enabling a lot of ground to be covered.

Block was an all round game. One picked to hide while the rest closed eyes and counted to 50 or more, then shouting 'off' they singly set off to find the hide out. The winner then taking the role of hiding. Mounty kitty was not an easy game for it was jumping on each others backs. Flicking over collections of cigarette cards to try and win more was another pastime. Naughty ones in that time played 'Nocky Nine Doors. One child would knock on someone's door and they all ran to hide, and watch the householder looking round for their visitors.


Indoors on winter nights, they could play quiet games, or a bit noisier ones like 'Snap', 'Snakes and Ladders' etc. Singing games for tiny tots, there was 'A ring a ring of roses, A pocket full of posies, Isha Asha, we all fall down', and the tots pretended to go down. Like many other things, the origin of these words go back a long time ago, but this one was rather nasty, for it was about the great plague, when victims sneezed a lot before they fell dead.

Wallflowers growing round the wall, we're all little children, we're all going to die except' - naming the child. Nuts and May, Farmers in his den, The Mighty Duke of York, who was the son of George 3. Ball games as well as football, were played. The footballer's goal was often marked by the boys' coats. Stotting the ball to see how long it could be kept up, was competitive, with various methods such as 1.2.3. A - Laire etc. Throwing and catching and throwing to each other. All these past time games were very good for health reasons, developing muscles and getting the blood flowing.

Other singing games were -
Lucy Locket lost her Pocket
The Jolly Miller
Pop goes the Weasel
Looby Loo
Poor Jenny is a weeping
The big ship sails through the Illy, Ally, 0
The farmers in his den
Oranges and Lemons
London Bridge is Falling Down
Nuts in May
Old Roger.

Tippy Cat was another game made of wood. Apiece of wood 6 inches long, with pointed ends had the middle pared away to resemble a square waist. A red hot needle burnt roman numbers on each side. The players in turn tapped the tippy with a stick and recorded the number that came to the top to see who could score the highest.