logo - Join me in the 1900s early C20th
Florence Cole as a child

More games children used
to play on the streets

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Hopscotch

Paving slabs marked out for Hopscotch

Paving slabs marked out for Hopscotch at York Castle Museum.

For playing hopscotch the concrete paving slabs of the pavements could easily be marked out with chalk. This washed and rubbed off quite quickly so was never taken amiss by anyone in my Edwardian childhood.

Street pavement suitable for playing hopscotch

A recent picture of Lopen Road showing that the concrete paving slabs used in the early 1900s for hopscotch are still there. In most areas elsewhere they seem to have been replaced by tarmac.

There were many variations of hopscotch with different rules about what to do at each slab.

Hopscotch always seemed to be a game for girls where I lived.

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Cricket

old gas street lamp

The wicket for our street games - a lamp post.

When we played cricket, a lamp post was the wicket.

Lamp posts were short and rather elegant, and not automatically controlled. The lighting came from gas mantles which were the same as those used in our houses.

Lamp posts were also used as winning posts in other games.

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Skipping

Early 1900s superior skipping rope with wooden handles containing ball bearings to prevent the rope from twisting out of shape as it swung round

Early 1900s superior skipping rope with wooden handles containing ball bearings to prevent the rope from twisting out of shape as it swung round. Photographed in Milton Keynes Museum.

Almost certainly such a skipping rope was for children from wealthy families. Children on housing estates would have had to make do with simple lengths of rope.

Skipping was one of my favourite games, either by myself holding an end of a skipping rope in each hand or in a group where the ends of a longer rope were held by two different people.

Any number of children could come in and skip together and sometimes we tried to see how many we could get in before someone stumbled over the rope and stopped it.

Sometimes we would play at "calling in" a particular child by name and we would vary the speed of the rope so that the child doing the jumping had to jump faster or in some sort of fancy manner.

If you can add anything to this page or provide a photo, I would be pleased to hear from you.

Pat Cryer, webmaster

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