School holidays are underway and children are out playing in Govan's streets, as they ever were. Today, on her 75th birthday, Tillie tells another tale from her Govan childhood. Thanks and many happy returns!
My era for street game was from 1942 to 1950 approximately, when I was aged 6 to 14 years.
Most of our games involved running about and a lot of competition; games like Kick the Can and Rounders. Aleevio was where the person who was het had to collect as many others as he could find and place them in a den. Then when he was out looking for the rest, one of the free people could release the prisoners in the den. Most of us children just ran about wild, trying to follow the rules.
After the war the air raid shelters lay open and unattended and children played in them during the day. I was forbidden by my parents to go inside them and being me, I obeyed, but couldn't help looking in as I was passing. They were dark and gloomy and smelled stale and damp. My friend told me that her daddy said that drunk men slept in them at night.
We also played on our roller skates out on the road. The surface was tarmacadam, perfect for our skating games. The only traffic was the odd horse and cart.
In the evenings, my cousin and I used to play on our skates on Edmiston Drive outside the Rangers Football Park and no cars or other motor vehicles ever came along.
We played lots of games on the road. We pretended the road was a river and we had to get across without being caught by some evil being that lived in it. We had little chants which went something like;
Person on pavement says, "Master, Master, may I cross your Golden Water?”
Person in water(road) answers, " How much will you pay me?”
Pavement - "How deep is your water?"
Water – “ Put your finger in and see."
Pavement - " Oh, I've lost my golden ring!"
Water – “Put your hand in and see."
Pavement - " Oh, I've lost my golden bangle!”
Water – “Put your foot in and see."
Pavement - "Oh I've lost my golden shoe!"
Water - " Swim for it!"
Pavement jumps into water and Water tries to catch him. If he does then they change places and the game begins again.
We were never at a loss for a game to play and plenty of children to play with on Govan's streets. Our imagination was boundless.