Saturday, 8 November 2014

Carefree days

I came across this photograph of the maypole at a village garden fete in our village - circa 1950.   Two of the farmer's sisters are on it
and when I asked him why he wasn't there he suggested that he had thought it far too 'cissy' to get involved.  (He hasn't changed then).

Of course it was almost forty years before I arrived in these parts but I am sure that similar photographs exist of similar exploits in my Lincolnshire village - because that is what we did in those days.

And they were largely carefree days providing we came from loving, 'normal' families - how lucky we were.   The war was over and things were beginning to get back to how they should be.   And although few of our families had a lot of money our mothers were usually good managers and could scrape together enough for a new dress for the maypole, or the Sunday school anniversary or similar.   As kids, I don't think we ever questioned where the money came from.

No, I don't envy today's children with all their computers, mobiles, i-pads and the like.   We were out in the fields in summer making our own enjoyment and in the winter we were near the fire (burning the fronts of our legs while the backs were freezing!) playing board games, or I spy, or reading, or learning our parts for the school or sunday school play.   Or indeed, trying to memorise exactly how you got the maypole ribbons right (I never did master it).

Alright - call me old-fashioned if you like.  But I suppose it is each to his own generation and mine has long passed.

19 comments:

Denise said...

Even though We come from different parts of the world and I grew up in the suburbs not in the country, oh how I relate to this post.I too remember the Maypole and even though I was the only one who couldn't skip, I felt beautiful on that day. I loved My youth ,those were the days My friend -Denise

Tom Stephenson said...

I hanker after some of those childhood days too, Weave. They weren't entirely innocent or horror-free, though.

Cro Magnon said...

I try to let my grandsons experience some of those activities when they are here. We go fishing, running with the dogs, tree climbing, shooting tin cans, kite flying, etc etc. They love it, but always return to their wretched iThings.

Gwil W said...

Too many cars on the roads. I think that's my main gripe when I look back at the old days when the AA or RAC man would salute a passing member displaying a badge but who has time for that courtesy on today's clogged roads?

Elizabeth said...

My childhood was mostly spent in the woods and in books... or in books about children in the woods - remember BB? an author who wrote about life in the woods
a sort of children's Thoreau (spelling?)
favorite books were Five Children and It
and The Secret Garden.

I think each generation has pleasures of their own.
So far the grandkiddies like outdoor stuff just as we did.
Yes, as Cro said, they do have their Thingies too...!

Willow said...

It does seem there was more creativity in nature and simple pleasure back in the day .

Mac n' Janet said...

I was just asking my husband that, does each generation tend to idealize their childhood? We grew up in the 50's and it was a good time to be a child.

Heather said...

I must have had a similar childhood to yours but don't remember ever dancing round a Maypole, though I think it is a lovely tradition. Books and woods were very important to us too.

jinxxxygirl said...

Hi Weave,

I think i was the generation just before the 'gadgets' started showing up. Or leastwise i never had any. And did not miss or want them. I went fishing with my brothers holding a pole and my mouth full of elderberries, even hunting and carried home the rabbits they shot with blood dripping out the nose...I loved to read (still do), draw (still do) and go wandering around in the woods (hiking) . My dad taught his kids how to hunt, and fish and camp and ski. He said he didn't want them to grow up and be boring adults......lol Parents today i think are just happy those gadgets entertain their kids. But is that really parenting? Hugs! deb

JoAnn ( Scene Through My Eyes) said...

Growing up in the boonies in Alaska we didn't have Maypoles. What a great photo to still have.

When our kids were growing up I sometimes felt that they were not getting "good memories", because they didn't get to listen to radio programs like we had done as children. I wanted that same feeling of contentment from the radio for them that I had (one of my few good memories of childhood). But as they got older they often talked of the sweet memories of all that they did and the fun they had with each other and their friends. I think each generation gets their own contentment from whatever activities they enjoy.

I really appreciated your statement about what good memories you had if you came from a normal loving family. Not all of us were that lucky and I appreciate that there are those that understand that sometimes talking of all the happy memories of family on blogs makes some of us feel left out - that statement you made, made me feel very included - I was able to enjoy my few good memories along with those who had idyllic childhoods.

I am also glad that we were able to give our kids happy carefree childhoods, and the are passing that on to our grandsons. Thank you for your blog - I enjoy it so very much!

Rachel said...

I had a pretty good childhood in the 1950s when I mostly played on my own and there was a lot of make-believe games with imaginary friends. It wasn't always happy and I learned a lot about being seen and not heard.

Terry and Linda said...

I used to love to wrap the MayPole it is no longer done here, but the memories are great.

Linda
http://coloradofarmlife.wordpress.com/?s=The+Adventures+of+Fuzzy+and+Boomer&submit=Search
http://coloradofarmlife.wordpress.com

Joanne Noragon said...

I'm coming to accept that every generation will love its own "normal." I am happy my grandchildren love books more than iThings Cro mentions, although the iThings are in their ears when they are doing homework.

Hildred said...

Time passes, and yes, I think each generation garners wonderful childhood memories, no matter what they do - my children all danced the Maypole, and it is still an event at many schools, - I see my great grandchildren outdoors, more than indoors with 'wretched iThings' that can be such a horrible distraction to real living.

I live in hope....

MorningAJ said...

I've never tried maypole dancing - but we did a whole set of skipping games that were remarkably complex, involving multiple ropes and several people (usually girls) and changing places. You could get seriously tangled up when it went wrong!

thousandflower said...

We have a may pole on Waldron every May Day. Since I can't post a picture in the comments here I'm emailing you one.

thousandflower said...

We have a may pole on Waldron every May Day. Since I can't post a picture in the comments here I'm emailing you one.

angryparsnip said...

As a child I was not able to run as free as you but we road our bikes down the street, roller skated on sidewalks, played hopscotch and read mass amounts of book.
I am happy to say my children were outside playing and we had lots of board games. They had the electronic games too. They could only play on rainy days or evening after schoolwork.

cheers, parsnip

The Weaver of Grass said...

Thanks to Margaret at Thousand Flower I do have a photograph of a maypole dance that is still going strong on Waldron Island but so far I can't get at it. When I learn how I shall hopefully post it on my blog for all to see. Thanks for all your interesting comments.