Tuesday, 15 June 2021

Toys

I watched 'The Bidding Room' on television this afternoon.   I have not had a brilliant day and have felt very tired.   Apart from usually watching 'Escape to the Country' during my three o'clock siesta I hardly ever watch television during the day.   But today I did my usual walk although I felt tired and it was something I should not have done.   The last half of the walk is uphill and I had difficulty getting home.  So after lunch I rested and watch The Bidding Room.   On it were two Face Screens - not particularly valuable (£65) but very pretty and they brought back memories for me.

If you don't know what Face Screens are they look a bit like hand-held mirrors, made of papier mache with pretty handles.   They were used in the pre central heating days to screen one's face from the heat of the open fire.   (In Jane Austen's time)

They were beautifully decorated with scraps.   I had completely forgotten scraps.   Are you old enough  to remember them?   I have no idea when they went out of fashion but when I was a child in the thirties we used to save up our pocket money to buy books of scraps - small sticky backed pictures which you peeled off and then stuck in books you were making.   I particularly remember buying scraps of wild flowers and birds and sticking them in special books.   I haven't seen any for years and years.

In fact I don't think children have 'toys' like this any more - everything to 'play'  with seems to be in one way or another related to the smart phone.

I tried to think of other toys I had but really I could only remember one or two.   I did have a doll's pram and I did have a succession of bikes as I grew. I expect children still have pocket money (no doubt much more in proportion than we had when money was less plentiful).   Maybe dolls' houses and toy trains were both still 'in fashion 'but I can't remember much else.

Can you recall any of your toys? 

38 comments:

Bettina Groh said...

I had a doll.pram. doll house, teddy bear, Mini Brix, and small lead animals....most were left behind when we emigrated. Not enough room in our luggage.

Marcia LaRue said...

Your scraps sound like the stickers used in making scrapbooks and Dollar Tree stores have loads of stickers to choose from as, I am sure, any hobby store might have, as well!
Definitely had dolls and doll beds my Mom made for my sister and I.

JayCee said...

One Christmas, I must have been 4 or 5 years old, my parents bought two identical dolls' prams for my sister and me. They were pretty basic metal prams but we loved pushing our dolls around in them. That same Christmas I was given a paintbox which I remember still.
I never had a teddy but I did have a golly which I loved to death; poor thing got totally worn out!

Bovey Belle said...

I have some of those scraps which came with something in the antique line that I bought. I need to find a worthwhile project to use them on. Some are Victorian I think.

I had a tin doll's house with bricks and roses printed on the outside. The inside was very much left to the imagination (and pretty sparse as I never had much in the way of furniture for it that wasn't made by me!

I had a big Compendium of Games one Christmas and mum and I used to play lots of games from that. I especially remember Ludo and Lotto and of course, Snakes and Ladders.

Apart from books, my favourite things were first a set of lead farmyard animals - which I soon broke the legs on by show-jumping them on the table! Then I replaced those by spending some of my pocket money each week on Britain's plastic horses and ponies. Some had a little peg on theback so you could put a saddle and rider on. I played for hours and hours with those - they all had name and personalities and stables made from shoe boxes. I can still remember a lot of their names too . . . Foamfleck was my favourite and I painted him strawberry roan . . .

Anne Brew said...

I’ve got an old farm set my 4 yr old grandson pulls out every time he visits. In my experience children now do play with lots of things besides their phones although it certainly gets used!
They love card games where adults join in. x

Anne Brew said...

Pat, maybe have a day off from your walk tomorrow. Your body might need a lazy day! x

Heather said...

I particularly remember a homemade doll's house for one wartime Christmas present. I think everyone contributed something to it. My uncle made the house itself, and then Granny, an aunt and my mother made various furnishings and accessories. I believe Granny made the three piece sweet from fabric covered matchboxes, and carpets/rugs from pieces of velvet stitched around. It even had 'electric' lights from a hidden torch battery. I was thrilled. I do remember scraps and you can still by similar things today which people use to decorate journals and other handmade books.

Bonnie said...

I love your memories of the toys you played with as a child! You know, in a way I still love toys. When I was a child my dolls were my favorite things to play with along with a doll house. I remember playing with games too. I enjoyed playing with jacks and also I loved paper dolls and all the clothes you could cut out for them. I don't think paper dolls even exist any more and you hardly ever see jacks.

Anonymous said...

Fuzzy felts were a favourite of mine, along with stickle bricks, Britains Farm and Lego. Pretty much the same for my 2 who are now 19 and 15...along with brio!
Stay well and hydrated 😀
Sally

Rachel Phillips said...

Yes I remember my toys. We had a box of Dinky toys, cars and things, and I had farm animals I played with a lot and a doll and my brothers had my father's old Meccano and they used to make things and they also made balsa wood aeroplanes and planes from kits and painted them and the paint had a funny smell. We also had a treadle-operated fretsaw and made things from plywood with that too. My brothers did woodwork at school so there was always lots of making things going on.

the veg artist said...

I remember my father making a crib on rockers for my dolls, John Bull printing sets, Monopoly and Cluedo, and those books that had cut-out dolls and their cut-out clothes. I was always given books and art/craft/sewing kits, including a little loom.

Chris said...

My brother and I had a castle with toy soldiers, and other characters, which we played with endlessly on rainy days. It was an ideal outlet for our imaginative play.

GillyK said...

Was it Charlie you walked with yesterday? I've known him since I was at school and he's always the same - cheerful and pleased to see you.

CharlotteP said...

I remember to the toyshop with my grandad; most weeks he would buy me another tiny animal to add to my farm! We would take them home and make farmhouses and walled fields from Lego. In those days, Lego mostly came in little boxes of, bricks, windows, roof tiles and similar. Today it comes in huge boxes with set 'scenes', such as pirate ships. Many times more expensive, but requiring little or no imagination.
Like Rachel, I enjoyed woodwork, and had a fretsaw - again thanks to 'Gramps'.
Children still like stickers! My little neices love them.

Susan said...

As a child, I had a doll house and spent hours arranging and re-arranging the rooms. When my brother got a Lionel train it became a favorite too. Together, we built tracks over bridges and through tunnels, around countryside village scenes and through farm land with cows, sheep and horses grazing. My brother still has the train and all the bits and pieces that go with it.

Margie from Toronto said...

During one visit form my grandmother from Edinburgh, she brought my aunt's scrapbook with her. My aunt was now in her late teens and had lost interest but I must have been about 8 or 9. She also brought me loose scraps and would mail new ones to me every now and again. I remember pictures of the Royal Family and a lot of cherubs and angels. I'm sure I still have it somewhere - although my younger sisters got to it at one point and did some damage!

I also remember ball games with rhymes that all the girls knew - jump rope and here we did something we called yogi - it was elastics all joined together and we jumped at different heights. My personal favourites were paper dolls - with all their outfits.

Joanne Noragon said...

My grandchildren all had stickers that they stuck to everything. Both daughters were tolerant enough to have the entire back passenger windows obliterated by stickers.
Our toy were bicycles and tinker toys and legos.

Debby said...

I remember how we loved to play monopoly and chinese checkers. We had our mother's view masters from when she was a child, with hundreds of old reels. My sister had a doll house. I remember how I loved my little transistor radio. I would sneak it to bed with me and listen to a far away radio station and wonder what life was like in Cleveland Ohio.

Brenda said...

Books books books
Dolls
Paper dolls

Brenda said...

Transistor radio yes
Play Monopoly and other games still with grands

Ellen D. said...

My sister and I got Shirley Temple dolls one Christmas - hers had a yellow dress and mine wore a blue dress. We also got Barbie dolls one Christmas. My sister also ended up having a Ken doll (Barbie's boyfriend), a Midge doll (Barbie's best friend), and a Barbie house. She just sold it all for a good price a few years ago.
I still have my teddy bear (which I named "Beary") and he is almost 69 years old!

Cro Magnon said...

My best 'toy' was my small, second-hand, red bike. It gave me freedom to cycle about the village, go fishing, etc. Otherwise my doll, Alphonse, was a huge favourite, and still is. When I get back to the UK this winter, I'll post some pictures of him.

thelma said...

John Bull printing set and my bike was the most treasured. The thing I remember though was library books read in the sand pit in the summer, with all the flowers of the garden around. I devoured books ;)

Anonymous said...

A couple of years ago, I found a big plastic bag of those very early stickers you talked of in a charity shop. I couldn't believe my luck as it bought back memories and I will enjoy them with my only grandchild when she gets older. Your post sent me on a search to investigate where I'd put them them and on closer examination the series are, Victorian smock and bonnet girls, posies,character mice, children from around the world, butterflies, nursery rhymes, bonneted crinoline ladies with their suited partners in top hats, kittens in baskets, farm animals, and roses and pansies. . There are multiple sheets of each, so old-fashioned and wonderful..many with glitter. New stickers just don't hold the same magic. Pam, Australia

Frances said...

I had my tonsils out when I was 6 and I was given a Bayko building set to play with while I recovered. I also had some metal farm and zoo animals that I loved. Still got some of them in a box somewhere! My father used to go away for a few days for work twice a year and always brought my brother and I a Matchbox vehicle on his return.

John "By Stargoose And Hanglands" said...

Oh yes, children still buy stickers - I'm the man who used to have to unstick them from places where they weren't supposed to be when I was at work! I had a few Matchbox toy cars, some jigsaws and quite a few board games but mostly I liked a bat and ball.

The bike shed said...

I do recall book of scraps - a bit before my time but my great aunts used to have pile of them - often with biblical pictures - for the Sunday school classes they ran. And fuzzy felt characters too - again, always biblical characters

Stephanie said...

Billy and his Barrels, wooden bricks, humming top, skipping rope, teddy bear and a toy fox terrier mounted on a walking frame with scarlet wheels - his name was Portcullis.

Rachel Phillips said...

I used to collect the cards in Typhoo tea, like wild flowers, birds, footballers, etc. and put them in an album you could get from Typhoo. I did a lot of scrapbooking as well, newspaper cuttings, etc.

Tasker Dunham said...

"Slow" toys seemed to me to encourage a lot of creative thinking. I doubt that smartphones do. Things started to go downhill with Lego - it did too much for you. With Meccano you had to do more of it yourself.

Lesley Duncan said...

We had scraps when I was a child. Not the sticker kind but paper ones which were all joined together into sheets with little tabs. We kept them in old chocolate boxes, separated into categories. We spent many a happy afternoon swapping them. If you had any still joined together by the tabs they were extra valuable.

Mary said...

A stuffed monkey named Chimpy and a lifesize baby doll!
First 2 wheeler bike at age 12 opened up the countryside even more - having walked it daily since a very young child I was then able to ride farther afield with my best friend, often with a packed picnic on fine summer days during the school hols.
Sewing outfits for my smaller doll became an obsession - having a mum who'd been a Royal dressmaker was a huge plus of course! Later I made my own clothes too.
A set of child's gardening tools when young perhaps made gardening a lifelong hobby - mum and I grew veggies and fruits, and the best sweet peas up a trellis.
Scrapbooks, and stickers were many, a Bayko building set kept a male cousin and me busy, we were the same age - he then passed it along to my brother - 8 years younger - and I loved it all over again. Same cousin had a set of encyclopedia Brittanica - loved going to his home to read them!
I could add so much more about childhood toys, games and pastimes - I do know childhood was wonderful back then and we didn't even have a landline phone in our house, or a TV!!!
Hope all is good with you dear Pat.

Mary said...

I still have my beautiful forest green Silver Cross Balmoral doll's pram. It was sturdy and comfortable enough (had a lovely mattress) to be used as a temporary bassinet when my children were small infants. My favorite toys included an extensive collection of Matchbox cars...all metal, no plastic back then.

Jean Winnipeg said...

I remember scraps - we used to collect sets of them and put them (not paste) between the pages of books.

I had a project a scope - it came with a set of cards of children from around the world, you put card n the slot, plugged the projector in and the image would show on a wall.

I also remember an old man - a carpenter on a stand, he had a wheel that was sandpapered and he was sharpening a tool, if you turned the handle of the wheel fast, sparks would fly.

The Weaver of Grass said...

I had a Tansad pram and I kept it for years - couldn't bear to part with it.
Tasker - my son (who is 63) still can't bear to part with his extensive Lego collection.
Pam - I am green with envy at your finding those stickers
Thelma I had forgotten the old John Bull printing set.
Cro - do you mean to say you left Alphonse in the UK?

Gilly - it was indeed - my carer (Julie Fawcett) recognised him from my description. Do call in for a cuppa when you are this way

Wht lovely stories you have all told of your childhood - I have so enjoyed reading them and they have conjured up such imagery for me. Thank you to you all.

The Feminine Energy said...

Yes, the children of today have absolutely no idea what a "toy" is. Those various electronic things are NOT toys, in my book. What a pity!! ~Andrea xoxoxo

Starzz said...

Reading about everyone's toys makes me want to find a battery operated toy train to set up in my Secret Garden
I remember having a boy doll with a yellow t-shirt and red overalls. I saw him at Woolworths and asked for him for Christmas. I kept him and took a photo of him sitting beside my first son. Don't remember what happened to him after that. I think I named him Tommy.

Beverley said...

I remember a Chatty Cathy, Monopoly, Lego, Betabuilder, Skipping ropes, a dolls pram and my bicycle. Happy days. Bev