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Memories of Childhood: Saturday


Time to go to the market for the weekend shop, and maybe a bargain to be had. At home there was the black leading to do and the older children helped with their chores: the fire irons and fender to clean, steel knives and forks to clean with steel wool, anything that needed Brasso was shone ‘till it gleamed, and all the shoes for Sunday and the school week were polished starting with father’s: Grandma making sure the laces were ironed, and the insteps cleaned. Grandma then turned her ironing attention to the newspaper so that father’s hands weren’t blackened with print. When he’d finished, we could read the comic strips. For some of our religious neighbours, Saturday lunch was the big dinner, and Saturday was washing day, so we kept out of the way! And we had home entertainments: the gramophone or radio to listen to, singing to a piano or fiddle accompaniment. Some of my friends’ parents played cards and their father’s would go to the local to meet their pals.

Saturday cinema was an adventure free from parental eyes, and when dinner was over there were games on the street or at a friend’s. The boys would play football [cricket in summer], or swing on the lampposts, and the girls had dolls’ tea parties or played skipping or hop flag. I liked to play with a stick and hoop spinning it down the road or even better, whip and top. Some lucky children had spinning tops which would hum as they spun – the colours merging into a rainbow. It was fun to have a tea-party, the little girls had them quite often for their dolls!

But the best thing about Saturday was that there was no school! And a whole afternoon to find new things to do with our friends.

From a book of Memories compiled by Kathryn A. Booth.

This book of memories is compiled from the stories told about life around the time of World War 1. It is used in some Senior Citizens homes to help recall memories of times past. If you would like to add any of your families memories from this time, please use the contact form below.

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