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Saturday, 23 April 2016

A-Z : I Remember...Toys

I  Remember When.......

Recalling Memories of My Childhood 
In my TOY box, there was no question what was my favourite - for I was a "Dolly Girl" - as told in my A-Z entry for D. 

I cannot remember having a teddy and cannot recollect the soft toy I am clutching in this photograph, but I did have that popular 1950's toy (and now very politically incorrect) a golliwog in  black and white checked trousers, a red jacket and bow tie - again made by my mother.   

We got a new jigsaw every Christmas.  The one I best remember was of a winter scene of skaters at the White Horse Inn, near Salzburg in Austria - 45 years later I actually visited the inn on holiday.  Games were popular such as dominoes, snakes and ladders, ludo, tiddlywinks and colouring books and join-the-dot books - ones I enjoyed playing later with my little granddaughter. 

Getting a pristine notebook to write in, was a delight, as was a blank scrapbook to show off my collection of scraps and a new pencil case, with new pencils, rubbers and sharpener to take to school at the start of the fresh term.  The really classy one that everyone wanted was wooden where the top swivelled round to show the bottom compartment - the only drawback was it was heavy in your satchel. 

I remember being  given (from the TV series) a Muffin the Mule and a Sooty puppet and these formed a major part of the "make believe" games we played. Puppet shows were a favourite pastime with the clothes-horse and a sheet, as the theatre and simple glove puppets made from felt and bits and pieces from my mother's trimming box.  I was usually the script-writer  and heroine (of course) and my brother did the sound effects, with  my father the hero or villain role and my mother and aunt the audience. At Christmas, led by my father  we usually put on a play for the family.  The one requirement was that should wear a long dress with a stole of my mother's, or as a maid wear a doily with streamers  on my head.  As you can gather,  I liked dressing up.   

I enjoyed playing at shops, so a toy till , with play money  was an ideal choice.   We also played at libraries, so I was in seventh heaven to be given a date stamp - and I went on to become a librarian!

Books remained one of my favourite presents for anytime of year, with Enid Blyton at the top of my list.

For my brother it was  meccano, marbles, his train set, Dinky cars and Airfix models.  Outside, he had his pedal car and football, whilst  I had my tricycle and skipping rope to practice  "crossovers" and "bumps".   Yoyos and then hula hoops  were a great fad in the playground - no doubt rejected these days by the "health and safety" brigade.

Looking back, toys seem very simple compared with the range today's children have in their crowded toy boxes, but none then  needed batteries!  I have happy memories of what we did have.  

More T's  
  • What TREATS were you given?  Every Saturday evening,  my father used to give us all a small bar of chocolate each - mine was a Fry's Turkish Delight.
  • What TV programmes did you watch? 
  • Did you have the chance to go to the THEATRE?  
  • What was your first introduction to TECHNOLOGY? We got our first gramophone in the late 1950's but we could not afford much in the way of records so could only choose one each to begin with.  Mine was ballet music, my mother's opera, Dad's a military band  - and I have no idea what my brother chose. Later I saved up my pocket money to buy in Wooldworths  records of musicals  (78's and 45's).  

Onto  U for UNIFORMS 
Copyright © 2016 Susan Donaldson.All Rights Reserved 


  1. HA - I find it amusing that you liked playing library. Your parents recognized your likes and gave you a date stamp - now that's a sign of a really good parent!

  2. I had a teddy when I was very young and evidently cried a lot when it was lost on a shopping trip.

  3. Toys ! Being an only child I was probably rather spoiled. Although I do remember hankering after an Etcha-Sketch and a swing and receiving neither. Oh and the game Mousetrap. I think I bought that later as an adult for my own children (really so that I could have it at last!)


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