Banburyshire Family History

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Muriel Wells

Hi Joe---and Friends,

If I am honest, most of my skipping took place in the 1930s!

How do you do it? Gosh we would have trembled if we had realised that our cosy little world was being observed and retained so accurately in little Joe's brain! But it is as well it was, as others amongst us remembered impressions, rather than the minutae, and so much would have been lost to posterity! Not that the world would stop, or events would change, but we would be the poorer.

This Muriel DID skip, but with your eyes on my ponytailed namesake you weren't looking my way, Joe, (picks herself up having fallen VERY flat on her face at her mistake ----- mind my bruises and blushes of humiliation, please!).

You WOULD have noticed my friend Mavis, if you had been there! Fiery auburn hair, short, short, short pleated skirts and ankle strapped patent leather shoes. She went to dancing class so was one of the expert skippers!.

This Muriel, alas, was drab beside her companion. Bespectacled and clad in skirts of sensible length, home knitted jumpers, and leather, sturdily strapped, shoes, I didn't cut a figure that would've attracted the dawning interest of any boy! Only the matronly grandmas registered approval of the sensibly dressed, well behaved little prig that I was. But honestly, I couldn't help being "good" ---I was made that way!

Are you sure of the "pink plastic", Joe? I wonder if they were pink patent leather, which has a shiny look, too. Was plastic generally available in your time --- it wasn't in mine.

Such memories flooded back --- many of them buried for nigh on 70 years. PEPPERS --- I did them, but have to confess that I didn't excel. Do you remember BUMPERS, where you jumped high whilst the rope passed under your feet twice? I wasn't "great shakes" at these either! They could be performed solo --- what a lot of effort ---- or with turners wielding the long rope.

Yes, I remember "All in together, girls"[1]. The third line eludes me, but I remember the final, "This spells OUT" (last word shouted),
and "I'm a little Dutch girl" ---- yes, yes, yes!

"I'm a little Dutch girl dressed in blue.
These are the actions
I have to do" ------------------[2]

A real favourite of ours.

Does anyone remember skipping between two long ropes ---- each one turning in opposite directions? The turners had to be given a little leeway to get the rhythm right before the skippers joined in, one at a time. We counted to see how many they got up to before getting entangled.

And what about SNAKES when one of the end turners made "waves" and we queued up to run through? The "Waves" got higher and higher eliminating the participents.

Those were the days when we could play in the streets and had adequate warning before scattering to the safety of the pavements. Children still use the streets as playgrounds if they have a suitably quiet one such as a nice little cul-de-sac!

Such fun remembering those days---they assume a rosy glow with the passage of the years.

Regards,
Muriel


1
"All in together girls".
2
"I'm a little Dutch girl dressed in blue"

Written by Muriel Wells