Posts Tagged ‘games’


It’s January 1977 and I’m on a school trip to Ingleborough in the Yorkshire Dales. Like many kids journeys when you was younger seem to be much further away and take much longer than when you grow up and the world seems to shrink around you. I remember this trip well as it was one of the first school trips I went on. We went down Capnut cave which I remember for the freezing cold water pouring over the top of my wellies and onto my feet turning them from red hot to ice cold in an instant. One of the teachers Mr Exely had to carry one girl out of the cave as she couldn’t stand her feet being cold and wet. Another instance was when we stopped up late one night in the hostel thinking we were the biggest rebels who had ever lived! We were all playing games until we heard a noise at the window and looked out to see the teachers there coming back from the pub very drunk with a large case of beer in their arms! They said that if we didn’t tell on them for coming back late they wouldn’t tell on us for stopping up late. Of course being young kids we were scared stiff of getting into trouble so said nothing to anyone not realising until later on in life that the teachers would have got into far more trouble than we would have done! the most memorable incident though was when we walked up Ingleborough in snowy and icy conditions over 20ft snow drifts wearing nothing more than a jumper, jacket, jeans and Doc Martens. We got to the top and Mr Exely told us to hold hands. When we asked why he said that Gaping Gill the deepest pothole in Europe was somewhere around and he didn’t want anyone to fall down it! That was health and safety in 1977!


we played out on streets
full of laughter and joy
sun high in the sky
playing games long forgotten
tig, kerbie, hide and seek
we had no cares or worries
life was simple, a pleasure
till the pop man came round
his smoky old wagon
slowly crawling onto our road
for a second everyone stopped, looked
and then the streets swarmed
with children running home
desperate to get the empty pop bottles
and get the 1p back on them
so they could get more pop
and another sugar rush
to get them through the afternoon


playing out on the street
on a summers day
sun high in the sky
games of tig, kerbie, hide and seek
no-one had a care or a worry
life was simple
till the pop man came round
alpine was our favourite
for a second the streets swarmed
with children running home
desperate to get the empty pop bottles
and get the 1p back on them
so they could get more pop
and another sugar rush
to get them through the afternoon


the valley of my memories that started from a

single pipe, too dark to see beyond its mouth

too small to climb in and explore its stomach as it

spewed forth its watery contents

 

into the valley of my childhood

always moving fast in the same direction

through parts narrow and parts wide

as the sides of the valley rose and fell

 

running with the stream as

we played in its bowels

day after day after day

as the sunshine warmed wet pebbles

 

where it never rained or snowed

so we could build dens to hide in

as friends ran by seeking us

pretending to be brave soldiers

 

leaping over the narrow parts and

jumping from the highs to the lows

flying through the air like

peter pan, if only for a second

 

landing in a heap on stones

that cut and grazed our knees

our only scars of war

this was as brave as we got

 

and then the valley ended

disappearing into a tunnel

one we could crawl into

see into, no secrets in here

 

and we got through to the other side

to a dark place we did not recognise

this was not our playground

we did not belong here

 

so we would turn around and leave

this desolate place behind and

return to our valley, the valley

of a never ending childhood

© Andrew Smith 2014