Sue and Martin above Zermatt - 2018

Sue and Martin above Zermatt - 2018
Showing posts with label Family. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Family. Show all posts

Tuesday, 31 March 2020

The History of Toys - A Project for Jessica

Click on the images for better versions
In a change to my planned (albeit fairly random) posting, here's a picture generated by a request to help my six year old granddaughter with a project she is embarking on - 'The History of Toys'.

"Could you tell her about some of the toys you had as a child?" her mum asks.

Most of the toys I've gathered for the dining room table picture are actually from Jessica's mum's generation, but others are older. The bag on the left contains wooden building bricks which could date from almost any era, I suspect. At the moment I can't find any of the small stone bricks that were my favourite toy for a while (see below, Lott's Bricks); they preceded 'Minibricks' that were eventually superseded by Lego.

Jess will spot the two train sets that she and Jacob liked to play with when they visited us, and the Woodbine dominos, made of tin, are quite old. Jigsaws and playing cards (including 'Happy Family' cards) featured highly. My favourite jigsaw was the one of Buckingham Palace, pictured below. I used to make it repeatedly. Can you spot the unopened 'Mazzle' of the Yorkshire Dales. It was sitting on the table waiting to be started, before all these other toys were added.

Meccano, Dinky Toys, and then Matchbox toys, featured at the top of my list of favoured toys in the 1950s. The Dinky and Matchbox toys stayed at my parents' house. Perhaps just a few remain under Great Grandma Dot's supervision, but I have the Meccano, together with a large set of Meccano magazines in their binders. The one from 1958 is pictured under the cribbage board.

I have lots more games and toys in the loft, but I hope this might get Jess started. If anyone else has anything, by way of memories or pictures, I'd be delighted to hear from you ([email protected]) and I'll pass on your memories etc to Jess. Thank you.
Some memories from Humphrey:
"Ah yes. Splendid stuff.
You'll recall Happy Families? We had an additional set - also by Pepys Games, published by Frederic Warne & Co  - with illustrations by the wonderfully named Angus Clifford Racey Helps. The lead attraction was the splendid Humphry Goggle. Image below.

I like to think of Mrs Croak as Humphry’s ex, left with his two tadpole children to push round in her soap box, with her splendid look of resigned determination…

My favourite, however, was a modular construction set called Brickplayer.

This was just the best - using scale bricks and a water-soluble cement you could make anything that took yr humour. My father came home with a job-lot of random Meccano (the old metal kind)* and I'd combine the two.

I remember one time - I must've been around 12 - when an acquaintance of my father called by and remarked "I see your son is still playing with dolls-houses". "Actually", replied my father, "It's an architectural model"

"Thanks, Dad", said I.

Years later I found that two architect friends had started their journey in the same way. The great thing about both Brickplayer and Meccano was that they weren't toys. They got you into some serious engineering."

Thanks Humphrey...
I've also found some of the favourite toys from my early years in the mid 1950s:

These Lott's brick were my absolute favourite.

* I have lots of that.
My friend Conrad has provided the following input:
"Not many toys about when I was young (born 1939) - later with my own offspring - Etch-a-Sketch, Millenium Falcon, A plastic tree house, Muffin the Mule. I will try and remember some more."

Friday, 13 March 2020

Before they went grey!

Just a bit of light relief from 48 years ago. All still going strong except for BVN 406B.
I shared a flat in Chatham Grove with Anna and Jacqui; Paul (aka 'Angus') and Julie were across the road with John Clark, who probably took this photo.

Wednesday, 25 December 2019

Merry Christmas Everyone

With Very Best Wishes from Both of Us

Sunday, 24 November 2019

Introducing 'Rocko'

Yesterday's forecast of heavy rain was 100% wrong. Today's forecast of a dry day was 100% wrong. Why do we bother looking at weather forecasts?!
After a 'just about dry' , Sue went bellringing and I jogged off in increasingly damp weather, to meet Kate and Co at Dunham Massey.
The autumn colours beside the canal in Altrincham, where lots of rowers were going through their paces, were pleasant enough, especially as they were accompanied by the dulcet tones of the bells of St Margaret's.
Towards Dunham the gloomy vista was enlightened by the surprising sight of two ladies on surf boards!
Kate and Co duly turned up, and the new member of the family, 13 week old 'Rocko', a Cocker Spaniel, went for his first 'big walk' - all of 2.5 km in the rain!
A deer was encountered. It must be used to dogs. Oscar and Rocko didn't quite know what to make of it.
Oscar is supposed to be reaching Rocko how to behave, which seems a little odd to me, as Oscar has not yet learnt (after about nine years), how to behave himself!

Wednesday, 16 October 2019

Polly For Sale

I bought Polly in April 2010, so that's nearly ten years of trouble free motoring from this excellent little car, with this year's mileage being the highest out of all those years - probably because we've had no long trips away this year.
I've had this car far longer than any other. It's lovely to drive and really hasn't given me any reason to want to replace it, but good things don't last for ever, and I judge this to be an appropriate time to sell. With minimal service bills, cheap insurance, and depreciation of £400 pa, I think it has served me well.
It may not sell, but if it does, I hope the new owner will be very happy. Here's the overview.

Monday, 23 September 2019

This, That, and the Other

Is it really a week since we were enjoying the sound of the Spirit of New Orleans Jazz Band at Eagley Jazz Club?
It's a couple of kilometres down Park Road from our house to Timperley Village. The road is lined by a mixture of properties and many mature trees. As I walked down the road one day last week I noticed that one of the very healthy looking trees was being trimmed. At least, that's what I thought I saw. Two days later it was clear that 'trim' was something of an understatement. What a shame... The stump, visible on the far right of the following picture, must be at least two metres in diameter.
We've had some lovely weather over the past week, and I enjoyed a sunny walk in rural Cheshire on Friday morning, on which I reported .
Meanwhile, walking down the canal towpath to the shops in Sale was an absolute delight.
Ken and Helen, who live in Ottawa - and who we visit each winter, arrived for a couple of nights. They are seasoned parkrunners, and joined us and 344 others on a delightfully sunny 5 km run on Saturday morning.
Jenn was Run Director for the day and she managed to conduct the formalities without falling from her pedestal! Well done, Jenn.
There was cake. Thanks go to those 'milestone' participants who provided it.
Coffees in the courtyard were consumed in a very jolly atmosphere, and we were delighted to receive a 'hello' message from our friends at Kanata parkrun near Ottawa - Ken and Helen's home run.
Full results are .
Another courtyard, that at Tatton Park, was the venue for lunch, where Ken, Helen, Sue and I were joined by Kate, Jacob and Jessica. No group photo I'm afraid.
Jacob (8), decided to practice being a teenager...
… there was a 'phone under there somewhere.
Everyone else went to look around the gardens. Jacob was glad to discover that we hadn't enough tickets on our National Trust membership for him and me, so the two of us went into the park for a game of frisbee. There were quite a few folk about, so points were scored for 'Random Hits'. I won - 1:0 - scoring with a superb 'bum' hit.
Then we went back to the courtyard, playground, etc.
It's raining now...

Monday, 16 September 2019

Please Pass the Salmon....

Thanks to Millie, Mike and Sarah for hosting an excellent 'salmon' meal last night...

Wednesday, 28 August 2019

August 23 to 26, 2019 - A Visit to Whinfell Forest - Center Parcs near Penrith

Just a few more pictures to amplify . Click on any image to get a better version/slideshow.
The picture above shows the swimming and aqua centre, where no photos were taken due to the risk of moisture damage. Not to say that no damage was incurred, as one of my ears is still inundated....
We arrived in our chalet for eight plus Oscar the dog on Friday, and Sue, Jacob and I enjoyed a brief excursion to Penrith parkrun on Saturday morning - reported .
At some point during the weekend, some kind person took the following group picture.
The sports hall is pretty vast. At the back of the left side of the following shot are some squash courts, one of which has been adapted to host some family games that were great fun.
Outside, Jess enjoyed an 'off road' experience. She seems to like driving.
Football Pool, which Sue and I enjoyed at Sherwood Forest, was a winner here.
Mike and Sarah enjoyed frequent visits to the Pancake House, from which there's a good view over the lake. A close up lens may have spotted some of the red squirrels that live in this forest.
Short tennis tested Jacob's ball skills.
There was some more driving for Jess, this time without the aid of an electric motor.
"Look no hands" - Kate was busy teaching advanced driving skills to the five year old.
Jacob went high.
As did Sue.
The go-karts were a popular choice.
Golfing took place. The winner is holding the trophy!
More ball skills, with Mike demonstrating his expertise with the small bat.
By now, and after numerous activities not captured on film - aqua sports, owls, massages, gym, etc etc, it was Monday afternoon - time for a final visit to the flumes, rapids and canyon of the pool before joining the homeward bound queues on the M6 motorway.
Thanks, everyone, for a most enjoyable weekend.

Sunday, 25 August 2019

On Holiday at Whinfell Forest




Eight of us are enjoying a few days at Center Parcs' holiday village near Penrith.

The swimming complex has the edge over our usual Sherwood Forest base, and the numerous wallet draining activities are proving popular with everyone, especially grandma. Some of those activities are illustrated above. More photos will no doubt follow during the course of the week.

Jacob just about managed to synchronise his high wire exploits in the last picture with England's unexpected winning runs in the test match against Australia at Headingley. 

Monday, 12 August 2019

Sunday 11 August 2019 - Another Visit to Shelsley Walsh Hill Climb

After an overnight visit to Dot, Sue and I met Sue's mum and dad at Shelsley Walsh, where there were some pretty quick vehicles.
We were last here , when I took a few pictures with a proper camera. Today, I had that camera - but I'd forgotten to charge its battery, so this posting just relies on pictures taken with my S9 phone.
The announcers seemed a bit confused by the green and white van pictured above in the background. It was the only van racing, and competing alongside Aston Martins and Porsches it performed quite well!.
The start doesn't look all that steep, but it is quite a slope, with a sharp bend that kicks in just as the cars have reached a good speed.
Drivers await in the paddock to be called.
Marshalls seem to be everywhere, here at a fast corner.
The next two pictures were taken from about the same place as the last one, getting on for half way up the course, looking back down the hill.
After our picnic lunch, Sue and I went to the top of the course, where there's a holding paddock out of sight of spectators. After each batch of climbers the vehicles are released back down the hill, ready for the next batch - usually in a different class.
Before we left, after a picnic tea, I couldn't resist a snap of this old Buick. I think it's a Buick Special dating from around 1938.