Nov 30 2010

‘Look at whose coming down the street…’

Published by at 7:17 pm under News

(Click on photo to enlarge)

I’m not sure from whom, where or how this photo of Henriette Street came to me but as soon as I saw it  I could hear all those singing voices from years back ‘Look at whose coming down the street, Patty O’Neill with wah wah feet…’ Do you remember it? There were gangs of young girls queueing up to have their go at running through the skipping rope. ‘Stop pushing me, you’ll get your go’. The tense faces of the two girls turning the rope as they tried to keep up to the beat of the rope as it hit off the ground. Most of the boys just stood around in wonderment, wishing they had the same sense of rhythm as the girls. Like the young boy looking on in the photo it always seemed to me that the girls were much better at things like Skipping and Piggy Beds than us boys. On our road the skipping usually started during the summer holidays and could last for hours on end. My sister had a skipping rope that she got for her birthday but it was only for one person to use at a time. The rope in the above photograph reminds me of it. Look at how clever those children are by using it to jump over. By tying it to the railings it only takes one child to work it, leaving the rest to play the game. And look at all of the other children out on the street. Do you ever remember girls running along the footpath as they skipped with a single rope? As the summer evenings wore on the big skipping rope would be doubled over and tied around the lamp-post and used as a swing. We were allowed stay out until ten o’clock at night during the summer and even then we’d moan about having to go in. We’d want to stay out and have a game of Kick the Can or Nick Nack. Sometimes we’d all sit under the lamp-post and listen to the bigger girls telling Ghost Stories or singing ‘Old Mac Donald had a farm…’ each of them taking turns to make animal noises. We’d be sure to go to our beds exhausted but very happy. The Ma’ and Da’ were probably just as exhausted as we were if not more so. They were usually the first ones up out of the bed in the morning and the last ones to get back into it at night. God bless them for struggling without complaint, for the love that they showed us everyday and for being there when needed. ‘Whose turn is it now to turn the rope’?

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