Skipping, football and cigarette cards...

From Harry Foy's Book  'Growing up in Portadown in the Thirties and Forties'

I suppose the most popular games were skipping and football. The girls had all kinds of singing rhymes to chant as they skipped and there were variations to the method of skipping.

Most of the boys were football mad. Matches with up to twenty-five a side were played in the entry. Then, you could buy a heavy type of beach ball in Woolworths for a tanner. When the ball burst you could use it as a cover for a new ball. Often the people who lived in the end house had their window broken and the boys had to club together to replace it. When the Cup Final was on we listened to it on the wireless and the newspapers printed a map of the pitch divided into squares. The commentator identified the square as play progressed so you knew in which part of the pitch the action was.

Once during a sewage scheme, a tunnel ran from the middle of the hill in Marley Street under the road into Davidson's field so that, when the field was available for a match, we ran onto the field from underground just like the Arsenal team. In the bigger matches football boots were divided. If you got a right boot you played on the right, and vice versa.

The collection of cigarette cards, or "ciggies" as we called them, was very popular. Most cigarette packets carried them and you swapped them or "blew" for them on a window sill. They were also educational as you learned about ships, cars, birds, national flags, etc. Then there was "Leave O", a variation of "tig". We had spinning tops on which you stuck coloured silver paper and there were "peggers", a heavy top you spun from your hand. The girls played "wee house" too. They swept dust to make the shape of the rooms and then borrowed articles from the house to furnish it.
Market Day in Portadown.

Street gangs and fogging orchards.

The wee shops.

Colourful vendors.

The Canon's trip.

The Butterfly.

Greenaway's ghost.

Summer on the Bann.

The Great Lemonade Robbery.

My first day at school.

The packman.

Even the dog understood the language.


Our House.

A long throw since skittles game was born.

The Gas Man Cometh.

In tune with the band.

Clubs and tickmen.

Donald Campbell Had nothing on us.

The Obinsville Cowboys.

Singing in the streets.

Such good sports.

The days of the sand quays.

The magic of Christmas.

Bombs - not sandwiches.

Escape to the movies.

My first taste of plays.

Smuggling knew no borders.

The tale of the pigs.

Three brass balls.

Thanks for the memories.

First class show!.

Who could forget Mary Ann!.

Health remedies.

Fondly Remembered.

Going To The Dogs.


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