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TITLE
Interview with Duncan and Elsie Cormack about childhood games in Wick
EXTERNAL ID
PC_CF_001
PLACENAME
Wick
DISTRICT
Eastern Caithness
OLD COUNTY/PARISH
CAITHNESS: Wick
CREATOR
Duncan & Elsie Cormack
SOURCE
Am Baile and War Detectives
ASSET ID
2502
KEYWORDS
World War 2
World War II
Second World War
2nd World War
ball games
fishing
go-carts
audio

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Duncan and Elsie Cormack remember fun and games in Wick in the 1940s.

What games did you play?

Mr C: Oh ho! [Laughter]

Mrs C: Ah ha! You must remember, dear, an' it's hard for you to think about it, but they, we didn't have a whole lot of cars runnin' round the streets an' ye canna cross the road, ye canna - We played on the streets mostly and, I mean, we - Hopscotch: if ye got a piece o' chalk and ye could make beddies, as we call it, you know, and we played quite a bit o' 'at. But then, we werena vandals. We were usin' chalk, you know, and puttin' it on but nowadays they would say you were vandals if you were goin' wi' chalk. Eh, we used to, you know, like hide an' seek, you know, but one game we used to play was arrows and wi' that so many o' ye went off, you see, and hid and then after so long the others had to follow you but you gave them clues. You gave them an arrow till say, we went this way an' that way and where you went, you know. I know, it seems funny 'at, 'cause sometimes the arrows went up lamp-posts or they went up walls or something, because we weren't always just telling them the truth where we were going. You know, you had till deviate a wee bit, you know. We used till, marbles, the boys would play marbles.

Mr C: Oh aye. Well, it's natural, isn't it, for the boys to play different games?

Yeah, we played that, we played that a few weeks ago.

Mrs C: Yes, uh-huh.

Mr C: Aye. Well, there you go, you see.

Mrs C: But you see, and another -

Mr C: We played marbles but we played it on a waste piece o' groun' beside wur house and it was baked earth, hard earth and we used to sort o' scoop out a little oval bit like that, you know, three o' them, you see, and of course you drew a line then and then we threw the marbles, you see.

Yeah.

Mr C: And the best person, of course, had the most marbles in their pocket. The person that couldna play marbles very good didn't have any. That's the way it went. An' we always played football. We played football as long as there were daylight hours in it until the darkness came and then it was black-out. But in those days what we played was, the football we played was with leather, made of leather panels and a tube inside like a tyre. An' I'll tell you something, boy, when it was wet, if the grass was damp and the ball got wet, an' ye tried to head it - boing!

Mrs C: Oh boy, you had a right sore head after it.

Mr C: Oh gee. It was heavy, you see, and if you got it in the tummy or something like that - oh boy!

Mrs C: But you just got up and ran and that was it. The girls played football too. We -

Mr C: Aye, you played hockey too.

Mrs C: We played hockey, we played netball.

Mr C: Netball.

Mrs C: We used to play netball an' that against the RAF, the WAAFs. Now, what is the WAAFs?

Not a clue.

Mrs C: Women's Auxiliary Air Force.

Mr C: RAF girls.

Mrs C: That was the women, the females in the RAF, an' we used to play against them during the war. You see, these things went on; life went on. I'll tell you what we used to play was buttoney. Now, you don't know what buttoney is. Well, you see, during the war there was, everything was made use of and there was always buttons an' nobody ever threw anything off withoot removing the buttons, so yer mother always had a good supply of buttons, you know. An' like tiddlywinks, it was the same thing as tiddlywinks, except we played it wi' buttons, because we didna hiv tiddlywinks. I know it seems, but you just took yer hand and you, you had a circle, you see, and then you knocked them in to see where you would - And it all had numbers and things like that, you know. But we did, we just played ordinary games. You know, like, boys were great for going fishing.

Mr C: Aye.

Mrs C: You know, they would be -

Mr C: You fish at the harbour or fish at the dry dock in Wick. Yeah.

Mrs C: - fishing. An' I don't know what they did in Wick, in Thurso, but I know in Wick the boys used till make a penny or two 'cause they went down and if they would get fish from the fishermen at the harbour and they put them on their fingers and then they would go round the doors and sell them. That was one way of making a penny or two, but it was pennies in that days. It wasna, you know -

Mr C: I mean, you would, you would get five herring, one on each finger, two hands makes ten, doesn't it? So you'd go round the doors wi' ten herring on yer hands an' ye'd have a mate to knock at the door an' say, 'cause you couldn't knock at the door.

Mrs C: Or you'd have a hurlie, you know, if you were really, you'd have a hurlie. You know, that was -

Mr C: That was cart.

Mrs C: A cart, like a go-cart.

Mr C: A home-made cart.

Mrs C: They were made, home-made, all the toys that ye hiv now but they were still -

Mr C: Aye, you'd make a fish- a wooden fish-box, right? And you would get four pram wheels off an old pram, you see, and of course, we would put them together and bang them and make them and then you could run on it down the hill. Khewh!

Mrs C: Don't you think you would be better off if you'd been in our day? Look at all the fun you would have had! [Laughter]

Mr C: You'd go down the long hill in yer hurlie, we called them, an' you might be doin' at least twenty mile an hour - aye, honest - go straight down the hill and again, if ye didn't turn well at the bottom, ye were in trouble; you went poo-uh - like that! We'd crashes wi' them too.

Mrs C: But then you maybe lost a teeth or two or you got more grazes on yer knees an' that's it.

Mr C: Yes, oh aye.

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Interview with Duncan and Elsie Cormack about childhood games in Wick

CAITHNESS: Wick

World War 2; World War II; Second World War; 2nd World War; ball games; fishing; go-carts; audio

Am Baile and War Detectives

War Detectives (interviews)

Duncan and Elsie Cormack remember fun and games in Wick in the 1940s.<br /> <br /> What games did you play?<br /> <br /> Mr C: Oh ho! [Laughter]<br /> <br /> Mrs C: Ah ha! You must remember, dear, an' it's hard for you to think about it, but they, we didn't have a whole lot of cars runnin' round the streets an' ye canna cross the road, ye canna - We played on the streets mostly and, I mean, we - Hopscotch: if ye got a piece o' chalk and ye could make beddies, as we call it, you know, and we played quite a bit o' 'at. But then, we werena vandals. We were usin' chalk, you know, and puttin' it on but nowadays they would say you were vandals if you were goin' wi' chalk. Eh, we used to, you know, like hide an' seek, you know, but one game we used to play was arrows and wi' that so many o' ye went off, you see, and hid and then after so long the others had to follow you but you gave them clues. You gave them an arrow till say, we went this way an' that way and where you went, you know. I know, it seems funny 'at, 'cause sometimes the arrows went up lamp-posts or they went up walls or something, because we weren't always just telling them the truth where we were going. You know, you had till deviate a wee bit, you know. We used till, marbles, the boys would play marbles.<br /> <br /> Mr C: Oh aye. Well, it's natural, isn't it, for the boys to play different games?<br /> <br /> Yeah, we played that, we played that a few weeks ago.<br /> <br /> Mrs C: Yes, uh-huh.<br /> <br /> Mr C: Aye. Well, there you go, you see.<br /> <br /> Mrs C: But you see, and another -<br /> <br /> Mr C: We played marbles but we played it on a waste piece o' groun' beside wur house and it was baked earth, hard earth and we used to sort o' scoop out a little oval bit like that, you know, three o' them, you see, and of course you drew a line then and then we threw the marbles, you see.<br /> <br /> Yeah.<br /> <br /> Mr C: And the best person, of course, had the most marbles in their pocket. The person that couldna play marbles very good didn't have any. That's the way it went. An' we always played football. We played football as long as there were daylight hours in it until the darkness came and then it was black-out. But in those days what we played was, the football we played was with leather, made of leather panels and a tube inside like a tyre. An' I'll tell you something, boy, when it was wet, if the grass was damp and the ball got wet, an' ye tried to head it - boing!<br /> <br /> Mrs C: Oh boy, you had a right sore head after it. <br /> <br /> Mr C: Oh gee. It was heavy, you see, and if you got it in the tummy or something like that - oh boy! <br /> <br /> Mrs C: But you just got up and ran and that was it. The girls played football too. We -<br /> <br /> Mr C: Aye, you played hockey too.<br /> <br /> Mrs C: We played hockey, we played netball.<br /> <br /> Mr C: Netball.<br /> <br /> Mrs C: We used to play netball an' that against the RAF, the WAAFs. Now, what is the WAAFs? <br /> <br /> Not a clue.<br /> <br /> Mrs C: Women's Auxiliary Air Force.<br /> <br /> Mr C: RAF girls.<br /> <br /> Mrs C: That was the women, the females in the RAF, an' we used to play against them during the war. You see, these things went on; life went on. I'll tell you what we used to play was buttoney. Now, you don't know what buttoney is. Well, you see, during the war there was, everything was made use of and there was always buttons an' nobody ever threw anything off withoot removing the buttons, so yer mother always had a good supply of buttons, you know. An' like tiddlywinks, it was the same thing as tiddlywinks, except we played it wi' buttons, because we didna hiv tiddlywinks. I know it seems, but you just took yer hand and you, you had a circle, you see, and then you knocked them in to see where you would - And it all had numbers and things like that, you know. But we did, we just played ordinary games. You know, like, boys were great for going fishing. <br /> <br /> Mr C: Aye.<br /> <br /> Mrs C: You know, they would be -<br /> <br /> Mr C: You fish at the harbour or fish at the dry dock in Wick. Yeah.<br /> <br /> Mrs C: - fishing. An' I don't know what they did in Wick, in Thurso, but I know in Wick the boys used till make a penny or two 'cause they went down and if they would get fish from the fishermen at the harbour and they put them on their fingers and then they would go round the doors and sell them. That was one way of making a penny or two, but it was pennies in that days. It wasna, you know -<br /> <br /> Mr C: I mean, you would, you would get five herring, one on each finger, two hands makes ten, doesn't it? So you'd go round the doors wi' ten herring on yer hands an' ye'd have a mate to knock at the door an' say, 'cause you couldn't knock at the door. <br /> <br /> Mrs C: Or you'd have a hurlie, you know, if you were really, you'd have a hurlie. You know, that was -<br /> <br /> Mr C: That was cart.<br /> <br /> Mrs C: A cart, like a go-cart.<br /> <br /> Mr C: A home-made cart.<br /> <br /> Mrs C: They were made, home-made, all the toys that ye hiv now but they were still -<br /> <br /> Mr C: Aye, you'd make a fish- a wooden fish-box, right? And you would get four pram wheels off an old pram, you see, and of course, we would put them together and bang them and make them and then you could run on it down the hill. Khewh!<br /> <br /> Mrs C: Don't you think you would be better off if you'd been in our day? Look at all the fun you would have had! [Laughter]<br /> <br /> Mr C: You'd go down the long hill in yer hurlie, we called them, an' you might be doin' at least twenty mile an hour - aye, honest - go straight down the hill and again, if ye didn't turn well at the bottom, ye were in trouble; you went poo-uh - like that! We'd crashes wi' them too. <br /> <br /> Mrs C: But then you maybe lost a teeth or two or you got more grazes on yer knees an' that's it.<br /> <br /> Mr C: Yes, oh aye.