Decades before computer games we made our own games up. In the Sixties we played outside till Mum called us in for tea. Games were the currency of the streets, gardens and recs.
The sorts of games we played varied according to what we had to hand but a grab-bag of half a dozen classics might look like this:
1. Kick the Can: a version of hide and seek whereby a football was booted a long way and whilst the 'seeker' went to fetch it the 'hiders' would hide. At some point the football came to replace the original tin can, which didn't go as far unless of course, you lobbed it in a canal.
2. Pitch n Toss: basically gambling at skool. The idea was to throw or pitch a penny against a wall. The next player did the same and so on. The closest to the wall won all the money. Local rules included covering up someone else's penny meant an immediate win and so on. Fortunes were made doing this in the lunch breaks and Preston's first millionaires emerged with their pockets bulging with pennies.
3. Stretch: politically incorrect these days, this game involved a knife and was played in gardens, parks and recs. Any knife would do - kitchen, pocket, even a tent peg! Players took turns chucking the knife into the ground. The aim was to make the opposing player stretch the furthest. A camping version of Twister, which probably lead to the expression 'get stretched'. Hob Nail boots were recommended footwear during bouts of Stretch.
4. Cola Kendo: a home-grown game local to my 'patch' in Preston during the Kung Fu craze. Two players would stand opposite each other on glass cola bottles. Each player had leaned forward holding a broom handle. The idea was to knock the opposition off balance by well-placed whacks of the opposing handle.These could be blocked, parried, counter-blocked and so on. Stepping off the bottle was game over. There was talk of it becoming an Olympic Sport.
5. Staring Out: a low-tech contest similar to arm-wrestling but just requiring eyes. Opposing players would stare at each other. The first to blink was out. Games could be held across class-rooms during lessons or in Church from pew to pew and could last for days.
6. Hop Scotch: the universally classic street game, which required legs and a chunk of chalk. A grid was drawn out on the yard or pavement and each player took turns to hop and jump up and down the grid without touching the lines. Songs were sung as well although these escape me at present!
Which street games do you recall readers?