When we were kids the odd entrepreneurial urge would come over us and we would attempt to make money out of our friends.
My own venture into the world of junior capitalism was a single act of outdoor pursuits with a predictably creepy twist. Being a horror nut I always wanted to have my own Ghost Train, my favourite ride at Blackpool Pleasure Beach.
I knew I wouldn't be able to create moving cars but I could make people walk through something. Maybe under something? Yes! I propped a few large loose spare doors against the garden fence to create a sort of lean-to.
I then dangled rubber spiders through holes in the doors, together with some cobwebs, a rubber severed hand and provided sound effects by growling and roaring. To cap the experience I would greet my visitors at the exit wearing a wolfman mask! Quite a terrifying 'ride'!
For partaking in this eerie saunter I would charge the princely sum of 1 penny and I never had any complaints!
A much more exuberant garden business was run by my pal Robin further up the road. It was basically an outdoor fairground of sideshows. It functioned without any real rides, yet still made a mint and I often suspected that Robin's Father, known to us as Stan The Man, was the true architect of this suburban showground [Stan called me Snagglepuss for some reason!]
On entering the garden Stan would take 5p off us before we'd even begun to have any fun whatsoever and the sound of the coin hitting the base of his money tin was still ringing in our ears when we approached the first attraction, a large half-barrel of sand peppered with upturned matches. The idea was to have but one go and locate a whole match by pulling one out of the sand. I certainly never found one and always suspected foul play!
The next stand was another half-barrel but this time filled with water, on which floated about half a dozen yellow rubber ducks. A cane with a loop was then handed over. This was your classic hook-a-duck and was genuinely great fun.
Half expecting to win a gold fish in a bag of water, us infant punters were by this point fully sold on this alfresco circus of barrels and we were like putty in Stan and Robin's hands.
So when we came to the wheelbarrow taxi we were completely ready for shelling out another penny just for the privilege. The taxi was essentially a barrow ride around the garden ably driven by Robin himself, who seemed to take great pleasure in taking hair-bends at speed round the flower beds and tipping you out abruptly at the end!
Feeling dazed and confused the next attraction was a welcome break from one-wheeled lawn racing, a traditional dart board no less. It was hung on the door of the garden shed, which was littered with small puncture holes. In fact hitting the door itself was excellent training for the next activity located on the other side of the shed.
This was my favourite and something I still enjoy today. It was called Shurikens and involved throwing a tin star against a circular target chalked on the wooden shed rear. A spin-off of the Kung Fu craze, the stars were cut from biscuit tin lids using metal snippers. I still have some even now and regularly flick a throwing star or two against my timber summer house!
There were many more fun things to do in Robin's garden. In fact, looking back, it was probably good value for money. He and his Dad were good value too, regularly providing hilarious catch-phrases as we strolled around the various stalls in the sunshine.
Chief among these were 'Any more for Tucton?', a reference to a Ferry they had been on on holiday and my own personal favourite, 'Pssst! Piston Air Brakes!', a phrase that still brings a smile to my face as I recall those fun times being fleeced in Stan and Robin's garden carneval all those years ago back in the Sixties.
Did you have any outdoor money making activities readers?