I see the government is demanding that children must learn their times tables once again. I must admit, I didn’t know they had been done away with.
I remember school exercise books which had all the tables printed on the back cover.
The teacher used to get us to ‘sing’ the tables all together up to the 12 times table. By the time I had gone up to junior school aged eight, they were a doddle.
It wasn’t only our tables which we had to learn by heart, but lots of other mathematical stats like how many yards (1,760), feet (5,280) and inches (63,360) there are in a mile.
How many furlongs and chains in a mile, very useful when horse racing became a hobby and later in life when I worked on the railway as distances were all in miles and chains.
The fact that there were 22 yards in a chain, 10 chains in a furlong, eight furlongs in a mile and that a cricket pitch is one chain in length, all added to the interest.
An acre of land, we were informed, comprised 10 square chains and goalposts and crossbar are eight yards wide and eight feet high.
What I am more chuffed about is that I have written this piece from memory without once referring to any charts or the internet.
I must have been the boy at the back paying attention.