These playground games just would not be allowed today

Slimming - Carol Stedman, who raised the most money in the sponsored slim, presenting the proceeds to Julie McGuire

THIS WEEK IN 1984: Sponsored slimmers hit the middle target

0
Have your say

Mention the word Bulldog today and most people probably think of the American comedy show Frasier in which Bulldog is the nickname of the sports presenter.

Mention the word Bulldog today and most people probably think of the American comedy show Frasier in which Bulldog is the nickname of the sports presenter.

But when I was at school Bulldog was a very British playground game. And extremely rough it was too. Do you remember it?

There were two teams. A boy from one side stood against a wall and the others, up to a dozen I suppose, had to bend down.

The first boy would thrust his head into the stomach of the boy standing against the wall for protection. The other boys would then bend over and put their shoulders into the rear of the boy in front. Like a rugby scrum but in one long line.

The other, attacking, team would then, one by one, take a long running jump and leap over the top of the bent-over boys, perhaps landing on the third boy. He then worked his way forward to the wall boy.

Another boy and then another would follow until the whole side were sitting on top of the line of boys. Once complete the enormous shout went up... BULLDOG!

The whole lot would then collapse into a heap on the ground.

The sides changed over and the whole game began again.

How broken necks and arms never resulted is still beyond me. It was never stopped by masters patrolling the playground - it may even have been encouraged.

This game, I believe, was only played in secondary modern schools as grammar boys would have found it somewhat rough.

Is it still played today? I imagine the health and safety and politically-correct brigades would ban it.

Another game was Cannon. This involved three pieces of wood about nine inches to a foot long. They were stood against a wall, two upright and one across the top.

Usually consisting of two to three boys on each side, the object was to throw a ball and knock over the sticks. You then had to put them back before the other side could hit you with the tennis ball.

The ball was thrown at you and could be punched away, but if it hit any part of the body that person was out of the game.

No wonder we were all fit as a butcher’s dog in those days.