Growing up in days before ‘fun’ became a dirty word

Brent geese flying into the Solent for the winter,, having travelled thousands of miles	Picture by Alan Price / HIWWT

ALICE ASHCROFT: Bird migration is a wondrous phenomenon

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Hats off to all of you who were born between the 1930s and the early eighties (me included). For you have survived being born to mothers who smoked or drank, or both, while carrying us. It’s most likely you were placed in a cot covered with poisonous vibrant-coloured lead-based paint. Later you may have played with medicine bottles that had no childproof lid. But at least we were safe when we went out with our parents wearing those terrible harnesses with reins. Fast forward a few years and who remembers riding their bikes without helmets and careering down a hill at speed in a handmade go-cart with no brakes?

Yep, we kids had it tough.

I was going out in cars without a seat belt long before we had to Clunk Click Every Trip. And how much fun was it in the back of a van riding fast and loose.

We drank water from a hosepipe and no one died; ate cakes, white bread and sugar-ridden sweets, but no one was overweight because we were all outside playing.

Leaving home by nine in the morning (on a holiday or weekend) we would play in the woods all day, making rafts out of polystyrene and sailing them down the creek returning home just when the street lights came on.

There were no mobiles and no one could reach you all day, but you were OK.

Playstations, computers, video games and Facebook didn’t exist but life was grand.

You had friends and you went out in all weathers. I fell out of trees, got cuts and sprains, even got chased by a ferocious hound who decided to take a chunk out of my leg, but they were great times.

Hanging out with my school friends in Fareham Creek pretending to be mudlarks, making mud pies out of dirt and we never got ill doing it. Should you have done something naughty the idea of your parents bailing you out was unheard of. They actually sided with the law.

This generation has produced some of the best inventors and innovations. We had freedom, failure, success and dealt with it, and you were one of them.

Congratulations. I feel blessed and lucky to have been a kid and grown up in those times long before lawyers and the government regulated our lives.