We used to decorate our tops with brightly coloured pieces of paper to make a nice pattern while they were spinning.
I must tell you of the games we used to play down by the Addison Potter school gates. There was a street lamp there, and a man would come with a long pole to light it at dusk and put it out next morning at daybreak. We used to skip along with big lengths of thick rope – one girl holding one end and another girl at the other end turning the rope whilst a least six of us would skip, jumping in and out. Sometimes we had two ropes and four holders and skipped double Dutch; one rope would be turn clockwise and the other anticlockwise. That was a little more difficult; that could have been 1923. In 1983 the Americans are claiming it as a new style!
Then there was montikitty. One, the strongest, would hold on to the school railings and we jumped one at a time onto her back till we all collapsed. We let the boys in on that game; they were stronger. Summer was tops and whips season; we used to decorate our tops with brightly coloured pieces of paper or metallic material to make a nice pattern whilst it was spinning. Sometimes the metal tip used to wear away from our tops and the local cobbler, a Mr. Thorne, would kindly put in a replacement. Of course, we had our shoes or boots repaired by him, and when we took them in for repair he would always say “Friday they will be done”, which of course was pay day.
In the summer holidays we used to go for picnics without Mother; we used to go to the fields north of Howdon railway station. Mother would give us bread and jam and a pot, which we would get filled with milk from the farmer for 1d. Also, we would go along the Turnpike, which is now Tynemouth Road. A housing estate was later built on the farmland. Some summer evenings we used to go and play with the building bricks making houses; I remember the bricks making my hands very rough.