DJ360

Minutiae - Bulwell Common and more

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..and mine... just  :)

 

Anyway, I've not been able to scan in the map of the estate.  It's a bit late now, but I will try to put up more later.

Col

 

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On ‎25‎/‎01‎/‎2017 at 7:22 AM, FLY2 said:

When walking along the old track bed a couple of years ago towards Bestwood Village, I noticed that there was some pieces of track still in situ. It was not long after veering right, from the Hucknall Rd - Moorbridge Rd junction. 

The track you saw was remnants of the old Bestwood, Hucknall colliery line.

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Thanks bomber, that's the conclusion I came to. I was looking for other relics, but nothing was recognisable .

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Continuing the Minutiae..

 

I'm really no longer sure about dates on this stuff.. late 50s/early 60s is the best I can do..

 

Sometime around 1959/60, I went to a single meeting of the 'Cubs' at 'Blackwoods' on Hucknall Rd.    I was taken there by another lad out of Southglade Road . Bestwood.  I felt like an outcast all the time I was there, though I did fall in love with that little bit of heathland .. trapped, alongside a main road and between houses.  As far as I know it is still pretty much the same, and long may it remain so..

 

But, that wasn't going to be my true introduction to the Cubs and Scouting....

 

Again.. memory is sketchy, but I was invited by another lad from Southglade, to go to a 'Cubs' meeting in the old St Matthews Church Hall, just next to Padstow Secondary School and St Matthews Church, on Bestwood Est.

 

So I went into this little basement room in the Church Hall.

 

There were 6 of us boys there... plus the top man, known as 'Akela'.  His real name was Colin.

 

The other five lads were 'old hands'.. having been there the week before...

 

So, three lads were already 'Sixers'  ( Leaders of a 'Six' of other Cubs) And the other two were 'Seconds'.

 

I was immediately promoted to 'Second'  ( presumably for turning up) 

 

So, we now had 3 'Sixes', each comprising a Sixer and a Second.

 

So that's three 'Sixes'.. comprising 6 people...

 

It just didn't add up....

 

But within a couple of weeks.. I too was a 'Sixer'.  I had a 'Second', and four other unfortunates. under my command.  I tried not to become too power crazed....

 

But wht reallly annoyed me was that I was the Sixer of the 'Tawny Six'

 

'Tawney?'  Really?. Why not 'Beige Six'.. or 'Eau De Nil Six'?  I was not impressed....  I wanted to be the 'Sixer' of the Red, or Yellow, or Purple Six!!.  I was gutted....

 

To be cont'd.....

 

Col

 

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Within what seemed quite a short time, a rift developed between St Matthews Church and the 'Top Brass' of our happy band of Cubs.  I never really got to know what it was about.  It was the sort of thing talked about in hushed tones by the grown ups, but I suspect it was to do with commitment to Church attendance being a condition of membership or somesuch.  Anyway we were now suddenly the 96th Nottm. (Bendigo's Own) and we started meeting in Henry Whipple Primary School, which I was of course familiar with.  And I've just remembered that our leader Akela, was living (Lodging I think) in a house near the end of Sunrise Avenue just off the Arnold Rd Hucknall Rd Junction.

 

By now, I was beginning to get over the trauma of being given command of the Tawny (Yuk) Six, and settling into Wolf Cub life. There's quite a lot more to tell but since it was St George's Day until a few minutes ago, maybe I'll skip to St George's Day Parades...

 

These were the chance for the 'massed junior paramilitaries' of Nottm to strut through the town in an awesome and intimidating show of strength...,   before getting the bus home.. ;)

 

I recall that for one such parade we all piled onto a 28 bus at the old terminus on Leybourne Drive, just around the corner from where I lived.  It wasn't too long before our Akela pulled me up because I had my neckerchief on back to front.  Ours was half red and half white, though don't ask me which way round it was supposed to be. Clearly opposite to what I was wearing that day.  I'm still as daft.

 

When we got to town I recall our leaders forming us up in ranks .. somewhere around Shakespeare Street I think.  Then we were off.  There were odd clumps of spectators about watching us with a mix of amusement, bemusement and I suppose sheer disbelief.  Everytime we approached anybody who looked vaguely important, one of our leaders kept saying 'Bags of Swank lads.. Bags of Swank!!'  Even as an impressionable young lad I found it all faintly ridiculous.

 

Just in front of us were a mob.. Bunch?.. Squadron?.. of Sea Scouts.  Lots of call for sailors in Nottm.  They all seemed armed to the teeth, with axes and big knives hanging from their belts.  One of our leaders muttered his disapproval .  "They're going to a Church Parade.. not to board an enemy ship!!",.  In retrospect he was just like Captain Mainwaring of Dad's Army.. Never one to let his own pomposity get in the way of a bit of thinly disguised envy. 

 

Somewhere ahead of us another lot were playing drums and bugles.  Boom Boom Boom, Boom Boom Boom, Tadaadaaa, Tadaadaa, Tadada Didlly Dip Tadaaa... and repeat.. endlessly.  Still, whoever they were, at least they had drums and bugles. 

 

We eventually all crowded into a large hall.  possibly the Albert Hall though I can't exactly recall. There was a gallery/mezzanine all around, on which we were crowded.  A Minister of some sort welcomed us all and then began a sermon of sorts.  He went on quite a lot about being good scouts and cubs etc., and then he produced something from his pocket and waved it about asking us what we all thought it was.  I for one couldn't see it from that distance and had no idea, but he eventually told us it was a Book of Keys.  There followed about 45 minutes of droning about something.  I think he was trying to tell us something about Scouting being the key to  a future or something, but honestly, he held about 2000 of us in a state of complete bafflement for an eternity .  Then we went home.

 

To Be Cont'd.

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7 hours ago, DJ360 said:

Everytime we approached anybody who looked vaguely important, one of our leaders kept saying 'Bags of Swank lads.. Bags of Swank!!'

 

Are you sure you heard them clearly? 

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We Girl Guides used to sing the Ging Gang Goolie song, too!   I still know all the words but not sure what they're supposed to mean!!

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8 hours ago, IAN123. said:

I got the nod about the Ging Gang Goolie brigade..when the dib dib man asked me about my 'flashers'.....

 

Can't say fairer than that Ian..........:biggrin:

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Although I've made a bit of a joke over my early days in the Cubs, I really did enjoy a lot of it.  I think it's also fair to say that it did no harm to my self reliance and other worthy objectives, though I never really liked being given leadership roles.  And I can still tie a reef knot, granny, sheepshank, sheet bend, bowline etc., not to mention 'whipping'.  :wacko:

 

Margie, for some reason I have no recall whatever of Guides or Brownies being at the St George's Day Parades.

 

We went on numerous trips, often by train to the likes of Matlock Bath and assorted 'Dales' in Derbyshire.  I loved this because we got to visit show caves like the Great Masson etc., in Matlock, which really fed into my then obsession with geology, caves, rocks, crystals, fossils etc.  We climbed the footpath to High Tor and  what I recall was very much like the 'Giddy Edge' part of the climb I've been looking at online today.  My Mum would have had a fit had she known. 

 

We got Cycle Proficiency training of which my main memory is meeting at 'Akela's lodgings and setting off around the traffic island which was on the junction of Arnold Rd. and Hucknall Rd. 

 

I've put a pic up somewhere here of the 'Knee Washing Ceremony' on a camp at Blidworth.  We also visited a 'World Jamboree' held at Walesby.

 

For some time we went swimming one evening per week at Northern Baths in Basford.  That was how I learned to swim.

 

We even had a little Choir,  and sang at the odd evening when investitures of new lads happened.  I recall singing 'Down in the Glen, and also 'Where Ere You Walk'.  We went to old folk's homes near Christmas and sang Carols to them.

 

Some sort of meet up with other Packs was organised in Vernon Park.  We were trained into some sort of 'Formation Running About' display and also watched a Raft Race on the Vernon Fishing Pond, in which most of the rafts sank.

We played football against a number of local Cub Packs.  The one which sticks in my mind was against the 44th, who had a base in Basford.  They still seem to be going and in Lincoln St. Basford, but the building I remember had their full Pack/Troop sign painted on the wall and it was a curving building on a corner somewhere up towards Percy St I think.  All long since demolished.

 

One evening, we went on a visit to the Fire Station in Shakespeare St.  We were asked to do a 'write up' on that and the two of us judged to have written the best got to go on a day out with Akela and a 'Lady', who was presumably his 'squeeze'.  We went to Oxford by train and seemed to spend most of the day wandering from quad to quad.  But I'd never been to Oxford before.. and it was free,  so  hey!

 

At one point all of we 'Sixers', were asked to make a wooden box in which to keep all of our 'stuff'.  I made a box out of... old boxes.  Not being posessed of any form of drill, I resorted to the time honoured 'red hot poker' method of boring holes to take the rope handles.  I painted it 'Tawny' (bleauggh).  I haven't the faintest idea what I kept in it.

 

I ended up with a stack of 'Proficiency Badges.' and left the Cubs as 'Senior Sixer'.  Three stripes!!!

 

At some point I moved on to the Scouts.  It wasn't too long before I was a Patrol Leader and... you've guessed it...  Not for me command of the Lion, Tiger, Bear, or Eagle Patrol.  I was charged with controlling and motivating a flock of  ferocious Kingfishers...... :angry:

 

 I wound up as Senior Patrol Leader, but by around 1963 ish, I was going off to the High Peak in Derbyshire on an almost weekly basis with school friends who weren't scouts.  We were 'wild camping' and navigating our way across the likes of Mam Tor and Kinder, while the Scouts were still tying sticks together in a school room.  Suppose I'd outgrown that part of my life.

 

Still lots of memories though.

 

It looks like the 96th must have merged with the 108th at some point.  They were registered as a charity in 1964, by which time I'd left.  They were removed from the charity list in 2015.

 

Col

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... P.S.  Did Bob a Job and fared especially well along the row of houses where Fly now lives.   Standard woggle was leather, but some super cool scouts had sheep vertebrae..  I even read in the Scout magazine, a method of turning a pint of milk into a plastic type material from which a woggle could be fashioned. 

 

This seems to be the process:

 

Endless fun..

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It seems Ging Gang Goolie was composed by Baden Powell using the tune from Mozarts symphony No1. The words have no meaning. it's deliberately nonsensical.

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I knew it was nonsense Brew, but not that old BP had composed it.

 

From memory:

 

'Ging gang goolie goolie goolie goolie watch a ging gang goo, ging gang gooo

Ging gang goolie goolie goolie goolie watch a ging gang goo, ging gang gooo

Haylah, haylah shayla, hayla shayla shayla whoooo

Haylah, haylah shayla, hayla shayla shayla whoooo.'

 

We also had this one.. with actions...

 

'Indians are high minded

They climb hills and they don't mind it'

 

...all I can recall.

 

"So..  I've got this idea...  I'm going to gather together a bunch of young boys and take them to spend a few nights camping with me on an isolated island... "

 

Imagine that now?

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Indians are high minded
bless my soul they're double jointed
They climb hills and don’t mind it 
All day long.
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Many years ago I read Baden Powell’s book ‘Scouting for Boys’. Probably a rather unfortunate title nowadays. The book, which is basically his moral philosophy, is rather quaint by current standards. The section on dealing with girls was based on deer in the rutting season! I think his sexuality was somewhat questionable. It’s an interesting read if you’ve got nothing better to do! :biggrin:

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Col sounds pretty much like my time in the Bucket Bashers, but just like you the lure of the Peak was to much for them to combat.

 

I do like this modern terminology 'wild camping', 'wild swimming' etc to explain you are not on a camp site or in a swimming pool Back in the day most of my camping was out in the wilds and most of my swimming was either river or disused quarry.

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I've spent a lot of time in the garden over the last couple of weeks. I love the Sun and just can't resist getting my kit off and luxuriating in the feel of Sun on skin.  I do my best to appear reasonably productive, by pulling the odd weed etc., and I've also been digging a trench for a new drain.... but mostly it's just the Sun..

 

A few days back I reminded myself that I have a Sansa Clip:  https://www.ebay.co.uk/i/302707978844?chn=ps&adgroupid=57477945728&rlsatarget=pla-436434592954&abcId=1133956&adtype=pla&merchantid=107365948&poi=&googleloc=1007100&device=c&campaignid=1058851135&crdt=0

 

A fabulous little MP3 player device which is cheaper than the 'Apple' equivalents and works brilliantly.  Also not reliant upon stuff like 'iTunes'.  Just connect to your PC and 'drag-drop' your fave music into it. Mine's a few years old and 'maxed out' with a 16Gig 'add on' Micro SD Card.  It has tons of my fave music on it, is tiny, and saves clogging up my phone with music files.

 

Which finally brings me to my point...  I dug out my Sansa Clip and ....

 

I've spent a few days listening to lots of stuff from the Hollies and Beatles, to Donovan, Dylan, Joni M, Van Morrison, Crosby Stills Nash,Temptations, etc., etc... all whilst sunning myself..

 

But the thing is.. with my eyes shut.. all of this music takes me back to Summer Days in Nottm in the 60s. 

 

And they had a very specific character....Different to the feel here in the North West

 

There was something about the sandy soil, the dry heathland environment and flora, which was very particular and produced a 'feel', I've never had anywhere else.

 

I suppose I can best describe it as a 'softness'. 

 

There was a 'dustiness' to the sunset skies back then.  A kind of hazy yellowish filtering of the light.. which made everything more friendly, homely and benign.

 

I suppose it could all just be imagination.. but I doubt it.

 

Col

 

 

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ON KITES, PLANES, ROCKETS and STUFF......

 

This came to me again during a Sun Soaking Session in the garden this afternoon...

 

Kites:  A kite is a simple enough thing.. but back in the 1950s, kids like me were not bought such things.  If we wanted them.. we made them.  Not as simple as it sounds.  Let's take the classic 'diamond' shape. ( I suppose it's properly known as an 'Elongated Rhombus' or somesuch.. but for this purpose.. who cares..? )

 

It's easy right?  A bit of paper and a couple of sticks.....  So.. paper?  If you are Col in 1957 on a Council Est., you are looking at newspaper.. or at best a bit of brown wrapping paper... or some spare wallpaper.. 

 

If you can find those.. it's just a couple of sticks.

 

Canes would be ideal.. but who has canes? Certainly not most folk on Bestwood Estate.  Only the wealthiest and keenest gardeners would pay out actual money for canes.. and they certainly wouldn't give them to a scruffy little kid to make a kite.

Looking back it's actually pretty scary how little disposable income we had for 'non essentials'.  I mean.. we were well fed and clothed. We had a clean, warm house etc.  But a couple of feet of bamboo cane?  'No chance Yooth..'

Most of what grew in the hedgerows was too weak or not straight enough.. so my trick was to try to split an old bit of timber.... If I could find any...  An old bit of fencing, or a bit of floorboard.. anything with a reasonably straight grain. Mum's carving knife and Dad's hammer.. split the timber along the grain...

 

So five hours into Saturday and you've got a couple of sticks and a bit of paper.  So all you need to do is stick them together..  With what? This being the 1950s and  on the verge of the 'White Heat' of the Technological Revolution.. 'Sellotape' exists.  But mere mortals don't have it...  Kids on Council Estates don't have it.

 

Flour and water paste.. That's what we have..

 

While our superbly aerodynamic collection of sticks, newspaper, flour and water is drying out.. we set out in search of ... string... 

 

'To Be Continued.......'

 

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DJ360 I found your post of June 8 very interesting as it brought back many memories, but, there is always a but, it ends with " to be continued....". Would you please find the time to continue  as it will stir some more memories in this old mind of mine, it would be very much appreciated.

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I've been delayed by trying to recall what I actually did for string...  The best I can come up with is that I gathered up all the various bits of string I could find, and tied them together.  Sometimes I would open up a bit of rope, breaking it down into finer strands... another one that's come to mind is that nylon 'wool' for knitting, was coming in around that time. and was reasonably strong.  So somehow I got a bit of string together.  Also just remembered that kites needed a 'tail'.  This was made by rolling little bits of paper and tying them like little bows to the tail.

 

My kites were never very successful back then.  They were the sort where you'd have to run into the wind to get them flying and then hope the wind would keep them up.  Mostly it didn't. Also, the kite would constantly dip and dive, or go into a spin.  But, when I , or a friend, actually got a kite to fly steadily, in a good breeze.. we'd set out to send 'messages' up the string.  Just a bit of paper, with a slot ripped into it so it would hang on the kite string.  The wind would take it up the string.  Simple pleasures.

 

From those days, I also recall the 'Revojet'.  This was a toy often sold at seaside resorts.  Essentially a plastic, or maybe celluloid body, like an aeroplane body, with two wings which rotated in the wind and somehow provided lift. It flew like a kite.  Another version had circular 'wings'.  I know I got one of these, either on my only ever trip to Blackpool.. or maybe on a day trip to Skeggy or somewhere.  I hope this link works.

 

https://thumbs.worthpoint.com/zoom/images1/360/1014/22/palitoy-revojet-plane-1950s-boxed_360_83cc87c6e3191981bc7169f9a8cb134e.jpg

 

Back to kites.. many years later.. probably sometime in the late 80's.. one of my girls wanted a kite.  Kids were flying kites on the field at the bottom of the street.  We still had no money.. but even we had the odd cane by then.  I got a cane and split it.  I Sellotaped a green opened out 'bin bag' to the canes and used some twine I'd acquired from somewhere.  This kite really flew!!!  It was 'epic'!!  It stood about 4 feet tall and it was all I could do to hang on to it in the breeze. It easily 'outranked' all the other kites on the field.. but it was a bit of a beast. I was also a bit concerned because our electricity comes via an overhead cable over the fields and my kite was getting a bit close..

 

The other thing was that despite me fitting a long tail to the kite, it was still 'dipping and diving'.  I looked into this and found a very interesting tip I'd not come across before.  The thing is that when you tie a kite to its string, you normally use a little 'triangle' created by tying string at two points to the main 'spar' of the kite and then your kite string to that.  This determines the 'angle of attack', at which the kite will face the wind.  The thing is that as the wind varies, the necessary 'angle of attack' varies.. so this is what causes the kite to 'dip and dive'.  The solution is to replace a part of the string 'triangle', with a strong rubber band. This allows the kite to vary it's 'angle of attack', according to the wind strength.  You can still add a 'backup' piece of string.. in case your rubber band breaks.  Although Drones have overtaken other methods of getting aerial photos,..at almost 70  I'd still like to try getting a kite to carry a camera aloft. It's the little boy in me..

 

Next up.. I'd like to recount my experiences with model planes...

 

To Be Continued.....  ;

 

 

 

 

 

 

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38 minutes ago, DJ360 said:

The solution is to replace a part of the string 'triangle', with a strong rubber band.

Great tip, I'll try this with the grandkids kite this weekend as we always have that problem.

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My Brother used to mount little engines on plywood..petrol or battery i don't recall..or is it a false memory?

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Thanks for the continued  DJ360 , again this has stirred memories of Bestwood Estate ,which I didn't know I had. It appears that this method of kite manufacture and flight was the standard practice of the inmates of Bestwood, what great times we had from so little. It again proves that you don't need money to enjoy yourselves, all it needs is an imaginative mind and we all had imaginative minds during that era.

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I remember those tiny engines. They were intended for model aircraft. Arthur Saxton's (electrical shop) on Hucknall High Street used to sell them. There were two distinct types: Jetex which used solid fuel - much like a firework and use a fuse for ignition and "diesel" powered which used a mixture of some kind of petroleum spirit, castor oil and amyl nitrate as fuel. These last were the cause of many fires and explosions which all added to the fun.

 

I remember we had an alternative use for Jetex fuses (which looked like a thin wire). That was to thread a piece of fuse along the length of a cigarette (preferably nicked from some unsuspecting kid) and then make sure you were around when he lit it. What would happen was that the fuse would burn down very rapidly, and quite violently, then the fag would fall apart leaving smouldering tobacco all over the place.

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