Were you at Berridge?


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I remember when Diana Dors came to open the papershop. It wasn't new of course but taken over and revamped by a chap who I think was called Paul Taylor. Big Forest fan. Miss Dors came in a big pink American car. There was a huge crowd came to see her. I am sure you must remember the CoOp in the shop row. I used to go with my mum for the main weekly shop. I can still remember the white plastic shopping baskets with red handles and our CoOp number. Used to pick my own cerial with the best free gift. Further along towards the Stork Club was the fishmongers and I believe there was a CoOp fish dept along side the main CoOp shop. Steans removals bottom of Berridge Road. Clarkes of Retford cleaners bottom of Grimston Road and a tiny jewellers squeezed in next to it. Had my first watch from there. There was a ladies hairdressers along the row, did a bomb with the Players angels. Being interested in electronics I spent plenty of pocket money in Mr Searcy's shop although I changed my allegiance to Lou Palmers TV and radio repair shop on the corner of Wordsworth Road and Radford Boulevard. He was a really nice chap and took me under his wing a bit and let me watch him on repairs. I remember the toy shop but didn't know it was a library too.

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Through this door...and it's the original, although painted black in my day...I walked with my mum one cold morning early in 1962. I was just 4 years old. The door led to Miss Smith's office and my mu

How many Berridge children have secreted themselves inside this niche situated in the playground which fronts the old infant building, hoping to be left behind when the bell rang at playtime's close?

Sitting on this exact spot, facing the stationery cupboard in Mr Parr's classroom, in spring 1969, I sat my 11+ exam.

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Just remembered "Parisienne" which retailed rather "posh" ladies' wear. My older sister bought a dress and a bikini from there in 1969 prior to going on holiday abroad for the first time. I found a photo of her wearing the dress the other day- she's a pensioner now!

I too remember the Co-op where I often went shopping for my mother- with the divi number!

Anyone remember Norman Hirstfield's grocery shop and the Sunshine Cafe on the other side of the road? They did very well at lunchtime as many of Players' employees ate there. Mrs Hirstfield (Norman's mother) was a very kind lady and once gave me a Chinese parasol! I was thrilled.

With the advent of the supermarkets, Norman could not compete and the shop/cafe closed. They moved to Long Eaton. He could be very sarcastic but I was fascinated by watching him cut cheese on a large marble board with a cheese wire and then wrap it in greaseproof paper. I would still be in my pushchair then.

My mother had a blue order book which lived on the bottom shelf of the pantry. It was taken to Norman's once a week and he delivered the order in a cardboard box later in the day- at no extra charge. Who needs internet shopping, eh?

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Someone reminded me only the other day of the annual event of being treated to a "whip and top" at Shrovetide. I remember my mother buying these for me from Mrs Green's shop (more usually referred to in our household as "The Library") on Alfreton Road. The "tops" were usually green and we spent hours playing with them. The person who reminded me of this (who is slightly older than I am) wondered what today's children would make of this once-a-year treat. She thought they would probably not be able to divert their attention from their i-phones, tablets and I-pods for long enough to notice!

Times have certainly changed but I know which childhood I have would prefer to have. Now then....is it too late this year to purchase a whip and top? I'll be very out of practice!

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Kids nowadays wouldn't have a clue how to use a whip & top.

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That's the one, though I found the mushroom ones easier.

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hellothere Hi Jill - long time no communicate - thanks for reminding us of whips and tops.

I remember buying mine around Shrove Tuesday; along with the delicious pancakes mum made at this time, it proved a double treat.

Used to chalk designs on my tops; much preferred the mushroom ones, could never get a winder-breaker going -even though I tried and tried.........

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Very reassuring to read of so many people who also remember "whips and tops". The "Library" on Alfreton Road (alias Mrs Green's shop) sold a great many wooden toys. I also had a "diabolo"- a diabolical thing you had to balance on a rope. Now, that I couldn't get on with. She also sold tins of "bubbles" which came with a circular "wand". I enjoyed those when I was very small. I suppose it was only washing up liquid but I don't think we had washing up liquid in those days, did we?

I don't really know whether I am old enough to remember packets of "Rinso" or whether I just remember my parents talking about them! Isn't it terrible when their memories start to merge with your own? For the same reason, I seem to remember Beecham's Pills, Carter's Little Liver Pills, Monkey Brand, Oxydol, Sunlight Soap and...Brasso (well, yes, I do remember that and think I still have some)!

As a young child, I listened to so many of my relatives talking about WWII that I sometimes feel I lived through it!

Am I the only person of my age who (despite using a computer to post these rambling thoughts) would rather "nostalge" about things that happened before I even arrived on Planet Earth than express an interest in what goes on around me today?

My partner recently bemoaned the fact that so many people today never take their eyes off their mobile media appendages for long enough to observe their immediate surroundings, far less to notice the arrival of spring, the early bees, the brave snowdrops and daffodils; eager frogs and toads depositing their spawn or- hopefully, the imminent arrival of the swallows. The world might as well not be there. So sad, when we spent most of our time as children out in the garden, parks or (in his case), fields and countryside, observing our surroundings, playing with skipping ropes, hop scotch, learning about birds' nests/ants nests and wildlife etc.

Shut up Jill! You're showing your age!

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My partner recently bemoaned the fact that so many people today never take their eyes off their mobile media appendages for long enough to observe their immediate surroundings,

....and as a result of that mentality, it is now difficult and dangerous to walk through a city centre without large numbers of people nearly crashing into you because they walk with their heads down staring at their screen.

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LET alone a polite GOOD MORNING or even a NOD !

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Ah yes...politeness. To go back to my Berridge years for a moment, Mr G O Chandler (about whom I have written previously) was mustard when it came to this subject.

"Politeness costs nothing" and "Manners maketh the man" being two of his maxims. Headteacher, Mr J W Baugh was, likewise, very hot on manners. A "Good Morning, Sir", should you encounter him in the corridors, was expected.

Mr Chandler seemed to be forever espousing the merits of "self-discipline" and "self-respect" when I was ten years old and one of his pupils. I recall the stinging rebuke a number of children received as a result of having forgotten to thank him and other staff for taking us on a trip out of school. They didn't forget again!

He seemed a hard number at the time but with hindsight (ah, the benefits of retrospective 20/20 vision!) I can appreciate what he was trying to achieve. Sadly, there are not enough of his ilk around today. There would be no monosyllabic grunting or shrugging of shoulders in his classroom in response to a question, I can tell you. Despite all these devices that pepper our world nowadays...I am not convinced that the art of communication is alive and well at all.

What think you?

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I remember the only way to get the whip and top going, was to kneel on top of the top, thus steadying it ready to pull the whip as fast as you could. The knee didn't do much good to the pattern you had chalked on to it, though.

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Funny - I could never get a mushroom one going, only the fat carrot type. It was my impression that the mushroom shaped ones were the "winder breakers".

I'm with you on this one. The mushroom ones were always known as window breakers to me.

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Thinking of things you could buy at Mrs Green's shop on Alfreton Road, my favourite (when I was very young) was the "cube puzzle". Nine wooden cubes with part of a picture pasted to each face which could then be used to create 6 different images, usually of nursery rhymes or fairy stories- eg Red Riding Hood.. The cubes were contained within a wooden box which fastened with a brass hook and clasp fastener. They retailed for something like 2/- (2 shillings, a florin or, for those who aren't old enough to remember what that was...the equivalent of 10p, I think!).

I loved them, although no one of my age seems to remember them at all.

My mother was persuaded to buy several for me and I spent hours playing with them in the time before I went to school.

Modern research suggests that very young children who are encouraged to undertake matching activities with their toys create the requisite pathways through the brain to facilitate language and writing/spelling skills later on. Pathways which, apparently, if not established by the age of two years, prove extremely difficult to develop later. So, I'd argue that my mother's florins were well spent.

I really wish I had kept those cubes because they represented such happy memories.

Anyone else remember them?

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Yes Jill, I remember them. I'm not sure whether I ever had one, but my younger sister certainly did. Of course the smart alecs amongst us soon realised that the pictures were all related in the same way, so that having got one correctly matched picture, you could get the others easily by picking up each whole row of blocks, and turning them in the same way. This sounds very complicated when you put it into words, but no doubt your Irish maths teacher of "Pie-tagoras's tea-room" fame would instantly see what I mean !

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Ooooh, Stephen Ford! You've just ruined my day! You mentioned the Irish maths teacher. "Are ye tryin' to be funny?" (as she frequently demanded of me on the odd occasions when I did answer one of her questions).

I'm glad you recall the wooden blocks. My favourite activity was putting them together with my eyes closed to see whether I ever actually got a complete picture. More often, it was a peculiar admixture of parts of the six different images but occasionally, (very occasionally) I'd end up with a whole correct image.

Now, I called this "fun" but if you want to read more into it, I could have been experimenting with the early stages of "probability", could I not?

Why am I suddenly looking over my shoulder for chalk missiles? I tell you, I'm scarred for life. You do realise, Stephen, that I shall now be compelled to go and make some triangular sandwiches for my lunch (scalene, of course) so that I can work out the length of the hippopotamus before eating them!

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welcome pidgepie and welcome back jill nice to see you posting again

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part of my job as a playworker was to teach kids the old street games skipping was always everyone favorite but we had yoyos old wooden ones as well as new plastic one two/three balls the ball in the stocking used on a wall or on the ground snobs whipand top but have to say in my opinion the new ones you can buy are much too lightto get them to work properly in the end we found a man with a wood lathe who experimented with diferent woods till we managed tto get the right weight to get the motion right he aalso made whips for us he sold quite a lot of both carrot bottoms and the mushroom tops he also made stillts for us too by the timme he sadly died he made us lots of old wooden toys some to be played with and others just to show children what children played with wooden hoops dolls trains of course you can still get a lot of these things in modern desighnsbut i still think the old ones are the best.

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Hi, My name is Douglas Stewart...... I attended Berridge Road school in the early 50s At that time my name was Douglas Bramley and our family lived on Alfreton Road. I have some good school and Pipewood Camp photo's from that time. I will try and post them . If I have no luck my e-mail is: xxxxxxxxx


Regards,

Doug.

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Hi Doug and welcome. I attended Berridge Juniors From 53 till 57 , then having passed the 11+ I attended Forest Fields Grammar School . You'll find some good topics here.

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Hi everyone,

I have read all your wonderful stories with the hopes of seeing a familiar name but not with any joy as yet. I was wondering if anyone remembers a Peter Haynes I think he may have attended In the early 50s? It would be great if anyone remembers him, he is my papa and lost touch his family at a young age but he has fond memories of his school years at Berridge

Hayley

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I am reminded of the old tin-plate toys I used to play with (most of which had belonged to my older sister who had grown out of playing with them).

One was a spinning top which was mesmerising. My father (who had certainly been a bit of a b*gg*r in his youth) told me about a toy he once had, consisting of a circle of tin, marked with the colours of the spectrum. A string ran through the middle of this and the idea was to create tension in the string which was then pulled tight to release the energy it contained, making the disc spin and merging all the colours into "white". I recall creating these out of cardboard in science lessons at school. A scientific bit of fun, you could call it. However, my father persuaded his younger sister (currently in her 84th year) to put her nose next to the tin plate disc as it was spinning. Result: one sliced nose, lots of blood, an hysterical four year old and a wallop for my father who was 10 at the time. Auntie still has the scar- but at least she can laugh about it now.

Those tin plate toys would never be allowed nowadays- because of the 'Elf and Safety (don't you know!). Far too dangerous. How did we survive, I wonder? I remember cutting my finger on a tin plate tambourine: screamed blue murder but it healed and I was more careful in future.

We're tough, us older ones but I certainly think we had more fun!

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