The Lives of children in Old Bradwell during WWII



There was no cinema, Activity World or leisure centres during the War so the children had to make their own entertainment.

The children played football, but did not have a proper football so used a tennis ball or a tin. Once a month the butcher would give the children an inflated pig's bladder for them to play football with. This would last for around a morning until it burst.

Not many children had cricket bats so these were made by sawing a bit of wood. They used tin cans as the wickets and a tennis ball. They played cricket in the street, taking care not to break any house windows.

Catapults were made by finding a 'V' shaped piece of wood and string. Fishing rods were made from a stick with cotton, a feather for a float and a bent pin as a hook with a worm on the end. The children would spend all day by the stream fishing for sticklebacks, red soldiers and little minnows.

Near the church there is a horse chestnut tree. The children used sticks and stones to knock down the conkers. They were then baked in the oven, had string attached and used to play conkers.

Mr Herrington the coalman came from Shenley to the village three times a week. When he wasn't looking the children would nip on the back of his cart and had a ride.

Groups of children played together, often using action rhymes such as Oranges and Lemons, I Sent a Letter to My Love and The Big Ship Sails on the Alley Alley Oh, where the children would stand in a line and thread in and out of each other.

Skipping with ropes was done to rhymes. This was very popular. Rhymes were also sung while throwing one or two balls against the wall. Children also used walls for doing handstands against.

The children enjoyed playing in the woods, making tents and shelters. The woods and fields around the village were good for going on nature walks, gathering flowers and leaves which they then stuck onto pieces of paper.