Monday, 9 January 2012

However did we survive?

We children of the 40's and 50's that is.

It's bad enough that we had to endure the bombs of the 2nd World War, without the added dangers from the toys of the age.
It never ceases to amaze me when I restore an old bear or dog, the dangerous manner in which they were put together - and they were given to young children and babies!

The fact that the eyes were usually glass was bad enough with the danger of cracking and breaking, without the added danger of the metal that was used to insert them into the head.

Here is one that I removed from a toy dog this morning (the other was cracked in half so I had to replace them).  I just pulled and this is how it came out!  As you can see, it is just a 2" metal spike that was pushed into the head.  At least the glass ones that I use have a metal loop and are firmly stitched in.

Nowdays the cotterpin joints are only used for adults' artist bears or for restoration work, but back then metal washers and cotterpins were regularly used on childrens' toys. 

Tin plate toys were commonplace, and paint used to give the toys their bright colours were very often lead based, in fact there were even toy soldiers etc actually made from lead.

We threw sticks and stones up into the Horsechestnut trees to get our Conkers, Guides and Scouts had large sheath knives on their belts and carried pocket knives. (I had both of those)
Children could buy caps for their guns and fireworks, matches and 'Dad's cigarettes'.

We climbed trees, played tennis in the middle of the road, (just moving when a car came) and splashed about in the dykes catching Sticklebacks (little fish for you youngsters) in a jam jar.

We never worried about burning ourselves or blowing ourselves up, getting ill from passive smoking, being run over or drowing in the dyke.  No-one had told us that the sticks and stones could fall from the Chestnut Tree and blind us or that we could stab ourselves with sharp knives. 

But we survived - even without the Health and Safety Brigade of modern times - and boy, was it fun!

1 comment:

  1. Oh so so true and we are so much better for it too - it has all gone rather mad now hasn't it? ha, the word I have to put in to verify is teddy - how appropriate there!!