Last month we compared the well equipped school playgrounds of today to the rough and ready school playgrounds in the eighties.
Today we’ll explore some of the other things that often went on in school playgrounds back in the eighties. Sure playing on the play equipment was cool, but sometimes you just had to make your own fun.
Fun in our school playground sometimes come from some unusual activities. I’m sure every school had these types of activities, carefully crafted to take full advantages of the equipment and terrain available to them. All while avoiding the watchful eye of the teacher on yard duty.
One of these activities at our school, because of the sloping nature of our playground, was the “mud slide”.
Let me take a second to explain. The mud slide was basically a strip of slippery mud, that kids would run up to, as fast as they could, and then slide through. Almost like someone would use a skim board at a beach, just minus the common sense.
The mud slide could be created two ways i) naturally by heavy rain or ii) a group of kids that would run backwards and forwards, carrying water in empty Prima containers, between the drinking taps and the site of the future mud slide. Much like a green keeper on a golf course, one kid would then carefully curate the mud slide, with the aim of creating a perfect two metre plus patch of extremely slippery mud.
Next came the moment of truth! Kids would take turns running as fast they could and slide through the mud, all while trying to stay on their feet through the whole slide.
Pretty quickly the inevitable would happen and some poor “slider” would come unstuck. A fall forwards would usually result in no more than muddy hands and knees, whilst a fall backwards would have far worse consequences, often a trip to the office and a change of clothes.
These days, having to change clothes and wear something from lost property, would be a source of embarrassment. However back in our school days, it was a almost symbol of great pride. You’d pushed your lunchtime to the limit and had the ill fitting change of clothes to prove it!
So that was one of the favourite pastimes of kids at my Primary School back in the eighties, but feel free to share your own memories in the comments section below.