In the 1950’s, when I was growing up, hobbies were an important part of a child’s life. Now the word barely exists. Children today either have ‘interests’, which can be anything from a computer game to a TV programme, or they are in a club or team – rugby, cheerleading, karate, ballet etc.
In the ‘olden days’ evenings, particularly long winter ones, and wet weekends were not punctuated by phone, tablet, TV or trips out to groups and classes. We needed to be entertained and occupied and this is where hobbies came in.
Hobbies were mainly gender driven so if you see a girl you spent time knitting, embroidering or doing cork-work (who ever hears that word these days?). Boys made models (Airfix comes to mind), collected stamps or spotted cars.
We were given presents at Christmas and on birthdays like basket weaving sets, raffia kits, plaster modelling, felt work, painting by numbers. I also remember science sets, magic kits, printing sets (John Bull) and Post Office sets.
We didn’t have all of these things at the same time. I’m recalling some of the games, sets and kits which passed through our childhood and gave us pleasure.
When I was a kid hobbies (and the associated kit) were often unisex because our parents, being short of money, tended to subsidise activities that everyone in the family could grow into. I was proud of my stamp collection, and I still have it somewhere, though I think it may have been plundered by a little brother.
We were also keen on using moulds to make plaster-of-paris animals, which we painted. Other hobbies included collecting caterpillars to raise butterflies, and photography with a Box Brownie.
My sister, who was 7 years older than me had a Meccano. I longed to play with it, but my mother said I was too young – I had to wait till I was 10. Would you believe that a few days before my tenth birthday my sister (17) sold it to buy a pair of flash roller skates? I’ve never got over it.
Hi. Thank you so much for sharing your memories. Yes! I still have my stamp album too! And I loved making those plaster of Paris models in moulds and painting them. We also used to make perfume from rose petals in summer time and give to mum and grandmas as presents – decanted into empty pill bottles. Glad you enjoy the blog! Meryl
LikeLiked by 1 person
I remember the cork-work, and the meccano, and for me I played for ages with dolls… Diane
Oh, yes, dolls! Ours were so real to us. Thanks for sharing. Meryl
LikeLiked by 1 person