Birthday Parties

I apologise for the first version of the title which had somehow become scrambled!

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It occurred to me recently that something which has changed a lot since I was a child is the birthday party. Parties today are often ‘themed’, they are sometimes held at a venue such as an indoor play centre, the cake will represent something (Barbie, Peppa Pig, Star Wars etc), there might be an entertainer hired to come to the home and – the biggest change of all – the guests leave with a gift in the shape of a party bag.

In my childhood birthday parties were every bit as enjoyable. These are my memories of our parties in ‘the old days’.

The party food was predictable, but we loved it. There would be sandwiches – egg and cress (my favourite to this day!), ham, cheese and Shipham’s paste are the ones I remember best.


Then there were home-baked cakes: butterfly cakes, fairy cakes, jam tarts. The birthday cakes were always home baked too. This is one of the biggest changes. We had a Victoria sponge, with jam in the middle, icing on the top, a cake band (anyone remember those?) and candles in little candle holders.


As for the entertainment: well, we didn’t have clowns, magicians or any other form of hired entertainer. We played games. There was usually a Pass the Parcel game – in those days there wasn’t a treat under each layer! We also played Musical Chairs, Statues, Pin the Tail on the Donkey and Blind Man’s Buff.


One thing which hasn’t changed – we loved birthday parties then and children love them now.