Sunday 10 April 2011

Seventies Recreation

These undated photographs show us the range of free time activities available to seventies youngsters - hanging about on the rec, graffiti, go-karts and, er, shopping trolley jousts.

No-one on the swings and no sign of those roundabouts that were banned by councils across the country, but some proto-This is England grafitti on the slide. Nice. Like a crime-scene photograph.

Great care went into siting this playground - on the wasteland behind the estate, near the garages. Note the slide, which appears to utilise the ladder used to climb into a Vulcan bomber.

Nothing really - just hanging around. I do wonder why the photographer took this picture. Is this 'Blow Up'?

Trolley jousting. God help the Bowie fan who walks along here.

Marc Bolen.

Arsenal shit bast. Pre-graffiti culture graffiti is interesting in its banality. There are no 'street names' for Eddie Kelly. Some of it looks as if it were written in blood (that or Cresta).

This is the most fun, and the photograph that conforms most to the nostalgic view of pre-computer childhood. I've no doubt that modern parents would have something to say about go-karting down the middle of the road, especially with pre-crumple zone Austin landcrabs lumbering in the opposite direction.

More slices of pre-digital life to come soon, along with some full-colour covered markets. Get your bargains here, although probably after I come back from holidays. Be seeing you!


  1. Excellent pre-Health & Safety stuff, and very funny.

  2. These pics are great. Would love to see one of those horse things they used to have in playgrounds - and beam swings.

  3. These are great - especially the waste ground slide. I often find myself gnawing that our children don't have these to play on, but when you see one.... In our park it was taken down after someone fell off and cracked their skull.

  4. That slide is fantastic, we had one near the railway viaduct which was a little longer, with a killer bump half way down and a 'house' on top. If we really wanted to belt it down, we'd 'grease' it with candle wax and sit on an old sheet. A fair few bruised coccyx' were had by all, but the sheer terror experienced at the speed of decent was worth it.
    Sadly, no pics of 'Witches Hats' or 'Spider Webs' another dangerous childhood favourite. Or that long 'Rocking Horse' contraption. They had one in Sutton Park till a few years back. It was taken out when a new (safer) playground was installed.

  5. These pics remind me that I was always *terrified* of being taken to the park. Every time we went my mum would tell me how a friend of hers had lost the skin off her arm when it got stuck under a roundabout. "Careful on that slide, you could fall off and break your neck." Besides which, those playgrounds always had an unpleasant air about them; I don't know if it was the fact that they were fenced off from the rest of the park, or the spindly nature of the equipment itself, but it definitely had a crime scene atmos to it. Brr.

  6. There was a slide just like that in a park that I used to go to. My friend (who I will call Steve) decided that we should have races to see how fast we could climb the steps and then slide down.
    Halfway up the steps I lost my footing and fell. Still have the scar on my head to this day. The hospital that I went to, to get stitched up, with the big black rubber doors was a scary old place. Steve managed to get to the top and down again in 9 secs. A pretty good time. Went back for more the nxt day.