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Granny Reminisces

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<u><strong>Top Toys in the War</strong></u>Top Toys in the War
I was born during the war, 1942 to be exact, so toys were in short demand. In fact a lot of the toys we were given were handed down through the family or they were made by family members. There were no Playstations or Gameboys!

A toy I particularly remember was one I got before I'd even turned five. It was a rag doll with a painted face. For some reason, at that time I had to have a black ointment rubbed on me regularly. One day, however, I got a hold of the pot of ointment and rubbed it all over my precious doll’s face.
Mum managed to wash the black gunk off but my gorgeous doll's face came off with it! Didn't matter to me though I still loved my baby I just changed her name to Pieface.

Do you remember the old fashioned push on clothes pegs? Those were easily turned into toys. The boys would push two together and make a gun, but it wasn't just the boys, I had a few of these guns too!
Girls would dress them up in material rags and draw faces and hair on them - voila they were dolls.

Wooden Dolls Houses
Wooden dolls houses were made by fathers, grandfathers and uncles. I had hours of fun with my doll’s house. My dad was always going to put lights in it, run by batteries, but he never got round to it. But I didn’t mind, I loved my house just the same. I made rugs for the floor by French knitting a long worm shape and sewing it into a circle. And I made furniture out of matchboxes. I papered the walls with pieces of old wallpaper or any kind of paper. Tiny people were made out of wood designed just like little dolls.

Wooden Garages
Boys had garages made for them from wood. Plastic cars were hard to come by so some boys carved cars out of off-cuts of wood with penknives. Yes, quite young boys had knives then and no one said anything about it. The wooden cars were painted and could look really good.

Home Made Dolls Clothes
When we did get a real doll (and this a huge deal during the war!), mothers or sisters would knit or sew clothes for them. They would teach us to knit too so we could knit them for ourselves. One special Christmas I got a doll that walked! I had to hold her hand and she would walk beside me turning her head from side to side. I also got a buggy for her. I was thrilled with Wendy.
My oldest sister sewed me a complete outfit for her. She had a dress on when I got her and a combined underskirt with pants underneath. Alice, my sister, made her another dress with coat, hat and nightdress. I loved dressing her up in her gorgeous home made clothes.

Cowboys and Indians
Branches of trees became bows and arrow, sometimes with the help of our fathers, the ones who weren't fighting in the war. A piece of string was tied to a branch which was bent into a C shape. The arrow was another branch with a slit on the end to fit into the string.
Despite many days of practice I was never much good at firing my arrows!

Scrap Booking
Collecting scraps was another popular pastime for girls. We bought a scrap book and then bought sheets of scraps to stick in them. Angels and fairies were the most popular themes.

Jigsaws were also popular. At Christmas I would feel every single one of my presents. I would feel the shape and shake them to guess what was in them. I always knew jigsaws by the rattle of the pieces.

It was quite amazing the toys we managed to 'create' with odds and ends lying around our houses or in the garden. Because there was shortages we were perfectly happy to make do and over the moon when we got a treasured 'real' toy.

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