FROM THE ORAL HISTORY OF CHILDHOOD PROJECT
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Dr Gwenda Davey AM is a folklorist and former university lecturer in child development, multicultural studies, and folklore. She has carried out a number of oral history and folklore research projects, and in 1998-99 acted as project manager for the pilot of the National Library's Bringing Them Home Oral History Project. She was made a member of the Order of Australia in 1988 for her services to the protection and preservation of traditional culture and folklore in Australia. The following recordings are from one of her projects, The Oral History of Childhood, representing a number of interviews carried out in 1988.
Selected excerpt from this collection
Mrs Ethel Beed describes street play in Newtown, Sydney, before 1914.
We played on the street with the family next door - hopscotch, ball games, marbles and chasey. There were practically no cars then. Ball games were mostly catches or hitting against a fence. The Presbyterian Church had a new hall, the Coronation Hall, which was good for ball bouncing on the wall. We played skipping - you would run in and do ones then twos. If you stopped it, you took an end. You would do Pepper, Salt, Mustard by yourself ... we played Diabolo when we got a set for Christmas - there were two sticks with string between the sticks. It had a reel and you had to catch the reel on the string. One of our uncles made spinning tops, like an egg with a metal pin and thin twine. We used to put coloured chalk on the tops to make pretty colours as they went round.