Friday, 31 October 2008
As he turns the corner and looks into the jungle he sees two hobgoblins dancing in a circle singing the hobgoblin song which goes something like this: (we will call the victim Nicky Rice which sounds quite like the real name) Nicky Rice is our victim, sacrifice Nicky Rice, whilst hitting the two spars together in time to the beat. If you are lucky then the lad will take to his heels shouting "Its just illuminations!" Oh Halloween was more fun as a lad.
Friday, 3 October 2008
Two great fascinations of our youth were dog shite ( or Shogs Dite as my faither called it ) and bangers. Often the twin titans of childhood mirth would be brought together. I mean after all it is only natural to combine two good things to enhance both in the pursuit of greatness. Like Champagne and strawberries, Fred Astair and Ginger Rogers or the kebab pizza.
Whilst enhancing the pleasure of both however, resulting cocktails are not always without their hazards. Just ask Elvis about peanut butter and jam pieces or Gram Parsons about morphene and Tequila. The road to the perfect high is littered with failure.
So we come to the cautionary tale of poor Tam and the exploding dog shite.
Round the back of the steamie in Blackwood Crescent on a cold October night, Astra bangers and 3-2-1 zeros were flying around good style. Once the usual rounds of tenament stairwells and car exhausts had been completed, the old banger in the dog shite ritual was observed.
The "barkers nest" selected was a particularly large unhealthy specimen as I recall. Unbeknowns to poor Tam it's slight crust belied a very runny interior. He also chose to go with the inferior Astra banger, a fatal mistake which he would later regret. I myself would have chosen a Standard 3-2-1 zero for the job as the fuse reliably lived up to it's name. I'm sure Arkos and bobrob would agree with me there.
Tam inserted the infernal device in the pile of shogs and lit the fuse.
He gave it a second and returned to relight it. No sooner had the match touched the fuse when it went off, covering his head in runny shite. Now Tam was blessed with a thick head of hair, but sometimes a blessing can be a curse. This was such a time.
Devoid of anything to clean it off with, and feart of going home in that state, he opted to remove the pungent mess by rubbing his head off the harled wall of the steamie. A gesture which proved to serve no real purpose other than to hurt the already sore sides of the assembled onlookers.
Respect again to Dave Henniker and his wee goldmine of Southside photos. (click to enlarge and you will see that is the real steamie, with harled wall no less)
I was going to keep this one for a while but Arkos forced my hand a bit. So here it is.
What do you think when the doorbell goes and one of your mates is standing on the landing dressed in a black trench coat with two pairs of jeans on at the same time, because each pair has holes in a different place, rope around his shoulder like a mountaineer and a torch in his hand? Its adventure time! Although the getup is a bit outrageous nobody is looking at him outside because it is too bloody obvious to be real. So it is on the bus and down to Porty pool. Only Porty pool contains no water and we are not going swimming. Porty pool is derelict and awaiting demolition so it is bound to be worth a shuftie. Wait until no one is looking and over the wall pdq. We are a bit far away from our normal stomping grounds but it is worth the risk. A quick sprint across the empty pool and into the main building. The floor is strewn with old floats and wellies, many odd pieces of paperwork that nobody will ever read again litter most of the floor in the turnstiles area. We go through the old changing rooms first and down into the area under the pool. It is really cool in here. The old wave machine is still lurking in a corner and there are stacks of glass portholes which look out into the empty pool. A circuit of the pool later and we are back in the main building. Up the stairs into what must have been the old restaurant area with three large doors looking out onto the balcony. Suddenly a crashing sound from below as if the door has been kicked in! Visions of heavies rushing up the stairs force us out onto the balcony but where do we go from here? There is only one way and that is down! The afore mentioned rope is hastily attached to the balcony railing with sweaty hands,no one wants to be the last man standing so it is a push and a shove to get on the rope first. As the youngest I am last on the rope I am sure that I can hear footsteps on broken glass coming towards me. Hand over hand down the rope in record time with a few rope burns for my effort and off across the empty pool like a shot, over the wall and after the other lads towards the bus stop and the waiting bus! Wait a minute we left the rope, anyone fancy going back for it? No f---ig way that was a close call who knows what the Porty neds would have done to us Southside laddies. All the same it did not stop us from exploring as many derelicts as we could find.
Thursday, 2 October 2008
Click to enlarge
Following on from Arkos' excellent piece on urban exploration, it got me thinking about another wee favourite pastime of ours. Free climbing.
Once again an example of something now considered an extreme sport for the fashionable 21st century Metrosexual type. Back in the 70's it was just something you did. We thought nothing of climbing Salisbury Crags as a short cut to Hunter's Bog, rather than trailing round the Radical Road.
These days you see posey looking lithe dudes in Lycra with fancy shoes and ropes up there. I remember doing it in Clark's Commandos with an "Adidas" schooolbag on my back. I have to admit though, from the photos it looks scarier and higher that it seemed back in the day.
Once you got to climbing there was only one way you could go, especially if the Parkie was at the bottom warning you of the dangers "yous'll brek yer necks" whilst simultaneously threatening you with physical harm "I'll fit yer erses" if you didn't come down. Nae choice really. Up won every time.
Ah, but the park was a magic place. Hunter's Bog, Dunsapie Loch for the perch fishing, the Crags with it's views of the city and watching the summer sunsets without a care in the world.
A young man could get stuck up there for hours with only his own thoughts.
Ain't that the truth Bobrob?
For more photos like the ones I nicked from the boy, check out his site. There is a cracker of Hunters Bog in the mist.
Wednesday, 1 October 2008
Tuesday, 23 September 2008
The group would have to re-enact a death scene based on a violent mode of demise decided by one player. An example would be "shot by a bren gun whilst running", "Flaming arrow in the ear" or "hand grenade at the top of a hill"
The list was endless and only limited by the imagination of the players. Imagination was not in short supply with 70's bairns.
The game was best played on a slope such as found up Arthur Seat. this allowed maximum rolling to be achieved. The ulitmate venue was building sites where foundation trenches had been dug and, if you were really lucky, there was a big mound of builder's sand.
Sound effects were supplied by the players, drrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr was a machine gun ect.
Examples can be found here
Better ones can be viewed here
Monday, 22 September 2008
What was required was a Crossfire game and a handful of insects. There were variations of the game such as inter-species tournaments of woodlice v's beetles, earwigs v's wingless flies or the more common and straighforward "last man standing".
Crossfire was a game where metal balls were fired from red plastic guns mounted at each end of an enclosed arena.
The gathered insects would be relased in the middle of the board and the carnage would begin.
Woodlice (or slaters to give them their official High Wall title) were the best competitors due to their soft bodies and lack of speed.
The last surviving slater would be ceremoniously released to chants of "Jonathan, Jonathan, Jonathan" like in the 70's classic movie "Rollerball".
Hey it was the 70's. PETA hadn't been invented yet.
Sunday, 21 September 2008
More pics of other ice lollies at: www.thoseweleftbehind.co.uk/2008/05/lord-toffingham-lollies-proof.html
Wednesday, 17 September 2008
We spent many a happy hour glued to World of Sport and pouring over wrestling magazines. Then it was out to the back green to try out Boston crabs, backbreakers, step over toe holds and, of course, ear pulling.
No-one got any real doings, that is until we went home with stretched or ripped t-shirts and irremovable grass stains on the knees of our jeans. That is when you had to duck and weave for real.
Anyway sit back, spark up your cork pipe and enjoy a few classis moments courtesy of YouTube.
Giant Haystacks v's Honey Boy Zimba
Catweazle v's Mick Mcmanus
Dave Taylor & Ironfist v's Rollerball Rocco & Kendo Nagasaki
The unmasking of Kendo Nagasaki
Monday, 15 September 2008
Thursday, 11 September 2008
Tuesday, 9 September 2008
But who could resist shoes with a compass in the heel. The very dab for expeditions to far flung places like "the donkeys" or Hunters Bog. Yep leaving the well charted area around the High Wall could be tretcherous, best be prepared.
The main drawback of these timeless classics were the moon crater soles. There was less emphasis in cleaning up after your dog in the 1970's, in fact most seemed to wander free like wildebeest of the Serengeti or buffallo of the Great Plains.
Dog eggs were in abundance, including those now obsolete white ones. Standing in them was inevitable. You could use up a whole box of Vulcan Household matches scraping out the craters in the front street after being banished by your irate Ma to "get them cleaned".
Occassionally you would get lucky and stand on a hard plastic "Dirty Fido", but most of the time it was the real McCoy.
Still a risk worth taking just to have shoes with a compass.
Sunday, 7 September 2008
Also used as a "Planet of the Apes" "Dr Who" style tether for captured humans.
Came in a variety of school colours from the Clan Hoose or Parker's Store.
Friday, 5 September 2008
Thursday, 4 September 2008
Wednesday, 3 September 2008
Elvis Costello, 1986
Picture an ash carpark, a dark November 70's Edinburgh night, local youths huddled round for the great unveiling of a new weapon of unyeilding power.
It's inventor, a gangly youth with thick hair, removes from his pocket a small model of a naval cannon with pencil sharpening capabilities. Packed tightly inside the cannon are the contents of a packet of Standard 3-2-1-zeros ( the banger of choice) and a small fake pearl which was once part of a mother's earring.
Excitement hangs in the cold air like the smoke from so many tenament chimneys. "This will be barry" is the general concensus.
After a long series of checks the shottie keepers give the all clear. The fuse is lit and the weapon aimed.
What happened next is still inexplicable. There was the anticipated flash and bang, but the pearl's trajectory was not as it should have been. When the smoke abated the blackened face of the inventor was streaked with tears and 2 lines of green snot. On the left side of his nose was a bulge about the size of a plastic pearl. It was lodged up his nostril and not for coming out without adult assistance.
This my friends is the true story of the "Haston Cannnon"
Monday, 1 September 2008
Sunday, 31 August 2008
Bruce Lee, David Carradine and Carl Douglas, in the 70's everybody was "Kung Fu fighting"
Therefor the Home made Nunchuk was born
Saturday, 30 August 2008
All those parents who were wondering what to do with their kids in the summer holidays, could have taken a page out of our book!
Using just the two items shown in the picture a fun game for all ages can begin. Each player has a tennis ball and a footie sock. The ball is placed inside the sock at the toe end and the open end is grasped firmly in the hand. Each player now attempts to hit the other players head by swinging the sock violently in a circular motion. The only protection allowed would be at the most an empty cardboard box with cut out eye holes placed over the noggin. But beware, should the box slip and obstruct the field of vision then you are in for a hammering! Apart for a swollen ear or two and the odd headache ther is not a lot to worry about. A real character building game if ever ther was one. More fun by combining household items still to come so stay tuned.
Wednesday, 27 August 2008
A wee trip down memory lane.
Many a good Saturday at the Super Saturday Show with a Kiora jubilee and an everlasting toffee stick.
Sneaking in the back door during the summer holidays to see "Herbie" ride again & again & again......
Clash gigs where the place looked like Hurricane Joe had been through it at the end, withoot a seat left in the place.
In a word "Barry"
Tuesday, 26 August 2008
Following on from previous comments here is the "workies lamp" of our youth compared with it's hi-tec counterpart of these days.
No real comparison. Stingy eyes and black reek and just enough light to read an H&E, wrestling mag or horror comic.
These things were freely available in the area around the High Wall. Cheap and efficient with a handy hanging hook.
Just the job for a poorly ventilated gangie strewn with old bits of paper. They are known as "paraffin hazard lamps" Don't know why, they seemed perfectly safe to us.
Monday, 25 August 2008
HERE TODAY - The best bits.
"he was small, pale and insignificant. His narrow face wore a sly, perpetual smirk, giving the observer the impression that he was the possessor of dark and sinister secrets that were a source of constant amusement."
"A dry chuckle escaped from his yellow teeth."
" He took a small bag and immense torch from the car"
" My torch! It will be annoying if it doesn't work. Ah, a little shake does wonders"
"candles are the answer"