Monday, July 1, 2013

To earn a Penny


Everyone was skint, so we had to try to earn a few pennies where we could, mother used to buy & sell wool & thread bobbins from the factory girls, mother bought Pawn Tickets, from folk that had pawned stuff the no longer wanted, My self !!! well I had my list of customers that I did messages for, some gave me a penny, some tuppence, others thru pence, and one lady from 1 Landsbury St. I got sixpence, there was no wet fish shop up the Gibby, so some times I would be sent into town, " Get me a piece of Filleted Fish son " I loved that big word "Filleted " the first time I was sent to Mac Fisheries at the corner of Westburn St, I said it over & over again " Filleted " by the time I reached MacFisheries, it somehow had changed to " Utility " I went home empty handed, the woman at the shop said " Sorry son, we don't have any Utility Fish "
I had my list of customers, they were mine, no one dared poach my list, I done my daily rounds " Need any messages Missus ", I was in many a fight over this, shock horror when I went to one of my customers only to be told " Naw Son, wee Jimmy Watson got my messages earlier on today ", so wee Jimmy Watson got a visit from me later that day, every penny counted, if I had a good day I would always buy my mother 2 or 3 Cigarette's, which were in a big sweetie jar and were sold one at a time


Pap was another way we earned our pennies, it was a great game of skill, and I was brilliant at it,I practiced over & over again, I developed my own throw, to play the game of Pap, you had to have minimum of two players, and no maximum, a straight wall, no weeds or grass against the wall, it had to be completely clear, player would stand about 10 to 12 feet away and throw your penny at the wall, nearest to the wall won all the money, sounds easy, try it, there are so many things can go wrong, like hitting another players penny, sending him closer, rebounding off the wall, this took skill and we were playing for money, most players kept there legs together, bent their knees and threw their pennies from the side, the " Sinclair Throw " was to keep my legs apart bend my knees, hold the penny between my index finger & thumb, and throw from between my legs, he penny flew like a flying saucer, if two or more pennies looked like it was a draw, the distance was measured by players fingers, 1 finger away from wall, or 2 fingers away from wall, I practiced my throw over &over, so I very seldom lost at this Pap

Odds & Evens

This was played with three players, and was very, very popular, many a boy lost his milk money or dinner money playing this game on his way to school, it was simple, the three boys would toss their penny on to the back of their hand and cover it with the other hand, three heads or three tails was a draw, but two heads and one tail, or 2 tails and 1 head, the odd one won, this was a game of pure luck, some lads claimed they could toss up a penny with the head showing and it would come down a tail, but this was sheer boast, even if it was true he couldn't say what the other two players would toss, you either won quickly or lost quickly I very seldom played this game, I didn't gamble on luck, 

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