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The Change in Village Life

by Debbie Whitty (Bytes)

Contributed by 
Debbie Whitty (Bytes)
People in story: 
Patricia Gartside
Location of story: 
New Tredegar, Gwent
Background to story: 
Article ID: 
Contributed on: 
14 March 2005

Compare the difference in the life of children in the 30’s to the present day.

Children years ago had no money so their entertainment was mainly youth clubs, church organisations, scouts etc. They also had the freedom to roam outdoors playing various old games such as hopscotch, marbles, jacks and skipping act. Youth clubs also provided a lot of the indoor recreation. Table tennis, darts, skittles to name just a few. The children themselves organised dances, quizzes and many other types of entertainment. Churches also had many different organisations, Girl Friendly Society, Young Christians Association to name just two. These clubs where not as boring as they sounded. Plays concerts and variety shows were rehearsed and when perfected were performed in front of admiring relations and friends. We also had Bible reading and discussions, which helped (hopefully) to turn us into decent citizens. As we grew up and broadened our horizons we started to go to the various dance halls, unlike today’s clubs and disco’s there was no alcohol, the only drinks served were soft drinks, teas or coffees. If anyone tried to get into the dance that had been drinking they were banned, many tried to smuggle in drink but were usually caught and would then be banned indefinitely so it wasn’t worth it. Of course by this age we had left school and were working. Most of the work available for school leavers were very boring mundane jobs. Most young men went down the mines or if they were lucky got taken on as apprentices, while the young women got jobs in factories or shops. The wages we earned were very low and we did not get to keep them. All sons and daughters back then were expected to do the same as there fathers and hand their wages over to their mother at the end of the week. This (housekeeping money) was always managed by mothers; dads, sons and daughters were given pocket money. This continued up to the time the child got married or left home. In many cases married sons and daughters lived with their parents for many years until they had saved enough money to furnish a rented place of their own.

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