On this day in Loughborough … 1873

11 December 2020

11th December 1873

The practice of boys playing Whip and Top on public thoroughfares has become prevalent and when remonstrated with they become abusive and violent.  The police have therefore seized a large number of whips and tops.

A traditional whip and top.
Image in public domain – sourced from https://victorianchildren.org/victorian-toys-and-victorian-games/

‘In my young days, we mostly made our own entertainment. We had our own gang, made up of local boys, most of whom lived in Cambridge Street. Our main diversions were street cricket or football, the latter with a tin can if a ball wasn’t available.’

‘In the summer we played out of doors, hopscotch with a flat stone or hopscotch with a ball, chalking the outline of the game on the road because it had a smooth surface. Very rarely was there any traffic. Competition was fierce, thus producing a professional standard among our group of eight living nearby, who were always together.’

We played games such as reliever on dark winters nights under the gas lamps. In summer it was whips and tops, skipping ropes and paddling in the Brook in the Burton walks. We were told to keep away from the canal and we did.’

Snippets from the Loughborough Advertiser, Loughborough Herald and Loughborough Monitor collated by Loughborough Library Local Studies Volunteers. Source: Matthew’s Local Newspaper Extracts Vol. 1

Extracts from ‘Loughborough As I Remember It (Memories of the Town before 1945.)’  (Various contributors. edited by Jean Carswell, published by Leics Libraries, 1988) collated by Alison Mott.