My First Retro Junk Article


Childhood memories - Saturdays during early 90s


Hello and welcome to Heinzy82s first article.
I have been visiting this site for a little while now and regularly tune in to read the latest articles which include peoples 'fav 5 films', 'top games of all time' and 'early memories' in general.

I thought I'd kick my article writing career of with my fondest memories of a typical Saturday spent at my grand parents' house in the early 90's.

To help picture the scene imagine a small 2 up 2 down mid terraced house in Wood Green, North London. This would be my Nan and Granddads' house where me and my direct family would meet every Saturday.
My family would consist of Nan + Granddad, mum + dad, me + my brother, along with 4 aunties + 4 uncles and 12 Cousins (7 girls and 5 boys)
The stories and activities im going to detail would generally involve me and my cousins whose ages at the time would range between 6 to 10.

My nan and granddads' house was relatively small, but without fail we would meet week after week, with all the 'grown ups' going to the local supermarket to do the weekly food shop whilst my grandparents would mind the children, sometimes they would give us games to play or activities, and or little contests i.e best drawing, highest jumper that sort of thing.

To start off I'll mention the 'paper aeroplane making competition' with a handful of boiled sweets for the victor.
With a few sheets of paper and an open upstairs window we would be kept entertained for hours!
All competing against each other to create the perfect, long distance flying machine.


Paper aeroplanes - our youngest involvement in engineering?



Boiled sweets - a delicacy for any over active child


Now onto a more adult themed activity, card games for cash!
I remember they had this huge decorative mug/cup, it stood quite tall and had a Rosie o'gradys' design from base to top. Now this thing was full to the brim of 5 pence pieces which we would distribute evenly between me and my male cousins (the girls were busy playing with their dolls or something) and we would use these 5p's to play cards and gamble around the dinning table!

We used to use a deck of cards my grandparents had bought from Florida whilst on a vacation; the cards had a crude map of the state on the back of each one which I can still remember vividly, it had images of alligators and flamingos and a cool 'sunglass wearing' sun on the top with the slogan 'the sunshine state' but I digress.

We would attempt to play poker but bearing the ages in mind no one was overly sure on the rules so the winner of each hand was generally the person who had the most 'picture cards' as we referred to them (jack, queen, king or ace)


Playing cards - teaching young children to gamble for generations



The 5 pence piece - the source of our young greed


My granddad was a very good carpenter in his hay day and was still very talented when it came to building go-karts for 7 very competitive young boys!
He would machine all the woodwork himself in a shed he had in their back garden, and if we were lucky enough and well behaved' he would work on these speed demons whilst we helped.
We never actually took any of them to a hilly or high place and let gravity do its bit, instead when they were done we would have our dads push us over a local field!


Wooden go-karts - too fast and too furious??


Or ultimately we would all sit upstairs in the spare bedroom all huddled around an old black and white tv to which we would take it in turns playing on our N.E.S, a more in depth article about games and experiences will follow


The Nintendo Entertainment System - greatest console ever?


When the weather was nice out, which in England is a rarity, we would venture over to the local field and playground. Sometimes to walk the dog, the ever faithful and best dog of all time, Sheeba! A beautiful German Sheppard that saw her fair share of bread crusts and doggie treats that we would all feed to her out of the rear lounge window.


Sheeba - my dog's better than your dog



Whilst over the field we'd visit a very climbable tree to which we had plans to build a tree house, we certainly had the heart and the drive to go ahead and build it, unfortunately we didn't have building permission and the plans were scrapped at the planning office!
So we settled for a 'camp', basically milk crates for seats in a bushed area out of site!


Tree House's - fun but hard to obtain planning permission



The ice-cream man would always come over with his siren blaring and park up near by, knowing that he would always sell big when we was about, all it took was us kids to scream until we got the necessary funds from our parents to get what we wanted, the usual choice was a birds nest, a popular favourite due to the added bonus of a bubble gum at the bottom of the cone!


Ice Cream men - mind that child!



On the rare occasion 'the dads' would leave the wives off to do the shopping and join us in the field for a game of rounder's (a very basic form of baseball for our US cousins)
Generally it would be left down to my dad to be the bowler (left handed wizard!) who you would've thought would go easy on me and my brother, but no!
If any of us were lucky enough to hit one of my dads under-arm throws and not get caught out by near-by fielders we would have to run between two stumps to rack up points, unlike the aeroplane making competition, there was no prize's for most runs, we did it just for bragging rights!


Rounder's - under arm bowling and holding the bat with just one hand


It was great, we were a very close family and I would give anything to experience that again, just one Saturday back in the summer of 1990 would be ideal, I hold these memories very close to me and it reminds me of simpler times and of a family that was once solid.
Sadly we lost my grandparents towards the turn of the century and things haven't been the same since.
Me and my brother are still very close and we still occasionally see my male cousins for nights out and birthdays, but nothing compared to those Saturdays we all once spent together.


Well that's the close of my first article thanks for reading and I hope you've enjoyed it, feedback would be appreciated - positive and/or negative.


Thanks to google images for the pics