Tyre swing

Tyre Swing - Copyright Chris Goddard

When I was a kid we were pretty fearless, we had no real sense of danger. We used to freely roam around the lanes, woods and village streets armed with sheath knives that would get you arrested today. What seemed like every other weekend we would go camping in the woods, what is now Birchwood estate. We would use axes, bow saws and various types of cleaver, unsupervised and mostly untrained. We made camp fires and cooked our own food. We climbed to the top of the tallest trees and dared each other to sway in the wind on the thinnest branches. We made Tarzan swings across dykes and tried to impress each other with how daring we could be. In winter we would lightly feel our way across the thin ice of frozen ponds seeing who could cross to other other side, I came a real cropper on that one and was sent to bed without tea. Most kids these days do not have much freedom to roam in the way that we did, to learn through trial and error. Society seems to have sanitised the childhood experience with health and safety, litigation and helicopter parent paranoia. I was heartened to come across at least a remnant of my past, out of sight of the playing field security camera.