Do you remember? Remember your days of childhood? Remember the days when summers were long and always so very hot and then after summer it was winter and it snowed for days and days and you went sledging and snowballing? I do and you do too I’m sure! Where every day was an adventure and each morning filled with the excitement of anticipation. Every dream at night was filled with the treasures of the day gone past and a new promise awaiting. That was my childhood and these were
‘The Happiest Days of my Life.’
Let me remind you…
It began with a catapult. There were metal ones made from aluminium advertised in the Victor comic. I hadn’t the nerve to ask my parents for the 7/6d Postal Order to send for one of these (they could apparently hit a bottle on a wall from 100 feet). I spent many weeks searching the local hedgerows for a forked branch that would mimic the design. When I found it, a piece off a Chestnut tree, I worked for three days with my trusty penknife to get it cut-off. My penknife had a thing on it that was like a miniature saw. I persevered since I was a determined kid. I got my forked branch home but then had to find material for the sling. This problem occupied me for several weeks. I experimented. First it was with some elastic bands. They broke after several test firings. Then I tried lots of the elastic strands that you could unravel from golf balls which had been lost on the local course. These were better but it took me all day to unwind and then re-weave the strands. My third plan was the most successful. I went into my mother’s knicker drawer. I was intimidated by these garments but stole some anyway. Borrowing the kitchen scissors I carefully cut the top off a pair and ‘twanged’ them experimentally. I had the solution but made a serious mistake in asking my mother to sew the elastic to my catapult. I was grounded for a week without pocket money. Apparently this forfeit was to pay for some new undergarments. My mother did however appreciate my inventiveness and provided a small piece of leather for the sling shot from her sewing bag.