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Scotlands Traditional Games

Games that you played
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Games that you played.
Here are some of the games we have collected from people all over Scotland. From children and older people.
If you have memories you would like us to include in this web site please email them and we will do our best to include them. If you want to include drawings or diagrams to illustrate your contribution please mail them to me.
If you want to tell us your name, how old you are and the name of the town village or farm you lived in at the time of playing the games great. Many games have several variations and sometimes local names. All of this is valuable as it adds to the knowledge of our culture and culture of childrens play. Thank you very much for passing your memories to share with people from all over the world!

The Games We Played – East Kilbride Pensioners Group.


We had bogies – made of wood and pram wheels ... “our Cart”.

We loved skipping Belgian ropes i.e. two ropes.

We had stilts … proper wood ones. Sometimes the stilts were made from two tin cans and string.

We lived in Royston. During the second world there was a terrifying bombing. We thought that Stobhill hospital was bombed. It turned out that it was Clydebank.

We went to Clydebank to see where the bombs had been dropped. It was where Singers is now. A bomb dropped in Rosemount Street, Roystonhill and we were desperate to go and see where the bomb had dropped.”

Mary MacMillan, Garngad.

Post script. There was a steamie in Garngad. That’s where we went for our shower.



One, two, three aleerie

I saw Wallace Beerie

Sittin on his bumbaleerie

Eatin chocolate biscuits

Do you remember the games you used to play when you were wee? Annie Sutherland, games old and new, is collecting games, rhymes and memories of play. Annie with “roadie” husband Brian in tow has been visiting WRIs far and wide for ten years and and she is sharing her finds on this web site.

Annie gives a talk on children's play and then helps the members roll back the years with memories and games. A wee gird and cleek championship and peerie colouring followed by spinning and whipping get the blood circulation going and participants and spectators laughing. “I've never laugh so much in ages. “ is often the reaction to an evening of games.

Play is valuable and essential in the development of children. It is through play that children learn life skills. Physical skills such as running and jumping. Skills of co-operation, giving and taking and of making friends. Often for life. The games we played when we were wee were vital to our future well being and helped us become valued citizens when we grew up. We should value play. “She's just playing”. How about “She is just learning life skills”!

Hi Jock my cuddie

my cuddies ower the dyke

and if ye touch my cuddie

ma cuddie'l gie ye a bite.

Sheena, Biggar

Annie says “Have gird will travel” and she is prepared to travel anywhere in Scotland to entertain and collect games and memories. She and her roadie might need a wee bit bed for the night if she's well away from home but distance is not an obstacle.

If members want to send her their memories, games and rhymes she would be delighted to receive them. Just give your name and where you played the games. Post or email will do. The details are at the end of this item.


St Andrews Methodist Church East Kilbride Gird and Cleek Champion - Anne.


Pettenain, Biggar, Balfron, Forth, Crossford, Ravenstruther, Gilmourton and Lanark. All fair runs from Glasgow on winter nights when you don't know what the weather has to throw at you. It's another a great night out for Annie and the members too. After ten years Annie finds herself being invited back for more fun and games which makes it all the more worthwhile. All the competitions to judge and not always totally comfortable with which was first, second or third. Thank goodness the girls are so understanding if the outcome is not quite what they have expected! All the scrumptious home baking to eat. Don't mention diet. Hard work but someone has to do it!


Gorbals news.

Mrs Minnie Fagan, “Mini mouse … ha ha”, originally from Gorbals shared some of her memories of play.

When we were wee we played out all day at peever and ropes”. When Minnie went to work at Davidsons Kipper Store in the Gorbals they played when it was quiet. “When we were quiet we used to go out into the street and played skipping. Double ropes. I couldna dae it now. We were fit then.”

Anon. A lady sharing the waiting room at Gorbals Health Centre enjoyed telling a story from her past. “We used tae look out for the Rent Man. Sometimes we did a moonlight wi a horse 'n cart into outer space”.


Polis, polis don't catch me

Catch that man behind the treeHe stole butter. I stole tea

Polis, polis don't catch me

Marion “frae Motherwell”.


Evie ivy, evie ivy oh. This was a rhyme used to play with balls against a wall.

Jessie Masterton, Lanark.

We played kick the can. It was played with two teams.

Clair Reynolds, Glasgow.

We used two cans with strings that made stilts.

Anon, Lanark.

Annie says “Good luck to the Scottish Women's Rural Institute and the wonderful girls who give up their time and energy to keep the great institution going. Lang may yer lum's reek!”

You can contact Annie Sutherland by telephone 0141 633 2228 or by email You can send Annie your correspondence on play to 661 Clarkston Road, Glasgow G44 3QL.

Annie Sutherland Games Old and New E-Mail: