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Have Gird Will Travel ... anywhere!
I think it will be fun to create a wee reminder of where I've been with traditional games. To date the furthest I have travelled for an evening booking was Martyrs Church, St Andrews and the shortest distance was across the road to Netherlee Parish Church. Rather than backtrack I'm starting my diary here in October 2012.
Waterside WRI, Lesmahago October 2012
What fun and games. This was a cosy wee gathering with a happy crowd of members many of whom participated to give their pals a good laugh.
Anna Bell, the President of Waterside WRI, accepts her prize for winning the gird races.
Sitting or standing everyone can go on a journey of the imagination with a parachute!

Dunlop Church Guild, Dunlop, Ayrshire

We struck a rich seam of memories here. It is difficult to record peoples memories and keep our event moving on the night. However Barbara Roy came prepared with notes she made some twenty five years ago which she kindly loaned to us. Here are some of Barbara's notes.


Barbara Roy with Annie.



Before the game could start certain formalities had to be gone through. Who will be it or het? Who will “caw” the ropes or be the ends.

One potato, two potato, three potato, four.

Five potato, six potato, seven potato MORE. (one “end” is determined)


Oor wee Jeanie has a nice clean peenie

Guess what colour it is.


B_L_U_E_ spells blue

and blue you must have on. (second “end” is determined)

Skipping songs


Janet's in the kitchen doing a little stitching

In comes the bogey man and out goes she.

Anne's in the kitchen etc.


Blue bells, cockle shells,

Eevory, ivory,over.

Dr Brown is a very good man,

He teaches children all he can,

First to read and then to write,

Eevory, ivory, you jump out.


The remaining notes will be added to "the games you played" on the web site later.

 Early on we were invaded by a squad of "teenagers" playing hockey. They took us by surprise and gave us a great laugh.

Other contributions included were of memories of colouring in peeries “And whoosh in the middle of the street in Galston.” Another memory was of playing beds in the farm yard at Barrmill. One lady described tying doors with string so that people “couldn’t get out of the house”! Of course there were no ASBO's then so that was all right. Thank you girls and boys for an eventfull night.

Susan Shorrock distributed play pieces "Here's your play piece - don't eat it all a once!"



Croftfoot Primary School Glasgow


Three classes of children from Primary six and seven enjoyed fun and games in the playground with traditional games and parachute games. This was an opportunity to learn how to run with a gird and cleek and how to spin and whip a peerie.


Remember children can get the messages three times quicker with a gird!
















The parachute or play canopy is an opportunity for co-operation in playing games such as rainbow, colours, Heather the Weather etc.



 Rainbow is colourful and fun. Just look at the happy faces!

 Lesmahagow WRI November 2012

Another wet night and poor visibility on the M74. This did not make any difference to us. We were on a mission, as usual – to entertain and share traditional games with the girls who played them when they were wee! As the President said “You've come to show us the games we played!” How true.


When sharing memories of the games she played Jan Lennox told of her memory of skipping in Dillarburn not far from Lesmahagow. She remembers women with babies wrapped in plaid on their backs coming out to ca the skipping ropes for the older children.


The girls entered into the spirit of the evening hopping up and down the aeroplane bed and reminding us that six and nine box beds are for kicking the peever. Not sliding it.

The peerie colouring part of the evening is when everyone can allow their artistic abilities to shine through. As is normally the case no two peeries turn out the same. The designs and colours are different. We can have sixty people in a room and sixty variations on the coloured top of the peeries.


With little space we practised our way to a gird and cleek final. Annette MacDonald won the final and had shown dedication and skill to claim the title of “Lesmahgow WRI Gird and Cleek Champion”.

                             Peeries in the "peerie boxes". The colours are rarely the same.


Annette Mary MacDonald, Lesmahagow WRI Gird and Cleek Champion with her prize.


The improved traditional model gird proved very popular on the night. The whip and peerie champion was Jean Potter. Jean's peerie was the “last peerie spinning” in the Spin off. Not only did she win but she could not stop spinning her peerie until several minutes after she had won fair and square. Well done Jean.

Plum jam to judge … yum, yum. Teddies to judge. A host of bears on display. And then to supper which was a feast of goodies and good conversation.


The Scottish Womens Rural Institute is rightly proud of it's grass roots organisation and so it should be. It is always a pleasure to go to a Rural. Lovely people and what a lovely way to spend an evening! Much better than watching television!



Milton of Campsie WRI

The hall was spacious and the crowd was over forty in number and again we had a lovely time together. The girls had many happy memories to share with each other although we did not manage to record them as the acoustics were not so great.

Here are pictures of some of the peeries coloured on the evening. We had lots of fun and games with races and peever.



The girls ready to roll with left to right, Ann Martin, Secretary, Christine Gray, Beryl Thomas, Elinor Oswald, Gird and Cleek Champion and Chrissie Collins the President.


Towards the end of the evening we had scarves to judge and this was not an easy task as they were all very attractive. Well done everyone!

November 2012


Primary One Croftfoot Primary School Glasgow.

The rain was awful and the floods were bad following a night of high winds and heavy rain. This did not stop children and teachers from battling their way to school. It didn’t stop us with our "have gird will travel" mind set.

We had come to give three primary one classes a games session which would include games they could play in the playground and also in the gym for good exercise. Following a small demonstration of a whip and peerie and a spin around the floor with a gird it was down to business.

The most popular game by far was Wizards and trees. This tig game appeals to children as they immediately associate it with Harry Potter. Pointy hats, trees and giant steps creates a lot of fun for the children.

Car wash can be played standing or kneeling. Don't try kneeling in the playground! Ouch. Skipping ropes snakes and waves is super for a bit of running and jumping. It takes discipline to stand in line and wait your turn.

The parachute or play canopy creates more excitement and fun. The games we played included Heather the Weather or should it be Sean the man now? Colours, what colour you wear and what you like. Pay attention. I hope that you are following all this.

We finished with the World Song visiting Africa, India, America, Australia and so on. All this energy just to see their grannies.

I learned later that some of the children were playing Wizards and trees on the way home in the afternoon. Good news.


Wizards and Trees. Car Wash. Skipping Ropes – snakes and waves. Choo choo.

Play canopy games - Waves and boats. Colours. The colour you wear. What you like. Rainbow.

The World Song - singing and actions. Pat and massage. Reserve game, not used, In and Out the Dusty Bluebells.

Annie. 19 November 2012.


Cambusbarron WRI

The calm before the storm. We journeyed north to the village on a calm clear night in the knowledge that it would be a different story tomorrow with gales of 60 to 70 mph and heavy rain forecast. We were out to enjoy an evening of fun and games. Yes “have gird will travel” takes us out and about to enjoy the company of girls aged from thirty to ninety or there about. My girds must be the most travelled girds in the world?


Colouring peeries makes them unique to the people doing the "customising".


The Community Centre is a lovely cosy wee place with a cheery Caretaker who asked “Is it true that you are playing beds tonight?” When confirmed he said “They get up to some funny things in there” nodding towards the hall. This sounds interesting. Maybe Chic Murray or Ken Dodds been here!


Well I won't repeat the games we played as they are well document in “Have Gird Will Travel” We were blessed with two smashing and well remembered skipping songs from Margaret Campbell, originally from Govan Glasgow, which will be set out at the end of this piece.


The winners of whips and peeries were Kathleen Davison for spinning her peerie and also winning the gird and cleek race. Not many people win the two prizes on the night. Margaret Campbell was a very close second, spinning the peerie and Kathleen generously gave Margaret her prize which the audience appreciated very much.


Doris Lawton, President shows us her old game which she enjoyed as a girl.


The games remembered were – Hunch Cuddy Hunch, Double ropes or Dutch ropes for skipping, kick the can, tieing the skipping rope to a rone pipe to allow two to play with only one ca'ing, hula hoops and playing ball against the wall.


Doris and Kathleen gie it laldy wi their whips and peeries.


Two skipping songs or rhymes from Margaret Campbell who was brought up in Govan, Glasgow.


Ding, dong castle Bell

Farewell to my mother

Bury me in the old church yard

Beside my younger brother

My coffin shall be white

Six bright angels by my side

Two to watch and two to pray

and two to carry my soul away.

Second skipping rhyme.

Roon' aboot the hoose

To catch wee Mickey Moose

If you catch him by the tail

Hang him up on a rusty nail

Send for the cook

Tae mak a pat o' soup

Harrah boys, hurrah boys

How d'ye like ma soup

We like it very well

only fur the smell

Hurrah boys Hurrah boys

We dinna want yer soup.


Margaret Campbell receives her whip and peerie from Annie as double Champion Kathleen Davidson looks on.

Thank you to all the girls who made this evening such good fun!


Traditional and New Games for the 33rd Brownies East Kilbride.

We had a fun evening playing our games with the Brownies. It was non stop action from beginning to end and to quote the Brownies it was cool and Gillian said it was “fab”. We will let the pictures tell the story.










A super pack of smashing Brownies - work hard and play hard!


The night without is bright and starry …

However the stars are within running, jumping, hopping and spinning. Tonight Brownies this is your opportunity to play the games your papas, nanas, grans, grandpas played when they were wee.
























                Peever beds.


The girls including the Guides who help the Brownies had a fun time. And to round the evening off some new games using the multicoloured parachute. I think it is fair to say a good night was enjoyed by all. I certainly slept well that night having burned off all the spare energy we might have had.


Thank you 134th Brownie Unit, Cathcart Old Parish Church, Glasgow! We had lots of fun showing you the games.


Right. Cool running.



For 2013 I give you this toast. 

Lang may yer lums reek!