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Womens Rural Institutes and Womens Guilds 2014.
Gargunnock WRI

If you don't already know it, Gargunnock WRI are a very lively group! There were no shortage of girders, peerie spinners, skippers and hoppers. We were also treated to some lovely wee rhymes from childhood memories which we value very much.

Queen Mary.

Queen Mary, Queen Mary

My age is sixteen

My faithers a farmer

We live on the green

He's plenty of money

To dress me sae braw

But nae bonny laddie

Will tak me awa.


Johan Mailer, Gargunnock.


Mrs Campbell navigates the bed.



My mother made a dumplin

she made it nice and big

She cut it into slices

An gave us a bit

Saein taste it taste it

Don't say no

Tomorrows my wedding day

and I must go.

Throwing a ball against the wall and catching it on the rebound.

Ba against the wa.





right hand

left hand,

low Scottishe,

high Scottishe and

big birlie.

The games we played were The Big Bad Wolf, We'd bounce a ba against the wa for hours. In and out the Dusty Bluebells. “I was hopeless at skipping”.

Catherine Richardson, Gargunnock.

(Catherine you were great at remembering the Ba against the wa. It's the clearest description on this game we have been given. Annie)

Speed ... no problem.


Bee ba babbity

Bee ba babbity

kiss a bonnie wee laddie or lassie.

This is a circle game.

Fiona McNicol, Gargunnock.


Anne Lees, above left, is Gargunnock WRI Whip 'n Peerie Champion. Janet Iffla, above right, the President ran away with prize for the Gird and Cleek Race.


Kiss, Cuddle or Torture.

Some were het … say three people. The others hid like hide and seek. If you were caught by any of the people who were het you had to choose a kiss a cuddle or torture.

If you didn’t want to kiss or cuddle the person who found you you chose torture.

I was locked in a rubbish shed for ten minutes once.

Anyone who had not been found could come and release you from torture.



This is hide and seek in the dark in the house. Usually confined to the living room.

The person who was het was blindfolded and kept outside the room.

When everyone hid the person who was het came into the room where all the lights were switched off.

The first person found was het for the next game.

Jane Muirhead, Gargunnock and Cornton.


Skipping and singing kept everyone entertained during our visit to Gargunnock.



This is a magic parachute. Lets have fun!

Gargunnock WRI 18th. March 2014.

Renfrew at Play.

It was our first night of the season and what fun we all had. Here are some of our recollections of a night of fun and games. Getting to the church early and interviewing some of the Guild members is always worth while. We met and listened to some lovely people and here are our recollections of their stories.

The Cameron sisters, Cathy and Grace shared their memories together. We played with girds in the streets. There were no play areas at the time. "Ye didnae get shouted at for playin in the street in they days".

The girls suggested that I go across the hall to speak to Rita. “She has a lot of good stories”. Well they were right. Rita Paterson is eighty something in years but twenty one in her head! "We played peever or hopscotch. If you couldn’t afford a half penny for a marble peever you played with a tin filled with wee stones. A Zube tin was a good one."


Rita Paterson.


"We played skipping ropes. In and out the windaes, French ropes. Over the moon was a game with balls against the gable end of the house. We threw the ball up and jumped over it when it came down. I lived above the Nineteeth Hole ,the pub,and it went on fire twice. They said he, the landlord, put on big fires before he went to dinner and burning coals fell out. We watched the fires from the street after being cleared from the houses."

"Release. There were two teams. One hid and the other counted to hundred before coming to look for you. If you were caught you were put in the den. If one of your team could reach the den without being caught everybody in the den ran free."

Cathy and Grace Cameron.


Picnic time. "Mammie can I have a penny for pop (Tizer) and a piece 'n jam? We walked to the docks and had a picnic and watched the world go by. There was a lot of activity at that time – the 1920s and 1930s. We watched Transatlantic Liners going up to the Broomielaw. We watched them going up and down the Clyde."

"There was a bandstand at the Ferry Green in Renfrew at that time. We went to listen to the music and dance. There were many local bands then. On Saturdays there were highland dancers and pipers."


Entertainment. "We had no radio in the house. We made our own entertainment. Mammie played the moothie and her brother played the Mandolin. We played the comb with paper as we couldna play an instrument."


I can remember visiting the Museum of Childhood in Edinburgh.


Spin yer peeries!


"We used to make barrows out of soap boxes. Four wheels from an old pram and a box. The boys got hold of a plank and we were off. When our gird broke in the tramlines we took it into the smiddy to get sorted." Did you pay ? "No .. they just did it. We used to watch the horses getting shod. The smell of the burning hooves was dreadful but we still liked it."


Well done Rita. You are a star! Thank you for the lovely memories of childhood in Renfrew.

Chalked peeries - look at the lovely designs. They are all different.


Then the night began in earnest ... we were off. A wee talk and roll out the bed for a game of peever – in this case hopscotch. Those who took part showed us clean pairs of heels.

The gird and cleek coaching, practise and races went whoosh! The champion Girder was Sheila Love.

The colouring of the peeries with chalk was fun and silence descended on the hall as designs were created on the tiny flat top of the peerie. You can see some of the results in the picture.


The best peerie spinners in Renfrew!!!


Then it was time to spin the peeries. A generous amount of time was allowed for practice then we were off. The three best spinners and whippers were chosen by the audience. The final “Spin Off” was between three worthy contestants. Maureen Tunnicliffe won handsomely and whipped and spun right up the hall floor. The runners up in the above picture were Margaret Gibson and Rene Canavan.


Well done those who skipped and sang the songs they sang when they were wee. It was fun. A leap forward to the finale. Some gentle parachute games which were played sitting down or standing up. It was over. Thank you all for a great night away from the TV!



Hamilton Trinity Ladies Club

It was a brilliant evening and we enjoyed an hour and half of fun and games. Everywhere we go we learn of games that are different from others. Here we heard of Auntie Ochre. Throw the ball over the wall and run round and catch it. A house or a coal cellar will do. “Mine was a coal cellar.” Anon. Single story houses were OK.


For skipping ropes -

One two buckle my shoe

three four shut the door

five six break up sticks

seven eight lay them straight

nine ten big fat hen.



Thank you to Agnes Griffith, Margaret Cooke and Betty Cook for the stories and rhymes above.

Other games mention were the ba in the old nylon socking playing Mary Queen of Scots got her head chopped off. You stotted the ball off the wall in the stocking.


Many remembered the Cleek an Girr. Other games mentioned were – chap door run away (I can feel an ASBO coming on).

A leevo played by boys.

The Croft area was good for roller skating because there nice flat places. There were various levels of roller skating starting with “school”. We went up to “University”.


Ball Game Dundee.

Stot, stot ba ba

Twenty lassies on the La

No a lad among them a

Sot stot ba ba.


Claire Lang originally from Dundee and now from Hamilton.

The La refers to the Law Hill in Dundee.



Thank you for sharing your memories of play which can now be accessed on the World Wide Web by people of all ages from all over the world. I hope that children in schools are able to pick up the games and play them today. This is part of our social history and we want to keep it alive!


The winner of the Gird and Cleek race was Betty Allison who is now the Ladies Club Gird Champion.

The winner of the Peerie Spinning contest was Sheena Sneddon who is now the Ladies Club Whip and Peerie Champion. Well done to the many who participated in the games and to those in the audience who had a good laugh.