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Just “Resting” as the Actors Say.

I've travelled far and wide sharing and collecting traditional games. North to the Orkney Islands. South East to Eyemouth. West to Colmonell. East to Crail. I met and worked with thousands of children and hundreds of adults in the past twelve years. Yes I have had a great time.

However it's time to hang up my gird and put away my peerie. I have decided to retire!

Being retired doesn't mean that all of my activities are finished. I will be delighted to receive your memories of play and your reminiscences of childhood to put on my website which I intend to keep going. Write to me. Email me. Telephone me with your memories and I will do my best to put these on my website.

If pupils, students or teachers are researching traditional games I hope that they can find some useful information on my website. Feel free to use the information in your work.

To everyone I've met thank you for sharing your time with me. My talks at SWRIs and Guilds have been memorable and a lot of fun!  To the many, many school children thank you for having great fun playing traditional games. I hope that you enjoyed it as much as I did.

Best wishes,

Annie Sutherland.

Traditional Games Scotland.

 
We are looking forward to travelling all over Scotland sharing and collecting traditional games with young and old. We called in at Inverie Primary School on Knoydart in June and shared playing with girds and whips and peeries with the children. There were seven children of different ages which was the whole school. As far as I can tell they had a happy time together.
 
 Ready for work ... teaching children traditional games. Anywhere in Scotland!
 
 Peerie Heels and Pointed Toes.

Rosemary Lacates from Delaware in the USA kindly sent me her memories of playing in Govan, Glasgow when she was a child. “We played doublers and a game where you put a ball in a nylon stocking and hit it against a wall. I'll always remember my childhood in Glesga and wish I could go back”.

There she goes, there she goes peerie heels and pointed toes.

Look at her feet, she thinks she's neat, black stockings and dirty feet.”

 

I remember when we lived in Govan, going to the steamie with my mammy to wash the clothes. My sister and I would go in the back to go through all the empty soap powder boxes for coupons. We would take them to the shops and trade them for sweeties.

We moved to Drumchapel when I was ten. Kids got plenty of exercise back then.”

Rosemary lives in Delaware now. “We will be moving to Florida in two weeks.” Thank you Rosemary, Annie.

 
Win a Whip and Peerie.
Would you like to be the proud owner of a new whip and peerie?
Look further down this home page for 'Wheres Annie' and see how you can enter.
Open to all ages and school classes too!
 
Hamilton Trinity Ladies Club April 2014. 
Click on WRIs and Guilds to see the pictures of a brilliant night with the girls who were real cool traditional gamers!!! What a laugh we all had.
 

Gargunnock WRI March 2014

We had a brilliant traditional games playtime with the members of Gargunnock WRI. They are a lively group of girls. Go to WRIs and Guilds to see the wonderful games and rhymes we collected.

 

 

 Anne was not only a brilliant peerie spinner she was a great skipper too.

 

Chatelherault Primary School Hamilton

We had a super day with the children of two Primary Six classes playing traditional games. It was extremely wet outside and not a day for the playground.

Fortunately the rearrangement of a common area outside classrooms and a great long corridor gave us all the space required.

There were two classes of twenty two. Each class had fifteen minutes on each game.

 

1. Running with Girds.

2. Peever beds, playing Hopscotch.

3. Skipping, singing and chanting skipping rhymes.

4. Colouring, spinning and whipping the peerie.

Time for hands on experience and the challenge of the game. We call this session a “taster” of the games.

The pupils certainly enjoyed the experience and the exercise as could be seen by their happy smiling faces. The teachers had fun too. Well done everyone. We hope that you enjoyed the workshop as much as we did!

The children are working on a project on World War 11.

  • These traditional games were played during Victorian Times and World Wars 1 and 11.

    Annie. March 2014.

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    2014 Workshops and Traditional Toy Sales.

    Another year has dawned and it is time to make plans. We will be offering Primary Schools the opportunity to hire us for two hour workshops on Traditional Games. Two experienced Play Leaders for two hours. The cost is £110 per workshop. If that’s not value for money what is?

    For customers outside the Glasgow area there will be a surcharge to cover the cost of fuel.

     

    Starting out. The first try of a gird is both bamboozling and fun. Children of Struthers Primary School, Barrasie set off on a journey.

     

    Sales.

    We will be selling girds and cleeks, whips and peeries and long jump in ropes for communal skipping. These toys are robust and able to withstand the wear and tear you would expect in the playground. The girds are made to my specification and I make the whips myself to ensure that they are robust.

    Schools can buy a School Pack of four girds, four whips and peeries and one long jump in rope for use in the playground, the classroom or gym.

    The toys make good presents for children and older people who can reminisce and relive their childhood years and memories.

    I am looking forward to hearing from old friends and new in the year ahead.

    Best wishes, Annie Sutherland.

     
    PS. Take a look at the Workshops and toys price list page for my 2014 price list. This takes account of manufacturers price increases and the current cost of postage. Yes, you are right.
    With regret I have had to increase my prices to take account of costs. However I have tried to continue to give value for money. My customers are the best judge of that. I look forward to working with you in the future and any feedback you wish to give me.
     
    General.
    I put the latest news on my home page. After a while I transfer the information to the appropriate headings on the web site. Have a look around the site and have fun!
    Annie.
     I 2 3 aleerie, hud ma whip 'til a colour ma peerie. Renfrew at play.
    New Page for 2014

    I have created a new page especially for the record of evenings with Womens Rural Institutes and Womens Guilds. The first item is Renfrew at Play and I hope that you enjoy it.

     
    Scotlands Traditional Games - the movie!
    Brian Junior has just finished the the making of a short film which I think you will enjoy. Here is the link to the film which is on You tube. If you like what you see please pass this on to your contacts as we want as many people as possible to see it.
     
    Link to Scotlands Traditional Games short film -  http://youtu.be/kCRrT2LSwZk
     
    Ralston Community Highland Games – September 2013

    Well what a super family day out. Fun and games was very much the theme of the day with local Renfrewshire organisations displaying their services and opportunities for leisure activities in neat marques around the arena.


    Games Old and New provided opportunities for playing peever, skipping and whipping peeries. We ran coaching (practice) sessions for girds and then GIRD AND CLEEK RACES on the grass. Amazing children zooming up the grass park with girds held out in front. They really enjoyed the event.


    It was a fun day and one lady posted this on the Facebook page:

    Me and my kids loved it. The day went so fast … particularly liked the tug of war and the old games hop scotch and ropes. Couldn't believe how knackered I was playing them … chalks coming out today for kids in the street!”

    Very encouraging feedback. Keep an eye open for next years event.  Annie.

    PS. Here are a few of the events on the day - Highland Games Team Events, Slow Cycle Race, Live Music (Ralston has talent! ... wonderful), Tug O War and Come and Try Events.

  •  Verona, Italy. "Have gird. Will Travel."

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  • Annie in Verona taking part in Tocati which means "You try" ...  the annual International Festival of Traditional Games. 500 Primary School children took part in the Schools programme.
     
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    Pollok Family Day August 2013

    This was my fourteenth year with Traditional Games at the family day. It was also our busiest year working or playing if you like for five hours non stop. We meet people from all over the world at Pollok. Families from Africa, the Netherlands, France, South America, Germany and of course England. In fact many English children as they are coming to the end of their school holidays and this could be their last fling. Hundreds of Glasgow children also have lots of fun encouraged from the sidelines by their parents, aunties and uncles and grandparents.

     

    What we do is hands on. The children from two years to eighty two years play the games hopping through the peever bed, skipping, spinning and whipping the peerie and running with the gird. They have fun and that’s what its all about.


    This year Brian and Tommy joined me as volunteers and had a smashing time. Teaching the children how to play traditional games is both challenging and fun. It is important that the children can achieve the activity they are taking on and we take care to see that no one is hurt. We meet many people involved in Education and as a result I receive enquiries and secure some bookings from Primary Schools for Traditional Games workshops.

     

    Traditional Games Coaches.


    A school pack of traditional toys. Now four girds, four whips and peeries and one 15 foot skipping rope for communal skipping.

     

    I have just introduced a new workshop. Two hours training for Primary Six children in Traditional Games and the basic skills of passing on the games to their younger peers. A school pack of girds, peeries and long skipping ropes is purchased with this workshop making sure that the playing of these traditional games continues and grows in the school. They won't need us again however as we still have hundreds of schools to reach in Scotland we will never run out of work!

    We hope that this will leave a legacy for future generations of children and make traditional games sustainable in Primary Schools. More information on the Traditional Games Coaches page on this web site.

    Annie Sutherland.

     

    Children of Croftfoot Primary School, Glasgow tackling the gird and cleek.

     Children of Struthers Primary School, Ayrshire enjoy skipping.

     

    Kingsford WRI – 90 years of age.

    It is heartening to visit a WRI that is celebration ninety years at the heart of the community. Over forty members attended the AGM and then went on to watch and play the games many of them played when they were wee.

     


    Here are some of the stories we gathered during our visit. The question posed was “what games did you play when you were wee”?

    Jean Lambroughton lived at Corsewall Farm near Stewarton and she had to walk three miles to school in the village of Kingsford even when she was five years old. She played “wi a ba against the wa – plainie, birrly". Peevers wi a bit o slate and hide and seek.

    Marion Currans, nee Gladstone, lived on Middlefield Farm, Galston played kick the can, skipping ropes doing treble X with the single rope. Marion and her pals ran on the gutters between the byre roofs. They were in trouble when caught as it was dangerous.

    Jean McDougal from Stewarton played at rounders, skipping ropes and beds.

    Hannah Miller from Strathaven went to Strathaven Academy. The most popular games she played were kick the can, rounders and hide and seek.

    In the open session where it is difficult to catch names and all that is said we picked up the following.

    Donkey – one in the middle of a circle and the children in the circle throw the ball over to someone opposite. Each move spells the letter of D O N K E Y. If the person in the middle catches the ball she swaps places with the thrower.

    The name Doulens was mentioned along with rolly and clappie. If you know what this game is/was please share the information with us! We would appreciate that.

    One person remembered playing skipping ropes and the queue waiting their turn. Skipping, I would love to be able to this now!

     


    Marion Muir originally from Hazel Head Farm remembers playing for hours in the burn. She and her pals built dams and spent hours swimming in them … often till dusk.

    Sandie Findlayson, originally from Mosspark Glasgow, happiest memories were of being evacuated during the war (World War 11). She went to Muthill (pronounced Mewthel) in Perthshire. She loved climbing trees (they didn’t have trees in Mosspark then) and playing in the burn.

    Following the Cydebank blitz a plane came over Muthill and dropped its bombs on the way back to it's airbase. It offloaded its bombs close to the village. Folks ceilings fell in.

    No school that day!” Off we went and I found a piece of shrapnel to keep. We had paraffin lamps and candles then.

    Thank you all! We hope that we have done your memories justice. If you want to add to these stories we will be happy to hear from you.

    Annie 1st May 2013.


    Braco WRI, Perthshire.

    The night was full of pleasant surprises. It didn’t snow so we survived our round trip from Netherlee to Perthshire. Children from Braco Primary school with Linda Dawson, Head Teacher attended the event invited by the WRI. All parties contributed to the evening with the children playing the games at every opportunity. They plan to take the games back to school and teach the other children how to play them. Great!

     


    The games shared with us included Lundies – skipping with two ropes in Aberdeen. Hand stands against the huts at Aberdeen High School for Girls. Beddies (beds) the Aberdeen name for peever beds. Dora.


    Maureen told us of her favourite games – skipping ropes and balls. Two small balls … stotted against the wall under leg and song. Later we heard about plainie, clappie associated with stotting balls against the wall.

     


    The children of Braco Primary School colour their peeries at the WRI.

     

    We played rounders in the middle of the cross roads! Imagine that now!” We made stilts out of cans and string. If you were lucky your “very fine dad” would make wooden stilts that you could adjust for height by moving pegs.

     


    Here are some more games mentioned. Cops and Robbers, Elastic bands around you ankles known as Chinese Ropes. The Yo Yo was an old favourite and is still popular today. The humming top is remembered with affection.


    It was a lovely evening and maybe Braco WRI have struck a good idea. Perhaps the children of the Primary School will remember their night of fun at the WRI. Some of the girls may become members of the Scottish Womens Rural Institute in the future.

    AS.

     

    Agefest Paisley 2013.

     


    Fiona McCreadie Active Communities Paisley, Annie Sutherland and Carol Gilchrist, Ti Chi Teacher, Paisley.


     

    Joshua was the youngest peerie spinner at the event.

     

     

     

    Margaret McDonald, Linwood Elderly Forum and Evelyn Meechan, Erskine ROAR.


     

    Several hundred older people and some twenty plus younger people came together on March the twentieth at the Lagoon Centre in Paisley for Agefest. All the groups participated in games and many old and young went home sporting medals. It was a great gathering together of organisations and a great opportunity for networking and social intercourse.

     


     

    The perfect opportunity for folk young and old to participate in traditional games. The games the older people could remember from childhood and the younger ones had never encountered. The young ones dominated the skipping doing press ups for example in the rope. They have done a lot of skipping as they take part in Jump for Heart to raise money for the British Heart Foundation every year. Jumping up and down for hours becomes boring so learning and practising various tricks makes it so much better. Skipping is excellent aerobic exercise and the young folk love it.

     


    The older ones were tops with the whip and peerie and the gird. The younger ones picked these skills up quickly and everyone appeared to have a good time. The spectators with views of the games area also enjoyed themselves just watching. Well done everyone. We had an enriching time together.

    Annie Sutherland.

    Agefest Paisley

     

     

    Annie Sutherland Games Old and New.

    I have been teaching and sharing traditional games for over twelve years. A great amount of my work has been with children in Primary Schools all over Scotland - from Ayr to the Orkney Islands.

     


    One two three aleerie, hud ma whip 'till a spin ma peerie. I wish I was a laddie, a laddie, a laddie.

     

    The pictures you see on this website have been made possible by the good will of schools, Guilds and WRIs.

    Thank you all and especially Struthers Primary School in Ayrshire and Croftfoot Primary School in Glasgow. We hope the children and thier families enjoy seeing the pictures. Thank you to the children for all their hard work in learning these games in a short time.

     

      

    No Show Snow – Carnwath.

     


    Peerie spinners join Anne Kay, second from the right, collect her prize.

     

    Two sleeping bags and a snow shovel at the ready and we were off to Carnwath WRI. We stopped for tea at Ken and Edith's in Crossford and then cross country to our destination. We were delighted to have a cleared space waiting for us at the hall. We were ushered in and encouraged to start “any time”. We set up our gear and again invited to start. We were early. No we were late. We should have started at seven o'clock not seven thirty which is our usual time. Sorry girls our mistake!

     


    Elizabeth Moffat girded her way to win the championship and her prize.

     

    However once the show went live we accelerated through our programme and finished on time. Peever beds were hopped skipped and jumped. Songs were sung to the rhythm of the skipping rope. Girds were run and peeries were spun. Memories of games were shared and laughed about. It turned into one of our best evenings and we went home happy. We are sure that all the girls did too.

    Thank you ladies of Carnwath WRI for being so patient and welcoming. We will remember our evening together for a long time to come.


     

    There was plenty snow around but the roads were clear. The sleeping bags were put away unused. The shovel remains in the boot. Winter is not over yet.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Fun and Games at Hazeldene Nursery March 2013.


    The children at Hazeldene Nursery, Mearns Kirk, participated in a traditional and new games session which was a fun activity workshop with lots of new games to learn.


    Our plan was to play playground games comprising traditional and new games which the children could continue to play at the Nursery following our visit. We achieved it in some parts and not in others. Sometimes the game was too complex for some of the children and for others it worked well.

    Here are some of the games we played.

    Nessie the Loch Ness Monster featuring Nessie and the little ducklings who have to cross the Loch without being tug by Nessie or her helpers. Some sessions went very well. One was a hoot as the loch emptied every time the duckings crossed sweeping away Nessie's little helpers as they went.

    Confused … you are in good company!

    Demonstration of Whip and Peerie and Gird. We will return to teach the children how to master these traditional toys at a later date.

    Wizards and trees was very popular as the children related it to Harry Potter. Wizards take giant steps and have “pointy” hats and trees stay still and have branches. A tig game where everyone starts as a wizard and if tug becomes a tree. Tug again … back to a Wizard again and so on.

    Peever beds and skipping created an interest. Most grasped the footwork required to move up and down an aeroplane bed. For skipping we had intended to stick with Snakes and Waves as a simple easy jumping exercise using the long rope. However we drifted into the beginnings of skipping when perhaps we should have concentrated on jumping on the spot as a simple exercise. The children were used to single ropes but not the long skipping rope. Practice will help the children to jump at the right time.

    We played Dodgem Cars with a difference. This is usually played with the engine at the front with eyes closed as a trust game. This time we played the game with the person at the front with eyes wide open. It was a hit.

    The world song to finish was good fun with plenty of singing and actions to keep everyone busy. We went around the world Africa, India, America, Australia, Scotland and Mearns Kirk.


    The children were wonderful, happy and gave the sessions their best shot. The staff also entered into the spirit of the games and supported the activities. We noticed that this nursery encourages children to be out in the fresh air a lot. We were certain that the children would be sleepy heads after a day at Hazeldene Nursery. Thank you all !!!

     

     

    Ochiltree WRI Ayrshire February 2013

    On the road again, were travlin on that road again … Ochiltree here we come.

    We were a wee bit rusty after “resting” since last year. Never mind. There's no business like show business when the girds roll into town. The cheering of the crowds, the crying of the children and the barking of the dogs. OK, there was only a barking dog. Everyone needs a bit of drama in their lives!


    Another splash of colour helps the players find their peeries when spinning and whipping.


    However rested we may have been the girls of Ochiltree WRI got us buzzing and jumping again. On a mountain stands a lady, who she is I cannot tell. Brian's skipping was awful and he now knows he has to go into training! The girls who gird were good. Some of the best girders we've had. Well done.

     


    Lots of concentration and action on the floor. May Smith, on the right, whipping her way to the position of Ochiltree Whip and Peerie Champion 2013.


    The girls gave the whip and peerie laldy and the winner spun her peerie the length of the hall to collect her prize. Yes ... a whip and peerie. The singing of traditional skipping songs went fine as did the practising parachutists. They remembered to bend their knees when landing. Finally everyone enjoyed a pat and massage from their neighbours. OOo it was lovely.



    Janette Harvey, who grew up in Lanark.

     

    Janette's contribution to "the games we played" was -

    PK chewing gum, penny a packet

    First you chew it and then you crack it

    Then you stick it into your jacket

    PK chewing gum penny a packet.

    Thank you, girls of Ochiltree WRI. We had a lovely time together.

    Annie.

     

     

    Where's Annie?

    Over the next few months Annie will appear running with her gird in Scotland. Can you tell where she is? Here is a clue. The location is in the Dear Green Place.

     

     

    Send your answer to annie.sutherland@ntlworld.com The names of all the entrants with the correct answer will go in a hat at the end of August. The first the name out will win a whip and peerie which will be posted to them. If you win we contact you by email and arrange delivery which could be to your school if you agree this with your teacher. Good luck!

     

    Congratulations to Mrs Nancy Gemmel of Paisley who identified the earlier location which was the Peoples Palace, Glasgow Green in the City of Glasgow, Scotland.

     

     

    Scotlands Traditional Games - What I Do.

    One of the fun things I do is to go to WRI's and Guilds to put on a traditional games show which encourages those present and willing to play games and have fun. It certainly brings back happy memories for the company.

     

    2013 presents great challenges. In our current economic climate times are tough and funds in short supply. I plan to continue my work with schools and uniformed organisations such as Guides, Brownies, Girls and Boys Brigades and Cubs and Scouts.

    I will continue to help schools. I create and deliver workshops for children in schools - traditional games, new games and playground games. I also provide in-service training for teachers, classroom assistants and playtime supervisors.

     

    In addition I give talks and reminiscence sessions for older people in sheltered accommodation and in lunch clubs. Very often I collect information on the games people used to play with a view to teaching these to children and publishing the information. I gather new information regularly and learn about the many variations in games in different parts of Scotland. Have you heard of Ba Beds and Catty and Batty?

     

     Right.

    Pupils of Croftfoot Primary School master the gird.

     

    I also run open come and try sessions at Folk Festivals and Communty events all over Scotland. These events are for all ages and it is not unusual to have eighty year olds telling eight year olds how they ran with their girds and cleeks.

     

    Children's Parties

    Using a programme of new and old games I run fun play sessions at childrens parties. The aim is to give the children an hours fun and games. I use singing games, as part of my programme, which children love.

     

    Talks to Guilds and WRI's

    During the winter months I travel to Guilds and WRI's to give "talks" which turn into Gird and Cleek Championships and Whip and Peerie spinning contests for the audiences. 

    "I've never laughed so much in ages" is a typical responce at the end of an energetic evening of fun and games. Those who are able take part and the others spectate and laugh. In fact everyone laughs. For me it is an uplifting experience.

     

     

    Spin yer peeries! Members of Carnbo WRI have fun.

     

    Traditional Toys.

    I supply traditional toys which are robust enough to withstand normal wear and tear in school playgrounds.Girds and cleeks, whips and peeries are very popular with children and older people.

    I can also try to source traditional toys for clients when I don't carry particular items.

    Bill Cordiner, our gird maker, from Drumlanrigg Castle in Dumfries and Galloway has retired. We wish Bill every hapiness in his retirement. Lang may yer lum reek .. Bill!

    The good news is that we took delivery of twenty girds from our new gird maker today. Thank you to the ladies of a WRI for putting us in touch with potential suppliers. Our girds are now hand made in the traditional style in South Lanarkshire, Scotland.

     

    I have a lot of fun with Scotlands Traditional Games and I know that children and people of all ages do too.

     

     

     

    I would be happy to hear from you. If you would like more information you can contact me via this web site or via the information set out below. If you would like to share your memories of the games you played as a child I would be delighted to hear from you.

     

    Annie Sutherland

    Games Old and New
    661 Clarkston Road
    Glasgow
    G44 3QL

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Telephone:0141 633 2228

     

    E-Mail:annie.sutherland@ntlworld.com 

     

     

    Thank you to the ladies of Gartcosh Womans Rural Institute for thier kind permission to use the Workshop photographs on this website. Thank you also to the ladies of Abington Womans Rural Institute for their kind permission to use pictures.

     

    Scottish Womens Rural Institutes and Women's Guilds.

    This winter we are busy entertaining WRI's and Guilds. We have travelled widely to put on my Traditional Games Show. This is where the "girls" get lots of fun taking part in Gird Races and Peerie Spinning competitions!

     

    Here we go - Kenmuir Bishopbriggs, Kenmure Mount Vernon, Jackton WRI, Symington WRI Biggar, Blairlogie WRI Menstrie, St Andrews Church Dennistoun, Balfron Youth Cafe, Hawksland WRI Lesmahago, Broughton WRI in the Scottish Borders.

     

    Have gird will travel!!!

     

    I am happy to record my appreciation to the children of Struthers Primary School in South Ayrshire for appearing in the photographs on this web site. They are the stars!

    Thank you to the parents and staff of the school for kindly agreeing to these photographs being taken and shown on the site.

    Victoria Park, Victorian Day September 2012

     

    Young and old have fun! 

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