Author Topic: Cheesers (Horse chestnuts).  (Read 986 times)

JA

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Cheesers (Horse chestnuts).
« on: September 29, 2020, 01:59:24 AM »

Years ago in Belfast around this time of year we would have been looking for horse chestnuts. Do any of the kids play cheesers these days?





roycraw.

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Re: Cheesers (Horse chestnuts).
« Reply #1 on: September 29, 2020, 03:45:43 AM »
Years ago in Belfast around this time of year we would have been looking for horse chestnuts. Do any of the kids play cheesers these days?  hi ja,  haven't been a kid myself for a very long time but i remember the cheesers very well.   my old school ( whitehouse pes)   had lovely big chestnut trees in it's grounds and when the nuts were ready we were right in there,  the competition was fierce and sometimes led to more than knocking cheesers.  cheers   roy  c.
                                             




Bigali

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Re: Cheesers (Horse chestnuts).
« Reply #2 on: September 29, 2020, 07:09:25 AM »
Years ago in Belfast around this time of year we would have been looking for horse chestnuts. Do any of the kids play cheesers these days?





The grounds of my work have a lot of magnificent Horse Chestnut trees and a few years ago I went out and gathered a bagful and brought them to the great nieces and nephews, showed them how to punch holes in them with a six inch nail , put them in a brown paper bag in the hot press for a couple of weeks until they hardened etc etc , the three boys all looked at me like I was demented and lost interest but the wee lassie was up for it so she nurtured her conkers until they were hardened then we strung them with the traditional white cord and away she went to school with them in her bag to show the other kids and explain the game .

Long story short , during a game my great niece cracked a wee lad over the knuckles and instead of manning up he runs off gurning to the teacher , the conkers are confiscated and my niece gets a phone call from school . Changed times .
 :(
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JA

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Re: Cheesers (Horse chestnuts).
« Reply #3 on: September 30, 2020, 12:49:10 AM »
roy c., You were lucky having a tree in your school yard. I remember even a couple of chestnuts were worth their weight in gold in the city. :drinks:

JA

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Re: Cheesers (Horse chestnuts).
« Reply #4 on: October 02, 2020, 03:49:19 AM »
Great story Bigali. I suppose all those games we use to play are things of the past?

Bigali

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Re: Cheesers (Horse chestnuts).
« Reply #5 on: October 02, 2020, 07:53:44 AM »
Great story Bigali. I suppose all those games we use to play are things of the past?

It would seem so unfortunately, the phone call my niece got from the school was the usual one you’d expect these days , “school understands traditional games , but health and safety, wee lads knuckle bruised , could have hit him in the eye blahdy blahdy blah “ my niece is a thoroughly modern Mum very much aware of health and safety and the mores of today’s modern society but she was spoken to like she was some sort of neglectful mother who was raising a violent bullying monster almost akin to Lucretia Borgia ! plus the school sent home a letter with each pupil regarding the “dangers” of games like conkers and asking parents to ensure the little darlings didn’t bring anything to school that could potentially injure other pupils and please check their bags before dropping them off !

So JA it would seem then like as you say the games we played at school are very much a thing of the past , no conkers , no British Bulldog , no murder ball or anything that might no matter how remote the chance result in poor wee Johnny getting a bruise .

It’s very much a cliche I know but I couldn’t help thinking about the number of times I’d been cracked over the knuckles with a “master of five” when playing conkers , I’d never have dreamed about running to the teacher and if I’d gurned about it to my dear old Dad he would quite literally have given me “something to gurn about” and I remember how delighted he was when I passed my eleven plus and would go to grammar school where they played rugby and not football, he was delighted not just because I’d passed the eleven plus but also because playing rugby would “tighten me and harden me up a bit “ and it did .

Do kids still climb trees or jump off the flat roofs of garages ? Do they rummage in their Dads shed for odd bits of wood to nail together and make a crude sword with ? Do they (God forbid) pour the contents of a bottle of white spirits used for cleaning paint brushes into a tin box then throw a lit match in to see how big a fireball they can get ? I very much doubt it.
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cookstown

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Re: Cheesers (Horse chestnuts).
« Reply #6 on: October 02, 2020, 11:16:39 AM »
If you were polite you called them conkers.  Your best conker was the one you had that smashed other challengers into smithereens.
cookstown

Den123

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Re: Cheesers (Horse chestnuts).
« Reply #7 on: October 03, 2020, 11:54:38 AM »
Great story Bigali. I suppose all those games we use to play are things of the past?

Yes they are. Conkers would get in the way of PlayStation, YouTube, text messaging etc.  :(

JA

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Re: Cheesers (Horse chestnuts).
« Reply #8 on: October 03, 2020, 05:03:19 PM »

It would seem so unfortunately, the phone call my niece got from the school was the usual one you’d expect these days , “school understands traditional games , but health and safety, wee lads knuckle bruised , could have hit him in the eye blahdy blahdy blah “ my niece is a thoroughly modern Mum very much aware of health and safety and the mores of today’s modern society but she was spoken to like she was some sort of neglectful mother who was raising a violent bullying monster almost akin to Lucretia Borgia ! plus the school sent home a letter with each pupil regarding the “dangers” of games like conkers and asking parents to ensure the little darlings didn’t bring anything to school that could potentially injure other pupils and please check their bags before dropping them off !

So JA it would seem then like as you say the games we played at school are very much a thing of the past , no conkers , no British Bulldog , no murder ball or anything that might no matter how remote the chance result in poor wee Johnny getting a bruise .

It’s very much a cliche I know but I couldn’t help thinking about the number of times I’d been cracked over the knuckles with a “master of five” when playing conkers , I’d never have dreamed about running to the teacher and if I’d gurned about it to my dear old Dad he would quite literally have given me “something to gurn about” and I remember how delighted he was when I passed my eleven plus and would go to grammar school where they played rugby and not football, he was delighted not just because I’d passed the eleven plus but also because playing rugby would “tighten me and harden me up a bit “ and it did .

Do kids still climb trees or jump off the flat roofs of garages ? Do they rummage in their Dads shed for odd bits of wood to nail together and make a crude sword with ? Do they (God forbid) pour the contents of a bottle of white spirits used for cleaning paint brushes into a tin box then throw a lit match in to see how big a fireball they can get ? I very much doubt it.

It's a different life for the grand-kids Bigali that's for sure   pampered by the grand-parents perhaps :)

JA

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Re: Cheesers (Horse chestnuts).
« Reply #9 on: October 03, 2020, 05:08:04 PM »
If you were polite you called them conkers.  Your best conker was the one you had that smashed other challengers into smithereens.
cookstown

In the very early 1950's I never heard them called conkers, but maybe I lived in the wrong-side of town? :)

JA

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Re: Cheesers (Horse chestnuts).
« Reply #10 on: October 03, 2020, 05:12:48 PM »

Yes they are. Conkers would get in the way of PlayStation, YouTube, text messaging etc.  :(

As would marbles! I remember there were "Seasons" for all the different games we played   just can't remember them!

Bigali

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Re: Cheesers (Horse chestnuts).
« Reply #11 on: October 03, 2020, 05:23:39 PM »
As would marbles! I remember there were "Seasons" for all the different games we played   just can't remember them!

I had marbles , big ones and small ones with great splashes of colour inside them but one of my big brothers who was a bit of a hippie in the late sixties and early seventies used to nick them and fill up a decorative glass jar with them as some kind of new age psychedelic ornament that he kept on the dressing table beside the lava lamp in his bedroom  :D
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Kim-jung-ill

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Re: Cheesers (Horse chestnuts).
« Reply #12 on: October 06, 2020, 07:55:34 AM »
My next door neighbour has a chestnut tree, his conkers are forever dangling over our fence, certain times of the year they drop off . He also has a plum tree, but that's another story.
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Bigali

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Re: Cheesers (Horse chestnuts).
« Reply #13 on: October 06, 2020, 08:19:34 AM »
My next door neighbour has a chestnut tree, his conkers are forever dangling over our fence, certain times of the year they drop off . He also has a plum tree, but that's another story.

Are you telling us that he dangles his plums over your fence ?  :o
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Dargan

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Re: Cheesers (Horse chestnuts).
« Reply #14 on: October 06, 2020, 12:15:08 PM »
That might well be another story worth telling KJI. If Victoria plums I'm getting the implication of bruises inflicted for liberties previously taken. Neighbours can be mustard, and entire threads ought to be dedicated to their nuisance-value and their imagainative (and unimaginative) slants on attempts to skin cats and the likes.

But speaking of cheesers as it's the essence of this thread and a charming seasonal facet of life: well, it's only in recent years that I've gone on the hunt for the flatter-sided ones from the sweet chestnut tree. So I located a couple of trees near a reservoir called Walves, but unfortunately the fruit isn't prolific the last four seasons, that quirk of nature making the experience of seeking them out even more mystical. As I look it up I see that it's a naturlaised tree, rather than native. If interested in Hancock's Half Hour, see also the chestnut twig cures of Mrs Cravat tried on Tony Hancock:

"The rays of the Moon must fall on the bed
if you don't want to die from a cold in the head.
Ague, ague, come on out!"

Regards.  :hi:
And so it goes: "yours sincerely, Holden McGroyne."