Games played by children in North Bucks schools

Stoke Goldington Association

In 1990 Grace M. Clark and Eleanor Dixon wrote down the jingles that were used in playground games by children in the twenties and early thirties in Newport Pagnell and the surrounding villages, such as Stoke Goldington and the Woolstones.

The authors mention Iona and Peter Opie, folklorists who pioneered the study of childhood culture in Britain. The Opies were well known for their many classic books, including The Lore and Language of Schoolchildren. first published in 1959.

Among the recollected games are starting games, seasonal game, ball games, games played to choose partners, chasing and catching games, and races. The authors also note games used in Cedars Middle School at the time (1990).

One recollection is puzzling – the word ‘feignite’. Occasionally a player would need a respite from play – she might have the ‘stitch’. She would hold up her hand and cross her fingers calling out ‘feignites’. After a brief rest she would rejoin the game. The word is present in the recently digitised Opie archive,

Games played by children