The first Friday meeting had much to talk and reminisce about. Astley provided enough toys for every table to share, old photographs were poured over, each of us remembering scenes from our childhood.
There was such a variety of wooden or tin toys mostly "Boys toys", no doll or "girly things". Kathy bought her 1936 Chad Valley Teddy bear. The lady sat next to me said she played with her other brothers toys and she became a 'tom boy' as a result!
We ended the hour outside Astley demonstrating his steam engine, small but perfect.
Thank you to Astley and Margaret for what was a really entertaining meeting. I must remember to look in the loft again, "where did that dolls house go that was homemade in the 1950?"
Kindly written by Jo Farris.
l was reminded of this piece, by the English Victorian Age poet COVENTRY PATMORE, following the 5th. May "Friday Group" session led by Astley Jones and entitled "Toys from the past." The extensive display of clockwork and other toys evoked numerous childhood memories and much discussion:-
My little son, who looked from thoughtful eyes
And moved and spoke in quiet grown-up wise,
Having my law the seventh time disobeyed,
I struck him, and dismissed
With hard words and unkissed - His Mother, who was patient, being dead.
Then, fearing lest his grief should hinder sleep,
I visited his bed,
But found him slumbering deep,
With darkened eyelids, and their lashes yet
From his late sobbing wet.
And I, with moan,
Kissing away his tears, left others of my own;
For, on the table drawn beside his head,
He had put, within his reach,
A box of counters and a red-veined stone,
A piece of glass abraded by the beach.
And six or seven shells,
A bottle with bluebells,
And two French copper coins, ranged there with careful art,
To comfort his sad heart.
So when that night I prayed
To God, I wept, and said:
"Ah, when at last we lie with tranced breath,
Not vexing Thee in death,
And Thou rememberest of what toys
We made our joys,
How weakly understood
Thy great commanded good,
Then, fatherly not less
Than I whom Thou hast moulded from the clay,
Thou’lt leave Thy wrath, and say,
"I will be sorry for their childishness."