Memories of summer as Sheffield children enjoy the last few days off school

Children are enjoying the last few days of the summer holidays when, for the first time in a while, they have been able to relax from their studies and the stress of homeschooling.

Wednesday, 25th August 2021, 11:17 am

A break from wearing masks or using hand sanitiser as they change classes, and instead back to being school-age children and having some fun.

I was a school pupil a long time ago in the 70s, and the last day or even the last week of term was a great time for many.

A full six weeks away from school which felt longer as it was spread over three months.

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The last day signalled so many different things to us as pupils.

We could be returning to a new class/classroom or even school, with new teachers and new classmates.

Last week of school was always a busy time especially in primary and middle school.

All the work we had done through that year was all collected and given to us to take home to show parents and family.

September always seemed so far away, three months, but back then were those six weeks of holiday really six weeks of sun?

I was fortunate to have my school holidays in the era of Millhouses Lido and Longley outdoor swimming pool, both with their exceptionally cold water.

I was lucky, most of my friends lived in the same area as me. If not, for 2p we could get anywhere in Sheffield within an hour.

On the odd days when we were bored or it rained we would, for 2p, get on one of the many circular buses and travel around for anything up to four hours – or that's what it felt like - on a tour of Sheffield.

Growing up I lived near Roe Wood and Longley Park, we always had somewhere to go, out from under the feet of our parents.

We would go into the woods with our knives, yes knives.

We played with knives a lot, but never as a weapon – that never came into our minds.

We would whittle or carve our names, or names of sweethearts, into trees.

Or, rather dangerously, we would try unsuccessfully to throw our knives into trees and become very adept at ducking as they bounce off the trees straight back at us.

Silver Blades skating, a popular haunt for many teenagers, would supply discount tickets across the city.

This was a place to visit if I was lucky.

One of the highlights for me and thousands of other children was the working men's clubs’ annual day trip to the seaside.

I wonder if these type of trips still exist?

This was a great day out, and possibly the only trip to the seaside for some.

A free trip with a bottle of pop bag of crisps, and a crisp £5 note, and the sun always shone.

A great day.

Mostly unsupervised, as I remember, but we always got back on the bus.