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9th October 2014
Location: First Base
Interviewer –Emily Hill, Andrea Dumbrell and Dan Cash

Audio only

Lee – Born Pontypridd 1976

[NB this was recorded in a very noisy environment, with lots of background talking, at the end of the First Base group Reminiscence session. Only the comments from Lee, Emily, Dan and Andrea have been transcribed]

0.03 – Lee: You know what I mean? Something slippery to make them crash.

Emily: So how big would they be?

Lee: The go carts would be about the size of a . . . And you take the pram wheels, the four pram wheels off, sometimes the axle as well. And you’d have a block about that wide.

Emily: About a metre

Lee: And then you have string on either side of the front. And the front bit’s on a hinge like, you know, so that you can turn it.

Emily: Steer it. And would you play with your siblings? Or your friends?

Lee: All my mates and that. We all used to do it. We used to kind of play gangs against gangs. But not in a nasty way, you know, in a kind of, you know what I mean, kind of a way.

Emily: And you’d race them?

Lee: Yeah. We’d race each other. We’d try to push each other off, pretend they were go carts and make each other crash. We had this big zig zag path that went all the way down the estate, a good 500 yards like, you know what I mean? And it’s literally almost vertical. But it was good fun.

Dan: Did you used to get hurt?

Lee: Yeah occasionally.

Dan: Did anybody care?

1.28 – Lee: And we also used to build quite a lot of games as well. You know, in the woods and stuff. We’d do a lot of camping. In these, like we’d dig a big hole in the ground and surround that with bricks and then you’d have like a solid framework roof and then gradually make the branches thinner and thinner and thinner, and then throw a bit of tarp over the top and cover the whole thing in moss. And even fill in the gaps in between the stones, yeah, with moss. So that it would be insulated as well. Yeah, really good. And to think that all of that, you know, was kind of probably in preparation for where I am now again, outside, you know what I mean? [laughs].

2.19 – Lee: I think that one of the fastest go carts we used to get going down the hill was you know those big plastic tractor ones, those big plastic tractor ones you used to have, yeah? Those were the best ones I think, you used to be able to skid them. Right at the bottom of the estate there was also a, where the path ended there was actually like a railing to stop you going off onto the main road like. At the bottom of the estate like. So we used to just keep going. Going, going, going, going, going. All the way to the bottom until you hit the railings at the bottom and that was it.

RECORDING ENDS 2m 58s

Watch the full video

Read the transcript of the full video

9th October 2014
Location: First Base
Interviewer –Emily Hill, Andrea Dumbrell and Dan Cash
Audio only
Lee – Born Pontypridd 1976

[NB this was recorded in a very noisy environment, with lots of background talking, at the end of the First Base group Reminiscence session. Only the comments from Lee, Emily, Dan and Andrea have been transcribed]

0.00 – Lee: You know what I mean? Something slippery to make them crash.

Emily: So how big would they be?

Lee: The go carts would be about the size of a . . . And you take the pram wheels, the four pram wheels off, sometimes the axle as well. And you’d have a block about that wide.

Emily: About a metre

Lee: And then you have string on either side of the front. And the front bit’s on a hinge like, you know, so that you can turn it.

Emily: Steer it. And would you play with your siblings? Or your friends?

Lee: All my mates and that. We all used to do it. We used to kind of play gangs against gangs. But not in a nasty way, you know, in a kind of, you know what I mean, kind of a way.

Emily: And you’d race them?

Lee: Yeah. We’d race each other. We’d try to push each other off, pretend they were go carts and make each other crash. We had this big zig zag path that went all the way down the estate, a good 500 yards like, you know what I mean? And it’s literally almost vertical. But it was good fun.

Dan: Did you used to get hurt?

Lee: Yeah occasionally.

Dan: Did anybody care?

1.24 – Lee: And we also used to build quite a lot of games as well. You know, in the woods and stuff. We’d do a lot of camping. In these, like we’d dig a big hole in the ground and surround that with bricks and then you’d have like a solid framework roof and then gradually make the branches thinner and thinner and thinner, and then throw a bit of tarp over the top and cover the whole thing in moss. And even fill in the gaps in between the stones, yeah, with moss. So that it would be insulated as well. Yeah, really good. And to think that all of that, you know, was kind of probably in preparation for where I am now again, outside, you know what I mean? [laughs].

2.16 – Andrea: It’s interesting though, because the reason I was really interested to say ‘yes go-carts. Let’s record you’ is that when I think of construction toys, I think of anything that you make. So actually, a go cart . . .

Lee: I think that one of the fastest go carts we used to get going down the hill was you know those big plastic tractor ones, those big plastic tractor ones you used to have, yeah? Those were the best ones I think, you used to be able to skid them. Right at the bottom of the estate there was also a, where the path ended there was actually like a railing to stop you going off onto the main road like. At the bottom of the estate like. So we used to just keep going. Going, going, going, going, going. All the way to the bottom until you hit the railings at the bottom and that was it.

Andrea: That’s what I used to do on my roller skates. That’s how I used to stop on roller skates. Went into the railings. So did they have brakes, your go carts?

Lee: Very rare. Very rare to have brakes. You’d use your feet, or something like that. Sometimes you’d have like a mechanism, you know what I mean? Another one is peg guns as well, something like that. Peg guns. Where you’d haver like a piece of wood, bang a nail into it, into the front. Another one at the back. And then you know the little centrepiece off a peg? Right, you’d put that on a piece of elastic, stretch the elastic from the front, and you’d put it in a pin at the back. And then you’d have like, the pin at the back would be like, almost rocking, you know what I mean? So the minute you go like that, it’s like pulling the trigger and the whole thing goes. Bows and arrows and things as well we used to make.

Emily: I lived next to a very big, very steep field, so in the winter when it snowed we used to make sleds.

Lee: Oh yeah, lots of sledging and stuff like that, yeah. We did that as well.

04.25 – Andrea: I was talking to someone a couple of years ago for the pilot, who grew up in Whitehawk during the Second World War, and they used to drive the go carts down the middle of Wilson Avenue, which is the big one that goes down to Asda. But it was during the forties, so there was a lot less traffic apparently. They went straight down the middle of it.

Lee: We used to play football literally on a roundabout. You know what I mean? Behind my house. And again, there was so little traffic there that you were able to do that and then every now and again you’d have to stop to let the cars or the buses go past, you know what I mean, go round the roundabout. But we’d actually use the bus stop as the goal. In the end the metal and glass one that had, they had ended up being replaced with a concrete stone one, because it kept getting damaged by people playing football against it.

And swings as well. Making big swings out of trees and things. That was memorable wasn’t it?

Andrea: But they still do it. I sometimes hear people saying “Oh, kids don’t do it any more”. And I live near a field with a railway bridge that goes over it. And if you go down into the field there’s a stream in the field and someone has climbed up and suspended a rope from the underneath of the railway bridge and there’s a rope swing that goes over the stream. So they do still do it.

06.27 – Lee: One of the ones I see kids doing these days, in the town centre, and that is – I saw it the other week actually – you see kids, as they’re coming home from school and that, they’d be like. They’d be following the flow of public traffic up the high street, yeah, and they’d be kind of chasing each other, and ducking and diving each other, as they go along. You’d see them running along, and ducking into a doorway, and spotting their mate across the road, and behind a bin or something. You know what I mean? And it’s like they’re, I don’t know, they’re playing some game of kind of tag or something, but city . . .

Emily: I guess it’s a city way of playing isn’t it?

Dan: They’ve just developed a game for their environment. Like you had a hill, which was very good for toboggans. Unlike parks and things like that, they’re used to living in traffic. So they play with traffic. They know the traffic’s never going to stop, ‘cos that would be dangerous. So it’s running around in and out of cars, whereas we had trees where I lived, like you did, you know. You’d just go off into the forest for a few hours, and your mum didn’t care. Here – traffic.

07.43 – Lee: I think. It is important for kids to have some experience of nature as well, you know what I mean? That environment as well. You know, there’s something valuable in that. The difference that you see between almost like most city kids and kids who have had some kind of natural influence in their lives. You know what I mean? You see quite a dramatic difference between them. Another thing I think, is – you know how they talk about youngsters these days, they’re all like thugs, you know, whatever, you know what I mean? The way the media bigs all this up. I think a reason for a lot of this, right, is because like, one of the first things that you learn to do as an animal, you know what I mean, other than eating and walking, you know. The next step would be to learn how to defend yourself. You know what I mean. And to challenge you physical capabilities. In that context, you know. And I think a lot of kids these days, growing up, you know, without a father figure and stuff like that, you know what I mean, yeah? They don’t really get that. They need something to challenge like, which is why they go out looking for trouble quite a lot, you know what I mean? We used to do it as much when we were kids. But really, I suppose it’s more than anything to do with needing to know, learning about boundaries and about . . .

Andrea: And about your capabilities. And I wonder if there’s a bit of a rural/urban divide there as well, in that the rural kids can still go out and challenge themselves physically, with let’s climb up this tree, or let’s see if I can spend the night in the woods …

Lee: Yeah, whereas city kids, there’s not really much there for them to do. You know, I think that’s one of the reasons you see a lot of kids going out and causing trouble. Because really, all they’re doing is they’re testing, you know, boundaries. They’re testing what’s acceptable and what isn’t, and what they can get away with and what they can’t, you know what I mean. And things like that, you know. I suppose, looking back on it, we were doing the same when we were kids. But it’s actually a natural process. I think it would actually be a good idea to set up some kind of group, yeah, which actually makes like entertainment, a game, but at the same time – you know how, paint balling for instance – you know what I mean – can be beneficial for building team work and that sort of stuff? But imagine like a city wide version of that, you know what I mean, for kids. They might not be firing paint balls at each other, they might have like –what’s those electronic ones that they do?

Andrea: The laser ones

Lee: Yeah, like the lasers, like the laser quest. Out in the open. You know what I mean? And in and around the city. So it’s kind of like the game I was describing earlier that the kids are already playing, you know what I mean, but with little laser guns that they can point at each other and take out their little box unit, whatever, you know what I mean? I think that would be a good game to keep kids entertained and give them that ability to challenge themselves and each other as well, rather than constantly havingtogoand …

Dan: Yeah. Bring back the teamwork and bonding and stuff like that.

Lee: Bringing back?

Dan: It would bring back teamwork and bonding, without being dangerous like traditional gang activities.

Lee: Yeah. I mean saying this, my brother’s quite into the idea of getting people into groups yeah, just to have – not group scraps, but it’s about testing, and practising your physical capabilities, you know what I mean? It’s not about fighting, you know what I mean, really. But it is at the same time. It’s about . . .

Dan: It’s competition, not fighting. It’s about field craft, and . . .

Lee: It’s not about deliberately going out of your way to hurt someone, you know what I mean? It’s more about challenging your physical capabilities and their physical capabilities. What you can get away with. I think there be a big market in the UK, you know, for a project of that nature.

Dan: You could do it for executives and business people. But not make it too expensive either.

RECORDING ENDS 12m 47s

Listen to the audio

Read the transcript of the audio track

9th October 2014
Location: First Base
Interviewer –Emily Hill, Andrea Dumbrell and Dan Cash

Audio only

Lee – Born Pontypridd 1976

[NB this was recorded in a very noisy environment, with lots of background talking, at the end of the First Base group Reminiscence session. Only the comments from Lee, Emily, Dan and Andrea have been transcribed]

Lee: You know what I mean? Something slippery to make them crash.

Emily: So how big would they be?

Lee: The go carts would be about the size of a . . . And you take the pram wheels, the four pram wheels off, sometimes the axle as well. And you’d have a block about that wide.

Emily: About a metre

Lee: And then you have string on either side of the front. And the front bit’s on a hinge like, you know, so that you can turn it.

Emily: Steer it. And would you play with your siblings? Or your friends?

Lee: All my mates and that. We all used to do it. We used to kind of play gangs against gangs. But not in a nasty way, you know, in a kind of, you know what I mean, kind of a way.

Emily: And you’d race them?

Lee: Yeah. We’d race each other. We’d try to push each other off, pretend they were go carts and make each other crash. We had this big zig zag path, that went all the way down the estate, a good 500 yards like, you know what I mean? And it’s literally almost vertical. But it was good fun.

Dan: Did you used to get hurt?

Lee: Yeah occasionally.

Dan: Did anybody care?

Lee: And we also used to build quite a lot of games as well. You know, in the woods and stuff. We’d do a lot of camping. In these, like we’d dig a big hole in the ground and surround that with bricks and then you’d have like a solid framework roof and then gradually make the branches thinner and thinner and thinner, and then throw a bit of tarp over the top and cover the whole thing in moss. And even fill in the gaps in between the stones, yeah, with moss. So that it would be insulated as well. Yeah, really good. And to think that all of that, you know, was kind of probably in preparation for where I am now again, outside, you know what I mean? [laughs].

Andrea: It’s interesting though, because the reason I was really interested to say ‘yes go-carts. Let’s record you’ was that when I think of construction toys, I think of anything that you make. So actually, a go cart . . .

Lee: I think that one of the fastest go carts we used to get going down the hill was you know those big plastic tractor ones, those big plastic tractor ones you used to have, yeah? Those were the best ones I think, you used to be able to skid them. Right at the bottom of the estate there was also a, where the path ended there was actually like a railing to stop you going off onto the main road like. At the bottom of the estate like. So we used to just keep going. Going, going, going, going, going. All the way to the bottom until you hit the railings at the bottom and that was it.

Andrea: That’s what I used to do on my roller skates. That’s how I used to stop on roller skates. Went into the railings. So did they have brakes, your go carts?

Lee: Very rare. Very rare to have brakes. You’d use your feet, or something like that. Sometimes you’d have like a mechanism, you know what I mean? Another one is peg guns as well, something like that. Peg guns. Where you’d haver like a piece of wood, bang a nail into it, into the front. Another one at the back. And then you know the little centrepiece off a peg? Right, you’d put that on a piece of elastic, stretch the elastic from the front, and you’d put it in a pin at the back. And then you’d have like, the pin at the back would be like, almost rocking, you know what I mean? So the minute you go like that, it’s like pulling the trigger and the whole thing goes. Bows and arrows and things as well we used to make.

Emily: I lived next to a very big, very steep field, so in the winter when it snowed we used to make sleds.

Lee: Oh yeah, lots of sledging and stuff like that, yeah. We did that as well.

04.25 – Andrea: I was talking to someone a couple of years ago for the pilot, who grew up in Whitehawk during the Second World War, and they used to drive the go carts down the middle of Wilson Avenue, which is the big one that goes down to Asda. But it was during the forties, so there was a lot less traffic apparently. They went straight down the middle of it.

Lee: We used to play football literally on a roundabout. You know what I mean? Behind my house. And again, there was so little traffic there that you were able to do that and then every now and again you’d have to stop to let the cars or the buses go past, you know what I mean, go round the roundabout. But we’d actually use the bus stop as the goal. In the end the metal and glass one that had, they had ended up being replaced with a concrete stone one, because it kept getting damaged by people playing football against it.

And swings as well. Making big swings out of trees and things. That was memorable wasn’t it?

Andrea: But they still do it. I sometimes hear people saying “Oh, kids don’t do it any more”. And I live near a field with a railway bridge that goes over it. And if you go down into the field there’s a stream in the field and someone has climbed up and suspended a rope from the underneath of the railway bridge and there’s a rope swing that goes over the stream. So they do still do it.

06.27 – Lee: One of the ones I see kids doing these days, in the town centre, and that is – I saw it the other week actually – you see kids, as they’re coming home from school and that, they’d be like. They’d be following the flow of public traffic up the high street, yeah, and they’d be kind of chasing each other, and ducking and diving each other, as they go along. You’d see them running along, and ducking into a doorway, and spotting their mate across the road, and behind a bin or something. You know what I mean? And it’s like they’re, I don’t know, they’re playing some game of kind of tag or something, but city . . .

Emily: I guess it’s a city way of playing isn’t it?

Dan: They’ve just developed a game for their environment. Like you had a hill, which was very good for toboggans. Unlike parks and things like that, they’re used to living in traffic. So they play with traffic. They know the traffic’s never going to stop, ‘cos that would be dangerous. So it’s running around in and out of cars, whereas we had trees where I lived, like you did, you know. You’d just go off into the forest for a few hours, and your mum didn’t care. Here – traffic.

07.43 – Lee: I think. It is important for kids to have some experience of nature as well, you know what I mean? That environment as well. You know, there’s something valuable in that. The difference that you see between almost like most city kids and kids who have had some kind of natural influence in their lives. You know what I mean? You see quite a dramatic difference between them.

Another thing I think, is – you know how they talk about youngsters these days, they’re all like thugs, you know, whatever, you know what I mean? The way the media bigs all this up. I think a reason for a lot of this, right, is because like, one of the first things that you learn to do as an animal, you know what I mean, other than eating and walking, you know. The next step would be to learn how to defend yourself. You know what I mean. And to challenge you physical capabilities. In that context, you know. And I think a lot of kids these days, growing up, you know, without a father figure and stuff like that, you know what I mean, yeah? They don’t really get that. They need something to challenge like, which is why they go out looking for trouble quite a lot, you know what I mean? We used to do it as much when we were kids. But really, I suppose it’s more than anything to do with needing to know, learning about boundaries and about . . .

Andrea: And about your capabilities. And I wonder if there’s a bit of a rural/urban divide there as well, in that the rural kids can still go out and challenge themselves physically, with let’s climb up this tree, or let’s see if I can spend the night in the woods …

Lee: Yeah, whereas city kids, there’s not really much there for them to do. You know, I think that’s one of the reasons you see a lot of kids going out and causing trouble. Because really, all they’re doing is they’re testing, you know, boundaries. They’re testing what’s acceptable and what isn’t, and what they can get away with and what they can’t, you know what I mean. And things like that, you know. I suppose, looking back on it, we were doing the same when we were kids. But it’s actually a natural process. I think it would actually be a good idea to set up some kind of group, yeah, which actually makes like entertainment, a game, but at the same time – you know how, paint balling for instance – you know what I mean – can be beneficial for building team work and that sort of stuff? But imagine like a city wide version of that, you know what I mean, for kids. They might not be firing paint balls at each other, they might have like –what’s those electronic ones that they do?

Andrea: The laser ones

Lee: Yeah, like the lasers, like the laser quest. Out in the open. You know what I mean? And in and around the city. So it’s kind of like the game I was describing earlier that the kids are already playing, you know what I mean, but with little laser guns that they can point at each other and take out their little box unit, whatever, you know what I mean? I think that would be a good game to keep kids entertained and give them that ability to challenge themselves and each other as well, rather than constantly havingtogoand …

Dan: Yeah. Bring back the teamwork and bonding and stuff like that.

Lee: Bringing back?

Dan: It would bring back teamwork and bonding, without being dangerous like traditional gang activities.

Lee: Yeah. I mean saying this, my brother’s quite into the idea of getting people into groups yeah, just to have – not group scraps, but it’s about testing, and practising your physical capabilities, you know what I mean? It’s not about fighting, you know what I mean, really. But it is at the same time. It’s about . . .

Dan: It’s competition, not fighting. It’s about field craft, and . . .

Lee: It’s not about deliberately going out of your way to hurt someone, you know what I mean? It’s more about challenging your physical capabilities and their physical capabilities. What you can get away with. I think there be a big market in the UK, you know, for a project of that nature.

Dan: You could do it for executives and business people.

RECORDING ENDS 12m 46s

Lee

Lee was born in Pontypridd in 1976. In the  short version (2m 58s) of this audio only interview he discusses his memories of go carts. In the full version (12m 47s) he also shares his thoughts about urban play.