Old Ways To Die

Jepra Peld

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Does anyone remember the indoor play area in Brent Cross shopping centre (in North West London) in the 1970's?

They had a wooden crawl tunnel...supposed to resemble a caterpillar.
Basically a very narrow tube which meandered - the idea was a kid would crawl in one end, along the winding tube which was about 10 metres long, then emerge from the other end.

Except they sometimes did not, because it was narrow an claustrophobic, and they would get physcially stuck or be terrified somewhere in the middle of the tunnel.
Cue emergency services called to rescue them.

After about 18 months the caterpillar was blocked up at both ends, and left as something you could climb on the outside of only.

The horse was also hollow, I went inside once but it really stunk!

View attachment 28030
We had something similar in St Helens called KES - [Kid Eating Snake] I was always a bit too timid to go inside it, but I believe kids did stuck from time to time.
kes-the-snake-hardshaw-centre2.jpg
 

Ladyloafer

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Swings were fun - often rumours that someone went "all the way round loop-the-loop" but I never saw anyone actually do it.

And the slide - took more time to climb up than it took to slide down.

View attachment 28013

The rocking horse of six or seven kids was nasty - kids would bang their heads on the metal at the front of that and it made you feel sick.

As did the roundabouts.
All the way round on the swing.
This kid is hard-core, though rigid, ah, arms? Handles? Seem to be essential. There are a few videos like this

This is much more nerve breaking but i feel is cheating using a circus style frame.
 

Mikefule

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I remember the Witches hat at Butlins. I’ve seen many articles claiming that five children died in a year from using it but none are saying how those poor kids met their fate. So is it true with no facts to back it up. I know they weren’t very safe.
We had a witch's hat at our local park in West Bridgford, Nottingham. Some obvious hazards when used with enthusiasm, but there were never rumours of deaths.

If you stood inside next to the support pole, you were safe from impact. You could then pull on the upright bars of the "hat" and get it going round very fast indeed. Other kids would hang by their hands from as high up as they could reach, so that centrifugal force made their bodies and legs fly out (at what felt like) almost horizontal. Another favourite was to climb to the top of the cone and drape yourself over with your feet one side and your head the other. This could make you feel deliciously dizzy, but you were stuck there until your mates stopped it spinning.

There were risks of trapped fingers and so on, but the witch's hat was a great piece of apparatus.

We also had one of the hexagonal roundabouts shown elsewhere in this thread. The ground beneath was scooped out enough that a small kid could climb under it and make it turn. Trouble is, if bigger kids came along, they could spin it fast and the small kid was trapped inside until they relented. I was the small kid.

The only death I heard of was well documented at another local playground. A small and conventional slide. A kid put his feet down to slow himself down, his rubber-soled plimsolls (sneakers, daps) stopped dead and he was catapulted forward and sideways and landed head first. The slide was removed soon after.

However, before that incident, the main park had a much bigger slide. They put a square safety cage around the top. We delighted in climbing on top of the safety cage! We also waxed the slide with stubs of candle and polished it with our trouser seats until it was wickedly fast. We took sand from the sandpit and sprinkled it on the tarmac at the bottom. We would then slide down, fly off the end, put our feet down and "ski" as far as we could, sliding on the sand grains.

None of this is Fortean, apart from the anomaly that we all survived, but thanks for the reminder of happy memories.
 

Naughty_Felid

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We had a witch's hat at our local park in West Bridgford, Nottingham. Some obvious hazards when used with enthusiasm, but there were never rumours of deaths.

If you stood inside next to the support pole, you were safe from impact. You could then pull on the upright bars of the "hat" and get it going round very fast indeed. Other kids would hang by their hands from as high up as they could reach, so that centrifugal force made their bodies and legs fly out (at what felt like) almost horizontal. Another favourite was to climb to the top of the cone and drape yourself over with your feet one side and your head the other. This could make you feel deliciously dizzy, but you were stuck there until your mates stopped it spinning.

There were risks of trapped fingers and so on, but the witch's hat was a great piece of apparatus.

We also had one of the hexagonal roundabouts shown elsewhere in this thread. The ground beneath was scooped out enough that a small kid could climb under it and make it turn. Trouble is, if bigger kids came along, they could spin it fast and the small kid was trapped inside until they relented. I was the small kid.

The only death I heard of was well documented at another local playground. A small and conventional slide. A kid put his feet down to slow himself down, his rubber-soled plimsolls (sneakers, daps) stopped dead and he was catapulted forward and sideways and landed head first. The slide was removed soon after.

However, before that incident, the main park had a much bigger slide. They put a square safety cage around the top. We delighted in climbing on top of the safety cage! We also waxed the slide with stubs of candle and polished it with our trouser seats until it was wickedly fast. We took sand from the sandpit and sprinkled it on the tarmac at the bottom. We would then slide down, fly off the end, put our feet down and "ski" as far as we could, sliding on the sand grains.

None of this is Fortean, apart from the anomaly that we all survived, but thanks for the reminder of happy memories.
The issue with the witch's hat is when spinning it you could push it inwards and it would clang against the support pole. If you were sat facing inwards you could be in trouble. Nobody though, was stupid enough to do it more than once.
 

Analogue Boy

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I would image the play grounds were safe in comparison.

Look the push kids had a rocking horse (Hampstead Heath).
That looks more like a small fair. There’s a guy at the back on the Shuggy Boats.
 

Mikefule

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The issue with the witch's hat is when spinning it you could push it inwards and it would clang against the support pole. If you were sat facing inwards you could be in trouble. Nobody though, was stupid enough to do it more than once.
Ours must have been the deluxe model. It had an internal ring near the top which kept the bottom/seat away from the support pole. However, that ring presented new hazards for more adventurous kids who liked to climb.
 

RaM

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Here we called the roundabouts the Wedding cake, Spiders web, and Umbrella,
 

CarlosTheDJ

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There was a rusty old steam train in the kid's play area at Newbold Comyn in Leamington Spa during the 80s.

We used to love clambering about on it, sticking your hand in the grate in the cab and hoping there were no broken bottles of condoms in there.

Removed for health and safety reasons, obviously.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Newbold_Comyn
 

Meechyemoo

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We had something similar in St Helens called KES - [Kid Eating Snake] I was always a bit too timid to go inside it, but I believe kids did stuck from time to time.
View attachment 28039
You missed out!! I don't recall anyone getting stuck, but perhaps like kids do when they become paralysed with fear, someone would soon push them out of the way.
 

EnolaGaia

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Given the focus on problems with playground equipment this thread recommends itself for this current news story ...

Let's just say it falls under the category of "Timeless Ways Of Making Yourself Wish You Were Dead" ...
Firefighters free teen from baby swing in TikTok stunt gone wrong

Firefighters rescued a British teenager after she climbed into a baby swing to shoot a TikTok video and got stuck.

Layani Maclean, 14, of Oxfordshire, was filming a TikTok video with friends at an Oxfordshire playground when she climbed into the baby swing and found herself unable to climb back out. ...

The girl's mother, Charlie Maclean, 40, called the fire department when she was unable to free her daughter.

A video of the rescue shows firefighters removing the swing from its hinges so the teenager could be extracted with the help of some liquid soap.

Charlie Maclean said she is planning to bake a cake to thank the firefighters.
SOURCE (With Video!):
https://www.upi.com/Odd_News/2020/0...ing-in-TikTok-stunt-gone-wrong/1361594845222/
 

RaM

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The ones that really worried me had a animal of some sort you sat on,
this was mounted on a big spring and could wobble about in any direction,
this was ok but the springs had a tendency to snap leaving a hedge sharp
enough to shave with, I never heard of or saw any injury's but they
did not last long.
 

MorningAngel

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The ones that really worried me had a animal of some sort you sat on,
this was mounted on a big spring and could wobble about in any direction,
this was ok but the springs had a tendency to snap leaving a hedge sharp
enough to shave with, I never heard of or saw any injury's but they
did not last long.
 

Analogue Boy

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Look at this emasculating thing! My testicles ascend just looking at it. I mean what kinda sick bastard..!

Someone obviously took the meaning of Banana Slide literally.

We used to play a lot on the Teapot Lid as kids. Our favourite game was to spin it as fast as possible, get as low as we could and place lucky bag tat almost out of reach for the person behind to pick up. With our faces inches off the gravel, at crazy speeds it was almost as dangerous as a witch trial.
 

feinman

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Someone obviously took the meaning of Banana Slide literally.

We used to play a lot on the Teapot Lid as kids. Our favourite game was to spin it as fast as possible, get as low as we could and place lucky bag tat almost out of reach for the person behind to pick up. With our faces inches off the gravel, at crazy speeds it was almost as dangerous as a witch trial.
Is there a thread on crazy dangerous things we survivors did as kids? I know some school mates who didn't make it..
 

escargot

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I follow an old London photos group on Facebook. I had to share this (I hope it works). There are kids playing on a possibly burn out car! The car no matter why it’s like that does not look safe for playing on.
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=3661215053907670&set=gm.1610431639116761&type=3
I played like this as a child, right up until around age 10 when we were rehoused by the council in the 'burbs. I'd never climbed at tree until then - there weren't any!
 

GerdaWordyer

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Reminds me of a friend I had in early elementary school who had the frame of a small private plane in her backyard. We used to rock on it. When you are seven or eight you never question why there is the frame of a small private plane in a friend's backyard.
 

feinman

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Falling off and getting crushed underneath or kicked by other kids.
I remember it all too well, although that never happened to me.
A lot like life; perhaps the playground exerts a selective pressure on our youth. Surprised there aren't piles of bones beneath these crushing, grinding smashing, fall-inducing devices. Just be angry members of the Voluntary Extinction Society that designs the mothers.
 

feinman

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I played like this as a child, right up until around age 10 when we were rehoused by the council in the 'burbs. I'd never climbed at tree until then - there weren't any!
We also used to climb way up in trees when we were kids. Super dangerous.
 

escargot

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We also used to climb way up in trees when we were kids. Super dangerous.
Yup, when we moved to a nicer house near the local park I found the trees there quite astonishing. Great big tall ones with huge branches. Real trees. Not like the overgrown lilac and hawthorn bushes that dragged themselves up in my neighbours' back yards.

I'd be out there climbing those trees and sitting at the tops of them all day, every day I could.

There was even an exotic and much-beloved Monkey Tree to fall out of. Like a little jungle unto itself. Dunno why they cut that down, the bastards.
 

EnolaGaia

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This CRACKED article is the funniest thing I've read this week. It's a retrospective review of New Jersey's Action Park - arguably one of the most dangerous water parks / fun parks during its heyday in the 1980s. No ride was too risky to build and try (e.g., an enclosed water slide with a built-in loop-de-loop). Action Park is like what would have occurred if Hieronymus Bosch had designed a playground based on wild ideas from reckless kids ...
The Terrifying Saga Of Action Park's Loop-de-Loop Slide

There's something slightly seedy about even the best amusement parks, as anyone who's accidentally glanced down the wrong alley at Disneyworld and witnessed Buzz Lightyear trying to console Goofy through the meth shakes can attest. That's why everyone cherishes a sincerely terrible park, like the kind where they don't bother holding up a privacy tarp while hosing blood off the bumper cars. And the most fabled of them all was Action Park -- the humble water park that became a beloved New Jersey institution with nothing more than a positive attitude and a complete disregard for the sanctity of human life, alcohol licensing laws, and the concept of gravity itself. ...
FULL STORY: https://www.cracked.com/article_28081_the-terrifying-saga-action-parks-loop-de-loop-slide.html
 
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