Friday, March 26, 2010

Health & Safety in the 60's




I have such vivid memories of this. Thats me on the right, with the fair hair which didn't stay fair.

I don't know how often we were allowed to scramble up the ladder and sit on the top of the garage, but its a treat I remember well - which could indicate that it happened a lot, or that it had the impact of occasional and special privilege.

Today I'm guessing that any one - parent or otherwise - who put children into such a high-risk position might be liable to reporting by neighbours, rebuking by authorities....

School trips in the UK have become hugely complicated and difficult to organise because of risk assessment procedures, and a top "nob" in the world of Health and Safety has recently urged Schools to take more risks. I applaud the sentiment, but I can't help think that thats easy for her to say, given the way Schools are likely to be criticised - if not sued - by parents if anything goes wrong.

There have also been reports in the UK of Schools banning cake sales on the grounds of Health and Safety. I remembered this as to do with allergies and other similar hazards - thats what this report suggests with its mention of the non-lethal nature of jam. ("normally" non-lethal.... hmmm)
But a quick google reveals that this may also have been linked with the issue of childhood obesity.
For which the occasional School cake-sale is responsible..... how???

I'm so happy to have grown up in a less risk-averse age and I mourn some of the aspects of childhood which may have been lost .....


.... like sitting on garage roofs.


Other Sepia Saturday posts

18 comments:

Akelamalu said...

When I think of what we got up to as kids I feel sorry for the mollycoddled kids of today. We never came to any real harm, surprisingly, did we?

Coffee Messiah said...

Nice memories.........and like you, I was surprised, watching my son grow up, just how complicated and little he did, compared to me and my age group.

Great photo!

Cheers!

Subby said...

I did this all the time when I got the chance, as a kid I mean. Now-a-days yeah, somebody'd call the coppers on ya! Even the boys and girls club requires I.D. to pick up your kid, regardless. 'Tis almost a prison-like atmosphere. Then the kids have cards they use to swipe in and out; all tracked by computer!

And trying to instill the methods of "healthy eating" will only work on some. Wot happens as they grow older and discover all the "goodies" to be had?

Tom said...

what is it about kids and roofs? Nowadays it scares me to be up that high! great picture.

Reya Mellicker said...

You were adorable. Still are.

Yeah, I remember the 60's, when kids were unceremoniously dumped into the back seat of the station wagon - no seatbelts, no nothing! Sometimes I think those were better times. We weren't so paranoid about every little thing.

Or maybe I'm being unnecessarily romantic. Who knows?

Barry said...

I can recall when I reach an age where I was allowed to go up on the roof of the house to rescue balls and kites and frizbies. What an adventure that was. And what a different perspective on the world it gave you.

I'm all for a little more adventure in life--and for the courts backing off a bit.

Giulia said...

Yes, I remember as well. And mostly I think, though, that some things are for the better now. Like bike helmets. I watched as a beloved cousin was hit by a car (a drunk) on their little dead-end street. I'll never forget it as long as I live. She would've had a different life.

That being said, yes of course there are many things that were better. But the safety elements on playthings, etc. are not a bad thing. At all.

What I can't understand are all the parents who are up in arms about so much & then feed their kids garbage. (You can feed people inexpensively without resorting to junk, contrary to much American opinion.) That's why cake sales & the such didn't harm us. We didn't eat like that every day.

And yes, you were darling up there on the roof.

Martin H. said...

I'm with you. There's so much children miss out on today.

Baino said...

Ha! If you sat on a tin roof out here you'd burn yer bum! So true though. The parks around here no longer have roundabouts or see-saws, some dont' even have swings, just climbing frames and wobbly things to sit on. Makes you wonder. We have the food issue here too with 'healthy' tuck shops and banning peanut butter products. There's even a warning on peanut butter jars "May contain nuts".

Megan said...

Well, I can't say we were ever allowed on the roof, but we did many other things of that sort.

How fun!

e said...

I was never on a roof, but I did hang from a clothesline frequently...

We've complicated everything today, it seems. You were a cute little girl!

Ronda Laveen said...

This brought back childhood memories of sitting on the roof with my cousins.

SueG said...

Yes! And I remember long holiday car rides with my sister and I in the back seat, each with our pillows, lying down - unstrapped in, of course - trying to sleep.

Alan Burnett said...

It's a wonderful picture and I so agree with you about the risk kids avoid these days. It makes you worry that we are bringing about a generation that is not streetwise, nor are they complete with the scabs and scars that are important rites of passage. Despite what it says in your profile, it would appear that your early experience on the garage roof taught you exactly how to balance.

皓云 said...

與其爭取不可能得到的東西,不如善自珍惜運用自己所擁有的........................................

GreenWhisper said...

haha what a fantastic photo! we were the same.. up the ladders to sit on the shed roof lol. my little brother always got stuck and had to be rescued :)) happy memories xx

GreenWhisper said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
lettuce said...

we didn't Akelamalu.
Reya, yes I remember that! I remember sitting up on the fold-down hood at the back of the zephyr...
And SueG, similar memories - in our sleeping bags on the way to Scottish holidays
Baino, your comments made me think of all the lethal playground things we loved as kids - there was one like a giant shuttlecock attached to a pole which swung around and around... loved that one.
GreenWhisper, it was my sister always used to get stuck, in trees...

happy memories
:-)