THE cinema was a cheap form of entertainment for millions of kids and a big part was Cowboys and Indians. Most films about the American West showed that Indians were the baddies while the cowboy was the hero.
Books like “Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee” show it was in reality the other way round. Kids left the cinema with one arm out in front of them, the other hand slapping their side as though they were riding a horse. Billy the kid, Jesse James, John Wayne, Randolph Scott plus a host of others were played out in Cowboys verses Indians in gardens, streets and fields in every village, town and city.
Two fingers stuck out were fired and even the indians had guns, the bow and arrow was only used if the game was Robin Hood and his Merry Men. The cowboy practiced his drawn from the trouser pocket and was as fast as whoever he was playing.
Boys played boys games such as football, cricket, Cowboy and Indians, Finger, Thumb a Dumb. Girls played skipping, shop and hopscotch. Robin Hood had Maid Marion who was Robin’s love interest and did not join in sword fights as this was the boy’s role.
One game which girls and boys took part in together was Doctors and Nurses. I always got the role of the ambulance man. The big lass I carried to maternity did my back in. God bless her!
Richard Billups, Rawmarsh
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