Dangerous Conkers and other deadly pursuits

I recently read that some schools have banned kids from playing conkers, as in hanging them on a piece of string and smashing them together for fun , now I done this as a kid without serious injury or any known fatalites, but now children at some schools that still permit it, have to wear goggles and gloves…WHY ?
Am I just getting old and cantankerous , or is the rest of the world becoming so anal about everything it has become a complete nanny state.
I grew up in an age where " growing up" was a learning curve, of adventure , thrills and spills , good and bad, and a heathy respect for my elders, old fashioned ? yes, but i’m glad it was that way.



This, and I am in my mid twenties (in writing that I feel like I am making a huge assumption about your age and we all know what people say about what happens when you assume something…)

I feel like I read about this happening at least a decade ago. Anyway, yes, the banning of kids playing conkers at school sounds nannyish but probably starts with an (over?)reaction to kids not just playing nicely but finding other fun things to do like whack other kids. You do remember what kids are like, right? They play, and that means discovering all conceivable uses for a conker on a string.

Anyway, everything nannyish flows from that decision: the backlash pushes them to make it an organised event, but that makes it the school’s responsibility every time someone gets hurt (and in case you don’t remember, conkers really hurts your fingers). Hence the gloves and eye protection so they don’t get sued by some parent.

I guess holding a school tournament at least maintains the tradition and outside school the kids can still play with their conkers however they like (those who don’t get swept up in a family 4x4 and driven away from all their friends I suppose).

Yes, this stems from an old article I read a while ago, and I agree that unfortunately the root of a lot of these sometimes over the top Health and safety rules comes as a result of the threat of being sued.
But probably as a result of me being a certain age, with 2 grown up sons etc, I often find myself at odds with the world as it is now, and yes I know that’s how it is now and should get on with it etc etc, but can’t help making comparisons sometimes, just call me Victor Meldrew.

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Always annoys me when I see an article about deprived kids in deprived areas and sometimes the answer is…
Let’s open a gym get them in a boxing ring and let them beat the hell out of one another… in a controlled way of course.

Health and safety, what a joke.
It’s just took me over an hour to sign in on a site and get a work permit.
This is me on a daily basis.

I know. I’m a chippy myself, with many years on site, some H and S rules you think OK, I get that, but a lot of it is window dressing, but this culture of “ill sue you” has just aggravated everything.
When you see these old photos of the American steel fixers working on the Empire state building in the 1930s sitting on a girder right at the top,
eating sarnies, now there’s definitely a H&S issue, it makes me smile, but nothing on earth would get me up there.
PS, I bet you get through some heavy duty hand cleaner, or are they bruises.


My first job when I left school was working for a builders and plumbers merchant. There were no forklifts on hand then to unload the delivered stock. The safety equipement we got was a pair of gloves and maybe a help mate if available to help with the task. When you think you had 20 tonnes of cement/plaster bags or thousands of house bricks or glazed pipes by the hundreds to offload.
When I also think back I handled an awful lot of asbestos, no masks just gloves again.
The most horrible stuff which at the time I hated to handle was fibreglass insulation.

I’m still here and breathing although I have suffered with asthma from an early age (as an infant) and now, I am more frightened of getting this awful virus at present than anything else in my life.

Yes H & S is a very good but sometimes OTT and makes me smile but vital to keep folks safe.

I’m with you there, fibreglass is still about and just as bad, I also suffer from bronchial problems every year, now in fact, so like you, I’m getting very jumpy as I’m in my 60s.
We’re going out this weekend or a blast in the 5, and try to forget everything for a while :grimacing::blush:

I did that yesterday, a blast down the country lanes and a nice 4 mile walk at our local NT property.
It’s the first drive of the year, I decided to tax it as of yesterday, it’s been sorn since last December.
It paid me back for not driving it, as I was getting in to drive home I tweaked my sciatic nerve (easily done with me I suffer) so I do feel more like an old fart than normal today. :grinning:

Hand cleaner, what’s that?
Have you never washed your hands in a puddle that you’ve had to break the ice first.
One i get regularly is ‘oy where’s your high vis’ it’s here, on my back.
Nowt wrong with this it keeps me warm and it’s waterproof.

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:smile:… A black hi vis, there’s a first

Black hi-vis? Anyone remember Sniff Petrol’s spoof “Visigoth” ad? Black hi-vis for goths “Because you’re only pretending you want to die”.

Black hi-vis, surely that a low-vis :slightly_smiling_face:
Looks like you are fashioning yourself an oilskin.

More battle scars, health and safety…i’d not get any work done.

Exhaust burns, they sting a bit!

When my Dad worked on his cars (he thought he was an excellent mechanic) we (the rest of the family, and friends, and neighbours, and on one occasion his work colleagues) always reckoned he had not finished the job until he had either burnt himself, smashed his knuckles (and/or his head if underneath), shed blood, or turned the air blue, or sometimes all of these.


Back in the days when I used to design, build and fly large scale model aircraft, the building part would invariably lead to me getting cut at some point. On the first occurrence with the model I was working on I had a practice of dabbing a bit of blood onto the woodwork of the model, where it would soak in. I was always able to say there was a little bit of me in each finished model…


Those were the days, standing in my Dads garage with a model aircraft engine (i still have three of them) clamped in a vice and whacking the prop with two fingers until they bled…ohh and the smell of ether? (was it ether) loved that smell.

On another note, i never ever heard my Dad swear, one day he had a cantilever tool box balanced on the wing of his Mini, as he was tugging away with a spanner he accidentally knocked the tool box and down it came corner first on to his ‘slipperd’ foot which broke two of his toes.
There was a lot of ‘flipping’ and ‘sodding’ and hopping around the garden but i never heard him swear once…what he said out of earshot might have been a different story.
Daft part is he became a health and safety officer at one stage in his life.


Yes, the old diesels were great, wore my hand out many times trying to start them until I realised the key to success was fresh fuel. The ether evaporated very quickly, had to be kept in a well-sealed tin.

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