Two Baller Game, Rostrevor Avenue, Roseworth c1965

This photograph shows my wife’s sister Kathleen Hindmarsh playing two baller in Rostrevor Avenue, Roseworth in about 1965.

My wife Liz asks if anyone can remember the other games that were played in the street, like Kingy or Queenie or can still recite the two baller rhymes.

In the background is Mr Laybourne’s lorry which I think is a Thames Trader from the Redland tip on Blakeston Lane.

Photograph and details courtesy of Norman Hill.

24 thoughts on “Two Baller Game, Rostrevor Avenue, Roseworth c1965

  1. Two-baller games were played in a line along the back wall at Norton High Street Junior School (formerly Norton Board) in the late 1960s. The only bit I remember of a rhyme was the first words of one… ‘Christopher Columbus, sailed across the ocean…’.


    • Christopher Columbus sailed the mighty ocean, the waves went higher, higher and over. The over was when the rope went over your head.

      I remember loads of the rhymes. Here’s another.

      I wish tonight was Saturday night tomorrow will be Sunday, I’ll be dressed in all me best to go out with Geoffrey (Pick any name) Geoffrey likes the whiskey, Geoffrey likes the rum, Geoffrey likes to kiss the girls, ee bye gum!

      Down in the Valley where the green grass grows there’s pretty Julie washing her clothes, she sings and she sings and she sings so sweetly waiting for her boyfriend coming down the street, singing Paul, Paul won’t you marry me, next Sunday morning at half past 3, there’ll be rice cakes and ice cakes all for tea, won’t it be a special time at half past 3.


  2. Totally irrelevant but I remember ‘spotting’ Thames Trader lorries in my South London days in the early 1960s. Perhaps surprisingly, these formed part of the London Transport fleet. Later on, LT converted some TT lorries into buses to take pedal cyclists through the newly-opened Dartford Tunnel. Unsurprisingly this service did not last long, but it operated long enough for me to take a return trip. No sign of the M25 or long queues of traffic in those days! The Thames connection was of course Ford’s of Dagenham where the Thames Traders were built in the period up to 1965. And yes, I think this picture does show a Thames Trader, with its distinctive front.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That is a Ford Thames Trader semi forward control 7 ton truck we tested them in the Army although Bedford and Austin seemed to have the contract, I test drove them as 5 ton 7 ton and as a tractor for articulator. They were fast comfortable (for the time) and tough in all modes, we liked them but it would seem the Bedford which I drove in the Desert and in Germany were underpowered compared with the Ford or the Dodge Truck around at the same time.
      All the games never seemed to alter nor the verses the girls sang, Canny a tin with two sticks on which were dislodged with a thrown ball we played. The skipping the girls were always good at. Hop Scotch and the ball against the wall which around every fourth bounce had to pass between your legs be caught without missing a beat, the girls tucked their skirts in their knickers for that. “Oh those were the days my friend” they should write a song about it.


  3. When playing two balls against a wall I used to say “one alora, two alora, three alora four. Five alora, six alora seven alora oh nine alora, ten alora go.” Who or what alora was is a mystery to me. A game we played was French Rice where we balanced sticks on a can in the middle of the road with opposing teams on the pavement each side. We took it in turns to knock the can over then one team would get the ball and try to hit the opposing scattering team. When everyone was hit you started again. Another ‘game’ was Knocky Nine Doors you’d knock on a front door of some house in your street then run & hide.


  4. That picture has brought back memories! I remember Kathleen and Liz Hindmarsh think they had an older brother too. I was born in Rampside Ave. just round the corner from Rostrevor Ave. We attended Redbrook School just passed their house. Susan? and her sister Julie (her surname escapes me) lived opposite them.


  5. We played kerby too.
    A rhyme for two ballers………
    Once there was a prince, prince, prince
    Once there was a princess
    Many years ago
    Her name was fairy snow drop, snow drop, snow drop,
    Her name was fairly snow drop
    Many years ago (the ball would be dropped then caught on the words drop)
    She lived in a high castle,castle, castle
    She lived in a high castle
    Many years ago (the ball would be thrown up on the words high)
    A handsome prince came riding, riding, riding
    A handsome prince came riding
    Many years ago (I believe we did a slap of the thigh on the words riding)

    There may be more to this, but that’s all I can remember for now. I hope this rings bells with your wife. 😀


  6. I remember playing two baller, and British Bulldogs, Kirby, and French Skips. Also I remember the Penny a ride. I lived around the corner from Rostrevor Avenue in Roseneath Avenue.


  7. The games we played as kids made us fit and tough, these were…
    Tee Mac Tee Alio
    Foot and a Half
    Monikiti, Monikity 123
    Kick e Tin
    Hide and Seek
    Guessing item in the shop window
    Milkies using milk bottle tops
    Allies… marbles
    Itchy Bay
    All skipping in one rope tied to a lamp.
    All these games cost nothing and were great fun. We were never bored. Good times.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I remember most of these Street games, they were great fun and as you point out cost nothing and where we lived in Parkfield they were very safe as there were no cars to avoid. Ti allio was played on dark winter nights around Northcote St. The area was in a square formed by Yarm Rd, Richardson Rd, Northcote St & Bousefield Lane with teams of around 7 on each side.


  8. I used to play two baller up against the wall by our back door in Granville Grove in Norton in the 50’s. I know there were rhymes but can’t remember them. At school we played skipping games at break times. Two people holding the rope and the rest skipping. I remember one ‘rhyme’ we used to say was . England, Ireland, Scotland ,Wales, Russia, Persia ,Germany. The rope was turned faster as you got to the end of the rhyme. We also used to play ‘Please Mr Crocodile. Can I cross your dirty water’. You were only allowed to cross if you were wearing a certain colour if you didn’t have that colour you had to make a run for it and try not to get caught. Kids nowadays would probably think we were mad. I could go on for ages about games etc we used to play. No computers or tablets then!!


  9. I remember a version of hopscotch we used to call “hitchybay”. We wrote numbers on the pavement and used a small tin. I lived in Woodland Street off Yarm Road


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