1980’s Britain – Playtime

Playtime – What Really Happens

‘Playtime – What Really Happens’ was the results of a survey conducted by BBC Radio 4 current affairs for the series ‘In the News’.

It was not specified what age group or school level took part in this survey.

Boys favourite subjects for talking about were the SAS, werewolves, hairy men, insulation in buildings, lending money and trapping animals.

Girls favourite subjects were miners, muggings, Norah Batty’s stockings, kicking boys, sex and ghosts.

Girls games include shouting Trio (a TV chocolate bar advert), chasing boys; kiss, cuddle and torture; jump the haggis.


A three chunk chocolate bar

Boys preferred games include ‘pickets and police’, stinky stickers, tap squirting and BMX stunts without a bike; and 32% roaring with laughter

More than 10% of girls preferred to continue schoolwork than playtime; only 39% of boys and 35% girls felt happy in the playground.

About 5% said they were bullied or teased, 13% claimed they got hurt at playtime and almost 2% said they got dragged into the toilets.

Notes: Norah Batty along with hairnet and floral apron was a character in the BBC Series ‘Last of the Summer Wine’ whose iconic stockings were often falling about her ankles.

Trio – a three chunk chocolate bar consisting of a layer of biscuit, a topping of thick toffee and then a draping of chocolate over that. ‘TRIO (this has to be written in capitals as the singer was always shouting), TRIIIIIIO, I WANT A TRIO AND I WANT ONE NOW!’ 

Playing ‘Jump the Haggis’, using a ‘Haggis’ on the end of a swing rope.

‘Pickets and police’ most probably based on the miner’s strike but a fighting game using abusive language.