You are not logged in.

Announcement

Welcome to the the original, the one and only, Spiceislander Talkshop. The site remains Grenadian owned and hosted in the United States.

#1 Nov 11, 2017 12:18 pm

New Historian
Active

The gentle art of scrumping

The best month of the year was August; which meant two things: no school, and scrumping. Scrumping is a time-honoured English schoolboy tradition, otherwise known as: stealing. In this case, apples (it’s not really stealing, it’s only scrumping). In the suburbs, every English back garden has at least two apple trees in it, and it was our God-given right to plunder as many apples as we could stuff into our bellies, and then some! We wouldn’t wait for the trees to ripen; we’d eat them green, sprinkled with salt – bellyfuls!

We would mark out gardens with the tastiest trees, remembering them for next season. Most back gardens were connected by a back alleyway – perfect getaway. You needed to be quick on your feet though; you'd be up a tree and some irate householder would come charging down the garden – and God help you if he caught hold of you. Grown-ups in those days thought nothing of giving you a swift clip around the earhole if you needed it, regardless of whether they knew you or not. Nowadays they’d get arrested for child abuse.

Offline

#2 Nov 11, 2017 1:59 pm

Real Distwalker
Active

Re: The gentle art of scrumping

We did the same thing in our small Iowa town but we didn't have a name for it.  In fact, I don't think I thought it was wrong.  Apples, cherries, plums, peaches, grapes... those were the bounty of the land to my childish mind.  I thought they were legitimately free for the taking and I don't ever remember getting in trouble for partaking.

Offline

#3 Nov 11, 2017 2:23 pm

Expat
Active

Re: The gentle art of scrumping

New Historian wrote:

The best month of the year was August; which meant two things: no school, and scrumping. Scrumping is a time-honoured English schoolboy tradition, otherwise known as: stealing. In this case, apples (it’s not really stealing, it’s only scrumping). In the suburbs, every English back garden has at least two apple trees in it, and it was our God-given right to plunder as many apples as we could stuff into our bellies, and then some! We wouldn’t wait for the trees to ripen; we’d eat them green, sprinkled with salt – bellyfuls!

We would mark out gardens with the tastiest trees, remembering them for next season. Most back gardens were connected by a back alleyway – perfect getaway. You needed to be quick on your feet though; you'd be up a tree and some irate householder would come charging down the garden – and God help you if he caught hold of you. Grown-ups in those days thought nothing of giving you a swift clip around the earhole if you needed it, regardless of whether they knew you or not. Nowadays they’d get arrested for child abuse.

Wasn't this posted before?

Seems a bit airy fairy to me, and 1930's. None of the suburbs I knew about had alleyways and trees in abundance.

Alleyways were the province of inner cities, and in that kind of environment the only thing you were likely to find in the backyard was an outside toilet.

Offline

#4 Nov 11, 2017 2:58 pm

Calypso
Active

Re: The gentle art of scrumping

New Historian wrote:

The best month of the year was August; which meant two things: no school, and scrumping. Scrumping is a time-honoured English schoolboy tradition, otherwise known as: stealing. In this case, apples (it’s not really stealing, it’s only scrumping). In the suburbs, every English back garden has at least two apple trees in it, and it was our God-given right to plunder as many apples as we could stuff into our bellies, and then some! We wouldn’t wait for the trees to ripen; we’d eat them green, sprinkled with salt – bellyfuls!

We would mark out gardens with the tastiest trees, remembering them for next season. Most back gardens were connected by a back alleyway – perfect getaway. You needed to be quick on your feet though; you'd be up a tree and some irate householder would come charging down the garden – and God help you if he caught hold of you. Grown-ups in those days thought nothing of giving you a swift clip around the earhole if you needed it, regardless of whether they knew you or not. Nowadays they’d get arrested for child abuse.


New Historian, sometimes your writing brings back memories. I used to scrump as well, in elementary school. I used to steal Ms. Adams' crisply fried fish. She had lived in England for years and had visited China. She used to tell my sister and I about  her meeting with Madame Chiang Kai-Shek, the nationalist. My sister and I used to mispronounced the name on spite. She would get so angry. She had a lovely music box that played a classical piece and a ballerina would dance. On Sundays, before she used to go to church and lock her door, my sister and I would sneak inside her house and steal her fried fish. They were so goddamned delicious! I used to scrump  into the yard of a white colonial family. They had lots of cherry trees and there were some grapes growing too. I had a ball of a time. New Historian, those were happy times for I was a tomboy and loved danger. Nowadays, I would have been shot!

Offline

#5 Nov 11, 2017 4:57 pm

New Historian
Active

Re: The gentle art of scrumping

Thank you Cal, yours is extremely interesting - Chiang Kai-Shek! Our father bought an old wind-up gramophone in Pettycoat Lane market, it took him an hour to beat the guy down from thirty shillings to a guinea. It came with a bunch of 75s and we had years of fun singing along to old music hall classics like the Lambeth Walk.

Expat must've grown up in the wilds of t' North (i.e. north of Watford!), where they didn't invent inside toilets until this century. The London suburbs were a never-ending maze of cookie-cutter two-up two-down semi-detached houses, each with its own precious front and back gardens: roses and hedges in front; pears and apples in the back.


Google.jpg

Offline

#6 Nov 11, 2017 7:08 pm

Calypso
Active

Re: The gentle art of scrumping

New Historian wrote:

Thank you Cal, yours is extremely interesting - Chiang Kai-Shek! Our father bought an old wind-up gramophone in Pettycoat Lane market, it took him an hour to beat the guy down from thirty shillings to a guinea. It came with a bunch of 75s and we had years of fun singing along to old music hall classics like the Lambeth Walk.

Expat must've grown up in the wilds of t' North (i.e. north of Watford!), where they didn't invent inside toilets until this century. The London suburbs were a never-ending maze of cookie-cutter two-up two-down semi-detached houses, each with its own precious front and back gardens: roses and hedges in front; pears and apples in the back.


https://s7.postimg.org/cqa0414c7/Google.jpg



I know that song from a Broadway play years ago

Offline

#7 Nov 11, 2017 7:30 pm

New Historian
Active

Re: The gentle art of scrumping

Thanks Cal!

Offline

#8 Nov 11, 2017 7:45 pm

houston
Active

Re: The gentle art of scrumping

Oh the joys of being a neighborhood brat. No pear or peach tree would be overlooked. Carrots would be uprooted and eaten with the grime and grit. No, it wasn't the rabbits.
During the summer months each kid had a tent set up in the backyard for sleep outs. We would meet up with our bycicles at 2am and raid gardens. Tomatoes were a favourite. We would load up with the juicy one's and do a drive by through from the street into the can't miss garage doors of the fine folks who were asleep. What a bang that was, and a true waste of good food.
During the winter, a favourite activity was to bumper jump. When the roads were snowy and a car stopped at an intersection, we would kneel down and grab hold of the bumper for a ride. Sometimes there would be to much weight and the wheels would only spin and spit up snow. The driver would get out to inspect those new snow tires. All he would see is a bunch of Gremlins scattering into the bushes.

Yup, we were all brats at one time or another.

Offline

#9 Nov 11, 2017 7:54 pm

Calypso
Active

Re: The gentle art of scrumping

houston wrote:

Oh the joys of being a neighborhood brat. No pear or peach tree would be overlooked. Carrots would be uprooted and eaten with the grime and grit. No, it wasn't the rabbits.
During the summer months each kid had a tent set up in the backyard for sleep outs. We would meet up with our bycicles at 2am and raid gardens. Tomatoes were a favourite. We would load up with the juicy one's and do a drive by through from the street into the can't miss garage doors of the fine folks who were asleep. What a bang that was, and a true waste of good food.
During the winter, a favourite activity was to bumper jump. When the roads were snowy and a car stopped at an intersection, we would kneel down and grab hold of the bumper for a ride. Sometimes there would be to much weight and the wheels would only spin and spit up snow. The driver would get out to inspect those new snow tires. All he would see is a bunch of Gremlins scattering into the bushes.

Yup, we were all brats at one time or another.


Holding the car's bumper for a ride is dangerous but a teenager would know that, would he? We had no common sense. Everything was done for the thrill!

Offline

#10 Nov 11, 2017 11:14 pm

Expat
Active

Re: The gentle art of scrumping

New Historian wrote:

Thank you Cal, yours is extremely interesting - Chiang Kai-Shek! Our father bought an old wind-up gramophone in Pettycoat Lane market, it took him an hour to beat the guy down from thirty shillings to a guinea. It came with a bunch of 75s and we had years of fun singing along to old music hall classics like the Lambeth Walk.

Expat must've grown up in the wilds of t' North (i.e. north of Watford!), where they didn't invent inside toilets until this century. The London suburbs were a never-ending maze of cookie-cutter two-up two-down semi-detached houses, each with its own precious front and back gardens: roses and hedges in front; pears and apples in the back.


https://s7.postimg.org/cqa0414c7/Google.jpg

Chiswick was hardly North of Watford. I know from W1 to Slough/St Albans/Croydon/Tower Hamlets and nowhere in between that I can remember fits that description. I knew 2 up 2 downs just prior to slum clearance North of Holland park, and they has 3 feet in front with the remains of railings taken for the war effort, and 10ft of concrete behind The closest you would have got to scrumping would be nicking fruit from Shepherds Bush Market.

Oh, and yes the 3 up and 3 down I grew up in had an outside toilet and no bathroom and no central heating until I finally gave up the tenancy mid 70's. Mind you the rent was like £1-10shillings.

Just seen the Camplin road, Kenton doesn't look to fit your description. Regular semi houses with regular gardens. Joint access don't really fit the bill as alleyway which would be common access to the public, usually running round the back of properties, whereas the gap between detached houses is private and definitely trespass long before you get to the back garden.

Last edited by Expat (Nov 11, 2017 11:42 pm)

Offline

Board footer

Powered by FluxBB