Children’s games today consist of electronic wizardry or computer magic. Spare a thought then for the games of yesteryear as reported in The Thame Gazette of June , 1892. There wasn’t a Nintendo or Game Boy in sight! Here the correspondent talks about the lost art of skipping:

“The girls turn the rope, slowly at first, repeating the mysterious phrase: Pepper, salt, mustard, cider, vinegar. As soon as they have pronounced vinegar, they turn the rope as quickly as possible. The skipper is either tired out or trips. In any case, she is soon ready for a rest and thankfully takes the place of one of the turners. Thus all are satisfied.

Rock the cradle:

The rope is not turned completely over but is given a motion like the pendulum of a clock. The long sweeps make it difficult for the skipper to avoid tripping.

Huckery Buck or Huck a Buck:

The rope is turned from, instead of towards, the skipper and extraordinarily difficult it is for some girls to skip the rope in this manner.

Going To School:

is a pretty form of skipping the rope. Two girls link arms or each puts one arm round the waist of the other and with the disengaged hand holds one end of the rope. They then turn it over themselves altering the skip in unison as the fancy seizes them. Other skipping games described in this article include: Going a begging, Going a visiting, Winding the clock, Chase The Fox and Skipping The ladder.