Keeley’s March Challenge #18

Some Items From My Childhood I’ve Kept

Back to the 1970s…


Author’s own photo, taken in March 2023

Despite this being story number 18 in Keeley Schroder’s March challenge, it’s only my second response. (Yes, I’m not managing to keep up!)

The challenge asked me to pick one item. But I can never just go with one!

I usually end up with at least two. Or five in this case.

Three of them are tiny clockwork toys from my childhood. The crab used to walk sideways, but it seems like it no longer wants to move.

The other two clockwork toys swim and I’m surprised they still work —especially considering how many times I would set them loose in the bath or sink.

There is also a double-decker bus that was issued in 1977 to celebrate the Silver Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II. Its condition is quite poor, having been on a shelf and exposed to sunlight for years.

Finally, there is a “push thumb puppet” tiger. I did a search and found one on eBay just now — otherwise I’d not have known how to describe it.

It still works, too! By pressing the base in the right place, you can make the tail move on its own, or the head. Or you can make it collapse.

I’m sure I used to be able to make it lean over to one side as well. Given how rough I was with it, I’m surprised it hasn’t fallen apart.

All five toys take me back to when I lived with my parents, and life seemed much simpler. I never gave my dad any peace. He would be sitting reading the newspaper, and I would get him to watch the clockwork toys swimming, or the tiger in various poses.

I’ll leave you with a short video of them.

(Sorry about the poor quality. It wasn’t very bright when I recorded it, and I had my phone in portrait orientation and cropped the image.)

Note to self: It’s time to cut your fingernails!



Alan (AJ) Autistic Widower

Former electronics engineer & programmer in England, 50-something with a dry sense of humour. Sharing stories & opinions. Tip jar: