Playing outside until it got dark, having respect for your elders and knowing your neighbours have been
named as some of the best things about being a child 50 years ago – according to the over 60s in Scotland.
New research showed that simple pleasures like climbing trees, collecting shells on a beach and making
dens are what the over 60s in Scotland most treasure about their childhood.
Owning a few toys and playing with them, sweeties costing a penny and playing hide and seek were also listed as cherished memories, the poll by the UK’s leading retirement housebuilder, McCarthy and Stone, found.
According to the poll, 57 per cent percent of adults in Scotland aged 60 and above, said it was better being a child 50 years ago, than it is now.
89 per cent said children were much better at making their own entertainment years ago. And 73.9 per cent in Scotland said they learned far more practical skills ‘back in their day’. Fortunately, 77.6 per cent of grandparents in Scotland said they passed on their wealth of knowledge to their grandchildren.
Good table manners, riding a bike and how to plant a seed were among some of the skills Granny and Grandad share. As were skimming a stone, knitting and putting up a tent. Over 30 per cent of all Scottish grandparents have taught their children’s children to identify plants and flowers and how to polish their shoes.
Lorraine Paterson, sales and marketing director for McCarthy and Stone, which conducted the poll to mark
its 40th anniversary and partnership with older people’s charity, Royal Voluntary Service, said: “These
findings illustrate how things have changed in the last 50 years and how grandparents are shaping their
grandchildren’s childhoods by sharing their own experiences of growing up.
“They also show that practical skills are being passed down through the generations such as baiting a
fishing hook and cooking a traditional Sunday roast. By passing on these talents the older generation are
ensuring valuable and practical skills won’t die out.”