Home Made Toys (6 / 9 / ’38)

The boys (and men) of Skerries are very fond of making little boats with corks, a slender rod and some feathers.

First, they take three corks, and pass the rod through them lengthwise leaving a space of about an inch and a half in between the corks. They then stick a feather in each cork, as a sail. If the “boat” is inclined to capsize, a light stone is suspended by means of a cord passed through the middle cork. This, if at all possiblie, is to be avoided, as it somewhat mars the speed of the boat.

The bigger lads make bird-snares, cages, etc.

One type of bird-snare is made with a long piece of tin about six feet in length. This is bent in hoop-shape, and a loose network of cord is placed over the whole. This is propped up by a stick, with a cord attached. Some bread placed inside brings a bird, and as soon as it ventures within, the person holding the other end of the cord (who is, of course hidden) jerks it away, the snare falls, and the bird is a prisoner.

Alan Owens (HNS, 1937-’38)