Failings Of The Bubble Wrapped Childhood…

It was reported in the Evening Express that a 13-year-old boy has been charged with starting a fire in an old, abandoned factory after he and his mates broke inside.

I’m not in any way condoning this type of behaviour but…I was no angel when I was young just as I’m pretty sure none of us were…


The boys in the news story decided it would be a good idea to explore a derelict building, film their exploits and upload it to You Tube.

Of course they were going to get caught!

The fact that they deliberately started a fire which could have had tragic consequences makes me hope they face severe punishment.

Upon reading this news story, as well as reminding me of my previous post, Would I Do It Now? Would I F**k! it also stirred another few memories from my youth – long before various authorities and other circumstances have created the “bubble wrapped childhood” we see today.

Where I grew up we had derelict factories, derelict buildings, junk yards and abandoned farmhouses galore so of course we “played” in them.

There was an old clothes factory in which we too experimented with fire. However, the fire was on the end of a stick and used as a torch so we could see in the dark – we were fire-starters but we were intelligent fire-starters.

It’s just a match – he’s a really, really little boy…


There was an abandoned “bad kid’s home” that we explored. Only once did I go in there because I still to this day have nightmares about the time I was climbing up to the attic in this old, dark house and having a large Santa Claus ornament fall on top of me.

Do you still not believe in me, little boy?


There was an old farmhouse that once must have had an “upstairs”. Well, it did technically still have an upstairs but the upstairs level consisted only of the wooden joists – no floorboards! Establishing who could run quickest from one end to the other by jumping across the joists was a brilliant game. Yes, sometimes somebody fell – shit happens. What happened after it did? We laughed, they laughed and then they got up and tried again!

If you didn’t play then you were a “chicken”…


There was a car scrapyard that wasn’t exactly abandoned but it was still a target for exploration. If you were really lucky some of the cars you played in still had the keys in the ignition so we started the cars and then ran like f***. We ran because we knew how much trouble we would be in if we got caught. That’s the generational difference – we knew the boundaries. If that was kids today, they wouldn’t just start the car. They’d drive off in it, mow some innocent pedestrian down, not get punished for the crime whatsoever and their parents would still say “it wasn’t their kid’s fault” and proceed to blame everyone else.

Sic balls Chopper…


Finally, there was an old mine shaft alongside an old railway line (you may ask, where the f*** did I grow up – the 18th century?) and we used this as a “drinking den” when we were in our late teens. We had a camp fire, we smashed stuff, we shouted, we screamed, we sang – basically, we behaved like teenagers should. This mine shaft, however dangerous, was our “safe haven” and the difference being – we were not drinking at bus stops, loitering outside shops or McDonald’s and we weren’t making anyone else’s life a misery!

Not the “actual” mine shaft sadly…


I’m not saying what we did was right or wrong. Yes, it was dangerous and possibly stupid but we were sensible with it. We all survived and came out the other side as decent adults. However, in the current day and age, as Health & Safety has improved, kid’s sense, respect and behaviour have all got worse so I, for one, am glad that I grew up in the era I did.

If I was a kid today with the morals and sense that I had when I was a kid then I would probably still break into that factory as the boys did but this is hopefully the type of video that I would produce…

What do you think? What tales do you have of when you were growing up? I’d love to hear!

5 thoughts on “Failings Of The Bubble Wrapped Childhood…

  1. Obviously I found this. Great post! I had a similarly great childhood. In general I think that because we had fewer imposed boundaries we created our own and while they probably weren’t what our parents wanted, they were enough for us to grown and learn how to navigate the world without killing ourselves. BTW, my post which will post today at 10:55 a.m. your time has a reference just for you and a few others.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Appreciate the share, I had wondered why the film had suddenly attracted so many more views. You can be my new manager…. I agree with a lot of what you say here. I did see the new film with the kids setting fires, such a shame as it’s still a lovely old building and it’s a fond memory of my time in Aberdeen. Sounds like you’ve done some exploring yourself.



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