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Davy Crockett, King of the Wild Frontier, 1955


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DaveJC

I was 7 years old and recall the star of the film, Fess Parker visiting Abbeydale Cinema on a UK tour, he spent time with the kids prior to the film playing, most of us were wearing Davy Crockett hats. However I am unable to find any evidence of this event happening, have I imagined this or did it actually happen?

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Lysanderix

I too was an occasional "Coonskin" , Davy Crocket hat, wearer and a few years older but I don't remember Fess Parker visiting the City.

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DaveJC

Located him in a Scotland and Wales in  1956, and possibly Bristol, you never know.

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paulhib48

Have no recollection of Fess Parker visiting the Abbeydale , Dave. 

We were regular patrons but for some reason I remember seeing the Alamo at Woodseats Palace resplendent in my mums homemade Davy Crockett hat. This resembled a sheepskin tea cosy with a tail.

Incidentally, I remember vividly, collecting labels from Armor Star tinned products such as corned beef and peaches , sending them off and getting Davy Crockett memorabilia ,which in our case amounted to a few badges and balloons.

i think if you ate the equivalent of a cow in tinned corned beef you got a free hat.

A further recollection of that period is of my next door neighbour turning up with a Davy Crockett pistol which was like a flintlock replica. 

Totally uselss in army games or cowboy games where silver six shooters or black Lugers were the essential authentic kit.

The only time he used it again was when he was sat on top of our coal house playing Capt Dan Tempest from the Buccaneers.

 

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DaveJC

What I think is that the cinema hired a look-alike Davy Crockett and the passage of time has worked it’s magic.

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Athy

I'd forgotten what a craze Davy Crockett was amongst young boys for a year or two. My Mum made me a Davy Crockett hat with a fur tail. I must have looked a right jerk wearing it, but at the age of about six I didn't care.

'Davy Crockett' was the second film I ever saw at the cinema. My Dad took me; a little earlier he'd taken me to see 'The Great Locomotive Chase' which also starred Fess Parker. A busy chap, was Fess at that time. That would have been either at the Manor Cinema or the rather posher one down Hollinsend Road, whose name i have forgotten.

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MartinR

The craze lasted a bit longer than a "year or two".  I was born in 1956 and remember coonskin hats as treasured possessions when playing "cowboys and indians".  Probably due to repeat runs of the TV series in Children's Hour in the 1960s.  Anyone else recall having cap firing guns?  Some used caps on a paper roll, but the posh revolver type had a ring of plastic which held them.  Goodness knows how many laws, regulations and PC conventions there would be to stop such play today!

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Lysanderix

Caps! Apart from the repeating revolver and ,if you were posh, repeating rifle does anyone remember the metal bombs in which a cap was placed....then thrown in the air to explode when it hit the ground ( a hard surface)???

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Athy

Well Martin, I outgrew it after "a year or two".

I certainly had at least one cap-gun, a revolver-style one. I never found out why, when you bought the caps, the container was sometimes labelled "Amorces". Perhaps that was an American word for them.

At that age, I really wanted a gun made by a firm called Marx, which had the bang built in. As I recall, they made single-"shot" and machine-gun-rattle models. But they were way beyond my pocket money, and despite hints to my parents I never got one.

Lysander: now you mention it, yes, but I never had one of those either. Blimey, we were so underprivileged in Gleadless.

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MartinR

I'd also forgotten about those bombs.  My brother and I weren't allowed guns and bombs on principle, but the boy next door-but-one to me (and 8 days younger, so we played together) had a full cowboy outfit with waistcoat, hat and gun in a holster.

OT: When we moved to the Black Country in the early 1960s we lived opposite a bomb site that had been leveled, but not cleared.  Needless to say we were told not to cross it, and equally needless to say we did!  One day David (my mate) found some real bombs in the site, not toys.  Suddenly things seemed a little frightening, until his elder brother (around 18 years old) came, looked and informed us they were discarded Sparklets cartridges!

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paulhib48

This thing about not being allowed guns and stuff on principle always makes me laugh.

I had every toy gun, rifle that I could get my hands on and when that failed I used a stick as a gun.

Maybe they should have banned sticks  too !!

Equally I loved sweet cigarettes complete with red end and posed as if I was having a proper smoke.  Smokers sets  every Christmas as well.

Of course that was all outlawed 

I’ve never smoked in my adult life or wanted to nor have I ever wanted to shoot a single person.

Strange that !!
 

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MartinR

My late Mother-in-law helped out at a Quaker child group.  Of course all weapons were banned, but just like you, two fingers or a stick made a gun.  My own boys discovered that Palm Crosses make good mock handguns!

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paulhib48
4 minutes ago, MartinR said:

My late Mother-in-law helped out at a Quaker child group.  Of course all weapons were banned, but just like you, two fingers or a stick made a gun.  My own boys discovered that Palm Crosses make good mock handguns!

Well Quaker relatives ,Martin, is obviously a different sort of scenario and not one Ive come across. Very tricky.

Going back to caps and stuff.

I invariably got a gun of some sort  each Christmas. I’d spend all the money I’d been given on rolls of caps.

The sheer joy of coming out of the shop with not just a roll or two but with all the packaging that held them all together !!

There were the single lose shots too that were good for the metal cap bombs that were like a metal nutmeg in 2 halves, the rocket bomb shaped ones that later became plastic.

Then they brought out those plastic ring amorces that were a lot louder and very expensive.

My pride and joy was the machine gun that made rat-a-tat-tat sound just by pulling the trigger but also took rolls of caps as well. Made by Mettoy or Marx as somebody mentioned.

Absolutely magical. I’m going all misty eyed thinking about it 

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MartinR

No, M-i-L only helped there, she wasn't a Quaker.  Dad was a Methodist Minister, hence his (and Mum's) stand.

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Athy

It could also be to do with your relative youth. When I was a small boy, some years before you, all our Dads had been in the forces in World War 2, so guns were something they'd seen and/or handled every day. So they weren't viewed as anything bad or unacceptable, even though of course we knew that real ones could kill people.

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MartinR
Quote

your relative youth

Thank you kind sir!  Dad had done his National Service in the Navy and had handled guns there.  He just didn't think they were suitable as toys for children.

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DaveJC
3 hours ago, Athy said:

I'd forgotten what a craze Davy Crockett was amongst young boys for a year or two. My Mum made me a Davy Crockett hat with a fur tail. I must have looked a right jerk wearing it, but at the age of about six I didn't care.

'Davy Crockett' was the second film I ever saw at the cinema. My Dad took me; a little earlier he'd taken me to see 'The Great Locomotive Chase' which also starred Fess Parker. A busy chap, was Fess at that time. That would have been either at the Manor Cinema or the rather posher one down Hollinsend Road, whose name i have forgotten.

The Rex.

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Athy
37 minutes ago, DaveJC said:

The Rex.

Of course it was!

Thank you. I kept thinking "Gaumont", and I did go there, but it was in the city centre.

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paulhib48
36 minutes ago, MartinR said:

Thank you kind sir!  Dad had done his National Service in the Navy and had handled guns there.  He just didn't think they were suitable as toys for children.

My dad had done his stint in the War and had no problem with it all.

Let’s be honest everything in the 50s was talking about it or harking back to it. 
There were endless war films and boys comics were full of stories about beating the Jerries . Take that Fritz !!

So if we weren’t out in the woods beating the Hun we were emulating our cowboy heroes who were also constantly in films or on tv.

Everyday for me it was playing army or cowboys.  From about 5 upwards .

Throw in a kick about in the park and that was my childhood . 

No car, so no day trips or very few.

You just amused yourself and didn’t expect somebody to entertain you  like my own kids eventually did and my grandkids constantly do.

Give the kids guns and get them off their XBoxes !!

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Lysanderix

I recall having just passed the dreaded 11 plus back in 54 and  was destined for the "Redcaps". That summer, a group of us...all off to different schools in September.. decided that this would doubtless be our last summer of "playing around". ( how wrong we were) We constructed a trench system, of sorts, on Hartley Brook and spent ,what seemed like weeks, firing off masses of caps at one another. We then in a moment of inspiration diverted the meandering "Brook" and gave the old Wortley Rural District a few square yards of extra land. The semi drained WW2 static water tank was reflooded , by diverting the Brook, and this became the place where we "punted" on an old Fletchers bread van roof panel.

All innocent stuff.( I think).no drugs...no drink and no electronics and how we enjoyed ourselves!☺️

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DaveJC
16 hours ago, Lysanderix said:

I recall having just passed the dreaded 11 plus back in 54 and  was destined for the "Redcaps". That summer, a group of us...all off to different schools in September.. decided that this would doubtless be our last summer of "playing around". ( how wrong we were) We constructed a trench system, of sorts, on Hartley Brook and spent ,what seemed like weeks, firing off masses of caps at one another. We then in a moment of inspiration diverted the meandering "Brook" and gave the old Wortley Rural District a few square yards of extra land. The semi drained WW2 static water tank was reflooded , by diverting the Brook, and this became the place where we "punted" on an old Fletchers bread van roof panel.

All innocent stuff.( I think).no drugs...no drink and no electronics and how we enjoyed ourselves!☺️

And just a few years later I wager that you couldn’t wait to get behind the wheel and listen to the music blasting out on your car radio. Talking for myself here, my favoured drug of the day was visiting the various discos/nightclubs that Sheffield has to offer, soft drinks only as I was driving, but saying that, the odd time that I did sample disco beer I found it undrinkable. However the ‘innocence’ was still there, as my mates and I struggled to build up the courage to ask pretty girls for a dance.

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Lysanderix

Wager lost! My first car had no radio/cassette player so, alas, I had to whistle to myself as I drove along... 😅

Happy St. George's Day!!

 

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DaveJC
1 hour ago, Lysanderix said:

Wager lost! My first car had no radio/cassette player so, alas, I had to whistle to myself as I drove along... 😅

Happy St. George's Day!!

 

Yes you are a bit older than me, aren’t you? My first one was a Phillips that I fitted with the assistance of a mate, strangely the volume increased and decreased in line with the use of the accelerator. 

 

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Hopman
On 22/04/2021 at 13:56, paulhib48 said:

My dad had done his stint in the War and had no problem with it all.

Let’s be honest everything in the 50s was talking about it or harking back to it. 
There were endless war films and boys comics were full of stories about beating the Jerries . Take that Fritz !!

https://www.commandocomics.com/

From what I remember of these, they were mostly WW1 and WW2 stories. The books lasted longer than the wars!

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MartinR

When my elder son was at school he studied German.  At parents' evening we were talking to the German master and I admitted that my knowledge of German was from Commando mags.  "Ah!" he said, "Hande hoch swinehund"!

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