The Kelsey Collection of Traditional Games of London Children

A major corpus of children’s traditional games and rhymes collected in London by the late Nigel Kelsey between the 1960s and 1980s is being prepared for publication at the Centre. Work on editing and annotating this unique collection has continued over many years, largely because of the difficulties in identifying the precise references to analogues and parallels in published works on children’s games from the late nineteenth century until the end of the fieldwork in the 1980s. The collection includes: starting a game; counting-out rhymes; non-singing games: chasing, catching, seeking, and racing games, contests and tussles, ballgames, jumping, leaping, and handstands, muddles, rough games, jacks, cat’s cradle, marbles, hopscotch, indoor games and pranks; singing games; clapping rhymes; skipping rhymes and chants; school rhymes and parodies; teasing and taunting; superstition; rhymes and verbal play "just for fun", including football rhymes and chants; and writings for albums.

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