View Full Version : My Bogie

30th Aug 2011, 17:56
I built my first and only bogie with help from my dad in I think 1956.It was made from half a plank and other bits of wood scrounged from our allotment.Four Silver Cross pram wheels,orange box and old cushion to sit on I thought it was a wonderful machine.It was the first one in my street and I would not let anybody else ride it.There was a hill not far away from my house,not a proper hill but a cobbled street with about a 40 foot drop top to bottom.It was a dual purpose hill used for sledging in winter.
Set off from the top and away you went gathering a fair old speed by the time the hill leveled off.Unfortunately there was one major problem,if you carried on in a straight line you would crash into the doors leading to the coal storage area which fed the Old Dogs Mills Lancashire Boiler.At the bottom of the hill you had about 20ft to make a 60 degree turn to to get the bogie onto the lane that ran down the side of the boiler house.
If you missed the the turn then it was a bogie rebuild or worse cuts and bruises or in some cases broken bones.I wasn't the only one with a bogie it was a popular spot for us kids. Nowadays it would probably be roped off, with a big sign saying dangerous no bogies allowed.No HSE,no risk assessments just us kids having a
smashing time.There were downsides to riding your bogie.One was and is probably the most important,HOW TO STOP.The decision making in my case was based on the following criteria, what or who was I about to run into,would it hurt,how much damage would result, would my mother find out and give us a clout.The decision had to be made in a split second.Emergency braking was both feet on the ground and dig your heels in.Some posh bogie drivers had a lever fitted to the bogie with a block of wood on one end and when the lever was pushed forward this pressed against the back wheel and in theory stopped you.If emergency braking failed then one alternative was run the bogie into something solid or as a last resort roll off the bogie and let it look after itself. Another downside was once the bogie had lost momentum and stopped then you had to walk back to where you had started dragging it behind you.Then you set off again on the start of another adventure.
I started reminiscing about my bogie when I saw a picture of a young lad on the tv riding one.It brought back lots of memories of me as a nine year old with my own homemade bogie.I know it was a different in those days,we hadn't a care in the world, we just enjoyed ourselves making our own entertainment.It was fun, every day something new to experience.You don't see kids with bogies these days to old fashioned I suppose.The saddest thing to me know is I do not remember what happened to mine.How many of you can remember what happened to yours.

tony draper
30th Aug 2011, 18:20
Ah Bogies! sprog street wars were fought over ownership of a set of pram wheels,remember people didn't chuck stuff away in those days especially prams, they were passed down the generations,odds were yer first wheeled transports was yer mums first wheeled transport as well, pram wheels were street urchin treasure.


30th Aug 2011, 18:36
Where my parents lived (posh area!) when I was a kid, they were called go-karts (bogie must be a northern expression!), but it was just the same, bits of old wood and pram wheels and a crude wooden block against the wheels for braking. It was considered very low class to be seen on such a device and my snobby mother and sisters refused to be seen with my father and me when the go-kart was used.

I built one, complete with rear suspension made from old coil springs, but had a dramatic brake failure on the maiden voyage downhill in the local wood, and ended up embedded in the side of a tree after going through a ditch, with skinned knuckles, bruised ribs, and a few cuts and grazes. Good healthy fun and all part of growing up, something the youngsters nowadays will never enjoy as we did.

Those were the days of reading under the bedclothes with a torch, listening to Radio Luxembourg 208 on a crystal radio, sherbet fountains, walking to school to save the bus fare to spend in the 'tuck shop'. Glad I was born then, the only regret I have is that schoolgirls look a lot better now than they did in my time!


30th Aug 2011, 18:56
(bogie must be a northern expression!),

Also in use in Glasgow when I was a wee laddie there. As far as I know I am still the secretary/treasurer of the Braehead Bogie Club, formed c1958! Mind you I haven't submitted accounts for 53 years, so perhaps I shouldn't have admitted that (assets around two bob as I recall).

btw Drapes, Oor Wullie always called them "carties" - must be a Dundee expression as that's where he was/is published.

30th Aug 2011, 19:22
The 'Cartie Races' are held at Catterline up heres in these parts.

Lon More
30th Aug 2011, 19:24
I believe you had a girl in your club, TTN, Bogie's Bonny Belle? :=

30th Aug 2011, 19:32
They were known as "Trollies" round our way.

ended up embedded in the side of a tree after going through a ditch, with skinned knuckles, bruised ribs, and a few cuts and grazes. Good healthy fun and all part of growing up, something the youngsters nowadays will never enjoy as we did.

Oh yes, how we used to enjoy the good healthy fun of being embedded in the side of a tree. :ok:

30th Aug 2011, 19:58
Ahhh, them were the days.

When we were kids we used to go around the known areas just out of town where people would just dump stuff so we could find wheels and anything else that may be "useful" for our cartie-building endeavours (I was out walking the dog and just found it, mum, honest). Pram wheels were a favourite as the larger diameter gave a higher top speed (or it seemed like it to us anyway) but had a slight problem called buckling if one turned too fast so compromises had to be found. One day I found what I reckoned was the "ultimate" wheels when two big, fat-tyred, solid wheels of a diameter slightly less than pram wheels were scavenged and, with a suitable axle (a piece of steel rod found at another dump site), and the "low rider" was constructed.

This one was constructed with a "flat floor" as the axles were sandwiched between two layers of ply (packed out to allow space for this solid lump of steel), mounted through two bearings at either side to allow free movement (scavenged from Dad's shed, he couldn't remember why they were there), and was long enough so I could lie down on my back. Initial tests were VERY good, except holding my head up was a strain on my neck so the rear end was inclined for "comfort", complete with cushion. Brakes? Pah, who needs brakes.

So then came the "big run" down a street at the end of my street. This was a one-way street downhill, and started fairly steep. Impressive speed was achieved, and then the main design fault was found when approaching the bottom where there was a corner ahead. You guessed it, BRAKES (or lack of). After suddenly sitting up and jamming feet on the ground, followed by driving so I ran against the kerb to try and slow, enough speed was scrubbed before I "ejected". Cue clothes ripped, blood and road rash as I rolled to a halt, thankfully no real injury, followed by a sickening crunch as the cart slammed into a wall.

First thing through my head? "Rebuild, and figure out to fit brakes". That never happened, though. Mother, despite the protests from Father after he stopped giggling, banned me from continuing with my endeavours and insisted that I should have a better bicycle as it would be safer since it had brakes and I would not be so likely to do stupid things as I would have my "freedom".

How little she knew, but these exploits are for another thread.

30th Aug 2011, 20:00
Oor Wullie always called them "carties" - must be a Dundee expression as that's where he was/is published.

Wisnae jist a Dundeedonian expression, wis a Tayside (Dundee and Angus) yin as weel.

30th Aug 2011, 20:14

My cart was fast and without any doubt would have been better than yours. And, no, you can't have any of my ice cream! ;)


30th Aug 2011, 20:26

You are probably right! I am a little over the hill!

Just like that old cart of mine. ;)


30th Aug 2011, 20:27
You see! ;)

The bogie strikes again. And, god damn it Hells is in front!


30th Aug 2011, 20:31
I dunno about that, caco, I had good bearings, a low CoG, flat floor and lower drag due to lying down compared to sitting upright! And I bet that the bit at the back that was raised acted as a spoiler and eny fule nos u goes faster wiv a spoiler on the back (or so the youngsters think as far as their cars go).

And my icecream is better than yours anyway. :p

30th Aug 2011, 20:38

You take been "green" with envy to a new level of mucosa! :ok:


30th Aug 2011, 20:40
OK, let's sort this sh*t out. I am in a time zone 1 hr (summer adjusted ahead of Hells (don't know about the Vulcan). Let's work this problem. The powers that be aren't going to!


30th Aug 2011, 20:41
I must confess to never having heard of Bogies until now.

Thought this thread was going to be one of those delightful JB ones about snot and nearly didn't look.

30th Aug 2011, 21:06
I thought it might be about trainspotters taking their hobby to heart.

30th Aug 2011, 21:11
I thought it might be about trainspotters taking their hobby to heart.

My message is too short for PPruNe (what do they want us be to be, prolix or just fools)...?????????????????????????????????????????????????

The original message


30th Aug 2011, 21:59
I've enjoyed reading your responses to my bogie.Every one seems to have built them using the same master plan but with individual added extras.No wonder we all thought ours was the best..I still don't remember what happened to mine. I expect that it was finally beyond repair and thrown away.May be its time to build another one i'm sure that there are some old pram wheels in my garage.

30th Aug 2011, 22:00
Mine was the poshest in the street.....steered by a UJ and powered by a Ford Escort starter motor. The battery used to take 24 hours to charge, for less than 1 minutes propulsion.

And I still needed a push to overcome inertia.

30th Aug 2011, 22:08
Ours was donated from a cousin. It had a solid oak frame, large pram wheels at the rear end, smaller ones in front. We converted the rear end to fit a trailer (which was my previous "trolly" with the front axle removed). It seated four and it had no brakes whatsoever.

Lethal device; we're lucky still to be here. :cool:

30th Aug 2011, 22:49
In Belfast we called them Guiders, probably because you could guide them to a point (although not always to the point you intended). Posh ones had pram wheels but most ran on ball races or a combination of both. Brakes were for wimps, still have a small scar on the chin to prove it...

Loose rivets
30th Aug 2011, 23:17
From my post about a dikki ticker.

Half a mile, and the cliffs of Walton's Naze are looking tall. No steps here, but there is Hipkin's slope.

Hipkin's slope was a perfect track for soap-box cars. It dropped some 60' with a hairpin bend in the middle. I got my first real adrenalin rush there. Nose just inches away from the concrete and two eye-threatening nails in the front axle to tie the reins to, and off. Always as we passed Mach I, we'd wish we hadn't launched. But always, the thrill was worth the pain.

Sixty-five years later I can still feel the vibration and the fear.

31st Aug 2011, 05:10
At least somebody else calls them soap boxes. I thought my memory was going.

31st Aug 2011, 10:02
Guider in Leith as well. Known as a hurlie in Shetland.

31st Aug 2011, 10:31
'Snot the thread I thought it would be.

31st Aug 2011, 11:28
Someone MUST have been killed on the damn things.
But it never made the headlines.
Not round our area anyhow.
Perhaps we were just "Expendable" in those days?

31st Aug 2011, 11:48
We had a good supply of wheels for the guiders near where I was brought up. Old prams and bikes were frequently dumped in the Water of Leith and low tide provided an opportunity for a kid with a length of rope and a suitable bent bit of metal to fish out a valuable (to us) resource. The advent of lock gates in Leith Harbour and the corresponding loss of tides put paid to all that.

My mates Ian and Billy in Shetland had a hurlie WITH A STEERING WHEEL! How cool is that?

31st Aug 2011, 11:50
I remember the national 'Soap Box Derbys' and they are still going.

Richards Castle Soap Box Derby Home page (http://www.richardscastlesoapbox.co.uk/)

31st Aug 2011, 12:05
Don't they use bogies in goff?

Union Jack
31st Aug 2011, 12:57
C'mon, let's be serious - this is not a matter for childish memories so have a look at Home | Cairngorm Soapbox Extreme - The UK's longest and fastest gravity race. 13th & 14th July 2012 (http://www.soapboxracing.co.uk/) and start getting ready for 2012 - "Nae Jessies!"


PS - "Mine was the poshest in the street.....steered by a UJ" - Gingernut

No, I didn't!

Alloa Akbar
31st Aug 2011, 13:01
Shy - it had no brakes whatsoever

I seem to recall in my street that Bogies were the initial activity of the school summer hols, which meant that a braking system was deemed unnecessary due to the availability of old school shoes with ruddy great thick 1970's soles, deployed by the "Fred Flintstone" method!! :ok:

Storminorm - I remember a few skinned knees, bleeding noses and the odd stitch to the head.. but no deaths. :O

31st Aug 2011, 13:25
I seem to recall in my street that Bogies were the initial activity of the school summer hols, which meant that a braking system was deemed unnecessary due to the availability of old school shoes with ruddy great thick 1970's soles, deployed by the "Fred Flintstone" method!!

Unfortunately, in my days of these narrowly avoided suicide missions, 1970s shoes were not yet invented....... :(

tony draper
31st Aug 2011, 14:06
In my day a road ran all the way from the top of the hill to the bottom of the valley,great for bogies and sledging(this is when we had proper winters followed by proper summer,long gone now alas)anyway numerous other streets crossed the steep bank so one could build up a fair lick of speed and due to lack of cars about the place then were very unlikely to collide with one coming along the cross streets,more likely to prang with some other urchin on his bogey or sled.
The other type of sprog high speed vehicular activity I recal was a book placed on top of as roller skate and one's arse placed on top of that and down the hill you went.
Come to think we invented the skateboard

31st Aug 2011, 14:44
Sorry Cap'n, we beat you to it on that score with an old skate
nailed to an old bit of plank. In Stamford Park.
I think I was about 9 when we invented that. 1950? 1951?

Stamford Park had beautiful smooth paths, with lots of slopes.

Loose rivets
31st Aug 2011, 23:22
51 51 35.61 N 1 17 09.5 E

One hell of a track. You might see the beach huts were the only thing stopping us centrifuging off if we lost it just after the apex. Story goes one kid made it into a hut. If we got past that point, the beach was the next stopper.

If yer's board, just zoom back a bit and look at the Naze part of Walton on the Naze. Such an incredible privilege living there, the tidal backwaters were a vast playground. Such a pity we didn't realize what we'd got when we were nippers. There were no @#$^ caravans in those days.

flying lid
1st Sep 2011, 11:13
We called them "Trolleys" back in 1960's Wigan. Built our own, and the prized possession was a pair of axles / wheels off the pram make with 2" wide,8" dia WHITE wheels (can't remember the name).

Some bits of wood from the tip, hammer, nut bolt & washers for the "steering axle", large staples to hold the axles to frame, rope worked steering, and we were off. One mate's dad had a workshop - superb

Trouble was we had this silly "dare" to see who could go down the short hill with a very sharp bend at the bottom the fastest - too fast & your'e into the wall - we did, many times (and wounds to show). No brakes back then, you wore out your shoes, best ones included.

Few years later I was learning to drive on that same hill in my dad's 3.8 litre Daimler Majestic. (which had brakes !!).

Happy days.


A A Gruntpuddock
1st Sep 2011, 21:05
Up in our Scottish village we could not afford anything with 4 wheels so used to run around with 'girds'. These were metal hoops which you beat with a stick to keep them rolling. High class models had a small, free-floating handle bent round them which you used to both push and steer them. Something like a vertical iron age hula hoop.

Was thinking about them the other day and I wondered - why?

Who designed them and why did we bother?

1st Sep 2011, 21:30
Who designed them and why did we bother? Such devices were around in at least the 19th Century (maybe much earlier) and provided a plaything that encouraged activity and exercise (at little actual cost).
I realise that the bogies and carts described above were fashioned at little or no cost, but the concept of a simple hoop (with or without the associated stick) meant that even poor children would have the opportunity to participate.

Edited to add:-
Apparently, hoop rolling dates back to Ancient Greece!:-
Hoop rolling - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hoop_rolling)

By the late 18th century boys driving hoops in the London streets had become a nuisance, according to Joseph Strutt.
Throughout the 1840s a barrage of denunciations appeared in the papers against "The Hoop Nuisance," in which their iron hoops were blamed for inflicting severe injuries to pedestrians' shins. The London police attempted to eradicate the practice, confiscating the iron hoops of boys and even of girls trundling them through the streets and parks.

A A Gruntpuddock
1st Sep 2011, 21:43
Thank you for that bit of history - I don't feel quite so daft for doing it now! In fact I am glad to realise that I was a moker before I was a biker.

tony draper
1st Sep 2011, 21:52
The hoop has disappeared from the streets in my time except for a brief re-appearence as the hula hoop much later, tops and whips replaced the hoop but strictly for the girls though we lads were probably still playing the same street games as 100 years before,relievo, jack shine your light, knocky nine door british bulldog ect these ancient street games seemed to die out in the late sixties.

1st Sep 2011, 22:01
Driven off the streets by the relentless rise of the car, Drapes. Amazed looking at even a lateish film like "Get Carter" (1971 I think) how empty of traffic the back streets still looked then. No doubt you'd recognise a lot of it, most of it long gone now.

Liked the scene with the Pelaw Hussars or something like that parading while Jack's in bed trying to get his leg over - do they still have kids' "jazz" bands with kazoos in your neck of the woods?

tony draper
1st Sep 2011, 22:05
Yer kids Jazz Bands became a big thing, the sound of the kazoo echoed round the streets for a few years then seemed to disappears as quickly as it came,possibly the last vestige of the the working class neighbourhood community spirit,nailed firmly into its coffin by souless tower blocks and maisonnets all thought up by the next generation of total feckwits spewed out of our universities in the post war

Loose rivets
1st Sep 2011, 22:34
The hoop has disappeared from the streets in my time

People keep nicking them! A lad won a fortune on the pools. He declined cars and even a bike, but he got himself a hoop and a stick. Late that night he came out of the pub and his hoop had gone!

His mates consoled him. "You've got millions, what the heck are you worried about?"

"I know, but 'ow the 'ek am I going to get home tonight?"

2nd Sep 2011, 10:09
The demise of the kazoo can be traced directly to the wimpy sensitivities of people's bums. A kazoo was only bought from Woolies after urchins had been seduced by the lure of a comb and a bit of Izal Medicated loo roll. The advent of soft "toilet tissue" put paid to all that. Tragic, really.

2nd Sep 2011, 17:19
Whether you call them bogies, trolleys, soapboxes, barrows, or any other local name, the damned things have apparently been taken up with characteristic zeal by the cousins, as witness the following "oh-so-cute" recent video:

SOAPBOX DERBY 2010 - YouTube

My own childhood memories are anything but "cute" - we lads used to pester a neighbour who worked in a bus garage to get us used 6" diameter ballraces taken from bus engines. These would be hammered onto the ends of wooden crossarms, the front one being pivoted for steering, and fixed to a stout plank with an old box to sit in. I lived on a hill in a quiet neighbourhood - at least, until we had three or four of these fearsomely noisy contraptions tearing together down the road. Bare steel outer races on concrete surfaces would have wakened the dead! Many of our long-suffering neighbours complained, our parents banned them, and our brief "hell's angels" period came to an inglorious end. :eek:

2nd Sep 2011, 18:22
Gravity racer - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soapbox_%28car%29)