Norma MacLeod can remember fondly the days growing up in Lorne Valley as a child and having limited resources in buying forms of recreation items. Her younger brother Roy mostly known as “Buddy” MacLeod would make the family homemade skis and sleighs. There was a large hill in Lorne Valley on the home property for them all to take full advantage of. Buddy would take long wooden old boards cut out the shape of the skis and place them over water boiling on a stove known as a “boiler”. He placed the wooden skis over the boiling water until the wood would eventually bend for him to mold it in the shape of a ski. Buddy would then take old leather found around the house and cut it into strips and nail it on to the skis for straps for the foot to take hold in. For ski poles he used wooden stakes with leftover wood found around the property. These homemade skis were a wonderful invention for having fun and at a very low cost.
For creating sleighs he would build them with scraps of wood. For the bottom of the sleighs known as the runners he would have pieces of metal that he would nail on the bottom.
Back then my Grandmother explains that it was the little things that were made by their own hands that they had such fun with. A lot of their own toys they would make themselves or their mother would make for them on special occasions such as Christmas. Her mother did not always have enough money to buy the children all the different types of toys or fancy forms of fun that was always shown in the Eaton’s or Simpson’s catalogues. But what they had was their own creations and it served them as much fun as children have today.