In the 19th century one popular children’s game was to roll a hoop with a stick. However this game wasn’t without dangers as this letter published in The Times newspaper on 1st October 1842 illustrates.
THE HOOP NUISANCE
Sir, I have not for many years read a paragraph in The Times which has afforded me greater pleasure than that which heads your “Police” report of this day, conveying Mr. Hardwick’s just complaint of, and directions to Inspector Baker, on the hoop nuisance.
As a daily passenger along the crowded thoroughfares of London- bridge and Thames-street, where boys and even girls, drive their hoops as deliberately as if upon a clear and open common, I can bear witness to its danger and inconvenience. I have at this moment a large scar on one of my shins, the legacy of a severe wound, which festered, and was very painful for an entire month, inflicted a year ago by the iron hoop of a whey-faced, cadaverous charity-boy from Tower-hill, who on my remonstrating with him on his carelessness, added impudence to the injury, by significantly advancing his extended fingers and thumb to his nose and scampering off.
Aware that I had no redress, that the police would not interfere, I was compelled to grin and bear it while I hobbled away. The nuisance calls loudly for the interference of the Police Commissioners.
Your daily reader,
charity-boy a boy who attends a charity school for the very poor