Market Lavington Museum

Dap Kat

There is quite a comprehensive list of games played by children ‘about seventy years ago’ in our copy of the local Women’s Institute history file. Of course, that was produced in 1953, so these date to late Victorian times.

Hit out Kat was played by boys. They needed two three quarter inch wide sticks, cut from nut bushes. One was about sixteen inches long and the other just 3 or 4 inches. The short one was thrown to a boy standing on a marked spot. He had to try to hit the small stick with his long one and then measure how far it travelled, using the long stick as a measure. The distance, in long stick units, was then added to his score. If he failed to hit the short stick, he was out and another lad would have a go.

A similar game, called Dap Kat, involved hitting a short stick with pointed ends. The boy would whack it hard and hope that it would go up in the air so that he could hit it away with his long stick. The writer of these game rules felt dap kat was dangerous as the small stick might hit the boy in the eye.

Unfortunately, we have no photographs of these Victorian games being played. Maybe it was played by some of the boys in this 1891 Market Lavington school photograph.