Notes from West London

Loom bands

Do you remember loom bands? They were quite the thing in the summer of 2014. Children all over the UK and Ireland were busy making rings and bracelets out of tiny rubber bands. My daughter was seven at the time and, like most of her classmates, spent much of her leisure time working on them. We bought a number of kits, including a travel set and something rather like a plastic toolbox with compartments for all the different coloured bands. You could construct loom bands with your fingers but there were all sorts of things to speed up the process: tweezers and plastic frames to build increasingly complex designs.

It looks like the fad came and went pretty quickly. It might have passed you by completely. I was reminded of it yesterday when my daughter dressed up for World Book Day, as Gangsta Granny (from the David Walliams book). In the biscuit tin that she brought to school as a prop there was an old loom band ring.

We were in Ireland for our holidays in 2014, when the craze was at its height. Our holiday home had Wi-Fi and we would watch clips on YouTube, on my wife’s Android tablet, which explained how to construct specific, and very intricate, designs. When we visited my aunt, who turns 90 later this year, my daughter explained how she had been spending some of her time on holiday: “I’ve been watching videos of loom-bands on YouTube, on mummy’s tablet.” It was clear that this sentence had three words or phrases that meant nothing to my aunt: loom bands, YouTube and tablet. The sentence would mean nothing to you if you had travelled forward in time from any year in the 20th century. “Loom-bands? YouTube? Tablet? Nope, haven’t got a clue what you’re talking about.”



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