When: 29th March 2013 (Good Friday)
Where: Greyhound, Tinsley Green, West Sussex
£: Free to watch
What is it?
Tinsley Green in West Sussex is known as the home of marbles. When the present day Greyhound pub at Tinsley Green was built by The Mellersh and Neale Brewery, three marbles rings were set in the grounds to enable the continuation of the tradition. Marbles have been played at the original Greyhound pub since the game’s revival in 1932. The first of the revival matches took place on Good Friday, traditionally the last day of the Sussex Marbles Season.
In 1938 the Meux Brewery Company, who had taken over the Greyhound, introduced a silver cup for the Championships. The same cup is still awarded to winning teams. The Marbles Championships was a focal point of village life back then and so it continues to be today. The British Pathé website has a great video of marbles being played in 1938 with the Crawley busmen playing against a team from Copthorne. For a more modern take on the game, watch the video below.
In the 1940s an International Championships was introduced, the first of which attracted competition from the Americans. Since then there have been players from France, Germany and Japan amongst others.
For the uninitiated, the object of the game is to knock one or more marbles off the ring by projecting a tolley (small glass or ceramic sphere) against them. Two teams of six players take turns to drive marbles off the ring.
The Championships seem to appeal to everyone; men, women and children, aged from 8 to 80. So why not turn off the games console and head down to the Greyhound in Tinsley Green for some traditional fun?
More info: www.greyhoundmarbles.com