When: 18th April 2014 (Good Friday)
Where: Greyhound, Tinsley Green, West Sussex
£: Free to watch
What is it?
This year’s British and World Marbles Championship will take place on 18th April at the Greyhound pub in Tinsley Green.
Tinsley Green in West Sussex is known as the ‘home of marbles’, and for good reason. Marbles have been played at the 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. When the Greyhound pub at Tinsley Green was rebuilt in 1936 by The Mellersh and Neale Brewery, three marbles rings were purposely set in the grounds. This enabled the continuation of the local gaming tradition.
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 Championship was introduced, the first of which attracted competition from the United States. 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 out of the ring by projecting a tolley (small glass or ceramic sphere) against them. Two teams of six players take turns to drive marbles out of the ring.
The annual British and World Marbles Championship appeals 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 this Easter?
More info: www.greyhoundmarbles.com