Since the restoration of the building in the mid 90's, The Tobie Norris in Stamford has quickly established itself as a must-visit for pub goers when in the area. The interior has been lovingly refurbished, and consists of a number of highly distinctive rooms in a truly historic building. The pub has also has gained quite a reputation for its beer range and food, particularly the pizzas. What it perhaps doesn't have a reputation for is active Darts, Dominoes, and Cribbage teams, it's just not that kind of pub I'm afraid. However, it's not a completely game free zone. In the cosy snug with it's high backed settle and wood-burner, you'll find cards, Poker Dice, and a nice modern Shut The Box to while away the afternoon with.
When I bought these Dominoes they were described as being made of Ivory and Ebony. I've no doubt that such dominoes exist, but I'd imagine they would have been a bit older, and also fair bit more expensive than these were. In fact these are made of Ox Bone and Ebony, with a central brass pin to hold the two pieces together. This pin also serves to give each tile a small raised knob (or Spinner) which would help ease shuffling on a rough wooden or felt table. These are the third set of old Dominoes I've had, both previous sets were more modern plastic or resin 'Club' tiles, and both have subsequently been lost. I'll be more careful with this set which are very tactile and a real pleasure to play with.
These racks for the safe storage of Pool Cues is a clear indication of how popular the game is at the Jolly Brewer, Stamford. All of these Cues are privately owned, most seeing regular action in League matches.
A recently purchased Shove Ha'penny Board being examined in an Elgoods Brewery pub in Wisbech. This board is a commercial model, perhaps 50-60 years old, and made by Glevum Games of Gloucester. It's quite a cheap model, made from plywood and in need of some polishing up. I'll post a few more detailed images of this board when it's been cleaned up and restored a little.
Another Shove Ha'penny in use during an afternoon session at The George, Ashley in Northamptonshire. The George previously housed a Northamptonshire Skittles Table (the brass marker indicating where you would have thrown from is still in situ on the tile floor), and still plays host to Dominoes and League Darts.