Sunday, 13 May 2012

The Talbot Inn, Gretton, Northamptonshire

Skittles Tables are still fairly common in the pubs and clubs of Northamptonshire, somewhat less so in Leicestershire as far as I can tell. If the game itself isn't played as regularly as it once was, and sometimes not at all at league level, then at least the tables are for the most part still in situ, available for casual play, and ready for a league revival should enough players show interest.

Certainly there will have been many tables lost over the years, but equally when a pub closes, or the table becomes an unwanted piece of furniture, the skittles table will often be relocated to another venue, sometimes along with the current teams. In so doing, a certain amount of continuity has been maintained in the game, where other pub games have fallen by the wayside. The Talbot Inn, Gretton, is a pub with demonstrable continuity of skittles play. Not only has it played host to a local competition since the 70's, but it was also one of a handful of pubs listed as having a table in Timothy Finn's 'Pub Games of England', published in 1975.

Pool, Darts, and Northamptonshire Table Skittles, the holy trinity of pub gaming in the county.

An original W.T. Black & Son 'League Brand' skittles table, one of probably hundreds dotted in and around the county of Northamptonshire.

The Talbot field teams in the local Summer and Winter leagues , but the handsome George Boon Memorial Shield is a singles tournament which has been competed for by locals at the pub for around 35 years.


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