Friday, 3 January 2014

Northamptonshire Skittles Pubs

The White Swan in the village of Holcot has only recently returned to the Northamptonshire Table Skittles fold following several years of unsympathetic management. The return of a previous licensee has seen the pub reinstated at the centre of village life, and the skittles table returned to the games room where it belongs. When I visited earlier this year attempts were being made to form a team for local league play.

The photo shown below hangs on a wall of the games room, and shows a successful trophy haul for team members in the league game of Bar Billiards. No table exists at the pub now, though the game is still found in nearby Northampton and Wellingborough where local leagues are active.

The Harlequin in Kettering (above) is a typical two room estate pub located a little way out from the town centre. This and a handful of similarly located estate pubs and town centre locals, help keep the tradition of Northamptonshire Skittles alive and well in the Kettering area. The Harlequin team are currently bumping along on the bottom of the 2nd Division of the Burton Latimer & District League, at around the mid point of the current winter season.

The Old Black Lion in Northampton (below) has recently received a Heritage Lottery Fund grant, which should go a long way to securing the future of this historic building. The vintage skittles table seems a little out of place in the bar following a recent refurbishment, so let's hope it survives whatever future plans the owners have for the pub.

As unusually located Skittles Tables go, this one at the White Horse in the village of Old is perhaps one of the most interesting. The pub itself recently received an extensive makeover following a change of licensees, though sadly no room was found for games other than a monthly Quiz Night. The most striking feature of the White Horse can be found in the garden at the rear of the pub, where a tall red brick chimney gives a clue to the pubs former life as a steam powered flour mill.

Pub games don't seem to have been a feature of the pub for some time, and yet tucked away upstairs adjacent to the original millstone can be found this fine old Skittles Table. It's obviously been a feature of the pub for many years, but the table only gets occasional use from the locals, and seems to be largely unavailable for casual games by visitors which is a great shame. A careful examination of the boxwood cheeses shows that they were originally turned for the village pub, bearing the letters OLD.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Woodford WMClub nr Kettering are selling a Northamptonshire skittles table if any one is interested. Email them