Friday, 3 January 2014
Northamptonshire Skittles Pubs
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.
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.