Skittles

The nine wooden pins, wooden balls and a pitchboard are the type of skittles played in pubs in the West Country.  However, an alternative type is played in Weston-super-Mare and some other areas where they have cambered alley and rubber (or vulcanite) balls.

When the game took off locally has been lost in the mist of time but no doubt it arrived when the public houses first came to Highbridge.  Because of the competitive nature of this sport it was not long before contests started between teams and soon a league was formed; the Highbridge and District Mens Skittle League.

Local pubs taking part in the league comprise teams from the “Cooper’s Arms” “Bristol Bridge” “George Hotel” and the “Social Club”.

Pubs from the surrounding area also taking part include; “Brent Knoll Inn” “Berrow Inn” “Pack Horse” Mark, “Royal Artillery”, and the “Crown Inn” and “Victoria Inn” from Burnham.  Many players may recall attending away matches at such places as the “Railway” (Burtle) now the “Tom Mogg” when they had to go across the levels on pitch dark nights, in fog, sometimes snow, and on icy roads.

Local leagues were once well supported and competitive. There is also a Burnham, Highbridge and District Ladies League.  Many of the team’s leagues continue today but with pubs closing there are fewer alleys, however, skittles is still followed with the same enjoyment and enthusiasm as it always was.

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One response to “Skittles

  1. The Ladies League was established in 1953. Once there were forty eight teams but we are now down to thirty, mainly due to pubs closing and younger people not being interested. I have been League Secretary for the last thirty one years and our Headquarters are based at Highbridge Social Club. We are always pleased to welcome new teams.

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