Report 1995

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Maltesers for marbles

In late 1994 or early 1995 my friend Beri Fox who runs Marble King, one of America’s biggest marbles factory, dispatched a consignment of ¾ ‘shooting’ marbles to me. She had just begun to deal with the House of Marbles the UK’s premier marble company and sent the box to them at Bovey Tracey in Devon. Bill Bavin forwarded the consignment on to us adding a bag or two of red target marbles ready for use on Good Friday.

After a few days we asked the question, where were the marbles? We were told they had sent them days ago, they should have been with you by now. As time went on I was getting more and more worried as to their whereabouts. On Maundy Thursday I was at panic stations – I need these marbles where are they. After many phone calls we still did not know where they were, so I put out an appeal ‘Where are our Marbles’. The BBC and most newspapers set out to answer this conundrum; unfortunately Parcel Force could not give a satisfactory answer to this vexed question.

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7.00 am the start of a long day

On the day we had calls from, and interviews with most of the media, have you ‘found your marbles’ was the most common question asked. In the end the Manager of the local Tesco Store at Three Bridges, came to our rescue with a few bags of Maltesers

There were 15 teams playing in this year British and World Marbles Championship at the Greyhound, Tinsley green. They were the Moonshiners, Caterham Rejects, Six Foot Ringers, Cruisers, Black Dog Boozers, Handcross Rebels, Tinsley Tigers, Shorts ‘n’ Shades, North Street Nobbers, North Street Knockers, Cheap Sheep, Hoarwithy 49ers, Barrel Scrapers, Turners Hill Tollymen and the Wunch of Bankers.

The weather was fine- even sunny first games got under way at about 11am.
In the few days after the championship we had lots of phone calls asking us to clarify the results and tell what had happened about the ‘lost marbles’. We told who won, Team winners, Individuals and the rest, we also confirmed that we used some old practice marbles and not ‘Maltesers’, which were prone to melt in the sun. Beri rang from the States “Did you really use ‘Candy’” she asked. “It’s been in all the newspapers over here”.

At home on Easter Monday at around 6 pm we were just about to have dinner when the phone rang. “Can I ask about the marbles “ the person on the other end said, I asked them to ring back in about half an hour and had my dinner. When they rang back Julia spoke to them for about 30 minuets, when she had finished she said that it was a live breakfast interview for Austrians Radio. So it seems that the event did in fact go ‘World’ wide.
 
 As a footnote, it was not until some months later that the marbles were found. It would seem that the box was turned over when some of the contents came out. The label was now underneath and could not been seen and so the parcel was sent to Peterborough, where it would seem that all lost parcels go. After some time an enterprising member of the workforce turned the box over and ‘wow’ there they were the ‘lost marbles’. A few days later a rather sham faced driver call to deliver them and asked, “Are these the marbles that all the fuss was about”, we heard nothing from Parcel Force, who seemed to gloss over the whole affair.

Team Championship

First Round
Cheap Sheep 3 v 49ers 28
Tinsley Tigers 4 v Shorts 'n' Shades 9
The Tolleymen 1 v Virgins 7 North Street Nobbers 0
Second Round
Handcross Rebels 18 v Shorts 'n' Shades 6
49ers 21 v North Street Knockers 2
Barrel Scrapers 25 v The Tolleymen 8
Moonshiners 25 v Caterham Rejects 8
Quarter Finals
49ers 24 v Rebels 18
Black Dog 36 v Cruisers 5
Moonshiners 25 v Six Foot Ringers 1
Barrel Scrapers 28 v Wunch of Bankers 1
Semi Finals
Moonshiners 22 v Black Dog 25
Barrel Scrapers 33 v 49ers 7
Final
Black Dog 19 v Barrel Scrapers 25

The Caterham Rejects team was made up of two teams the Rejects and the Caterham Cowboys, neither of who had a full turnout and In the final game the Black Dog had two players – Ian and Neil – killed.

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Jen LeBon

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Paul Smith

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7 pm and the end of the Day

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A different angle on the main ring

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