Jim Longhurst

Jim was a jobbing gardener from Slaugham, born in 1893 and revelled in his nickname of ‘Atomic Thumb". Tall, wiry and of ruddy complexion, Jim would astound all spectators with his legendary power of tolley flicking. Jim would place a thick glass beer mug four feet away from him and then with amazing speed and accuracy the ‘Atomic Thumb" would send his favourite tolley straight at the glass, leaving it in splinters. When first interviewed, Jim said that he had been playing marbles since he was at school, ‘Not the way most children do, but the proper way-a flick of the thumb without moving the hand’ (known as fudging). ‘It was my dad that taught me to play – why, I even met my wife when playing marbles’. Some tips he passed on to younger players were to constantly flick your thumb to keep it in trim and to roughen new glass marbles with a brick to obtain a better grip. For many years Jim was captain of the Handcross Bulldogs and is the grandfather of Barry Ray.

Photo-2023-web-copy-2011

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