Hangleton - Marbles and Plenty of Chalk!

No Room For Marbles
Peter Groves
No Room For Marbles
Peter Groves
No Room For Marbles
Peter Groves
Anyone For Marbles
Peter Groves

Hangleton 1950’s and 60’s

I grew up on the council estate at the back of Hangleton in the late 1950’s and throughout the 1960’s.  I particularly remember school holidays and playing in the street.  Marbles in the gutter was a great game, you rolled your marble along the gutter and had to score a direct hit on your opponent’s marble to win it.  I guess kids wouldn’t be interested in playing marbles now, but even if they wanted to it would not be possible, the gutters are so full of overgrown weeds!

The Green Thing

I fully understand the “green thing” we can’t go on ruining our planet pouring glyphosate on weeds, but there has to be an alternative solution.

Marble and chalk

Those of you of a certain age will remember other marble games; I certainly played them all. Who remembers drawing a circle with chalk (there was plenty to be found in the gardens of Hangleton) on the pavement.  Obstacles like stones and dried mud were added inside the circle, and then a few marbles from each player were placed in the circle.  Players then took turns to “fire” a marble into the circle, any marbles that were knocked out of the circle were won by the player.  On our pavements now the weeds are the obstacles, but probably too many of them, which would just trap the marbles and stop them from rolling out of the circle!

The Final Game

The final marble game I remember was played from the kerb.  Marbles were rolled at the adjacent garden wall. Each player took a turn and you had to try to get your marble to hit the wall and bounce back a tiny amount.  The player who’s marble stayed closest to the wall won all the players’ marbles.  That game wouldn’t be possible now either, the marbles would just get trapped by the weeds before they even reached the wall!

Beautiful Parks and Gardens

I remember all the beautiful parks, lawns and gardens around the town, they were kept immaculate, likewise grass verges, gutters, tree bases and pavements.  I also remember going on holiday abroad in the early 1970’s; the first year I did Interrail it was £25.00 for a month of European train travel.  Of course southern Europe then looked somewhat shabby, it was not really possible to tell where the grass verge ended and the pavement or road started, they all seemed to merge into one.  After a month in Europe it was a pleasure to come back to the UK and see everything “tickety-boo”!  I’ve just come back from a long weekend in Europe and everything seems to be reversed now!  It’s a shame, because like everyone else in the group, I love our city, but it looked so much better “back in the day” than now!

Anyone want a game?

As you can see from the last photo, I’ve cleared the gutter outside my house, anyone for a game of marbles?

Comments about this page

  • Thanks Peter for a very entertaining post with a ‘blast from the past’.
    I always wanted to join in with marbles games but I had terrible eyesight!
    Funnily enough I became a mean bowls player – my eyesight had clearly improved 👀.

    By Jennifer Drury (23/08/2022)
  • Re: the ‘final game’. South of Hangleton Road (the Knoll Estate) the game was played with cigarette cards flicked against the wall. Difficult to see how you could control a marble in those circumstances.

    By Geoffrey Stoner (23/08/2022)
  • Played that as well Geoff😁😁😁!

    By Peter Groves (24/08/2022)

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