Playing Northamptonshire Table Skittles at the Engineers Arms in Henlow.
We visited the Engineers Arms this afternoon having recently seen an advert for the pub in a CAMRA magazine that we picked up at the London Hatter pub in Luton. The advert caught my eye as it mentioned that they had Northamptonshire Skittles at the pub! As fans of pub games we made a note to visit next time we were in the area.
Emily and I really enjoyed our visit to the pub. It’s a nice spot and we had a drink in the cool and shady beer garden before facing-off in our first-ever game of Skittles!
Having never played the game before we sought advice on the rules from Northamptonshire’s premier Minigolfer Marc ‘The Roller’ Bazeley, a man who is known to play the game of Skittles in his local sports and social club.
Abridged Rules Northamptonshire Skittles:
- The table has 9-skittles and 3 ‘cheeses’ to throw at the skittles
- First player to 7-legs wins
- Each leg consists of 3-throws per player
- The player who knocks down the most skittles wins the leg
- In the event of a tied leg each player throws one cheese, the player who knocks down the most pegs wins that leg
Once Emily and I had received the rules we set about playing. I took the first leg 5-3, but Emily took the next two 5-6 and 4-6, before I regained the lead with wins 6-5, 7-5 and 8-7.
With the game at 4-2 in legs the seventh leg saw us tie 6-6. In the play-off I won 3-2 to make the game 5-2.
Emily though went on a roll and notched up an 8-9 win, scoring the first maximum, followed by 2-4 and 6-7 wins to bring the game level.
The next game saw Emily step-up and hit a 9 with just two cheeses and take the leg 4-9 and make the game 5-6, but the win was not to be as I scored a 7-5 win followed by a 7-6 win the decider to take a 7-legs to 6 win overall.
A nice village pub that is well worth a visit. There are a number of other pub games on offer at the Engineers Arms, including Darts and Shut the Box!
On a related Pub Games note I bought a Shove Ha'penny board at an Antiques Shop in Henlow too!
Great fun game!
I really enjoyed this... throwing things is very relaxing!!
Only lost to Rich my the narrowist of narrow margins! I'll win next time!
don't forget Arthur Taylor's award winning book on pub games: Played at the Pub, published by English Heritage as part of the Played in Britain series!
Many thanks for your comment.
I've read the Played at the Pub book, it's a cracker :-)
The English Heritage Played in Britain series is brilliant.
All the best,
While at the Engineers Arms in Henlow yesterday I picked up a flyer in their 'CAMRA Corner' with details of the Burton Bridge Inn in Burton-upon-Trent. The Burton Bridge Inn is also home to a Skittles Alley. The one they have is a floor-based one, rather than the raised table type one in the Engineers Arms.
See the Skittle Alley on the Burton Bridge Inn website.
From that second picture it looks as if you could have played a game of Table Quoits (or Step Quoits, Evesham Quoits, Dobbers etc). Another great pub game propping up the wall there, although as I'm a Leics/Northants boy the skittles is the main event.
Many thanks for your comment and information on the game of ‘Dobbers’! it’s always great finding out about ‘new’ old Pub Games.
I thought it was some sort of hoopla game. I’ll definitely set it up for a game of Pub Quoits if I’m around that way again.
The Northamptonshire Skittles was great fun and the pub was nice too.
I had a day around Bedford recently, sadly there are no skittles tables left in the towns pubs (probably one or two club tables still in use). The game seems to have retreated to rural Bedfordshire.
Here's a recent post featuring a lovely old Quoits Board in Gloucestershire. If that doesn't get you back to the Engineers for a game nothing will: http://pub-games.blogspot.co.uk/2012/08/butchers-arms-eldersfield.html
What a great blog you have. I'll be spending some time reading up on your previous blog posts!
I'm a big fan of Bar Billiards and Dominoes. I also enjoy Petanque/Boules and a game of Shove Ha'penny. I really want to give Bagatelle a go too.
We've now played another skittles-variant game - London Skittles.
Check out the blog about it at London Skittles at the Hampstead Lawn Billiard and Skittle Club
The Woodford WMClub nr Kettering are selling a Northamptonshire skittles table if any one interested email them firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you for the comment. I wish I had space for it!
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