Our Sepia Saturday theme image this week features a group of schoolboys playing marbles. Schoolboys grow up, but here in the North of England, they don't stop playing marbles - the marbles just get a bit bigger. The game in question is, of course, crown green bowling and my pictures shows Langholm New Bowling Green in Cumbria. For those not familiar with it, the game is played on a grass green which has a "crown" in the middle (that is, the edges slightly slope away from the centre). The bowls were originally made of wood (and are still called "woods") but more commonly they are now made of composite plastics. The bowls have a off-centre weight (or "bias") which means they do not normally travel in a straight path, but curve one way or the other depending how they are rolled. The aim of the game is to deliver your woods closest to a small "jack", taking into account the curve of the crown and the positioning off other bowls.
My great uncle, Fowler Beanland, had two passions in his life - picture postcards and crown green bowling (I suspect he had more passions than that but that is another story). The picture of Langholm New Bowling Green comes from a postcard in his collection and on the reverse of the card he recorded that this was the location of his teams' - he played for Longtown - worst defeat, when they lost by 33 points.
I have occasionally played "an end" of crown green bowling and - in all my playing career - I have never won a game. Perhaps I had better go back to marbles.
To see how other Sepians have lost their marbles - go to the Sepia Saturday Blog and follow the links.