A long throw since skittles game was born

From Harry Foy's Book  'Growing up in Portadown in the Thirties and Forties'

One day one of my chums turned up with a book showing pub skittles as played in England. We decided to have our own version and we went to the "dump" which in those days was Bridge Street South. The only thing we could find were old brass bedends. We then went to McClement's, the monumental sculptors, in Francis Street, who used a lot of piping for grave surrounds. They gave us end cuttings of galvanised piping which we used as throwers. We marked out a square on the ground in the entry and placed a brass bedend in each corner and one in the middle. The object was to knock the bed ends out of the ring with the galvanised pipe throwers. The game of skittles was born.

Later, on the way home from school, we found wooden blocks outside Mason's shop in Thomas Street. Harry Mason gave us a bagful of these circular blocks which were used in rolls of linoleum. So the game was improved, this time using wood instead of iron. At that time there were large numbers of men unemployed so they joined in the game. Eventually special skittles were manufactured on a lathe. A cement square for a pitch was laid and competitions started in earnest. Other areas followed suit and then a skittle league was formed. The team in Marley Street was called "Regal View". Years, later, the skittles final was broadcast by the BBC.
Market Day in Portadown.

Street gangs and fogging orchards.

The wee shops.

Colourful vendors.

The Canon's trip.

The Butterfly.

Greenaway's ghost.

Summer on the Bann.

The Great Lemonade Robbery.

My first day at school.

The packman.

Even the dog understood the language.


Our House.

The Gas Man Cometh.

In tune with the band.

Clubs and tickmen.

Donald Campbell Had nothing on us.

The Obinsville Cowboys.

Singing in the streets.

Such good sports.

The days of the sand quays.

The magic of Christmas.

Bombs - not sandwiches.

Skipping, football and cigarette cards.

Escape to the movies.

My first taste of plays.

Smuggling knew no borders.

The tale of the pigs.

Three brass balls.

Thanks for the memories.

First class show!.

Who could forget Mary Ann!.

Health remedies.

Fondly Remembered.

Going To The Dogs.


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