Battle ready for ‘marbellous’ weekend

Hopefully the weather will be kind this year
Hopefully the weather will be kind this year

A ‘marbellous’ time will be had by all as the traditional Battle’s Marbles Matches return to the Abbey Green today (Good Friday).

A record number of 26 teams – 130 players in total –have registered for this year’s event, which will take place in the shadow of the towering Abbey gatehouse.

The event always proves to be quite a spectacle, with participants donning an array of creative, crazy and colourful costumes.

In recent years giant Lego men, Tetris pieces and even a game of Monopoly have rocked up for the big marble roll out.

Once again, it is anticipated the competition for the best-dressed teams will be hard-fought.

A selection of medals and trophies are lined up ready for presentation to the victorious teams at the end of more than 20 gruelling matches.

The matches will take place from 10am until around noon.

The children’s Easter Bonnet Parade will take place at 11.30am, followed by the grand Marbles Scramble at 11.45am.

All those taking part in the parade will get a free Easter egg.

However, it will not be possible to register children for the Easter Bonnet Parade on the day.

There will also be candy floss, face painting and Easter balloon creations throughout the morning to add to the fun, melodic music from Ricky Adelaide and a barbecue run by the Battlel Bonfire Boyes.

The exact origin of Battle’s Marbles Matches is lost, but is believed to have begun in the early 1900s.

The tradition was revived in 1948 when some of the players still wore a traditional Sussex smock.

Ladies were first allowed to play in 1972.

The game of marbles is a tradition celebrated with matches throughout Sussex and Kent.

The World Championships are claimed to be held at Tinsley Green near Crawley, but, as matches are only played on Good Friday morning, it is not possible to mount a challenge and establish Battle as the World Champions instead.

Battle Marbles Matches are organised by volunteers from the Battle Chamber of Commerce.

For further details, contact Tamzin Gray and Kay Hunting on 01424 775619, or email marbles@battlechamber.org.

Or find them on Facebook at Battle Marbles Matches.

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