Let the good times roll
In the face of video games, there’s one childhood game that’s stood the test of time. Matthew Dennison explains why you should never lose your marbles
unishment ‘with the utmost severity of the law’ was the warning on a handbill, dated may 18, 1850, printed for the churchwardens of the sussex village of Warnham. it was addressed to ‘idle and disorderly persons’ and their ‘crime’ was to ‘play at marbles and other unlawful games’ on the parish highways on sundays, thereby ‘molest[ing] and otherwise annoy[ing] females passing’.
today, the game of marbles seems an unlikely rural menace or cause of molestation. Although the world’s largest manufactory, Vacor de mexico, produces as many as 12 million daily, the casual observer can be forgiven for assuming that, in Britain, playing marbles is a pastime mostly confined to the lost world of Richmal Crompton’s ‘Just William’ stories. that assumption would be mistaken.
in 2009, six-year-old harli Jordean from stoke Newington became the country’s youngest entrepreneur when