When it was still ‘game on’ at your local!

The latest book by prolific author Andrew McCloy, of Youlgrave, is entitled Peak District Pubs: A pint-sized social history. Full of fascinating facts – see his ‘Did you know’ panel on the facing page – it also includes sections on traditional pub games and some downright peculiar contests…

DESPITE change and modernisation, many Peak District pubs retain traditional games, which have been enjoyed in various forms for many years. There are darts and pool teams, plus local pub quiz leagues. Some have their own football and cricket teams, and the Bull’s Head at Monyash once had its own netball side. The French game of boules has established itself at a number of pubs. The Derbyshire Dales Boules League includes pubs such as the Cliff Inn at Crich, Derwentwater Arms at Calver and Plough Inn at Darley Dale. There’s a floodlit boules pitch across the road from the Malt Shovel Inn on Wirksworth Moor, while the car park adjoining was once a lawn tennis court. The Duke William at Matlock even has separate boules pitches behind and in front of the pub. It’s hard to imagine many pubs having their own tennis court these days, but the Ram’s Head at Disley does own two crown bowling greens behind the pub. Pubs called the Bowling Green at Ashbourne, Winster and Bradwell are all named after greens that could once be found nearby…

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