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Autumnal view of Marriott Lane Play area.
Stage 3

Marriott lane Play Area

Today the Marriott Lane outdoor play area features an enclosed area with a slide and other play equipment suitable for small children.

There are wooden benches for attendant adults, and an open sports field with metal goal posts for older children.

In the early 1920’s, cricket was very popular and was played in various locations in the village.

The men’s team played in Blidworth meadow, whilst children played on the footpath which ran through it. Football and cricket were also played in ‘The Oller’ (now Meadow Road).


Glass marbles

The game of ‘marbles’ was also popular with the children of the village. Initially, games were played with unpainted clay spheres that were around 2cm in diameter. Plain glass marbles were also obtained from lemonade bottles which had a glass stopper in the neck.

Later, more elaborate glass marbles, infused with different colours could be purchased from local shops. These colourful designs were highly prized and would often be swapped for multiples of less attractive marbles. 

Traditionally, marble tournaments were played between Ash Wednesday (early March) and Good Friday (late April). Playing after Good Friday was said to bring bad luck. 

To play the game, each player would put two marbles into a ring of about half-a-metre in diameter. The ring would be chalked onto pavement or formed by a recess dug into the ground. 

Players would then take turns to flick a larger marble – called a ‘dobber’, between thumb and forefinger from a distance of around 5 metres. Any marbles knocked out of the ring would be won by the player.

Aiming in the right direction with just the right amount of force required great skill. If the marble remained in the ring after the shot was taken, the player was ‘out’ and they would lose all their marbles to the game. Conversely, flicking a marble too hard could make the next shot more difficult to play.

Sometimes players would work tactically, using their turn to block another player’s next move.

The game would continue until all marbles were knocked out of the ring or until all players but one was out – the surviving player would be deemed the winner and pocket the remaining marbles in the ring.

Further rounds could be played in order to reclaim lost marbles or gain more prized marbles from opponents.


Continue along the lane, past the play area, then turn right at the junction which forms Marriott Lane.

Walk along the lane until you reach the Main Road where you will emerge opposite a set of houses which was once the location of the White Lion public house.

Turn right onto Main Road and find a safe place to cross, then proceed up the hill to the next location.