It’s mid June which means, as it has meant for forty years now, that it’s Skittles Week in the Grange. The tournament was first held by Stan Holland and his friends in 1967. In 1968 the Lewes Prison Cup was introduced, and won by the Kings Head Kingpins. In 2006 over 1,200 participants threw wooden balls down bumpy lanes at worse-for-wear skittles, competing for a total of eight trophies. A team known as ‘Park’ won the men’s trophy on Saturday; the women’s (traditionally held on Friday night) was picked up Lewes Round Table Ladies. The Wooden Man trophy, picked up since 1970 for the worst score made by a team, was earned by the Commercial Square Bonfire Society. “It’s funny, some teams don’t mind picking that one up”, says John Wilson, Chairman of the Skittle Committee of the Rotary Club. Perhaps it’s no coincidence that the same bonfire society runs the bar.
There are still places to be had every night except Tuesday - women’s teams need 6 participants, men’s need 8. Of course experience helps, but not that much. It’s a question of rolling the ball accurately at the skittles, and hoping that the pock marks in the balls or the vagaries of the bumpy lane don’t interfere too much in the subsequent direction it travels in. Non-participants are welcome to come and watch: there are raffles and refreshments: last year during the week 876 burgers were consumed, and over 400 hot-dogs. Donations are split between the Royal Victoria Hospital and the St Peter and St James Hospice. AL