Whilst undertaking research during 2014 I came across an outdoor pub game I had never seen or heard of before called ‘Roll Curling’.
The photo depicts Mr. and Mrs. Victor H. Bailey of the Duke of Edinburgh, Brixton, south London playing ‘roll curling’ in the garden of their pub in 1965.
The accompanying article informed me that, ‘There is only one place in England where roll curling is played and the rink is situated in the garden of the Duke of Edinburgh, Brixton.’ The photo is captioned ‘In play on the roll curling rink.’
I contacted pub games expert and great friend Arthur R. Taylor who replied, ‘I have never ever heard of “roll-curling” – I wonder if it means that the stones are on castors?’
I never believed that in my lifetime I would find a pub game that Arthur had never heard of but, then again, the Duke of Edinburgh, Brixton is/was purported to be the only pub in England where the game was played. (But was it?) With such limited information perhaps I should assume the roll curling was an invention of Victor and his wife to bring more attention and publicity to their pub.
Surfing the ‘net I found one solitary mention of ‘roll curling’ in Canada so I’m wondering if the example found at the Duke of Edinburgh in Brixton was ‘imported’ via or inspired by a visitor to that part of London from the Dominions.
Do any Canadian visitors recognise the game?
Is roll curling still played at a pub near you?
© 2014-2019 Patrick Chaplin
Image copyright holder unknown.
This article was originally published in Dr. Darts’ Newsletter #49, June 2014.