Clifton Wyllie of Ratho Mill. The Wyllie family were good fun - they taught me many basic skills: climbing a coconut tree, making coals, making spinning tops from guarva wood, making and flying kites and constructing a "go-kart". I have to return to acquire some lessons on fishing from George Wyllie. Clifton passed away Jan 5th 2003 - age 55..
The tops had a nail in it and the wood was carved into various rounded shapes. You wrapped a string around it and at one point you tried to 'bus up' (destroy) someone elses top by spinning your top on top of theirs.
I got a response to this page which tweaked my memory on up-plug and down-plug launching of the top. The 'plug' is the sharp nail and it took real expertise to start the plug in the upright position and be able to land the top, plug-first on the ground. Most of us would use the down-plug approach to spinning the top to the ground. You could also launch it and catch it in your hand.
On their property was the only time that I saw the 'sweet-heart' mango tree - a tiny heart-shaped mango that had a delicious flavour. It was about half the size of the "PaulOver and the "shit-botswain" (don't ask !) variety mango.
Then there was the game of marbles with the dreaded "scramble'" where everyone made a mad dash to scoop up marbles when there was a contentious point that required a mediator. I have not found a mediator to this day.
The appealing beauty of Glass Marbles make people look at them and collect them. Whether cat's-eyes or Rainbow new or old Glass Marbles can be fun to collect or play games with. Glass Marbles come in several sizes from Shooters and bowlers to game marbles. Some glass marbles are used to fill a vase to hold artificial flowers and add beauty to the vase.
Marbles are small balls made of some hard substance, such as marble, baked clay, porcelain, wood, plastic, or glass, which are used in children's games.
The game of marbles has been traced back to ancient times. The childhood Game of marble shooting is becoming popular again in the 90's. Adults are joining in on their childhood fun of marble shooting. Marble shooting tournaments have seen an increase in children participants in the last few years. An annual national tournament takes place at Wildwood, New Jersey.
This game of skill helps children with eye and hand coordination. The game of marbles also helps children interact with other children and learn about winning and losing their marbles if they are playing for keeps.The game of marbles is a low cost sport that can keep children busy playing the game.
One of the popular varieties of the game of Marbles is played in the following manner:
A marble called a shooter is projected by means of the thumb at marbles in a circle outlined on the ground; those driven out of the circle are won by the shooter. To start the game there would be a line drawn some distance from the circle and the order of Play would be determined by the closest marbles to that line. You would throw your marble towards the circle of marbles. If you knocked one or many and your 'throwing' marble remained outside of the circle you would then kneel, hand on the ground and flick the marble to attempt to take out more marbles from the circle until you missed. Any marbles knocked out of the circle are yours. The game ends when there are no more marbles in the circle. (If there are additional details, I look forward to receiving your e-mail). I have seen metal bearings used as 'killer' marbles.
In another Game, players shoot or roll marbles from a suitable distance at a marble thought to be of great value; all the marbles that fail to strike the target become the property of the owner of the target marble. The game is played until either the marbles of the challengers are exhausted or a challenger's marble hits the target. When this hit is made, the challenger wins the target marble and may set it up for others to shoot at.
Near to the Wyllie property we played cricket on the near-by road. To our left was a small cliff or Gulley. Playing on this road, destroyed my leg-stroke because if the 'ball' went into the Gulley, you were considered 'out' because it was a nuisance to climb down there to retrieve the ball.
One e-mail I received (Oct 2001) says:
"I enjoyed marbles, though did not usually play 'for take'; that was serious marble!. Sometimes the 'school authorities' would confiscate our marbles and they would reappear in the 'dips' at the bazaar/fair. I think that children today miss out on homemade toys and wholesome fun".