Eastbourne Memories - A Victorian Perspective

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Chap. XIL] Archery and Stool-ball.                       149
in my diary the entry "To an archery party at St. Leonard's Lodge (Col. Aldridge's). About 200 there." I do not however, remember if that was a " South Saxon " meeting, nor do I recollect that the Club ever came to East-Bourne, but there were a few who took up archery in the place. When Lawn Tennis became the rage, I have an idea that the South Saxon Club was formally converted into a Lawn Tennis Club, but I know nothing further about it.
Croquet was much played in East-Bourne 30 years ago, but when the disease called Lawn Tennis broke out and raged as an epidemic, Croquet went under for many years, but Sussex has a game of its own, Stool-ball, which as it is scarcely known now even by name, may be enlarged upon here.
I am under the impression that stool-ball is or originally was, purely a Sussex game, although the following entry respecting it appears in the Imperial Dictionary :" A play at ball, formerly in vogue especially among young women." " Chapman " and "Prior" are cited as authorities. However, be this as it may, I may say that it was very much played in and around East-Bourne between 20 and 30 years ago, and I have received from a lady friend some information respecting it which I will proceed to sum up after I have quoted her statement that " many delightful picnics had stool-ball as a sort of basis and raison a" etre.
Speaking generally, the game may be regarded as a sort of ladies' cricket, and depends for its general principles and rules on ordinary cricket, but with important modifications of detail as regards the apparatus employed. Instead of wickets there is provided a post, about 5ft. 6in. high, close to the top of which, so as to have its centre about 5ft. from the ground, there is attached a board, about 16 inches square, with its corners rounded off. The batsman (batswoman) stands in front of this post, and the target, as we may call it, should have its upper edge about level with the average height above the ground of the shoulders of the players. This in effect means that it is best that the
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