This week's prompt shows a group of Welsh boys playing marbles. I can well remember the many little groups of boys scattered around the playground at Lyneham Primary School in the 1960s, intent on their marbles games, surrounded by knowing onlookers, or showing off their collections of beauties to anyone who cared to admire them, but it was a boy's game, and I don't think any girls played marbles, at least not at my school, where we favoured game of elastics, skipping, hopscotch or jacks. I certainly didn't know much if anything about all the different kinds of marbles or the ins and out of the game, and nor do I have any photographs of marble games in my family collection, so instead I found this image by Sam Hood, held in the online collection of the State Library of New South Wales. Another photograph by the prolific Mr Hood was featured recently in Sepia Saturday #321.
Marbles always struck me as a game that required intense concentration, both by the participants and the spectators, and this photograph captures that intensity, even though we can only see the face of the player. The photograph was taken at Stewart House at South Curl Curl Beach, which was and still is a school which aims to give underprivileged children from the outback, in this case country NSW, a chance to breathe the sea air and enjoy a healthy but educational holiday at the beach. It still exists, and you can read more about it here at https://www.stewarthouse.org.au/ .
Quite coincidentally, Stewart House was the charity that our school supported through an annual fundraising appeal. I'm not sure now if our parents were simply asked to donate, or whether we were expected to do various tasks at home for which we earnt money that we then contributed to the school collection, but I think there was a competition to see which school House could raise the most money. Lyneham Primary School was located in Canberra, which in those days was more than a three hour drive from the beach, and there may very well have been children there who had never seen the sea, but for the most part we weren't poor or underprivileged, and with the encouragement of our teachers we felt happy to be helping children who were not so healthy and well off as we were.