Down Taw Nuh Brush!

Gabriel posted the following February 18, 2019 3:45 PM on the Barbados Water Authority Unable to QUICKLY Fix Leaks blog:

If you had ‘boy days’ pitching with marbles especially at primary school,you would likely have heard that a glassy-marble was called a TOY, which morphed in to TAW. In pitching,the turf was about 9 ft in length and consisted of 1) A line (or crease as in cricket) and 3 holes similar to the golf hole. As I recall those holes were 3 ft apart and the pitch was in the form of an upside down T. The game started with ‘eye drops’ to determine whose toy marble dropped closer to the crease. The boy closest to the crease goes first followed by the next closer to the crease etc.One must aim to ‘dine’ each hole at the first attempt and then become ‘killer’. Killer can pose anywhere on the turf and strike any toy whose owner would be automatically ‘out'(of the game) To become ‘killer’, one must dine the 3 holes down the track and turn around and dine the 2 holes coming back toward the crease. If you don’t dine one after the other you have to await your turn again and hope nobody after you becomes ‘killer’.

The ‘no brush’, were words used in the game when the turf becomes contaminated with bits of soil or dust just as in cricket,the action of bowling wears down the pitch.So to be sure the marble will go into the hole at the first attempt,a boy would brush away any debris first.When the game is reduced to two contenders only,the game becomes extremely competitive so an alert contender not wanting his opponent to win,would be watching for this advantage and call out ‘down taw,huh brush’. So no brushing would be permitted. It was a rule that was not breached because the penalty was loss of the game by that boy who,when he pitched would call out ‘dine like a diner’, if he was able to brush and make smooth the path of the marble to the hole.

A variation of the marble game was drawing circle (called a Ling)and placing buttons in the circle and whoever hits the button can claim ownership.Lots of shirts at school had no buttons as a result of this game.

Gabriel continues the following on February 19, 2019 11:43 AM.

Every boy showed tremendous skill at this pitching game.There were guys that would hit your marble from several feet away.There were 2 basic types of marbles.The plain clear ones which were larger and were had from the rum refinery.The colourful smaller ones called ‘glassies” were sold in stores in the city or at ‘drug stores’ anywhere.Boys of means would re-sell those glassies and boys of less means would wait until the glassies took some hits and started to ‘flake’ and would be sold at a reduced price.At primary school we pitched by resting the marble between the third finger and the thumb and flicking the thumb to propel or ‘pitch’ the marble.At secondary school another variation of the pitching game was called ‘coolie’. The marble was placed between the index and middle fingers of the left hand and the middle finger of the right hand would be used to propel the marble usually from a standing or kneeling position as opposed to crouching in the regular game.Some enterprising older boys had iron balls(bearings)for marbles.

NortherObserver was encouraged to post the following @February 19, 2019 1:21 PM .

As I recall, taw was the pitching marble; sometimes larger than a normal marble, and known as a Gooch. Since it was customary to place the pitching hand atop of the other to elevate the height at which the marble was pitched from. the ‘down taw’ meant you had to pitch with your pitching hand touching the ground.

They were also steelies, which which the steel balls from a ball bearing. These were very effective in Ling, as removing them was a tough go (on dirt surfaces), while in turn they could remove glass (lighter) marbles easily. Larger truck bearings, produced the Gooch’s of the steelie world. Prized were the ‘chinas’ or solid coloured marbles with waves of a colour opposing the base colour. I guess the most common white with a blue streak looked like a china plate, hence the name?

Dame Bajans showed from the following comment @ February 19, 2019 5:35 PM that it was not only boys pitching marbles.

Those white marbles were called ‘milkies’. You got one to a bag of mixed marbles and you would trade one for two ‘tiger eyes’. Not only boys pitched marbles or rolled rollers. Whenever you saw a waterworks truck repairing pipes was your turn to beg for the steel band at the end of the pipe to use as rollers. Then they were those who used the frame from bicycle wheels. At 72 years it is good to reminisce.

35 thoughts on “Down Taw Nuh Brush!

  1. Saw this late.

    “At primary school we pitched by resting the marble between the third finger and the thumb and flicking the thumb to propel or ‘pitch’ the marble“

    This remind me of a strange pitching action I have seen done by just one person. I think Steinbok(bock, box) was his name and he was quite good.

    He would have the marble on his middle finger and use this finger as a slingshot. It’s remarkable that I have trouble with his name, but can remember how he pitched. I think MB or PLT would know h

  2. Girls played marbles also and had as much attachment and enthusiasm as boys
    Rings was a favourite .remember sneaking out on days to join the neighbourhood kids with my tin can in hand and my favourite big (dummpie) MARBLE
    Wax phalax splitting a couple of them marbles in the ring

  3. I read on BU a contribution by one of the HC crew who said either John Hammond or Albert Tank would occasionally join the boys pitching outside the head’s office.At my school contiguous and sharing the same campus Weymouth,albeit separated by some 6″ square BRC fabric,no masters joined our game to spoil our fun and native banter.

  4. RE As I recall, taw was the pitching marble; sometimes larger than a normal marble, and known as a Gooch.


  5. @TheoG
    they had nuff a dem Steinbok boys. I ‘think’ the eldest is a neurosurgeon in BC, the youngest an actuary. And 3 or 4 in between.

  6. David

    Those boys in the photo above are students of my former Secondary School St. Leonard’s Boys … I can tell by their socks …

  7. @February 20, 2019 10:29 AM “UNLIKE Hebert, he was remanded.”

    Unlike Herbert nobody has shown up to sign his bail.


    Where is his family?

    Where are his parents? Are they dead?

    Where is his wife?

    Where are his siblings?

    Where are his children?

    Where is his outside woman/or women is he has one or more?

    Where are his business partners?

    Where are his customers?

    Where are his rum buddies if he is a drinking man?


    I would gladly sign his bail, but I have only $49.39 BDS in my bank account, and I doubt that the court would accept that as adequate security for a $10 million BDS narcotics charge.

  8. Bear in mind that there are grounds upon which can prevent a person from ascertaining bail … most notably if the person is a flight risk; if the offence is a non-bailable offence … or if bail has been posted etc

  9. @Lexicon
    the gentleman pitching in the pic, with students of your alma mater, is former Minister Stephen Lashley

    the wussest part is that after several days… the prosecution cannot confirm what the substances found were. The accused was represented by Hal Gollop and Michael Lashley, this case has the odour of Bajan politics. Forget bail, he should be free if they cannot identify conclusively what the imported substances were.

  10. Well well! Didn’t I tell you that black people have a tendency to defer to the white man. Windies on a roll. England desperate for a wicket. Clear daylight between Hetmeyer’s bat and the ball and stupid umpire quickly raises the finger. Out caught behind! Overturned IMMEDIATELY on review.

    Never would have given that out for an English batman. NEVER!


    And now here it is that Hetmeyer does not make it count. Overly aggressive. Should have taken fresh guard. Should have settled himself. But I guess he had to find a way to gift them his wicket since they were so disappointed. Subconsciously self-defeating.


  11. With the length of time it takes for court cases to be heard they have NO CHOICE but to allow bail in most cases. A person is presumed to be innocent. You cannot keep them locked up without trial for an inordinate length of time. And if I were innocent and my case was taking too long I would think I had a case against them for that. A person’s reputation being tarnished and also health being stressed, broken relationships have to be grounds for damages when the right to a speedy trial is trampled.

    Trouble with that is you would probably die before that case is called.

    There is NO JUSTICE in this country!

    Nuff nuff Q.C’s. Nuff nuff legal SIRS and an INJUSTICE SYSTEM that does not work! Tell me how???????

    What the hell have they done for this country?????

  12. @NO

    According to the Nation the substances were mj and cocaine, all things being equal he should be a good candidate for bail but perhaps they employ different criteria

  13. @Sarge
    yup…..hence I suggested a lil politricks within the decision.

    this same sh!!te with court delays as in Canada….as journalists fumble with SNC Lavalin….each day more and more cases against SNC employees for bribery, fraud and corruption get thrown out, because they have taken too long to reach the courts.

  14. BULLSHITING ON BU is ALSO of national importance.

    I am willing to attend Vision 2020 if there is a BULLSHITING ON BU contest.

  15. @ Georgie Porgie,




  16. Maybe the substances are dried marjoram, and baking soda?

    Does not Barbados have a forensics lab?

    Am I a bad minded person if I ask why the forensics lab is not functional. Maybe the drug traffickers and their political allies, all parties don’t want a functioning forensics lab?

    Maybe they prefer to turn all Bajans dotish?

    And when we are all dotish who will pay the billions of dollars in taxes used to run things, including paying the fat salaries and pensions of the political class, most of whom could not earn their living outside of Barbados. Where else could these people earn $10,000 USD per month, with a lifetime pension after ten years of $5,000 USD per month?

    Would the foreign drug traffickers and their local handlers pay such salries and pensions when we have become too dotish to work and pay taxes/

    • Like most SOEs successive governments (BLP&DLP)have seen the Transport Board as a sponge to employ party faithfuls.

  17. Donna
    You making some good points @1.49p,2.01p and 7.25p.Its just very interesting that Lashley and Bannister were hurriedly opening and blessing the River terminal before it was finished and Bannister was wearing a robe like he is a high priest or something so.Birds of a feather.A nod is as good as a wink when politically inclined folk see eye to eye in the catacombs but not when in the public glare,as though we are fooled by the Fatted Calf sore losers of 30 love infamy.Mek Dem pay fuh mekking we loss we pick man!

  18. @ Donna,

    Don’t care if you ” off topic “.

    Looking for support for my suggestions .Marble pitching and Hop scotch as part of the Vision 2020 activities.

  19. Hants,

    Terrible at pitching. Great at hopscotch, jacks, skipping and Chinese skipping.

    As for the pitching with all the craziness going on here and worldwide I am fighting not to lose my marbles.

  20. Yep, hop scotch (origin of name?) marbles, tire races etc …ALL should have a day, along wid some basketball and road tennis, dominoes, potter,
    Who organising the best of Barbados Sports of yesteryear Community?
    I willing to play netball, beach volleyball and tennis, at least for 5-10 mins. Must be a tag-team event for the more mature and able.

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