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.