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Date: 1979

Duckstone - George Mainwaring – Rochdale Artist

George's Notes

There was a time, not so long ago, when it was common for anyone who had lost an argument or failed in an endeavour to be told “Hard luck, your duck’s off.” The phrase obviously had its origin in the ancient game of duckstone which we played as youngsters 60 [1979] or more years ago and, like skittles and quoits, must have been played on village greens and other open spaces throughout the land for centuries. The simple rules were for players to take turns as “keeper” who would then set up his duck, a hard round cobble, on a larger stone within a drawn circle and for the others to aim at and try to knock it out of the circle and then get back across another marked line, after retrieving their own ducks.

It is a good many years since I last saw the game played and the probability is that it has gone forever.

George Mainwaring

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