Purbeck pub game finals take place after pandemic delay

The winners of the Purbeck Longboard Shove Ha’penny competition finally got their hands on their trophies at an awards night in Swanage, after an 18 month delay.

The longboard game is unique to Purbeck and distinct from the standard Shove Ha’penny game that plays on a shortboard with scoring zones.

Trophys for Swanage shove hapenny finals night
Lucie Aggas

Trophies for finals night

Matches had to be suspended

The Purbeck Longboard Shove Ha’penny League is made up of teams from local pubs and normally runs from October to May. However in March 2020 the matches had to be suspended, when we all went into lockdown due to Covid.

The awards night had been scheduled for May 2020 and the trophies were on order but with all the pubs closed and everyone staying at home, it had to be cancelled.

Trophys at Swanage shove hapenny finals night
Lucie Aggas

The prizes had already been ordered in 2020 before lockdown struck

Receive their prizes

However the teams were able to reunite at the Conservative Club in Swanage on Thursday 4th November 2021 to receive their prizes.

Taking the top prize for 2019/20 were the team from the King’s Arms pub in Langton Matravers. The winners of the B League were a team from the Royal Oak in Swanage.

Winners of Swanage shove hapenny finals night
Lucie Aggas

The league winning team from the King’s Arms pub in Langton Matravers

New season

The new season starts at 8 pm on Thursday 18th November 2021 with teams from Swanage Legion, Swanage Conservative Club, King’s Arms in Langton Matravers, Royal Oak in Swanage, Square and Compass in Worth Matravers and Old Harry Bar in Studland, already signed up.

A team is made up of six people and each person has five ha’pennies which they shove along the board. The winner is the first to get the exact score of 101. There are home and away matches played at the competing pubs or bars.

Winners of Swanage shove hapenny finals night
Lucie Aggas

B League winning team from the Royal Oak

“A really good laugh

Lucie Aggas who plays for the Legion A team said:

“It’s actually quite competitive and does require a bit of skill. The surface of the longboards at different pubs vary, so you have to get to know the various quirks.

“However it’s also a really good laugh and plenty of fun. It’s sport but without the cardiovascular exercise!”

Swanage shove hapenny table
Lucie Aggas
Players demonstrate the game at Swanage shove ha'penny finals night
Lucie Aggas

Rhiannon and Paul Thompson from the Royal Oak demonstrate how it’s played

Historic to Purbeck

The Purbeck Longboard Shove Ha’penny game dates back a long time to when it was played by quarry workers.

It’s a way to keep people entertained during the winter months and good business for the pubs too.

Anyone who is interested in joining in, should contact the Swanage British Legion in the High Street or the Conservative Club on the corner of Kings Road East in Swanage.

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