Today those unlucky in love have apps and speed dating to find their perfect match. Things weren’t so simple during the reign of Elizabeth I, when marbles replaced online dating profiles.

The British and World Marbles Championship began when two young suitors competed for the affection of a legendary milk maiden named Joan. Almost 500 years on the tournament is still popular, but Joan is no longer the prize.

Joe meets Sam and Julia

Marbles aren’t just for collecting and discussing in forums, they’re also a ticket into Crawley’s lively social scene.


So, when we asked Joe to put his skills on the line he jumped at the chance. But this challenge is a tricky one even for an online megastar to grasp.


To assist we enlisted the help of Julia and Sam, both past masters in the noble art of ‘knuckling down.’

An introduction to marbles

With the help of his friends Sam and Julia,

Joe Charmer sets off on his epic adventure to find out all about the ancient sport of marbles.