Steel Quits is a traditional game, which involves throwing Steel Rings weighing about 3 pounds each in to a clay bed over a distance of 18 yards The origins of Steel Quoits may go back to ancient Greek or Roman times, when they could have been used as weapons. It could also be related to Horseshoe throwing as a poor man’s version of the game.
It is a game that at one time was played throughout Suffolk and in north Essex. It is a Suffolk pastime as endemic to Suffolk as slagging off Ipswich. Of course, when it comes to slagging off Ipswich nobody can partake of that sport better than Ipswich people. They are the true professiants of the past time. Anyway back to Steel Quoits.
The game returned to Ipswich in 1988 when beds were set up at The Thrasher. It was played there for several years until Greed King made the pub into a Hungry Horse and decided to extend the car park and tarmac over the pitch. The Ipswich team then moved to the Golden Hind. And played there for a while, and some beds were installed at the Emperor on Norwich Road.
There was more interest in the game at the emperor, and so the beds at The Golden Hind were abandoned until Punch decided to sell the best pub in Norwich Road to Tesco and Ipswich Borough Council did not have the guts to refuse Tesco planning permission to convert a good pub into one of their stores.
After this the game returned to the Golden Hind. At the end of last year it was revealed that the ground at the side of the pub which they had been playing on had been sold and planning permission has been given for houses to be built on it. After this they have since set up four beds at Norbridge Club, so this minority sport can continue to be played in Ipswich. Norbridge already have darts, Pool, snooker and bowls being played at the club, so it is hoped the Ipswich Quoits team have now found a more permanent home.
The beds at Norbridge will be opened up for team practice on Thursday evenings from 6 p.m. onwards. If people are interested in seeing how the game is played and maybe having a go themselves, they will be very welcome.