Brick throwing

18/07/1960 – Birmingham Post – Brick throwing contest at show. One of the new features of the Stroud annual show, which attracted over 10,000 people on Saturday, was an international brick-throwing contest, probably the first of its kind ever to take place. A challenge to the town had been made by its namesake in Oklahoma, who put up a challenge cup for the contest and stipulated that American-sized bricks, weighing five pounds, should be used. Stroud accepted the challenge. but their six-strong team, who threw simultaneously with their American rivals, were heavily defeated. The longest throw for the home team 84ft 4in was achieved by Allan Barnard of Robinhood Street, Gloucester but this was 8ft 1in. less than the shortest throw by the Oklahoma team, whose longest distance was 106ft 6in.

The results were exchanged during a trans-Atlantic telephone conversation between Mr J. W. Clark who organised the local leg of the contest and Mr Harold Hughes, the Oklahoma organiser, on Saturday night. “We are very disappointed but intend to get in some serious training next year when we shall beat you” Mr Clark promised Mr Hughes during the conversation.

22/07/1961 – Birmingham Daily Post – International brick-throwing contest. The International Brickthrowing Championships of Stroud will be held today in Gloucestershire. Oklahoma, Ontario and New South Wales at towns named Stroud The five-man team at Stroud, Oklahoma hopes to retain its team and individual titles. There have been reports that the New South Wales Stroud has found a man who can heave a heavier-than-usual brick 90 feet. Stroud, Ontario has reported a number of tosses in the 100 ft region. The individual record is 104 ft 6in. Results will be wired from one Stroud to another.

29/07/1961 – Birmingham Daily Post – Throwing things about. Some people, a homely sage of our acquaintance is apt to say, are never happy unless they are throwing things about. Usually, his observation is prompted by the sight of those he knows pursuing an unusual activity—such as moving a piano—but his generalisation is nearer the truth than probably he thinks. In most of us there is a primeval urge to throw: witness the instinctive reaction of the young to a pebble-strewn beach or a lawn covered with snow. Moreover, the urge persists. No sooner, for instance, had one man discovered that pine trees could be cut down and used than another began throwing them about. His descendants do so to this day. They toss the caber. So also with the hammer, the discus and the shot—thrown or put, it amounts to the same thing and the practice is commonplace now. It is less so, though, with the youngest exercise in throwing to find its way into the news. It seems that the Strouds of the world—four of them, in Gloucestershire, Oklahoma, Ontario and New South Wales—have devised for their amusement an annual brick-throwing contest, five men from each competing for team and individual titles. It reminds us of the celebrated lines:— Who’s ‘im, Bill? A stranger! ‘Eave ‘arf a brick at ‘im, and has us wondering if the man who sent them in to Punch found his inspiration in Stroud and if he did, how Stroud—whichever of the four it was, came to double the dose. Now, of course, under the mellowing influence of time, the character of the contest has changed; a stranger is no longer needed for its prosecution and enough is made of the missile and its trajectory, which is just as well. Nor need we, who are not of the Strouds, concern ourselves with why anybody should find pleasure in throwing bricks about. It is enough for us that it makes a change from dropping them.

21/07/1962 – Coventry Evening Telegraph – Men throw bricks in Stroud. Men were throwing bricks in Stroud, Gloucestershire today and also at a showground 170 miles north of Stoney, Australia, with policemen taking part. The occasion is an annual contest between towns named Stroud —in New South Wales, Gloucestershire, and also Ontario and Oklahoma. Groups in each, pit their brick-throwing strength against each other for a silver challenge cup, The four towns will let their rivals know the results by cable and telephone. The winner is expected to be known tomorrow. This year for the first time there is a section for women throwing rolling pins, an Australian innovation. A British team will join next year. Australia has provided the rolling pins, 18in long and weighing 2lb. The men heave 5lb bricks. The British team has been hard at practice in an effort to improve on third position last year. Using a heavier brick that the regulation one for the contest, a local thrower claims to have passed 100ft. The champion from the unbeaten American team had a record throw of 100ft 4in.

23/07/1962 – Birmingham Daily Post – US brick-throwing victory – The annual brick-throwing and rolling-pin contest between the Strouds of England (Gloucestershire), Australia (New South Wales), the United States (Oklahoma), and Canada (Ontario) has been won by Jimmy Christian of Oklahoma who threw a brick 114ft 6in to become the new world champion. W. Berrick of Australia was second with 109ft 11in, England third and Canada fourth. The competition began in 1960 between Stroud in England and Oklahoma when the communities discovered they both had brick-making plants. The Canadians and Australians joined in last year when the Australians suggested the addition of tossing rolling pins by women. Australian women took the first three places at the weekend.

22/07/1963 – Birmingham Daily Post –  Champion brick throwers – A team from Stroud, Gloucestershire. won the annual international brick-throwing contest for the first time in four years on Saturday against the Strouds of America, Australia and Canada. A telephone message from Canada brought the news of the victory yesterday. A throw of 126 ft. by Tony O’Neill was a world record. Good support by Frank Meadows, Dennis Childs, John Roach, David Hurdiss and David Yateman enabled the team to romp home with 36 points against Canada’s 11 and Australia’s 8. The American team. winners of the past three contests failed to score. The bricks which are made in the United States, weigh 5lb and were flown to Britain by the United States Air Strategic Command.

20/07/1964 – Daily Herald – Britain drops the tiniest of bricks. Britain has lost the Brick Throwing Championship of the World. We were beaten fairly—if not squarely—by the three other countries who took us on at the weekend. The annual tourney was held on Saturday in the four towns of Stroud in Gloucestershire. the United States. Canada and Australia. The best of our six beefy Cotswold trained throwers could do was hurl a brick 111ft 10in more than 14ft short of their cup-winning record last year. America’s Oklahoma team bettered the Stroud throw by over 3 ft. So did the Canadians in Ontario. South Wales judges were still disputing measurements. But it is certain to be in the top three. The British team prepared for their title-defence with eliminating contests on village greens near Stroud public houses. So what went wrong? Could it have been the bricks? The missiles for the weird contest are American, seven inches long and weighing 5lbs., much lighter and smaller than our own.  But Britain’s trainer, 33-year old Bob Reid, denied that bricks were to blame. He said: The Americans flew us some bricks over by jet pane and in lots of time for our lads to practice. How about the heat? “No,” said Mr Reid. “The Americans and Australians face hotter conditions very often.” He grinned and added: “Our men can win again if they will wear spiked shoes. Too many turn up in cricket or football boots. And these are just not brick-throwing footwear.” The four Strouds also held a rolling-pin-throwing contest for ladies and Britain won. Miss Doreen Doris beat her own record of 119ft 6in with a throw of 121ft 10in.

03/07/1965 – Coventry Evening Telegraph – Brick throwing holiday made official. The Stroud brick-throwing contest in northern New South Wales has been given official status with a notice in the government gazette. The notice makes it legal for the town of Stroud to have a public holiday on Saturday, July 17, the day of the annual brick-throwing contest. Stroud, about 150 miles north of Sydney, has been competing in the competition with Strouds in Canada, England and America since 1961.

14/07/1965 – Birmingham Post – Dropping a brick? They throw them in Stroud. In Stroud, Gloucestershire they don’t mind dropping bricks, in fact, they throw the. Seriously too. The brick-throwing competition is one of the main attractions of the Stroud Show. It emerged from the war years on the suggestion of the Americans based in this country who noted that bricks are made in Stroud, England neighbourhood just as they are round Stroud, Oklahoma. Both in size and weight, the American bricks lend themselves better to throwing than the English variety and those to be used at the show on Saturday have been flown here from Oklahoma.

Maj N J Warry, chairman of the committee organising the competition tells me 2This year the contest should have a true international flavour, we are expecting friends from the Strouds in Australia and Canada as well as America. Out team is practising on the Stroud rugby ground under the direction of Mr Bob Reid and with three of the last year’s team and two promising newcomers in Robert Gardiner and Pat Morell, we hope to do well.”

Englands Tony O’Neill holds the record for a throw, 126 feet.

And while the men throw bricks, the women throw rolling pins. Doreen Davies, the local champion ( 113ft) will be throwing on Saturday, but the England team is ‘much changed’, a number of old hands are not available to throw for domestic reasons.

18/07/1966 – Coventry Evening Telegraph – Britons the best brick-throwers. Stroud, Gloucestershire, has won brick-throwing honours for England in an international contest between four towns of the same name. Men threw bricks and women rolling pins in the competition between towns called Stroud in Canada, England, New South Wales, and one called Stroud in Oklahoma. England won the brick-throwing contest with a total of 20 points. Stewart George of Gloucestershire came first in this contest with a distance of 119ft 2in. Canada won the rolling pin throwing part of the contest.

20/07/1967 – Birmingham Daily Post –  Weekend fling. In four Strouds – in Britain, America, Canada and Australia, men and women are limbering up for the great brick-throwing and rolling pin throwing contests which are to take place on Saturday. Seven years ago, Stroud, Gloucestershire agreed to sponsor a brick-throwing contest between itself and its namesake in Oklahoma. Since then, the other Strouds, in New South Wales and Ontario, have joined in the fun. But since this was a men-only event, it was decided to extend the contest by having women folk try their prowess as hurlers of rolling pins. The men throw 5lb solid patio bricks provided by Oklahoma and the women throw 2lb  hardwood rolling pins made in New South Wales. Teams naturally do not travel to compete but all the contests take place on the same day. The Gloucestershire team will throw at the Stroud Show. Then during the weekend cables will be humming as results are flashed across the oceans. Oklahoma acts as the collecting centre for the results and on Sunday afternoon a telephone call to Gloucestershire will tell them how they have fared. They will learn in fact whether Stroud, Gloucestershire has retained the men’s trophy and whether it has managed to wrest the rolling pin prize from Oklahoma.

25/07/1967 – Birmingham Daily Post – Results of the great the brick and rolling-pin throwing contest on Saturday between towns named Stroud in England, America, Canada and Australia have now been flashed across the ocean and back to the Cotswolds. The outcome, sad to say, is that Australia completely scooped the pool. Last year, Britain won the brick-throwing event (for men) and came runner-up in the women’s rolling-pin event, to the Oklahoma Stroud. But this time Australia, who had never done very well in this event, proved to be the dark horse and won in both contests. This despite the fact that Britain’s performances were better than they have ever been. This, however, was not good enough and Stroud, Gloucestershire, had to be content with runner-up position in each case. For the keen student of this sport, the best distances achieved by the strong-armed Australians were 136 ft. for brick-throwing and 137 ft. 6in. for the rolling-pin.

20/07/1968 – Midland Magazine – The friendly affair of intercontinental missiles – The unfortunate part about committing yourself to persuading your fellow citizens that it would be a good thing if they got into the habit of throwing bricks and rolling pins is that people tend to stand back and mutter. Nick Warry does not complain. He has learned to live with the consternation of being liable to throw a rolling pin backwards when the spectators he has called to a demonstration are focusing unsuspectingly on the opposite horizon. He has learned that in the pubs they never stop talking. ” You know: Have you heard about this extraordinary fellow who keeps coming round giving us a glass of stout to throw bricks?”

Keen blue eyes spoke mild dismay as he sought a fleeting refuge in a glass of lager. In the garden of his home, tucked into a towering landscape at Crickley Hill. near Cheltenham, I offered him a murmurous sympathy. Nick Warry, affably matter-of-fact, gave his formative years to Cheltenham College and 18 subsequent ones to the Army, emerging as a major in 1959. He is assistant Western general manager with a brewery company. He is also the president of Gloucestershire branch of the International Contest Committee for Brick and Rolling Pin Throwing, an indomitable evangelist of lobbing the unlikely. And today with throwers of bricks and rolling pins poised in three continents to throw as never before, it will be surprising if less esoteric considerations manage to claim his attention.

It is Stroud ( Glos) v Stroud (Oklahoma) v Stroud (Ontario) v Stroud (New South Wales), with bricks for the men and rolling pins for the women and a splendid unpredictability about the entire operation, despite a Warry rewrite of the rules which ought to ensure that spectators at Stroud Show this afternoon do not find that ducking is a prerequisite of seeing out the contest.

When it is all over, a cable containing the distances achieved will be sent to the United States which acts as a clearinghouse for the scores from the four countries and tomorrow there will be a transatlantic call to ascertain the results of this, the ninth annual international obeisance to brick and rolling pins.

England is defending both team championships but under the rules of the competition will be without the services of John Roach and Eunice Guy, its two world champions from last year. Once you are a world champion you cannot represent your country again. Instead, you go solo in the individual champion of champions match.

Such are the bonds of brick-throwing that John Roach will be making his championship id in Stroud ( New South Wales) on the strength of last Julys throw of 113ft 7in, he and his family emigrated there this year by invitation and were given a civic welcome. The world of brick and rolling-pin takes itself pretty seriously these days. Certainly, it seems a far cry from the cheerful disarray of one early contest, in which Stroud (Oklahoma) threw 5lb American bricks while Stroud (Glos.) was doing its best with 71b English bricks. Nick Warry came on the scene in 1963. Almost immediately, he arranged for 50 American bricks to be brought over by bomber. That improved matters no end. With his brewery behind him and a battery of far more lobbable objects at his disposal, Nick Warry went to work. ” With all these bricks to practise with, we could let a pub hang on to one so that its regulars could have a go. We also got a local sawmill to make us about a dozen 21b rolling pins to the correct specifications … And with regular practices and a certain amount of effort in getting the right missiles to throw, we completely cleared the board in 1963, both in bricks and rolling-pins.” He nodded vigorous content. His employers have furnished blazers and singlets for the home team, plus a series of medals. Understandably, on the official singlet badge, a token toucan is to be observed nestling ‘twixt brick and rolling pin. The only failure in the Warry throw-a-better-brick campaign was the pub-to-pub demonstrations. They did not work out quite as expected. ” You got quite a lot of people prepared to come and have a free glass of stout with a bit of brick-throwing thrown in—but you didn’t get very many recruits for the team. “We would have our team showing them what to do and it sort of put people off. I mean, our chaps would throw 100 ft quite easily and then one of the locals would have a go, throw 40ft and feel a bit of an idiot. “They didn’t realise it is a question of practising to get the knack.” It is all a question of aiming to achieve the perfect parabola and hoping that your brick will “float” rather than perform a series of aerial gambols.

Freely, Nick Warry concedes that he has never managed more than 80ft himself and has not a hope of being pitchforked into the practical side of throwing unlikely objects.

Nevertheless, his zest for the cause cannot be questioned. If Stroud(Glos) ever falls short in the matter of practical brick-throwing, it will not be because Nick Warry, its unofficial chief scout, has ceased to ponder the strong arm potentialities of 15st policemen or front row rugby forwards. Brick throwing in his book is well worth boosting.

“In the early days, it was regarded as rather funny and people would turn up in a shamble for a laugh. In 1963, we began to take the whole thing seriously and braced it up and I think there is probably satisfaction in doing it well.”

This is why there will be four national flags and a pride of national anthems at Stroud Show today, this is why, give or take 2oz, a 5lb brick and a 2lb rolling pin must be exactly that.

There is undoubtedly a satisfaction in cossetting the impossibility of it all, in keeping the unlikely world of improbable projectiles rumbling along with a smooth inevitability of an elephant on castors.

This is why, with four communities half a world apart awaiting the outcome of the latest exercise in pitching the imponderable, you won’t find Nick Warry dropping any bricks.

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11/07/2016 – Stroud News – The Stroud international brick and rolling pin throwing contest has been held in Stroud New South Wales, Australia.

The international competition is traditionally held in the four towns named Stroud across the world – in Canada, USA, Australia and England.

It all started in 1960 when the Strouds of UK and USA, both brick-making towns, held the first brick-throwing contest.

In 1961 Canada and Australia were invited to participate.

In 1962 Australia suggested including a women’s rolling pin contest.

The competition, using UK bricks and Australian mulga-wood rolling pins, continued for 50 years after which only Stroud, NSW, held an annual contest.

On Saturday, July 9 the Championship was back as an international event.

In Stroud, NSW, the contest was held at the showground where there was also wood-chopping contests, vintage car and tractors displays, memorabilia and craft stalls, and helicopter joy rides.

The theme for the preceding parade down the main street was the Wild, Wild West. The competition was opened by the local Federal MP, David Gillespie throwing the first brick.

Stroud, NSW, (pop: 670) is a quintessential Australian small country town.

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09/07/2019 – Dungog Chronicle – Stroud (America) brick and rolling pin throwing competition is back on Saturday, July 13th. (Note – SBH – It appears that this event is now only held in Stroud, New South Wales and Stroud, USA. Was the last event held in England around 2015? )

2020 – This suggests that England may have been putting up a team for 2020 but this was likely cancelled due to COVID19. So are they competing in 2021?

10/07/2021 – Stroud Brick Throwing and Rolling Pin Competition. (Still going strong in Oz).

Current World Throwing Records – The current brick-throwing record is 142’6”, and the rolling pin throwing record is 156’4”, held by England and the U.S.A. respectively.  Imperial measurements are used to conform with the other countries.  

How the competition works: The competition involves six-person teams with points scored 10 to 1 by the top ten individual throws.  Team points are then compiled, with a trophy being available for the winning team.  Elimination heats are being conducted, and the International teams are chosen.  The culmination of the day is the International team event at 3.00 p.m.   Australia’s results are then telephoned to America, where results on an International level are compiled, and telephoned back to participating countries.

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14/09/1962 – Wells Journal – The winners of the Inter-departmental Brick Throwing Contest were EMI Apprentices who won the 4 1/2 gallon pin of beer. The longest individual throw was 83ft by J R Moon.

 

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