Looking back at quiz leagues


For 30 years I organised the Rye and District pub quiz leagues. At one time 40 teams played in the leagues but last year it folded due to lack of teams. The traditional drinking pub has been on the decline for many years; local pub licensees now want to attract the food trade and have live music, although a few keep the atmosphere of traditional pubs alive by playing pub games and having teams in leagues.

In the years of the quiz league the Standard in Rye was the pub if you wanted an intellectual conversation over a pint or two and for many years in the 1990s they fielded two quiz teams. The A team members and their specialist subjects were: Captain Alan Taylor, science, Terry Forman, history, Jim Cakebread, Sport, and Paul Oakman, popular music. While the B team and their specialist subjects were: Captain John Barnes, politics, Sheila Barnes, geography, James Nicholas, ambiguous questions and Ray Barnes, literature.

The Standard was well served by question master Maria Sheridan who always kept matches running smoothly.

In the Queen’s Head in Landgate you would find intellectual ladies who had a good quiz team of Rita Cox, Sheila Somerville, Linda Breasly and Janet. Keeping the ladies in order on quiz night was John Izod their question master.

One local team that played every year that the quiz league ran, is the Playden Oast. Their regal quizzers were Nick Ramus, Charlie Mills, Jeanie Mills, Peter More and their long standing question master Julie Ramus.

At one time or other the following Rye pubs have fielded teams in the quiz league: The Globe, who had a all ladies team, the Bedford Arms, the British Legion Club, the Cinque Ports, the Pipemakers Arms, the Crown, the Ferry Boat and Strand Bar,

Nearly all the village pubs had a team. The most successful of the village teams were the Crown and Thistle, Northiam, the Bridge Inn, Winchelsea, the Hare and Hounds, Rye Foreign, the Rose and Crown, Beckley, the Cross Inn, Staplecross and the Queens Head, Icklesham.

One village team of Keith Swallow, Jim Griffin David Penfold, Vic Carter, and reserve Kate Tyler who played for the Royal Oak, Pett are still playing in a quiz league in Hastings.

There have been some good quizzers playing in the league who have taken part in TV and radio quiz shows.
Two have been in the quarter finals of Mastermind, one became the Brain of London. A few have been successful on the TV show, 15 to 1.

The most popular questions in the quiz league were the link questions.
Can you answer these?
1. Who was the original lead singer with Led Zeppelin in the 1960s?
2. What is Dmitry Mendeleyev credited with creating in 1869?
3. What is the best known tourist attraction in Lake Havasu City, Arizona?
4. CaCO3 is the chemical formula for what?
5. What was Ronald Reagan’s 1991 autobiography titled?
6. What is the common link between at least part of each of your last five answers?



Answers 1 Robert PLANT/ 2 Periodic TABLE/ 3 (Old) London BRIDGE/4 CHALK/ 5 Where’s the REST of Me
The link is snooker (accept billiards or pool)

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  1. Thank you Dennis, for all the sterling work you did for the Quiz League. I am so sorry
    it has had to fold. Surprising, when you think how popular quizzes are, but maybe people can’t commit to the regularity of the League any more. I am guilty there, certainly!
    It was always fun, and the efforts of the various publicans to make us welcome on cold winter Sundays very much appreciated.
    Thank you ,
    Sheila Somerville.


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