Game name (and type): 'Fourpence' (ball game)
Alternative types: bat and ball games

Handwritten description of the ball game 'Fourpence' written for Dr Dorothy Howard by Robert Weymouth, a fourteen year old student at Coromandel Valley State School, in 1954-1955. Weymouth describes 'Fourpence' as a ball game which can be played by any number of players on a hard surface all year round. To play, a player throws a ball at waist height to another child, standing six feet away with a beach bat. It has been assumed that the other players are scattered around the field waiting to catch the ball. If the ball is caught, Weymouth notes that the catcher receives a penny. A ball caught on the first bounce or 'hop' earns a halfpenny. The first player to reach a total of fourpence exchanges places with the batsman. Weymouth lists some of the other players of 'Fourpence': Helen Nicolle, Robin Eaden, Dennis Heath, Robert Such, Max Jones, Dawn Watchman.

One of a collection of letters describing a children's games written to children's Folklorist Dorothy Howard between 1954 and 1955. Dr Howard came to Australia in 1954-55 as an American Fulbright scholar to study Australian children's folklore. She travelled across Australia for 10 months collecting children's playground rhymes, games, play artefacts, etc. This letter, together with the other original fieldwork collected by Dr Howard during this period, is preserved in the Dorothy Howard Collection manuscript files, part of the Australian Children's Folklore Collection (ACFC), Archive Series 3. The ACFC is an extensive collection documenting children's folklore and related research.

Physical Description

Handwritten game description in blue ink on lined paper. Text written on one side only.

More Information