Old fashioned Sussex pub game enjoys Brighton revival

Posted On 29 Sep 2022 at 12:13 pm

An old fashioned pub game is enjoying a revival in Brighton where it has exploded in popularity after lockdown.

The Brighton and Hove league for the pub game Toads restarts on Wednesday, 12 October.

The league, in its second year, will host fixtures between teams for the game, also known as Toad in the Hole, which originates from Lewes.

It involves tossing brass coins, or toads, at a lead-topped table with a hole in the middle, scoring points like darts.

Spacewords Brighton

The league organiser, Garold, makes Toads tables and grew the website Toader as an online hub for players to register teams, enter leagues and keep their scores.

Garold, who did not want to give his last name, said: “I started during lockdown, and when pubs had that opportunity to refit I started making more tables for more pubs.

“It went from two tables to about 23 in Brighton right now.

“During lockdown, you could go to the pub but you had to be served at the table, you couldn’t stand up and mingle.

“When those restrictions ended, Toads was perfect for drinking and standing around, and it’s such an easy game.

“It’s easy to play. The rules are simple, but it’s very difficult to master.”

Toads can be played either as individuals, doubles or teams, and local pubs have seen more and more customers playing post-lockdown.

The league has 11 confirmed teams, and will likely be split into two leagues of six teams with fixtures taking place at each pub home and away, every other week from next month until March 2023.

A Toad table at the Caxton Arms

The Caxton Arms landlord Brett Mendoza said: “Toads has become a revelation since we got our first table almost a year ago.

“We now have three tables, all of which get used every night. It’s amazing what a bond it has brought between drinkers at the pub.

“We’ve got people playing for the first time, to the world champions playing regularly.

“We cannot wait for the league to start, we’ve got two teams entering.”

Chris Llewellyn, secretary at The Bevy, said: “It’s amazing how quickly Toads has caught on at the Bevy.

“Even people who start off sceptical get hooked when they toss their first toad!

“If you want to have a crack at Toads and maybe even join the team then come along to The Bevy on Wednesday at 6pm.

“There will be tossing, chatting and maybe even a pint or two.”

Last year a Brighton all stars team made it to the final of the annual competition in Lewes, and the Brighton and Hove league will finish just before the next Lewes competition in April 2023.

For those wishing to join in the fun, a list of pubs with Toads tables in Brighton and Hove is below.

  • The Hand in Hand
  • The Caxton Arms
  • The Evening Star
  • The Hole In The Wall
  • The Foundry
  • The Round Georges
  • The Watchmakers Arms
  • The Well
  • The Independent
  • The Windmill
  • Presuming Ed
  • The Bevy
  • The Howard
  • The Argyle Arms
  • The Westbourne
  • The Roundhill
  1. Katherine Brewster Reply

    Great stuff! I played in Lewes years ago! Glad to see it’s becoming a Brighton based game too!

  2. FBR Reply

    You are missing a table: there is also one in the Players Club at Sussex County Cricket Ground

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