World War 1 Remembered.

An evening of World War 1 memories: music, food and games.
I have been working on providing games for our upcoming event at the Abbey Inn. We want to mark the centenary of World War 1 with ‘a bit of a do’ on the 11th of November, to raise money for the Royal British Legion and the Bramley War Memorial Fund.
Taking retro to it’s logical conclusion. No, don’t worry I haven’t gone all Mighty Boosh on you.
In fact, I didn’t even realise how retro I was going until I looked at my games shelf. Games I had thought were old were just not old enough; Kan-U Go for instance is from the 1930s not as early as I had thought.
My search was made more challenging by the fact that casein and bakelite were not developed until 1909, so with plastic still in the early stages of development, cardboard, paper and wood were used to make games and their components. This explains why many of the games of that period are no longer intact.
I started by searching through my own games menu which I diligently/ obsessively/ geekily (delete as applicable) fill in each time I add a game to my collection. I was pleased to realise I had forgotten how old Pit was.
Pit dates from 1903. An American trading game, it is fast paced and fun. The object is to be the first to collect a complete set of crops by swapping cards with others. It is always a popular game at events due to its fast pace, the fact it plays up to seven and I think, in no small part, because it allows you to shout at your friends!
Mensch ärgere dich nicht!
By chance I recently picked up a copy of Headache. It looked similar to frustration and looked like it was from the 70s. In fact my version is, but the game it is based on is far older. As soon as I searched Headache to find it’s exact date, this game came up: ‘Mensch ärgere dich nicht’. It literally translates as ‘don’t get angry, mate’ which is a challenge when someone keeps removing your pieces from the game! It ends when one player has ‘taken’ all their opponents. Made in 1914 it was widely played in Germany during World War 1 and is still a popular game today.
Jacks (also known as Five Stones and Knucklebones)
was originally played with the ‘knucklebones’ of sheep (actually it was part of their ankle). The bones were thrown in the air and then caught in various formations. You’ll be pleased to hear we aren’t being that strictly traditional! Instead I’ll be bringing my 70s set because I am vintage.
Hearts, made in 1914 by Parker Brothers, is a delightfully simple game. You roll the dice and win points for spelling out all or part of the word ‘Hearts’. The letters must be rolled in the order they occur in the word to gain points. If you find Shut the Box addictive, you will love this.
I was relieved to find that the suffragette movement was active during the first world war too. Mainly because I can wear part of my Morris kit as a costume. Dressing up is optional of course but I don’t need much of an excuse!
Join us on the 11th when, along with era-appropriate food and music, Tiddley Winks (1890s), Blow Football (1900s) and lots of card games will also be making an appearance.
Please get in touch and suggest any other games you know that were around in 1914- 1918.

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