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Snakes & Ladders

The game of Snakes and Ladders actually began as a game called Moksha-Patamu in ancient India, where it was used to teach Hindu children about right and wrong. The bases of the ladders stood on squares...

Candy Land

Imagine that the Brothers Grimm invented a board game. Now take out the witches. Welcome to Candy Land. Eleanor Abbott was recovering from polio when she decided to create a board game for similarly-afflicted youngsters forced...

Trivial Pursuit

The one with the cheeses . . . or wedges . . . or little pieces of pie. Call them what you will. Trivial Pursuit was conceived on 15 December 1979, when photo editor Chris...

Scrabble

Scrabble was invented in 1938 by unemployed architect Alfred Mosher Butts. Butts created the game as a variation of another word game he had invented, called Lexiko. Butts decided on the frequency and distribution of letters...

Trouble

Kohner's game of Trouble was introduced in 1965, and back then, a wooden die came in the box. The players rolled the die and then decided which of their four pegs they wanted to advance around...

Tiddly Winks

Tiddlywinks originated in England during the late 1800s. The name comes from "tiddly wink" which is English slang for an unlicensed pub. Tiddlywinks became popular in pubs as a diversion while downing a few pints,...

Sorry!

For those of us who have hurled board games into the air after a humiliating, teeth-clenching defeat, it's doubly embarrassing when Sorry! is the reason. It's such a simple game, really such a harmless-looking game,...

Stratego

Simpler than chess, quicker than a game of Risk, Milton Bradley's Stratego was the strategy board game that young generals-in-training were weaned on. Even after graduating to the harder stuff, many gamers stuck with this classic...

Mouse Trap

First released in 1963, this colourful, kooky trap game was complex, but a set of blueprints on the game board made sure even the youngest players would be able to assemble their convoluted masterpiece. The original...

Monopoly

Can anyone agree on a set of rules for playing Monopoly? The game of capitalist supremacy celebrated its 40th anniversary in 1975. Over 200 million games have been sold worldwide, more than five billion little green houses...

Mastermind

Nothing to do with the TV show of the same name, "Mastermind" was actually an infuriating puzzle game where you had to crack the code by matching four different coloured plastic pins set in a...

Cluedo/Clue

The inventor of this British board game was a Birmingham munitions worker named Anthony Pratt. For him, it was a way of passing the time during air raid blackouts during WWII. While other families were...

Aggravation

Beginning in 1960, Aggravation managed to bring young and old together around the board for a classic marble race. Each player's task was to take four marbles from Base to Home, but the journey was fraught...

Risk

Parker Brothers unveiled Risk in 1959. From the point of Argentina in South America to the tip of Kamchatka in northeast Asia, the world was yours for the taking. Rules varied from year to year and...

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Public Information Films (PIFs) in Britain – The Green Cross Man...

Once upon a time in a country where children were served warm milk for free in the middle of the morning, the TV overlords surveyed the multitude of potential disasters that awaited the well-meaning but...

Carry On & On & On & On

The Carry On formula always contained something bad, nothing new, everything borrowed, plenty blue - and lots of good humour to hide the holes in the plot and situations. A scathing female film critic once described the series...

Babes of S.H.A.D.O – Colonel Virginia Lake

Colonel Virginia Lake (Wanda Ventham) first appeared in the opening episode of the UFO series ('Identified') as the chief designer and head of the design team that created the UTRONIC UFO Tracking Equipment at Westbrook...

Steve Priest, Sweet bassist, dead at 72

4 June 2020 Steve Priest, bassist and co-founder of 1970s glam rock band Sweet, has died at the age of 72. Priest was born in Hayes, West London, in 1948, and became a musician after building his...

Fenella Fielding (1927 – 2018)

11 September 2018 Actress Fenella Fielding has died at the age of 90 after suffering a stroke. She was a serious actress remembered for a single, stand-out comic performance. Fenella survived a violent upbringing to play Ibsen, Shakespeare...

Quest to save Cosgrove Hall children’s TV treasures

20 October 2017 Puppets used for some of the best-loved children's TV characters of the 1970s and '80s are to get urgent repairs to stop them falling apart. The puppets come from the archive of animation studio Cosgrove...

Millie Small: My Boy Lollipop singer dies aged 72

6 May 2020 Jamaican singer Millie Small has died at the age of 72 after suffering a stroke. The star was most famous for her hit single My Boy Lollipop - a song originally recorded by New York...