Wednesday, 5 December 2012

The Number 454 (Not)

Jo had reminded me how the family had, over the years played and fallen out over ‘The Great Game of Britain’ especially the side of the board portraying the Victorian and pre-nationalised (and pre-denationalised, privatised and then partially re-nationalised – do keep up) rail lines and companies.

Similarly we played the Underground Game, which is a glorified version of the Underground Map, which always repays a visit. The family’s edition is we know not where (not with either LWB): we suspect we passed it, in a spirit of condescension, to a country dweller so that they should learn their lines before they came on a day trip to London.

However what we did find was a Fifties edition of ‘Taxi’ where the point is to pick up and deliver your fares as quickly as possible and reach a (pre-decimal) cash target, the game’s equivalent of ‘doing the knowledge’ came with the discovery that the most direct route was rarely the quickest...  The board is quaintly dated but essentially recognisable though in reproducing it here we have edited out some of the more unfortunately period/stereotypical passengers. 

For a fuller review of other London-based games (Monopoly is of course the main one), please see Peter Watts’ 2007 Time Out article , though I see he got weary of rolling the dice too often, and struggling  with pre-decimal currency!

PS Taxis are of course the most rarified form of travel but on the whole the trend has been for less  use of private vehicles and greater use of  public transport.


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