(The Board) Games People Play: #5, Brit Quiz

Crown and Andrews’ Round Britain Quiz

Wednesday 29 December 1982

My drawing skills aren’t up to much, which is why I can play more than three chords on my guitar. I was toying with the idea of designing a board game entitled Race To Ashton. The idea was you could get to Ashton from Mossley on four methods: narrowboat, bus, train, or foot. I ran the idea past Donna (who at seven years old can draw the George Lawton Hall from memory). She said “boring”. I suggested a Round Britain style game based on InterCity trains. Nothing. Nil. Nada. Stuck at Guide Bridge East signal box.

I went to Ashton-under-Lyne today on the 350 to spend some of my Christmas money on something musical. First call was Woolworths, then the record shop next to The Untouchables boutique in the precinct. Couldn’t find anything besides King Trigger’s The River (worth a punt at 20p from the bargain bin). No cheapo Ataris either. In the end, I went to Wimpy for a beanburger meal, called in the Gas showrooms for my mother, then caught to bus back to Waterton Lane.

On the bus back to Hey Farm, I overheard a gentleman who was singing the praises of Margaret Thatcher. It was “Falklands this…”, “Falklands that…”, “Dear old Maggie…”. He was sat upstairs so I went downstairs before the 350 stopped at Heys Primary School. The bus driver gave him a dirty look when he alighted at The New Inn.

Perhaps the gentleman would have approved of this game in our calendar window. Rejoice, rejoice… in knowing the lyrics of I Belong To Glasgow as well as certain motorways.

Brit Quiz

Back in 1986, Margaret Thatcher was at the height of her popularity. Well, more precisely, at the height of her popularity in one corner of England. Yet less popular than Bubonic Plague in anywhere north of Altrincham. Even so, 1982 rather than 1986 would have been a better year to launch Brit Quiz.

Brit Quiz is a race game with a quiz element. You answer questions or do something daft whilst aiming to complete a circuit of the United Kingdom. The first person to have completed a circuit is the winner. If you get one question wrong or didn’t know the answer, you move back three spaces. If you get a question right, you move three spaces forward. You can start anywhere in the UK: Belfast or Manchester instead of London if you wish.

Each stepping stone is colour coded to reflect a subject. Brown denotes the Up The Creek category whereby you have to sing a patriotic song or something off the wall. Other colours are Orange (History and This and That); Yellow (People); White (Places); Green (Showbusiness); Blue (Slang); and Red (Sport).

Brit Quiz also spawned a sequel, with the rather novel title of Brit Quiz II. The Slang section in blue was replaced by Animals and Plants. The questions were different to the original 1986 set.

S.V., 05 December 2017.

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