Playing Cards

When I was a child we played cards – often. It was never for money although just sometimes we might have gambled with matchsticks or buttons. We played games of pure chance or games deemed to have more skill We ended up with a few favourites. We could play canasta (Italian canasta) with two or four of us but you needed a bit of time for that. What we called ‘slippery Anne’ was a big favourite. That’s the one called hearts on your windows computer. My dad loved solo whist and so did I. We played a variant called auction solo. And then there was a version of rummy – ideal for two people. Another game popular with the younger members of the family was racing demon – a mad scramble to get rid of all your cards first, hopefully thwarting others as you played.

Playing cards tended to be bought at jumble sales, with just occasionally new packs bought.

These days it is quite rare for a pack of cards to come out and packs of cards are almost fashion accessories. Here’s a pack I was bought a few Christmases ago.

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These cards are lovely, of course. Each card is individual with some piece of transport heritage on it. Here, for example, is the nine of spades.

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Aha, Volk’s Railway which still runs along the seafront in Brighton, as it has since 1883 when it was one of the earliest electric railways in the country.

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My picture dates from 1969 and shows a very bored looking driver and a smart front seat passenger with Brighton’s shingle and sea beyond.

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That driver looks a bit more alert.

I wasn’t the only person to visit that line. This picture was taken by father-in-law and shows his daughters and a couple of nephews. It dates from 1964.

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So happy memories for all from a box of cards.

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