Shove ha’penny

Yesterday I wrote about our bagatelle board and I always associate the two games of bagatelle and shove ha’penny. This is because back in my childhood we had a shove ha’penny board and at some stage my dad made a bagatelle board on the other side of it. Well, as we saw, we have a Bakelite bagatelle board which would be impossible to make into a shove ha’penny game. So quite a few years ago I was bought a shove ha’penny game. The photo shows it in use at Christmas 2001. I am giving my son a game.

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I could comment on our dining room which still looks much the same today. To be fair, curtains and carpet have changed and so has wallpaper. I can see half a coal scuttle on the left and back then we had a coal fired heating system. That failed some years ago and we replaced it with an oil boiler. But we still have the same table, chairs and other furniture. We even still have the same television and it still remains the only one we have. I see a Christmas reindeer next to the TV and that still comes out each Christmas. The window sills have my son’s cactus collection in his GCSE project watering trays. They have been consigned to the past!

And I’m sitting at the table about to palm a half penny (old money of course) across the board, hoping to get it to stop precisely between the grooves which go across the board. As we play it (others may have different rules), in each turn you get 5 coins and the idea is that you can use the ones already on the board to help manage the one you are palming. A skilful player will get quite a few of their five coins to be scorers – sitting between the grooves.

It’s still a game I love, but normally one plays it in a standing position.

I must get the board out this Christmas!

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