Posts Tagged ‘draughts’

The History of Draughts in Cornwall

April 28, 2015

Back in September 2013 I wrote a blog about my wife’s great uncle by marriage, Wilfred Welch Piper. He was once featured in a Cornish newspaper as a leading draughts player in that south west county of England.

A chap called John Gillbard came across that piece of mine and got in touch. John was writing a book on the history of draughts in Cornwall and wondered if we had any more. The answer was a big yes, for we had Wilfred’ scrapbook in which he had kept many news items about draughts players and matches in Cornwall. John has now finished his book and has kindly sent us a copy.


The book covers the period from the 1800s to 2015. John’s view is that the game is now in its death throes as far as being a truly competitive activity is concerned. That’s a shame, of course, but younger people do tend to like to have a screen in front of them and maybe a bit of action in their games.

I’m pleased to say that my wife’s relatives do appear in the book.


Locksands Life is pleased to have helped bring about this book which offers insight into a little facet of West Country history.


Draughts in Cornwall

September 17, 2013

Out of others misfortune comes some good for us.

When one of our grandfathers died, his widow instantly went to live with her son – one of our uncles. He suddenly had an influx of stuff he couldn’t cope with and some went in the shed. Later, uncle found that the old photos he’d put there were wet and spoiled. He burnt them. A treasure trove of photos was lost and gone.

Years later, a nephew of the grandfather died. Still later his widow developed dementia and had to be cared for in a home. Her daughter had learning difficulties and wasn’t quite capable of independent living and went into sheltered accommodation.

It was relatives of nephew’s wife that did the house clearance but when they found a treasure trove of photos that reflected our side of the family they got in touch and items came to us. Some of this replaced photos that had been burned, but there were also scrapbooks.

So here I introduce our Great Aunt Dolly and, in particular, her husband, Wilfred Welch Piper.

Wilfred was a draughts player living in Cornwall. Back in those early years of the 20th century draughts was obviously news in the west. The scrapbook contains newspaper cuttings with accounts of matches played and had a regular column about individual players – one of whom was our Wilfred.

Wilfred was born in 1873 so, judging by age in the photo, this article dates from soon after 1900.



image004It isn’t the best quality copy – but how amazing that so much can be made of draughts!