A confession – I didn’t watch any live Olympics this year… I am interested, just not quite enough, your typical armchair spectator. Nonetheless, as you will know from one of my old posts (check it out!) I do like international events. So here’s my latest find from the Bloomsbury Ephemera Fair:
The board is rather cheaply made (quite flimsy card with the game pasted on). It was made in 1938 – probably in support of London’s bid for the 1944 Olympics. London was selected in 1939 but for obvious reasons there were no 1944 Olympics.
It should have 4 players – I only have 2 of them. And you will need one die.
As you can see, the game was ‘Made in England’ and ‘Ilex- Series’ was definitely made by R Turner Ltd. The company was based in Stoke Newington, London (at least in the 1930s and 1940s) – not very far from where I currently live. There is hardly any paper-trace of the company, except a listing as exhibitor in the 1947 British Industries Fair catalogue:
Manufacturers of Chess and Draught Boards, Backgammon, Chessmen, Cribbage Boards, Ludo, Halma, Snakes and Ladders, Tiddleywinks, Lotto, Solitaire, Pocket Chess, Draughtsmen, Darts, Table Tennis, Dominoes, Dice Cups and Kindergarten Games of Every Description. (Olympia, 2nd Floor, Stand No. J.2316)
I’d like to think that this may have counted as a ‘Kindergarten Game’!
I was very pleased to find that the building in which this and many other games were produced still exists – at least it did in 2009/10. There was even a company called Ilex Works (gaming software) based at the same address, admittedly short-lived (2017-2019). A music band has taken the name and thus continues carrying the baton or eternal flame for ‘Ilex Works’.
I am very grateful to Nick Morrison (scotch_egg), and Fin Fahay – both on Flickr – for kindly allowing me to use their photos of the building / entrance respectively.
Have a great week – more about Olympics in 2024 – here’s a hint what that post will be about 🙂