North American Tiddlywinks Association

NATwA founded • 27 February 1966

Article author • Rick Tucker

Thanks to the following winkers who contributed information used in this article via email correspondence:

  • Richard Ackland
  • Sarah Knight
  • Stew Sage

H.R.H. The Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Phillip, was instrumental in establishing the popularity of tiddlywinks in the UK and promulgating its ongoing success. He sponsored several royal matches: in 1958 (the Goons vs. the Cambridge University Tiddlywinks Club (CUTwC), by far the best known and the most pivotal and incredibly impactful match), 1959 (the Empress Club vs. CUTwC), and yet another in 2008 (the Savage Club vs. CUTwC) that celebrated the 50th anniversary of the first royal tiddlywinks match in 1958.

A digitized image of a printed scorecard (with signatures but no scores) has come to light that suggests that a 1960 royal tiddlywinks match was planned and may have occurred. The scorecard (below) states that the match was to have taken place during the evening of Friday, 1 April 1960 (yes, April Fool’s Day). Per the scorecard, Prince Philip asked the Lord’s Taverners to serve as his royal champions to compete against CUTwC. At the time, Prince Philip was the titular President of the Lord’s Taverners organization during 1960–1961.

The Lord’s Taverners was founded at the Tavern at the esteemed Lord’s Cricket Ground in London. The organization promotes youth participation in the game of cricket.

Unfortunately, little is known about this royal match, including whether the event actually took place and winks games were played.

Here’s what we know so far!

Match Scorecard

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title • A World Tiddlywink Championship Match
date • 1 April 1960
match • The Royal Champions THE LORD'S TAVERNERS appointed by their President H.R.H. The Duke of Edinburgh versus The World Champions CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY appointed by themselves
item • scorecard without results, with signatures of participants

The following two people who signed this scorecard program were not listed as winkers on the program:

  • Ben Warriss,  a comedian who played the “straight man” as part of the comedy duo “Jewel & Warriss”
  • Joe Davis,  billiards/snooker player

Winkers in This Match

Here’s the list of the winkers representing the Cambridge University Tiddlywinks Club:

  • F. Geoffrey Kershaw (of Christ’s College)
  • A. P. Rigby (of Christ’s College)
  • James Norman Bardsley (Norman) (of Christ’s College)
  • Leslie G. Woodhead (of Selwyn College),
    • became a documentary film maker
  • A. MacBarnet (of Trinity College)
  • D. Wallage (of Downing College)
  • R. Hand (of Downing College)
  • D. Scholar (of Selwyn College)

And here’s the list of winkers on the Lord’s Taverners royal tiddlywinks team, winking on behalf of sponsor Prince Phillip:

The umpires at this match also umpired the 1 March 1958 CUTwC vs. Goons match, two years before: