- Publication name: Winking World
- Whole number: 4
- Publisher: English Tiddlywinks Association
- Publication date: October 1963
- Editor: Guy Consterdine
- Page side count: 12
- Page size: 8″ wide by 13″ high
- Preparation: typewritten
- Copyright status: “No copyright exists in respect of the material in this Journal. The Association has no objection to reproduction of extracts from Winking World, provided the source is acknowledged.” (page 9)
- Transcriber: Rick Tucker
- OCR date: 26 November 2019
- OCR source: PDF of page image scans by Harley Jones, dated 7 October 2018
- Proofread date: 29 November 2019
- HTML conversion date: 29 November 2019
- W3C HTML validation date: 11 January 2020
- Date updated: 17 August 2022
- AGS: Altrincham Grammar School
- Assn: Association
- Ave: Avenue
- BBC: British Broadcasting Service
- Beds.: Bedfordshire
- Berks.: Berkshire
- B’ham: Birmingham
- Ches.: Cheshire
- C.H.S.: County High School
- Co.: Company
- CUTwC: Cambridge University Tiddlywinks Club
- Derbs.: Derbyshire
- d.s.: double-squop
- E.Tw.A.: English Tiddlywinks Association
- Glam.: Glamorgan
- Glos.: Gloucestershire
- G.S.: Grammar School
- IFTwA: International Federation of Tiddlywinks Associations
- ITV: Independent TV
- Lancs.: Lancashire
- Leics.: Leicestershire
- Lincs.: Lincolnshire
- Ltd.: Limited
- M/cr: Manchester
- Middx.: Middlesex
- NCFTTwC.: National College of Food Technology Tiddlywinks Club
- N.E.: Northeast
- NGWCTwC: Newcastle and Gateshead Water Company Tiddlywinks Club
- N. J.: Northern Junior
- NPFA: National Playing Fields Association
- Rd: Road
- Sec.: Secretary
- Sec-Gen: Secretary-General
- Shrops.: Shropshire
- St: Saint
- St: Street
- tw: tiddlywinks
- Tw.A.: Tiddlywinks Association
- Tw.C.: Tiddlywinks Club
- U.: University
- U.C.L.: University College, London
- U.L.U.: University of London Union
- USA: United States of America
- WW: Winking World
- The Second International Tiddlywinks Congress
- ££££££££££££ [ETwA. Subscriptions]
- Peter Downes
- The Bombay Bowl
- The Marchant Trophy
- Prince Philip Silver Wink
- ETwA Records
- Tiddlywinks Equipment
- The International Rules
- Oxford v. Cambridge 1963
- A Potted History of Tiddlywinks
- The ’World for Sixpence
- Winks in the USA
- Rev. E. A. Willis
- Around the Winking World
- Constitution of the English Tiddlywinks Association
October 1963 · THE WINKING WORLD · Number 4 · Price 6d
THE OFFICIAL JOURNAL OF THE ENGLISH TIDDLYWINKS ASSOCIATION
SECOND INTERNATIONAL TIDDLYWINKS CONGRESS
The English Tiddlywinks Association (ETwA) now has a formal Constitution, thanks to the Congress at the Cobden Hotel, Edgbaston, Birmingham. The World Tiddlywinks Congress of 1958 was so informal that no Minutes and no Constitution written down. Another important step forward at the Second Congress was the setting-up of an International Federation of Tiddlywinks Associations (IFTwA) to look after the development of Tiddlywinks on a world-wide basis.
The Congress occupied the weekend of 15-16th June, and 11 clubs were represented: Altrincham Grammar School, Bristol University, Cambridge U., George Dixon G. S. (Birmingham), Gipsy Hill Training College (Surrey), London U. Union, Manchester U., Queen Mary College (London), University College (London), Aberdeen U., and Belfast U., together with the Secretary-General and the Treasurer of ETwA.
Peter Downes (Sec-Gen) took the Chair, and gave an Opening Address on “Tiddlywinks—The Past, The Present and The Future” (an article on these lines appears elsewhere in this Journal.) Norman Bardsley, ETwA Treasurer, presented the Accounts for the previous half-year:
Club Affiliation Fees £ 3-18-0 Individual Membership Fees 5- 0-0 Donations 1- 3-6 Commission [3d x 462] 5-15-6 ─────── £ 15-17-0
Printing WW 3 £ 1-15- 6 Postage, WW 3 1-10- 0 General Postage 2- 5- 2 Stationery, Equipment 1-11- 5 Balance 8-14-11 ─────── £ 15-17- 0
Congress raised the affiliation fees for 1964—details elsewhere in this issue. The Commission on the Income side is a royalty of 3d per box on all sets of winks sold by Marchant Games Ltd, paid to ETwA because it has appointed Marchants as the only recognised manufacturers of official winks equipment. The figure of 462 sets sold is high because 299 sets were exported to an American organisation. Thus tiddlywinks is not only contributing to a favourable Balance Of Payments situation, but is also enhancing the image in the States of British goods being of high quality!
The longest item on the programme for discussion at the Congress was ETwA’s Constitution. Messrs Downes, Bardsley and Veitch had drawn up a Draft Constitution as commissioned to do at the ETwA Committee meeting in March. Congress debated this Constitution article by article, making alterations where it was thought necessary. At the end of these labours, the new Constitution was formally adopted; a copy of it comes with Winking World.
Congress resumed on Sunday morning by electing Officers of ETwA as follows:
- Honorary President: Prince Philip—associated with tw since its early days, but since the Congrees he has declined this honorary post.
- Honorary Vice-President: Bill Steen—virtually responsible for the modern revival of tw, and a former Sec-Gen of ETwA. Bill is now out in India and is in charge of the Indian Tw Association.
- Chairman: Peter Downes—has run ETwA practically on his own for the last 3 years; he founded Winking World.
- Vice-Chairman and Treasurer: Stuart Clark—President of Bristol U. Tw. Club.Start of page 2
- Secretary, and Editor of WW: Guy Consterdine—former President of University of London Union Tw Club, and ex-Secretary of London Tw Council
Six Council Members:-
- Roger McGovern—Chairman of London Tw Council; plays for University College London. He is also ETwA’s Auditor.
- Norman Bardsley—former Treasurer of ETwA, and 3 times an International. He was once at Cambridge, is now at Manchester doing research.
- Ken Veitch—from Manchester U. and organises the N. J. Tw. Champ.
- Charles Relle—experienced winker from Cambridge, now winking part-time in London.
- Grace Hunter—from Gipsy Hill Training College, Kingston-on-Thames; a link between ETwA and the training colleges.
- Martin O’Shea—an Englishman at present looking after the Scottish Tw Association. At Aberdeen University.
This concluded the discussion of purely English matters, and Congress went on to discuss international affairs. First, an international tw authority, IFTwA, was brought into being by the motion “That an International Federation of Tiddlywinks Associations be formed, consisting of a Secretary-General plus one representative from each National Tiddlywinks Association, for the purposes of encouraging the enjoyment and development of tiddlywinks throughout the world, and arranging international events. This body is responsible for the International Rules.” Norman Bardsley was elected to the Secretary-Generalship of IFTwA. Congress went on to specify the regulations governing 3 tw competitions (for the Silver Wink, Marchant Trophy and Bombay Bowl), and made certain amendments to the International Rules. Details of all these can be found elsewhere in WW 4.
At the Congress subscriptions to ETv,A for 1964 were raised. It was felt that the old affiliation fees (5/— Senior, 3/6 Junior) were too low, and in the past this had precipitated ETwA into financial crises, It might be objected that clubs would not get their money’s worth if the subscriptions were increased: but if it comes to the point, the same was sometimes true when subs were 5/—. The documents, sets of Rules, Winking Worlds, Voting rights, etc. that a club receives in the course of a year (plus the postage involved) haven’t in themselves always been worth the full 5/—; the idea of becoming affiliated to ETwA isn’t simply to extract one’s money’s-worth, but to contribute to the welfare of the game as a whole. To meet the heavy postage, stationery, and other expenditure, and in order to organise events, collect lists of addresses, produce a Journal, answer enquiries, and so on, ETwA needs a steady income. Quite apart from the material advantages to a club of joining ETwA, if its members enjoy winks it is only justice that it should help enable ETwA to introduce others to the game, and as interest in winx spreads the original clubs get indirect ‘feedback’ advantages.
Subscriptions for the calendar year 1964 now stand at 10/— for Senior clubs (members over 18) and 5/— for Junior clubs (members 18 and under), Many clubs still haven’t paid their affiliation fee for 1963: — 5/— Senior, 3/6 Junior. Individual Membership, open to anyone, stands at 2/— per year for any number of years, and £ 1 for Life Membership. Subscriptions should be sent to the ETwA Treasurer, whose addresses are in the Addresses List in WW 4. Postal Orders and Cheques should be made payable to the ”English Tiddlywinks Association”.
Tiddlywinks owes a great deal to Peter Downes, who has held the position of Sec-Gen of ETwA with such distinction for the last 3 years. Far from abandoning his squidger, he is now Chairman. He was Secretary and Captain of the club at Cambridge, then in 1959 he began a year of teaching practice in Paris. Peter tried to get the game going in France; he translated the Rules into French, and appointed himself secretaire generale de la Federation Française du Tiddly. He returned to England in 1960 to teach at Manchester G. S., and took up the Secretary-Generalship of ETwA. Peter has put a great deal of enthusiasm and effort into promoting the enjoyment of winks, and as Chairman he remains….
THE BOMBAY BOWL
This is a Trophy for competition between teams representing England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland. The Trophy is a magnificent silver Bowl, presented by Guinness and Co. in 1960 when England played Scotland on the Esplanade of Edinburgh Castle. England emerged victors, having already defeated the Welshmen at Bristol in 1959, and have since retained the Trophy by defeating Scotland at Manchester and at Edinburgh in 1963.
Scotland v. England, 2nd March 1963
1. A. Steel D. Mitchell ) 126.96.36.199 15 2. A.Kelly . R. Williams ) 188.8.131.52 10 3. J.Brindle J.Best ) 184.108.40.206 10 4. A. Buck M.Torkington ) 220.127.116.11 17 ── 42
1. G.Consterdine (London) R.McGovern (London) ) 18.104.22.168 19 2. C.Relle (Cambridge) P. Moore (Oxford) ) 22.214.171.124 19 3. P.Downes (Adonis) S.Clark (Bristol) ) 126.96.36.199 13 4. N. Bardsley (Manchester) K.Veitch (Manchester) ) 188.8.131.52 19 ── 70
THE MARCHANT TROPHY
This Trophy, for the Champions of All England, presented by Marchant Games Ltd, was first contested at the Varsity Match in 1959; Cambridge won and remained Champions until 1961, when Oxford gained the Trophy. In February 1962 Cambridge won it back. In December 1962 London wrested the Trophy from Cambridge, and it has not changed hands since then.
The Trophy is open to any tiddlywinks club in England. In order to challenge a club must first submit a record of its recent match performances to the Secretary of ETwA, to show that it can can be considered a serious challenger. Holders of the Trophy are not obliged to defend it more than once a month. A defeated challenger or holder may not be the next to challenge, unless no challenge has been made within a period of 6 months, in which case the Secretary of ETwA is empowered to arrange a challenge match.
PRINCE PHILIP SILVER WINK
This annual universities’ knockout competition started in 1960-61. Oxford were the first to win it, Bristol the second.
Since Congress the competition comes under the jurisdiction of IFTwA. Michael Crick (4p Portman Mansions, Chiltern St, London W. 1.) has been delegated to organise the competition this year, and is the man to contact with any queries and all results. In contrast to the organisational difficulties of previous years, Crick has devised a most efficient and comprehensive plan in which every university in Britain is covered, including those as yet without clubs. The competition is thus in part a crusade to encourage the formation of tw clubs in universities which haven’t yet added tw to their menu of sports. It is hoped that established clubs drawn to play non-existent clubs in the first round will attempt to coax opposition into being, and the opposition may afterwards continue winking and grow in tiddly strength. If no opposition materialises by mid-November, the established clubs automatically move into the second round. Finishing dates have been set for each round, and clubs which have not played their due matohes by those dates are liable to disqualification; it is imperative to avoid the situation where the whole competition is held up through one match not having been played. A circular about the competition is being sent to all 37 universities.
In last year’s Silver Wink competition many universities were unable to raise a team, and in most cases the scores, of matches that did take place were not sent in to the organiser or to ETwA. The competition was organised into 4 areas:
- WESTERN REGION. Oxford triumphed convincingly over Reading, while Bristol, receiving no response from Cardiff other than a 10/– entry fee, had a walkover. In the Oxford-Bristol encounter, Bristol took an early lead but their opponents overhauled them and won safely; for Oxford, Peter Freeman and Elizabeth King scored heavily.
- SOUTH-EASTERN REGION. Leicester defeated Nottingham, and London encountered Cambridge. The latter took a small lead in the first round but London swept the mat in the second and fourth rounds to win 65 1/2–46 1/2; Villar and Crick made 21 of London’s points. London went on to beat Leicester 72 1/2–39 1/2.
- NORTHERN REGION. There was a disappointing response in the two northern areas, and the large distances to be travelled added to the difficulties. Manchester overcame Hull, and in the
- SCOTLAND AND N. E. REGION Edinburgh defeated Durham.
Of the two semi-finals, one was regrettably abandoned: no northern finalist had emerged by June and the teams concerned agreed that the Oxford-London semifinal should become the Final. This was played at Keble College Oxford, on June 16th. Those with long memories recalled that at the previous encounter between these two teams only one point had separated victor from vanquished. The manifold interest of the present match was in no way diminished by the halfway stage, for the teams were still within a few points of each other. It was only in the 3rd and 4th rounds that the eventual winners pulled ahead; on one or two tables London squopped the opposition to a standstill, and potted just half their winks at the end to ensure the 6-1 scores that swung the whole match. Oxford played their strongest pair, Clive Randewich and Anne Smith, on Mat 4 ‘to put a sting in the tail’: the tail stung to such effect that it scored 20 points, but in contrast Oxford’s 3rd Mat yielded only 5 points. London’s strength throughout the season lay in consistently matting 4 first-class pairs, and in no match did a pair fail to score at least 11 points. Final score: Oxford 48 1/3, London 63 2/3.
ETwA only recognises the 3 Records that are laid down at the back of the booklet of International Rules, and the conditions for claiming new records are laid down there. Records at present stand as follows:
- Accuracy: 12 small winks from 3 feet in 23 shots by Michael Brogden of Hull University in October 1962.
- Speed: Allen Astles of AGS potted 24 small winks from 18 inches in 33 seconds.
- 4-Fot Relay: Altrincham G. S. achieved 40 winks through 4 pots in 3 minutes on June 18th 1963, 3 days after Astles had broken the Speed record.
An indication of how standards have been improving is given by this quotation from a newspaper of February 1959: ‘An experienced winker, Robin Glasscock, gave a startling display of individual skill when he potted 24 Winks from a distance of one foot in only 54 seconds… 9 seconds outside the record.’ The same article illustrates how tactics, too, have changed: ‘There is an area around the pot known as the Altrincham Coffin where the possibility of being squopped is particularly likely, and this area should be avoided.’
In the past winkers have claimed all sorts of strange tiddly feats as records, e.g. long-distance squidging (21 feet 1/2 inches), the greatest number of small winks squidged onto an upturned pot (32), and the average distance achieved with 12 winks piled on top of one another and all squidged off in one shot. ETwA declines to officially recognise such records since ETwA Records should only encourage delicacy, accuracy, and other skills necessary in playing tw; as far as possible, tw should not involve brute force, chance, or freak results.
The official tiddlywinks equipment—sets of winks, felt mat, and books of the International Rules—can be obtained direct from the manufacturers, Marchant Games Ltd, Goldings Hill, Loughton, Essex. The felt mats, though a trifle expensive, are worth the initial outlay if one aspires to first-class winking, for they provide a true and consistent surface, essential for developing the higher skills of the game: the felt mats are good value for money, and compared with the needleloom mats used in the early days, are also cheap.
THE INTERNATIONAL RULES
A number of modifications to the Rules were made at the June Congress, and came into force on October 1st, 1963:
RULE 4: For squidger dimensions, delete ‘approx 1 1/2 in. diameter’ and substitute ‘round and between 1 and 2 inches in diameter’. The use of the small and medium-sized winks as squidgers is thus ruled out. The new Rule does however admit diversity of squidgers within the prescribed regulations, and players may change squidgers during a game, using a different type of squidger for a different type of shot. For example, squidgers may have different profiles (i.e. cross-section)—some may be thick-edged, some thin-edged. Thus for potting a wink from under the lip of the pot one might prefer to use a slightly flexible squidger which is wafer-thin at the edge and thickens towards the middle. Squidgers with any straight edges are outlawed of course. The compleat squidgerman might use a whole set of squidgers and employ a caddy to carry them. But this is not intended to encourage squidging with any circular object that has a diameter of 1 to 2 inches: coins and. bathplugs, for instance, must be ruled out; one correspondent has even suggested squidgers with holes in the centre ‘for maximum viewing of the winks underneath’.
RULE 8: Between the first and second sentences add ‘If the player sends off more than one wink of his in one shot, he misses only one turn.’
RULE 8 NOTE: The Note must now read ‘A player whose wink is sent off the mat by another player during a desquop does not lose a turn.’
RULE 9(a): Add to the Note ‘A wink in play can be squopped anywhere on the playing surface.’
RULE 9(c): Delete the last sentence of the second Note.
Add to 9(c) within the second brackets ‘If in freeing the opponent’s wink the player pots it, he must move another wink aside, if necessary one of his partner’s winks.’
MATCH PROCEDURE (b): After the first sentence add ‘If and when the time limit expires, there will be a further 5 rounds of turns, starting with the next player.’ During the 5 rounds turns may be forfeited in the usual ways (entirely squopped up, sending a wink off the mat) and as usual one has an extra shot for potting one’s wink. If a player has potted a wink but has not yet played his extra shot and the time limit expires before he does so, he shall complete his turn before the 5 rounds commence. Having these 5 rounds after the time limit expires eliminates the rush towards the end of the game to get in as many shots as possible before time is up; the rush results in the most undesirably hasty and ill-considered shots, and the player who pauses to consider what to play is thought to be time-wasting. With 5 extra rounds there is ample time to consider one’s move’s, which is particularly advantageous since the last shots of the game are generally the most important ones.
As announced in WW3 and printed in the newer books of Rules, there are now 3 points for each wink in the pot after the time limit, and 5 rounds.
RULE 9(b), concerning desquopping, was re-examined and is to remain unchanged. This Rule means that a player may quite deliberately squidge any wink part of which was initially vertically below his own uncovered wink, provided that the squidger touches his uncovered wink first and that the shot is continuous, taking only an instant of time. For example, if these provisos are fulfilled a player may attempt to pot an opponent’s squopped wink (and if it is successfully potted the wink must remain in the pot). But a shot in which there is a pause, however slight, between playing an upper wink and a lower wink, is illegal. If an illegal shot does occur it must be hoped that the players concerned will settle the matter in a gentlemanly way. It is suggested that the winks should be replaced as they were before the illegal shot and the offending player miss his turn. There is difficulty indeed when the players cannot agree whether the shot was illegal or not.
OXFORD v. CAMBRIDGE 1963
The fifth annual varsity match took place on February 23rd. Tactics in the main were double-squop, though an appreciable number of winks were eventually potted and many games ended in an open style. The 3 points for winks in the pot at the time limit had much to do with the attractive potting nature of the endgames. The first round produced even scores, and Oxford edged a point ahead in the second round. The crucial round as it turned out was the third, when the Cambridge matsmen returned scores of 4, 4, 5, and 6 to put their side 9 points ahead, and needing only 10 more to win. Final score: Cambridge 59 1/2, Oxford 52 1/2.
A POTTED HISTORY OF TIDDLYWINKS
The origins of tiddlywinks, disreputable or otherwise, are shrouded in the mists of antiquity, but broadly speaking we can say there are now two types of tiddlywinks games. The earlier type is usually a potting race pure and simple (called Queensberry) and probably began in the 19th century. Modern tiddlywinks involves squopping (covering another’s wink), which transforms it into a complex tactical game, and it is the story of this game that is to be told here.Neoclassical tiddlywinks can date its birth from the foundation in January 1955 of the first club devoted entirely to tiddlywinks (or tw)—the Cambridge University Tw Club, created by a group of chemical engineering students, notably Bill Steen and Lawford Howells. Yet though tiddlywinks came to be taken seriously it was more of a stunt than it is today. These tiddly ancients were renowned less for their skill in playing the game than for their ingenuity in publicising it, though they would have been surprised to see the vast network of devoted winkers that now exists. In 1955 it was a complete novelty (as it still is to most people in 1963) that intelligent adults should form a club for crawling about on the floor playing what appears to be a childrens’ game, and being a novelty it was likely to die out when the curiosity it aroused began to wane. Tiddlywinks only survived outside the nursery because, with a new set of rules, it was found to be a skilful and engrossing game in its own right.
CUTwC began experimenting with a great variety of tw equipment; most sets contained winks of curious colours and varying sizes and weights. Ordinary eggcups often did service as pots. Added to these hazards was the difficulty of finding opponents: when there is only one tw club in the world, who does it play against? CUTwC sent challenges to many well-known people, without much success. It is said that the club wrote to the Goons, offering to play them “anytime, anywhere, at your own convenience”, to which the Goons replied that their convenience was unfortunately too small for a game of tiddlywinks. At last came a match against a team called the Whitcomb Winkers, consisting mainly of West End showgirls, organised by Noel Whitcomb of the Daily Mirror. During the 3 years 1955-57 CUTwC played (and won) 3 matches: against the Whitcomb Winkers, Addenbrooke’s Hospital, and Westminster College.
In the Lent and Easter terms of 1955, Bill Steen and his team of tiddle-addicts invaded Eaden Lilley’s store in Cambridge, and carried out experiments on their varied range of carpets in an endeavour to find the best playing surface. Later,they published an enterprising Thesis entitled The Science of Tiddlywinks. This gave the results of painstaking research into the effects of different types of carpets, squidgers and winks. They analysed the effects on play due to spin, the player, the physical atmosphere (density of the air, humidity, temperature, draughts), and the mental atmosphere (wine, women, song). There was a test to show the effects on one’s potting of dividing one’s attention, for instance by having to hold a conversation while winking: ‘The players gave a lecture on The Origin Of The Earth or Plastics In Industry while trying to sink 6-inch shots’. Among the Appendices were the then Rules; Rule 8, for example, read ‘A tiddlywink is deemed as played if it is observed by a majority of persons who observed the shot to have left the pitch (carpet)’. The Thesis also contained a short Historical Survey: ‘… owing to the simplicity of the materials required it is quite possible that Stone Age Man had the occasional squidge while chipping flints. At this early period man was not able to comprehend rules, and also the counters used would not jump well except upon moss—a possible explanation of the number of bodies found in bogs… Carpets and blankets became plentiful during the Industrial Revolution; it is therefore suggested that it was about the beginning of the 19th century that the game started in earnest…’
In October 1957 the Spectator published an article headed Does Prince Philip Cheat At Tiddlywinks? Leaping to the Duke’s defence at this unkind insinuation, CUTwC challenged him to a match to prove his honesty at tw. He accepted the challenge, but instead of playing in person preferred to use the Royal privilege of appointing his champions—the Goons. The match took place at the Guildhall, Cambridge, on March 1st 1958. A helicopter normally used for pest control stood by to whisk Harry Secombe off to Coventry afterwards. The occasion was a victory not only for the Cambridge team but for the game of tiddlywinks. After 3 years of quiet existence tw at last caught the public’s imagination, for the match was widely reported. There soon developed a stream of letters, enquiries, and requests for information about tw. By 1958 one or two other tw clubs were being formed, notably one at Oxford; but it was the blaze of publicity from the Goons game that really got tw going on its course of expansion. That match also brought about the happy association between tw and some of its benefactors: Guinness and Co became interested, Showerings supplied CUTwC with Babycham as a training diet since Babycham bottle-tops
Start of page 7 were light blue, Marchant Games Ltd offered the Goons winks with which to practice, and provided sets for the match, while Prince Philip and the National Playing Fields Association began their connection with tw. It seemed that tiddlywinks was at the threshold of a new era.
The First World Tiddlywinks Congress was held at Christ’s College, Cambridge, on June 11th and 12th, 1958; it was organised by Lawford Howells and Bill Steen, and attended by the Rev. E.A. Willis and representatives of Cambridge, Oxford and Bristol Universities. Its main task was to formulate a set of International Rules, for as in any growing and virile activity there were several differences regarding the mode of play. The pre-Congress rules as played by Cambridge in 1958 were somewhat different to those laid down in the 1955 Thesis; by 1958 the surface was required to be ‘an isotropic compressible medium’, the cup an ‘inverted frustrum of a cone’, the points for 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th were 5, 3, 2 and 1, and potting was known as ‘cupping’. Oxford had their own version of the Rules, which precluded squopping, and this led to the greatest controversy at the Congress—should squopping be allowed? The squoppers had their way. It was at this Congress that the Rules as we know them today (save for a few subsequent amendments) were drawn up. Congress also decided that tw should be associated with a suitable charity—the National Playing Fields Association; by 1963 tw events had raised over £1000 for the NPFA. The English Tiddlywinks Association was founded, and Rev. Willis appointed its first Secretary-General. The Congress was most informal; no Minutes were taken and no ETwA Constitution written down.
Marchant Games Ltd undertook to manufacture sets of tiddlywinks with the new Rules; the firm did not venture into this field in order to make big profits (for sales were expected to be small) but rather as a service to the game. Even in mid-1958 after the Congress tw enthusiasts did not anticipate the rapidity with which the game has in fact spread.
As more people took up this noble sport, attention became focussed on the game itself, and its devotees took it a little more seriously, putting the accent on winning rather than on getting publicity. Organised tournaments began to develop; the Northern Junior Tw Championships have been particularly successful. This competition was started in January 1959, when 58 pairs from northern schools entered; it is now held annually on a knockout basis, and the standard of skill exhibited is very high. ETwA officially recognised Record Performances, and these are often used as sideshows for spectators at tw events. In February 1959 the first annual Inter-Varsity match took place, with the All-England Championship Cup, presented by Marchant Games, at stake; the match attracted such people as Stirling Moss and Danny Blanchflower as umpires, and was followed by a lavish Tiddlywinks Ball.
The continual efforts to repeat the success of the Goons match came to fruition on 24th March 1959. Billed as the World Championship Tiddlywinks Match, Cambridge University (‘Champions of the Universe’) played the challengers, The Empress Club (nominated by Prince Philip). The latter celebrated team included Denis Compton, Terry-Thomas and three Lords, and was led by General Sir Hugh Stockwell. The fame of this match, which raised £496.11.6d for the NPFA, resounded round the world; thus a report of it appeared in a Western Australia newspaper, which added that ‘Tiddlywinks is the most upper-class of games in England. Its patron is the Duke of Edinburgh, and its players include the intellectual cream of the universities, titled young men, and the Goons.’ Yet this game, which Cambridge under Peter Downes won by a huge margin, didn’t create quite the same stir as the immortal Goons match.
The next major tw match was the first International, England versus Wales, at Bristol on June 8th. Bill Steen, once described as ‘the W.G. Grace of tiddlywinks’, and having just taken over the Secretary-Generalship of ETwA, led the English side; his ex-Cambridge colleague Lawford Howells captained the Welshmen. The English pairs returned scores of 22, 22, 17 and 17 to win 78-34.
By the second half of 1959 tw had spread far beyond the limited circle who had kept the game alive only a year before. Clubs existed in many universities and schools and more were coming into being. There was no sign that the urge to squidge was in any way declining. On the contrary, so skilled were winkers at potting and squopping that (to quote a Stockport newspaper) they ‘made the game look like child’s play.’ So much was happening winkwise that for the crowded 1960s the chronicler can select for discussion only a few of the outstanding tiddly events.
At the beginning of 1960 ETwA challenged the Scottish Tw Association, which in those days was newly formed and under the care of J. K. P. Watson, to the now-defunot title of Victor Tiddlywinkorum of the British Isles. Guinness and Co. became interested in the prospect of regular International matches, and presented a handsome silver trophy, the Bombay Bowl. The match was arranged for May 7th, on the Start of page 8
Esplanade of Edinburgh Castle. Efforts to attire the Englishmen in top hats, black cloaks, and a dagger each, fell through, but the team toured Edinburgh before and after the match in a landau with a top-hatted coachman, posthorn, and trombone. The Scots wore kilts, bowties, sweaters and lowland bonnets, and were piped onto the Esplanade with their standard-bearer and the umpires—to no avail, for the kilted Scots were beaten 39-73. Subsequent International matches were rather less flambuoyant, but strategy had developed a stage further and interest veered more towards the subtleties inherent in the game itself.
In the summer of 1960 Peter Downes returned to England after a year in Paris, where he learned that the French temperament is unsuited to tiddlywinks. He took over from Bill Steen as Sec-Gen of ETwA, and the first task he set himself was the compilation of a list of all tw clubs known to exist. The list appeared in October, and included a note on ETwA Records and various tw championships. This publication was the forerunner of Winking World, and its importance lies in the fact that for the first time the tw movement ceased to be local and became truly national. Winkers at one end of the country knew what was happening at the other end, and this process developed further when Winking World No. 1 appeared in February 1961 ; the Journal proved to be a vitally important line of communication among winkers.
Prince Philip gave the handsome Silver Wink trophy in 1960, which Oxford were the first to win. The third International was held at Manchester in October 1961, England again defeating Scotland.
1960-62 saw the controversy over double-squop (d. s.). This strategy was pioneered by Oxford, partly in an endeavour to defeat Cambridge. The latter were dismayed at the effect d. s. had on the game; at first it made tw tedious to players and spectators alike—many games reached stalemate, and an Oxford-Bristol patch was abandoned after 5 hours 20 minutes with 3 games still unplayed. It was argued that d. s. discourages potting, whereas ‘the aim of the game is to flick the winks into the pot’. To some, d. s. threatened to be the ruin of tw. Their worst fears were confirmed when the annual Inter-Varsity match in February 1961 involved so much double-squopping that it was described as a ‘total squop’. (It was also the first match that CUTwC ever lost.) The total squop of this match, and the difficulty of performing a fair desquopping shot, led to the suggestion in Winking World that squopped winks be replaced at the base-line. This ‘Cleaner Winks Campaign’ met opposition from all sides and the idea was dropped. The solution was found in a much less radical change: potted winks counted for 3 time-limit points instead of 2. This simple alteration in January 1963 put the premium on potting again, while d. s. was not seriously curtailed. There is now a wide view that d. s. has been brought under control, for it pays to pot in the endgame even when playing d. s. Quite apart from being successful as regards sheer results, d.s. adds considerably to the tactical depth of tw, and has made the game a greater intellectual challenge.
Four Oxford winkers toured the United States in the summer vacation of 1962, kindling tiddly interest over there, and the game ‘is well on the way to becoming a national past-time’. Lawford Howells was last heard of squopped up in Bagdad, while Bill Steen has taken his winks to India. In England, so great was interest in the game that by the end of 1962 the informal organisation of ETwA set up at the 1958 Congress had become quite inadequate; the Secretary-General ruled as a benevolent despot, and the accounts were in the red. The 1963 Congress was called to resolve these difficulties. Tiddlywinks, now reorganised, stands ready for new advances.
THE ’WORLD FOR SIXPENCE
No charge was made for copies of the previous editions of Winking World, but this meant a restricted circulation, one copy per club, and many winkers did not see a copy. To make WW available to everyone, a nominal price has been charged. Copies may be had for 6d (and extra stamps for postage will be appreciated) from ETwA’a Secretary or Treasurer. Subscribed members receive a copy without charge of course; as regards clubs which receive WW4 but haven’t paid their 1963 subscriptions, ETwA would prefer the subscription to 6d for the WW. Comments and suggestions concerning Winking World are most welcome, as are any pieces of information or queries. In WW No. 1 it was piously hoped ‘that Winking World will be able to produce feature articles on tiddlywinks written by you and your club members’: this brought zero response but we live in hope of better things.
WINKS IN THE USA
‘Becoming a national past-time in America’—as evidence of this claim, Joseph U. Venaglia in New York revealed that in just one week of December 1962, a 2-page picture-story on tw appeared in Life magazine, a 15-minute tw demonstration was shown on a nation-wide TV program, the Harvard team were taped for another TV show, and popular national magazines were covering tournaments and meets and were due to carry stories.
America began big-time winking when four Oxford players toured the States in August 1962, sponsored by Guinness. Teams were specially formed to play Oxford, and it was on 31st August that a side from Gargoyle, the Harvard University students’ magazine, confronted Oxford across the mat. Although losing 7-21, the Gargoyle club were so impressed by the potential of tw that by March 1963 they had played 19 matches and taken part in tournaments in New York (Dec 8) and Los Angeles (Dec 30). There was difficulty in obtaining equipment and to meet the shortage a Madison Avenue firm imported 299 tw sets from England. A news release was sent to college newspapers in 48 States, and mailing despatched to 1000 campus organisations. The efficient business promotion through which tw has spread in the USA contrasts vividly with the casual amateur development of tw in Britain.
The wide publicity resulted in many new clubs being formed, and all playing to the ETwA International Rules as far as possible. The game’s stronghold, as in Britain, is among high school and college students. The Gargoyle club became a leading force in US tw, because of its TV and magazine appearances, undefeated record since the Oxford game, and the prestige of Harvard. To some extent it has become a record-keeper and clearing-house for US tw, and has been organising American teams into Leagues. Early in 1963 the National Undergraduate Tw Society of America sought affiliation to ETwA: Peter Downes suggested that the Gargoyle club took the initiative in founding an American Tw Assn, which could then join IFTwA. This is how tw is enveloping the world: the game grows within each winking country until for the sake of efficient internal administration a National Tw Assn becomes necessary, and now we have reached the stage where a supranational body must co-ordinate and standardise world tw—the role of the new IFTwA.
REV. E. A. WILLIS
- Other nations are before us with their Sputniks and Explorers:
- What can confidence restore us ? Naught but Tiddlywinks.
- On the fields of Eton, former foes were beaten,
- But today all patriots play
- This sport which needs such grit and concentration.
- Through this game of skill and poeer England knows her finest hour,
- And her stronghold, shield and tower must be Tiddlywinks!
- ABERDEEN U.—M. O’Shea, Students’Í Union, Broad St, Aberdeen.
- ABERYSTWYTH—J. K. Spiller, Carpenter Hall, Marine Terrace, Aberystwyth.
- ALTRINCHAM G. S.—A. Astles, ‘Franken’, 152 Moss Lane, Timperley, Altrincham, Ches.
- BANCROFT’S SCHOOL—A. R. Morris, Bancroft’s School, Wbodford Green, Essex.
- BEMROSE SCHOOL, DERBY—C. Butler, 172 Broadway, Derby.
- BOLTON SCHOOL—P. Smith, 663 Leigh Road, Leigh, Lancs.
- BOSTON Tw CLUB—Miss A. King, 1 Horbling Lane, Stickney, Boston, Lincs.
- BRISTOL G. S.—J. Wilde, 70 Reedly Road, Bristol 9.
- BRISTOL U.—P. Bild, Churchill Hall, Stoke Bishop, Bristol 9.
- BOURNEVILLE—Sec., Tw Club, Bourneville Boys Technical School, Griffins Brook Lane, Bourneville, Birmingham 30./li>
- CAMBRIDGE U.—T. Ballantyne, St Catherine’s College, Cambridge.
- CARDIFF U.—Miss J. Lugg, 6 Clas Tynycae, Rhiwlima, Cardiff.
- COALBROOKDALE C.H.S.—G. Carter, Coalbrookdale County High School, Ironbridge, Shrops.
- CHELTENHAM, St Paul’s College—J. Hyland, 66 Prestbury Road, Cheltenham, Glos.
- DOVER NEW ELIZABETHANS—R. Cuff, 51 Valley Road, River, Dover, Kent.
- DURHAM U.—Sec., Tw Club, Union Society, Palace Green, Durham.
- EALING G. S.—P. R. Lee, Ealing G. S. , Ealing, London W.5.
- WOKINGHAM—Miss C. Mawby, Easthampstead Park College, Wokingham, Berks.
- EDINBURGH U.—Sec., Tw Club, Students’ Union, Edinburgh University, Edinburgh.
- ESSEX INST OF AG—R. Page-Wood, Essex Institute of Agriculture, Writtle, Chelmsford.
- EXETER U.—Winktiddly Club, Devonshire House, Stocker Road, Exeter, Devon.
- FINCHLEY SCHOOL—D. Nelson, End House, Church Crescent, Finchley, London N.3.
- FLYING DISC, B’HAM—C. Flood, 286 Robin Hood Lane, Hall Green, Birmingham 28.
- GEORGE DIXON G. S.—R. Gillett, 237 Quinton Road, Harborne, Birmingham 17.
- GIPSY HILL T. C.—Miss G. Hunter, Kenry House, Kingston Hill, Kingston-on-Thames, Surrey.
- GLASGOW U.—Sec, Tw Club, The Union, Glasgow University, Glasgow.
- GUY’S HOSPITAL—R. Davies, 41A, Arkwright Road, Hampstead, London NW3.
- HAMPTON G. S.—C. Emery, 116 Montrose Ave, Twickenham, Middx.
- HARE HALL ROMFORD—T. Newland, 158 Cambridge Ave, Gidea Park, Romford, Essex.
- HEANOR G. S.—G. H. Davey, Dene Hurst, 132 Mansfield Rd, Heanor Derbs.
- HULL U.—A. Jones, The Union, The University, Hull.
- KENT COLLEGE CANTERBURY—Sec, Tw Club, Kent College, Canterbury, Kent.
- KINGS SCHOOL—A. Hinxman, The King’s School, Grantham, Lincs.
- LEEDS COLLEGE—M. Silverman, Students’ Union, Calverley St, Leeds 1.
- LEICESTER U.—Miss E. Walch, Students’ Union, Leicester University, Univ. Rd, Leics.
- LONDON Tw COUNCIL—Miss S. Stafford, St Gabriels College, 45 Cormont Rd, London SE5.
- LOUGHBOROUGH COLLEGE—R. Clayton Jolly, ‘Grove’, Ashby Rd, Loughborough, Leics.
- LUTON Tw CLUB—R. Emery, Borough Treasurer’s Dept, Town Hall, Luton, Beds.
- MANCHESTER G. S.—D. Walton, 259 Dialstone Lane, Stockport, Ches.
- MANCHESTER U.—K. Randall, Needham Hall, Spath Rd, West Didsbury, Manchester 20.
- MARJON—Sec, Tw Club, College of S. Mark and S.John, Kings Road, Chelsea.
- MAYFIELD—Miss M. Bethell, The Old Palace, Mayfield, Sussex.
- MIMRAM WINKERS—P. Bryan, Advertising Dept, Smith Kline and French Labs Ltd, Welwyn Garden City, Herts.
- MONTGOMERY HOUSE, M/cr—S. Duckworth, Montgomery House, Alexandra Park, Manchester.
- NCFTTwC—M. Skey, National College of Food Technology, St Goerge’s George’s Ave, Weybridge, Surrey.
- NGWCTwC—R. Ainsley, Newcastle and Gateshead Water Co, 11 Battle Hill, Hexham, Northumb.
- NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE—J. Fallaize, 26 Friarside Rd, Fenham, Newcastle 4, Northumberland.
- NOTTINGHAM U.—D. Huckett, Tw Club, University Union, University Park, Nottingham.
- ONGAR Tw C.—D. Pennell, 21 Landview Gardens, Marden Ash, Ongar, Essex.
- ORIEL Tw C.—J. Fisher, 5 Chapeltown Rd, Bromley Cross, Bolton, Lancs.
- ORPINGTON—A. Housden, 129 Repton Rd, Orpington, Kent.
- OXFORD U.—P. Long, Wadham College, Oxford.
- POLYTECHNIC STUDENTS—K. Ottoson, 81 Kenton Road, Harrow, Middx.
- QUEENS U., BELFAST—P. Dick, 4 Collinbridge Drive, Newtownabbey, Co. Antrim.
- RANELAGH WORKS—J. Last, Methods Dept, Reavell and Co, Ranelagh Works, Ipswich.
- READING U.—Sec, Tw Club, Students’ Union, Reading University, Reading, Berks.
- READING SCHOOL—A. Mair, Reading School, Reading, Berks.
- ROSSALL SCHOOL—R. Mawrey, Fleur de Lys House, Rossall School, Nr Fleetwood, Lancs.
- ST PAUL’S CATHSDRAL CHOIR SCHOOL—J. George, Choir House, Deans Court, London EC4.
- SHOREDITCH COLLEGE—P. Snowball, Shoreditch College, Egham, Surrey.
- SILICONES—R. Sturgess, Midland Silicones Ltd, Barry, Glam.
- SOLIHULL—J. Birch, 132 Summerfield Rd, Solihull, Warwickshire.
- SOUTHPORT YOUTH COUNCIL—Miss D. Rawlinson, Education Offices, 99 Lord St, Southport.
- STOCKWELL COLLEGE—Miss Pickin, Stockwell College, The Old Palace, Bromley, Kent.
- SWANSEA U.—A. Chick, “Gelly Deg”, Peniel Green, Llansamlet, Swansea.
- SUSSEX U.—Miss C. Osborne, The University, Falmer House, Brighton, Sussex.
- UNIVERSITY COLLEGE LONDON—A. Herbert, Tw Club, UCL Union, Gordon St, London WC1.Start of page 11
- U.L.U.—T. Mitchell, Tiddlywinks Club, University Union, Malet St, London WC1.
- WALPOLE Tw FRATERNITY—D. Simpson, 6th Form Room, Walpole G. S, Cranmer Ave, Ealing, W3.
- WALLISCOTE Tw C,—P. Hunt, 6 Severn Rd, Weston-super-Mare, Somerset.
- WELBECK COLLEGE—J. Lewis, Welbeck College, Worksop, Notts.
- WEYBRIDGE, St George’s College—K. Camac, St George’s College, Oatland Ave, Weybridge
- YOUNG LIBERALS—C. White, 69 Botwell Lane, Hayes, Middx.
AROUND THE WINKING WORLD
CAMBRIDGE U.Tw.C. since its foundation in 1955 has played 119 matches, won 110; of the 9 matches lost, 3 were by the 2nd (‘Kippers’)—the 1st team lost to Oxford (1961), London (1962 twice, 1963), Bristol (1962) and U.C.L. (1962).
U.C.L.’s record for 1962-63: played 27, won 21, drawn 1, lost 5, 1429 5/6 pts for, 881 1/6 against. The team flew to Edinburgh, and appeared on BBC and ITV.
Altrincham G. S. this past season played 11 matches and won 8, 719 points for, 513 against. AGS holds a twice-yearly league tournament, and an annual knockout pairs competition. The winners of the 1963 N. J. Tw. Championships were AGS winkers.
The Bristol Tw League started 4 or 5 years ago, embracing Halls of Residence, Faculties and Societies in the University, and non-University Bristol colleges. The teams are 4-a-side, and this year the Arts Faculty swept the league, ending the dominance of the University Engineers: the Arts four are the University top pairs.
Leicester U.Tw.C. has been introducing the game to visiting Russian students, and during Rag Week 2 students (English) winked non-stop for 50 hours. U.L.U.Tw.C. had 4 players winking non-stop for 40 hours in a Regent Street shop window.
Bill Steen is now at the helm of the Indian Tw Assn, and is hoping that a winks safari to India might soon be arranged. It seems that the jointing in Oriental hands has certain advantages when playing tiddlywinks.
Phil Villar, late pf ULU Tw C, having made himself a steel squidger-case using machinery worth over £5000, has been down in Somerset constructing a squidging machine—calibrated for use in controlled experiments; it successfully potted a wink on its maiden squidge. Automated tiddlywinks is on the way.
The London Tw League, run by the Tw Council, finished its 2nd season in May.
U.L.U. won the Willis Cup for the second time ; the club hasn’t lost a 1st team match since December 2nd 1961. The League has been of great value in bringing the many scattered clubs in the metropolis into contact with each other. The Council published the 3rd edition of its journal, the London Tw Bulletin, this October.
Guinness scorecards are still available free (postage appreciated) from ETwA Secretary, or Treasurer, and Guinness have generously offered to print more if needed.
Cedric Rawle, late of Durham U.Tw.C. has secured an appointment in Johannesburg and intends to get things winking in South Africa.
From our Middle East Representative in Kirkuk, Iraq: ‘As the cradle of civilisation and tiddlywinks we would regard it as a great honour if the next World Congress could be held here in Mesopotamia.’
From a Southport newspaper, April 1962: ‘A tiddlywink caused an embarrassing moment for one player in last week’s tournament when it disappeared into rather an inaccessible place.’
From a yellowing epistle dating back to 1960: ‘I have never come across a woman who can even begin to treat the game as a tactical battle. It is rather like a war campaign—local superiorities or individual adeptness will not defeat an organised approach to the game.’
Conclusion of a letter received: ‘Hoping you will not be squopped too much in the coming season.’
Among the Rules of the 1962 Hull Guildhall Tiddlywink League: ‘The Umpires will control the games by use of a handbell, hooter, car horn, bugle, buzzer, cosh or hammer.’ The Glossary with the Rules included ‘Nurdled: counter so near the beaker that it is not possible to flick it in; Sponned: when an opponent kneels or stands on your counter; Scrungad: when a counter bounces out of the beaker.’ The Glossary also gave choice definitions of such winking terms as Brewers Elbow, Plumbers Trench and Cobblers Mallet, together with the ruling that ‘Breathing on opponents’ spectacles will incur a penalty.’
CONSTITUTION OF THE ENGLISH TIDDLYWINKS ASSOCIATION
- NAME The name of the organisation shall be The English Tiddlywinks Association, hereafter called ETwA.
- PURPOSES The primary purpose of ETwA is to promote the enjoyment of the game of tiddlywinks. Its secondary purpose is to assist in the arranging of matches and tournaments to raise money for charity, in particular, whenever passible, for the National Playing Fields Association.
- MEMBERSHIP Membership will be of two kinds:
- Club Affiliation: open to any English club of at least 8 members and, in addition, to clubs outside England where no tiddlywinks organisation already exists.
- Individual Membership: open to anybody whether a member of a club or not. Members can join for a number of years or for life, and will receive a membership card.
Members will receive all information concerning tiddlywinks published by ETwA. They in their turn agree to abide by the Constitution of ETwA and to conform to the International Rules for inter-club matches and tournaments.
- THE ETwA COUNCIL Council will be responsible to Congress for the administration of ETwA. Council will consist of:Honorary President, Honorary Vice-Presidents (to be elected for outstanding services to tiddlywinks), Chairman, Secretary, Treasurer and Vice-Chairman, plus six representatives of members and member clubs.Council members shall be elected at Congress and serve until the next Congress. In the event of a Council member resigning Council may co-opt a replacement. Not more than three of the voting members of Council may come from any one club. The Honorary members of Council shall not vote at Council meetings.
- CONGRESS Congress may be called by Council or by one third of the member clubs, not more than once a year and not less than once every two years. At Congress each affiliated club shall be entitled to one voting representative. The Secretary and Treasurer also have a vote, and the Chairman has a casting vote in the event of a tie. No individual may wield more than one vote.
- COMMITTEES Special Committees may be formed by Congress or Council for any special purposes.
- MINUTES Minutes shall be taken at Congress and at Council meetings.
- FINANCE Subscriptions fall due in January of each year and are settled by Congress, or by Council, when there has been no Congress in the previous year. The Treasurer shall issue an audited financial statement once a year. An Honorary Auditor shall be appointed by Congress or Council. In the event of ETwA making excessive profits Council may make a donation to the National Playing Fields Association.
- QUORUM The quorum for Council shall be two-thirds of the voting members of Council. The quorum for Congress shall be one third of the currently affiliated clubs.
- JOURNAL ETwA shall publish its Journal, The Winking World, at least twice a year. An editor shall be appointed by Council from among its own members.
- RECORDS ETwA recognises the three Record Attempts laid down in the International Rules of Tiddlywinks, including requirements for ratification. Records may be ratified by the Secretary of ETwA, subject to confirmation by Council.
- DISSOLUTION If Council decides by a simple majority that dissolution of ETwA is desirable, it shall inform all members and member clubs, and call an Extraordinary Congress. At this Congress two-thirds majority will be required to dissolve ETwA. Any assets will be disposed of at the discretion of Council and any money in hand donated to the National Playing Fields Association.
- TERMINATION OF MEMBERSHIP Council shall have the right for good and sufficient reason to terminate the membership of any club or individual whose conduct is bringing the game into disrepute. The club or individual shall have the right to be heard by Council before the decision is made.
- ALTERATIONS Any alterations of this Constitution require a two-thirds majority at Congress, and at least 14 days notice of any proposed alteration must be given to members and member clubs.
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