Signs o’ the Times (2)

Tony F gives a further look through his garage archive.

Lager Louts in the 25th Century
This game was a sci-fi bar-room brawl based on a board game (we’re trying to find out what that was – we’re hoping someone still has it) that we’d played at the club quite a bit, especially at Christmas meetings as it was great fun. I built a bar (named The Blazing Shuttle) on a 3×2 board complete with flashing and strobing LED lighting, Phil made some furniture from plasticard and Brian provided the denizens of the bar in the shape of some toy figures – we’re not sure what they were. We even had an audio track – the Star Wars Cantina theme. Nowadays we’d probably try concealing a small bluetooth speaker in the scenery, but this was 1989, so the technology was simply a portable cassette player under the table. It began to get a little wearing by the end of the day…

Given the amount of work we put in, it’s surprising that it only had a single outing – Salute 1989. Sadly there are no photos of the day – it was pre- digital cameras, let alone smartphones. We can’t even recreate any photos now, since the bar ended up in the tip when I moved house 🙁 But it was quite a memorable event. It started with one club member changing from his jeans and T-shirt into a full dinner suit since he had designated himself as the bouncer – no dressing room was provided, so he simply dropped his trousers where he stood! Fortunately we were in one of the upstairs committee rooms at the Kensington Town Hall venue, rather than the main hall, so there weren’t too many witnesses. His wearing of a DJ and bow tie all day launched the club’s tradition of wearing shirts and ties to shows, which lasted for many years.

We shared the room with a bunch of ECW re-enactors from The Sealed Knot, dressed up in their period finery. They had a TV and video recorder which showed films of their events on a loop throughout the day to help with their recruiting. But before and after the show was open they were running Kate Bush videos, which kept everyone entertained (Babooshka was a particular favourite). At the end of the day they insisted that we ran an extra game for them after closing time, so we were late getting away.

Anyway, onto the signs. At the time I worked at GEC Marconi with a fellow programmer who also happened to be a talented cartoonist. I gave him £20 and a selection of my sci-fi art books to come up with a couple of display boards for the game. He did a fantastic job, as you can see; I’ve blown up parts of the logo so you can get a good look at some of the details.

The Price of Neutrality
My final walk down memory lane is another 20mm WW2 game, depicting a what-if scenario that had the Germans attempting to force a landing in Norway in 1940 against concerted British and Norwegian opposition (rather than the unopposed landings which really occurred).

The game ran in 1993 and ’94 at three shows. By this time technology had moved onto colour printers rather than typewriters and letraset – we had a very expensive wax thermal one at work that I used to create some display materials. I came across yet another club name banner and a couple of different ones for the game (although that Union Flag looks a bit suspect). I’m not sure why there is more than one game name, they may have been for different shows.

We also have a two page handout covering the game, and another one about the club from the same period.

Author: Brigadier Tony

Club Webmaster

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