Friday, 22 August 2014

Origins of an Obsession

Where did it all start?

How did I get into gaming in the first place?

I was painting the other day and mentally attempting to uncover exactly when in my past my obsession with all thing wargaming began. I can recall my Grandad giving me some built and painted german tanks whilst I was still in Infant School - he'd bought them off one of his mates for me.

I remember also my Dad supplying me with plastic kits and soldiers (unbuilt) whilst in Junior School, although these weren't always military in nature - I can recall at least one helicopter and also a vintage car. I seem to recall it was this one:

I also know that my Great-Grandad (who lived on Shetland) was a cottage worker for William Britains, painting soldiers en masse in the dark Scottish evenings......

But mostly it was when I arrived at Portsmouth's Southern Grammar School for Boys in 1972 and discovered Donald Featherstone and Charles Grant in the school library (or at least their books!), and then, spotting my interest, some helpful older pupil took me along to Mr Sonnett's Wargaming Club after school.... and my life changed!

I pinched this from Friends Reunited where it was uploaded by a fellow pupil Peter Coleman, (although I don't recall him as a wargamer, more a budding actor and horror film enthusiast). Unfortunately I am not in the picture, but you can just about make out three pupils enjoying a game with those marvels I was about to discover - figures on bases, converted figures to fill the gaps in the market, and metal figures which I could buy mail order, or even from a shop in town - Robin Thwaites in Arundel Street which sold Minifigs (gasp!). After that there was no stopping me.
So the answer to my self-penned question - where did it all start - appears to be that it was already in my genes, nurtured by my family and finally given the big kickstart it needed by the after-school wargames club. Thanks Mr Sonnett!
Apologies for this self-indulgent post, but it felt good getting it out of my system!
No Paint Table Saturday this week as I am having a short break in Canterbury, where a bunch of us will be living in a pub for a few days :)
But I hope to catch up when I get back.
Until next time........................

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