August 9th 1972

“Went up trev’s house for the day and I beat him easily at totopoly but i lost at snooker. feeling sick”

I think the “feeling sick” was a genuine illness and not in the sense of “I felt so sick because I lost at snooker”?

Seeing the word “Totopoly” brought back all kinds of memories 36 years after the event though. Now THERE was a board game I had almost totally (tototally?) forgotten about.

As you progressed around the ultra-complicated board you bought and trained horses in readiness for a big race at “Ascot”. Everything was a precursor for that race, the most exciting part of the game. A throw of the dice determined if one of your mares – represented by little metal horses (d’uh!) – moved far enough around the rack to overtake your opponent’s make-believe thoroughbreds. The winner was, well, the WINNER and there may even have been a little trophy, although I can’t be certain of that? (If there wasn’t, there should have been)

Invented by John Waddingtons, the same game company who brought the world Monopoly, it has as much in common with it’s much bigger and more succesful gameboard brother as I do with dieting. There is a fantastically (under-designed) somewhat dweebish page about the game here. (Nice one Geoff!)

Kids today can have all the video murder, electronic mayhem, grand theft auto-ing and wees that they want, but I’m not sure any of it can compare to the joy kids in the 60’s and 70’s got out of board games. I don’t think anyone really accepts just how HUGE the board game industry was either, a new game representing the “fondle me elmo” or “cabbage patch doll” of its time each christmas.

You know it’s funny, but there’s a John Otway & Wild Willy Barrett song called “Louisa on a Horse” during which Otway mumbles “the horses are on the track”. From the VERY first time I heard that song in the late seventies through until now that mumble has always reminded me of Totopoly. There’s a strong temptation to pick up a version of the board game again, just for old times sake, but I know from other recent ‘oh no, mid-life crisis, must.reclaim.youth‘ purchases that (as they say) nostalgia is CERTAINLY not what it used to be. 



Filed under 1972 Diary Entries

3 responses to “August 9th 1972

  1. Oh wow I had almost totally forgotten about Totopoly too. What a great game! I remember playing it with my brothers but obviously I was never allowed to win!!!!

  2. Stevil

    Did Trevor steal that family heirloom?

    • teenagerockopera

      I do not KNOW how many times I played this game at your place – both in Eastleigh AND C/Ford

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