Barnsley & District

Games Galore

Games Galore

At the start of 2022, the Bu3a group previously known as Table and Board Games (with chess and mahjong) changed its name to Games Galore. This was to reflect the fact that since the group started around 2005, initially at the request of a small number of frustrated chess players, it became clear that there was an opportunity to develop from this small beginning to attract a wider group of members. With a group membership now of approaching 50, and with a regular attendance of 20-30, most weeks see tables of members enjoying chess, mahjong, canasta, Mexican Train (a fun and colourful dominoes game for up to 8 players), or Upwords (a kind of 3-D Scrabble). At other times Backgammon, Othello, Solo, Hive, Rummikub, Draughts, Yahtzee, Scrabble, Mancala and cribbage have been played. These and an even wider assortment of games can be made available should a request be forthcoming.

Unlike some games groups we have not ventured into the wide range of modern commercial board (Monopoly, Pandemic etc.) as these do not lend themselves so well to the time frame we have available. Some members usually stick to their favourite pastime, but an increasing number vary their choices. This flexibility to move around games (or indeed bring a new one to the notice of the group) makes us quite unusual, and is much valued now.

The format today remains much as it was. Our weekly sessions (initially every other week) at Birdwell Community Centre (S70 5TQ), run from 2.00 to 4.00, although members usually arrive well before the start. The room and its furniture lends itself well to scattered square playing tables, with spacing between. Disabled access to the hall is good, likewise appropriate toilet facilities.

A tea/coffee break around 3.00 (or when a game suggests the time is right). Play is serious, but not too much. Inevitably, the occasional mild expletive might be heard as an unwise move is made! There is much laughter as well, and many members are more than willing to 'tutor' beginners or novices starting to play one of the games.

As with most Bu3a indoor groups, a small sessional charge (currently £1.00, but rising to £1.50 on 1.4.22) helps cover room hire, and another small charge (currently 30p) covers refreshments and other incidental costs, as well as helping build up a small kitty from which new games can be purchased. A store of the basic range of games is kept at Birdwell, but some members also like to bring their own games for an 'airing'.

The emphasis is on both enjoyment and learning, within a friendly and welcoming environment. We think of it as 'gymnastics for the mind'.

On 4 August 2014 BU3A staged an event to commemorate the centenary of the start of WW1. As part of this, a contribution from Table and Board games was presented. This described the background to a number of popular and less well-known games that may well have been played by troops of many nations engaged in the fighting. In addition, many available to families back on the ‘home front’ were also described. This presentation can be viewed by following the link top right.

Co-ordinator: Martin E King

Last reviewed 11/02/2022 by Webmaster and Coordinator.

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