Monday, 7 May 2012

Shove Ha'penny - An Affordable Game

Here we have the kind of cheap-as-chips old Shove Ha'penny board which appears quite regularly on eBay, and occasionally in antique shops for not very much money. It's quite a lightweight board, probably made from Teak as opposed to the more expensive Mahogany or Oak, and even then the construction is from several 2 inch width lengths of timber glued together rather than a single solid piece of wood. Having said that, it's possible this may be a better method of construction with regard to any possible warping, and it's been done well enough, you have to look quite closely to see the joins. The scoring areas at the side are simply painted black, and though the brass end rail is a nice touch, it's been tacked on in a fairly rudimentary way.

It's perhaps worth mentioning that this isn't the cheapest board on the market. Of course it's quite possible to make a good homemade board for little more than the cost of the timber, and there are also affordable modern boards available which are made from veneered particle board, and which do the job more than adequately.

I suppose the point of a board like this is that it is cheap, and therefore well within the reach of even the most limited resources. A modestly priced board also has the advantage of being less precious than a highly polished solid Mahogany model, and therefore more usable in a pub environment. Even the old Half Pennies are common enough, and often included in the sale. So there's no good reason why every half-decent boozer couldn't have a Shove Ha'penny tucked away behind the bar, ready for play on request...

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