Buying old pub games and the associated paraphanalia of play can sometimes throw up a few oddities. I've been after a decent branded chalk score board for some time now, and though this one doesn't exactly match my needs it was too nice a thing to pass by. But what was it originally designed to score?
Let's start with the Lion Ale branding which possibly originated from the Matthew Brown brewery. Matthew Brown brewed at the Lion Brewery in Blackburn until it was closed by Scottish & Newcastle in the early 90's. Having said that, Lion Ale is the sort of brand that could have been brewed in many parts of the world, indeed there was one such Pale Ale from New Zealand Breweries so it's hard to pin this down definitively to the north of England.
The scoring seems to relate to a deck of cards, yet most pub games would have used a Crib Board or other diminutive scoring method rather than a large board like this. It's possible that this would have scored another game such as Darts, of which there are many variations, at least one of which may be based on a card game.
As you can see, it was in pretty poor condition when I bought it, held together with rusty nails and with two pieces of rough timber acting as feet. I managed to remove all the nails without further damage, and glued the various Boxwood pieces back together before adding a piece of black felt to the central area, a nice match to the remnants of Ebony inlay, and ideal for rolling a set of Poker Dice in.