Sunday 28 December 2008

Furness Warlords

A little bit of history on one of the clubs that preceded the Furness Wargamers. This gaming club existed for a few years in the late 80s and early 90s and had quite a migratory existence. It started off as a semi-breakaway from the Penisular Wargames Society, apparently due to the number of junior players spoiling things there.

There was a large number of sixth formers involved in this group at the start and this was my entry point to the club having never been to the Peninsulars despite having friends that did. Of course the number of students eventually dwindled as we went on to university etc. but the club maintained a reasonable number of members into the 90s.

Initially based upstairs at the Red Cross Shop in Duke Street it lasted here for about a year. I had the unofficial role of doorman, having to run down the stairs whenever the doorbell rang to open the backdoor. With two reasonably sized rooms and a storage area on the 2nd floor, this was possibly the best place the club was ever at. At this time the games played was almost an equal split of Wargames, Boardgames and RPGs, with everyone doing a bit of everything.

It then moved quite a distance to the then recently renovated Holbeck Community Centre near Crofters, but local residents complained about the noise (I'm not joking! The buildings are now shut permanently, Holbeck Community being an oxymoron.) Then back to town and Storey Square, home of the Amateur Operatics, and rat infested. The club initially starting off in the Main Hall but then eventually relegated into the basement. Probably the strangest incident to happen there was when we entered the building one day to find the place decked out with swastikas. Fortunately it was just the singers preparing the scenery for a production of Cabaret and nothing more sinister!

And this is where the club stayed, heading more and more to the boardgame\cardgame side of things and dwindling in members till it folded. I had gone to live down in Bolton while doing a postgrad course, and by the time I returned the club was no more. That effectivly ended my involvement with 'club' gaming for a number of years.

The final legacy of the Warlords was the chipboard 'tabletops', that the Furness Wargamers managed to somehow inherit, but which were left behind at the Railway Club when we moved to the Baptists.

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