Napoleonic & ECW wargaming, with a load of old Hooptedoodle on this & that


Tuesday, 27 September 2022

Peter Gouldesbrough - a very late postscript


 I was delighted to receive a very nice email from the daughter of Peter Gouldesbrough, the pioneer Edinburgh wargamer, whom I knew for a while around 1983-85. Peter was the subject of a post in this blog back in December 2017; his daughter had recently come across my post and was pleased with it as a personal recollection [phew!], and she wrote to thank me for my effort.

She also told me that, sadly, he passed away in 1988, at the age of only 70, which goes some way to explain how I lost touch with him so completely. As before, I publish this here only so that anyone who knew Peter can share this information.

Some of Peter's old soldiers came to light in Edinburgh a few years ago; to me, it all just confirms that, when it comes to toy soldiers, we really only get to look after them for a while.

6 comments:

  1. Reread your original post with interest, I do vaguely remember the Minifigs 5mm blocks well before anybody else did them I think but they never seemed to take off and disappeared into obscurity. Nice to have an update sadly another of the Old Guard joins the great majority.

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    1. Hi Tony - really very sobering, in fact, is the realisation that Peter, a "grand old man" of wargaming when I knew him, was actually rather younger than I am now! The blocks were an interesting idea, but the difficulties of keeping the moulds in good order, given the technology of the day, seems to have wrecked the project (with the blocks consisting of so many heads in shakos, it is easy to see the problem); I think the take-up was not great - if Minifigs had seen this as a way forward, I'm pretty sure they'd have made a better job of it! Pretty sobering, also, is the relentless turnover of ideas - disappearance of fanfared game-changers. I'm very impressed by the Perrys' Epic range - that really seems like a massive change in the market; if I were starting again, I'd be thinking about these little figures very seriously, but I might also be wondering what happened to their 8mm TravelBattle. And where, you might ask, can we find System 12, the (18mm) grand scheme for Napoleon at War? Come to think about it, what about all us poor sods struggling with 20mm ranges by defunct manufacturers, all these decades after they became museum exhibits?

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  2. Tony, I do remember a very short dabble with the Minifigs blocks - great idea poorly executed. Reading your older piece I remember going to Claymore at Adam house a couple of times, don’t recall getting to the basement 🤣 I do remember they used to have an excellent bring and buy if you could battle your way to the front!
    The show lost a lot of character when it moved to Meadowbank.
    Yes our toys hopefully last longer than we do, I have sold painted armies all over the world it’s nice to think the little guys are still out there fighting on foreign soil

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    1. Hi Graham - Meadowbank cost so much to build (Commonwealth Games?) that it was a prime resource for the city afterwards - whatever they wanted to put on (apart from the Panto) it would be at Meadowbank (again). If I went to a wargame show there, it was the same vibe as the 5-a-side or the vote counting - the place was a washout. I even remember when it was the chief venue for the Jazz Festival, seeing all-time greats like Sweets Edison and Benny Carter in that great, echoing barn! (they might has well have done the vote counting at the same time).

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  3. A very interesting read, I enjoy reading about some of the pioneer wargamers. I never came across the Minifig blocks, I tried Irregulars 2mm but couldn't make much of them, my painting not up to the job! Interested in their 6mm blocks though, I may well try them, quite interested in block wargaming but would like to try something in figures rather than blocks.

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    1. Hi Donnie - glad you liked it. I am surprised that I can remember events that happened in the early 1980s so clearly - I'm not sure what I was doing yesterday. My 2017 post unintentionally upset some headbanger who interpreted it as an attack on 5mm and 6mm figures, which is completely daft - I have to assume that I express myself badly! I am very taken with the small figures produced nowadays - beautifully made and, when painted well, they make a wonderful show. The MF 5mm blocks were an interesting idea, but were limited in scope by the early break-up of the moulds. I suspect the headbanger had some personal issues of his own!

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