About The Games Board Members


The Games Board is a group of more than 20 games collectors and enthusiasts who meet occasionally and research the history of games. The Games Board website hosts the Games Research Database but not all GARD participants are Games Board members or vice-versa. Many Games Board members prefer to remain anonymous but some are listed below.


Name Primary Areas of Interest Other Info
Richard Ballam
  • Researching Georgian Victorian and Edwardian games toys and puzzles
  • Cataloguing over 1500 games in the Ballam collection
  • British games makers and their products 1750-1910 particularly Wallis, Darton, Betts, Ogilvy, Jaques, Ayres etc.
  • Use of games and toys as educational aids.

Published articles on Spellicans, Dissected Puzzles and old Table Games, Horse Racing Games, Solitaire and other turned boards, Tops, Tetotums and spinning toys. (All in The Antique Collector)

James Masters The evolution of games through history especially:
  • Board games particularly Halma/Hopity, Pachisi, Snakes and Ladders ancestry.
  • Ancient Board Games - Ur, Senet, Mehen, Tafl
  • Pub Games.
  • Croquet, Pall Mall, Ground Billiards etc.
  • Bowls
  • Bagatelle, Shuffleboard, Nine Holes, Trou Madame family
  • Crokinole, Squails

Runs Masters Traditional Games, an on-line shop.

Author of the On-line Guide to Traditional Games.

Webmaster for this site.

Jeremy Secker
  • Victorian and Georgian Indoor games
  • History of English playing counters
  • History of English Whist markers

Games inventor

Managing director ZZota Ltd, founded 1976, Current games available:

  • Snark!
  • Counter Intelligence
  • The M Pack (playing cards for the 3rd Millenium)
  • Triplica
Michael Thomson
  • The history and origins of the games made by Jaques.
  • All games in the Jaques 1862 Catalogue*.
  • All card games listed in the Jaques 1895 List of Card Games.
  • The link between Jaques and D. Ogilvy.
  • The connection between Jaques and Hamley Brothers for the development of the game of Ping Pong and the link with Parker Brothers in the USA.
Neil Darbyshire
  • 19th C playing-cards , card games and board games
  • History of games companies particularly MIP and Mullord Bros.

Editor of the English Playing Card Society magazine (EPCS) and a member of the IPCS.

Also www.i-p-c-s.org/ and www.epcs.org/ and their respective Playing Card Collectors Clubs on facebook.

Mike Goodall
  • Everything made and sold by Charles Goodall 1820-1922.
  • Secondary interest is the British playing card industry from c.1450 to 1930.

Has produced 17 booklets on Charles Goodall.

Chairman of the English Playing card Society. Past Vice-Chairman of the International Playing Card Society.  

* Below is shown a cover page of the Catalogue of Games sold at MacGill's, Princess Street, Edinburgh. A closer look shows that, in fact, MacGill's pasted their own paper cover over a copy of the J. JAQUES & SON Illustrated Catalogue of New Games. The picture on the right shows the Jaques details revealed through back light.

We study catalogues like this, we look at collections of old games, we collect pictures of games wherever we go, we visit libraries, museums and private collections, we write about games . And occasionally, just occasionally, we actually play a game or two, as well.