Do you remember playing tiddlywinks back in the day? It was right up there with snakes and ladders in terms of family entertainment in the days before reality TV and Xboxes, but…
… Do You Know Your Wink from Your Squidger?
Many in the Spring Chicken Community remember playing tiddlywinks as children, and many still enjoy playing with their grandchildren today, but were you ever skilled enough to squidge, squop, boondock and blitz your way to tiddlywinks glory in a competitive game?
“We loved tiddlywinks as kids; one of the old–time favourites alongside snakes and ladders. We didn’t need much to entertain us. A board game, an annual, a colouring book and some crayons – wow, I was happy!”
Most of us think of tiddlywinks as simple entertainment for children, but back in 1955, undergraduates at Cambridge University elevated the game to a whole new competitive level and in 1958, the English Tiddlywinks Association was founded.
ROSPA even promoted safety messages through Tiddlywinks in the 1950’s.
During the ’60s, 37 universities across Britain were playing in competitive tournaments and teams from universities in the United States joined the trend with the North American Tiddlywinks Association being formed in 1966.
By the ’70s, trans-Atlantic competitions were taking place and tournaments were governed by the International Federation of Tiddlywinks Associations… who knew that the title of tiddlywinks champion was so hotly contested?
“When I went up to Cambridge in 1986, the first thing that caught my eye at the freshers’ fair was the tiddlywinks club. I joined, of course. One of the members held the world record for winking height. They were mostly mathematicians.”
The tiddlywinks high jump world record of 3.49 metres (that’s 11 feet 5 inches in old money) has been held by the Cambridge University Tiddlywinks Club since 1989, but before you dust off your old set to have a go at beating it, here are a few more squidging and winking challenges to consider:
Long jump – the world record distance of 9.52 metres (31 feet 3 inches) was set by the St Andrews Tiddlywinks Society in 1995.
Potting 24 winks – the record for the fastest time to pot 24 winks from a distance of 45 cm (18 in) was set back in 1966 by Altrincham Grammar School. The time to beat is 21.8 seconds.
Potting 10 000 winks – if potting 24 winks isn’t a big enough challenge, try your hand at the 10 000 winks challenge. The world record of 10 000 winks potted in 3 hours, 51 minutes and 46 seconds was set by the University of Wales in 1966.
One–mile squidge – the record for the fastest time to squidge a wink over a distance of one mile is held by two men from Suffolk who did it in 52 minutes 10 seconds in 2002.
So, what are you waiting for? Get your winks and squidgers dusted off and revisit the tiddlywinks fun you used to have. You never know, you might even break a world record… or you might just remember the frustration of it all!
I liked playing tiddlywinks as a child, but it was also very frustrating – I did more tiddling than winking!