Thursday, 14 March 2013

Of Frog Racing and Passing it Down the Line

A while ago my family was into frog racing big time. When I say a while ago I guess I mean in the late 70s and early 80s and when I say frog racing I'm not referring to the real thing. Family frog racing was cardboard frogs which could only be marched from a start to finish line by carefully pulling a string that was threaded through the frog and tied to a leg of a chair some distance ahead.
For such a simple game it provided huge amounts of fun.The family would play it every Christmas and each time there was a different winner. For frogging is a bit like golf. You turn up and sometimes it works for you and sometimes it just goes horribly wrong.
In the early 90s disaster struck for the frogs were lost in transit from GB to Northern Ireland. My Mum tried hard to hide her distress for the frogs had brought the family lots of fun over the years and had become something of a family heir loom.
In fact Phillips family legend had it that the frogs had been handed down over generations and that my grandfather was in fact a fine frogger himself. Only recently did I discover that this can't have been right for on closer examination of the Frog Race game and box produced by gaming company Spears there's a clear date of 1973.
To my delight I found four frogs for sale on Ebay and quickly bought them to replace the ones probably still swimming lost in the Irish Sea. But it was only when inspecting the list of available items that I noticed "Jiggle -Joggle" a frog game identical to the one produced by Spears for sale in the US. It's marked "British Manufacturer" and is dated 1907.
So it seems the frogs were out the box at the turn of the last century and who knows maybe Grandfather Duckworth was a fine frogger afterall.

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