Hamming it up as the Italian Naval Umpire during “Operation Herkules” at Duxford 2010

Wargaming caught my imagination as a teenager in Scunthorpe through Charles Grant’s ‘Battle!’ in the  pages of the Meccano Magazine. By the ’70s I had met Paddy Griffith, Nigel de Lee and others at the Sandhurst Wargames Club, and by the ’80s, Wargames Development had been formed, and the early forerunner  of NQM had been invented at Moore Park.I have always enjoyed large multiplayer games, as the player interactions are always more interesting than the rulesets, (which should demand as little of the players’ time as possible to allow them to get on with the important duties of planning the battle, and chatting to other players).

It took another five years before I owned my own basement  games table in Wellingborough. Games took place there and in a huge display hall at the back of Tradewinds Outdoor in Wellingborough up until the late ’90s. These games were all played using 20mm figures.

A move of house led to me downsizing the combatants to my current 15mm collection. A large part of the 20mm collection still lives on with Tim Gow in Sheffield.  The current free rules download is available from the home page on this blog.

Off Topic – (I’ve added this in 2021 since my friends started dying off, and I realised that there was so much I didn’t know about them):

Schooldays: Fredrick Gough Grammar School, SCUNTHORPE, Welbeck College (think Hogwarts!), SANDHURST Military Academy, Royal Military College of Science SHRIVENHAM.

My first Job was as a Recce Officer for 1 Troop, 64 Squadron, 28 Amphibious Engineer Regiment, Royal Engineers in HAMELN. It involved swimming across the River WESER at night in a drysuit to measure it, then building a bridge there the next night out of M2 Amphibious rigs.  I designed the Squadron Shield, creating instant tradition!

University, and a civil engineering degree followed, with a posting to 11 Field Squadron, Royal Engineers. There I trained as a Diving Officer, which was useful during a tour in BELIZE, where I was the Project Officer for the camp at BELIZE International Airport, during the period when the country gained independence. The Squadron fought in the FALKLANDS conflict. My drysuit proved handy again for ship-to-shore Emergency Fuel Handline Equipment (EFHE) installations, and in the aftermath.

A tour with the Queen’s Gurkha Engineers followed, with side excursions to the PHILLIPINES,  BRUNEI and INDONESIA, where I was nearly detained on exit for not having  an entry Visa (I had entered in a canoe launched from a Royal Brunei Navy torpedo boat, perfectly innocent- nothing to see here 🙂 ). From HONG KONG, I was posted to GÜTERSLOH to 10 Independent Field Squadron RE – the only Harrier support squadron in Germany, where I met Suzanne. I was posted to 34 field Squadron in WATERBEACH (UK), bought a house in WELLINGBOROUGH, squeezed another brief tour to the FALKLANDS in and an exercise in CYPRUS before leaving the Army, marrying Suzanne, and setting up Tradewinds.

Twenty five years followed running the business together, with hillwalking, skiing diving and kayaking as joint diversions, before retraining as a podiatrist at the University of NORTHAMPTON. Kickstarters were not available for setting businesses up in the ’80s so I worked as a freelance motorcycle courier, and Suzanne taught, to provide an income until the business took off. A good deal of my spare time was taken up working as a freelance raft guide and kayak coach.

Twelve years of professional practice followed, working variously as a community podiatrist with a  musculoskeletal specialism, and as an anaesthetist in a podiatric surgery team, before qualifying as an independent prescriber and moving to a Diabetic and High Risk Foot Service in KETTERING General Hospital as an Advanced Practitioner (the titles seemed to change every few years).

I am now retired and faff about contentedly on the internet when indoors, but enjoy most of my time outdoors on the river, or on our allotment. Suzanne manages the green stuff (flowers and veggies), and I manage the brown stuff (Beer, Sheds, Horse Poo). It works 🙂

12 responses to “About

  1. Chris

    Did you umpire the Sealion game as well? Paddy asked me to do Student for Crete but due to Real Life(tm) I couldn’t.

    All the best


    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Andreas,

      No, I missed Seeloewe but read about it afterwards. I think that I was probably in Germany at the time. I was there for Memphis Mangler as the Air Umpire though, and various others of the Sandhurst games. Paddy is sadly missed, as his unique brand of hard-to-replicate games and catering is a hard act to follow. History has glossed over “Dungeons and Dormice” at Cartwheels, probably for the better :O) Good to hear from you.

      Kind regards,



      • Thanks for the reply Chris. I played Adolf in the Sandhurst game, being the only German in attendance. It was great fun. I hadn’t heard that Paddy is no longer with us, that is a great shame.

        With best regards


        Liked by 1 person

  2. How about putting together a decently formatted PDF of NQM? Put it on WargameVault and I’d even pay a bit for it.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Paul A Allcock

    Hi Chris,
    been a while since we last met (er, on the order of 40 years?). It was only this week that I too referenced Grant’s Battle from Meccano Magazine. Those were the days, dashing up to the school library to see if the latest issue had come in so that we could field something new or work out how to properly use what we’d already got.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Paul A Allcock

    Still gaming, but definitely NOT grown up. Nor sensible. Divorced – and the cat doesn’t complain about gaming – and sort-of-retired. So I have plenty of time. And moved back to Sunny Scunny where the wargames club (not exactly a continuation of the “original” one) is still at Grange Farm Hobbies Centre.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Paul A Allcock

    You may or may not be interested, but we’re attempting a school reunion: https://www.facebook.com/groups/198230973985101/permalink/218227078652157/

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Derek Henderson

    Being the pedant that I can be, I am trying to label up my Brixcon photos, with at least the dates and was delighted to see your Brixcon section. But, WAH!, most of the photos are blank. Are they lost forever? Your narrative helps a lot but the photo’s would be a finishing touch.

    (Boast: I invented the name after seeing Britcon in one of the wargaming glossies)


    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for the heads up, Derek. If the photos are missing, it’s probably because they were linked to the old NQM Blog that Virgin Media deleted when they took over NTL World. I willl have to see if I can rescue them from archives. Hope that you are well and bearing up given our plague-ridden times.

      Regards, Chris.


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