Scoop!Back in 2013, the retail group Argos published research that apparently shows a link between play preferences as child and their future choice of career.

For example, 60% of adults working in design-led jobs, such as architects and designers, enjoyed playing with building blocks as children, 66% working in maths related roles, such as accountants and bankers, preferred puzzles.

Argos obviously has a vested interest in persuading parents to part with cash on expensive toys for their budding surgeons (Operation), astronauts (Millennium Falcon), rogue city traders (Monopoly) and presidents (Risk!). But there might be some truth in the theory, at least in my case.

Hold the front pageMy favourite board game when I was eight or nine years old was Scoop!, the objective being to be the first to got to press with a complete front page of one of the 1950s newspapers.

As you can see from the photo, the you had to assemble a collection of stories, including a few scoops, and two wonderfully nostalgic front page ads. And coming from the makers of Monopoly, money changed hands to become a successful editor which obviously wouldn’t do in these post-Leveson days.

Carboard WonderSuccess or failure depended on the your luck with the telephone on the left which is a wonder of cardboard engineering. You dialled the number to file your story and find out whether it was fit to print.

I mention all this because future career very much involved working with the media and I hadn’t really thought about whether I had been influenced by Scoop! until I was reminiscing while playing our present day family board games over Christmas.

Maybe it did, maybe it was coincidence, but my copy of the game has long since gone to the great toy box in the sky. However, I was able to find this copy on eBay and it will now gather dust alongside my David Nixon Magic Box.

Nobody’s prefect. If you find any spelling mistakes or other errors in this post, please let me know by highlighting the text and pressing Ctrl+Enter.

8 comments… Add yours
  • Yorkshire Pudding 11th February 2016

    I used to play with dolls and enjoyed removing their clothes. Sometimes they would have bubble baths with me and sleep next to me with their little heads on my pillow. Perhaps this is why I later became a lothario.

    • Mr Parrot 11th February 2016

      Or a teacher? Better not go there…

      • Yorkshire Pudding 11th February 2016

        Just in case you didn’t guess, I must admit that I was lying. In reality, I played with Dinky and Corgi vehicles and little plastic cowboys and indians.

        • Mr Parrot 12th February 2016

          Of course I did – just teasing.

  • Trevor Rowley 14th February 2016

    I vaguely remember “Scoop.” I think it was largely aimed at the older child (10/11 years old or thereabouts) who was smart enough to be able to weave their way through the rules of the game and enjoy it, but enjoy it even more if dear old mum and dad (and big sister Rosemary and cousin Bernard) joined in as well. Come across these games now, usually in a charity shop, and it seems amazing that those unsuspecting children accepted this level of entertainment with such gratitude. We were a simle lot, weren’t we?

    On the theme of newspapers, I note that one of our leading daily newspapers, The Independent, has decided to cease being a print newspaper and focus exclusively on being an electronic version. Shame, really, I thought the quality was definitely there. I can’t see me opting for the electronic version so all I will have left will be several, as yet, non-tried crosswords and the two parts (A-K and L-Z) of “The Indypedia: Facts and Figures of Modern Life.”

    • Mr Parrot 15th February 2016

      It would be perfect for your family group as there were five newspaper blanks to complete. It surprises me that these games survived, but no doubt my copy will end up in a charity shop after I’m gone.

      I had thought to write about the demise of the Indy, but it is a sad fact of the electronic age that newspapers will soon be a thing of the past. I will particularly miss the once mighty local and regional titles, like the Manchester Evening News, although the standard of reporting has dropped off alarmingly over the last twenty years or so.

  • Trevor Rowley 15th February 2016

    I think there were actually two Manchester evening newspapers at one time, Mr P. If memory serves me correctly, the other was the Evening Chronicle. Add to that the “old” Manchester Guardian, as it was called back then, and Manchester was certainly well-served for newspapers. In the early Sixties, when I was working in Manchester city centre, folk clammered for the early edition (about 2-00 pm) of the MEN because of the abundance of jobs which were advertised in it. You could get round there quick, apply for the job and get off to a good start before many others had finished work and bought the paper on their way home. The entertainments page was crammed with the clubs and dancehalls-I don’t think they bother now.

    • Mr Parrot 15th February 2016

      I recall that Thursday night was jobs night in the MEN and the classifieds were packed with them. I don’t really remember the Evening Chronicle which merged with the MEN in 1963. There was a time when sales of the MEN subsidised the Guardian, and who can forget a trip to the newsagent Saturday tea-time to get a copy of the Pink.

      Paid-for circulation of the MEN is down to around 50,000 these days, about a tenth of what it once was, and no sign of it ever recovering unless someone finds the off switch for t’internet.


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