Meet Norwich's biggest draughts fan with a collection of 100 sets

Ron Green aged 87. Pictures: Brittany Woodman

Norwich's biggest draughts fan Ron Green, who is aged 87 - Credit: Brittany Woodman

If you buy a draughts board from a Norwich charity shop, there is a good chance you will find pages of handwritten rules inside the box courtesy of a city pensioner.

Ron Green, 87, has been an avid draughts player since he was a child growing up in Norwich during the Second World War. 

The Old Palace Road chap is keen to show the public how draughts is more complex than many give it credit for. 

Ron Green with his cherished copy of Complete Checkers Insights by Richard Pask 

Ron Green with his cherished copy of Complete Checkers Insights by Richard Pask - Credit: Brittany Woodman

Referring to the English Draught Association and a copy of his "bible", 'Complete Checkers Insight' by Richard Pask, Mr Green adds the "proper rules" into draughts boxes then distributes them across the city.

He has sent boxes with his handwritten rules inside them to charity shops, the Games Table in Lower Goat Lane, The Phoenix Hub in Mile Cross and various other places across the city.

Ron Green aged 87. Pictures: Brittany Woodman

Draughts enthusiast Ron Green - Credit: Brittany Woodman

Mr Green said: "I play at least twice a week now but I used to play in my local pub four boards at once. 

"The game is not just a step up from snakes and ladders for children. There is a hell of a lot more to it and it's a very good game particularly for the winter time. It has different ways of catching people out.

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"The only thing that challenged draughts was when Monopoly came along." 

The Norwich born and bred enthusiast has 100 different sets of the game at his city home with most of them purchased from charity shops.

Ron Green aged 87. Pictures: Brittany Woodman

Ron Green's collection of draughts sets at his Norwich home - Credit: Brittany Woodman

Mr Green recalled using his first wage in 1949 to buy a draughts book at a cost of a crown and 10 shillings. 

"It was a marvellous book and I found the board could be numbered from one to 32," he continued.

"That book was my bible. My father used to ask me if I wanted a game but what chance did he have? 

"I had already memorised all the rules over and over in my head." 

Ron Green aged 87. Pictures: Brittany Woodman

Ron Green with a copy of his draughts book which he bought as a child - Credit: Brittany Woodman

Mr Green, whose wife is the former councillor Dawn Castle-Green, used to frequent the former Bread and Cheese pub, in Adelaide Street, and the Cherry Tree, in Dereham Road, to play draughts. 

Lesser known games to try out 

  • Bagatelle: This indoor table game is similar to pinball in which players have to aim marbles past a number of pins into holes to score as many points as possible. 
  • Tiddlywinks: Dating back to the 19th century, tiddlywinks is a game played on a flat surface in which players try to flick small discs into a pot. 
  • Pétanque: Many will have played a version of this on the beach with boules. The French outdoor game is where two opposing teams trying to throw boules as close as possible to a target. 
Measuring up in petanque

Measuring up in petanque - Credit: John Stotesbury

  • Billiards: This game can be found in certain pubs such as the Coach and Horses in Norwich's Bethel Street. It is played with a cue, but differs to pool and snooker. Versions of the game can vary and it was first played in the 15th century across Europe.