'Zeppelin over Lynn' children's board game
Conception and Making the Game
Initially, as can be seen from photographs - ATC cadets from the 42F Squadron were asked to make model biplanes on two occasions, one at the ATC HQ Loke Road, King's Lynn, one at True's Yard Fisherfolk Museum. These events were well attended and formed model clubs, for cadets and others to learn about making model biplanes that may be used for the zeppelin game. Another model, more complicated and large, was the Graf Zeppelin. This was made over some considerable time by Mr J. W. Bond.
The biplanes and the model zeppelin, together with a scale and accurate copy of a street plan (OS Sheets First Edition 6 inch 1880s) of 1900s King's Lynn were to be the main components of the game. The game was devised by Louisa Rooks, with support by Dr. Bond. The game has two key players, the zeppelin crew and zeppelin, and the RFC biplanes and heir pilots stationed around the Wash in West Norfolk and South Holland, at newly established aerodromes such as Sedgeford (1915), Narborough and Marham (1916) and Tydd St Mary (1916). Players are set against each other, either end of the Lynn town centre plan, attempt to move forward by the throw of a dice.
The aim for the zeppelin crew is to arrive at Lynn, as if it was the 19th January 1915 and bomb the town (they start near the Gaywood River, as was actually a sighting on that evening). The aim of the RFC biplane crews is to throw a dice and 'scramble' into action, and defend the town from zeppelin attack.
Game Rules have been devised to reflect historical eye witness accounts of the zeppelin attack and other historical accounts, such newspaper stories, the Chief Constable's report on events. Within the zeppelin game there are also 'mini-games', that cover different aspects:
- 'Rescue Mission': covering the impact of zeppelin bombs on civilian houses, in the Lynn streets and attempts to rescue people
- 'Spies': a mini game to reflect the spies stories that circulated in the local and national press, as the local MP published a pamphlet suggesting traitors had helped to guide the zeppelin crew to Lynn on that fateful evening in 1915
- 'Spot the Zeppelin': a mini game based on eye witness accounts, who and where did people see the zeppelin in the sky. There are even a few photographs of the zeppelin over Lynn on that evening.
Trial of the Game
On Friday 6th Feb., the game, the street plan of Lynn, the models and some trial players helped Dr. Bond and Louisa play the game for the first time! Edward Cumbley and John Lee, joined the game, playing for the RFC biplane crews. Markers were used 'Z' for zeppelin location and 'RFC' for biplane crews.
Initially the first target street was successfully defended by the RFC. The zeppelin crew failed to drop bombs on Albert Street. The second attempt worked, the zeppelin crew managed to reach Bentinck Street and drop bombs; just as did happen about 10:30pm on 19th January 1915! Sadly, as with the real event casualties were caused.
Some minor modifications on dice throws, scores and story line, to support the game play were realised. But, essentially, the first trial of the game was a success.
The Archaeological Society would like to thank Edward Cumbley and John Lee, to work placements at True's Yard Fisherfolk Museum, for helping with the game trial. Much fun was had by all and we all learnt something new about the events on 1915. We'd also like to thank Lindsey Bavin, Manager at True's Yard Fisherfolk Museum for enabling this trialling of the game, with support of her work placements.
More news on a further trial event will follow. The ATC cadets are also due to trail the game very soon.
The process of Making the Game
The game was based on the research on the Zeppelin Raad on King's Lynn carried out by Louisa Rooks which can be found on the 'Results' page. Below are some photos from the process of designing, building and play-testing the Zeppelin game which can be seen by clicking on the images below: