101 Things Brum Gave The World. No: 17 Cluedo
As Anthony Pratt and his family huddled in their Kings Heath fall-out shelter while the Luftwaffe flew over Birmingham, it bothered him that there was nothing to do. He was concerned that, rather like Christmas, all you could do was sit in a confined space with your nearest and dearest and wait for the whole thing blow over. Something was desperately needed to relieve the boredom.
So he invented Cluedo. And, all over the world, Christmas was saved.
We’re told that Birmingham City Council has refused to exploit Cluedo’s tourism potential, or even acknowledge Cluedo as a product of Brum, as it claims it does not want the city to be associated with homicide. But it’s a Brum thing alright, and is said to be based on nearby Highbury Hall.
Tony’s neighbours had already invented Buccaneer (no, not Buccaroo, calm down at the back) and he wanted in on the act. He pitched his new board game to Waddingtons and they liked it. They made a few directorial changes and began mass production. It became one the most popular board games in the world.
Not that Balsall Heath-born Tone was able to enjoy the life of a millionaire. A bit short of financial advice, he signed over his royalty entitlements for a one-off payment of £5,000.
He died in 1994 in a nursing home.
In the lounge.
Submitted by Steve Nicholls