Push still on to have St Andrews on board for Monopoly bid

The 1932 board game which bore remarkable similarities to Monopoly... without the branding.
The 1932 board game which bore remarkable similarities to Monopoly... without the branding.

St Andrews was narrowly leading a poll to decide which Scottish town should be immortalised with its own official version of Monopoly.

At the time of going to press, the game producers had the town just ahead of the others on the shortlist – Stirling, Perth, Ayr, Falkirk and Motherwell. However, it would not be the first time St Andrews has been the location for a board game.

Several years ago, a game called The Home of Golf was for sale locally, though it clearly stated it was based on the “original suppressed Monopoly game as created by Quakers in Atlantic City in 1932” and did not have any official Monopoly branding.

The box carried a historic picture of the Old Course, while the board itself had various local businesses and organisations as the locations.

Players started at the now-gone china and crystal specialist James Pirie of St Andrews, could pick up what appears to be the equivalent of the Community Chest card if they ‘checked in’ by landing on Rusacks Hotel, or take a Birdie or Bogie card if they landed on golf tour specialist Links Golf of St Andrews.

If you made it to the corner spot occupied by St Leonards, you were invited to go straight round the board to St Andrews University, and your were allowed ‘free parking’ at Madras College.

Other well-known local names featured included Sophie Butler Hairdressing, the Byre Theatre, the Dolls House and Tom Morris Golf Shop.

As a limited edition, the game appears to have become something of a collectors’ item – this week, online auction site eBay had an unused sealed set available for just under £60, while on Amazon in the USA, there were sets being offered for between $250 and $330.

A spokesman for Winning Moves UK, which is making the new board under licence from Monopoly owners Hasbro, said they had no knowledge of Home of Golf board being official and stressed the new one planned would be both an official version and stocked by high street and online retailers from October.

The 22 coloured sites, from Old Kent Road to Mayfair, will be filled with landmarks from the winning town, the four train stations will take on a travel theme, while the Chance and Community Chest playing cards will be themed. For example, if St Andrews was to win the poll, then a player could pick up money for scoring a hole in one at golf.

Local politicians have also been getting ‘on board’. Stephen Gethins, SNP Westminster candidate for North East Fife, and local SNP MSP Roderick Campbell this week backed the bid.

Mr Campbell said a Monopoly board for the town would be a winner for St Andrews and the surrounding area, and hoped the community would get behind this campaign.

The poll closes at midnight on February 28 – to vote for St Andrews, email election@winningmoves.co.uk or by post to SCOTLAND, Winning Moves UK, 7 Praed Street, London W2 1NP..