My Grandad – Master Of Coppit And Boxes

Just before my grandad died, he said to me, “Don’t ever grow up. I never have.”

He was 93 years old and I was 36. 

Everyone thinks their grandad is special and mine certainly was. Father to six and grandfather to ten, he had such a way with children, always coming up with fun ideas and ways to make us all laugh.

What I remember most about Grandad are the games. I was only 7 years old when my other grandad had a stroke and had to be taken to hospital. Mum didn’t drive and the hospital was in a town a good few miles away. Grandad gave her a lift there several times so she could see her dad. I always tagged along and while Mum went to see her father, Grandad would sit with me and play games. My favourite was ‘Boxes’. I’m sure it has a ‘proper’ name, but we called it ‘The Boxes Game’.

It was very simple: you drew several rows of dots across a piece of paper. Then you took turns to draw a line, from one dot to another. The idea was not to let your opponent make a box. If you did, then your opponent would claim the box and insert their initial. Once you made one box, it often had a domino effect and led to you being able to claim one box after another. I always won, but I’m pretty sure Grandad let me.

Another game we played, though this time at his house, was ‘Coppit’. It was a board game and similar in nature to Ludo, though oh so much better. Instead of counters, each player had a coloured cone/hat shaped playing piece.  You started off on your home ‘base’. The object was to move out of your base, then to capture, or ‘cop’, your opponents’ pieces by landing on top of them, shouting out, “Coppit” and then carrying them back to your base, and ‘imprisoning’ them there. Now, Coppit was a game Grandad didn’t ever let me win. Much to my very miffed younger self’s annoyance.

In this particular photo, Grandad was working at one of the local garages on reception. Always a man to keep busy, he took on the job when he retired from his main work. He’d always loved cars and relished working at the garage. One of the employees still speaks fondly of him, though he said one day Grandad wanted to strip a car down and then put it back together again. “He was fine taking it apart, but the problem came when he had to remember where all the parts went. It didn’t quite look like a car when he’d finished with it so he had to have a bit of help.”

He may not have been a master of cars, but he was certainly a master of Coppit and Boxes – and a master grandad.    



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17 Responses to My Grandad – Master Of Coppit And Boxes

  1. What a lovely post about a clearly lovely man. Some people leave a trail of warmth and good memories behind them and he was clearly such a man. Hope you and yours have a lovely Christmas

    Liked by 1 person

  2. ellenbest24 says:

    A lovely Memory of Grandad. I enjoyed reading it.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Helen says:

    Lovely memories, Esther. I played a lot of both boxes and Coppit with my brothers – great games! Don’t suppose you ever played battleships too? Your grandad sounds a wonderful caring man.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. A delightful memory for you and a joy to read. The trick to staying young is thinking young and keeping younger people around you, was what I was told by my Aunt Gwen who like your grandfather always looked twenty years younger than she really was.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. clairejones323 says:

    What a lovely post. I have happy memories of playing Coppit at my grandmother’s house, and just last year I bought a set for my children. And no, I don’t let them win if I can help it.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. What a lovely post about your grandad – a rare gem. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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