1940's, 1950, art, artist, arts, battle, canvas, chalk, chalker, chalking, chalks, childen's, england, game, games, history, marchent, pavement, pavement art, screever, screeving, social, stone, street, uk, urban, urbancanvas
Before computers and the internet, even before television and mobile phones, there was a time of simple pleasures when children would entertain themselves. A more creative time of playing out and making it up as you went along.
And on rainy days with your friends, what better way of spending time than taking out your big box of compendium games & puzzles and playing Tiddly Winks, Blow Football, Shuv Ha’penny and Snakes & Ladders. We didn’t want for much and as adults we often look back on those days with fond memories. The truth is, as the old saying goes “what we didn’t have, we didn’t miss!”
So imagine the kerfuffle in the 1940’s when Britain’s largest manufacturer of games and compendiums MARCHENT GAMES, released their brand new children’s plaything PAVEMENT ARTIST, the game.
Although it was classed as a game it was more of a chalking activity centre. As the instructions state: This game contains chalks, stencils and black-board, bordered with the alphabet and numerals. The stencils and coloured chalks are used for drawing designs on the blackboard. The same stencils can be used for making pretty drawings in your drawing book. Always clean the board after using.
The stencils were made of pre-cut paper with spaces to be pushed-out prior to use. The two illustrated here, the ship and the train are also shown on the box cover as works on the pavement. I have no idea how many different stencils were included in each set, but I would estimate in the region of ten. I have so far tracked three, these two and a cow stencil, but I’m sure there are many more.
Pavement artists were a common sight on the streets of Britain; indeed it was the only country anywhere in the world to nurture such a culture of street-art, a culture that stretched back to at least the 1850’s. So the production of a Pavement Artist game for children seemed like good commercial sense, indeed the game seems to have been in production for a good ten years before its demise in 1959.
If you have any memories of having one of these as a child, I’d love to hear from you!
Written & researched by Philip Battle
Visit my Artists of The Paving Stone page on Facebook!