101 Things Birmingham Gave The World. No: 17 Cluedo

Poundland in Kings Heath holds out for a Cluedo bandwagon to arrive in Birmingham

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

Author: Jon Bounds

Jon was voted the ‘14th Most Influential Person in the West Midlands’ in 2008. Subsequently he has not been placed. He’s been a football referee, venetian blind maker, cellar man, and a losing Labour council candidate: “No, no chance. A complete no-hoper” said a spoilt ballot. Jon wrote and directed the first ever piece of drama performed on Twitter when he persuaded a cast including MPs and journalists to give over their timelines to perform Twitpanto. But all that is behind him.