As one of the original gamers who has been in the club since the beginning, I have been asked to write down a short precis of our long history.
The South Wilts Adventures in Time RPG club formed over 30 years ago in early 1983. The owner of an engineering and graphic design shop on Chipper Lane (where the locksmith is now) was a gamer, he also sold gaming material though his shop and with the help of a few others started the RPG club initially based in the Liberal club just down the road (where Conran's Irish pub is now). We have a lot of space at the Liberal club and the gamers liked the location. We mostly played D&D, Star Trek, Traveller, Warhammer and Shadowrun.
The club grew quickly in the first couple of years and by the mid 1980's there were up to 40 members attending. Almost as quickly as it grew, by the end of the 1980's the club was back down to around 20 members attending.
At the end of the 1980's the Liberal club was closed, so our RPG club had to move and we moved into the Cloisters Pub where we stayed for a couple of years. We were upstairs in the small function room at the back of the pub. On a positive note they served Gibbs Mew beer, from a local brewery long since demolished and pub food was available. In the end we had to leave the pub after a change of landlord, maybe the new landlord had other plans for upstairs or just didn't like people with dice.
We moved into the Conservative Association Offices in the Morrison Hall, one of our gamers at the time was the Chairman of the Young Conservatives and he persuaded the Association to rent the hall to our RPG club. It was a small space with only 2 tables at this location but still most members liked it. Popular games included Dungeons and Dragons, The Morrow Project, Bushido and many others. We stayed there for about five years before we moved due to the association starting a refurbishment of the Hall.
We moved to the Old Manor Hospital social club, where we stayed for about a decade before the social club was closed. During the time we spent at the Old Manor Club, we mainly played the new Dungeons and Dragons 3rd Edition, D20 Modern, The Morrow Project. The facilities at the Club were good, it had its own bar as well as ample space for the club to spread out in.
We then had a couple of temporary venues, before moving to our current location at the Harnham Scout Club. Over recent years GM's have been continuing to run Dungeons and Dragons 3rd edition as well as 3.5 and now, more recently replaced it with the Pathfinder system, also we have continued other games, like the Morrow Project (with one game running for over 10 years), several games using the Palladium system as well as some newer game systems including Anima and Dark Heresy.
Over the years, we have had many players come and go, some grew up and left, some were mired in controversy and some were taken from this life in tragic circumstances. But the Club lives on.
The Old Bear