Charlie's Capstan Dominoes Set

Contributed by Notting Hill Preparatory School - London

Charlie's Capstan Dominoes Set

This is a dominoes set that belonged to my grandpa.
Dominoes were invented in China about 600 years ago. In those days it was made out of tiles. It was easy to learn and it didn't need words to play it, so it spread very quickly around the world.
This particular domino set has a lot of history behind it. Its owner, my grandpa, learnt to play dominoes in Berlin, Germany, where he was born.
Just before WW II, his family was very nervous about Hitler. They tricked the Germans into letting them leave the country by pretending they were going to England on holiday. Of course this was a trick. But it worked.
When my grandpa's family got to England they sent him to boarding school at Dartington Hall, Devon. He was only seven years old and he didn't speak a single word of English. He had a hard time settling there.
The only thing he knew how to do with the other boys was to play dominoes - because everyone knew the game, and it didn't need words - so he didn't have to speak English to play it with the English boys.
And that is how he made friends and settled down. He went on to be a man with a lot of friends everywhere. So this was a very important box of dominoes to my family.

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  • 1 comment
  • 1. At 19:14 on 15 November 2010, emma freud wrote:

    this is BRILLIANT. what a wonderful story. who would have thought a set of dominoes could become something so important to a young jewish emigree during world war 2. top tale.

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