Saturday, March 22, 2008

Featherstone at 90, and Steve The Wargamer at 12...

I am, regrettably, a little late in wishing Don Featherstone a happy birthday... but wish to make amends.

For the record he was 90 last week, and I thought I might share a little something with you from the very earliest days of my wargaming "career"... J

..back then, as a callow 12 year old, and just starting out on my wargaming hobby, I was playing with unpainted Airfix Napoleonics, and badly painted Airfix WWII... I used the rules from Don's book "Wargames" and was obviously frustrated at the time with how slow it was to move all my troops individually - so with the typical arrogance of a 12 year old I decided to ask Don how he managed the problem!

Now it never even occurred to me that he might be a bit busy doing other things in his very busy life, but back came the following (please click on it for a bigger view):

..I have kept that letter, framed, ever since - yeah, I know, bit sad, but as a 12 year old with a huge interest in wargaming, this was a little like getting a signed letter from a super star. It only occurred to me in later years what level of dedication to the hobby it showed on his part... my letter would have been badly written, may even have been poorly typed on my mum's old typewriter, it would quite clearly have been from a youngster, and still he replied.... and the Wargamer's Newsletter he sent was much appreciated, and still in my possession - though I've bought a few more since!

..a genuinely nice guy who I finally got to meet last year at the Colours show.

So, Happy Birthday, Mr Featherstone - and thanks for igniting an abiding interest that has remained with me for 36 years now.....


  1. Steve,

    What a wonderful way to say "thanks" and "Happy Birthday" at the same time.

    -- Jeff

  2. If you want ONE reason why wargaming was such a popular hobby then and the flow of young recruits has dried up nowadays, look no further than this post.

    What a lovely story and confirmed everything about that great old wargamer.

    John Preece

  3. Wow. Just wow.

    I should Mr. Featherstone, a birthday card. In fact, does anyone know what he drinks/smokes?



  4. If he's made it to 90 he probably doesn't smoke at all!

  5. What a wonderful post. Imagine the horde of such letters Mr. Featherstone might still possess from avid young wargamers such as yourself.

    Thanks for sharing that!