I’m getting ready to move house. The loft in my current house, and several of the cupboards are rammed with wargaming paraphernalia. While the new house will be larger, I realised there were lots of things I really hadn’t touched since I’d moved in half a decade ago! It was time for a clear out.
It is rather frightening to see how much I had accumulated. While some things are so dear to my heart that they could never be parted, other half-baked projects and collections could easily be passed on to friends. In recent years I’ve really benefitted from generous friends passing on figures and terrain to me. The biggest issue was the pile of old wargames magazines. I naturally kept the WSS pile because they had lots of my articles in them, but most of the others have less of an emotional response. I sifted through the pile... lots of good articles, but would I ever need them again? In the end, I reached a simple answer. No.
I started off asking friends in our WhatsApp group if they wanted them? A big blank was drawn. I collected the most recent twenty of so where the games discussed were reasonably current and the adverts were not presenting figures at 50p for a 28mm figure anymore! These would go to the club. But what about the rest? In a ruthless tidying moment, I marched out to the bin and threw them in. I’ll be honest, I felt relief. No guilt. The recycle bin was due that day I thought. They’d soon be out of mind... as it happened I’d got my bins mixed around and the recycling wasn’t taken away! They had made a fortuitous escape!
I boasted on Twitter how I had cleared the magazine pile. While many commended my action there were cries of lamentation from others. Posting off individual copies to people would financially ruin me. It took two trips to the bin each time carrying as much as I could handle without getting a hernia. Phil Dutre rightly pointed out that he is collecting an archive of old magazine articles and it seemed a waste. Another follower suggested communally sharing them. All the gamers I knew locally had rejected them. I doubt my neighbours share the same passion for 6mm ECW gaming as I do.
I got to club night and took the remaining selection of magazines out. Weirdly they went like hot cakes. “I’ve got more in the bin” I said! So the next day my mate Derek turned up with a car and took away a boot full of magazine. I also filled it up with all the other stuff that was never used in the last five years. The balsa box, the mounting card mountain of shame, a load of old 15mm figures that I’d had passed to me as a hard up student, and some old scratch built buildings that had seen far better days. The box of WW1 biplanes that is dropped on the floor and couldn’t face mending and a few more WW1 unmade kits also got handed on. Derek smiled.
There were a good few evenings of repairs and rebuilds there. But he knew he had some fun new projects to breathe life into, and a hell of a lot of reading on his hands. Another mate turned up an hour later and took an unmade 1/72 building off my hands, the remaining card, done Wills plastic tiles and some wallpaper that looks like cobblestones.
It was a huge relief to clear this clobber out. In the end, I was pleased to share the joy that some of these magazines and wargaming paraphernalia had given me. It’s nice to think that new life might be given to all those damaged buildings and half made kits.