Bone Club, founded by Guy Haslam – designs and makes Backgammon boards, with modern designs that come in a variety of sizes.
Backgammon is a game that combines the luck of the dice with strategy and skill. It originated in the middle east, roughly 5000 years ago, and along with Checkers and Senet, it is one of the oldest board games still being played today.
Since his mother taught him to play at the age of 7, Guy has had a passion for the game that hasn’t faded in over 30 years of playing.
Whilst living in Liverpool – where he studied Dentistry, Guy worked as a croupier at a casino, where Backgammon was played between shifts on the roulette tables, to keep themselves focused.
On his return to the Fylde Coast, Guy started a Backgammon club, named Bone Club.
The name refers to the fact that ancient dice were made of bone. The club started as 10 select players, who would meet in pubs, bars or each others houses, but has seen many big names attend, including: Mark ‘Swerve” Irvine, Bill Robertie, chef Jack Stein and the Malaysian Royal Family.
At some of these games, Guy was able to play on Mark Irvine’s championship sized board, with 50mm checkers — which is the Backgammon equivalent of playing snooker on a full-sized snooker table.
The experience of a championship Backgammon board gave Guy the inspiration to start making his own boards. Most championship sized Backgammon boards sell for much more than even an enthusiastic player would be willing to spend.
Guy wanted to bring the price down and design his boards with the modern player in mind, with striking colour and contemporary design. He would use his skills in woodcraft, furniture restoration and cabinet design to do it.
“I’m hugely excited by innovating the boards and raising the profile of backgammon amongst new and global audiences. We’ve large ambitions to create new products, ranging from Carbon Fibre backgammon boards, outdoor backgammon tables, and are in talks with a US distributor to help take Bone Club Stateside,” said Guy Haslam, Founder of Bone Club
He setup a website, using the skills he learnt running a web design agency in the 90s, and now sells a wide selection of Backgammon boards, in many colour and size variations. You can even get a free quote for custom designs.
All the boards are named after songs, including: ‘A Good Tradition’, ‘Purple Rain’, ‘Back to Black’, ‘7 Nation Army’ and ‘A kind of Blue’.
Their designs have attracted the attention of the Backgammon world, shown by the fact they have been awarded ‘Board Manufacturer of the Year’ by the UK Backgammon Federation.
This is a massive achievement, considering Bone Club is a one man band, up against the giants of the Backgammon world. Previous winners of the award include companies like Geoffrey Parker, who have been designing luxury boards for 60 years.
The Bone Club still run Backgammon nights, and you can attend one of their games. They play on Wednesdays at 7pm, at BOCA in Poulton-le-fylde, or 4pm at FLOK, in Manchester, on Sundays.
To learn more about Bone Club, or to browse their boards, you can visit their website.