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Archbold was a secretive and private figure who managed to conceal not only his first name but even its initial: his birth certificate, the only record of his first name, was destroyed in WW2, and he never again found occasion to need his first name to be registered anywhere (having, according to the man himself, become accustomed to being addressed by surname only during his early years at boarding school.) Throughout his life he refused to be addressed in any other way – not even as 'Mr. Archbold'.

Archbold never participated in a MC game above club level for two reasons. Firstly there was his seminal legal tome Archbold's Criminal Law; and secondly his ground breaking work Archbold's Alphabetical Station Guide. The latter is, as the title suggests, a guide to the London Underground stations as used in MC. Each entry detailed the location, history lines and other notable features of all the underground stations that were then in existence. This meant a player could find out when British Museum closed or when the Hammersmith & City line arrived at Great Portland Street.

As well as those vital facts advice was given on some good moves to follow up say Chesham or Ickenham, along with ideas on which stage of the game to use them. Archbold spent WW2 in a concrete bunker composing the first edition which came out in 1946. Editions followed yearly, often with only slight changes until Archbold died in 1974. The first editions are valuable collectors' items and were eagerly purchased by novice and advanced players alike. It is rumoured, though not proved, that even Ruttsborough himself had a copy.

[AB] [JLE]

Categories: A to Z, Famous Players

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Last edited April 6, 2007 1:50 pm by Simons Mith (diff)