Monday, 11 May 2015


I am simply thrilled with my latest purchase of a few Dartmoor Letterboxing antiquities. Namely, copies of Letterbox catalogues dating from Autumn 1985 to Spring 1991.  The 100 Club's official clue book - first published in May 1983 - was not quite the publication of more recent years.  

Firstly there is the old book's Latin subtitle: 'Ludus tantum est' roughly translated as 'Its only a game'. Godfrey Swinscow, the 100 club founder always considered Letterboxing to be just this.

Also, the clue for 'Watern Tor' - Registered as box number 1 with the 100 Club, and therefore not to be confused with Cranmere Pool, which is registered number 12 - is still listed in these earliest catalogues. 

The earliest copy I obtained is the 5th edition, printed on October 2nd 1985.  In this copy we are informed that Tigers Marsh letterbox (registered number 89) had been removed from the moor or lapsed into disrepair since the Spring.  Several of the first 100 registered boxes still feature in the clues though.  Rules in this book are scarce: although the importance of ensuring it's security and that no copy falls into the hands of vandals is repeated. This is just a pamplet consisting of  76 pages and listing all 879 registered Letterboxes then on Dartmoor.  It was part of an auction site lot combined with all subsequent catalogues up to 1991 - by chance when our own personal collection of catalogues start.  

The search is now on for even earlier editions!

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