Updated: Dec 21, 2022
Belisha Card Game, Pepys Series
(The Red and Blue backed packs of cards and the twin box with both were released at the same time and are not separate editions)
First Published: 1937, Pepys Series by Castell Brothers, Bridewell Place, London & North Wallace Street Glasgow
Illustrator or Designer: Not Credited
Contents: 53 Cards + Rules Booklet
"The pack consists of 52 cards and a Joker. There are 13 sets of 4 traffic signs depicted in the left top corner and in the right hand corner serial numbers 1 to 13 in each of 4 colours; Yellow, Green, Red and Blue. These numbers are repeated under the traffic signs for easy reference."
Belisha Cards: Big Ben, Westminster - Market Porters, Covent Garden - Buckingham Palace - Hyde Park Corner - Watford Way, Hendon - Apex Corner, Mill Hill - Pack-Horse Bridge, Biggleswade - Ivel Road, Sandy
Belisha Cards: The Lockup, Eaton Socon - Buckden Palace - Burghley House, Stamford - Market Place, Grantham - Tuxford - The Castle, Newark-On-Trent - Markham Church
Belisha Cards: Parish Church, East Retford - The Bell, Barnby Moor - Manor House, Scrooby - The Parish Church, Doncaster - Robin Hood Well, Near Doncaster - Marsh Road, Ferrybridge - Sammy Hick Mill, Aberford
Belisha Cards: Wetherby, Showing Great North Road - Blacksmith's Shop, Boroughbridge - Baldersby - Catterick Market Place - Brougham Castle - Bamburgh Castle - Carlisle Law Courts
Belisha Cards: Border Bridge, Gretna Green - Blacksmith's Shop, Gretna Green - Arch House, Birthplace of Carlyle - Williamwath Bridge, Lockerbie - Clock-A-Druid, Paisley - Burns Statue, Paisley, George Square, Glasgow
Belisha Cards: Luss - Ardlul - The Bonnie Banks, Loch Lomond - Loch Awe - Loch Awe, Falls of Cruachan - Dunollie Castle, Oban & Joker
The cards "depict a motor journey from London to Oban with some humorous sketches interposed".
Belisha has very little to do with road safety although it was promoted as a road safety game. A future feature will look at Pepys' road safety games and their context.
A selection of adverts featuring Belisha and other Pepys games, from 1937.
Elsewhere in 1937 the twin pack 'Presentation Sets' were advertised at 5s.
Belisha was issued with new card backs in two wartime economy packs, see Belisha (Wartime Edition).
The illustrator is not credited but Rex Pitts wrote that it was the same unknown artist who had illustrated Progress, Pepys, The Story of The Company and its Games 4th Ed.p5.
A couple of cards are worth noting:
The card Yellow 7, has an image of two children with a go-kart "parked" in front of a "No Parking" sign fixed to a wall, a Policeman concealed around the corner, has spied this transgression. Painted on the side of the go-kart is the Pepys logo or device.
The Joker card depicts a Scotsman wearing a tartan scarf and Tam o' shanter and driving a tartan car with the number plate "OCH 1".
The twin pack 'Presentation" box featured here was part of Rex Pitts' personal collection.
Game & Version Details
Belisha - Sealed Pack
Belisha - Padded Box Base
Belisha - Open Box Blue Cards
Belisha - Open Box Red Cards
Belisha - Open Twin Pack Box
Belisha - Card Back Blue
Belisha - Card Back Red
Belisha - Rules Front
Belisha - Rules Back
Jack of All Trades
Belisha - Rules Last Page
Pepys Stationery Advertised:
Stonehenge (Hand Made)
Number One Bond
Etc., Etc., Etc.