• Peter Berthoud

Woodland Old Maid

Updated: Nov 23

Woodland Old Maid, A Pepys Card Game, Pictured by Racey Helps


First Published: 1957, A Pepys Game by Castell Brothers Ltd., London

Illustrator or Designer: Racey Helps


Contents: 43 Cards + 1 Rules Card


Woodland Old Maid Box Front 1 With Title Card
Woodland Old Maid Box Front 1 With Title Card

Woodland Old Maid Box Front 2 With Title Card
Woodland Old Maid Box Front 2 With Title Card

There are 43 cards, 1 each of 3 Old Maid cards and 4 each of the other 10 cards.


Woodland Old Maid cards: The three Old Maids - Hetty Hoot, Olive Brown &  Winnie Woodowl. Others: Pinny Needlekin, Millicent Littlemouse, Selina Sligh, Bridgit Croak,Tabitha Tabbitail, Hunky Dory

Woodland Old Maid cards: The three Old Maids - Hetty Hoot, Olive Brown & Winnie Woodowl. Others: Pinny Needlekin, Millicent Littlemouse, Selina Sligh, Bridgit Croak,Tabitha Tabbitail, Hunky Dory.


Woodland Old Maid cards: A Lady of Points, Wigwags Bobble, Izaak Finny, Betty Bun

Woodland Old Maid cards: A Lady of Points, Wigwags Bobble, Izaak Finny, Betty Bun.



Another classic game beautifully illustrated by Racey Helps. Some of the humour in the illustrations was aimed at adult players rather than children. Izaak Finny has a picture of "The Merman Tabebernacle, Salt Lake City" on his wall. Hetty Hoot is reading Ovid's "The Art of Love" and judging from her expression may have reached the section dealing with sexual positions. Betty Bun's card conflates two slang terms "Having a bun in the oven" referring to being pregnant and "Breeding like rabbits" (or "Go at it like rabbits") for having numerous children.


I wonder if the card "Hunky Dory" contributed to the naming of David Bowie's 1971 album? Duncan Jones, David and Angie Bowies only child was born during the recording of Hunky Dory. The album's track Kooks was dedicated to Duncan. The birth of a child often heralds an influx of childhood items and influences into the most resolutely adult life.


Version 2 must date to the early 1960s as the box has an self-locking envelope base. Apart from the obvious very different title cards and card backs there is little to distinguish one version from the other. There is no address given on the rules card.


Game & Version Details



Woodland Old Maid 1 - Card Back


Woodland Old Maid 2 - Card Back



Woodland Old Maid 1+2 - Rules Card



Woodland Old Maid 1 - Box Back


Woodland Old Maid 1 - Box Top



Woodland Old Maid 1 - Box Side Left



Woodland Old Maid 1 - Box Base


Woodland Old Maid 1 - Box Side Right



Woodland Old Maid 1 ​- Box Back With Flap



Woodland Old Maid 2 - Box Base


Envelope Style



Woodland Old Maid 2 ​- Box Back With Flap