The Spear's Games Archive was established in 1996 by Francis Spear, and is owned by the Spear's Games Archive Trust, a registered charity. It holds a staggering 1500 games and activity kits produced by the well-known manufacturer J.W. Spear & Sons at its factories in Germany and the UK between 1900 and 1994.
The majority of exhibits are in excellent condition, and can be handled by visitors, whilst more delicate items are displayed in cases. Many are from the original company archives, others donated or purchased. In addition there is a reproduction 1913 Gamages brochure, and an impressive portfolio of vintage catalogues, documents, photographs, press articles, and other memorabilia.
The games we play mirror the world we live in. Produced to meet the ever-changing needs of consumers, each Spear's game directly reflected the popular fashions, society and politics of the time. Not only games enthusiasts will find the archive fascinating, but anyone interested in art, design, history, social culture or politics.
The Archive is located in Hertfordshire, UK, surrounded by beautiful unspoilt countryside, yet within easy reach of both the M25 and London Stansted Airport. Admission to the archive is by appointment only, providing a unique opportunity to view a great private collection.
Visits can be requested via this website. There is a fee of £2 per adult (under 16s and pensioners £1) payable on confirmation of your booking. For parties of 10 or more (maximum 20 visitors per booking) Francis will give an illustrated talk about the company and its products. High quality refreshments are available, including buffet style lunches, but these must also be booked in advance.