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Masters Traditional Games - Our Background & History

Re. Covid 19: We remain open and most games are still available...

Re. Covid 19: We remain open and most games are still available...


Masters Traditional Games - Our Background & History


The objective of Masters Traditional Games is to make available the old games - and modern classics - that people have played for centuries and will continue to play as long as they are able to buy them. As a matter of principle, only quality games are included and the catalogue of such games has gradually been increased so that we can now justifiably claim to have a portfolio that is more unique and diverse than any other games shop. We feature a number of games that cannot be obtained anywhere else.


In 1997, James Masters published The Online Guide to Traditional Games, a website devoted to the history of traditional board and table games from around the world. This was soon expanded to incorporate traditional English pub games and lawn games and is still being researched and developed. The Online Guide to Traditional Games was inspired by Mr. Masters' interest in traditional games and the website remains a a free resource for anyone interested to know more about the history of such pastimes.

As his research continued, it was found that many old games and pub games were difficult, if not impossible, to obtain. More importantly, he received an steady stream of requests for help from people all over the world desperate to find a game who had visited his site as part of their search. It became clear that there was a place in the world for a globally accessible shop specialising in such games.


Mr. Masters has been able to use his experience in management, IT and systems development to produce an Internet shop that is both unique in its products and its behind-the-scenes technology. From the outset, the aim was to reduce costs to the customer by implementing highly efficient and, in some cases, unique methods of delivery and by working almost completely without paper. The enterprise has no debt as a matter of policy and is therefore financially without risk. All considerations of reliability, extensibility, backup, security and finance were accounted for and the shop was duly launched early in 1999.

In 2008, Masters Traditional Games was a finalist in the Small Business Excellence Awards run by Dell for its innovative technology. Batting considerably above its weight, by 2009 it had a turnover of more than half a million pounds and the turnover is now well over 1 million. It continues to have a reputation for superlative customer service, despite being run by a tiny work-force.


James Masters gained a degree in Mathematics and Computing from Bath University and his career in IT support and software development management has been for both small companies and large corporates. He is a member of the local Croquet club, the local Snooker club, the Hampstead Lawn Billiards and Skittles club (at the Freemason's Arms), the historical games research group, The Games Board and also holds a black belt in Karate. He has travelled extensively whilst always looking out for interesting local games and currently lives with his wife and two sons in Hertfordshire, England.

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