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Mercury One-2-One Situations

Mercury ‘One-2-One Situations’ playing cards published by Mercury Communications.

Mercury Communications was formed in 1981 as a subsidiary of Cable & Wireless and for a while became the cutting edge of the rapidly-expanding telecoms sector, with their eye-catching payphone kiosks. Mercury One-2-One became the world’s first digital mobile phone network which would revolutionise communications through text messaging and smaller handsets. By 1997, however, the Mercury name had disappeared in an amalgamation of UK operators. Its legacy lived on through its successor Cable & Wireless Communications and in the Mercury Music Prize.

Mercury ‘One-2-One Situations’ playing cards published by Mercury Communications

Above: Mercury ‘One-2-One Situations’ playing cards published by Mercury Communications, 52 cards + 2 jokers + 2 rules cards in box (click the rules to zoom). Images courtesy Rex Pitts.

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By Rex Pitts (1940-2021)

Member since January 30, 2009

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Rex's main interest was in card games, because, he said, they were cheap and easy to get hold of in his early days of collecting. He is well known for his extensive knowledge of Pepys games and his book is on the bookshelves of many.

His other interest was non-standard playing cards. He also had collections of sheet music, music CDs, models of London buses, London Transport timetables and maps and other objects that intrigued him.

Rex had a chequered career at school. He was expelled twice, on one occasion for smoking! Despite this he trained as a radio engineer and worked for the BBC in the World Service.

Later he moved into sales and worked for a firm that made all kinds of packaging, a job he enjoyed until his retirement. He became an expert on boxes and would always investigate those that held his cards. He could always recognize a box made for Pepys, which were the same as those of Alf Cooke’s Universal Playing Card Company, who printed the card games. This interest changed into an ability to make and mend boxes, which he did with great dexterity. He loved this kind of handicraft work.

His dexterity of hand and eye soon led to his making card games of his own design. He spent hours and hours carefully cutting them out and colouring them by hand.


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