MAUREEN HIRON - from games mistress to Games Mistress – and now to
songwriter for founder Boney M member Sheyla Bonnick.
Here is an article in the Internation Bridge Press association bulletin in 2019 about Maureen's career
Download the PDF here
From IPBA Bulletin December 10 2019
Muareen Hiron, Gamesperson Extraordinaire
Bridge players are often very accomplished in fields other than bridge. IBPA member Maureen Hiron, best known to us as the former bridge correspondent for The Independent and the Irish Independent, is much-better known in the world at large as a games inventor and hospital charity organiser. As the author of over 70 published games, Maureen's games have won three Mensa Select Awards as the best board game of the year and numerous other awards. Five of Maureen's new games (Kivi, Colo Rolo, 7Ate9 Multi, Grobolo 3D and Der Lila Wal debuted at Essen Spiel 2019, the world's biggest games fair, held annually every October. Over 200,000 games enthusiasts attended the fair this year, a record. Maureen was quite startled when she arrived for a meeting in Essen with Europe's largest games company, Ravensburger Spieleverlag. Upon arrival, Philipp Sprick, the head of Family and Adult Games, introduced her to a new colleague as follows: “This is Maureen Hiron - the world's top female games inventor of all time:” That was quite an accolade. We asked Maureen to tell us how she got started in games development - here's what she had to say:
“Back in 1973, a large lump of the school in which I taught detached itself and landed on my head. This put me into early retirement - and nearly killed me. Then, suddenly, on April I , 1982, apropos of nothing in particular, Continuo flashed into my mind. Such a simple concept. All players, regardless of age, could play together - or even play solo. My husband Alan and I formed a company, and five months later Continuo went on sale in the U.K., soon becoming Britain's top-selling game. Now, Continuo and its siblings have sold over six million sets around the world. A string of other successful games followed. Whilst I invented the games, Alan playtested them. The partnership worked very well as I proofread his bridge writing.”
In 1990, due in large part to her charity work for London hospitals, Maureen was voted 'Londoner of the Year' in London Electricity's Brightening up London awards. The following year, the Hirons moved to southern Spain. However, when Alan died in 1999, Maureen's idyllic world came crashing down. She took over from Alan as Bridge Correspondent to The Independent, and soon added the Irish Independent. One or the other of the Hirons was Bridge Correspondent to The Independent from the its birth in 1986 to its going online in 2016.
Maureen's other great love is music. She can get a tune out of almost any instrument (embouchure instruments excepted). During her college days, Maureen wrote a kid's operetta which she called Cats. (Yes, also based on T.S. Eliot's Old Possums Book of Practical Cats.)
On a Caribbean cruise in 20 II, Maureen and Sheyla Bannick of Boney M became friends (Boney M were the cabaret performers and Maureen was the bridge lecturer). Maureen and Sheyla collaborated on an album, Look Beyond, in a new musical genre Maureen called matzar, music written in modes rather than keys. The album has enjoyed international success and acclaim.
Maureen is indeed a Renaissance woman.