Allen Hickling

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David Allen Hickling (born May 29, 1934), known as Allen Hickling, is a retired Architect, Planning/Strategic Choice Process consultant, author, game designer, and an authority in the field of toy forts and castles.

Early life[edit]

Hickling was born in Sutton Coldfield, Warwickshire, UK, and spent his childhood years in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, and Budleigh Salterton, South Devon.

In 1959, Hickling received a Diploma of Architecture from The Royal West of England Academy School of Architecture (RWA) in Bristol, UK. In 1970, he received a master's degree in City Planning (MCP) as well as a master's degree in Architecture (MArch) from the Urban Design graduate program at the University of Pennsylvania.[1]



In 1959 Hicking moved from the UK to Montréal, Canada, where he lived for 9 years. He joined the architectural firm Van Ginkel Associates as Chef de Bureau, working on the development of Downtown Montreal and Meadowvale, Ontario, a new town community for the newly incorporated City of Mississauga. In 1963 Hickling joined Mayerovitch & Bernstein as project architect on one of the interconnected buildings that make up Montreal's Underground City, a development linking offices, retail space, hotels and residential complexes to the city's entirely subterranean mass transit system—the Montreal Metro. During his time in Canada, he was also part of the small team that designed the Circuit Mont-Tremblant (race track).

Planning and Strategic Choice[edit]

From 1971 to 1980 Hickling worked at the Institute of Operational Research (IOR),[2] a unit of the Tavistock Institute of Human Relations, as a Senior Research Scientist.[3] During his time at IOR, he was instrumental in developing the use of Strategic Choice Theory (a dynamic socio-technical approach to planning and decision making) to help diverse groups experiencing multi-faceted challenges reach consensus.[4] In 1979 Hickling presented a paper[5] titled Using Strategic Choice as a Framework for Communication at a one-day event, OR, Social Science, and Strategic Choice, held at the Royal Society, London, led by the Operational Research Society.

In the 1980s Hickling's work became closely linked to environmental policy and planning, which led him to set up his consultancy firm; Allen Hickling and Associates. The company collaborated with an international network of specialists working on the processes of planning, conflict resolution, and strategic choice, while providing services in action research, training, and facilitation.[6][7][page needed] Hickling was employed by the Environment Directorates of the Dutch,[8] German, French, Italian, Latvian,[9] Estonian, Hungarian and British Governments, the OECD, and the European Commission,[10][page needed] to facilitate the solving of complex problems at the highest levels by enabling politicians, professionals, managers, industry representatives, and special interest groups to work together interactively.

Hickling was also heavily involved in the private sector, working for large and small companies including British Nuclear Fuels, Direct Rail Services, IBM, Cable and Wireless, Shell, Thames Water, EBRD, and Hamersley Iron.

Hickling was a founding member of the Environmental Resolve Committee, through which he worked with the Environment Council in London. As a leading member of The Environment Council's facilitation team, he designed their consensus-building program and played a central role in developing their facilitation and mediation training program.


Hickling is a well-known lecturer and has authored 8 books, including the best-selling Planning Under Pressure: The Strategic Choice Approach,[11] which provides planners, consultants, managers and students with practical ways to approach complex decision making. The SCA (Strategic Choice Approach) process is also implemented in a software tool called STRAD (Strategic Advisor). In addition, Hickling has written numerous papers and made many contributions to books and journals on the subject of planning and strategic choice.

RPG Game Design[edit]

In the 1980s Hickling set up Endless Games, and partnered in Integrated Games. Both companies designed and produced add-on products for Fantasy Role-playing games (FRP) such as Dungeons & Dragons (D&D) and RuneQuest.[12][13][14][15][16][17][18][19][20]

Toy Forts and Castles[edit]

Hickling is an authority on the subject of toy forts and castles[21] and has spent 30 years researching the subject. Over this time he amassed one of the largest collections in the world - half of which now resides in a museum in Cyprus. He has written numerous articles in journals such as Toy Soldier Parade, Old Toy Soldier, and Plastic Warrior. Hickling has written the only reference book on the subject; Toy Forts and Castles: European-Made Toys of the 19th and 20th Centuries.[22]

Car racing[edit]

Hickling raced Production Sports Cars (TVR and Ginetta Cars) from 1962 to 1967 in Canada and the U.S.,[23] during which time he was a National Instructor with the Canadian Automobile Sport Clubs[24][page needed] In 1965 he won his class in the Quebec Championship, and in 1966 he did it again coming third overall.


Hickling has had a lifelong passion for the sport of Cricket. He serves as president of the Long Itchington Cricket Club, of which he was one of the founding fathers in 1976.[25][26] He is a qualified Umpire and Senior Coach with the England and Wales Cricket Board (Association of Cricket Officials) and (Coaches Association).

Personal life[edit]

He is married to Judith Hickling, his wife of 53 years, and has 4 children. He has lived in the village of Long Itchington, Warwickshire, England, for 45 years.

Hickling is fluent in Dutch, which he learned with the Nuns of Vught, at the Regina Coeli Language Institute in The Netherlands.

Works and publications[edit]


  • Hickling, Allen (1974). Managing Decisions: The Strategic Choice Approach. Rugby: Mantec Publications. ISBN 978-0-902-54009-5. OCLC 1503647.
  • Hickling, Allen (1975). Aids to Strategic Choice (2nd 1976 ed.). Vancouver: University of British Columbia, Center for Continuing Education.
  • Hickling, Allen; Hartman, R.; Meester, J.C. (1976). Werken met Strategicshe Keuze (in Dutch). Samson Uitgeverij, Alphen aan den Rijn.
  • Hickling, Allen; Wilkin, Luc; Debreyne, Fernand (1980). Technologie de la Decision Complexe: Des Aides pour l'Elaboration des Choix Stratégiques (in French). Tavistock Institute of Human Relations, England.
  • Hickling, Allen (1981). Abordagem da Escolha Estrategica (in Portuguese). Sao Paulo, Brazil.
  • De Jong, Arnold; Hickling, Allen (1990). Mens en Beleid (in Dutch). Leiden, Netherlands: Stefert Kroese Uitgevers of Leiden.
  • Friend, John; Hickling, Allen (2005). Planning Under Pressure The Strategic Choice Approach (3rd ed.). Amsterdam: Elsevier/Butterworth Heinemann. ISBN 978-1-417-56916-8. OCLC 803657417.
  • Hickling, Allen (2015). Toy Forts & Castles: European-Made Toys of the 19th & 20th Centuries. Atglen, Pennsylvania: Schiffer Publishing Ltd. ISBN 978-0-764-34813-6. OCLC 898088145.

Book Contributions[edit]

  • Hickling, Allen; Sutton, Alan (1975). "Planning as a Process of Strategic Choice". In: IFHP. Papers and Prcoeedings, International Congress, Amsterdam, pp. 49–69.
  • Hickling, Allen; Friend, John; Luckman, John (1979). "An Analytical Framework for Inter-Organisational Coordination". In: Holm, Per. Research into Local Planning Processes, pp. 157–182. Swedish Council for Building Research, Stockholm. ISBN 91-540-3051-X.
  • Hickling, Allen (1982). "Beyond a Linear Iterative Process?" In: Evans, Barrie; Powell, James; Talbot, Reg. Changing Design, pp. 275–293. John Wiiley & Sons, Chichester, UK.
  • Hicklng, Allen (1985). "Evaluation is a Five Finger Exercise". In: Faludi, Andreas; Voogd, Henk. Evaluation of Complex Policy Problems, pp125–134. Delftsche Uitgevers, Delft, The Netherlands. ISBN 90-6562-071-0.
  • Sutton, Alan; Hickling, Allen; Friend, John (1986). "The Strategic Choice Approach to Managing Uncertainty". In Wilkin, Luc (ed.). The Management of Uncertainty: Approaches, Methods and Applications. Series D No. 32. Springer Netherlands. pp. 14–52. ISBN 978-94-010-8484-0. ISSN 0258-123X.
  • Breure, Abraham; Hickling, Allen (1990). "Coping with Unconventional Projects: a 'Socio-Technical' Approach". In: Gareis, Roland. Handbook of Management Projects pp. 347–355. Manzsche Verlag, Vienna, Austria.
  • Hickling, Allen (1990). "'Decision Spaces': A Scenario about Designing Appropriate Rooms for Decision Management". In: Eden, Colin; Radford, Jim. Tackling Strategic Problems, pp. 169–177. Sage Publications, London. ISBN 0-8039-8260-7.
  • Hicking, Allen; (2001). "Gambling with Frozen Fire?" In: Rosenhead, Jonathan; Mingers, John. Rational Analysis for a Problematic World Revisited. pp. 151–180. John Wiley & Sons, Chichester, England. ISBN 978-0-471-49523-9.


  • Hickling, Allen (1978). "AIDA and the Levels of Choice in Structure Plans". Town Planning Review. 49 (4): 459–475. doi:10.3828/tpr.49.4.v4314t7172h3vu23.
  • French, Simon (November 1988). "Review: Planning under Pressure: The Strategic Choice Approach by John Friend, Allen Hickling". The Journal of the Operational Research Society. 39 (11): 1067–1068. doi:10.2307/2583210. JSTOR 2583210.
  • Hickling, Allen (1992). "You Build It: A Short History of UBILDA Toy Forts". Toy Soldier Parade. Vol. 2 no. 2. London: Yesteryear Publishing Ltd.
  • Hickling, Allen (1998). "Burleytoys' Buster Fort No.1". Old Toy Soldier. Vol. 22 no. 2. Oak Park, Ill.
  • Hickling, Allen (1998). "Chad Valley Toy Fort: Size No.1". Old Toy Soldier. Vol. 22 no. 3. Oak Park, Ill.
  • Hickling, Allen (1998). "Tri-ang Fort No.1". Old Toy Soldier. Vol. 22 no. 4. Oak Park, Ill.
  • Hickling, Allen (1999). "Snow Castles in the Playroom". Old Toy Soldier. Vol. 23 no. 4. Oak Park, Ill.
  • Hickling, Allen (1999). "Balmoral Castle: a Moko Toy". Old Toy Soldier. Vol. 29 no. 4.
  • Hickling, Allen (1999). "Tri-ang's Harlech Castle: The Story in Two Scenarios". Old Toy Soldier. Vol. 23 no. 2. Oak Park, Ill.
  • Hickling, Allen (2000). "Sod's Law: A Snow Castles Round-up". Old Toy Soldier. Vol. 24 no. 4. Oak Park, Ill.
  • Hickling, Allen (2000). "Tri-ang Forts". The Tri-ang Telegraph. No. R005 & R006. UK.
  • Hickling, Allen (2000). "The Siege of Sebastopol: a Classic Three-in-One Toy Based on the Historical Event". Old Toy Soldier. Vol. 24 no. 2. Oak Park, Ill.
  • Hickling, Allen (2001). "From Dollhouse to Fortress: The Military Aspect of Moritz Gottschalk's Toy World, Part 1". Old Toy Soldier. Vol. 25 no. 1. Oak Park , Ill.
  • Hickling, Allen (2001). "From Dollhouse to Fortress: The Military Aspect of Moritz Gottschalk's Toy World, Part 2". Old Toy Soldier. Vol. 25 no. 2. Oak Park, Ill.
  • Hickling, Allen (2001). "From Dollhouse to Fortress: The Military Aspect of Moritz Gottschalk's Toy World, Part 3". Old Toy Soldier. Vol. 25 no. 4. Pittsburgh.
  • Hickling, Allen (2003). "From Dollhouse to Fortress: The Military Aspect of Moritz Gottschalk's Toy World, Part 4". Old Toy Soldier. Vol. 27 no. 2. Pittsburgh.
  • Hickling, Allen (2003). "A Toy Fort Anomaly". The Tri-ang Telegraph (RO16). Oak Park, Ill.: The Tri-ang Society.
  • Hickling, Allen (2003). "Lines Bros New Toy Forts 1939". The Tri-ang Telegraph (RO36).
  • Bryson, John M.; Ackermann, Fran; Eden, Colin (November 2004). "Contributions of Planning Under Pressure". Planning Theory. 3 (3): 201–210. doi:10.1177/1473095204048814. S2CID 109027081.
  • Hickling, Allen (2004). "Mr Kleemann's Legacy: The Original (History)". Plastic Warrior. No. 101. Woking, Surrey, England.
  • Hickling, Allen (2004). "Mr Kleemann's Legacy: The Original (Design)". Plastic Warrior. No. 102. Woking, Surrey, England.
  • Hickling, Allen (2004). "Mr Kleemann's Legacy: Copies and Derivatives". Plastic Warrior. No. 103. Woking, Surrey, England.
  • Hickling, Allen (2004). "Jack Binns and Bill Barker were BINBAK". Old Toy Soldier. Vol. 28 no. 4. Pittsburgh.
  • Hickling, Allen (2005). "BINBAK Follow Up". Old Toy Soldier. Vol. 29 no. 4. Pittsburgh.
  • Hickling, Allen (2007). "Elf into Joy: Toy Forts Made by the Hall Family". Old Toy Soldier. Vol. 31 no. 3. Pittsburgh.
  • Hickling, Allen (2009). "Great Minds Think Alike or Tri-ang - v - Elastolin". Old Toy Soldier. Vol. 33 no. 4. Pittsburgh.
  • Hickling, Allen (2010). "The Lines Bros' New Toy Forts: 1939". The Tri-ang Telegraph. No.TT36.
  • Hickling, Allen (2012). "Decision Analysis Society". Decision Analysis Today. 31, #2: 17–18. Archived from the original on April 8, 2016. Retrieved April 2, 2016.


  1. ^ "The Sunday Bulletin". University of Pennsylvania degree results. The Sunday Bulletin. Philadelphia. May 10, 1970.[title incomplete]
  2. ^ Cropper, S. A.; Jackson, Michael; Keyes, Paul (2012). Operational Research and the Social Sciences. Springer Science & Business Media. p. 462. ISBN 9781461307891.
  3. ^ Daniels, Alan (September 26, 1975). "The Vancouver Sun". The Vancouver Sun.[title incomplete]
  4. ^ Bishop, Jeff (2015). The Craft of Collaborative Planning: People Working Together to Shape Creative and Sustainable Places. Routledge. pp. 1, 8, 40, 151. ISBN 9781317556206.
  5. ^ Hickling, Allen (October 24, 1979). "Using Strategic Choice as a Framework for Communication". The Operational Research Society. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  6. ^ Allen, Hickling (June 19, 1994). "Letter: Environmental law: policy, pressure, and procedure in a growth area". The Independent.
  7. ^ Faludi, A (2013). A Decision-centred View of Environmental Planning. Elsevier. ISBN 9781483286488.
  8. ^ de Jongh, Paul E. (1996). "The Netherlands Approach to Environmental Policy Integration". Washington, D.C.: Center for Strategic & International Studies: 15. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  9. ^ Emsis, State Minister of Environmental Protection, Indulis (1995). "National Environmental Policy Plan for Latvia" (PDF). Latvian Ministry of Environment: 2. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  10. ^ Hickling, Allen (1991). Municipal waste management in the EEC : report of an orientation study about the positions of member States and industry. European Commission.
  11. ^ Tsagdis, D. (August 1998). "Book review: Planning Under Pressure: The Strategic Choice Approach, 2nd edition. By John Friend and Allen Hickling. Published by Butterworth-Heinemann, Oxford, 1997, 372 pp., £16·99". Systems Research and Behavioral Science. 15 (4): 349–354. doi:10.1002/(SICI)1099-1743(199807/08)15:4<349::AID-SRES237>3.0.CO;2-Q. ISBN 0-7506-2955-X.
  12. ^ Tony Pilling (June 2007). "The Legion Interview: Basil Barrett" (PDF). Legion (7). Warpstone. p. 9.
  13. ^ Rowe, B. Y. (June 1985). "The Halls of the Dwarven Kings". White Dwarf. Vol. 66. p. 7.
  14. ^ Robertson, Megan C. (November 1985). "Lost Shrine of Kasar Khan". White Dwarf. Vol. 70.
  15. ^ Cockburn, Paul (February 1987). "Watchers of the Sacred Flame". White Dwarf. Vol. 86. p. 3.
  16. ^ "Allen Hickling". RPG Geek.
  17. ^ "Allen Hickling RPG Designer". Board Game Geek.
  18. ^ Brotherton, Antony. "A-Z of UK RPG in the 80's - D is for Dungeon Floors". Roleplay-Geek.
  19. ^ Rolston, Ken (July 1988). "The Halls of the Dwarven Kings" (PDF). Dragon Magazine. Vol. XIII, No.2 no. #135. pp. 73–77.
  20. ^ Cockburn, Paul (June 1987). "The Feathered Priests". White Dwarf. Vol. 91. p. 4.
  21. ^ "Interesting Links". James Opie. Archived from the original on December 20, 2016. Retrieved July 31, 2016.
  22. ^ Howe, Genevieve. "The History of Toy Forts and Castles - review". Genevieve Howe Design.
  23. ^ "All Results of Allen Hickling". Racing Sports Cars.
  24. ^ Pyman, Trevor (1990). The History of the Ginetta G4. Minster Lovell, Oxfordshire, England: Bookmark Publishing. ISBN 1870519078.
  25. ^ "Executive Committee". Long Itchington Cricket Club. Retrieved April 5, 2016.
  26. ^ Gale, Laurence (September 1, 2011). "Village Cricket is a Funny Old Game - Itchen to Play!". Pitchcare Magazine. No. 38. p. 52. ISSN 1751-2646.

External links[edit]