Friday, 18 April 2014

Record Shop Advertisements in old Football Programmes

In appreciation of record shops of a gone world, I've delved into my collection of old football programmes to seek out those advertisements of record shops that shared the pages with breweries, garages, fish and chip shops, florists, plumbers, surveyors, car breakers, chimney cleaners, builders and coal merchants - to name just a few of the businesses that once forked out a few guineas to advertise in their local football club's official home programme.

The examples date from the 1950s to the early 1970s, when the football programme was still a slim publication, usually no more than 14 x 21 cms, and in many cases with hardly any photographs, printed on the cheap paper stock. This was still several decades before the ubiquitous and generic colour magazine format took over.

Today with a revival of interest in record shops, especially with annual events like Record Store Day, and superb websites like devoted to exploring the glorious past of the nation's record shops, it's time to dig out ephemera that can reveal more and more evidence of the giant story of our musical heritage.

Certainly there is a strong link between the era of the 3pm Saturday Kick-off and the soundtrack of the hits of the day being blasted out from the Tannoy systems in creaky football stadiums that have by and large disappeared along with the high street record shop that once stood a throw-in or two up the road...

Gillingham v QPR, May 18th 1966

Northampton Town v Preston North End, February 13th 1965

Middlesbrough v Cardiff City, November 20th 1965

Barrow v Northampton Town, November 4th 1967

Watford v Southampton, February 2nd, 1960

Crewe Alexandra v Stockport County, February 26th 1966

Huddersfield Town v Arsenal, January 16th 1971

Leicester City v Arsenal, March 6th 1971

Everton v Arsenal, October 3rd, 1959

Stoke City v Wolves, December 21st 1963

Bradford Park Avenue v Chesterfield, September 6th 1969

Yeovil Town v Arsenal, January 2nd 1971

Scunthorpe United v Lincoln City, March 25th 1961
Huddersfield Town v Arsenal, February 6th 1968

Lincoln City v Huddersfield Town, September 14th 1966
Gillingham v QPR, May 18th 1966

Fulham v Sheffield Wednesday, February 28th, 1968

Burnley v Brighton & Hove Albion, January 31st 1961

Peterborough Town v Swansea Town, February 20th, 1965

Colchester United v Arsenal, January 24th 1959

Crystal Palace v Southend United, January 21st 1950

Crystal Palace v Aldershot, February 6th 1954
Crystal Palace v Watford, April 23rd 1958 

Sheffield Wednesday v Arsenal, September 22nd 1956
Hartlepools United v Lincoln City, October 15th 1966

Fulham v Arsenal, December 5th 1964
Millwall v Bolton Wanderers August 26th 1968
Swindon Town v Leeds United, January 18th 1964
Ipswich Town v Liverpool, March 5th 1963
Coventry City v Southampton, August 22nd 1970

When I was a teenager, football programmes like these changed hands at pocket money prices.  Today supply outweighs demand for these items - and they can still be found for pennies rather than pounds. And within, a vivid window into the past awaits...

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Greetings from Camden Town

Six hand-coloured scenes in the life of London's Camden Town, captured on photographic film in 1907, and presented on this wonderful Edwardian multi-view postcard.

The five buildings and one monument are depicted on a funereal-style black backing, complete with a tasteful Art Nouveau decoration. This was the house style of The Chaucer Postcard Co. (named after the publishing address of the street in South East London where the company was based), whose 60 known postcards of the districts of London were all actually printed in Saxony, Germany.

Chaucer Postcard Publishing Co. No.135

All six places still exist in Camden Town today, though one in a very different guise. From left to right, working down from the top row:

'Parish Church' - first known as Camden Chapel, and from 1920 as 'All Saints', it has been a Greek Orthodox Church since 1948.
'Cobden's Statue' - the memorial to Free Trade campaigner Richard Cobden has stood on the same spot since 1868
'The Brecknock Arms' - this once famous ale house on the corner of Brecknock Road and Camden Road (a mighty long stone's throw from Camden Town by the way!) was named after the Earl of Brecknock, 1st Marquess Camden, John Jeffreys Pratt. The pub is now called The Unicorn.
'Working Men's College' - Founded in 1854, the WMC is the oldest surviving adult education institute in Europe.
'Royal Camden Theatre' - the building (now called KoKo), opened to the public in 1900, and it subsequently has been a variety theatre, a cinema, a radio studio, a rock venue, and a nightclub.
'The Britannia' - on the corner of Camden High Street and Parkway, this marvellous-looking former pub now houses a mobile phone shop on the ground floor.

Monday, 7 April 2014


Moving on from my previous post 'You Bet Your Sweet BIPPY', replacing the double P with a double B, and it’s a hop, skip and a jump over to North West England, once the home of J.Bibby & Sons Ltd.

The company was perhaps best known for creating the cooking product TREX in the 1930s, a dairy-free alternative to butter made with refined oils (which is still being sold today).

James Bibby, and his son, Joseph sold flour from their mill near Lancaster during the 1850s, and by 1877 they invented a compound animal meal which they called Bibby’s Excelsior Calf Meal. The business prospered, so by the late 1880’s the Bibby’s started a new mill in Liverpool because of the City’s major rail and sea links, and they even launched their own schooner to ferry their animal feeds from port to port.

From the early 1890s, J. Bibby & Sons extended into soap production and oilseed crushing, and were producing massive tonnages, and employing thousands - by 1940 some 5,000 people worked for the company who were then based in King Edward Street, Liverpool 3.

Their cleaning products were branded with classic 1950s names: GLEE, a soap powder, ARABY, a beauty soap, CLOZONE, a cleaning soap, and their BIBBY soap flakes, pale soap and carbolic.

The Bibby name did not survive the 1960s, as the company was acquired by Princes Foods, and their atom age products disappeared from our shelves forever - but TREX lives on...

Tubby Trex, Bibby's TREX mascot, as seen on the back cover of  the pamphlet TREX Cookery , 3rd Impression, 1954

Thursday, 3 April 2014

You Bet Your Sweet Bippy

This was a catchphrase that is still best-known for being quoted ad infinitum on the long-running US TV madcap comedy series 'Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In'.

I have a copy of a Swingin' Zine called 'teen-in' that was published in the Summer of '69 - right in the heart of the Laugh-In craze - and on the back page there's a full-page ad for 'Nutty Stick on Daisies' complete with hip phrases like 'Bored of Education'.

(It's amazing how counter-cultural underground language slid into such populist entertainment for American kids of that time)

The slogan "GET YOUR BIPPIE" is emblazoned across the top daisies.

Most online dictionaries reckon that 'Bippy' is an old American slang for bum / ass / butt / backside - which was then morphed into a cute and mainstream phrase in c.1968 Burbank, California - home of 'Laugh-In'.

There are no references to the comedy sketch show in the advert, though brightly coloured cut-out flowers were an integral feature of the landscape of 'Laugh-In's' studio sets.

So what exactly was the free Bippie?

Bippie Who?

Teen-In No.3, Summer 1969, Tower Comics

A cracking period cover for this spin-off title of Tower's Tippy Teen character who appears in this otherwise quite pedestrian comic book. The free Bippie ad is on the back....

Good Night, Dick

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

It was a bright cold day in April (1 year on)

I started After You've Gone in April 2013 with the opening sentence in George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four. It is indeed a bright morning today, though not as cold as it was last year, and a year on, it feels right to mark the occasion with a return to the 1949 novel.

First published in 1949, this edition with the iconic Penguin Books cover dates from 1960
A cutting from The Daily Herald, Tuesday 14th June 1955 announcing the production at Elstree Studios of the first adaption of Nineteen Eighty-Four for the big screen

Ein Utopischer Roman, 1964 Diana-Reihe, Stuttgart

Collection Folio, |France June, 1983

Penguin Books, Reprinted 1967
The Control Room, Civil Defence Headquarters, by William Roberts, 1942

This was the front cover that I studied for weeks on end when I was given a school library copy of the book to read for the very first time by my English teacher. I dedicate this post to you, Mr Gordon.

Please take a look at my very first entry of After You've Gone for more classic covers of Nineteen Eighty-Four