Get your copy of 1973 and Me!
“Colin Babb illustrates a wonderfully evocative portrait of 1970’s history, with a community linked by its migration and diversity. Born into a Caribbean family, his book follows his childhood in a heavily populated Caribbean area of London seen alongside a nostalgic backdrop of football, TV and music. Amid the adult world of rum and dominoes, colour televisions were introduced into the social hub and through those faded technicolour pictures, cricket became the crux of his world; the 1973 Test Series the catalyst”.
Annie Chave, Editor of County Cricket Matters, Co-host of County Cricket Natters and Broadcaster at Guerilla Cricket
“A really enjoyable read, mixing history, cricket, personal recollections from childhood and a healthy dose of nostalgia”.
Tim Mansfield, Lancaster
“1973 and Me is an engaging insight into the world of West Indian cricket and the impact on the author as a child growing in London. I enjoyed his almost photographic memories of his childhood events and impressive knowledge of the socio-political background of UK and West Indies. A fascinating read and I highly recommend it”.
Faik Luta, playwright, literary festival organiser and former BBC radio producer
“Born into a traditional West Indian family later in that decade – I knew what cricket meant to the community. Colin’s 1973 and Me is a wonderful insight”.
Trev aka Taye Adwa, Huddersfield, West Yorkshire
“As someone who is not a fan of cricket, I was surprised by how much I enjoyed and gained from this book, particularly for the wider perspective of a rich cultural world I have not been a part of. A great read, passionate, very informative and entertaining”.
Shafeeza Ali-Motilal, sister of Inshan Ali, Trinidad
Lance Gibbs, Alvin Kallicharan, Frank Hayes, Keith Fletcher, Sacha Distel, Johnny Kwango, Red Rum, Clyde Best, Shirley Bassey, Edward Heath, Harold Wilson, CARICOM, Guyana, Love Thy Neighbour, Top of the Pops, school dinners, curry and roti, Cliff Richard, Leeds United, Jan Tomaszewski, South London life in the 1970s and more feature in 1973 and Me.
Buy 1973 and Me for £12.99. Includes postage and packing (UK only).
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Many thanks to everyone who supported my events for Wandsworth libraries Black History Month (BHM) 2021.
The first event was at Battersea library on 13 October and the second at Balham library on 28 October.
Both events were well supported by enthusiastic audiences, lively question and answer sessions, and copies of 1973 and Me were signed and sold!
“It was a pleasure to watch as Colin guided an engaged audience through Caribbean politics and the streets of South West London, all with the power of cricket”.
Alex Martin, Library Manager, Balham Library
“I really enjoyed the talk. It has left me thinking about the friends I grew up with who have Caribbean parents, and how cricket has changed as a cultural touchstone for successive generations of West Indian migrants”.
Oliver Gafsen, SWLondoner reporter, after the event in Balham
“I don’t have a deep understanding of cricket but I really enjoyed the event. Especially Colin’s informative and entertaining presentation and storytelling. I look forward to more!”
Ina, after the event at Battersea
Special thanks to Susan, Alfred, Mohammed and Alex at Battersea and Balham libraries for helping to organise and manage two thoroughly enjoyable evenings.
Book event at the Morocco Bound Bookshop
Many thanks to all who attended the 1973 and Me event at the Morocco Bound Bookshop, London.
During the evening stories were told and shared around Dickie Bird, Rohan Kanhai, Leeds United, 1970s television, Caribbean unity, 1973 and Me and more.
Some of the audience also enjoyed the wide variety of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages available as copies of 1973 and Me were signed and sold. Copies are still on sale at the Morocco Bound Bookshop, 1a Morocco St, London SE1 3HB.
Many thanks to Jonathan, Elsa and Graham for organising a brilliant event.
Not Coming Home
During the 1970s, for some of the English-born Caribbean population, associating themselves with West Indian cricket, whether they were committed cricket fans or not, possessed a more desirable appeal than supporting the England football team.
The article reflects on the generational shift towards supporting the England team by people with Caribbean heritage born in England.
The Death of a Black Man
Set in 1973, the England v West Indies Test series and the performances of Garry Sobers were central to the meaning of The Death of a Black Man.
The play opened with a speech by Shakie (Nickcolia King-N’da), holding a cricket bat and standing in front of a set of cricket stumps, explaining why he is inspired by the legacy of Garry Sobers.
Sobers scored a century during the final 1973 Test match at Lord’s which helped West Indies to a 2-0 series win v England. This was his last Test innings in England.
Excerpts from 1973 and Me and an advert promoting 1973 and Me were in the Hampstead Theatre programme to complement the play.