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 and Broadcaster at Guerilla Cricket
“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
“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 England. I enjoyed his almost photographic memories of childhood events and impressive knowledge of the socio-political background of UK and the Caribbean. A fascinating read and I highly recommend it”.
Faik Luta, playwright, literary festival organiser and former BBC radio producer
“This book is a gripping read and I have not put it down since I got it. I grew up in a West Indian household in England on cricket, church, chicken and rice. I didn’t like cricket, especially when my mother had it on TV for the whole day. But I now get it and this book has helped me to get there. West Indians in Britain united around West Indian cricket and when we were good it made us feel good. My mum would love this book and, if there was a celestial copy, I would send it to her”.
“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”.
“1973 and Me is a delightful mix of thoughtful nostalgia, observation and memory”.
John, Tonbridge, Kent
Lance Gibbs, Alvin Kallicharan, Frank Hayes, Keith Fletcher, Sacha Distel, Red Rum, Clyde Best, Edward Heath, Harold Wilson, CARICOM, Guyana, Top of the Pops, school dinners, curry and roti, Leeds United, Jan Tomaszewski, 1970s childhood memories and much more feature in 1973 and Me.
Buy 1973 and Me for £12.99. Includes postage and packing (UK only).
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Talk at Chestnut Grove Academy, London
Many thanks to the Sixth Form students and staff who invited me to present a 1973 and Me (and more!) event at Chestnut Grove Academy, Balham, London.
During the talk, stories were told and shared about social and cultural identity, the value of nostalgia and memory, Derby County, Guyana, the Caribbean, cricket, South London, my 1970s childhood, UK politics, music and watching television.
The talk was followed by a lively question and answer session.
“Colin gave an insightful, fascinating and engaging presentation of the importance of cricket in his life and a vivid image of the year 1973. The intersections between sport, television and politics that Colin talked about not only emphasised the differences between now and then, but also the significant effects of a game like cricket on the lives and pastimes of so many”.
Yasmina, Sixth Form student
“It was so interesting to hear a perspective that you don’t often get to. I didn’t expect cricket to evoke such an important impact”.
Josie and Tilly, Sixth Form student
“I found the talk really enlightening and it opened my eyes to the importance of sport within culture”.
Zahra, Sixth Form student
Many thanks to Yasmina and Ms Gordedo for the warm welcome and organising the event!
2021 Bourda Bazaar in Colliers Wood, London
Many thanks to everyone who visited the 1973 and Me/Hansib publications stall at the 2021 Bourda Bazaar. The event was held at the Johmard Community Centre, Colliers Wood, London.
Some of the goodies on our stall included books – 1973 and Me, and Belonging: Fate and Changing Realities by Herman Ouseley. The Hansib ‘Caribbean Contribution to Wartime Britain’ calendar was also on sale.
Other stalls in the venue had a wide variety of Guyanese food, drinks and sauces, jewellery and Amerindian handicrafts.
Music was supplied by MC/DJ Papa Scotchie and DJ Melvina Moves. Another musical highlight was a spontaneous Guyanese drumming and folk song session.
Proceeds from the raffle (we won a box of IKEA biscuits!) went to the Rotary Club of Demerara. The Rotary Club conducts crucial medical expeditions into the densely forested interior of Guyana.
Many thanks again to Rod and Juanita from Guyana Speaks for organising another wonderful event!
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 organising and managing 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 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 more 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 was 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 the book were featured in the Hampstead Theatre programme to complement the play.