Book event at Balham library
My next event will be on Thursday 28 October for Black History Month 2021 at Balham library, 16 Ramsden Road, London SW12 8QY from 6.30pm.
Expect more stories, memories and shared experiences about the 1973 West Indies tour of England, Rohan Kanhai, Sacha Distel, 1970s British television, Clyde Best, Leeds United, Guyana, school dinners, radio memories and more.
Copies of 1973 and Me will be on sale. I look forward to seeing you there!
Many thanks to everyone who supported my event at Battersea library, London, on 13 October. Joseph delivers his feedback after this event.
Book event at the Morocco Bound Bookshop
Many thanks again to all who attended the 1973 and Me: The England v West Indies Test Series and a Memorable Childhood Year event at the Morocco Bound Bookshop, London.
During the evening stories were told and shared around Dickie Bird, Rohan Kanhai, Keith Fletcher, Leeds United, 1970s television, South London life in the 1970s, Caribbean unity, 1973 and Me and more.
This was followed by a lively and entertaining question and answer session.
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 of 1973 and Me are still on sale at the Morocco Bound Bookshop, 1a Morocco St, London SE1 3HB. So, pop in and buy a copy if you live in or around London.
Many thanks to Jonathan, Elsa and Graham for organising a brilliant event!
1973 and Me is out and available now!
“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
“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
“A really enjoyable read, mixing history, cricket, personal recollections from childhood and a healthy dose of nostalgia”.
Tim Mansfield, Lancaster
Lance Gibbs, Alvin Kallicharan, Rohan Kanhai, Frank Hayes, Keith Fletcher, Sacha Distel, Johnny Kwango, Red Rum, Clyde Best, Albert Johanneson, Shirley Bassey, Edward Heath, Harold Wilson, The Common Market, CARICOM, Guyana, Love Thy Neighbour, Top of the Pops, primary school dinners, curry and roti, Cliff Richard, Leeds United, Jan Tomaszewski, South London life in the 1970s and more feature in 1973 and Me.
1973 and Me also features exclusive Q&As with Harold ‘Dickie’ Bird, Deryck Murray on Inshan Ali, and Colin Grant on The Wailers 1973 tour of Britain.
Buy 1973 and Me for £12.99 (includes postage and packing, UK only). Email: firstname.lastname@example.org to place your order and get payment details.
Not Coming Home
This article, which I wrote for the Caribbean Intelligence website, was partly based on content in 1973 And Me: The England v West Indies Test Series and a Memorable Childhood Year.
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, West Indies cricket, the England v West Indies Test series that year, and the performances of Garry Sobers are 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 was inspired by the spirit and legacy of Garry Sobers.
Sobers scored a glorious century during the third and 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 on English soil.
Excerpts from 1973 and Me: The England v West Indies Test Series and a Memorable Childhood Year, and a full page advert promoting the book, were in the Hampstead Theatre programme to complement the play.