News 2023

Bourda Bazaar in Elephant and Castle, London, 9 December 2023

Colin Babb and Ram John Holder
Colin Babb and Ram John Holder

Many thanks to everyone who visited the Colin Babb/Hansib publications stand at the 2023 Christmas Bourda Bazaar. The event was held at Draper Hall, Elephant and Castle, London. 

I was especially honoured to have Ram John Holder, the actor and musician known to many as Porkpie from Desmond’s, the TV sitcom, stop by for a chat. Holder is currently playing the role of Sarge Bailey in the TV soap opera, Coronation Street.

Some of the books on our goodies table included 1973 and Me, and Joe Solomon and the Spirit of Port Mourant by Clem Seecharan. Proceeds from the raffle went to the Guyana Cancer Foundation.

Many thanks to Rod and Juanita from Guyana Speaks for hosting another fabulous event.

1973 and Me added to the MCC Library collection, 20 November 2023

Colin Babb and Alan Rees
Colin Babb and Alan Rees, MCC Archive and Library Manager

The revised and updated edition of 1973 and Me has been added to the MCC Library collection at Lord’s cricket ground. 1973 and Me joins They Gave the Crowd Plenty Fun, my first book for Hansib publications, in the world’s most comprehensive and prestigious collection of books and publications dedicated to cricket.

Spanning over 20,000 titles from the latest books and magazines to rare editions and pamphlets from the game’s earliest days, the MCC Library is an invaluable resource for authors, journalists, researchers and students.

Alan Rees, MCC Archive and Library Manager, said, “I am delighted to have added Colin’s 1973 and Me to the MCC Library’s collection. Although we have a good selection of books on the history of West Indian cricket, including tours to England, this is the first book dedicated to this particular tour. So it’s rather unique in a collection that holds over 24,000 publications! We are also seeing an increase in students carrying out research into West Indian national identity and of the immigrant community within Britain and this book will be very useful to them in their studies.”

Surrey CCC and ACE programme evening at The Oval, 26 October 2023

Colin Babb and Chevy Green
Colin Babb and Chevy Green Q&A at the Surrey CCC/ACE evening

It was great to make new friends, and meet old friends, as a Q&A author guest during a Surrey CCC/African Caribbean Engagement (ACE) evening at The Oval. Interestingly, this event was held in the same room where, in 2012, the first edition of They Gave the Crowd Plenty Fun was launched!

This evening was a follow-up to a 2000 Cricket Witness Zoom (due to COVID restrictions) seminar entitled The Significance of Cricket to the Windrush Generation and the Legacy of the West Indies Tours of the UK (1950s to Present), which I chaired. The 2020 seminar was organised and hosted by The Institute of Commonwealth Studies/Surrey County Cricket Club. To mark the 70th anniversary of the first West Indian Test match victory in England at Lord’s, 1950.

During the Surrey CCC and ACE evening at The Oval, Chevy Green, Director of Programmes at ACE, hosted number of Q&As and discussions. My Q&A chat with Chevy revolved around reflections on the importance of West Indian cricket to generations of Caribbean people in Britain.

I also had an opportunity to talk about They Gave the Crowd Plenty Fun and 1973 and Me with an appreciative audience. Copies of 1973 and Me were available for sale during the evening.

Other Q&A guests included ACE coaches, inspirational testimonies from ACE participants, and pioneering former Surrey CCC players with Caribbean heritage – Lonsdale Skinner, Monte Lynch and Ebony Rainford-Brent. Ebony, the first black woman to play cricket for England, is a cricket broadcaster for BBC and Sky, and the ACE Chair.

Contribution to upcoming Clyde Best film documentary, 5 May 2023

Colin Babb with the Degan production team

I spent part of the Bank Holiday weekend in Stratford, East London, as a contributor to Transforming the Beautiful Game: The Clyde Best Story. A film documentary directed by Dan Egan of Degan Media.

Clyde Best was born and raised in Bermuda and came to England to join West Ham United as a 17-year-old teenager. When Best arrived in England in 1968, it was his first time away from the Caribbean. By the end of his time at West Ham (1968 to 1976), he had achieved iconic status as one of the first black footballers seen on British television.

The film will reflect on Best’s life and career, with a focus on the challenges he faced on and off the field in 1970s Britain. Best was an important contributor to 1973 and Me, where he shared his passion for West Ham, cricket, his roots in Barbados and Guyana and more.

Thanks to Dan Egan for inviting me to contribute. The film is scheduled for released in 2025.

Talk for The Cricket Society at the Union Jack Club, London, 22 February 2023

Colin at the Cricket Society

Many thanks to members of The Cricket Society who supported my talk at the Union Jack Club, Waterloo, London.

One of the aims of The Cricket Society is to promote, arrange and conduct meetings, social gatherings and other functions for members to meet each other, and encourage and facilitate the exchange of views and information concerning cricket.

The talk featured reflections on my 1970s childhood, FA Cup finals, politics, television, identity, Guyana, bread and butter pudding, cricket and much more. The audience was warm, engaging and knowledgeable, and a book signing session was followed by an entertaining question and answer discussion.

I was also honoured to perform the task of pulling out winning tickets for the raffle!

Nick Tudball, The Journal of the Cricket Society editor, and event organiser, said, “Many thanks to Colin, who is a born storyteller, for a fascinating talk. I learnt so much. It was a wonderful evening and I’ve only heard positive comments from everyone in the audience. There is so much depth in 1973 and Me, and the book is full of wonderful stories and reminiscences, and brings that year back to me – today.”