Colin Babb author

News

The revised and updated edition of 1973 and Me has arrived!

1973 and Me book cover

This edition of 1973 and Me includes additional material from research and interviews with Dennis Amiss (Warwickshire and England), Alvin Kallicharan (Warwickshire and West Indies), Mike Phillips (academic, author, broadcaster and journalist), and Andy Roberts (Hampshire, Leicestershire and West Indies).

There are more complimentary quotes before the Foreword section, additions and changes in response to your suggestions, a redesigned front cover, and a picture of me from the 1970s!

With Lance Gibbs, 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.

Many thanks again to Kash and Arif Ali from Hansib publications for their support.

“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”.
Chloe, London

Annie Chave reads 1973 and Me by Colin Babb

Annie Chave

“Colin Babb illustrates a wonderfully evocative portrait of 1970s 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

“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”.
Derek, Grenada/Barbados/Essex   

“1973 and Me is a delightful mix of thoughtful nostalgia, observation and memory”.
John, Tonbridge, Kent

“A really enjoyable read, mixing history, cricket, personal recollections from childhood and a healthy dose of nostalgia”.
Tim Mansfield, Lancaster 

‘Early bird’ copies of the updated edition are available now!

Buy 1973 and Me for £12.99. Includes postage and packing (UK only).

Email: colin@colinbabbauthor.com to place your order and get payment details. 

1973 and Me is available from Turnaround Publisher Services for bookshops and online retailers.

Visit to the Fircroft School Summer Fair, London – 25 June 2022

Man with a copy of 1973 and Me

Many thanks to all who supported our bookstall at the Fircroft Primary School Summer fair. Including people who bought copies of They Gave the Crowd Plenty Fun during my last visit to the Fircroft summer fair – five years ago!

Alongside copies of the updated edition of 1973 and Me, and They Gave the Crowd Plenty Fun, visitors to the stall discovered more about Hansib publications.

These included some books from the acclaimed nation book series, Trinidad and Tobago – Terrific and Tranquil, and Jamaica Absolutely.

“It was great to see Colin at our fair. Everyone loved him being there and lots of people enjoyed chatting with him about his books”.
Angela, Parent and Teacher Association (PTA) co-chair, Fircroft Primary School.

Talk at Chestnut Grove Academy, London – 16 January 2022 

Many thanks to the Sixth Form students and staff who invited me to present a book 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.

“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 students

“I found the talk really enlightening and it opened my eyes to the importance of sport within culture”.
Zahra, Sixth Form student

“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

Many thanks to Yasmina and Ms Gordedo for the warm welcome and organising the event.

Pics from the event at Chestnut Grove.

Colin Babb events.

Bourda Bazaar in Colliers Wood, London – 11 December 2021

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 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 to Rod and Juanita from Guyana Speaks for organising another wonderful event!  

Bourda Bazaar 2021 pics and video on Flickr.

1973 and Me events for Wandsworth libraries – 29 October 2021

Colin Babb at Battersea library

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

Joseph’s feedback after the event at Battersea library.

Special thanks to Susan, Alfred, Mohammed and Alex at Battersea and Balham libraries for managing two thoroughly enjoyable evenings. 

Book event at the Morocco Bound Bookshop – 31 August 2021 

Colin Babb outside 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.

A lively Q&A session followed the talk. This included some of audience having a fun chat with each other – and me – following each answered questioned!

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 of 1973 and Me are still available from the Morocco Bound Bookshop,

Many thanks to Jonathan, Elsa and Graham for organising a brilliant event.

Pics from the Morocco Bound event.   

Not Coming Home – 19 July 2021

Mural of Gareth Southgate, Harry Kane and Raheem Sterling in London (photo by Colin Babb)

Mural of Gareth Southgate, Harry Kane and Raheem Sterling in London (photo by Colin Babb)

My article for Caribbean Intelligence, written after Euro 2020, was partly based on content in 1973 and Me. 

During the 1970s, for many of the English-born Caribbean diaspora, supporting West Indian cricket possessed more appeal than supporting the England football team.

After Italy beat England 3-2 on penalties in the 2020 Euros final at Wembley. The England players who missed their penalties – Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Buyako Saka – were three of the 11 in the squad with Caribbean or African heritage.

Across all major social media platforms, the racist blame directed at Rashford, Sancho and Saka erupted into a firestorm.

Post-Euro 2020 tournament debates featured commentary and conflicting opinions about identity, nationality, race, acceptance, and how to maintain the widespread connection with the England team.

My article for Caribbean Intelligence looked at the generational shift towards supporting England by people with Caribbean heritage.

The Death of a Black Man – 3 July 2021   

Death of a Black Man promotional poster

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.

Shakie passionately explains 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 the book were featured in the Hampstead Theatre programme to complement the play.