Friday, 30 May 2014

Greetings in Music

Keio University, Tokyo, Japan was founded by the writer and civil rights activist Fukuzawa Yukichi in 1858 

The Singing Postcard, BBC Radio 3, 18th August 2002

Sunday, 11 May 2014

Faces in the Crowd 1969/1970

Featuring our Supporters read the heading inside the official programme of Millwall Football Club during season 1968/1969 - and then once again throughout the following season. "If you find that you are the person circled above, call at the office and if you can satisfy us that it is really you, then a complimentary ground ticket will be yours for our next home League match". Above appeared a snapshot of the home crowd depicted in an 8.5 x 12 cms photo - made up of thousands of blue and white dots.

Thank-you to Anthony B in Brussels for his reaction to my previous post: 

Greatly intrigued once again by the Faces in the Crowd posting. Like with the record shop ads, I feel I could look at examples of these forever.

The first image looks like the cover of a 1960s new wave science fiction paperback. Something gloomy and anguished by Michael Moorcock or Christopher Priest. 
In fact, there's something inherently eerie about the whole idea of this. I'm scared to look at these photos too closely, for fear that I'll see the same person in each one! Staring back expressionlessly at the photographer...

Well, here is another set of Faces in the Crowd, this time from season 1969/1970. How many, captured at the defining moment by the local press photographer, ever got to see their face in print? And of those caught in the white ring, how many got to use their complimentary ticket - having "satisfied" a club official that they really were the face circled in the crowd?

Several matches into the season, the same photo as seen in the mid-August programme was recycled, this time in close-up . The previous ringed face - check the first photograph - has been cropped out (top left hand corner)

In this one, there is a fascinating juxtaposition of the older regulars wearing their flat caps that hark back to the early years of the century, and in the bottom left hand corner a pack of girls sporting the latest terrace trend: skinhead haircuts...and then to their left, stands a chap in flat cap - with a pipe neatly held between his teeth

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Faces in the Crowd 1968/1969

It's coming up to a year since I posted Faces in the Crowd 1961/1962 in 'After You've Gone'- a collection of rather haunting photos taken by the local newspaper of football crowds at Brisbane Road, which were published in the match day programme of Leyton Orient FC. The idea was that if you saw your face circled, you won a free ticket to stand on the terraces at the next match. Half a century on such images are loaded with meaning - perfect micro-studies of people's clothes and hair styles of the time. Faces mostly caught unaware of the camera lens, and that one head picked out of the crowd, with an assassin-like target marking it out from all of the others...

Seven years after those images in, we journey about ten miles south of the Orient, to The Den, former home of Millwall Football Club, in Cold Blow Lane, London SE14.  In Season 1968/1969, the official programme ran a feature called 'Featuring Our Supporters'. Unlike the rather crude white circles used by Leyton Orient back in the early 1960s, the Lions programme editor used a solitary yet perfectly round white O around a face in the crowd. The publication was printed in blue ink on white paper, and was sold outside the football ground for one shilling (5p). 

Thanks to a cache of these Millwall programmes bought from a vintage football programme dealer this May Bank Holiday weekend (at a very fair price), I now present faces of the late 60s snapped for posterity by a photographer for the team's local newspaper - the South East London Mercury...

The same image was used twice in consecutive matches, and both times the face circled is unaware of being photographed