Monday 19 August 2013

CTC 73 Forty Years Young

CTC 73 Badge

This weekend marks the fortieth anniversary of the formation of the independent travel club CTC 73. Initially started after the club stopped running coaches to away games, CTC 73 eventually found its niche as the operator of choice for those supporters who enjoyed sampling the public house provision of market town England. In days when the local police were decidedly against visiting supporters drinking with a ten mile radius of the town hosting the football match, CTC 73 decided to go to the nearest market town and enjoy a glass or two there. You would be mistaken for thinking that the trippers were attracted by the ambience and architecture of the ancient market towns, the reason for visiting market towns was a simple one – they are packed with pubs.

The tales from these trips are now the stuff of legend. However, although the trips were far from sober affairs, they were almost always welcomed with open arms (and tills). From Ely to Beverley; Dereham to StamfordBury St Edmonds to Brigg, we have left an often positive view of Bradford and its people. The main one being: those boys can certainly drink!

To celebrate CTC 73’s fortieth birthday there will be a reunion/gathering at the Fighting Cock on Preston Street immediately after the Sheffield United home match on Saturday 24 August. Be there or be sober!

Saturday 3 August 2013

An Artistic Donation

Bradford City’s 2012/13 season will be long remembered for the club’s double Wembley appearances. The remarkable season has inspired one supporter to commission a painting which will hang in the club’s bantamspast museum. The painting is a combination of private and public memories for Kathryn Hey. As she explains: 
“It was over 32 years ago (1981) when my father took me to see my first football match at Valley Parade.  Sadly this was the only game we saw together before he passed away.  Thanks to his work colleagues, who kindly took me under their wing, I carried on attending.  
“I know he would have been as thrilled and happy as myself for last season’s incredible achievements, the best in my memory.  ‘A dream’ and ‘sensational’ are words that spring to mind. 
“It was for this reason I decided to commission Paul Town, a Football Stadium artist and fellow Bradford City fan to paint this canvas as a thank you to all the players, staff and management at Bradford City. Paul has worked from an original 1950’s print and photographs to create an impression of Valley Parade as my father and many others would have remembered it - including the advertisement for Hey’s brewery that was located on nearby Lumb Lane. The painting also features the Bradford City locomotive, which regularly roared past the ground - the original locomotive nameplate is on display in the main entrance at Valley Parade. As well as loving football, by father was a keen steam train enthusiast and had one of the largest collections and displays in the north of England (most of which now is in the National Railway Museum at York). I take after him for my love of football and trains!
“Throughout the season I’ve made a great many new friends and spent much of my free time at the club.  I’ve always been made to feel so welcome. I’m sure that like myself and many others, my father would have been so proud of our club. A big thank you to Bradford AFC and to all the people I’ve met along the way.”
For the artist the painting has been a labour of love. The Baildon based builder recently began depicting football grounds and has produced and sold several paintings of grounds as diverse as Sunderland’s Roker Park, Heart of Midlothian’s Tynecastle and Tottenham Hotspur’s White Hart Lane. Paul said:
“It has been a real honour to be commissioned to paint this piece for the Bradford City museum by lifelong City supporter Kathryn Hey.
“I am myself a city supporter of nearly 40 years and found the research to produce this greatly satisfying. In coordination with both Kathryn, and bantamspast museum’s David Pendleton, we together came up with a design based upon how Valley Parade and the surrounding areas would have looked around the 1940s. I hope to produce many more period paintings of Valley Parade in the future which hopefully will be of interest to all diehard city supporters both young and old. My artwork can be viewed on my Facebook page, Stadium Portraits Paul Town.”
The painting will be on display in the bantamspast museum, currently housed in Bantams Bar on the Kop, in time for the start of the new season. The museum’s David Pendleton said: 
“We are delighted to receive this donation from Kathryn. It is a very kind gift and we thank both Kathryn and Paul for the painting, which we hope will be enjoyed by many City fans this season and beyond. It is a wonderful way to mark the unforgettable 2012/13 season.”