BCAFC programme feature: vs Newport County 24th October, 2020

Programmes of old by John Dewhirst

This season the match day magazine celebrates the rich heritage of old programmes from earlier years and today’s issue is based on the design from 1978/1979 when Newport and City were both members of Division Four.

Old adverts

The programme for the 1978/79 season featured colour photographs of the Bradford City team and John Napier, manager on its cover. This is itself was ground-breaking and a radical departure from earlier designs. The club had recognised the value of an eye-catching cover to attract readers but sadly the editorial content was limited. It was poor value for money and flattered to deceive. What was more notable was the extent of advertising content which also reflected changes in society. A somewhat controversial inclusion at the time were adverts for a strip club with ‘Topless Go-Go Girls’ and a sex shop, the likes of which had never previously been featured in the club programme.

Old adverts provide an historical record and reminders of long-forgotten independent businesses that were based in Bradford: Hammond’s Sauce; HJ Knuttons; National & Provincial Building Society; OS Wain; Hammonds Ales and the Alfresco Garage to name but a few.

The adverts also provide an illustration of changing mass consumption patterns, for example bicycles advertised before World War One, transistor radios in the 1930s, rupture supports and surgical aids promoted through to 1922 and motor vehicles more frequently advertised from the 1950s. Raincoats were also regularly advertised through to the 1950s. The 1947/48 programme carried a rear page advert for newly released ‘Subbuteo Table Football’, a game that was a personal favourite during my own childhood in the early 1970s.

An increasing proportion of adverts for financial services is discernible in the last twenty years or so although adverts for credit existed a hundred years ago. Beer adverts have been a regular feature since 1910/11. Local tobacconists were also regular advertisers until the 1970s; by contrast adverts for national tobacco companies were less common. In the last twenty years there has been a higher proportion of business-to-business adverts as opposed to those aimed solely at consumers. In the latter category the disappearance of adverts for independent retailers has mirrored changes on the high street.

The menus above provide links to features written by myself in the BCAFC programme during previous seasons.

Link here to galleries of historic BCAFC programmes on this blog

Link to feature about the historic development of the BCAFC programme since 1909 published on VINCIT.