By John Dewhirst
Last year I announced plans for the publication of a new book on the history of the club with a focus on City memorabilia, collectables and ephemera to provide an alternative perspective of life at Valley Parade during the last 110 years. I had hoped that this would be published in around October this year.
The good news is that the text has been written (approx. forty thousand words) incorporating chapters on the evolution of the club identity/crests, a history of the club programme, features on memorabilia through the decades including BCAFC related postcards, cigarette/trade cards, merchandise and souvenirs, enamel badges, pennants, scarves etcetera. There is also a background history of the different supporter groups at VP since the formation of the BCSSA in 1921. The range of coverage is comprehensive and I am confident that the book will offer a unique, alternative history of the club as well as a definitive record of City collectables.
The bad news is that I have underestimated the effort needed to complete the project. What remains outstanding is the scanning and photography of items and the final artwork. Given the effort thus far I am reluctant to take any short cuts and compromise on the quality of the final publication. As a consequence, there is little chance of the book being finalised this year and realistically it will not be ready until 2014.
I am keen to produce the book to the highest quality possible, hopefully in colour in a coffee-table format. Inevitably this will be expensive to print and the cover price may need to be as high as £40/45 to cover costs. The likelihood is that there would be a limited print run, so hopefully the book will be a collectable of the future. I would hope that our record publishing BANTAMSPAST books is testament of a commitment to quality and historical accuracy.
I should welcome your feedback so that I can determine whether people would be put off by such a cover price. If that is the case then I have no alternative but to limit my ambitions.
The book would have a subscriber offer which will be announced later this year.
If anyone wants further details I can be contacted via the email address johnpdewhirst at gmail.com. In particular, I am still interested in photographing/scanning pre 1970 club merchandise and pre-1915 club publications.