Annual treat

Posted: February 16, 2016 in Uncategorized

The christmas annual. Most of us that were children of the 60’s or 70’s usually got one in our christmas stocking at one point and I’ve had a fair few in my time. Seeing as I’ve been snowed in for the best part of three weeks I decided to alleviate the boredom by flicking through the pages of tomes gone by and relive some of my long lost youth. As luck would have it whilst perusing the 1964 ‘Tiger’ annual I came across a reference to Leyton Orient and a cup tie played against Arsenal back in the O’s murky post war past. It appears that with a thick fog descending upon Brisbane Road some spectators took it upon themselves to illuminate proceedings by setting light to some newspapers in the stand, thus enabling everyone to see the game to a conclusion. Can you imagine the reaction of Chris Baker and co at the thought of somebody torching a Daily Star within the east stand in today’s ultra sanitised ‘ground safety’ culture?orient

This tale raised a fair amount of curiosity from my good self and so it was straight on to ‘google’ for some more investigation. What was the game, score and cup tie mentioned in the article? Well, despite my best efforts I didn’t get to the bottom of the mystery. My best guess is that Arsenal probably won and the tie was either a war time or a London cup tie. I should think that Neil Kaufman or Ron Lambert (who was probably the pyromaniac who started it off in the first place) would be the two people best placed to answer this conundrum. However, during my surfing of the net I did come across something of interest, namely, www.britishpathe.com

Those of a certain age will remember the old newsreels that interspersed film matinees at Gants Hill odeon and such back in distant past. Long before the days of SKY sports and Match of the Day the only way to see any football/sporting action without actually being there yourself was to watch the action on pathe news. I stumbled across some vintage footage of the Orient taking on Arsenal in the 5th round of the F.A.Cup in 1952 and it turns out to be a priceless glimpse of the O’s taking on a top flight team in front of a packed Brisbane Road stadium. The O’s end up being well beaten to the tune of 0-3 and  the Orient man between the sticks, Pat Welton, hardly covers himself in glory with the goals we concede. Just another home defeat at Brisbane road then.

I would recommend the site anyway, especially to anyone with an interest in social history or love of football. Let’s face it we ain’t going to get much football action in over the next couple of weeks while the new ice age in progress.

The Time Lord.

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