Colin Babb in Norwich

Colin Babb in Norwich

Colin was a guest speaker for the Norfolk Cricket Society in Norwich on Thursday 22 February 2018.

Colin gave a talk to a warm and appreciative audience, many of whom were members of the Norfolk Cricket Society, at the Great Western Hotel in Norwich.

Following a lively question and answer session, Colin was also asked to pull numbers out of a tub for a special Norfolk Cricket Society prize draw. One member of the audience kindly donated his prize of a packet of Shortbread Petticoat Tails biscuits to Colin!

After the event, Colin signed and sold some of copies of They Gave the Crowd Plenty Fun and joined in a chat over a drink or two with some of the audience. These included thoughts about the past, present and future of cricket in Norfolk.

Also under discussion was 1973, the book Colin is currently writing for Hansib publications about his life as a British born Caribbean schoolboy and that year’s West Indies tour of England.

Rob Kelly, one of the Norfolk Cricket Society event organisers, described Colin’s guest appearance as, “A fun evening of cricket chat and social history made all the more enjoyable by some neat audience participation”.

Thanks again to Rob for helping to organise the event and Karen Kelly for taking the photographs during the evening for our Flickr gallery.

The Norfolk Cricket Society meets six times during the winter months and meetings usually consist of a talk from a guest speaker. In recent years, the Society has attracted many excellent speakers. These include former international cricketers such as Mike Selvey, Henry Olonga, Chris Lewis and Charlotte Edwards.

Norfolk Cricket Society event photo gallery.

Norfolk Cricket Society.

Guyana Speaks! Bourda Bazaar event at the Classic Club, Tooting Bec, London, 10 December 2017

His Excellency F. Hamley Case

His Excellency F. Hamley Case opens the Bourda Bazaar

Many thanks to all of you who supported the 2017 Guyana Speaks Bourda Bazaar, and came to visit Colin’s They Gave the Crowd Plenty Fun/Hansib publications stall.

The event was held at The Classic in Tooting Bec, London, was opened by His Excellency F. Hamley Case, The Guyana High Commissioner in UK, and featured performances from musicians, Keith Waithe, and Seetal Gurprashad (previously of the Hot Shots). Despite the inclement weather outside, there was an impressive number of people in the audience who mingled and enjoyed the products available on the wide variety of stalls.

There was an exhibition of work by the artists, George ‘Fowokan’ Kelly and Rebecca Sharples, as well as stallholders selling Guyanese products as varied as books, collages, DVDs, greeting cards, jewellery, food and drink – including conkie, mithai, patties, cassava pone and sorrel. It was a great opportunity for people to network, shop, support small Caribbean businesses and enjoy all things Guyanese!

The aim of the Bourda Bazaar was to raise funds for the purchase of a 5hp Yamaha outboard motor for the children of Wakapoa (in the Pomeroon). Those based in outlying regions in Guyana are in urgent need of a motorised boat to take them to school. 

Sebastian and Colin Babb

Sebastian and Colin Babb

Fircroft School Summer Fair, Tooting Bec, London on 15 July 2017

Many thanks to all who supported our stall at the Fircroft School Summer Fair in Tooting Bec, London. Colin presented signed copies of They Gave the Crowd Plenty Fun and other books published by Hansib. These included the Guyana, Jamaica and Trinidad editions of the nations book series.

The irritating weather, which began with spitting rain, didn’t dampen the spirit and atmosphere of another well attended event at Fircroft School. The fun at the fair included delicious food and drink, ukulele workshops, a football skills competition, craft zones, jewellery stalls, cake stalls, music, DJs, and much more.

Thanks to Sebastian for helping out on our stall and persuading people to buy books! Thanks again to Katy Hill and team at Fircroft School for organising the event. Fircroft School Summer Fair photo gallery.

Guyana Speaks! Guyanese cricket at the Classic Club, Tooting Bec, London, 23 June 2017

Professor Clem Seecharan and Colin Babb at Guyana Speaks!

Professor Clem Seecharan and Colin Babb at Guyana Speaks!

Many thanks to all who made this Guyana Speaks event another very special afternoon. Colin Babb was on the panel with a couple of very distinguished guests, Clem Seecharan, Emeritus Professor at London Metropolitan University and Joseph ’Reds’ Perreira (via Skype from St.Lucia), who has been a Caribbean region and international sports journalist and analyst for over 40 years.

The afternoon offered an insight into Guyana’s cricket history. There were a variety of thoughts, nostalgic memories, and strident opinions offered about the past, present, and future of West Indies cricket.

Colin talked about They Gave the Crowd Plenty Fun, and his personal relationship with Guyanese cricket growing up as part of the Guyanese diaspora in the UK.

The panel often referred to the contribution made to West Indies cricket by Guyanese cricketers including John Trim, Robert Christiani, Basil Butcher, Joe Solomon, Ivan Madray, Rohan Kanhai, Lance Gibbs, Clive Lloyd, Alvin Kallicharan, Roy Fredericks, Colin Croft, Carl Hooper, and Shivnarine Chanderpaul.

Clem entertained the audience by reading some extracts from his excellent book, Hand-in-Hand History of Cricket in Guyana, 1865-1897 (Hansib). In this book, Clem argues that: ‘A history of cricket in Guyana is an aspect of its social history and crucial to comprehending many issues of social and political significance in the wider history of the only British colony on the mainland of the South American continent’.

Reds talked about his career as a broadcaster and journalist, offered some specific personal insights on the future of cricket in Guyana, and suggested reasons for cricket’s general demise across the Caribbean region.

Clem, Reds and Colin also answered several questions from an enthusiastic audience. Clem and Colin then shared some of the sorrel, cassava pone, and more after the event!

Thanks again to Rod Westmass, Juanita Cox-Westmaas, Ra Hendricks, and the Guyana Speaks team for organising another fabulous event in London, SW17. 

Warren Cowley, Dickie Bird and Dave Callaghan

Warren Cowley, Dickie Bird and Dave Callaghan

Harold ‘Dickie’ Bird, legendary international cricket umpire, poses with a copy of They Gave the Crowd Plenty Fun

Dickie Bird was interviewed for the revised and updated edition of They Gave the Crowd Plenty Fun. Dickie shared some of his stories for the book, which included memorable tales about umpiring England v West Indies matches during the 1970s. Dickie umpired 66 test matches, 92 one day internationals and three world cup finals.

Dickie is pictured with Warren Cowley from the Dickie Bird Foundation (left) and Dave Callaghan (right), the BBC voice of Yorkshire cricket on radio. The photo was taken at an event at Yorkshire Cricket Club, Headingley, Leeds, to launch Steve Patterson’s Benefit Season. Steve has played for Yorkshire since 2002.

Colin Babb outside Battersea library

Colin Babb outside Battersea library

Thanks to everyone who supported our Wandsworth libraries diversity month event at Battersea library, 29 October 2016

Colin’s talk was enjoyed by an appreciative audience who got involved in the question and answer session and bought copies of They Gave the Crowd Plenty Fun.

Thanks again to Chris, Alfred, Theresa and everyone at Battersea library for helping to organise this event.

Thanks, also, to Michael for taking photographs at the event and giving Colin a lift home!

Battersea library talk photo gallery. 

Happy reader at Richmond library!

Happy reader with a book at Richmond library!

Colin gave a talk and signed books for an enthusiastic audience at Richmond library on 20 October 2016

The feedback we got from the audience was very positive including:

“Very interesting, lively speaker”.

“Excellent, I enjoyed Colin’s presentation and enthusiasm”.

“Loved it! Colin loves his subject and his enthusiasm came across”.

Many thanks to Cheney, Gavin, and everyone at Richmond library for helping to organise this event.

Richmond library talk photo gallery.

Colin was a guest with Professor Clem Seecharan at a Guyana cricket evening at the Guyana High Commission, 15 July 2016

Mihir Bose and Colin Babb

Mihir Bose and Colin Babb

The Chairman was Mihir Bose, former BBC sports editor, columnist for the Evening Standard, and author of The Spirit of the Game, A History of Indian Cricket.

A packed audience at the High Commission in London spent well over seventy five minutes in an active question and answer session with Professor Clem Seecharan and Colin Babb.

The event was brilliantly organised by John Mair and Orin Alexander.

Guyana cricket evening photo gallery.

John Mair’s article/letter about the event for the Stabroek News.


Colin Babb shared a bookstall with his friend and author, Finn Fitzpatrick, at the annual Ritherdon Road Street Fair in Balham, South London, 22 May 2016

Richard Field, Mayor of Wandsworth, with Colin Babb

Richard Field, Mayor of Wandsworth, with Colin Babb

An estimated crowd of over 4,000 people enjoyed the sounds from the music stage and visited over 50 stalls which included food, ice – cream, cakes, wine, jewellery, pet treats, fashion, toys, gift cards and, of course, books.

One of the highlights of the day featured the meeting of Colin Babb with Councillor Richard Field, the Mayor of Wandsworth!

The Mayor took time out to visit our stall and support They Gave the Crowd Plenty Fun.

Many thanks again to Gill Skrzypczak, who helped to organise the event, looked after us and the other stall holders, and made us feel at home in London, SW12.

Ms Skrzypczak also helped to raise over £300 for Breast Cancer Care, Jo’s Trust and Ovarian Cancer Action through a raffle.