Andrews of Arcadia

Vintage Fishing Tackle For The Soul

3rd Jun 2009


Taken from the pages of Old Town’s Evening Star

Anyone with a good knowledge of regional newspaper publishing in the last century will recall the thrill of the appearance at five o’clock on a Saturday of a sporting supplement known in some towns as the Pink ‘Un and in others as the Green ‘Un.   Named after the colour of the paper they were printed on these were the newspapers of your dreams, not littered with leaders, letters pages or court reports, consisting of a couple of pieces of folded paper bearing rushed and often incomplete match reports and football results from games played that very afternoon.  Distant afternoons when rain fell in front of floodlights and all football league games except those being played at Tranmere, Torquay and Hartlepool kicked off at 3pm and television let alone Sky television didn’t exist in most homes.  The arrival of the ‘Un off the local press was as exciting and comforting as the sound of ‘Out of the Blue’, the BBC Sports Report theme tune played by the Central Band of the RAF, is today.  A constant, a life affirming moment in time that marks the beginning of the weekend proper.  The perfect prelude to a pint of a mild and a lock in at the Royal Oak or a night in the parlour with half a bag of chips and a loose cousin.

In Arcadia, a world where pints of mild still exist and ‘Out of the Blue’ is planned as a funeral march possible, I still fantasise every now and again about the existence of a Sunday twin supplement to the Pink ‘Un/Green ‘Un dedicated solely to fishing match results.  Printed on sky blue paper similar to the long gone Fishing Gazette this great organ would carry the result of the Pork Pie Classic at Gunthorpe Bridge and tell the world who managed to scrape half a ounce of bits from a flooded Thames at Richmond.   Reports and results from places where a bream can break your heart, a bucket of bleak can cheer you up  and every public house still has their own angling club.   The Blue ‘Un would be read at the table of The Magpie after a blank day on the weir and used to line the drawer where you keep your best worms.   It would be the week’s essential read, a telegram from the lost world, carrying the day’s results in the Sowerbutts Cup and a single quarter page strip advert for the late Frank Murgett’s Maggotorium.   They say you don’t miss what you’ve never had but that isn’t the case with the Blue ‘Un. 

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The latest edition of the  Blue ‘Un can be read by those drunk in charge of an imagination at