Monday, August 31, 2009

We continue our look at the things that have disappeared from the football with a real blast from the past. So far we have mainly taken a look at things from the 1970’s, 80’s and 90’s. Things that at least a lot of us can still remember. This time though, there probably won’t be too many of us nodding our heads and saying “oh aye, that was me”.

(7) The Bunnet:

This series has talked about fan accessories already. Scarves tied around the wrists, rosettes, inflatables, rattles, but one item of clothing that was a must have for the football fans at Bayview in the 1920’s and 30’s was the bunnet.

The good old bunnet, or the flat cap as it was more commonly called outside of Scotland, was the fashionable thing for men of all ages at that time and especially the younger ones. They were all the rage.

I’d love to say that they came in all sorts of shapes, styles and colours but have a look at this picture taken at Bayview during that period, and you’ll see that, well, they didn’t! You’d certainly be standing out if you weren’t wearing one anyway! Take a close look and you’ll see that they do.

You can’t help but look at that picture though and wonder how much money you’d have taken in if you owned a bunnet shop in those days. If we ever manage to go back in time, it’s going to be “Bayview Bunnets” for me.

It was important to be seen as fashionable. To be seen out and about at the football was a prime time to wear them, where they also acted as a great celebratory tool of course.

You may have seen them in the old newsreels. The ball goes in the net, the crowd go wild and thousands upon thousands of bunnets go flying up into the air. The chances of you getting your own one back would have been slim. The chances of you ending up with head lice not so much!

This practice would explain why the two men in the far left of the front row look like they do. If they were lucky it was a three or four goal game and they could chance getting a better fitting hat next time around. If it was 1-0 though then it was a long trudge home in your ill-fitting attire, avoiding lamp-posts on the way, hoping that the next game would be a high scoring thriller and wishing that you hadn’t tucked your last cigarette in the rim of the hat you originally came with.

It’s strange to see pictures like that now – a ground jam packed for an East Fife game! The uniformity of it all. It’s even more strange to think how much things have changed. You hardly ever see bunnets these days unless you’re watching a Samuel L Jackson movie, Delboy on TV or Brian Johnson from AC/DC. Or you could just take a walk up Cowdenbeath High Street and follow some old men around.

What on earth happened to them? How can something so popular, just disappear so quickly?

They say that fashion goes in cycles. Maybe in the 2020’s we’ll all be bedecked on the new terraces of Bayview Stadium wearing the latest range of black and gold bunnets and I’ll be sitting back counting the money from the opening of my sixth branch of Bayview Bunnets.

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