Ashwater Press seeks your views
Fulham fans will be familiar with the collections of excellent and evocative photographs taken by Ken Coton and the painstakingly-researched and well-written tomes of Martin Plumb, both published by Ashwater Press. Their collaboration on the preparation of ‘The Maestro’ has resulted in the definitive biography of Johnny Haynes, the quintessential Fulham player and professional footballer. Ken is a long-standing member of the Trust and Martin has spoken at one of our AGMs. We urge our members and fans of Fulham at large to give support to Ashwater Press’s ventures. The following message is from Ken and Martin, who wish your responses to Ashwater’s current and projected publications:
We haven’t been in touch for a while as we have been busy contemplating where to go next. On the plus side, following an exchange of mails, we have met with Fulham Retail at Motspur Park and copies of Ashwater Books are once again being stocked and sold by Fulham FC. They have our two latest books The Micky Adams Promotion Season 96/97 and When Fulham went to Wembley. Sadly the club still feels that it is ‘unable’ to stockJohnny Haynes – the Maestro, for reasons remaining unclear to us. The club also felt that it would not be looking for other titles in 2010. The club is under new retail management, so in fairness they need a short time to consider what they would like going forward.
There is a proposed meeting with Fulham Retail in the early autumn to discuss a potential working framework and book titles for 2011. However, we are not totally clear what the club’s expectations are. They appear to require future works to be biased towards ‘recent history’. They have seemingly declined the future of the Tales from the Riverbank series, politely suggesting that, in their opinion, these works would be popular only with the ‘diehards and fanatics’ and they were also decidedly lukewarm even on such recent titles as Keegan’s Kingdom (a 10th anniversary of the 1998–99 season).
So we are not sure what the club mean regarding ‘recent history’ as there are only so many ways that you can dice and slice just the last few seasons. Maybe the future might lie in books spanning 50 years (1960–2010).
With Tales from the Riverbank it would be a great shame not to continue with the popular project as volume 3 (1969–70 and 1970–71, Barry Lloyd’s promotion season) has been complete since 2007 and volume 4 (1971–72 and 1972–73, arrival of Alec Stock) is underway. 40 years of Fulham in Colour is also in progress and the Keegan’s Kingdom book is also half written.
Fulham FC appear to now have a significant customer mailing database coupled with marketing resources and to be honest we need to integrate with that to raise the fans’ awareness of Ashwater and to increase our number of sales to make any enterprise worthwhile. We have found it increasingly difficult to distribute fliers and leaflets at the ground as so many supporters seem to arrive (in a rush) very close to kick-off time.
Therefore it looks as if there will be no Ashwater titles produced in 2010. However, even without Fulham’s involvement we are still potentially willing to consider printing Tales from the Riverbank, volume 3 and 40 Years of Fulham in Colour this year. Tales from the Riverbank, volume 3 covers a very interesting and turbulent period in our history, and a summary of the book content can be found on the Ashwater website (www.ashwaterpress.co.uk) by the end of the week.
We would however view these as being produced only on a subscription basis. Each customer would get a numbered copy, signed if required, with their name printed inside the book. But we do need a significant number of subscribers to make this approach viable. We would also consider each book being sponsored by one or more personal or commercial sponsors. Each book would naturally contain company information, logos and promotional words, etc. Sponsors would of course receive a number of free copies. Please let us know if this sponsorship approach is of interest.
We have tried to keep book prices as low as possible, however we do have to contend with the continual ever rising printing and postage costs.
The list of our proposed books is as follows. These are our immediate thoughts, and not a definitive or final list.
- Tales from the Riverbank Volume 3
- Tales from the Riverbank Volume 4
- Fulham behind the Scenes
- 40 years of Fulham in Colour
- Keegan’s Kingdom – a 10-year tribute to the champions of 1999
- Mac’s Marvels – a 30-year tribute to Macdonald’s promotion side of 1981
- Fulham Legends (eg Cohen, Strong, Gale, Morgan, Davies, Mitchell)
The ‘fifty year’ series (1960–2010):
- 50 Years of Fulham and the FA Cup
- 50 Years of Fulham and the League Cup
- 50 Years of Fulham Strikers
- 50 Years of Fulham Defenders
- 50 Years of Fulham London Derbies
- Gordon Davies – Our Ivor
- Programme Covers – through the years
- Ashwater Historical Christmas calendars (not a book)
- Fulham – The Team (update to the book first produced in 1995)
Plus – we want to ask for your ideas too, please! What other Fulham books would you like to see! (See the attached order form.) We really doneed to know what you, our supporters, want from us. You have supported us magnificently in the past and we are proud of the many books we have produced. We do ask you earnestly to respond to this e-mail, as if we don’t get sufficient subscriber numbers / sponsorship for the suggested two books for 2010 or if we fail to reach any agreement with Fulham for titles for 2011, then it is highly possible that there will be no further Fulham books from Ashwater Press.
We are now once again an established Premiership club with a rich and colourful history. Our stock is probably at its highest ever, with a host of new and younger fans clamouring to find out more about the eventful past of our wonderful club. We would be more than happy to continue producing books, but it mustbe on a worthwhile basis.
Therefore, please fill in the two-page order form attached to this e-mail and return it to us at Ashwater by end-September at the very latest and let us have your views.