An Albion lampshade, the ultimate ’70s accessory

Gordon, a Brighton & Hove Albion fan who I had the pleasure of playing football with on Friday evenings a few years ago, has a wonderful Albion artefact to show. He asks, provocatively:

‘Can someone date my Brighton & Hove Albion lampshade? I don’t mean take it out for a few drinks… I mean hazard a guess as to its era. It’s made of off-white card, with a mid green edging top and bottom, that wraps round the metal wire rings, the top one having the mounting for the bulb holder…

Printed on it is a little football, a larger football, a BHA player challenging a goalkeeper, who is on the floor, four (4) Cups, which I take to be The FA Cup, The League Cup, The 1st. Division Trophy and possibly the European Cup and ‘BRIGHTON & HOVE ALBION FC’ with the old double heraldic symbol above this text…’

Here are some photos of this lavish item:



So it was a decorative article to commemorate the time when Brighton & Hove Albion had triumphed in four major club competitions… yes, that would certainly narrow it down. Sadly, I believe that the trophies were mere wishful thinking. But that doesn’t mean we can’t get pretty close to when the lampshade went on sale…

As a connoisseur of the typefaces of Albion programmes from the 1970s (no, not really! I promise), I can exclusively reveal the font on the lampshade is Compacta SB-Regular. This font was used on the cover from the early 1970s up to the end of the 1973/74 season, which doesn’t narrow things down by that much. However, matching the graphical style of the illustrations, with its mixture of a blue spot colour and black, with those in vogue on the cover of the programmes, I’d offer an educated guess to suggest the lampshade came from the 1972/73 campaign:


With that in mind, it was perfect for reading your programme or League Football (formerly Football League Review) in the fading light. But this small pleasure was soon in doubt. The restrictions to electricity consumption caused by the Three Day Working Week made this a luxury during the following season.


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