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Norwich City handbook sold at auction

PUBLISHED: 19:24 26 April 2016 | UPDATED: 09:29 27 April 2016

The Canaries handbook

The Canaries handbook

Hasselblad H3D

A rare and early Norwich City handbook which cost only three old pennies new (about 1p) in the 1920s seven years before the Canaries’ move to Carrow Road and when the city’s leading cinema was still showing silent films, sold for £260 at an auction this afternoon, nearly four times the £70 it had been expected to fetch.

The official handbook was produced for the 1928-1929 season when Norwich City were playing against teams such as Merthyr Tydfil and Newport County in the Third Division (South),on the bottom rung of the Football League.

In 1928, the Canaries played their home matches at The Nest, a converted disused chalk pit in Rosary Road, Norwich.

It would be another seven years before they moved, on August 31, 1935, to their gleaming new stadium at Carrow Road.

That season, 1928-1929, was a nightmare for Norwich City.

They lost 11 of their first 16 league matches and when they were beaten 5-0 at home and knocked out in the third round of the FA Cup by amateur club Corinthians, Canaries manager Cecil Potter resigned.

The Canaries’ star player in those days was a Cornish striker named Percy Varco, who scored 32 goals for Norwich in the 1927-1928 season.

Canaries fans were so keen for him to have the ball they would shout: “Give it to Varco.”

In November 1929, the Pink ‘Un said of Varco: “He never lets his right foot know what the left foot is going to do and vice versa.

A brilliant conversationalist, he believed in letting others get a word in in edgeways....sometimes.”

When his playing days were over, Mr Varco returned to his native Cornwall and became a fishmonger and Mayor of Fowey.

On the front cover of the 1928-1929 Norwich City handbook, which was sold at Graham Budd Auctions in London this afternoon, is an advertisement for The Thatched Theatre, one of the top night spots in Norwich in the 1920s.

The Thatched,as it was affectionately known,was a cinema, situated at All Saints Green, showing silent films .

It also staged live musical shows.

In 1915, a 14 year lease was taken on The Thatched by an enterprising businessman named Lew Norris, who advertised The Thatched as a picture house and announced: “The proprietors have installed a cinematograph apparatus of the latest pattern and intend for a season to present high class picture entertainments.”

In its advertisement on the front cover of the 1928-1929 Norwich City handbook, The Thatched guaranteed “comfort and civility” and “perfect ventilation.”

It had a sliding roof, in those days before air conditioning.

Flashback to 1928

Sir Alexander Fleming discovered penicillin

Amelia Earhart became the first female aviator to fly solo across the Atlantic

The first all-talking full length feature film,Lights of New York,was made.

It cost 23,000 dollars to make and grossed one million dollars

A pint of bitter cost five old pennies (less than 3p)

A gallon of petrol – yes,a gallon,not a litre – cost one shilling and fourpence halfpenny (about 7p)

Former Strictly Come Dancing star, Sir Bruce Forsyth, was born that year

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