The Green - Blackpool FC Match Reports from 1940s to 2000s

This is a personal ongoing project to reproduce online in full all the available Blackpool FC match reports that originally appeared in The Green local sports newspaper published by the Gazette

The idea is to re-publish in this blog under the name of It's Not Orange, It's Tangerine!, or INOIT for short, all the content as it originally appeared in The Green in chronological order.

Commencing with the 1946-47 Football League season, which was Blackpool's third consecutive season in the top flight following promotion to Division One in 1936-37.

The Green, as many will be aware, was a hugely popular Saturday sports supplement produced by the West Lancashire Evening Gazette from as far back as the 1930s. It contained a post-match Blackpool Football Club match report and related club news and features. 

It was famously available shortly after the final whistle in local Newsagents around the Fylde within an hour or two each Saturday afternoon during the season. The Green continued until the 1980s before being incorporated into the main Gazette newspaper. 

The collection being reproduced online in this blog first appeared 75 years ago following the restart of football after the Second World War. It features the initial game of the first post-war Football League Season on1946-47 which was played on the Saturday 31st August 1946.  

The match report content and various features and news snippets have been copied then transcribed from each available publication of The Green and reproduced here exactly how as it was originally written. 

Accompanying the match reports are club related articles written by the Gazette journalists of the day and feature weekly round-ups of club news and various other related articles and content all relating to Blackpool FC. 

As well as an obviously interesting and informative read for anyone wishing to learn and follow more closely the happenings of the club, these reports will help give a useful historic insight as the Seasiders emerged from the Second World War and entered what was arguably its most successful period. 

The original collection

The newspapers had been gathered together by John Cross of the Blackpool FC Former Player Association (BFCFPA) and Gerry Wolstenholme the Blackpool FC historian, who had both taken the opportunity over a number of years to build up a valuable archive collection of The Green

The newspapers were obtained over many years from other collectors and various sources as and when the opportunity arose at programme and football memorabilia fairs.

It might not come as a great surprise but it was during a short break in the hiatus of what was 2020 that I finally decided that then was a good time to start this project and look into the possibility of digital scanning these newspapers for the first time. 

It is worthwhile acknowledging that Microfilm-sourced images are currently available from the History Centre a part of the Heritage Collections at Blackpool Central Library, reference section.  Those images are a useful source of archive information but they are only available as greyscale image files and at low resolution. 

The variable quality of these photocopied greyscale images from the microfilm however, make it both costly and completely unsuitable for online publishing and for the quality of reproduction that I wanted in this project.   

Converting newspaper to digital format

The varying condition of these newspapers just highlighted their very fragile state. This was especially so when trying to handle them as the pages are wafer thin. In addition they had been mostly folded and tightly packed into old cardboard sleeves for many years. 

The collection was completely re-indexed and catalogued into game order within the respective individual seasons from 1946-47 onwards. Duplicates were removed, using the best versions for scanning. 

Then were then re-housed and laid flat into new larger plastic storage bins that better fit the actual size of the paper copies. During this process the years of accumulated dust on outer surfaces of the papers were removed before they were re-packed ready for scanning.

Using a large A3 slimline scanner each page of an edition of The Green has to be carefully lined up and scanned at a high resolution to simply ensure the scanned image has the best chance of being read by optical character recognition (OCR) software. 

Once an entire edition of  The Green has been scanned and converted to a single multiple page PDF file the OCR software then outputs the content of the paper as recognisable electronic text. 

The Green as with all newspapers, is written in a series of columns. The OCR process converts the columns into classified zones to help better retrieve and identify the text. This 600dpi high resolution scanning results in large PDF files but is useful for archive purposes.  

Despite every effort to ensure the highest quality scan some of the newspapers' condition prevents the OCR reading correctly from the file and this text is either added or re-edited manually on the web page.

The PDF files which contain usable images are then converted to a lower resolution JPEG file format to enable images to be copied and added alongside the match reports and news items. 

Each match report is reproduced in full from the original text and in the original layout. Further features and articles that are included in each copy of  The Green are all added to the page below the match report.  

The final process is to create a match report page for each game using the date and match score as the header which becomes its permanent listing. 

Enjoy the read!

Blackpool Gazette

These original newspapers were published originally by the West Lancashire Evening Gazette and copies of a special football reports edition that I am aware of go as far back at the 1930's perhaps even earlier.

Post-war the saw the re-emergence of  The Green but it wasn't until September 1946 before it was printed on green paper .

The Green was only published on a Saturday and not on Bank or Public Holidays. 

Copyright and Permissions

All the reproduced newspaper material on this site including Optical Character Recognition data is under copyright and requires the right holder’s permission to reproduce in any non-personal productions. 

In order to ensure that the original intellectual property rights are respected. I have identified and recognise the ultimate copyright owner for all in-copyright material on this site as belonging to the Blackpool Gazette

The Gazette has kindly given full permission for the use of this material on this site. 

Copyright will have seen to be infringed if any copy of this material is made and republished. 

You are welcome however and encouraged to link directly to any article on this website.  

It's Not Orange, It's Tangerine!

It's Not Orange, It's Tangerine! was the adopted name of a popular fans website in the 2000's which I was co-editor and the name has continued to be used and connected with all things Blackpool FC related on social media under INOIT.  

I was also a co-editor of an independent Blackpool FC fans website Seasider.Net

I have produced a number of tribute films for the Blackpool FC Former Payers Association which have been shown to accompany evenings at Bloomfield Road and other venues to celebrate memorable BFC occasions and former players and managers. You can view some of these on Youtube

In 2009 the book 'Blackpool FC On this Day' which I authored was published. 

This blog is being produced entirely free and without advertising and my grateful thanks to John Cross, Gerry Wolstenholme and Andy Moore of the Gazette Sport.

If you are enjoy reading these pages and become a regular visitor please consider supporting this project which has required time and initial investment to reproduce this free content for you. 

This will be used to help provide funding to obtain suitable equipment replacement when the time arises in the future.

Peter Gillatt

It's Not Orange, It's Tangerine! 

August 2021

Powered by Blogger.