Welcome to the Mild & Bitter site. It was Wigan 1970 and football violence was beginning to dominate U.K. football, even non-league Wigan Athletic FC had ‘boot boys’ in their ranks. A love for Wigan's lowly football team, combined with bafflement by the fairer sex, leads Ken to assert at the time that "Life Wur pot".
Described as ‘the decade that style forgot’ the 70s began here! In 1970 there were mini-skirts, skinheads and football violence. Heavy rock music emerged with Led Zeppelin, whilst Tamla Motown and the ‘Soul’ scene dominated the charts and The Beachcomber Club. Based on a personal diary kept at the time, join the author Ken Barlow as he stumbles his way through the trials and tribulations of adolescence in a typical northern town. Enjoy!
Mild & Bitter Were The Days’ from Ken Barlow, (no, not the Coronation Street Character), is available at the highly attractive price of just £9.99p. Place an order and let us know what you think, was he right? Email me, the author, and let me have your thoughts.
The author spending time with 'Mild & Bitter' hero,
Geoff Davies. (photo c/o Jon Parry)
It was wonderful to welcome Latics legend Geoff Davies to the DW Stadium for the Sunderland game where the club made him 'Guest of Honour'. Geoff met up with fans in the supporters club bar and after the game in The Brick where many tales of old were replayed and analysed in full!
The author and Geoff Davies banner waving
in the Supporters Club Bar. (photo c/o Jon Parry)
Book now available at...
Latics Club Shop,
The Brickmaker's Arms,
and of course ‘on-line’ from this website - click here - or payment by cheque to 'Kenbar Publications' (£12.49p inc P&P UK only) to address on Contact Page or phone for details, 01671 403917.
"This book is pure joy - a must for Wiganers who enjoy savouring the memories of yesteryear. The 1970s come alive again in this gem of a book. Latics fanatic Ken Barlow writes with a nip in his pen as he charts school days, local clubs and his quest to find a little bit of love. And his loyalty to Latics is its great hallmark. It's raw, funny, and sometimes sad. but its great strength is its truth. A memorable read."
GEOFFREY SHRYHANE, WIGAN OBSERVER
"It is the best book about Wigan Athletic I have read."
...a long standing Latics fan.
"With Wigan now a succesful national brand, Barlow's nostalgic recollection of the Latics' muck and nettles heritage is amusing and well written. It takes a brave man to reveal the innermost thoughts of his teenage alter-ego. It is a reminder that there's nothing new in the world of the young rebel or indeed the joys of non-League football."
When Saturday Comes
Mild & Bitter Were The Days by Ken Barlow
No not that Ken Barlow but a fella that was sixteen and was living in Wigan and kept a diary. Oh and it was 1970 and that diary has now been published.
It's published as it was written some forty years ago - with the author making some modern-day observations - and it's bloody lovely.
It's also awkward, embarrassing, raw, funny and sometimes it's sad. The book is billed "as a year in the life of a sixteen year old football fan" and whilst the author's love of Wigan Athletic seeps through the book, football is rarely mentioned. Sure, Barlow and his mates are that obsessed that they spend school lunchtimes at the ground watching the new tea bar being built but the match is rarely mentioned. If it is it's mainly to record the occasional rumbles on the terracing.
The book is essentially about Barlow's quest/desperation to get a girlfriend all played out against the backdrop of Tartan Bitter, Tamla Motown, Led Zeppelin, bootboys and the local clubs. Well the ones that would let him and his mates into. And you'll be right there with him. Being "knocked back" by the girls. Making the walk of shame back to the lads on the edge of the dancefloor. Eating cheese and onion barms, bored at school then bored at work and bored lying in bed until lunchtime. Because that's what being sixteen is about and Barlow puts a spring into the step of the mundanity of everyday life in a northern town.
For all it's themes, friendship and love are what lie within the book's beating heart. Barlow's close-knit family, his best mate Paul - a friendship that endures to this day - and of course the beautiful Sayes and Judith. As I said earlier it's just a bloody lovely book...
The beautifully-packaged Mild & Bitter Were The Days by Ken Barlow is available at all the usual places plus direct from the author at www.mildandbitter.co.uk.
"I had to write and say what an impact your book had on me, I could relate to everything..."
Andrew, Birmingham City fan.
"Different age, different team, different country! but the same adventures of teenage life, and football obsession."
Chris, Queen of the South fan, Dumfries.
"Thank you for a nostalgic walk through 1970 and the re-emergence of some long forgotten names and places."