At Unbound authors pitch their ideas and you choose which books get written.
We were offered a variety of books to celebrate - and coincide with - this year’s Olympics, but there was only one book we were interested in.
Katherine, a prominent East London photographer, who is currently part of the National Portrait Gallery’s Road to 2012: Aiming High exhibition, has spent the last six years tracking down, photographing and interviewing some of the surviving British athletes from the last time London hosted the Games in 1948.
These fascinating stories and images will be presented in a beautifully designed and printed hardback edition with an introduction by Janie Hampton, author of The Austerity Olympics: when the games came to London in 1948 and short texts about each athlete by writer Alison Dunn.
London 2012 was a lavish, opulent celebration of sport in the 21st century, but in 1948 Britain was still recovering after the Second World War; athletes had to train on rations, work full-time and often make their own kit. When the Games finished they returned to work and to relative anonymity, all going on to have varied and interesting lives. The book will feature sixteen athletes, mixing Katherine’s contemporary portraits with some historical images of the athletes in 1948 along with a full-page interview. It’s a fantastic collection that will be bound in a book for the first time.
The 1948 athletes include Edwin Bowey (wrestler, seen above), George Weedon (gymnast), Jimmy McColl (footballer), Tommy Godwin (cyclist), Dorothy Tyler (high-jump), Cathy Brown (swimmer), John Peake (Hockey), John & Dorothy Parlett (runners), Donald Scott (boxer), Lionel Price (basketball), Roy Romain (swimmer), Ron Cooper (boxer), Gordon Thomas (cyclist), Audrey Beever (gymnast) and Denise St Aubyn Hubbard (high diver).
An exhibition of Katherine’s 1948 Olympians is touring the country throughout the summer, and is currently part of Olympex 2012: Collecting the Olympic Games until 9 September 2012. See her website www.katherinegreen.co.uk for details.
Dorothy Tyler was 28 when she “jumped with the scissors” at the high jump in the 1948 Olympics, winning the silver medal. It was an historic event, as Alice Coachman from the USA became the first black women ever to win a gold medal in the Games, while Micheline Ostermeyer from France got the bronze.
Katherine Green is a social documentary photographer based in East London. Her work often focuses on the idea of community and what makes or bonds them together. Katherine studied postgraduate photography at Central Saint Martins College of Art & Design and currently has 15 portraits as part of the National Portrait Gallery’s Road to 2012: Aiming High exhibition, and is included in Olympex 2012 at the British Library and has also been commissioned by The Lowry, Salford for an exhibition in January 2013. Her work has been published in The Guardian, Sunday Times and Time Out. She has self-published two books, Wood Street, E17 and Last Days at the Dogs, is included in the publication Road to 2012, National Portrait Gallery.
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