The Return of The Cat’s Whiskers!
In saying that my very favourite sport is the game of hockey (the version on ice) I find it strange that I’ve only ever submitted one story about the great game on this blog since it began in August 2007. I really must correct that state of affairs. Being a long time fan of the game and an on/off paying customer over many years I was pleased to hear of the re-emergence of one of British hockey’s most entertaining reads, albeit in a different format.
The Cat’s Whiskers was a fanzine run by a good friend of mine which unfortunately discontinued a fine and lauded run some five years ago. Aimed at British hockey fans and supporters of the Nottingham Panthers in particular, the publication was a labour of love for my friend Jonathon Bullard, known as Jono to his friends and Jono #72 around the boards of the ice game in the UK. The fanzine format suited ‘TCW’ well, being an irreverent mix of humour, serious reporting and editorials about the game. Along the great ice way some excellent material was collected including good quality interviews with big names in the sport at that time. Not bad for a publication run basically by a single private individual in his spare (hockey) time.
The Nottingham Panthers have had their ups and down as a club over the decades with just recently a little more positive news to report than the other kind. What is important is that the fans have forums and arenas to give of their views about what is happening at Lower Parliament Street. Sites such as The Cat’s Whiskers provide such an opportunity away from any stilted official line taken by the club.
Perhaps the heady days of fanzines are generally over in these days of instant information via the Internet and dare I say that’s just the way it should be. Instead such sites as the Panthers-oriented The Cage provide an excellent link for fans of the sport. Still though that enjoyable feeling of collecting a crisp paper edition of The Cat’s Whiskers or other similar fanzines and sitting devouring it word for word remains.
It’s 2008 now and The Cat’s Whiskers has moved on…online to be precise. It happily has access to much of the past material that was printed, folded and stapled lovingly together from five years ago and beyond but perhaps more importantly has a future too. The infant site contains brand new material scribed by some interesting, amusing and informative authors – not least Jono himself. I look forward to TCW developing into being an important resource for fans of the Nottingham Panthers and their contemporary clubs on this side of the pond as the site grows which it surely will. Good luck to Jono with the return of his project.
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