Book Review: Blinding Floodlights by Peter Miles
In 2016 Mike Floate released Football Grounds Frenzy Floodlights, and five years later once again via the Newlands Printing Services stable, another title has been released focusing on floodlights, this time from the camera of Peter Miles, with the double-meaning title of Blinding Floodlights.
This book has the look and feel of Floate’s original title, with a repeat of the design, A5 size and art catalogue feel. Miles’ edition is larger than, Football Grounds Frenzy Floodlights, at 116 pages, with over 200 images from 150 clubs and stadia from across 34 countries. This look at lights from further afield, gives the feeling that this is the Continental cousin, to Floate’s essentially UK based book.
As with Football Grounds Frenzy Floodlights, the text is limited to a brief introduction, which despite its brevity is informative as Miles’ point out some early milestones in the history of floodlights such as Southampton becoming the first English professional club in 1950 to have permanent floodlights installed at their old ground, The Dell. Interestingly, The Saints capped a unique double in lighting terms when before the 2014/15 campaign, St Mary’s (Southampton’s current stadium) became the first stadium in Europe with full LED floodlighting.
This volume as with Football Grounds Frenzy Floodlights contributes to recording architectural, industrial, social and visual history. However, where this book varies to an extent to Floate’s, is that the images provide a visual narrative, indeed a journey, as the grounds and lights are seen as the day progresses, with bright blue skies giving way through sun-set, and dusk to nightfall.
There are so many startling images, and any reader/viewer will have their own favourites and indeed see different things each time they open the pages of this book and revisit the wonderful colourful pictures. A couple which stand out for involve statues which are juxtaposed with the stadiums and lights they are situated near, at AFC Tubize, a Belgian amateur club and the Osterbro Stadium in Denmark which hosts both football and athletics.
Another one to mention, is that due to my allegiance with Fulham. In Football Grounds Frenzy Floodlights, Floate’s images of Craven Cottage still had the glorious old pylons, whilst here in Blinding Floodlights the famous Cottage looks a little less impressive with the favoured modern tubular structures for lighting. Progress, I know, but certainly visually less appealing.
It would be easy to wax lyrically about each and every picture, but instead can only say, get your self a copy and feast on the visual treats on offer.
(Newlands Printing Services. May 2021. Paperback: 116 pages)
This books and a range of other football related titles can be bought through Mike Floate’s website: www.footballgroundsfrenzy2.com as well as eBay and Amazon.