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The pennants of Charlton Athletic

In the 1930s, 40s and 50s Charlton were often invited, and paid large sums, to visit teams abroad in Europe, Asia and both North and South America.

A common feature of such games was the host team giving Charlton a pennant, a tradition that continues to this day as Sunderland gave us just such an item in May. We didn't have one to give back.

Those pennants from the 1930s to 50s, when as a top flight English side we were seen as a big name, were long lost, disappearing like much else of our history somewhere unknown.

That is until now.

Two weeks ago we were contacted by someone in Cornwall who had 24 pennants and who wanted to sell them.

Thanks to the hard work of @charltonnick and the generosity of so many of you on here we had enough funds to pay a four figure sum for them all.

How they reached Cornwall we aren't sure.

They had belonged to a John Finch who had moved from London to Bristol in the 1970s. How he came by them we don't know. Was he a fan?  Who gave or sold them to him?  We would love to know. The seller, his nephew in law didn't know.

But we now have them and need to find the best way to display these unique items and tell the story of games and trips to which they are linked.

They don't cover all the overseas trips of that era so either there was no pennant exchanged or there are more out there.

And it begs the question; do the museum's of those clubs still treasure and display a Charlton Athletic pennant.
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Comments

  • These pennants were expensive so if you like them and are pleased they are now back where they belong then maybe you'd like to help refill our coffers by donating either via our bank account

    Natwest
    Charlton Athletic Museum
    Sort Code 60 16 03
    Acct No 7377 2593

    Or via PayPal to our email 

    [email protected]

    Or, if you are a company, individual or supporters' group you might want to sponsor the pennants and have your name linked to their display. Contact us via that same email.


  • That is a wonderful item
    You never mentioned the program
    Did this come with it ?
    It would be great to find the history of these and how this collection came about?


  • What a wonderful purchase.

    A "4 figure sum" initially sounds a lot, but for context it would not surprise me, had we commissioned a pennant to exchange with Sunderland, that it might have cost a 3 figure sum since it would have been a one-off item.  Add to that the history of these old pennants, and they sound excellent value.  

    I look forwards to seeing further pictures!
  • edited October 4
    N01R4M said:
    What a wonderful purchase.

    A "4 figure sum" initially sounds a lot, but for context it would not surprise me, had we commissioned a pennant to exchange with Sunderland, that it might have cost a 3 figure sum since it would have been a one-off item.  Add to that the history of these old pennants, and they sound excellent value.  

    I look forwards to seeing further pictures!
    It was a hard collection to value as there isn't an established market as there is for shirts, medals or clubs.  The seller is happy with the price and pleased that they have gone to the museum.  We think we paid a fair price.

    More photos to come.

  • This is the 2nd oldest of our new collection of pennants.

    From the same 1937 tour of the USA and Canada.

    This game v an USFA select XI was played at the Polo Grounds, the baseball stadium just north of Central Park. The Yankees and Met both played there decades apart but it is mainly known as the home of the New York (now San Francisco) Giants. It was demolished in 1964 when the Mets moved to Shea Stadium.

    Charlton won this game 4 - 0 (Welsh (2), Tadman, Boulter)

    Programme again from the Baker collection. Note how the programme doesn't match the pennant.



    Again from the Monty Wilkinson collection some memorabilia from the Empress of Australia ocean liner. Signed by various players



  • The John Finch gentleman, would he be anything to do with the old retailer Finches Sports of Forest Hill?
    There may be a goldmine of Charlton memories to be tracked down, because I seem to recall that for a period of time Finches used to video Charlton matches and sell the videos.
    I wonder if any poster here ever bought one.
    The real holy grail yet to be tracked down is the original RRR recording where Billy Cotton and his boys spelt out 'Addicks' at the end of the song.
  • Brilliant purchase.
  • Sponsored links:


  • seth plum said:
    The John Finch gentleman, would he be anything to do with the old retailer Finches Sports of Forest Hill?
    There may be a goldmine of Charlton memories to be tracked down, because I seem to recall that for a period of time Finches used to video Charlton matches and sell the videos.
    I wonder if any poster here ever bought one.
    The real holy grail yet to be tracked down is the original RRR recording where Billy Cotton and his boys spelt out 'Addicks' at the end of the song.
    Could be.

    By coincidence, the Museum have just loaned and copied two old finches videos.

    Not watched them yet but would love to find more.
  • edited October 4
    Wow I loved reading all of that.. how interesting and I’d love to see them in person.

    Have to get down to the museum again soon....

    Also, sent a small donation... every little helps :) 
  • I think you'll find it's spelled pedant
  • Wow I loved reading all of that.. how interesting and I’d love to see them in person.

    Have to get down to the museum again soon....

    Also, sent a small donation... every little helps :) 
    Thanks, every donation is welcome
  • ...a tradition that continues to this day as Sunderland gave us just such an item in May. We didn't have one to give back...
    Why am I not surprised?

    Anyway well done on getting the pennants.
  • That is a wonderful item
    You never mentioned the program
    Did this come with it ?
    It would be great to find the history of these and how this collection came about?


    One of our trustees, Paul Baker, has a huge programme collection going back to before WW1 and has all the 1937 tour programme.

    The Museum has a few of them which belonged to former player Monty Wilkinson, who was on the tour.

    We also have from Monty's collection these items which we think were table decorations from the informal dinner.

    The photo. also from the Wilkinson collection donated to the museum by his son, is of the players on the ship on the way over.  Monty is front row with his legs crossed.  He saw active service in the far east in WW2 and never played professional football again.

    I also have this tour badge




    I want that badge! 
  • stonemuse said:
    That is a wonderful item
    You never mentioned the program
    Did this come with it ?
    It would be great to find the history of these and how this collection came about?


    One of our trustees, Paul Baker, has a huge programme collection going back to before WW1 and has all the 1937 tour programme.

    The Museum has a few of them which belonged to former player Monty Wilkinson, who was on the tour.

    We also have from Monty's collection these items which we think were table decorations from the informal dinner.

    The photo. also from the Wilkinson collection donated to the museum by his son, is of the players on the ship on the way over.  Monty is front row with his legs crossed.  He saw active service in the far east in WW2 and never played professional football again.

    I also have this tour badge




    I want that badge! 
     it is a thing of beauty
  • I think the penance of Charlton Athletic is supporting them for the last fifty years.
  • I think the penance of Charlton Athletic is supporting them for the last fifty years.
    That was the joke
  • Those online ads are getting a little too clever...HI posts along the lines that’s it for now, WWII will limit the overseas trips, see you in 1946...and next there’s an ad for trips to Germany...
  • Sponsored links:


  • Whereas I then got an ad for a computer wargame.  As much use to me as a chocolate teapot - and I don't even drink tea!
  • seth plum said:
    The John Finch gentleman, would he be anything to do with the old retailer Finches Sports of Forest Hill?
    There may be a goldmine of Charlton memories to be tracked down, because I seem to recall that for a period of time Finches used to video Charlton matches and sell the videos.
    I wonder if any poster here ever bought one.
    The real holy grail yet to be tracked down is the original RRR recording where Billy Cotton and his boys spelt out 'Addicks' at the end of the song.
    Could be.

    By coincidence, the Museum have just loaned and copied two old finches videos.

    Not watched them yet but would love to find more.

    Henry … I have some of the old Finches videos.  I'll venture into the loft at Rudd Towers later today.
  • I think you'll find it's spelled pedant
    I saw who'd started the thread and thought exactly the same thing!
  • edited October 7
    Dave Rudd said:
    seth plum said:
    The John Finch gentleman, would he be anything to do with the old retailer Finches Sports of Forest Hill?
    There may be a goldmine of Charlton memories to be tracked down, because I seem to recall that for a period of time Finches used to video Charlton matches and sell the videos.
    I wonder if any poster here ever bought one.
    The real holy grail yet to be tracked down is the original RRR recording where Billy Cotton and his boys spelt out 'Addicks' at the end of the song.
    Could be.

    By coincidence, the Museum have just loaned and copied two old finches videos.

    Not watched them yet but would love to find more.

    Henry … I have some of the old Finches videos.  I'll venture into the loft at Rudd Towers later today.

    Look forward to seeing those @Dave_Rudd

    I've asked the family about any connection to Finches but not heard back yet @seth_plum
  • These tours were important financially to Charlton in an era before TV or sponsorship income.

    It appears from this rough account that we earned £500 for each game.  In context the maximum wage then for players was £20 per week.


  • £60 gratuity to the police at customs ! sounds dodgy 
  • The ref who they were unhappy with in the AIK games was also the Head of Customs. He did them a "favour" on taking items back to the heavily rationed UK. 
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