Programme Notes Part 6
After a four year break, Bernhard Hugh was back for the start of the 1928-29 season, his cartoons on the front of the Chelsea Chronicle, as identifiable and as witty as ever. He continued to produce his artwork for the programme right up until the end of the 1935-36 season, his final programme being the game against Blackburn Rovers on 2nd May 1936, Chelsea winning 5-1 in front of an 18,078 gate with the goals coming from Spence 2, Burgess 2 and Mills.
Although I’ve been unable to nail a down a precise date, it appears that between May and September 1936, Bernhard Hugh very sadly passed away. He left behind a huge legacy and his part in Chelsea’s history is assured, particularly his contribution to the development of football programmes.
For the start of the 1936-37 campaign a new face was on the scene. Again, my research into his identity has drawn a blank, but he simply signed himself as “Mac” and, continuing with the cartoon theme that had served so well, he drew the front cover on the programme up until the end of the 1938-39 season. In keeping with the times, the programme cover had dispensed with the original Chelsea Chronicle heading and changed it to a more ‘Art Deco’ style.
Only two home programmes were produced for the curtailed 1939-40 season due to the outbreak of World War 2, but after the outbreak of hostilities, “Mac” continued to draw the front cover of a reduced four page programme for what had become regional league fixtures.
His first wartime programme was for the game against Tottenham Hotspur at Stamford Bridge on 30th September 1939 which Chelsea won 4-2 in front of 6,388 spectators.
Programmes were issued for all home games, each one featuring a “Mac” cartoon that often bordered on propaganda, but it had to come to an end, and at the final home game against West Ham United in a Football League War Cup 1st Round, 2nd leg that Chelsea lost 2-0 and 5-2 on aggregate, he produced his final cartoon for the 14,755 spectators who were there.
For the remainder of wartime competition the programme would become a victim of rationing by becoming a single sheet issue with no frills.
By Paul Waterhouse, Bygone Chelsea 1905-99