Wednesday, 13 February 2013


"I wanted to raise a few quid ..."

(This is a copy of a recent round-robin e-mail from my nephew Jamie Berry of Sheffield - with my red ink superimposed.)

'Hi all,
I’m doing a spot of fundraising for the Sheffield Children’s Hospital.

Eliza Megan Berry

My daughter Eliza was born in September with a cataract in her right eye. We were referred to the Eye Department at the Sheffield Children's Hospital and they acted quickly to operate to successfully remove the lens from her eye at five weeks to save the sight in the eye. We have to patch her other eye to encourage sight and have had to learn how to insert a contact lens. With the Children's Hospitals support, the sight in the eye is really improving and is showing encouraging signs that she might end up with reasonable vision in the eye.
I wanted to raise a few quid to say thanks to the Eye Department at Sheffield Children's Hospital for everything they've done for us and to help them carry on the brilliant things they do. I also wanted to help honour my friend Ryan, who we sadly lost last year, by doing something I know he would have approved of, being a big Forest and Cloughie fan.  So I'm putting the name of his fundraising group, The Ryan Keene FUNdation, to this escapade.
On Saturday the 13th April 2013, a few of us are embarking on a 22 mile walk from the site of the Old Baseball Ground in Derby, via the Cloughie statue at Pride Park, following the National Cycle Route 6 to Nottingham, visiting the Cloughie statue in the Market Square, finishing at the Cloughie’s spiritual home, the City Ground. Before limping home to the Stratford Haven Pub in West Bridgford (Cloughie would have approved).

If you’d like to sponsor me, I’d be absolutely honoured and will aim to raise as much as I can for a brilliant cause.'

To Donate

Text: to 70070, inserting the code; JBCH56  £* ( entering the amount you wish to sponsor)

And the Happy Parents ...  Jamie and Sarah.

.... All gone !

Two pints please ....


("Stand up straight, get your shoulders back and get your hair cut!")

For those of my readers who are spread far and wide in the world and not necessarily inside the weirder wiles of these East Midlanders, I perhaps need to explain that there are earnest and compulsive connotations which relate to Jamie's nostalgic choice of route and hallowed venues to support his chosen Charity; for those local to the Nottingham area it could perhaps be termed a 'sentimental journey'.  At the outset I can only suggest that there is not even the tiniest whiff of personal nostalgia when I contemplate the idea of walking 22 miles! but it won't prevent me from contributing.

B.H. Clough, O.B.E.
Statue paid for by fans of
Nottingham Forest 

The man to whom Jamie and pals pay all homage in this little corner of the world, is the iconic legend of football past and who died in September 2004: Greatly missed, Brian Howard Clough O.B.E. was one of the greatest managers ever to grace a dug-out.  A devastating striker in his playing career and who represented England, he was sadly to retire due to injury far earlier than he and others might have wished.  Fondly known as 'Old Bighead', Clough spent the next 28 years in management sharing his commitment mainly to the two neighbouring clubs of Nottingham Forest and Derby County.  Apart from great notoriety, he achieved some remarkable feats - notably guiding Nottingham Forest to back-to-back European Cups in 1979 and 1980. The true stuff of schoolboy legends: just Google the name!

"On occasions I have been big headed. I think most people are when they get in the limelight. I call myself Big Head just to remind myself not to be." 

So, good luck Jamie and to the 'few of you', let's hope you achieve your targets - the miles and the money; to those of us who will only be curious observers, dig deep and cough up, its a brilliant cause. 

LATE EXTRA:    See here

Friday, 1 February 2013


When the harvest is in ...

In 1896, at the end of yet another old English summer, the people of Melton Mowbray were invited to witness a grand fancy dress cycle parade.  A local paper published this little filler:-

On Saturday evening a fancy illuminated cycle parade took place.  Mr. G. Johnson, secretary of the Melton Mowbray Cycle Club, and Mr. H. Plant were the chief inaugurators of the event, which eclipsed all others of the kind which have taken place in this town.  Decorated conveyances were lent by several tradespeople, and one of the chief objects of attraction was an infirmary cot with a doctor and nurse in charge of a patient.  The other notable characters were a donkey tandem and two-in-hand goat chaise, the personification of Li Hung Chan.  The procession started from the Leicester-road Bridge about 7.30, and paraded the principal streets of the town, which were lined with people.  The proceeds amounted to about £13, which will be devoted to the joint benefit of the Leicester Infirmary and Mr. R. Warner, late groundsman of the Melton Town F.C. '

But the news wasn't all good, as the following piece told of Mr Albert Greaves, a labourer of Nether Broughton, who was to have appeared at the Tuesday Petty Sessions before the Rev. P. F. Gorst and Colonel Powell to answer a charge of neglecting to send his child, Albert, to school. It informs us that the defendant did not appear, but was fined 5s in his absence.

Locals were also informed that Henry Stirk of Sileby was charged with being drunk on the highway at Thrussington, but he didn't appear either and a warrant was issued.

Political Matters ...

More intriguingly, '... a working-man appeared in court with a nasty wound on his head, and alleged that while at work at building operations that morning he was badly assaulted by unionist men, presumably because he was a non-unionist.  The magistrates promised that the police should inquire into the matter.'

... and the Aristocracy. 

In passing, the proletariat was duly informed that Count Zborowski and his new bride from America, Margaret, Countess Zborowski, had arrived back at their new marital home, Coventry House at Burton End and also that Colonel and Mrs Baldock were now safely returned to the town and re-ensconced at Craven Lodge on Burton Road. The hunting season was drawing nigh.