Edition 17. Winter 2002
Editorial: Bob’s bollix
Letter(s) From Reader(s):
With due deference to Australian cricket, I bid you g’day.
After the struggle of the last issue, some of you have shown a degree of compassion and consequently, I hope to sail through this issue with the minimum of tears.
‘Whimsy’ and ‘lovely drivel’ are but two of the descriptions of MM 16 and whilst our lawyers are even now looking at these vile allegations, please feel free to contact me with your comments on this issue.
Cross In Hand
MM16 arrived a day or so ago and having promised I’d drop you a line at the reunion lunch, I consequently felt a bit guilty. I hope this is better late than never.
I left Tenisons a year before school certificate and joined Nautical Training College for over two years. They too have an Old Boys Association and I have been on their governing committee for forty five years, having done stints as both Chairman and Treasurer and am currently assisting our ailing Hon.Secretary. I have thus been more O.W. than O.T.
I joined Archbishop Tenison’s Grammar School in September 1941. Until then from the start of the Second World War, I had attended no less than seven different schools in four different towns, Barnet, Lewes, South Norwood (home) and Reading. Even then it could not be called a full time education. In Lewes we had to share school time with another evacuated school. At Norwood in the winter of 40/41, we could not start school until 10.00am if the previous night’s air raid lasted after 10.00pm, which they normally did. Even though many pupils had been evacuated, the school did not have enough air raid shelters, so if there was a raid during school hours, four of us would run to a shelter in a nearby garden. It took ages to reassemble after the ‘all clear’.
During this period I sat and passed the equivalent of the eleven plus. The junior school of Tenisons was established at “South Lake”, Woodley, in a country house complete with bird sanctuary and almost as many rhododendrons as Dulwich Park. I started in 1.C. ( Hooray! Ed. ), a small class of thirteen, all of whom had to squeeze into a room previously occupied by a member of the domestic staff.
Most of the time I went to school via the local bus service, the bus sometimes pulling a brazier, which produced a type of ‘town gas’, which drove the engine. The walk to school from the bus stop was a bit different from a stroll around the Oval. Down an unmade country road, across a stream, past banks of the rhododendrons. Autumn term always started well, with loads of blackberries to pick and sweet chestnuts. The stream was a great attraction and I often returned home with wet shoes. Some of the classrooms were wooden huts and we later had two prefabricated class rooms. These all opened onto the grass which was kept “mown” by the ducks and geese, who provided plenty of diversions from our class-
The huts had cast iron stoves, for heating, with pipes connecting from room to room. A clod of earth and grass, strategically placed, would soon have school stopped with smoke filled class-
Football was played in half a field lent by a local farmer – he ploughed the other half. This time the grass was cut by a herd of cows. A sliding tackle could sometimes have very unexpected and unpleasant results.
After three years I found myself in class 4A which was taught at Reading School, about three miles away. During the summer holidays, Harvest Camps were arranged, probably with the dual intention of giving our “hosts” a respite from the London boys whilst helping local farmers who were short of labour. One farm we went to had just one labourer, a “Trusty” Italian prisoner of war. We were billeted in a village school, with camp beds. We had breakfast and an evening meal there and were given sandwiches for lunch. Any boy with a bike would be sent to outlying farms. We worked as people must have worked for a hundred years, collecting sheaves and putting them into stocks. Eventually loading them onto a horse-
(less than 4p in today’s money) and time plus a third if we worked on Sundays.
The war finished at the end of my fourth year and it was then that I went back to London and the Incorporated Thames Nautical Training College – a ship afloat on the Thames but that’s another story.
I hope this will be of interest to your readers – at least you will not have to start your editorial with the comment “not one contribution”.
Colin Steere (1941-
I can’t speak for the rest of our members but as I was typing your letter out, I could not help but think to myself that your story was not just your personal history but the history of a generation of children, particularly London children, from those dark days of the second world war. Events that today’s kids might only learn of from the occasional movie or T.V. programme. Personally I found your story fascinating and thank you for taking the time to write to me with it. B.B.
32 Wavendene Avenue
Surrey TW20 8JY
Having read all the lovely drivel that you spread so liberally over the pages, I thought I would save you some time and write some of it for you.
It was nice to read lots of names that were very much a feature of my sporting life under the care (or should it read bar) of the Old Boys. Such as Tibbs Tyack, Kelvin Tyrell, Dennis Bryant and Tony Rumbelow, not forgetting Ken Peet, who when we both lived in Forest Hill, acted as my personal chauffeur. If he were to work out the mileage he drove me to and from cricket, football, squash and badminton and applied even a miserly 20 pence per mile, he would be a wealthy man. It was certainly safer and more comfortable than the back of Tom Stacey’s motorbike or Peter Leeds’ scooter!!!
I am afraid that I cannot swell the ranks of those members under the age of 40, as I fall comfortably into the ranks of those that have been OTA members for over 40 years. My first games of football and cricket for the Club were in 1955 and I am afraid the blame for this clearly belongs to Jack Hobbs. After I had left school and was doing nothing much sporting wise, Jack persuaded me to play football for the OTA, which I continued to do for another 30 years. I missed only one match through injury, but I am suffering now!
I had never drunk any alcoholic beverage until I joined the OTA, which was before Den Newman, so he can’t take the blame! I must confess that I never really acquired the taste for booze, despite making a dedicated effort over a number of years. The five or six hours socialising after a Sunday cricket match on orange juice were certainly demanding, as was the personal crate of Guinness, not to mention the game of four jacks.
One of the things that came out of an alcoholic haze was the OTA Golf Day, which I assume I volunteered to organise, and many years later I’m am still trying to get it right. The golf day traditionally takes place at the Old Thorns course in mid September and generally involves two rounds of golf, lunch and dinner. I must confess that some of the golf played is not of the highest standard, but the company is good and it gives me the opportunity to see old friends. Martin Edison has been known to pop over from Arizona and after confessing he was fed up of playing in the rain, some of us went over there to play him on his home ground. Much to Martin’s continued embarrassment, that week they had more rain than any time in their history but at least it was warm rain.
Whatever else the OTA offered me, it gave me life long friends, for which I am eternally grateful.
Thanks, skipper. B.B
156 Rosendale Road
After spending five days with yourself and the entire cast of ‘It aint half wet Mum’, playing golf in Ireland and meeting the likes of Michael Caine, Mr.Tonks and his gay friend, Lance, Barry Manilow, Sasha Distel and of course the King….Elvis. Did you notice, there was one star who turned up every day ?…. Frankie Howard. Which sort of brings me to the reason for writing to you.
Mrs.O’Level had booked a holiday to Sorento, whilst there we decided to visit Pompei. So off we went on the train, plenty of water and sun cream at the ready. After spending 3-
We were sitting on a bench waiting for our train whereupon an old lady came and sat next to us. She started talking to us in what Mrs.O’Level took to be Pompeian, when the woman suddenly pulled out a plastic bottle and shoved it under our noses. ‘Bless her’. Mrs.O’Level said, she wanted a drink. So I obliged and filled her up. Well, she looked at me as though I was Graham Poll, looked at the water and slung it away. Charming, we thought. She probably prefers sparkling.
Only later, while telling somebody our tale back at the hotel, did we realise she was after money and not water. The moral being, it doesn’t matter if their English, Irish or Pompeian, women are the same the world over!
Here is an e-
As always it was good to read the latest edition of MM -
Thank you for your comments about my injury, which has ended my in-
Its funny how, in life, doors open as others close. As I lay in hospital and it became increasingly obvious that I would never play football again, I wondered what on earth I was going to do with my winter Saturdays. I'm not into creosoting fences, tree-
Thank you for all you do and please, keep the Mumblings going.
Thanks for your thoughts. I hope I can speak for the few remaining active members who happened to go to the school, inasmuch that as soon as any member has paid their dues they become as much a part of the Club as me, Taff, ‘Horse’ Micky Vaughan, Alan Baker, The President, anybody. I am delighted that you were made to feel at home, because that’s how we want everybody to feel. With regard to your comments on ‘Johnny come lately’ views, as a regular reader, you must realise that I will print almost anything from almost anybody, so don’t hesitate, write!
On a more personal note, I’m delighted that Dave has done so well, although it does seem amazing that he could never get any higher than our 6thXI.
Change of address for Bob Brown:-
Salway Ash e-
Dorset DT6 5JB
The King of Skiffle
Monday 4th November 2002: It had been a good day so far. I had played in the Monthly Medal at Coulsdon Court and gone round in 92 -
I had four boyhood idols. Tom Finney, Peter May, Jim Laker and Lonnie Donegan. I am sure that many readers of Motspur Mumblings will recall Donegan and the phenomenon known as “skiffle” which was a major feature of musical entertainment of the 1950’s and was to influence much of the popular music which followed it. But for those who do not, a brief introduction. Skiffle was a unique vibrant music which drew on American blues, folk and jazz and was characterised by strong rhythms (guitar, banjo, double bass). In spite of its American roots skiffle, as such, emerged in Britain and Donegan was one of its first and certainly its most enduring proponent.
In the early 1950’s Donegan was playing banjo with Chris Barber’s jazz band. The band began to feature a skiffle session part way through their shows, with Donegan on banjo and vocal, Barber on double bass and Ron Bowden on drums (some times Beryl Bryden on washboard). These sessions became so popular that Donegan eventually formed his own skiffle group; and the rest, as they say, is history.
During the 1940’s the popular music scene had tended to be dominated by swing bands and crooners. Part of the reason for skiffle’s success was that it was different. The young generation of the time were able to claim it as their own, although it’s roots were essentially traditional. Another factor in skiffle’s popularity was that it easily lent itself to performance by the masses. Impromptu skiffle groups were formed anywhere and everywhere. Archbishop Tenison’s School was not immune to skiffle’s influence. Cheap guitars and a double bass made from a broom handle and tea chest formed the basis of many a lunchtime ‘session’ in class room 3!
I first saw Lonnie Donegan live at Great Yarmouth in 1957, the year after he had burst onto the scene with Rock Island Line. The man was electrifying! For many years we used to take our fortnight’s holidays at a small coastal resort between Lowestoft and Yarmouth. One of the highlights of the holiday was to go to the ‘shows’ in Yarmouth at the Wellington and Britannia piers. I became hooked on Donegan and bought every record of his that I could get my hands on. In 1959 I went on the second of my school trips to Belgium (Blankenberge). Harry Waddingham, the PE master, led the trip; and during the evening, over my first taste of draught Stella Artois, Harry used to entertain us by singing Irish songs. Not to be outdone, I offered a rendition of Battle of New Orleans, Donegan’s Number One at the time. Harry is still alive and well in Bexhill-
Those of your readers who had any connection with the OTA cricket club in the 1960’s will remember how it was impossible to escape home after matches until Baker had ‘done’ at least six Donegan numbers! The most frequent were Lonnie’s more widely remembered recordings – My Old Man’s a Dustman, Putting on the Style, Does Your Chewing Gum Loose its Flavour – but I also used to inflict some of his ‘truer’ skiffle numbers like Bring a Little Water Sylvie and Midnight Special (my all time favourite).
With cohorts like Jack Hobbs and Jack Hewitt, Sunday evenings became one big party. This was especially so towards the end of the cricket season. From the middle of August to the end of September, we had a run of ‘away’ matches; and, as the nights were beginning to draw in, we were usually in the bar by 7 o’clock. After a few drinks, I would tentatively begin the singing (usually with “Daisy, Daisy”). The Old Tenisonians’ repertoire of music hall songs became legend. Supplemented with harmonic renditions of Jerusalem and the Twenty-
Although my musical tastes broadened subsequently, I have never lost a great affection for skiffle and for Donegan. There was a spell, perhaps some fifteen years or so ago, when I thought that Lonnie was struggling as a performer. He seemed to be losing the vitality and the enormous power and range of voice which had always been his great strengths. But, in 1991, we went to Fairfield Halls to see Donegan give a 60th Birthday concert; and the man was back to his incredible best. I managed a brief chat with him about his Great Yarmouth days while he autographed my programme. Four years ago, we went to see a Skiffle Jamboree at the Royal Albert Hall. Barber and others (Chas McDevitt, Nancy Whisky, Wee Willie Harris) took the first half and the second half was exclusively Donegan (with guest appearances by Adam Faith, Joe Brown and Chas and Dave). I have never seen him perform better.
Ironically Donegan was due to appear in concert at Croydon on November 15th. I shall be in Dublin on business that day and was trying to work out how I could get back in time to catch at least the second half of the show. Sadly, there is no need to bother now.
It has been interesting today to read and listen to the appreciations of Donegan. Great figures in contemporary music paying tribute to his influence in the development of popular music subsequent to those revolutionary days of the 1950’s. But, for me, Lonnie will always evoke memories of schooldays at Tenison’s, holidays at Great Yarmouth and late summer Sunday evenings enjoying the convivial company of cricketers while attempting to do some sort of justice to some of Lonnie’s 30 top-
Firstly apologies for not being able to furnish you with the 1st XI report. Jim Butcher did send it to me and I’m sure its out there somewhere but we couldn’t find it.
After the promising start of winning four of our first six games, things took a bit of a downturn towards the end of June. Just nine players turned up for the game at Whyteleafe, although after numerous phone calls made between overs, David Mercer arrived in a taxi to help out. (Did you get the fare back Barry?) Apparently one player got lost walking the dog, or playing cricket, his wife wasn’t sure which! The other presumably is still lost, as we haven’t heard from him either!! As if matters could not get any worse, Kevin Binns suffered a serious injury, which prevented him from playing until the last two games of the season.
Despite losing by 60 odd runs, the one high point was a maiden Club fifty for John Munden.
The next match welcomed Harsha Jayasekera for his first game for Tenisons in which he top scored with 42. Although the total of 151 for 8 was overtaken by Reigate Priory with just 3 balls to spare. Their skipper seeing them home with an unbeaten 59.
The start of July was wet and Peckham Rye beat us comfortably by 80 odd runs. This was another match in which we had to start with players short, one turning up on his bike after the restart after tea!!
The following match we returned to winning ways, just, bowling out Sunbury Village for 70 and scoring 71 for 9, thanks mainly to one of Richard’s long innings of 16.
The penultimate game against Morden, saw the return of that man (J.L.) to Motspur Park and his contribution was to help Morden score 42 runs in their last 3 overs.
Ironically we were ahead of the run rate at 42 overs but could not find the similar firepower necessary to score the winning runs in just three overs!
The final match of the season was looking to be a bit of an embarrassment, allowing one of the weaker sides in the division to amass 206. Sloppy fielding and some wayward bowling did not help the cause. However after tea, for once in the season, the batsmen all fired together and the total was overhauled for the loss of just three wickets. Kevin Binns missing out on his maiden fifty by just one run. (Jug avoidance eh?)
The final League table saw the 2ndXI comfortably placed in mid table. Kevin Binns scored 146 runs at 29.2, John Munden 148 at 24.7 and skipper Mick 217 at 19.7.
Brian Lester took 25 wickets and Barry Mercer took 19 wickets. (Apologies I do not have all the bowling averages to date. MV)
Harsha played just two games for the 2ndXI before establishing himself in the 1stXI.
John Munden has proved to be a very useful all rounder for the side!
As always the majority of players in the side always performed to the best of their abilities and the spirit was excellent.
Some players, who I will not mention by name, but they know who they are, should consider the effects of their actions by arriving late or crying off! (Same old story! same players!) It remains crucial that everyone should consider their commitment to their fellow teammates and the Club and act responsibly.
Everyone is welcome at nets through the winter, most of you know whom to contact, or should I say how?
I hope you all winter well and keep relatively fit ready for next season. Also keep an eye on the website www.OldTenisonians.co.uk.
Please remember to talk to any mates who would like to play!
Sunday Taverners Report
Well ,another season has gone by and as ever, Jim Butcher is telling the same old jokes, Clive Evans buying everybody drinks after the game, Neil Perkins still singing in the showers (well we think it’s singing or it could be some mating call-
Talking of Neil’s batting, there was a little side bet at the start of the season between Neil and Chris Turner, the bet was, Chris would get more wickets than Neil would get a 4’s. Chris won.
We also welcomed Dave Towse (AFC Wimbledon Player) to our side and Harsha Jayasekera to replace Fred Hall and Vic Govey although Vic played a few games. We also had Paul Bradley make a promising start but who later during the season decided not to play. There was also a surprise announcement from Joe Harmston (age 21), he had decided to retire from the game.
But, as they say, the show goes on, and we had a very enjoyable and successful season only losing 6 games. Batting was solid by all players with Nevill, Dave and John being very consistent. Twice this season the team scored 300 in a 40 over game and we even had time to see who could hit the most 6’s against Kingstonians (Jim won with 6).
Our bowling is not our strength but Chris Turner, Jim Butcher, Clive Evans, Graham Butcher and Harsha Jayasekera did a fantastic job and all deserve a pat on their collective backs for their hard work. Although it has to be said, when there were a few overs left and we needed some quick wickets I had to bring on the Skipper to finish the job!
There was some great moments throughout the season especially when I lost the toss and had to field on a very hot day after the club disco and gave Clive the new ball. Clive just looked at me and walked away saying while you’ve got the ball you might as well bowl, how I got 3 wickets I will never know.
I must also say a very big thank you to the girl’s Karen, Penny and Alison for making the best tea’s on the circuit.
We also have our fines on a Sunday, £1.00 for a drop catch, £1.00 for a duck and £2.00 for a golden duck but as this goes out to press I haven’t got the final figures to who has won.
I must say a personal thank you to all Taverner’s players over the last 3 years as captain. I know there were times when I might have made the odd mistake or upset one or two of you by batting you too low, or taking someone off from bowling but the support you guys have given me has been great. I must admit I did have a bit of a lump in my throat as I walked off from the last game against Harrow but your kick in from your tunnel of death proves what a bunch of w~#*#*s you all really are. Thanks Guys.
I would also wish the very best to Nevill and Dave who are taking over as captain and vice captain for next season and I will be looking forward to playing under them as a married man!! I must be mad….getting married.
Thanks also to James Butcher my vice captain and Chris Turner (acting vice) for your help.
Cheers! Come on you guys!
Before handing over to the General Secretary, I would just like to congratulate Paul on his forthcoming marriage and on behalf of the Old Boys wish him and the future Mrs.K; all the very best. Paul has done so much for the Old Boys in such a short space of time, we could surely do with a few more who are as committed as he is and so willing to serve on the bodies that actually make the Club’s activities work. Thank you Paul.
GENERAL SECRETARY’S REPORT FOR 2002
In producing my report for 2002, I have departed from the past practice of recording the noteworthy performances of individual players (largely so that the report can be kept to a manageable length). I have, instead, concentrated on the performances of the various teams and on the major issues which face the Club.
An appropriate starting point for my report is the 2001 AGM, at which the future of the Third Eleven was the focus of much debate. It was the overwhelming wish of that meeting that the Club should continue to run a Third Eleven, in the League, and that the new Committee should formulate a recruitment strategy designed to secure this.
The Committee met regularly during the winter months. It drew up an action list of items geared towards raising the profile and efficiency of the Club generally and towards recruiting new players in particularly. This included pursuing closer links with Tenison’s School, Motspur Park Youth Football Club and the OTA Football Section; and delivering ‘fliers’ to houses in neighbouring streets. Through these efforts, eight new players were recruited, although none of the hoped for support from the OTA Football Club was forthcoming. Other new members were recruited through personal contact; but against this, the Club lost six members to serious injury or other reason.
The 2002 season began on a strong note of optimism. It was disappointing, therefore, that on the first week that all three elevens had League matches (1 June), the Third Eleven match at Banstead was a shambles. Several players arrived late; some did not arrive at all; and the side played with nine men. Although they performed heroically in the field, the team was bowled out for 28. Things did get better; but the Club had only 30 players who were available on a more-
Turning to team performances, these generally showed an improvement on 2001. The First Eleven finished just below mid-
The Second Eleven also finished in mid-
The Third Eleven had a vastly improved season. Two places clear of the bottom spot which they had occupied for several seasons was reward in itself for a season in which they competed much more effectively, securing two wins and coming close on other occasions. However, it should be noted that one League game had to be conceded and that, of the other nine matches played, four were played when either the First Eleven or Second Eleven were not playing.
The Sunday Taverners Eleven continued to enjoy their full and attractive fixture list. Runs seemed to flow from most batsmen most weeks, although the side does not possess the same depth in bowling. If only the commitment to the team shown by the small Sunday squad were to be similarly found on Saturdays!
Having said that I would refrain from reporting on individual performances, I cannot resist mentioning one player. Harsha Jayasekera joined the Club during the season. This twenty-
For the record, the Awards made by the Committee were as follows:-
First Eleven John Halsey (Batting) Grant Hubbard (Bowling)
Second Eleven Brian Lester (Bowling)
Third Eleven Neville Williams (Batting) Neville Drake (Bowling)
Taverners Eleven Nevill Perkins (Batting) Jim Butcher (Bowling)
Club Fielding Award Kevin Binns
Young Cricketer Harsha Jayasekera
As ever, the Club’s thanks are due to the ladies who provided teas for players on match days. Alison, Dolores, Karen, Penny and Vera continued to amaze us with their ability to produce a veritable feast week after week.
Thanks are also due to groundsman, Alan Landymore. Most observers commented that the square in April looked as good as anyone had seen it for many years. It was frustrating to all concerned therefore that the season usually produced at least one good downpour most weeks which meant that, even when the top surface dried out, the underlying dampness resulted in pitches which tended to lack pace and bounce. A characteristic which was common to most grounds (without covers) that I experienced last season.
Before turning to the future, I would like to pay tribute to the work done by my fellow Committee members. This is no ‘routine’ tribute. I have been a members of the Cricket Club Committee since 1964 and can say with some authority that one of the strengths of the Club is the number of people who play a full part in its administration. As reported earlier, the Committee met monthly during the winter and every Monday during the playing season. The Committee comprises up to eighteen members; and it is unusual for meetings to be attended by fewer than a dozen.
The tasks for the Committee for the forthcoming year will be no less difficult than for the year just passed. Recruitment remains the top priority. Unless this can be tackled successfully, the Club’s ability to continue to run three regular Saturday Teams must be doubtful. Another factor which will have a bearing on this problem is the consideration which the Club is giving, to a move to the Fullers Brewery Surrey County League.
During the course of the 2002 season, the Club was approached by the Fullers League to see if we would be interested in joining that League for 2003. The Club could see attractions, especially the prospect of playing on consistently higher quality grounds. However, there were requirements which the Club would find it difficult to meet (for example with regard to the need to provide our own umpires and scorers); but, more importantly, the Club took the view that we did not at present have a sufficiently strong playing base.
Both the First and Second Elevens would be playing nineteen League matches (virtually every week of the season). As presently equipped, this would make it impossible for the Third Eleven to field a side (in either the Fullers League or the Kookaburra League) on sufficient Saturdays. The option of fielding an occasional Third Eleven, when numbers permit, playing friendly matches, was not favoured by some players.
The Committee decided, therefore, that the Club was not in a position to accept the Fullers League’s invitation. However, interest in pursuing a move to the Fullers’ League gained increasing support towards the end of the season; and will be the subject of further debate at the Annual General Meeting. Without wishing to pre-
OTA Cricket Club
PS: At the AGM, there was an overwhelming vote in favour of applying to join the Fullers League for 2004. An application was duly made and representatives of the League are due to meet with representatives of the Club some time in November.
Also at the AGM, Jim Butcher and Micky Vaughan were re-
PPS. Surrey CCC members will be familiar with their in-
From the same magazine, I noticed that Chris Thompson, who attends the School had received a bursary to help him in his cricketing development. Unfortunately, Chris is unlikely to turn out for the Old Boys, he is currently playing for Surrey and the South of England Under 15 side. Good luck to him none the less. Ed
I’m sure that like me, many of you enjoy Gary Kedney’s articles for the Mumblings. But leading a hectic life, Gary does not always find deadlines easy to meet. In my ‘army’ of reporters, I think of Gary as my Corporal Jones, of Dad’s Army fame, coming to attention a moment after everybody else. As soon as Brian Lester has printed an edition, you can guarantee that a Kedney contribution will hit the ‘electric mat.’ Here’s the one that should have been in the last edition.
Of Pigs and Men
Last July, while spending a few days playing golf in the west of Ireland, there was a plan being hatched by other members of the group to create an old man's team for the coming football season. It would be the 4thXI and it would be FUN! Others had been approached, big names such as Gerry Reardon, Unners, even the Pig was said to be involved. I was naturally interested as the end of my career fast approaches, one last fling with mates would be just the ticket.
So the deal was, Mick Keating was the Boss, O'Level the skipper with Messrs Smith and McCarthy completing the Politburo. There would be no expectation to play every game, in fact playing two then missing one would help the new democratic rotation system to be employed at Motspur Park. Sounds great doesn't it? So we all signed up. Gullible, or what?
The squad was assembled, bus passes are issued to get to games and we embark on the trail of the Holy Grail, namely the A.F.A. Cup. By Christmas all is going smoothly, still alive in the cups and although behind with league games, relegation is not threatened. We now have our own little Zoo. The Pig is ever present, Hamster is scoring goals and we've acquired a Fish, whom despite excelling is unlikely to get out of the Politburo's keep net.
February sees the A.F.A. quarterfinal and suddenly the ‘matey’ side has changed. No longer is play two, miss one, acceptable. In fact unless you had a note from your Mum, or a surgical chart from your Doctor, the press gang would turn up at your house and threaten unspeakable damage to your family. It became very serious!
But we trundled on, like a never-
In between the semi and final, we played a few league games and managed to keep on the winning trail, but the club was a buzz as the Pig's injury refused to clear up. Rumours abounded about various treatments and the great German vet, Hans Von Schwein was even called into action. The day of the final beckoned, could the OTA finally complete it's trophy list by winning an A.F.A cup. On the day, the great German vet did his job and got the Pig up to his required level of fitness (about 6%). The game was a one-
After that, we thought that we could return to the initial Corinthian spirit that was intended when the team was set-
The double completed and the end of the cosy mates team. Or is it?
P.S. Special mention for Mick Keating, whose wonderful management skills, made such a terrific season possible.
During the year, School-
There was a certain amount of scepticism on behalf of the Association Committee, mainly because it is fully aware of its shortcomings when it comes to arranging such events. Particularly as the proposed date was early September, when cricketers are still playing and senior footballers are playing friendlies or even early league games.
Zac was not at all put off by this and in the end managed, with a little help from his friends, to run what looked like a numerical and logistical nightmare, extraordinarily successfully. The Old Boys managed to put a couple of teams together despite the fact that they had three full matches arranged for the same day.
There were several talented footballers in evidence and some entertaining matches played. The final was a typically end to end affair, with perhaps less goals than might be expected after so much football. Presidente Addlington who had been in attendance all afternoon, presented the winners with their medals.
I must just mention Johnny Pearce here. As everybody at the Club knows, John is a touch mad and now in his early forties, will still go to any lengths to get a game of football. After running around like a mad thing during the tournament, he had to take his leave but not before donating £50 for the youngters to have a drink at the end of the tournament. Fantastic, John.
Whether the Old Boys will ever be able to take advantage of this untapped pool of talent is uncertain. Several names of supposedly interested parties were taken but the first time one of them agreed to play, he didn’t turn up. However a massive vote of thanks goes to Zac for all his efforts.
OH NO! 70!
Chairman Taff had decreed a day of roistering and revelry to honour L.V.P ( which, ladies, is not an anagram of ‘visible panty line’ ) Peter Langford, both for his 70th birthday and his outstanding contribution to the Football Club over many years.
So on the 6th October a match was arranged between two sets of old and not quite so old lags. Back came Zippy, Sid, Bognor, Tony Jacobs ( who generously donated a bouncy castle for the children who were too embarrassed to watch their dads’playing football ), Tony Andrews, Glen Cain, Mickey Stone, Chris Brewer, Pete Deadman, Steve Johnson, Ian ( Lance ) Lloyd, Geoff Lamb, plus all the usual suspects who are still ‘playing’ regularly.
As is often the way with this type of match, a scoreline of 3-
After the match, Taff made his customary witty speech and presented Peter with an Arsenal shirt with Pete’s name and age on the back ( he’ll be even easier to spot in the pension queue now ). A football signed by all the participants and £200 worth of Thomas Cook travel vouchers. Last but not least of Peter’s gifts was a framed caricature of himself, with a netful of footballs over his shoulder, and a pint glass in his hand. ‘Twas ever thus. Taff told us that the first attempt of the caricature more closely resembled former Hollywood film star, Doug McClure. Obviously instructions were given to have another go.
Eustace White both played and cooked, Derek Prentice provided great beer at a great price. As always, Mark Willis did a great job behind the bar and Patrick’s barroom expertise was also much in evidence. All in all it was another great Football Club Day and Taff deserves a great deal of credit for organising it. But most of all, the day was about Peter Langford.
The most promising aspect of this season is that a number of people, outside the group of ‘usual suspects’, have held their hands up and volunteered to run or help run teams.
Dave Brewis, now a seasoned pro, is in charge of the biggest job in football, i.e. running the 1stXI. He has managed to combine the talents of the tried and trusted with new blood to produce a strong, and to date, unbeaten team, in both League and Cup. The League, which is the amalgamation of the Old Boys League and the Southern Olympian, is now known as the Amateur Football Combination (and has even more divisions than the Conservative Party. Ed.).
The 2ndXI is being run by Paul Lister and Steve Mundy. These two have stepped forward after just a couple of seasons with the Club. Now that they are finding their feet, I’m sure that results will continue to improve.
The 3rd XI have had a reasonable start to the season, winning its first four games under the captaincy of Harry Spawton. In the long run they will probably suffer from too many Welshmen in the team. Four from the same village and one ‘plastic Taff’, me, and my Godfather runs The Cock pub in the very same village. Very spooky! ( Somebody call Dai Mulder and Megan Scully. It is also noticeable that Ann Robinson has not been to as many matches as she might, this season. By the way, did you know that Lewisham, which enjoys its own Welsh enclave, is an anagram of, ‘I am Welsh’. Ed. )
The 4th,5th and 6th teams are once again being run by Mick Keating, Sean Jones and Ted Farrelly and all have made encouraging starts. We are also putting out a 7th XI in the LOB and OBI Cups and hope to be able to report on their progress in the next issue.
In an effort to save on cards, I’d like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a happy Christmas and prosperous New Year and every success for the rest of the season.
As the new 1st XI, playing in Senior 2 of the newly formed AFC league, we’ve started brightly with only one loss in our first nine games.
The team, based largely on the seconds of last year with a few notable additions from the previous 1st XI, is unbeaten in the league, having won 4 out of 5 to go top. Obviously, it’s very early to make ridiculously brave statements, but if we can keep playing the way we have been, we should be there or thereabouts come the end of the season.
Away from the league, recent weeks have been taken up with the various cups and we’re still in the hunt for the OBI and LOB. It was in the other cup, the AFA, that we suffered our only loss so far, coming at the hands of East Barnet OG, who beat us 4-
In the LOB, we’ve already seen off Enfield OG and Carthusians, and a win over Salesians has given us a quarter-
All in all a good start and playing some good stuff, having scored 21 and only conceded 6, one of which was an own goal in the AFA. Jeff Prevost has probably sealed the Golden Boot already with 8 goals, a comfortable 5 ahead of his nearest rival. Having only conceded one goal in the first six games, Jenks (incredible as it might seem, it has taken Mike Jenkins about 15 years to become the best goalkeeper at the Club. Ed.) was threatening to go elsewhere for some action. Five in the last three, plus four penalties, have put paid to that.
We now just need to make sure we keep the momentum up and don’t let the wind, rain and sticky pitches get the better of us over the next few months.
Thanks very much Dave. We all hope you will soon have us back where we all believe the 1st XI should be. B.B
Just before moving away from the Football Club, I am sorry to have to report the death of Tom Byrne, Ronnie’s Dad. Tom of course knew a lot of the Old Boys that Ron had grown up with but he got to know many more from his visits to Motspur Park. One eye on the racing, one eye the grandchildren and one eye on the football, Tom always seemed to enjoy his afternoons down at the ground, particularly after we started to sell Guinness in cans. The highpoint of Tom’s association with the Club was surely his presence on one of Kevin McCarthy’s Dublin extravaganzas. Tom was a Dubliner and so to return there with his son must have been very special for both of them. Of course the Byrne Boys had a private part to their trip but they spent plenty of time with main party and enjoyed themselves as much as we all did. Our sympathy goes to Ron and his family.
Corporal Kedney strikes back to immediately make a liar of the editor.
The King is dead, long live the King’
The people of Waterford refer to it as ‘that fateful night’ or the ‘miracle of Memphis.
Little did we know when we set off for our annual golf trip to Waterford this summer, that we would experience one of those ‘where were you on the night of’ events. People talk about it in the same breath as the JFK assassination or the Princess Diana tragedy.
The golf was up to it usual standard, well the courses were great and the playing was the usual mix of sublime and dreadful. Phil Unwin walked away with the overall prize, but once again the star of the show was Mick Keating whose organisation makes the whole tour a wonderful occasion for us all, flights, hotels, coaches, courses, food, drink, trips to the dogs, even a bag of carrots. We all owe him a great debt.
So to the fateful night. It began as any other night, in fact we arranged to go town before returning to the hotel bar, which was Jury’s, just for the record. Upon our return, the bar was down to the usual Sunday night stragglers, about eight drinkers and one poor local, asleep, with an unfinished beer and his mobile phone as his only company.
Then we were told that the cabaret would begin, Sunday Night at the Palladium comes to Waterford. We all waited with mild amusement as well as a sense of anticipation of what to expect. Then to our surprise, Brucie (Taff) made his appearance, rolling back the years. He introduced the first act, Barry Manilow (MickyWalton) no less, singing a capella version of Copacubana. Brucie then announced he had to leave and handed over to Michael Caine (Taff), we all wondered how a 4 star hotel in Waterford could afford such stars. Frank Ifield (Bob the Cab) then crooned his way through a couple numbers and then a comedy act, the great ventriloquist Mr Tonks and his ‘young man friend’ Lance(Ian Lloyd), both perched on Taff’s ample thighs. Following that was a tough act, but a born-
It was time for the interval, but not before we were promised a top of the bill that would blow our minds. The audience were gripped, except for the poor drunk who slept through it all despite receiving two unanswered phone calls on his mobile. During the break, discussion centred on the headline act, who could it be? Shirley Bassey, or maybe a local talent, Christy Moore was mentioned, but nothing could prepare us for the spectacle we were about to witness.
Michael Caine came back on stage, he said he felt he was in the presence of greatness. The audience grew tense and the feeling that something momentous was about to happen, engulfed the auditorium. Then Michael announced to us that the top of the bill had arrived and that he was ready to take the stage. He told us that everybody had believed the great man had departed the earth some twenty five years previously. But tonight however he had chosen a small bar in Waterford to launch his comeback. The crowd hushed as Mr Caine uttered the words we all waited for “Ladies and Gentlemen, tonight for one night only I give you the one and only, the greatest singer of all time MR ELVIS PRESLEY!!!!!”(Terry Smith)
Well nobody could believe it, but the great man strode onto stage and belted out three numbers that took our breath away. At the end of the set, the crowd rose to show its appreciation, feeling that it had played a part in history. The roar even woke the drunk, who was sitting in front of the stage, but spare a thought for the poor lad. He first sight when he awoke from his drunken stupor was that of Elvis Presley receiving the plaudits from an adoring audience. Not an easy one to explain to your Mum as to why you were out so late. Still, Waterford talks of the day the King came to town and lifts its collective glass every Sunday night with the toast.
‘The King is dead, long live the King’
Before the cabaret proper started, there was what you might call a re-
As the actors played out this scene, the audience listened to live commentary from perhaps the most cherished and accomplished of commentary teams, John Arlott (Gary Kedney) and Richie Benaud (Gary Kedney). Impersonations that have already had ‘Dead Ringers’ contact Gary as to his availability.
Those of you old enough to remember Sunday Night at the London Palladium on television all those years ago, will, I am sure, remember the close. All of the artists going around and around, stood behind the letters that made up the title. And so it was in Waterford, no letters, just the audience singing the signature tune, as the all star cast shuffled around in a circle, waving. Surreal !
I have heard that the tourist figures for Waterford have trebled since Keating’s tour, people hanging out of cars, asking the way to the John Arlott shrine and does anybody know which bar Elvis is playing in tonight. B.B.
The School has once again announced their best ever GCSE results and with year 9 achieving better than the national average in their SATs results, these results look set fair to continue to improve.
It is said that we can learn a lot from history and if Ian Duncan Smith had read earlier editions of the Mumblings to see what happened to politicians who visit the School, it is unlikely that he would have accepted the Headmaster’s invitation . But he did and history would suggest that the ‘quiet man’s’ days are numbered.
The School have started the Archbishop Tenisons Guitar Project, with fifteen young musicians hoping eventually to form a classical ensemble.
The School continue to support charitable projects, contributing over £1000 to St Martin’s-
A number of pupils reported on their work experiences. Ranging from a management consultancy, a leisure centre, Asset Retail System and the one that particularly caught my eye, probably because of the number of Old Tenisonians who have found fame and fortune with a cut and a crimp, was a placement at Vidal Sassoon. . Andrew Brown reports on his various duties but said the best thing about his placement was the kiss he got when he left.
But perhaps pride of place goes to Headmaster Brian Jones, who was invited to join the Queen’s Jubilee Luncheon at Addington Palace near Croydon. Brian was seated at the Queens table and after meal was introduced to H.M. This was undoubtedly an honour both for Mr.Jones and of course the School.
Early in September, I was joined on a jaunt to Ronnie Scott’s Club, by Gerry Reardon and Terry Smith. We met at a nearby bar, when it occurred to me that I had not explained some of the niceties to Terry. Jazz musicians are no different from their classical counterparts, they want quiet whilst they are playing and this is a house rule at Ronnie’s. Many of you know Terry, so you will know that ‘quiet’ is not necessarily his strongest suit. I wrongly assumed that after a number or two, Tel would need to be telling the musicians where they were going wrong.
I should not have had worried. Terry immediately settled into the ambience, showed all due respect to the musicians and by the end of the night felt comfortable enough to turn round to a young couple, who were more intent on their own company than the music, and told them to shut up! Respect, Tel.
On my next visit to the same venue, this time with brother Mark, a couple of amusing incidents occurred. As we were in the entrance lobby, one of the guys who works there, took an incoming phone call.
‘Ronnie Scotts’……….’No sir, we are not expecting Miles Davis to appear at the club anytime in the near future, in fact he has been dead for 11 years now……… Thank you sir. Goodnight.’
At the end of the night as I walked through Soho towards my car, I was propositioned by a lady of the night. When I am alone I tend to walk fairly briskly, so I hardly realised that this girl was talking to me as I got closer to her. ‘Are you looking for any female company this evening sir?’ By the time she had completed this question I was well passed her but just caught her saying….’That’ll be a no then, will it?’
“Quick, get the Greyhound on the phone!”
If you had the bad luck to have a cell of plotting terrorists move next door to you and you happened to overhear their plans for a nuclear detonation in the city, what would you do? Phone the Police, the M.O.D? Personally, I would place my call to the Greyhound Hotel at Carshalton. Patrick has been working their for some time whilst completing his studies and trying to find a proper job. I have been amazed at the brain/pulling power available to the brewers, Youngs, at minimum wage. Graduates and post graduates who have yet to find the jobs that their parents and politicians told them would be theirs if they did their homework.
Firstly we have an International Relations expert to provide context and analysis. A psychological profiler to evaluate the mindset of the terrorists; a lawyer to negotiate and if all else failed, a nuclear physicist to disarm the aforementioned device. There would also be a few non-
Education, education, education!
Thanks to all of you that continue to support the 150 Club. The last six months lucky winners are all on the back page. As you know, in order to save money we do not send out any reminders that your subs may be due, so you’ve got to keep yourself honest. Don’t forget, a 150 Club subscription makes a wonderful Christmas present, all you need to do is contact:-
58 Feering Hill
I think that’s enough don’t you? Thank you to all contributors, especially those who have responded to my cries for help. Thanks as always to Patrick for technical assistance, Alan Baker for distribution and to Brian Lester. Brian does the printing and desperately wants somebody else to take the job on and quite frankly has earned the right to just walk away. Somebody, please step forward, if it’s a matter of cash, this should not prove an insurmountable problem.
PS. Third School Dinners reunion for former pupils will once again be held at St. George’s Hotel, Langham Place on Friday 4th April 2003. Eddie Boyle will be writing to those who have attended earlier bashes. If you are not one of these, then to make sure you are not left out, you can either contact me, or Eddie. Eddie’s can be contacted at:-
Mr. E. Boyle
Kent. TN4 0QB
Bob Blewer Tel No. 0208 647 4670
286 London Road e-