Monday, 13 February 2012

Some Thoughts on Sport - (When the Cloth Cap disappeared).

What was the name of the white horse in the famous FA Cup final between West Ham United and Bolton Wanderers?  

Whilst you are thinking about that one or even looking it up on Google.  I thought I would share with you a few of my thoughts on sport.  I know that not everybody lives on a smallholding or write books.  So where do we begin?

Well there is the Olympics in London this year.  How many allotments have been destroyed in the making of the Olympics village?  Will they be showing the tiddly winks and shove ha'penny heats?  I once walked passed Radio Rentals during one Winter Olympics.  One of the shop assistants was doing her Meg Ryan impression (When Harry Met Sally):

"We've won a gold.  We've won a gold!"

Great Britain had just won a gold medal for Curling!  What's wrong with Curling?  Nothing.  What about Conkers or Welly Throwing?  I call it but I bet I will be there watching it like everybody else!

Another thought about the Olympics.  Why do they have: Gold, Silver and Bronze medals?  Why stop at just three kinds of metal?  What about Aluminium (do only the Americans pronounce it proper?) or even Tin?  Do you think the Olympics is a waste of money?

The white horse at the FA Cup final was called: Billy!

Time for a very old joke.

A white horse walks into a bar.  The landlord says:

BARMAN: "Hey Mr horse.  We have a whiskey (White Horse) named after you."

WHITE HORSE:  "What Eric?"

Next time.  I will write about good old Football.  Congratulations to Sir Christiano Ronaldo for his sixth hat-trick of the season!


  1. Are the olympics a waste of money?

    Nothing wrong with the idea of sportsmen fro all nationalities competing, but the whole sporting world has been taken over by the plc mentality, only a money-making excercise.

    I think I remember reading somewhere that the most popular sport in UK was fishing? But we don't seem to have an Olympic fishing competition?

  2. Fishing: I agree with you that fishing is the most popular sport in the UK. Fishermen are the watchdog (Environmentalists) for the rivers and lakes. Ironically,since so many factories have closed down in the north of England. Dead rivers have come back to life for the first time in 200 years. I used to do a lot of coarse fishing in my youth and early twenties. Keep saying I will dig (JCB) a pond and fill it with Tench and Crucian Carp.

    Thanks Cumbrian.

  3. Sure tench and carp would keep well, and I don't think they need running water?

    Our local river (Derwent) is a notable salmon beat, or was, the fish don't seem to be as numerous as in years gone by. Remember the summer 1976, the Derwent was at an all-time low, and many salmon didn't get up, not enough water, the died in their hundreds at the river mouth. That took a lot of recovering from.
    And I read somewhere that they found out where the fish went to for their time at sea, somewhere off Greenland, and started exploiting them. That won't have helped much either.
    Still a few sea trout around as well.

    Lake District lakes have perch and pike, neither really a table fish, but I've eaten pike. and one of the lakes, I've forgotten which one, has a stock of some sort of fish, again I've forgotten the name (senior moment) that are the only ones left from the Ice Age. Very rare to see one. (Vendace?)
    Not so much pollution in the lakes, they're under protection by the environmental people, but in the 60s, they built a new road alongside Bassenthwaite Lake, the path of the old railway, and bottomed it with several million tons of blast furnace slag from Workington steelworks. it took about 20 years for the chemicals in the slag to leach through into the becks, and they couldn't stop it then, so it's still there. Fortunately fairly localised in effect.

    Sea angling was my sport, sadly don't seem to have a lot of time, my wife's a wheelchair user, and I can't leave her alone for too long. So a trip to dig lug (getting scarcer) then a few hours to drown them on a hook, in the hope of connecting with something worth eating, is too much time.
    Still have a throw in for mackeral but only about 4 / 5 weeks season here, late July / August. Even they're getting scarcer, the days of a fish box full in a session are long gone.

    PS How'd we get from Olympics to fishing?

  4. Hi Cumbrian. I think Windermere has a stock of Char? I used to love going to Ullswater, Coniston and Grasmere. Dove Cottage is incredible.

    I live next to the sea and I should go fishing but we don't eat fish very often.

    The pollution in Bassenthwaite Lake shocked me. I didn't know it could take 20 years for it to leach through. Ireland is a mecca for fishing. There's never been an Industrial Revolution so there isn't the same pollution.

    I still watch the fishing programmes on Sky - John Wilson especially!. Do you remember the Mr Crabtree fishing cartoons in the newspaper?

    I vote for fishing to be a major competition in the Olympics!

  5. I think you're right, it is char in Windemere. I've never actually seen one in the flesh, only on film.

    You really should go sea fishing if you live near it, I know weather can prevent it on a lot of days, but I loved the cold snaps we used to get, brought the cod in every year, and I thought you liked fish & chips?

    Yeah, pollution by slag, it was the wonder material of the 60s and 70s, they had millions of tons of it and were running out of space to put it, they had mountains of the stuff. Then somebody had the bright idea of using it as a cheap bulk fill material, so the started crushing it and filling the bases of houses with it. 20 odd years on, they notice things happening to the houses, like unexpected cracks in walls, some walls pushed off the dpc, and some concrete floors lifting. Turns out that the slag still has minute particles of iron in, and when it gets damp and rusts, it expands; not a problem outside, but when it's captive by house walls and concrete floors, it has to expand somewhere. Hence our local expression "slag heave" explains a lot of problems with housing built about that time. It was mostly council houses, they were building estates full of them at the time.

    The White Horse, they used to have an annual fishing competition, at Ardrossan I think it was, very well supported, I fished it one year. A good day, every entrant got a quarter bottle of White Horse to keep the chill at bay for the 4 hours duration. Never seem to see the White Horse now, it used to be very popular.

  6. Hi Cumbrian. They are bringing Mr Crabtree to the television screens in the Autumn.

    I will take on your advice about the sea fishing.

    Think I watched a programme "Homes from Hell" about the slag in houses? It was in Cornwall. I also heard of some nuns building a new place in West Cork and they used the old building stone for floor fill. All the damp rot and dry rot spores seeped from the old stone and ruined the new building. I think the bible says not to put new wine in old wine skins.

    What's the football like in Cumbria these days? Didn't Bill Shankly manage Workington and Emlyn Hughes play for Barrow? I used to love going to watch a good game of football (see next weeks blog) and having a couple of pints before and after a match - great pies also!

    Yeah I remember: White Horse. I love Dalwhinnie whiskey. It's thirty odd pounds a bottle. But its the nicest whisky (different spelling) I have ever drank - not fiery at all! I manage to get a bottle brought over once a year. I used to go fishing with a few tins of bitter or lager in my fishing basket and a quarter bottle of whisky with my old pals. You should have seen the Leviathan fish (Perch and trout and Jack Pikes) we caught!

    Thanks Cumbrian!

  7. Not a lot of football in Cumbria, I don't follow it at all, I've never even seen the inside of the Workingtom Reds ground. Carlisle's the nearest thing to a league club we have.

    Rugby's more my game, used to play No 8 but more years ago than I care to remember. A young mans past-time.
    Our league team Workington Town was a force to be reckoned with, again a lot of years ago; and our union team the Zebras once hosted a game with the New Zealand All Blacks.
    Happy days and no trouble.

    Thirty-odd quid a bottle sounds like it's gonna be very smooth, I like some of the smokey single malts, sadly they tend to be similarly priced and upwards. Too expensive to take fishing, stick to McEwans export or Stella, better on a warm day. And the standard pub whiskies grab my throat, don't care much for the stuff. Funny enough I quite liked the White Horse, but I haven't seen it for years.

  8. Great to here how there was no trouble at the union matches. I like reading about the etymology of sports. A lot of the rugby league teams came from the mining towns.

    Ilove games like football, rugby and cricket - everybody can take part. You have got to have interests to keep you happy. Living in the countryside is very peaceful. But there is no idea of community or a social life. I wouldn't like to live in a town again. But a town person can have a much better social and sport life. At least there's the FA cup on the telly today and tomorrow.

    The malts are incredibly smooth. I suppose (sadly) you get what you pay for!

    Back to fishing - even fish. I do like fish from a fish and chip shop. But I don't like it when you are looking at a head and tail on your plate!

    I also love 'Jerusalem' at the cricket and rugby internationals. It should be the national anthem!



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