Monday, May 31, 2010

Weekend Stuff - 1

Drove down on Friday afternoon - quiet Friday night - Saturday - rained all day (!), so shopping and slobbing - and I rustled up a cassoulet for tea ! Sunday dawned well - so before brekky, I had 20 minutes in the garden hanging around the bird table ...

Some Garden Birds

... went for a seven miler after a "full English" - over Ragleth Hill - followed by an excellent evening meal at Housmans cafe bar - well recommended (even had a decent local real ale on - Three Tuns Brewery "XXX"). Today - another crunching "up-down-up-down" tramp over Caer Caradoc and The Lawley - then home for take-away pizza. Obviously some more pics to follow - but not now ... as ...

... tomorrow is Day One of a two-day "dole-funded" course ("Office 2007 upgrade/refresher") - just hope they've told the buggers down at the dole (should be sign-on day), as I know they're extremely efficient in turning things off (i.e. money) and a touch tawdry in turning things back on (i.e. money).

Still no news on "that interview" the other week - will surely get a "yea or nay" quite soon this week ...

I've been away ...

... wandering the hills around Church Stretton for a few days (and as you've noticed - no internet connection !!!) ... but now (1830 hrs) home - with some catching up to do ... for starters, here's some bits from the Mossley Whit Walks on Friday morning ...

Mossley Whit Walks 2010

... more later ...


Friday, May 28, 2010

Mossley Whit Walks

... just a couple from this morning - might do some more later ... and we got to see our new MP as well (no I've not Photoshopped him in !!!!!)

... and one of the predictable "let's get some nice reflections off the brass" type picture ...

The sun is shining ... some of the d*ckheads are out on the lash already ... you won't find me out in Mossley tonight ... because I'll be in Church Stretton !

(still can't get over that Ashton United decision though ... crazy, just crazy ...)


Thursday, May 27, 2010

And they call it Justice ....

I reproduce the statement from Dave Aspinall, Chairman of Ashton United, issued not long ago (45 minutes ?) with reference to the Marcus Hallows case ....

Ashton United v Marcus Hallows

As a club, Ashton United FC have been dealt a significant blow to their future by the recent court ruling, which rejected their appeal in the case brought by Mr Hallows.

At the outset of proceedings Ashton United clearly demonstrated that it did not have the financial means to meet any substantial claim from either its own funds or assets, yet Mr Hallows and his legal team continued with their legal action, aware that a successful outcome on their part would be liable to have serious implications for the club’s future. A dangerous precedent may have been set by this verdict, which Ashton United always felt was deeply flawed and everyone at Hurst Cross urges fellow clubs who may, one day, find themselves in a similar situation to take every possible action to protect their assets against potential claims in the future. Players cannot play without clubs to play for.

It is not difficult to determine who the real winners are here; Mr. Hallows will never get back the career he lost through an unfortunate accident on the field of play, the verdict will not help protect other players from accidental injury in similar circumstances, yet the cost of the legal fees due to both parties are much greater than any award granted to Mr Hallows by the court.

Further appeals would be financially unviable and unlikely to succeed so, over the next few days, officials at Ashton United will be consulting with their solicitors, insolvency advisors, the Northern Premier League, the Manchester F.A. and Tameside Council about the club’s position, with a determination to carry on the club’s proud 132 year history if at all possible. Due to the urgency of this matter it is unlikely that any further official statements will be forthcoming in the immediate future.

I wish to place on record my thanks to my fellow directors, the officials, players and supporters at our club who have helped fight this action from within, the officials from the Northern Premier League for their assistance during this whole affair and also to our fellow clubs, from all levels of the game, whose officials, supporters and players have so generously backed our cause.

David Aspinall, Chairman, Ashton United FC.

I'm going to leave it at that for now - until the full horrors of this "decision" finally kick in ... you all know the full details - maybe Marcus Hallows is the new "Jean-Marc Bosman" ... I go away to think about this - and no doubt the repercussions will begin ... now ...

Truly a sad sad day for non-league football ...

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

"Down the Pan" at Mossley AFC

... OK - the stanchions are up ... there's been some wiring work done this week (with more to come hopefully - leave it with me !) - see below ..

... they've even re-seeded the important parts of the pitch - see below ...

... but - I have to report - one of the great institutions of Mossley AFC has now disappeared - an institution that has helped my constitution over many years ... I can only show you the damage ...

Yes - the outside gent's toilet nearest to the School End has been demolished - I can assume only to assist with some dressing room/refs rooms extensions - but it was a good toilet, a fine toilet, more importantly a NECESSARY toilet - pre-snapper I could always peep over the top to see stuff - and when the "photography" kicked in I could still poke the lens over the top when I heard the "correct" noises... the wall was just that "right height" ..

To me this is possibly more of a crisis than the "floodlight disaster" - at least that's virtually sorted, but if we end up "playing uphill" second half - - - - then there could be problems ... and I don't think I'm the only one who may suffer.

Is this progress ??? Are there any plans for a "replacement relief option" ??? As a shareholder, I'm astonished that I was not informed of this "removal of relief" - there will be hell to play at the next shareholders meeting - I'll tell you now .....

Council Cuts Kicking In Already ?

Well we've all heard the Queen's Speech (a misnomer if there ever was one - does she give a s**t ? - I think not !!) - and we've all heard stories about where the cuts will be made - I just wonder if Tameside have already made a "pre-emptive strike" ...

Our bins should be emptied on Monday - it's now Wednesday afternoon - and we shoved our wheelies up to the approved spot on Monday morning - other peeps still go for the "bag option" - this was the scene on our street not half-an-hour ago ...

Remember - these bags have been here for over 48 hours ! The bins are up the other end of the street - still full. I went on the council website and logged a "complaint" at lunchtime - I await a reply with bated breath ... And just to show it isn't just Mossley - I was in Ashton this morning - a "registration" @ Tameside College for a dole-funded course (Office 2007 "upgrade/refresher" - it's free - why not ?) - and afterwards went into town, heading for Asda - and cheap-ish nosh - being on foot I had to go through the subway - to find this ...

So - maybe the street cleaners are already on the hit list ??

Getting ready for college now - but I'll be back later tonight with a "footy club update" (lights etc) - and some dreadful news as well - a Mossley AFC "institution" has completely disappeared - and it will certainly affect me ... watch this space ... (try about 2200 hrs !)

Monday, May 24, 2010

No - It's NOT a vendetta ...

... but when you're walking past the place on a fairly regular basis ... you can't help but look - and this is today's "spell it like some speak it" c*ck-up ... all we need now is the "close to hospickle" tempter !!!

Belting goal from Glen Johnson mind ....

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Saddleworth CC v Bamford Fieldhouse CC

As promised ... some cricket !

Another glorious day so after a bit of gardening/tidying/shopping, I loaded up "the beast" and wandered down Manchester Road to Well'i'Hole, the home of Saddleworth Cricket Club to take in just a couple of hours of their game this afternoon - so you only get Saddleworth batting (just for information though - Saddleworth scored 290 in 45 overs including an unbeaten century from one "Bez", and then skittled Bamford for 104). Some excellent batting - and some good fielding by several extremely young Bamford players. Oh - and for the real ale drinkers - the club serves Thwaites "Original" and "Highwayman" on draught !

Good to know that the big lens is still roadworthy - there is a bit of "gunk" inside the lens - and the 'lock' doesn't work - it just slides out on its own when you point it down (hence it being "given away" to me a year or so ago !!), but it works pretty well in nice weather (have to use the monopod though - it's bloody heavy !!), so it might get a few outings over the next couple of months. Pictures at

Saddleworth beat Bamford Fieldhouse by 186 runs

P.S. I did buy a "Non League Paper" - and there were no football fixtures in it all !!

P.P.S. Tea was pasta and bean salad, green salad and a selection of cold meats and pork pie with chutney !!

Ardsley Celtic v Bay Athletic

Last game of the season ? Maybe ... I was told yesterday that there might be some stuff in the Spen Valley League - and I haven't picked up a "Non League Paper" yet ... so ...

Anyway - yesterday - hit the road (OK rails) at 1047 and headed for Huddersfield where, after half-an-hours wait (and a pint of Glentworth "Lightyear" !), it was off to Wakefield. Free bus from railway station to bus station, one Greggs sausage roll (eek !! solids !!) and then a 15 minute bus ride up to East Ardsley, where most of the cars had Leeds United stickers on them. Just an easy 10 minute walk to the ground - I felt like I'd been there before, because, thanks to Google StreetView I'd done a "virtual walk" from bus stop to ground - it's all in the preparation y'see !!

It was a big open complex with three pitches - there was a "footballathon" happening on one of them (Tingley Athletic Juniors), and the posts were being erected on the other two (as well as the game I was going to see, Ardsley Celtic Reserves were also entertaining Storthes Hall Reserves on the other pitch - for those interested, Storthes Hall won 10-2 - and I believe Celtic Reserves finished with only 9 on the pitch !). Before the game I had a bit of a natter with who could only have been the League Chairman (got the full rundown of the history of the trophy as well !) before the championship trophy presentation - and then we began what turned out to be something like a 35minutes each way game (apparently with full agreement of all - it was bloody hot !)

In the end, an easy win for the Champions - but they took their time getting going ! Obviously nowt to play for - and it was bloody hot - but I'd say it was probably the introduction of ex-Lilywhite Paul Quinn as sub early in the second half that finally got Athletic out of second gear, showing some of the hard-working midfield skills and vision that we saw at Seel Park a couple of years ago. Before the game I was told "the race was on" for top scorer between another ex-Lilywhite Kitson Gayle and Paul Pyke. Unfortunately Gayle had to go off, but Pyke managed to score a couple of the goals - one very "intense" single-minded player indeed (who almost got himself in trouble with the ref near the end !!). For the pictorial view of the game ...

Ardsley Celtic 1 Bay Athletic 5

That I believe was the final ever game for Ardsley Celtic - next year they return as Tingley Athletic.

An early start - a short game - meant I was back in Wakefield in time to see the last 15 minutes of the Blackpool/Cardiff game in the "Elephant & Castle" (Timmy Taylors "Landlord" !) across from the railway station - some reckon they're already dead certs for relegation from the Premiership next season - but weren't they favourites for relegation from the Championshipship this season ?? I wonder how Fleetwood feel about this as well - with them having gained promotion to the Conference Prem, they'd expect an upsurge in attendances, but with Blackpool now entertaining the delights of Chelsea and Manchester United - and with "plenty of room" at Bloomfield Road (averaging under 9,000 this season) - many might take the short tram trip down there instead - we'll see ...

So - home early, and another quiet night in (Mrs Smiffy is away this weekend - how else do you think I got such a lengthy trip in yesterday ?!?). Today - a bit of shopping, and then if this weather stays glorious, I might just dust off the "big bugger lens" (170-500mm) and find a bit of cricket this afternoon - Saddleworth CC 2nd XI are at home and it's an easy stroll from home ... need to decide what to do for tea first though - hence the shopping !

Saturday, May 22, 2010

West Riding County Amateur League Champions ...

... are Bay Athletic (for the third year in a row no less) - here's some pictures from the presentation which took place today just before the final game of the season away at Ardsley Celtic ...

WRCA Championship Presentation

I'll do a bit more later - i.e. the game itself !! Suffice to say I had a a grand day out - and football continues to exist this season !!!

The Quest Continues ...

A "quiet night in" last night - finally got round to watching "The Damned United" (thanks to Gaz for the loan of same !) - wildly innacurate at times, but still an enjoyable watch. Followed this with a BBC4 binge (Neil Young and James Taylor - two excellent tunesmiths !)

Today ... into darkest Yorkshire today for a West Riding County Amateur Football League game between Ardsley Celtic and champions Bay Athletic - they're even presenting the trophy today as well !!
Could well be a bit of a Mossley connection as well this afternoon, as there are some ex-Lilywhites in the Bay Athletic squad (Paul Quinn, Kitson Gayle and Brighton Mugadza - and I wonder if Paul's Dad, Gerry - ex-Mossley Manager - will be in attendance ?) - weather looks promising for a gentle walk, train, wait, train, bus, walk option (it's the other side of Wakefield by the way) - early KO might mean early pictures - you never know ...

Friday, May 21, 2010

Pies Prize for Glossop North End

Pies ... a subject close to every football fan's heart (and cholesterol level as well !). The ultimate accolade is of course national recognition, and two days ago a pie that is sold at only one football ground in the country received exactly that ...

Congratulations are in order to Mettrick's - who've won several prestigious awards over the years - and some good positive publicity for Glossop North End as well !!

Feeling peckish now ...

Mossley Pond Life

No - not that sort ... this sort !!

Part of the garden project is a "wild life pond" (no koi carp here - not with the herons on the nearby canal !!), and as part of the setup, I raided a pond in the field at the end of our street for some "mud and water" to get a few wrigglies etc to get us going (and I'm pretty sure there were about 4 tadpoles in there as well - but they're a bit camera-shy !).
Things are now starting to happen - pics not brilliant (need to do a crash course in macro-photography now !!), but you get the idea ...

What are these ? Looks like some kind of millipede ...

Some kind of water snail - and friend ...

Pond skater ...

"Brian" smiling for the camera !!

... plus plenty of other beetles, flies and little wriggly-type things as well ...

Saturday beckons - and yes, I have a game up my sleeve - and it isn't @ Wembley !

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Apres Dentist ...

... no probs - spit and polish in the end - although I'm looking to replace the four teeth at the front in the long run - yep the ones that come out at night - a very very old denture that goes back to March 1986 when I had a "bit of a do" whilst driving over the hills (read all about it on the 25th anniversary next year !!!).

Home via Top Mossley - and a quick peep in at Seel Park to see whether the lamps had arrived for the new floodlight pylons - not yet (now been told "a couple of weeks") - anyway a quick play with baby cam and you get this - with the airplane noise, kids in the skool playground, a strange "clunk" and then at 35 seconds - aargh ! ....

Home - job hunt - then out to do a bit in the garden ... and then - a new toy to play with (self-assembly naturally !) - it seems to work though as we only came in at 2230 !!

(It's smaller than it looks !!!)

Today's Day Out ..

... eek !

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Stockport Senior Cup Final 2010

... the football season continues (hurrah !) and it was off to Lambeth Grove, home of Woodley Sports yesterday evening for a Cup Final to watch - the Stockport Senior Cup Final between Cheadle Town Reserves and Linotype/Cheadle Heath Nomads. I'd done this particular Final a few years ago (here and here) when it was held at Stockport County FC - and that game also featured one of tonight's teams - as in the Nomads.

A glorious early evening weather-wise - and a healthy crowd too - saw Town take an early lead - before it all went horribly wrong, leading to a 1-5 scoreline at half-time. As is my luck, I took up position at the wrong end (!!) but ... that's life ! In the second half Cheadle Town pushed on a bit (and Nomads did slightly "remove foot from pedal" a bit), getting it back to 5-2, before the goal of the game sealed it for one of the few teams I know of with a slash (/) in their name. I didn't stop for the presentations as I had a lift (and many thanks to Dave for same !), but overall it was a well deserved victory - some pictures at

Linotype/Cheadle Heath Nomads 6 Cheadle Town Reserves 2

Now ... what can we find for the weekend ???

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Still an Eyesore ...

Sign-on day today - and due to the timing (1545), I have to catch a train out of Mossley at 1455 leaving me with a "little time to kill" (often spent doing some shopping - but not today) - also just for the "hate the dolescum crew" - it costs £1-30 return from Mossley to Stalybridge - just to go and sign on - this money is non-refundable .. I suppose I could walk it - but then I'd probably be accused of wasting time when I should be "actively seeking work" - small rant over. So - today's time to kill - a wander round Stalybridge - including a trip through Armentieres Square ... that needs sorting ... big style

... this is the side of Armentieres Square, Stalybridge that you are supposed to see (and the side that the Council will "show off") ...

... but this is quite literally, the "other side of the road" ...

... and that "mess" has now been there for several years - maybe a job for the new incumbent at Tameside Council, one Kieran Quinn who has quite literally "ousted" the monolith that is/was Roy Oldham.

We wait with bated breath ...

(and if you're waiting for pix from tonight's 6-2 win by Cheadle Heath Nomads against Cheadle Town Reserves in the Stockport Senior Cup - later today - promise - just needed to get this out of the way first !)

Monday, May 17, 2010

So much for Monday ...

The "old" Irlam Station building - now a chicken run !!!

... wide awake at 0500 - up at 0630 (needing to make sure small boy got off to college on one of his "early days") - wandering around the 'garden estate' @ 0645 "avec cuppa" preparing my mind for later on ... naturally when I checked out the trains to Manchester, First TransPennine Express had decide to make my journey to interview as hard as possible (i.e. train from Stalybridge to Manchester Oxford Road was going to be late enough for me to miss onward connection - b*st*rds ...) - so it was a case of stick with the stopper from Mossley to Manchester Victoria and then walk very very very very briskly down to Deansgate station to pick up the connection to Irlam from there - which was made with five minutes to spare !! Not the best prep for a job interview but ... I gave it my best shot (and more), and now it's a case of "wait and see" - I then had to turn down another interview tomorrow !! It was offered to me as a job "in Chester" - tricky enough via public transport - but when I delved further it was actually the other side of Chester - no dammit it was virtually in bloody Wales (Ewloe for those who know this neck of the woods) ! On a regular commute - well nigh impossible - so I've probably also knackered any further chances with job offers from Hays IT Recruitment ...

OK - so fairly comfy with today's performance - got back to Mossley - and seconds after getting off the train I was hit with a literal "kick in the teeth" when "Chippie Alan" came out of the shop to tell me that Mossley Fan Dave Mellett had died of a heart attack whilst on holiday in Malta. Dave and son Darren were very long-standing Lilywhite fans - I'd once rescued Darren's pc from a bad attack of the "viruses" and would often get "pulled in" pre-match to try to assist the two of them (plus butchers Andy and Keith) in finishing the Saturday sports "quizword" thingy from one of the tabloids. So - another Mossley fan has headed for that great "cantilever stand in the sky" - and he too will be sadly missed. My condolences go out to Darren and Mum and family.

I guess Dave was also unaware that Mossley have now appointed their new Manager as well - and I guess to many it's a surprise appointment as well. Rather than going for a "name", former Stalybridge Celtic Reserves boss Shaun Higgins has been handed the "hot seat" at Seel Park. Shaun is a "local (Tameside) lad" who has played for Oldham Athletic and Hyde United before taking over the Celtic Reserve team. Strangely enough, the Stalybridge Celtic Reserve and Youth setup has "moved house" to Mossley this close season as well (albeit that this was anounced well before the Managerial appointment), so there have been further appointments there as well - check out MossleyWeb for the full new set-up. Best of luck to Shaun and crew for the future ...

Meanwhile the season DOES continue - tomorrow night there's an "option" for those desperate souls (including me) - the Stockport Senior Cup Final between Cheadle Town Reserves and Cheadle Heath Nomads/Linotype (or is it Linotype/Cheadle Heath Nomads ?). "Game on" to be played at Woodley Sports Lambeth Grove ground with an early (1900) kick-off.

That was Monday ... good, bad and some hopes for the future ...

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Football-Free Weekend ...

... yep, didn't even watch the Cup Final - and our Sky subs mean I'm not watching the Oxford/York game either !!

Weekend away in Lancaster - and a major cock-up on my part - I turned down the option of a "freebie" to the Mossley 30th Anniversary Bash in exchange for being "official snapper". I thought it was on Saturday night - I was wrong (as in - I could have done the Friday night "do") - cue much gnashing of teeth by yours truly when I found out ... on Saturday morning - my fault of course !!!

So - a bit of digging in "le jardin" on Saturday morning - up to Lancaster after lunch (they appear to have removed the "black armbands" following the Colwyn Bay game - curtains were open as well). A wander round - and a quick drinkipoos in the "Merchants" ("Lancaster Blonde" and Mordue "Radgie Gadgie") - before off for a family meal at "Quite Simply Food" - damn fine nosh it was as well, and a first meet with our big lad's prospective "in-laws" - went well ...

Today - after a trip to the Lancaster tip at Salt Ayre (some "crap clearing" before lad and lady move into their "new abode" in the not too distant future) - a 6.5 mile wander around Littledale (just on the top edge of the Forest of Bowland - not far from Lancaster) before home ... and this ... some "weekend snaps" at

No Football Here !!

Mrs Smiffy now cooking a curry - which will be followed by a bath and some last minute revision for the job interview tomorrow morning (not just "an interview", but a "second interview" - so I must be very close !!). So - I'd be grateful if all you out there in "bloggerworld" can emit some "postive vibes" tomorrow between 1000 and 1100 - if successful, my manifesto promises to buy some nice new camera tackle to "upgrade" the 'Six Tame Sides' photographic output next season - and I can finally lose the "dolescum" moniker - the quicker the better as I feel that quite soon there'll be even more people chasing even fewer jobs - something to do with an election and a "coalition government" that look ready - and willing - to start screwing those peeps at the bottom of the pile in order to save money for our nuclear bomb ...

Wish me luck ... I'll need it !

Friday, May 14, 2010

More Estate Agent "Howlers"

Same company as noted before - but this is on their website !!

Well worth a "double-click" for any aspiring English teacher ...


Start Licking your Lips ...

... for season 2010/11:

Sat 10 Jul - Woodley Sports v Altrincham
Wed 14 Jul - West Didsbury & Chorlton v FC United of Manchester (1900 hrs)
Sat 17 Jul - Hyde United v Manchester City XI
Sat 17 Jul - Cliftonville v FC United of Manchester
Sat 24 Jul - Prestatyn Town v Hyde United
Tue 27 Jul - Wigan Robin Park v FC United of Manchester (1930 hrs)
Sat 31 Jul - Belper Town v Boston United
Tue 3 Aug - Belper Town v Derby County XI
Tue 3 Aug - Ramsbottom v FC United of Manchester (1930 hrs)
Sat 7 Aug - Belper Town v Matlock Town
Sat 7 Aug - Bala Town v FC United of Manchester
Sat 14 Aug - Belper Town v DVV Duiven (Holland)
Sat 14 Aug - Mossley v FC United of Manchester

... not bad for starters !!

Check out here as well - no doubt it will be updated fairly regularly ...

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Some Odds and Sods for Thursday

Hope you weren't expecting a political treatise on "coalition government - collision or collusion ?" - another day maybe ... instead, some bits off babycam during the "clear the memory card" moment ...

In the (almost) style of the Monty Python "Travel Agent" sketch, here's a "lizard in the bath" - or should I say a blue-tongued skink (Wednesday morning) ...

Don't tell Roy Keane (lunch - Wednesday lunchtime) ...

Big Pole ... Blue Sky ... Seel Park (earlier today)

Small Cat attempts escape through tiny gap in window ... fails ... (earlier this evening)

... to go back to the original premise though - I reckon Nick Clegg/Liberal Party will get the best part of 0 (zero) votes in the next election after whoring himself to the Tories - and do you know you could substitute the word "Labour" for the word "Tories" - makes no odds. Enjoy your "15 minutes of fame" - diehard Liberals will never vote Liberal Democrat again - and the gains from Cleggmania (which turned out to be few) will once again return to their previous voting patterns ...

A Pitch Invasion Like No Other !!!

Check this out - from the last ever game at Saltergate (Chesterfield) at the weekend - the "defining moments" come at:

0:32 - "Four-wheel invasion"
0:44 - "Clip round the ear"
2:30 - "Two-legged/Two-sticked invasion"
3:00 - The "four-wheeler" returns

Brilliant !! Straight out of "Little Britain" !!

Enjoy ...


Wednesday, May 12, 2010

This IS Non-League Football - Mark Taylor

Just over a year ago Mark Taylor was a member of the Whitley Bay squad that beat Glossop North End in the FA Vase Final. In January this year he was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease - and to put it diplomatically - that is not nice ...

Last night there was a charity game up at Hillheads Park where the team of 2009/10 met the team of 2002 - and notwithstanding the local interest (over 1300 turned up), it's worth pointing out that a small group of Glossop fans made the long journey up there as well, to show their support ..

Now that's what I call non-league football - a "true family" - and my thoughts go to Mark and his family as well - hang in there ... you have the support of many more people than you think. If anyone out there would like to show their support for Mark check out ..

Mark Taylor Fund


We have a Government ...

... with some interesting "playground politics" ...

"I'll swap you Trident for a referendum on electoral reform" - seems fair (!) ...

"Inheritence Tax threshold for 'Mansion Tax' ?" - yeah, why not ...

"£6 billion spending cuts this year in exchange for ... well nothing really" - "Please please please can I be deputy leader of the gang David ??" - oh go on then ...

All we're missing now I suppose is some snappy word that joins together "Cameron" and "Clegg" - you know what I mean (e.g. "Brangelina", "TomKat", "Brunch", "Smog") ) - this lingustic joining/morphing of two words is actually known as a "portmanteau" (I always thought it was some kind of bag/suitcase !)- but there you go - learnt something new there !!! Another option might be to join together the Christian names - but all that comes to mind there is ........ "Dick" !!!!!

Meanwhile the education sector quivers with fear - and that's probably knackered my chances of getting a job in local government this year .....

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Out of Darkness ...

... cometh light ... at Seel Park ...

Floodlight Construction @ 11th May 2010

(Just hope the planning permission gets finally confirmed ... !)

God Help Us All ...

Today's "dolescum constitutional" up to Top Mossley included spotting this in the window of one of the numerous estate agents that make up the "employment base" in Mossley - ha ! Tell me what you think - for a house that costs over £380,000 .... you might expect better - or to put it bluntly - it's a bloody embarrassment Bridges (and note the correct spelling of "embarrassment" !) - I'm out of work - and I can spell (feel free to double-click - it looks even worse !!) ...

... and we worry about who will govern us ...

Remembering Bradford City - 25 Years On ...

... at 1540 today I have to sign on - but my mind will be a long long way away from the trivialities of job seeking ...

In Memoriam ...

ACKROYD, John Douglas 32 Baildon

ANDERTON, Edmund 68 Bingley
BAINES, Alexander Shaw 70 Bradford
BAMFORD, Herbert 72 Bradford
BULMER, Christopher James 11 Burley-in-Wharfedale
COXON, Jack Leo 76 Bradford
COXON, Leo Anthony 44 Halifax
CRABTREE, David James 30 Bradford
CRABTREE, Harry 76 Bradford

DEMPSEY, Derek 46 Morley
FIRTH, Muriel 56 Baildon
FIRTH, Samuel 86 Bradford
FLETCHER, Andrew 11 East Bridgford, Nottingham
FLETCHER, Edmond 63 Pudsey
FLETCHER, John 34 East Bridgford, Nottingham
FLETCHER, Peter 32 Gildersome
FORSTER, Nellie 64 Bradford
GREENWOOD, Felix Winspear 13 Denholme
GREENWOOD, Peter 46 Denholme
GREENWOOD, Rupert Benedict 11 Denholme
HALL, Norman 71 Bradford
HALLIDAY, Peter Anthony 34 Bradford
HARTLEY, Arthur 79 Bradford
HINDLE, Edith 79 Bradford
HINDLE, Frederick 76 Bradford
HODGSON, Moira Helen 15 Oakenshaw
HUDSON, Eric 72 Bingley
HUGHES, John 64 Bradford
HUTTON, John 74 Bradford
KERR, Walter 76 Bradford
LOVELL, Peter Charles 43 Bradford
LUDLAM, Jack 55 Bradford
McPHERSON, Gordon Stuart 39 Bradford
McPHERSON, Irene 28 Bradford
MASON, Roy 74 Silsden
MIDDLETON, Frederick Norman 84 Bradford
MITCHELL, Harold 79 Bradford
MUHL, Elizabeth 21 Leeds
NORMINGTON, Ernest 74 Shipley
ORMONDROYD, Gerald Priestley 40 Bingley
ORMONDROYD, Richard John 12 Bingley
ORMONDROYD, Robert Ian 12 Bingley
POLLARD, Sylvia Lund 69 Bradford
PRICE, Herbert 78 Shipley
ROBERTS, Amanda Jayne 20 Bradford
SAMPSON, Jane 18 Leeds
STACEY, William 72 Sleaford, Lincolnshire
STOCKMAN, Craig Albert 14 Bradford
STOCKMAN, Jane Ashley 16 Bradford
STOCKMAN, Trevor John 38 Brighouse
TURNER, Howard Malcolm 41 Bingley
TURNER, Sarah Elizabeth 16 Bingley
WARD, Simon Neil 18 Shipley
WEDGEWORTH, Robert 72 Guiseley
WEST, William James 78 North Hykeham, Lincoln
WRIGHT, Adrian Mark 11 Bradford

... may they all be resting in peace ...

... a truly horrible horrible day that must NEVER EVER happen again ...

Glossop Reserves v Padiham Reserves

Yards Offside - far too quick !!

So - 365 days after being at Wembley snapping the Glossop senior squad - I ventured down to Surrey Street, Glossop ... for the Vodkat League Reserve Cup Final. As predicted, I WAS late turning up (ironically due to a problem with a Speedwell Bus - Glossop's main sponsors this season - the complaint WILL be going in tomorrow morning). Unfortunately I missed the first goal (in the first bloody minute !) in what was a highly entertaining game. There was a good level of skill from both sides - and there were a couple of Glossop players that caught the eye tonight (if only Mossley had a Manager who was scouting tonight !!) It was two well-taken goals (that I saw) that won the cup for Glossop tonight - with a slight "oops" in between (!) ... and we even had a pitch invasion of the canine variety !!! Some "rough and ready" pics at

Glossop Reserves 3 Padiham Reserves 1

(Maybe it IS time for a rest from football - it's certainly time for some "snapper kit upgrade" - but that depends on other things ... like getting a bloody job !). That's football sorted for this midweek anyway - Saturday sees a trip up to Lancaster to see middle boy, fiance and fiance's parents, so no football there (yes I've checked all options !!!). There's always next week though - early hints involve the Stockport Senior Cup Final next Tuesday at Woodley Sports (still need to confirm this though) - but until then, I'll have to fill the blog with some other illuminating stuff (gardening and job hunting spring to mind !).
Stay tuned - you never know ...

Just had a major "internet disappearance" - hopefully this - and pictures should now be there - in the corrected format (i.e. did not realise I'd missed a bloomin' goal, so had to make some slight "amendments" - just when the internet crashed !! Fingers crossed ).

Monday, May 10, 2010

Late Monday Change of Plan ...

... no ju-jitsu for small boy tonight (too much coursework to do !!) - so ... off to Surrey Street to see Glossop Reserves take on Padiham Reserves in the Vodkat League Reserve Division Cup Final (note kick-off change to 1945 hrs folks - I'll probably STILL be late mind)...

... the season continues ...

To Brighten up a Dull Monday ..

... here's Darth Vader "doing the blues" like he does best ...


Sunday, May 09, 2010

Atherton LR v Ashton Athletic

... in the basement of the Vodkat League, it was truly a "winner takes all" game at Crilly Park (although to be pedantic, a draw would have been sufficient for the home side). The grass/dandelions had been trimmed since my visit earlier in the week, but it was a nervy game throughout with few chances at either end. The decisive goal came with 20 minutes left when Stephenson ran on to a "route one" ball to finish - and condemn Ashton Athletic to the second relegation place (although as we all know, so many promotion/relegation issues these days have nowt to do with "on the field" performances - so it's a "wait and see" moment - and not just for Ashton Athletic I'm sure ...).

Some pictures at

Atherton LR 1 Ashton Athletic 0

Game over - a few quick post-match pics and then back to the station to get back home for food, quick change and off up to Mossley for the "Awards Night" (see earlier post). Today was another "back-breaker" in the garden - taking advantage of some half-decent weather to do some serious digging and wall building (while Fleetwood Town were beating Alfreton Town in the race for the Conference Premier) - and then a restful evening ... and this ... next midweek - no idea as yet - although I do have a "possibility" for the week after next.

Mossley Presentation Night ...

... just the pictures ...

Awards Night 08May10

I'll do the football tomorrow - suffice to say Atherton LR beat Ashton Athletic 1-0 - so Atherton stay up - and Ashton go down (subject to the usual "close season off field" shenanigans ...

Friday, May 07, 2010

Always Look on the Bright Side of Life ...

... well it might be a right royal mess nationwide - but there is always the 'locals' ... witness this one where Mossley have finally "removed" one of the three Independent candidates (or the "Mossley Raving Loony Party" as I affectionately know them as ...)

... well done to Paul (now get back on the "train improvement manifesto" !!) - and then - just for fun - there's this one ...and no it's not me - I wish (he said, thinking of the expenses !!) -
and I'm a little unsure about "Floyd Paterson" as well - remember him against Cassius Clay back in the 60s ...

... meanwhile - nationally - the "horse trading" continues no doubt ...

Tomorrow - yes it's Atherton LR v Ashton Athletic - a must win/must not lose game for Atherton - witness the bottom three in the league - and two go down ...

You get the picture - a game with something rather important on it !!

... and then tomorrow evening is the Mossley "Presentation/Awards Evening" - and I've been summoned to attend with camera (must learn how to use this bloody external flash properly - and also get some extra AA batteries - just in case !).

But for now - a stir-fry chicken meal to create ...

It's been a long night ...

... taking advantage of the situation, after returning from Bury last night about 2330, I "dug in" for a night in front of the box armed with a few tinnies !! "Our" result (Stalybridge & Hyde) finally came through at 0630 this morning - a much reduced majority for Labour. Reason for the late call was given as an "increased turnout" - 59.2% wasn't that brilliant though (up from 53% in 2005) was it ? So - nationally - the "horse trading" starts here I guess ... including electoral reform no doubt (a rough calc I did about 3 hours ago - Conservatives averaged about 34,700 votes per seat; Labour averaged 33,400 per seat ...... LibDems averaged 122,600 votes per seat !!) - how about a return to "Rotten Boroughs" ?!?!

Good night at the Comedy Club @ Bury Metro - hardly any mention of the General Election either !! Other big news from yesterday afternoon - I've made it to the "second interview" stage following my efforts a couple of weeks ago - 10 days to prepare ... positive vibes, positive vibes ... but now I think a couple of hours kip might be in order !


Thursday, May 06, 2010

Forget Voting - this is IMPORTANT !!

OK I lied about the voting - if you don't vote you can't complain - so USE IT ! ...

However - on my "dolescum constitutional" today up to Top Mossley to get tonight's tea from the Co-op (and yes I got my voting out of the way as well !) I spotted this in the window of our local Veterinary shop ... people need to know this - in fact they're itching to know this ...

Tee Hee !

Tonight - still unconfirmed - but I'm charging up the camera batteries just in case (the "just in case" being the Vodkat Challenge Cup Final @ Curzon Ashton) ... who knows ... certainly not me at the moment ...

QUICK (1635hrs) UPDATE - Bury Comedy Night it is - and I've wasted my time buying/preparing food (apparently we're "eating out") ... sorry Winsford, Abbey Hey .. can't do it ...

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Motherwell v Hibernian v Rokia Traore

Just got back from the Bridgewater Hall, Manchester ... but I wish I'd been at that game !!!

Motherwell then miss a penalty !
6-6 (93rd minute)

... and City blow it at home to Spurs ... oh dear ... with money no object, that could spell doom for "Henry" Mancini (maybe Sheikh Mansour could tempt John Flanagan away from fitted kitchens !)

... and Walshaw Sports beat Hollinwood 3-1 on pens after a 2-2 draw in the Manchester League Gilgryst Cup Final at Ewen Fields ...

... the gig - Rokia Traore was excellent (can't say the same about the support band though - Sweet Billy Pilgrim - made the Smiths look like "smiley happy people" - turgid would be my instant view I'm afraid - some good harmonies, but oh so bloody miserable !!) - a slow, gentle start from Ms Traore with stuff from the album "Tchamantche" - some homage to Miriam Makeba ("Quit It") and then she literally "got Rokia" with some lengthy Afro-beat - culminating in a 30 minute "jam/segue" at the end including a bit of Fela Kuti ("African Woman") - solos, dancing, the lot ! Excellent band behind her as well - certainly a top night out ...

... believe there's a General Election later today - and we've got 'locals' as well, so there'll certainly be some differences in voting between the two - for me anyway ... the evening should be spent in Bury - but that's still to be confirmed ...

(and just going back to football (high scoring version) for a tick - well done to Belper Town Reserves who clinched the Central Midlands Reserve Division Championship with a 10(ten)-0 thumping of Forest Town Reserves)

Just another Manic Wednesday ...

... tonight ... some interesting stuff on - I mentioned the Gilgryst Cup Final at Hyde United earlier in the week - I won't be there, because I'm off to the Bridgewater Hall to see Rokia Traore from Mali - for those who've never heard of same check out this 70 second "bits and bobs" video from a few weeks ago in New York City - it's Youtube - the sound is poor - but you'll get the idea ...

We mustn't forget the other "big match" tonight - Manchester City v Tottenham Hotspur - the town of Mossley is awash with Reds and Blues .. but it would be nice to think they'll all be shouting for one team and one team only tonight (a forlorn hope knowing some of the Reds "wot I know" but .. you never know).

Other news - little - had a quick peep in Seel Park today whilst on the way to the Co-op - nothing yet ref the new floodlights - got an e-mail ref my job interview the other Friday - the recruiter said he put four up for the job - two are definite "no's" and there's me and one other guy "still under consideration". With the dearth of interviews etc that I've had (or not), it's a bit of a victory so far (beaten two at least !!!) and a bit of a confidence booster knowing that I'm still in the frame, therefore I must have something to offer someone - still have to keep plugging away mind ...

... and finally for now - that garden jobby - all we need to do now is put sand (or gravel ?) between the stones - and apparently some "alpines" around the edges ...


Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Atherton LR v Winsford United

Well, I finished the garden bit this morning (sadly no picture - forgot !), which gave me time off for good behaviour in the afternoon. An important game for Atherton who needed just a point to ensure safety - which they didn't get - some pictures at

Atherton LR 0 Winsford United 2

No goal pictures - the ref kicked off early in the second half (and caught a lot of us out !), and the second goal was a "did it cross the line ?" moment - confirmed by the linesman. This means that Atherton HAVE to get something out of next Saturday's game against fellow strugglers Ashton Athletic in order to preserve their top division status - might just have to go to that one ...

Sunday, May 02, 2010

The "7th Tame Side" - Dukinfield Town ...

Ever one to extend the football season as long as is humanly (and financially) possible, I took a trip to the Blocksages to watch Dukinfield Town take on Manchester Gregorians in the Manchester League - also gave me a chance to drop off a CD of piccies I took a couple of months ago (the night before Duki had to send all three of last season's trophies back to the various leagues !). I also nipped in to Asda to make a quick "hard copy" of some of the better pictures - MISTAKE - they might be "instant", but they appear to 'crop' something rotten - maybe I should have tweaked/sized the pictures better on the CD !!

To the game (a 1400 kick-off which actually started quite late due to the late arrival of the two liners !) - Gregorians started like a house on fire, taking the lead after a couple of minutes, and also contriving to miss a penalty. Duki were playing the better football overall, but every Gregorians attack looked likely to result in a goal. The equaliser arrived - but then it was "switch off" time and almost immediately it was 2-1 to the away team and it remained so until half-time (a quick pint in the "cosy" clubhouse and a check out of Sky Sports News (although it was only just after 3 o'clock). Second half ...tried a few different positions (oo-err !) including sat under the rail at almost zero feet !! Went to 3-1 before an absolute screamer gave Dukinfield Town some hope ... but - yet again - the concentration disappeared, and they were made to pay when Gregorians quickly restored their two goal advantage ... and that was the final score. Some pictures at

Dukinfield Town 2 Manchester Gregorians 4

After the game - a pint in the club and watch the various "stories" unfold on the Sky Sports News - and also a chance to confirm my suspicions that the Gregorians goalkeeper was in fact ex-Lilywhite Martin White (his big "claim to fame" at Seel Park was to score a goal against Nantwich Town in 1999 'from open play' as they say - yes from his kick out - one bounce and straight over Nantwich 'keeper Stuart Heeps !). Apparently he's now coaching at Gregorians, and as their regular 'keeper was unavailable, he stepped in between the sticks (not for the first time this season either he told me). Then it was home for some Mediterranean cuisine from Mrs Smiffy ...

Today has seen a little more garden work - not yet complete (have to keep an eye on my back as they say !) - sorting out the "grassy/weedy" bit as mentioned on Thursday - so here's the "work in progress" as they say ...

Eight down ... four to go (two more rows of two) !!

Might well finish off tomorrow - well it is a Bank Holiday - although there's always the thought of ... MORE FOOTBALL !!!!!!!!!!! Not too sure about this midweek - the two best options are "unavailable" to me - on Wednesday (the Manchester League Gilgryst Cup Final - Hollinwood v Walshaw Sports being played at Hyde United - I will be watching Rokia Traore @ the Bridgewater Hall) and Thursday (Vodkat League Challenge Cup Final - Abbey Hey v Winsford United being played at Curzon Ashton - I will be at the "Comedy Night" @ Bury Metro) - so we'll have to see what else we can contrive (maybe one of the Athertons tomorrow in the Vodkat League ??) ...

News from today - it's a Fleetwood Town v Alfreton Town final in the Blue Square North - Alfreton beat Workington 3-1 (4-1 on agg) - and (shame) Fleetwood beat Droylsden 4-3 on penalties after winning the second leg 3-1 (3-3 on agg) - to be played next Sunday - looking at the Droylsden message board, there may be some severe "fall-out" after today's game - talk of some "over-enthusiastic stewarding" has been mentioned ... we'll find out more later no doubt ...

Enough for now - a quiet night in beckons ...