Thursday, 30 September 2010

Down Memory Lane: football

The first football match I attended was in the 1950s. Chesterfield played Leeds United in a 'friendly', a benefit match for their long-serving full-back Freddy Capel. The star attraction was John Charles who was later to move to Juventus.

Having spent my early years living is Heeley it was no surprise that when I was somewhat older and could be trusted to catch the bus or train to Sheffield I became a Sheffield United supporter: the Blades. The first match I saw was a boring 0-0 draw with Middlesbrough who had a wing-half by the name of Ray Yeomans. He was as bald as a coote but a good footballer.

I saw Brian Clough play at the Lane and have vivid memories of George Best and Bobby Charlton. In one match at the Lane I somehow finished up in the away supporters end. Standing behind the goal it was truly amazing how George could split a defence apart with a few wiggles of his hips. During the match against Man U that the Blades were awarded a dodgy penalty. When the penalty was taken the ball finished up in the net. I managed to suppress my joy at the goal being scored!

The team I watched in the 1960s included Hodgkinson, Coldwell, Shaw G, Richardson, Shaw J, Summers, Hodgson, Russell, Pace and Simpson, Allchurch L and Kettleborough. The manager was John Harris. In later years we were entertained by Woodward ,Currie, Hope, Badger, Shaw B, Dearden and Hockey.

Happy days.

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Facebook Postings

Facebook can take over your life! It is addictive, unless one takes steps to curb the craving to add posts, comment, engage in conversations, send messages or play games.

There is the danger also that by adding too many friends one is swamped with messages. I have decided to cut back on my use of Facebook. I have deleted over fifty 'friends' and cut back on my postings. Now I only post items relating to organisations and activities in which I am interested or involved. Gone the political posts and the quirky items.

I thank people who have commented how much they have enjoyed my posts and the banter and hope they do not feel deprived by my change of policy.

My Facebook page is an open one and I welcome comments from across the political spectrum, from all faith groups, indeed from anyone about anything. Humour, irony and sarcasm is encouraged.

I have never blocked any Facebook member. Sadly three have blocked me and I name and shame:

Boedicea Icini from Rochford - a UKIP member who likes to dish out criticism but is unwilling to take it.

Meg Cowie: ditto

and Frank Parker, a supporter of the English Democrats who seems to have taken offence at nothing in particular.

They are on my little list: none of them will be missed.

Thursday, 23 September 2010

Farewell to the Bridge Trust

In the early 1990s I was involved with the Bridge Trust as an attendee at its Tunbridge Wells Support Group meetings.

A few years later I joined the board of the trust and latterly I have been vice-chairman. During my time with the Trust it has opened two shops and a warehouse, developed an advice centre and resource centre and has increased the number of residential places available to 22.

The Trust has a strong board, a sound financial position and excellent staff. To achieve this has been a struggle from time to time.

Homelessness is an issue which raises mixed public responses. In the main the Trust has kept a low profile and made progress each year in its objective to support homeless single individuals to enable them to live independently. I feel that I have played my part and now is the time to retire from the board to enable others to bring fresh enthusiasm, experience and skills to bear.

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Happy days

In the 1960s Dronfield was a small town on the A61. There had been some post-war housing development, but the pace accelerated and now it is a sprawling commuter town and the A61 by-passes it. In those far off days Dronfield had an Urban District Council which both Conservatives and Labour controlled from time to time. Local politics were interesting, full of characters, none more so than George Bailey who sported a handlebar moustache of Gerald Nabarro proportions.

George joined the Liberal Party and one of his first acts was to establish a weekly prize draw which took place every Friday evening at the Green Dragon public house. The landlord, Reuben, watched over the pub with a weary demeanour: but he kept a good pint.

In those days pubs closed at 10.30PM so George organised with Reuben for the use of the back room which could be entered either through the bar or by a door round the back of the pub. Sadly, this civilised arrangement was ended by the local constabulary turning up on Fridays at 10.20PM. Nothing was said, but due notice was taken of potential consequences of any 'afters'. Someone had 'grassed'.

Friday, 17 September 2010

The Three Twerps

Step forward Councillor Bothwell (Conservative), Councillor Crawford (Liberal Democrat) and Councillor Cobbold (Conservative) to receive your prizes as the joint winners by a county mile of this blogger's Twerp of the Year Award.

The award is made for their collective decision to permit the Long Bar in Tunbridge Wells to remain open until 2.45AM on Fridays and Saturdays with only minimal restrictive conditions. The police, the authority's officers and local residents were all looking for a far more positive response from the Licensing Sub-Committee. Lives are being blighted by noise, public disorder and unsocial behaviour and the taxpayer is picking up the bill for police being called to the environs of the premises and council staff monitoring the disturbance.

What on earth were these three twerps thinking? I wouldn't trust them to make any rational decisions. Hopefully the political parties will de-select these nincompoops, but I doubt it.

Roy will be quaking in his boots....I hope...but doubt.

A cross party coalition of former mayors of the Borough of Tunbridge Wells has written to the local newspaper stating that the activities undertaken currently in the civic complex should be preserved in the town centre.

Is this the equivalent of the men in grey suits who used to tell Tory leaders when their time was up?

One Conservative councillor has expressed his concerns about the property speculation and dealing by the Council. He has stated, in effect, that the promised public consultation will be a sham as key decisions are likely to have been taken.

Is this the only Tory councillor to have concerns, or is there a groundswell of opposition building within the Tory Group? If there isn't, there should be as public opinion is hostile to the proposals. The longer the public has to wait for the Council to show its hand the worse the hostility will become.

So far, there has been no transparency and no engagement by the Council with the people of Tunbridge Wells. The MP, Greg Clark, must be pulling his hair out. Bonkers!!

More on Rusthall Parish Council

Tunbridge Wells councillors in their wisdom(?) have decided that the proposed Rusthall Parish Council will have nine councillors rather than the eleven proposed in the committee report. Should make the election more interesting.

Thursday, 9 September 2010

Rusthall Parish Council

So, the officers of Tunbridge Wells Borough Council have outlined what a Rusthall Parish Council might look like:

1. No changes to the existing Rusthall Ward boundary
2. Eleven councillors
3. The parish not to be split in to wards for parish council elections

TWBC met tonight to consider the results the public consultation and the officers' recommendations. Assuming nothing untoward happened the next stage is for a consultation on the specific proposals.

Should the timetable be adhered to, the first parish council elections will be in May 2011.

Monday, 6 September 2010

Civic Buildings, Tunbridge Wells

The Tunbridge Wells intelligensia is sounding off about the future of the civic buildings in the borough. The problem is that whilst they engage in learned discourse the world goes on.

I look forward to some of them standing for election instead of deriding the political parties.

Thursday, 2 September 2010

Bewl Water Development

A rumour is flying around the Internet that there is a proposal about to surface for a major development at Bewl Water.

Whilst this will come as a shock to many, the fact is that a document published in 2007 has a plan which shows an 'indicative area' of approximately 70 acres which could be developed subject to planning permission. Presumably it is this land which is being considered for the proposal, always assuming the rumour is well-founded.

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Proposed Rusthall Parish Council

Tunbridge Wells Borough Council has published on its website the responses to the consultation undertaken by the Council on the matter of Rusthall having a parish council.

The majority of respondents favour a parish council, but it is noticeable how many of those in favour of a parish council have not offered any reasons for supporting the proposal. They have used the consultation as a de facto referendum. One respondent stated there should be a proper referendum on the issue.

Good arguments advanced by those pro and anti a parish council. Sadly some references of a personal nature attacking the status and motives of the main protagonists for a parish council. Will be interesting to see what the councillors make of all this.