Iconic Wednesfield pub to close

Pyle CockIt was a sad night last night as we learned that the Pyle Cock in Wednesfield is to  close.

Banks’s. more interested in property sales than brewing these days, have sold the pub which is to be turned into a care home in early 2015. The current incumbent showed us his notice.

This will be a sad day for a pub of iconic status and sees Wednesfield’s stock of decent pubs further reduced to The Dog & Partridge and The Vine.

Christmas Blues

Yes it’s that mad time of the year when we’re all under extreme commercial pressure to buy buy buy!

Doesn’t it “do your head in”?

I’ve found things particularly difficult this year as the list of things to do seems to increase every year and for what? A big Sunday Dinner.

But what gets me the most depressed is not only the amount of money wasted but it’s the complete stress and lack of downtime in the run up to the event. In the past it was a few days off but now you have to plan everything at least a month in advance which is getting out of hand. And for the first time since I’ve been working for myself, we’ve work on over Christmas – New Year and also on the first day back at work in 2015. Usually sales are slack in the New Year and takes a bit to get going so it’s unusual to have work booked in so early. Lets hope the rest of 2015 remains the same.

Anyway, Saturday saw me out early in Bridgnorth doing the required Christmas shopping and to be honest, it wasn’t too much of a ruck as that town is very pleasant and doesn’t get too busy. They also have a good market and some interesting shops so you can get good gifts and wind-up presents for the family and I’m quite pleased with my purchases on that front this year. I should explain that my Dad started a tradition with my Sister of wrapping up a cauliflower as a present when she married and held her first Christmas, something she has repayed with interest over the years since.

What I am really looking forward to in the week running up to Christmas is some pub time. An in the Pyle Cock as it’s due to close in the New Year which is really sad news. Another great brown pub gone. How society changes even tough we’re looking straight at it.

The Who at the NIA

Last night, JC and me made a cold sojourn to see The Who at the NIA. JC has seen this band about five times now but this is a first for me.

The Who are an iconic band of the 1960’s and 70’s and you know most of the hits by heart.

This performance was very good but I have to say I was a bit underwhelmed mainly because for the first time I saw for myself the relationship between Daltrey and Townshend. It is very much these days Townshend’s band and Daltrey is just the singer. One of the best, but just a singer really.  Townshend’s ego is also very very big and he doesn’t care about rubbing that in. Humbleness is not one of his qualities.

The songs rolled out and were well performed – they have some very powerful music and it stands aside from other performers especially anything since 1985. They deserve their place in the Rock n Roll royalty hall of fame.

One odd thing though was the crowd – a right mixture of genuine old timers older than my Dad and the drunken yobs riding on the back of the Mods n Rockers thing. Also, there were lots of what Stymaster would call “Hipsters” – something we were discussing in the pub on Saturday. There does seem to be more and more of people who *have* to be seen at events such as this and measure your credibility by who and when you’ve seen certain people. As I get older, these type of people irritate me more. I think this may be the last large scale event I attend like this as I prefer the intimacy of The Robin or The Roadhouse compared to battling with nerds of this nature and all the expense it entails.

Overall though I did want to see them and it was worth the price and the pain. I’ll probably only do it again for Roger Waters or Dave Gilmour or maybe Planty. The rest can get on with it and brag to each other other about their credit card bill.

Duffers 30 years

SAMSUNGThis weekend saw me at Haughton Hall Hotel for the celebration of Duffers 30 years in Karate – he’s a 7th dan whatever that means.

So having booked into this old hotel outside Shifnal, I decided to make the most of the stay by using the pool, sauna and jacuzzi for a couple of ours before crashing out on the 4 poster bed for an our because I’d over relaxed. And I was knackered.

Anyway, I thought I’d better doll up for the event and much to the amusement of mainly the ladies, I put on the old bow tie.

The evening went swimmingly including Wolfman’s wife getting slaughtered on red wine in three hours and vomiting most of it back in one. You can see how it was going by this picture earlier  in the evening. I can’t say that’s great but I was a bit hazy the next day having had to suffer John Smith’s bitter at £3.20 a pop. It’s not great is it?

So 2.15 am finish for me but 3.30 for the die hards.

Bit fuzzy all day yesterday but an hours lie down and more beer round Wednesfield sorted matters out. Good weekend to remember though!

SAMSUNG

 

 

Phillip Hughes RIP

I was awoken this morning as usual by the news on “Today” to be rather shocked by the reported death of Phillip Hughes, the Australian batsman.

This shows that cricket, as in most sports, does have a dangerous aspect to it and I’ve suffered a few minor but painful knocks in my time playing the great game. But to be killed by a ball in sport is a terrible tragedy.

It’s odd that this week I have started to read Douglas Jardine’s “In Quest of The Ashes” the England captain’s account of the notorious 1932-33 Ashes series commonly known as the “Bodyline” controversy. In those days, England had a couple of ferocious bowlers, Larwood and Voce, and the batsmen didn’t wear  much protection except leg pads, gloves and a presumable a box. Given today’s news, its amazing that no-one was killed in that series.

But our thoughts should also go out to the bowler, Sean Abbott. When you bowl any delivery, you never expect the consequences to be so severe.

On a positive note, it was good to see the whole of the cricket world come together in the way it has. Acts like postponing a days play (as New Zealand  and Pakistan have) show that despite the problems of the world, cricket  can rise above all of this and break down barriers put up by politics.

 

UKIP’s bubble burst?

Despite the win in Rochester last night, are we seeing an apparent drop off in UKIP’s impetus?

Reckless’ majority cut by 70% from when he was a Tory; polls now showing support for EU membership back over 50%; numbers of people voting UKIP in By-elections this year who say they will also vote UKIP at the general Election next year is down by 15% (if you believe polls!).

I still think they will win a few seats and might be the party to coalesce with, if the Lib Dems continue their current trend – only got 350ish votes last night, did you see?! But the public are getting wise to them – especially the lack of cohesive policy and desire to demolish the NHS.

But I do think the General Election next year could be fascinating. With UKIP in England and the SNP north of the border both giving the “main parties” a right going over of late, we might see a far more representative House of Commons come May next year.

If only they would give us a vote on getting rid of this archaic and regressive first past the post system…

Essington RBL Poppy Quiz 2014

A close run quiz last night at Essington RUFC saw the one and only Major Orton ably assisted by JC and June win a tie-breaker to claim this years trophy.

With this years theme “Remembering WWI”, the usual subject areas tested the teams and the winning score was 70 out of 130.

With a presentation of a cheque by Lori for £279, the night raised £85 for the raffle and £50 from the players so raising £414 on the night.

One of the features of this years quiz was a mastermind round where Mr Five Pints sat people in a chair and read out 10 general knowledge questions to the teams nominated player. A grilling under a bright light really but a gag round that went well.

You can download the scores here:

A lot of planning and a team of 6 to run the quiz but as we had nine teams and nearly filled the room which was more than I expected. Big thanks to to Ian, Phil, Dash, Nick and Paul for help me out and making the event a great success.

Well done to all the participants and a good night in a good cause. Well done as well to Major Orton – he’ll be dining out on this for years!

Get ready for next year now – the theme will be Escape to VE day!

Shrewsbury Town 1:0 Walsall

Last night, the Brother in – Law and the Niece & Nephew went to the F A Cup replay between Shrewsbury and Walsall.

It was a tight game but Walsall didn’t create enough chances to deserve to win and Shrews played well enough to edge it.

Having said that the referee, Gavin Ward, made some poor decisions that didn’t do Walsall any favours.

One of the “entertainment” parts of the evening was the banter between the fans – some of which you can well imagine, but Walsall’s away support was very vocal and came up with the full repertoire of terrace songs, much to our amusement .

I’m glad it didn’t go to extra time as it was along enough night as it was for a school night, but a good diversion for the middle of the week.

Walsall 1:0 Sheffield Utd

Last night, the old gang myself, me Dad, The Brother in Law, The Nephew, 5 Pints and his youngest (now 6ft 2in and mid 20’s) went to the Bescot to see the Johnstone Paint Trophy (Football League Trophy ) match between Walsall and Sheffield Utd which Walsall won 1-0.

It was one of the best games I’ve seen at the Bescot for many a year and Walsall deserved more. They passed the ball well and after Manset came on, created a of chances. United though were dangerous on the break and should have scored themselves.

United are at the moment under the cloud of the Ched Evans scandal so maybe had other things on their minds.

Two games in succession: and may be the F A Cup replay next week!