Squash is coming home

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An amazing men’s final at the European Individual Closed Championships.
Close, changing in fortune and played in one of only 3 glass ‘see-through’ squash courts in the country at the new sports centre at the University of Nottingham.
The game’s rules were set out by a teacher from a school in the south, but the idea of playing with a ball in a confined space, hitting it back and forth against a wall must have come from before then, and statistically, a city of caves (650 have now been logged) must statistically have been the most likely place for such games to develop.
So the championships in Nottingham represented the sport coming home, backed up by the number 3 woman seed coming to live here to study and play, and Robin Hood pioneering the ability to hit targets by glancing things off a wall (see the Walt Disney movie). Oh yes.

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The 175th anniversary of the Battle of Mapperley Hills

August 1842 —
On The Thursday (18th), 2,000 resolved in the Market Square not to work until the terms of the Charter were met.
On The Tuesday (23rd), a rally of some 5,000 supporters met on Mapperley Hills Common (most probably the area just south of the GMB offices on Woodborough Road for a rally)..
At 3pm, as they ‘sat down for their dinner’, Dragoons brandishing swords (glittering in the bright sunshine) scattered the rally, arrested 400 and marched them into town. 50 were to end up being punished severely.
The actions of the authorities were mocked, a) by the mocking term of “Battle of Mapperley Hills” (cos the ‘battle was so one-sided – soldiers on horseback with weapons) and b) with a very long poem, published a month later.
(Photos of the poem are available – https://www.flickr.com/photos/154928849@N03/sets/72157687876247666)

I’ve made a 4 minute video (sorry, I didn’t appreciate until I got home how much I was grimacing cos I was concentrating on remembering what to say).
https://www.facebook.com/me4sd/videos/10154903369716305/

A previous video is a bit rough. With thanks to contributors to Wikipedia for the improved understanding and to the Local Studies Library on Angel Row.

Colonial mentality news

Happy Independence Day, India!
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Bit disappointed that the focus of 70th anniversary in some BBC programmes is the partition rather than the end of British colonial rule in the Indian sub-continent.
Even if the canals, irrigation, railways and much else was good for the people, those assets were not mobilised to prevent massive famines; self-rule had to happen.

I saw the news coverage and it took one sentence for the story to become about the killings at partition.
It’s as if the story was – these people couldn’t cope without ‘the calming hand of we British’.
I don’t know enough about what happened, but a lot of people died in the famine of 1943, for which more should have been done; and I’m not clear about to what extent we British didn’t play up tensions between different religious groups in the years before.
So for me, the story should have been – ‘we British should have got out cos it was right and cos we got some things terribly wrong.’

One other thought – if people in the ‘south’ of the USA are tearing down statues representing an oppressive and unjust past, just what should we be doing with statues of people like Clive of India?

A 34 year wait

I’d wanted to say “Shrewsbury boys are back in town again” but we’ve never played Forest in a game that mattered, ever.
I’ve waited 34 years for Salop at Forest.
Then Forest have put out a reserve side – 11 changes.
To add to the anti-climax came the rain which had been incessant all-day, and a below 8,000 attendance
Forest began on top, with chances on the break, but from 15 minutes, Town played better as a team and started to dominate.
Brave changes have been made during the summer break and the team’s average age is 23, with many of the signings from the fifth tier of league football.  Surprising the oldest players play on the wing.  A stronger emphasis on attacking this season.  But the pressure was not creating chances.
Then a couple of mishaps when a full-back pranged his ankle in a challenge on a breaking forward and a slip by a midfielder bringing down the player in the box.  Forest converted the penalty, and for Salop it was to be all uphill.
The rain was stronger in the second-half and some of the basics for playing on a sodden pitch were forgotten, like don’t dawdle on the ball when preparing to clear it and don’t take short corners.  Worse was the “final ball” – a kind of axiomatic description for a poor ball into the box – but Salop belted the ball over their attacking line 5 times – so often, I was reminded of Harry Kane playing for England in Euro ’16, including that 90th minute free kick against Iceland that was mimicked by Shaun Whalley.
By then, Forest had a got a second – this time direct from the break, whilst Salop had also converted a penalty, although I’d like to see the rejected appeal for a penalty 10 minutes earlier.
These are early days for a new set-up, but given Salop have a recent track record of winning at tier 2 clubs in the second round, it’s worth reminding ourselves that Salop were pitched against Forest reserves; or that tier 2 club budgets means their reserves are better paid than tier 3 first team players, and that this time, the opposition manager had properly drilled the reserves.

Jamaica 55th anniversary celebrations

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A thanksgiving service at the Chasewood Baptist church and a celebration at the ACNA club, with a rally and an outrageous sketch by older ladies speaking in broken pigeon English which it seems was quite crude, if you could understand it.
Good spirits, despite the Usain Bolt result, and pride in the country, flag and anthem.
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Reminded me of the 50th anniversary celebration in The Council House, along with Cllrs Alan Clark and Eunice Campbell.  I took a small party for a tour and they  burst out with the national anthem in the council chamber. Nice memories.

Black Boy Hotel exhibition

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Demolished in 1970 after Littlewoods bought the hotel in 1964, the hotel was designed by Watson Fothergill and opened in 1897.
People testify to how beautiful and splendid it was with the slightest prompt.
An exhibition is on at Nottingham’s Industrial Museum at Wollaton Hall until the end of August and the highlight is a special model of the building as it was in the ’60s.
Displays tell the history of the hotel, including it being named after King Charles II, who had long black hair.