Thomas Henry Edwards

Thoughts on VJ Day with my family in Australia, the head of whom, Thomas Henry Edwards, was killed in Singapore by the Japanese in 1942.
Rather struck at how much information is available publicly compared to the relatively poor supply of information for British soldiers.
I’d never thought to ask before, but it seems he was a runner who demonstrated bravery for the British army in 1919 (putting himself at risk just one week before the armistice; and runners are the soldiers featured in the movie 1917).
One of his grand-daughter says “I really think my grandfather must have been an adventurer as he was so intent on doing risky things. He died, I believe, doing and believing in his country.


Although his name is Edwards, I’m actually related through his wife, who was the sister of my Dad’s Mum. Both women married a Thomas Edwards.
Both my grandfathers served in WW1, but my dad and his siblings were too young to serve in WWII.
No doubt lots of people are today thinking of those who served, those who were injured and those who were in some way disabled.
BTW, the South Shropshire village referred to, where my Dad was born, Diddlebury, is actually pronounced differently – Del-boro (like my village Hanwood – often pronounced Anud).

True History of the Kelly Gang

The Director wants you to feel uncomfortable. He must do. And he succeeds. People are under threat from the off.
And maybe that is what the true history was. (Except significant parts of the story are not true.)
Did not enjoy the movie but that doesn’t mean don’t go see. Other quibble – too much of the dialogue is muttered.

Ned Kelly was real. But not illiterate – “Every man should be the author of his own history”. The injustice (that generates parallels with Robin Hood) here is different – fighting against “bent coppers”.
Wiki. Guardian.

Shrewsbury flooded

See report in Shropshire Star

Shrewsbury has been hit by floods in notable events occurring in 1795, 1941, 1946, 1947, 1960, 1964, 1965, 1968 and more recently in 1998 and 2000.
Coming from near Shrewsbury, I have memories of one flood, most especially of walking on scaffolded planks over the flooded Frankwell near the Welsh bridge when I was around 4 or 7. A strong early childhood memory to rival the arrival of Thunderbirds on TV and my first day at school. 
But it was the sixties, an age of hope and expectation, and we visited the Clywedog dam as it was being built so that Shrewsbury would never be flooded again. That prevention lasted 30 years.

The current floods have been the worst for 20 years and it is a reminder not only of climate change, but also of our attitude to run-off – gardens and drives being covered rather than hold water – oh and possibly a lack of maintenance of culverts etc. (conjecture).  
Surprised that the major railway station bridge over the Severn has been closed; 17 road closures have been in place – including Coton Hill, Smithfield Road and both the English and Welsh Bridges.

Still the Conservative MP is going to demand a debate in parliament. (La de da; an improvement on attending far-right meetings in Europe.)
He should be reminded – “From 2008-2010 Labour spending on flood defences rose by 10% p.a. Since then increases have run at 1.2% p.a. and weighted towards higher value properties (in the South)” – Source – Alan Simpson.

Bigger issues down river, and the Police are saying the situation has to be managed for another 10 days.  
What television can ‘t convey is the damp creeping up the plaster of flooded rooms and the smell of what the water leaves behind.  


Meanwhile, in Nottingham, we’ve lost the Queens Drive park & ride, but we accepted that we’d built it in the flood plain, and that it would get flooded; twist is that for its first 20 years (check), it didn’t.

Salop come back from 2 down against Liverpool Reserves after playing The Joker

Jason Cummings is known as The Joker and he scored 2 goals after coming on as a sub

I predicted a dismal occasion expecting even a Liverpool Reserves side to outmatch us. And was correct for 46 minutes.
So what did we learn?
01. Bill Shankley said, all those years ago, that there were only 2 teams in Liverpool – Liverpool and Liverpool Reserves;
02. the Liverpool Reserves did contain a number of first team players, either out of favour or recovering from injury;
03. (Post-match, we now know) Wolves shared the tactics they’d tried to use against Liverpool the previous Thursday, based on taking advantage of Liverpool’s use of a “high line”; but Salop missed a number of the resulting first-half chances;
04. when Salop conceded a second goal in the first minute of the second half, the expected soulless thrashing seemed on the cards;
05. Liverpool’s defence started playing around with the ball along their back line;
06. Lang had made some great runs, and the decision to replace him with Jason Cummings, nicknamed the Joker, was booed;
07. Laurent’s runs were getting stronger and one of them led to him being chopped own in the box; Jason Cummings scored the penalty;
08. Salop’s on-loan keeper made an extraordinary save to both stop, and then pick-up, an on target long range shot, before booting a long ball down the field when …
09. Liverpool’s tall and experienced no. 32, Joel Matip, was outjumped by our much shorter winger, Whalley, and The Joker latched onto the flicked on header to beat 2 defenders and score the second;
10. the excitement saw Salop players run to the BBC studio, where Joe Hart was a guest and was picked out by Dave Edwards, acting team captain;
11. Liverpool brought on 3 first team players from the subs bench;
12. both sides had chances to win, and after the match the Salop manager chastised the players cos he sensed they’d wanted the reply rather than the win;
13. the on the pitch invasion was regretted by Joe Hart, but it was seen as harmless and highlight was an 8-year-old in bright Salop goalkeeper kit skipping off the field, head lolling from side to side, in exhausted exhilaration.

It was so much more of an occasion that I could have ever imagined, cos even though it was their reserves, their wage bill would still have been much higher than for our players and we had gone 2-0 down.
Like last season, the FA Cup ties are likely to have been our highlights of the season. We know one of only 6 clubs will win the FA Cup, but knock-out football can bring something extra out from teams.
Watching the unedited football on TV afterwards, you can relate to the players so much more, and the character of Jason Cummings shone.
Good humoured – and calming explaining that the Old Firm Derby had been a bigger experience for him. Happy too to explain calmly that he was a sub cos he’s coming back from injury.
And he has this thing about The Joker – the Heath Ledger version is tattooed on his thigh, and a smile on the V of the back of his hand which he put across his mouth when he scored.
Fans had a banner proclaiming The Joker at the match, and he featured in 2 Guardian cartoons in the following days.

Salop and Grenada together on the BBC

The flag of Grenada on show at the New Gay Meadow

My sister met the President of Grenada FA just before his half-time interview with BBCtv.
My nephew saw the special relationship developing before many and bought the Grenada flag to show at Shrewsbury matches some time ago.
I made a point of displaying it during Salop’s attacks towards our end in the second half.

Zen

Zen, bought with Bolt and intended as pets for the home and as company for each other.
Thought originally to be a cock, but was most probably a hen.
Featured on 2 Christmas cards cos of 2 striking poses – both completely untypical – cos budgies don’t really smile and the practice of hanging upside on a maiden’s clothes line was given up.
Died far too early at just over 2 years, from organ failure.
Hard to attribute personalities to such small animals, but the contrast with her black-eyed albino friend could be striking, and the most striking difference stayed – that Bolt will scarper whilst Zen was more relaxed.
Fond memories.

Kilo the Staffordshire Terrier

8 years old and the companion of a homeless man and woman eking out an existence in Telford. 
Having been first given up, and then badly cared for by someone who tried to help but couldn’t, he was adopted by the couple and has since trebled in weight.
He behaved very well on the train and enjoyed a packet of cheese and onion crisps in a very mannered way. (Apparently, he couldn’t have had salt & vinegar crisps.)

BR steam engine 34052 at Shrewsbury railway station

Arriving at Salop, as I was waiting for a train to Brum, this BR steam engine arrived, pulling a Pullman collection of carriages.  
A tad emotional cos my Dad was a locomotive engineer, though starting with the LMS part of BR, and serving from Salop, I think it is unlikely he would have driven this engine. (Advice welcome.). 

From wikipedia – 
“Steam locomotives that comprised the Bulleid light pacifics, the West Country and Battle of Britain classes of locomotives that ran on the British Southern Railway network …”

Fuller res photos available.