Track 3: “You’re Wondering Now”, The Specials

Again at a Salop home game, and a mate explains to me how ska was being re-worked as “The Prince” comes over the tannoy, and you’re getting ready for university, and after all the music the West Midlands has had (Slade, Black Sabbath, er, Judas Priest, ELO) it seemed yet another vindication for choosing Birmingham University.
And yeah, the region comes up with UB40, Selector and The Specials.

Yet as outside the mainstream as it sounded then, it an’t now – BBC tv’s “Death in Paradise” has even embraced “Wondering Now” made popular by The Specials.
I particularly like the Colchester Institute live performance “You’re wondering now”, Specials, broadcast by the BBC.
Can’t see it on radio, but the fashion, dancing and the performance is great, if let down by the “alright”s at the end.


International Women’s Day – 2017

C6aU6gDXQAEYVNOA tweet from Nottingham Library Services to tell us of Nottingham City’s first woman Councillor – Caroline Harper, whose obituary in the Nottingham Evening Post has been found from the online newspaper archive.
The tweet – ‘“Nottingham’s Pioneer Woman” who died in 1937: first female City Cllr, first female , first female Magistrate
I know the current residents of the house in Lucknow Avenue and they report –
“Surprisingly, we had not heard of the lady.
“An earlier resident here was the popular Town Clerk from 1912 to 1937 Sir William John Board OBE and his family; and

I have some info on him (was he known as Bill Board?).
“He died in 1946 and Lady Board in 1947, both aged 77.
“The City Engineer Brown, whose works included the Victoria Embankment and Wilford Bridge, lived next door.”
More anon.

Meanwhile, should not leave this topic without mentioning the first woman leader of the city council – Betty Higgins.

The Dilettante Society published an article on Nottingham suffragette Helen Watts via Left Lion.

17202721_954766740280_5698338505358977230_nMeanwhile, Gedling Borough Councillor Roxanne Ellis was part of a launch of a quilt commemorating the 598 women killed between 2009 and 2015, which was unveiled at the Houses of Parliament.
(From memory), one of the victims was from my home village, Hanwoodbank (in Salop).

McDonald’s closes in Shrewsbury town centre

… on the day I went to see “The Founder“.

Apparently the beginning of the film is a great advert for McDonald’s burger, but this was lost on me cos I’ve never had one.
Somewhere, sometime in the past, I was steered away from eating at such establishments, and part of football and politics away days was going to local cafes, such as Hanley town centre on Monday.  Lambs liver, followed by caramel shortcake with a strawberry milkshake. (I didn’t check how the milkshake was made – a significant part of the film’s story.)

Two brothers design a product – high quality food from a very  limited menu prepared in a hygienic, consistent and fast way, which people collect at the counter and eat from the paper products.
(Food in a paper is reported to be an innovation, when in Britain, we’ve been eating fish & chips from paper for a very long time.)
A failing salesman sees the potential for franchising, but only makes a success of it when he sees the business as a real estate business too – his appeal to the brothers for a better deal having been refused.  He becomes the founder of a new corporation.
20170225-sstar-ab0374h-mcdonalds-closureThe film is certainly more educational – and arguably less cruel –  than BBC tv’s “Dragons’ Den”.  Although the scene where the 100th new franchise is set up to drive the first fast food outlet – did the USA never have fish & chips shops? – out of business demonstrates meanness.
One parallel with Trump – using corporate power to not meet commitments previously paid – but only reviews have drawn this out, and remember, in the period of Trump’s trail to The White House, Hollywood was missing.
Still don’t particularly care to have a McDonald’s but was surprised to come home to the home computer to find a friend bemoaning the closure of a 34 year old McDonald’s franchise in Shrewsbury town centre.  (The part-medieval building can’t be upgraded to a new standard any further at the end of a lease.)  Never went, and now never will.
Meanwhile, anyone in Nottingham fancy setting up a mushy peas and mint sauce franchise?
P.S. worth checking out stuff on employees terms & conditions.

Salop’s community programme cover

A great photo on the programme cover; and a celebration of the community activities of the football club (like all clubs do I think).
The match featured 2 clubs in the relegation zone, so important for Salop to win.
A league table for games since the arrival of Paul Hurst as manager shows Salop 12th, but more than that, some of the forward play was good to watch, and with the team getting to know each other more, there is potential for even better. 

Salop’s all-time XI

These things are always a matter of opinion of course, but in my opinion, much as I love the players listed,
– I’d make one definite change  – Colin Griffin should be alongside Nigel Pearson,
– Alan Durban gave us a lot and is unlucky not to be in alongside Graham Turner, even though Ian Atkins was great;
– Gary Stevens upfront was such a power in the air; Chic Bates was a greta character.

Sentiment for the past …

… is no substitute for an education policy.
Plenty of people coming out to oppose more grammar schools and more faith schools.

Happened upon a Notts TV’s debates of the week programme last week, and they had a section on grammar schools.
Clever points from former Conservative MP and ex-grammar schoolboy Martin Brandon-Bravo about the education reforms of the Labour Gov’t on 1945; no mention of how Conservative councils such as Essex County led their removal when they realised far more kids were capable of achieving at O-level than grammar schools could cope with. And of course, the programme to remove them nationally was backed up in the seventies by that Education Secretary, Margaret Thatcher.
Brandon-Bravo then berated the late Fred Riddell, who was Chair of Notts Education committee, but Fred grasped some big issues in a very distinctive way – using value-added to demonstrate the role of poverty, gender and race in attainment, driving at understanding child development, and pushing things like arts (Notts kids were performing at Edinburgh).
All way beyond notions of testing and segregating kids at 11 on the basis of intelligence tests.

Anecdotes from the ’50s, ’60s & ’70s, and exhortations to try harder, ignore the progress we’ve made in how to teach well and in understanding child developement. Meanwhile, condemning teachers for deigning to teach children from more challenging backgrounds seems a remarkably stupid approach – and yes, it’s proving counter-productive.
Indeed, I’m often surpised at the nonsense that comes from pundits who claim to have benefitted from a grammar school education, but don’t seem to want to learn about all we’ve learnt about education since they left school.
Hey, ** success for all **.

I suppose it’s natural to be sentimental about the school you went to, but I am pleased that my grammar school became a sixth form centre for the whole town.  “It’s better this way – more just.
Still, amazing school bus, eh?

Utterly one-sided

Manchester United dominated from the first second, which was a bit of a shame, cos we had the kick-off.
We knew Salop could win, cos we’d seen them beat better teams before.
But it never crossed our minds that they’d mis-control, then slice passes, and then kick balls into space, in hope (and that’s was just the first 8 seconds).
And then you see how the United players had the skill and the physique and the speed.
IMG_0019ab0393h Salop v ManU BBCtv MME tmc
Thankfully, the utter one-sidedness of the match did not fully come over on BBCtv’s Match of the Day, although the misery of my realisation, and of my nephew’s, after only 6 minutes play was broadcast.  La de da.
IMG_0015ab0468h Salop v ManU offside goal
One big quibble however.  Three players standing in the goalkeeper’s line of sight to the striker of the free-kick, in an offside position, should be offside, no matter how politely the Man U Manager had sought the referee’s permission before the match.
So a disappointing 5th round FA Cup tie, but not to forget the excitement of the previous wins over Cardiff City and Sheffield Wednesday.