Cyrille Regis in a Shrewsbury shirt

So many spectacular goals by Cyrille Regis but not many will remember the one he scored wearing a Shrewsbury Town shirt.


Meeting an inswinger from the wing, getting ahead of the last line of defenders and powering in a header from 12 yards.  (“Good morning, ball”.)
Yes, 1981 and West Bromwich Albion wore either the classic navy & white stripes or the iconic green & yellow stripes – both deemed to clash with Salop’s blue & amber.  So when they drew Salop in the League Cup in an era before third strips (and universal TV coverage), the Albion had to wear our all red away kit.

It was a phenomenal match when the second tier side beat the top tier side 3-all at home.  By which I mean, the Albion were 3-0 up at half-time, thanks in part to Cyrille’s header, but we brought the game back to 3-all at full time (a last minute goalmouth dribble by Steve Biggins).

Regis’s death is so emotional for many reasons – the phenomenal footballer he was; Cunningham & Batson; that West Brom team; how he broke barriers for black players; the content of his character; that 59 seems no age for such a former athlete – and cos I witnessed it: vs Salop, vs Man U at The Hawthorns (1979) and the “match of the decade” (that wasn’t) at Anfield (also 1979).

It brings back memories of the racism – especially that gorilla chants were OK and good cos they put black players off (which I felt often was not the case – e.g. Wimbledon at home, Laurie Cunningham scoring at Old Trafford in the 5-3 victory).
You wanted to be on the Three Degrees’ side, cos of the victimization, cos it was right, and yes, because they were the heroes.

See Guardian tribute.  Look out also for the Youtube videos.

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NHS Crisis

Time for people to reflect on what, with 3 General Elections, we have allowed to slip with regards to our health care and our NHS.


I received 2 tweets in quick succession from Theresa May boasting about a scheme that they claim will help a few thousand people onto the property ladder.
That evening, a BBC tv East Midlands political journalist lists the kind of conditions that warrant a visit to A&E (and I didn’t hear broken bones included).
Whatever was said, on top of the cancellation of non-urgent operations, this is a pretty shocking statement. And it’s the BBC announcing it! (Not someone from the NHS.)
Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, comes on national tele to say they’re trying to do it a different way this year – expressed in a way that makes it sound like he deserves some sympathy at least.
Another spokesperson has said that a range of factors have come together – including the cold weather. (Maybe it’s true that we didn’t have snow in Tony Blair’s era.)

Time to remember, the factors of growing demand (including more people, an older population, more cures (with greater expense) and more people surviving with challenging conditions) existed before 2010 when (after 13 years), New Labour more than trebled the spend on the NHS including the launch of the largest hospital building programme in our history. Targets for getting a GP appointment, being tended to in A&E and for operations, were set and were being met.

We deserve better. We used to get better.

Pentrich Revolution exhibition

171025R Pentrich exhibition ab0435h Screenshot (700)
England’s last armed rebellion, from 1817, and exhibited at the National Justice Museum on High Pavement in Nottingham city centre opened on 200th anniversary of the conviction / execution of 4 of the leaders.
Open until 7th January 2018 and free entrance, put together by the Pentrich and South Wingfield Revolution Group and supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.
Opened by Roger Tanner and attended by Paddy Tipping, pictured alongside a display on decades of Police spying on activists.
Stating plainly that the Luddites were not anti new technology, but anti shoddy goods and poor working conditions.

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).

O.J. – another documentary

Another telling of the O.J.Simpson story, this time a documentary that explains the society of Los Angeles that led to the hard beliefs that probably led to Simpson being found not guilty of the murder of his ex-wife and a waiter.

However, as juror no.2 points out, the police and the prosecution messed things up – failing to keep the murder scene uncontaminated; taking a suspect’s blood to the murder scene; asking Simpson to try the glove on in court; using a (apparently previous) racist police officer as a detective.
Seven and a half hours telling the story more fully than I’ve seen elsewhere.
O.J.: Made in America” is available on BBC tv i-player.
A complement to the terrific 2016 tv drama series (yeah, where are the dramas about inncocent black people being found guilty?)