Tag Archives: football

Odds and Sods

The header picture is a sunset and thistles in the car park near the Scallop at Aldeburgh. Here’s another one, plus a lamp post shot from Aldeburgh. It seems a shame to waste a sunset when you have a camera in your hand. There’s a cobweb in there somewhere too.

 

 

According to this article the pub sign – The Magpie at Little Stonham on the A140 in Suffolk – is unique in the UK for having a gallows sign across the road.

 

 

Having recently driven under the sign for The George in Stamford and The Green Man and Black’s Head in Ashbourne I can confidently say that if “unique” means “one of at least three” the article is correct. If, however, “unique” still retains its original meaning, then the article’s research is incredibly sloppy.

Why is it that some people can get published when others (no matter how handsome, charismatic and talented) can’t? Not that I’m bitter or anything.

Finally, a football card. I’ve been putting them on  eBay.  Enter 45 names and numbers, take 45 photos, rotate and tidy 45 photos…

It’s Duncan Edwards.  He was selected for the National Morris and Sword Dancing Festival whilst at school, but went to a football trial instead. The rest is history.

Duncan Edwards

Duncan Edwards – Manchester United

 

 

Jute, Jam and Journalism

Today, I’ll start with DD4.

DD is Dundee, and Dundee is famous for the three things in the title. We went there on holiday just over ten years ago and I feel quite nostalgic about it. The kids were still young enough to like their parents and used to enjoy seeing new things. The wilderness years of teenagery and rebellion were still in the future.

We missed the Keiller factory, though we did see fields of fruit canes, which took care of the “jam” element. D C Thomson, publishers of many famous comics and annuals, are also based there. I say “famous” rather than “comprehensible” because it includes Scottish classics such as Oor Wullie and The Broons, which are distinctively Scottish in language. It’s a bit like reading Burns, but with the bonus of pictures.

We did, however, see the “jute“. In fact we saw a lot more jute than we wanted to, as we were forced to endure a lengthy film and display by a stern woman who seemed unwilling to let us go without forcing us full of information on jute. I suspect she’d once been a Gauleiter in the Jute Information Board or some such body.

Though we were interested in the jute, we were actually there for the Tay Bridge and the Discovery.

I’m not sure exactly which postcode it all fell under but Dundee is DD1 to DD4 so it will do. With hindsight we should have spent more than just one day in Dundee as there’s a lot to see.

It was a great holiday in some ways, and a low point in another. At the time someone owed me £1,200, and the recovery process wasn’t going well. After one particular phone call I made life hell for everyone, which really wasn’t fair. It’s one of those things that comes back to haunt me – bad parent, bad husband. Fortunately it was only for part of a day.

The debtor eventually came up with £600. Then he died, with no assets and a gambling problem I’d been unaware of.

He drowned after falling into a ditch and whilst in drink. (Gambling wasn’t his only problem).  There was some talk about a car being seen speeding away from the area where he was found. There was also a suggestion that I’d been involved. And that was why I sometimes tell people I was a suspect in a murder case. (I wasn’t, because the police never contacted me, but it makes me sound more interesting).

The interesting fact about DD4?

Er…

There are three towns in the UK with football stadiums less than a mile apart.

At three – Liverpool and Everton. Under a mile apart.

At two – Nottingham Forest and Notts County – the closest football league grounds in England, just 300 yards apart.

At one – Dundee and Dundee United – the closest in the UK – just 100 yards apart. Look at the map and gasp in wonder. They are close.

 

 

 

Frank Soo

I was entering pre-war football cards onto eBay, specifically the large sized Topical Times series from the 1930’s. I find them awkward to work with and tricky to photograph, because they are nearly ten inches long with a tendency to curl. I’ve mainly used the scanner, because it flattens them nicely for the picture.

Yes, I’ve finally worked out how to use the scanner properly, though you can only fit two of these monster cards on at a time.

Ears, as you can see from the photographs, were worn larger in the 1930’s.

When I started on the colour cards, which are much less harrowing than the black and white images, I found Frank Soo.

 

The combination of name and slightly oriental features made me look again.

Frank Soo, was the first man of Chines heritage to become a professional footballer and first man of non-white heritage to play for England (in nine wartime Internationals). He went on to manage a number of teams in Sacandinavia, Italy and Scunthorpe. As a collector of trivia, I’m ashamed to say I’d never heard of him.

His brother Ronald flew with the RAF in the war (Frank served in the RAF in a technical capacity) and was shot down and killed as a Lancaster air-gunner in 1944.

It’s amazing what you can learn if you keep your eyes open.

Football, a Spider and an Educational Parcel

We didn’t have much to do in the way of packing parcels this morning, or much activity from customers, so I was able to continue with the soul-crushing task of compiling a drop-down menu of Topical Times football cards for the eBay shop.

They aren’t like normal cards, which had to fit in a cigarette packet or pack of gum, these were given away with a magazine. The ones I did this morning are the miniature size – as wide as a cigarette card but about twice as high. This makes them difficult to photograph efficiently as they need cropping whichever way you do them. They are also in black and white, which makes them look very similar – I’m used to a world where football shirts come in different colours, not just black, white and grey.

Having said that, they had better names in 1938.

James Argue - Chelsea FC

James Argue – Chelsea FC

 

Sam Barkas - four of his brothers were also professional footballers, as was his cousin Billy Felton

Sam Barkas  – Manchester City

There were five Barkas brothers, all professional footballers. Sam and his cousin Tommy Felton both played for England.

We were lucky during the week when a lady rang up with a few things to sell – I checked if she had anything else and was able to buy some WW2 propaganda leaflets and wartime maps. They had belonged to her late father. but she was (quite rightly) keeping his DFC and other medals. More of this later.

Towards the end of the afternoon we had a number of sales, which we packed ready for Monday morning.

I scanned some of the propaganda leaflets ready for auction next week. This, though tatty, is probably the best of the lot – a magnificently evil Nazi spider with Hitler’s face.

WW2 propaganda leaflet

WW2 propaganda leaflet

My Greek was weak in the 1970s when I actually made a serious effort. It’s worse now.

I’m still good at sticking stamps on envelopes though, as you can see here.

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£3.95 – absolute bargain!

History, nature, Christmas, royalty – it’s not an envelope, it’s an education. The Winston Churchill stamp provides balance to the Nazi spider.

Boredom, what Boredom?

Yes, I’ve been doing cards again. I’ve done Star Trek, The Beatles and yet more A&BC football cards (the orange and red backs from 1972-3). Thanks to an informative website I’m now in possession of much more knowledge than I really need on this subject.

I think my brain may be grinding to a halt, but I think I’ve isolated the point when the rot set into football. The 1970 set shows footballers with serviceable haircuts and quite a few broken noses. The 1972-3 set shows straighter noses and shocking haircuts. That three year window was the thin end of the wedge, and look where we ended up – diving, spray foam and perms.

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Look at that haircut…

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…and that moustache.

I grew my first moustache in 1975. It wasn’t a success. In truth they rarely are. Some things from the past should be left there – moustaches, I feel, are one of those things. As are rickets, platform soles and The King’s Evil.

For those of you interested in why one photo is upside down I have to confess that I don’t know. I struggled with a glitchy internet last night and had problems with a lot of photographs being upside down on the photo card. Eventually I just used two that seemed to be cooperative.

This morning I found that the post hadn’t actually loaded and one of the photos was upside down again.

So I gave up and loaded the post again with extra lines to explain the upside down photograph.

For those of you more arty types it’s an ironic take on the topsy-turvey nature of modern sport.

For the others, it’s what happens when you hand modern technology to a man who is barely past the crayon stage of artistic evolution.

 

A Thing of Beauty

No, it’s not another picture of Julia, though if she’s reading this I would like to point out that the title would fit.

This is an item I saw in a collectors’ shop in Nottingham last week. It’s the badge of an ex-Lady Mayoress of Nottingham from 1951-2. The workmanship, including the enamelling, is top quality, and it really is a thing of beauty. It is also a piece of Nottingham history.

Ruth Wigman, the recipient, would probably to be the wife of Alderman George H. Wigman who was Lord Mayor at that time. I’ve tried various searches but the internet seems to be empty of information on the Wigmans. I had hoped that Wigman Road might be something to do with them, but it just seems to complicate the search.

It is made from 9 carat gold and manufactured by Vaughtons of Birmingham. It appears that it was assembled after the engraving was done, as one of the fixings has obscured part of the inscription.

One of the more notable Vaughton family members was Oliver Howard Vaughton. He played football for England and Aston Villa, won the All England Skating Championship, cycled, swam, played county cricket for Warwickshire and was a County hockey player. He’s a bit more famous than the Wigmans, though, to be fair, neither of them scored five goals in an international football match or won the FA Cup.

Wolves Badge – the Result

I’ve just been down to the shop to see how the Wolves badge sold.

If you recall, I said: The badge is currently making £21 on ebay. My professional opinion is that it will make at least £40 and, if you have two keen collectors after it, possibly twice as much. If it does, I will be right and people will think I’m an expert. And if I’m wrong it will be the fault of the auction for failing to attract the right quality of bidder.

Well, as it turns out, I was wrong by quite a margin.

It made £170. Even in my wildest dreams I’d barely thought of three figures. Traditionally, if you watch antiques experts on TV, this is seen  a great success. In truth I was wrong by about 40%. However, I refer to my previous answer (as they say at Prime Minister’s Questions) –  if I’m wrong it will be the fault of the auction for failing to attract the right quality of bidder. 

So, not my fault.

However, all joking apart, it’s nice to see that there are keen collectors about, and to report that the badge is currently in the post, making its way back to Wolverhampton.