Bread Revisited: The slow demise…

by   |   06/09/2023  160 Comments  [Jump to last]

18 years ago, in August 2005, I submitted an article to ToffeeWeb entitled Bread. In it, I made comparisons between the state of Everton Football Club and the titular family from the much-loved (?) Carla Lane sitcom of the 1980s. The article was "well-received" with Martin Tilly calling it "total rubbish" and that my scathing criticism of Kenwright who I likened to Freddie Boswell was "whingey negativity and paranoia about the club, team and directors that goes with it is as feeble and unsubstantiated."

Another poster "Saco el Juggler" this was before real names were required on Toffeeweb, said I "was making a good point right up to his conclusion.  He's another example of why fans get annoyed with ToffeWeb's negative take on everything." Essentially, he was riled about my lack of optimism over Villarreal. Fair enough, we "was robbed" by Collina, as we all know now.

Anyway, in the article, I likened Moyes to the mother on Bread – hard-working, stern, struggling to hold it together. Freddie, the profligate father, as like Bill Kenwright causing chaos and mayhem with his financial shenanigans, lies, and so on.

Looking at the situation now, I would say Bill still retains his role as Freddie Boswell. But sadly, in this version, his erstwhile wife has passed on. Instead, Del Boy from Only Fools and Horses has moved in and is mismanaging the family finances in conjunction with Freddie. They've turned to brainiacs akin to Baldric from Blackadder (Steve Walsh), experienced managers like Basil Fawlty (Rafa/Koeman) and yet the family have found themselves struggling more than ever with failure and debt. 

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The sad thing is, as I mentioned in the original article, there were still a fair few optimists (likened to the dreamy Adrian) who still thought Kenwright and Co could restore the glory days of the '80s. I don't believe anyone believes that today.

The two camps now seem to be: a) Get someone else instead of Freddie and Del Boy asap and maybe we can turn things around, and b) It is already too late to save.

It goes to show, after 18 years, things under Bill Kenwright anyway don't stay the same — they get worse!  I believe eventually, the former group (the optimists among us) will be proven correct and maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but someday we will turn the corner.

So, were "Saco el Juggler" to return to ToffeeWeb today, he might be surprised at my comparative optimism — which in itself further illustrates the way Kenwright has damaged not only the club but the morale of everyone. 


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Reader Comments (160)

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Jack Convery
1 Posted 07/09/2023 at 15:22:18
The more things change, the more they stay the same. Such a pity. Which I believe is what a lot of true, real followers of English football have for EFC, at this moment in time,
Dennis Stevens
2 Posted 07/09/2023 at 15:29:41
Perhaps the worse things get, the nearer we assume the turning point towards better things must be. - Nurse!
Kieran Kinsella
3 Posted 07/09/2023 at 19:16:18

The night is darkest before the dawn right? But how dark can dark get?

Dave Abrahams
4 Posted 08/09/2023 at 11:05:09
Kieran (3), I’m not sure if I liked anything about Bread, any of the characters and definitely the writer but things are starting to slowly brighten up at Everton, and I like Dyche, Thelwell, O’Neil and Beto will improve us with possibly Harrison adding more fight, endeavour and provide some goals and assists while adding to the defensive side of our game.

Some small things but maybe clearing some of the dark clouds hanging over Finch Farm and Goodison Park, if the one huge fat dark cloud goes soon I think that would help enormously!

Ian Jones
5 Posted 08/09/2023 at 11:53:55
Kieran, enjoyed your article, thanks. Just wondering what Private James Frazer would make of Everton's current plight.
Kieran Kinsella
6 Posted 08/09/2023 at 13:14:31

Hahaha I can imagine what he’d say lol

Barry Rathbone
7 Posted 08/09/2023 at 14:32:16
Only caught glimpses of the series but it seemed unfunny garbage reinforcing the usual feckless scouse stereotype. Just another lowest common denominator piece of crap as per Brookside, Boys From The Black stuff and the Jim Royle character in the Royle Family.

This media shithousery denigrating a majority who are clever, innovative, hard-working and funny really gets my goat.

So the OP theme is lost on me I just know the days of Moyes never represented a long term target. The initial "saviour" stint was a necessary temporary stage but it lasted a decade bereft of real progress whilst others began to get their act together. Effectively we went backwards, it was the precursor of our present predicament.

Now, maybe that is what is needed right now but the likelihood of Dyche (or any manager) ever getting the leeway Moyes enjoyed has gone. Martinez's first season illustrating what might have been killed any patience at this club.

David Bromwell
8 Posted 08/09/2023 at 15:31:41
When I was growing up, we used to refer to organisations that were disorganised and run badly as being something of a Fred Karno's circus, and that would accurately describe Everton.

The big thing that Moyes did when he was manager is he made the Club respected again and thought of as a Club just outside the Top 5. Of course we now struggle to be outside the Bottom 5 and I could see how the management of our finances could be compared to those of the Boswell family.

It's embarrassing when the National Media and Football Pundits refer to the management of our Club being shambolic, particularly when we know it to be true. Our City used to be famous as the birthplace of many of the country's top comedians. Now it's just our Club that is run by them and they are certainly not funny.

I suppose that this is all to be expected when we remember that our so-called Chairman has his roots in show business, and sadly, as I remember, Blood Brothers did not end well.

Kieran Kinsella
9 Posted 08/09/2023 at 15:52:19
David Bromwell,

The reference to Fred Karno made me think of the Fred Karno WW1 song with certain lyrics that could have been applied to a lot of our forward players in recent years.

"We cannot fight we cannot shoot what bleeding use are we. And when we get to Anfield the Kloppster he will say Hoch Hoch Mein Got what a bloody rotten lot are the Everton front three."

Danny O’Neill
10 Posted 08/09/2023 at 18:04:26
I too was not a fan of Bread, but like the parallels drawn to the characters.

I've never really liked many programmes about Liverpool other than documentaries I find.

Brookside was plastic and Boys from the Black Stuff, although topical of the time, set the tone in perceptions that still exist today.

I guarantee next Sunday I will cut a solitary figure, surrounded by Arsenal supporters on the train chanting the classic "Sign On" followed by "We pay your benefits" amongst the other shite they spout as we approach Lime Street Station.

Trouble is, I can't keep my mouth shut!!

Brian Harrison
11 Posted 08/09/2023 at 19:27:51
Danny 10

I doubt many Scousers liked the way Bread and the Royle family programmes depicted our City, also Boys from the Black Stuff and Brookside gave a sorry picture of what Liverpool was really like.

Despite most of these shows being written by people from this City, it became the mantra for how the outsiders viewed the City. So it was refreshing to see Michael Heseltine revisit the City this week and say it brought tears to his eyes to see how much the City had changed since he was appointed as the first and only Minister of Merseyside. Now I have never and will never vote for the party he represents, but he more than anyone deserves a great deal of credit for how with his help the City changed. He had a lot to do with the building of Liverpool one as well as the magnificent work that was done to rebuild the Albert Dock. I still find it amusing that it took an aristocratic Tory to help rebuild and restore our City.

Colin Glassar
12 Posted 08/09/2023 at 19:49:36
I thought Bread was crap but my two older sisters loved Bread. All bloody day they’d be playing, Make it with You, baby I’m a want you, The guitar man etc…. Used to drive me barmy.
Paul Ferry
13 Posted 08/09/2023 at 19:57:46
I absolutely hated Bread, trotting out lazy, false, patronising stereotypes of our city and us in every single one of its warped and easy caricatures (think Harry Enfield) at a time 1986-1991 when Liverpool was not in the best of shape and was something of an easy/lazy target. I imagine Kieran that you were not born in Liverpool or did not come of age there.

That's utter tripe about Blackstuff, Danny (10), and linking that wonderful series to "sign on" is a literal and lazy trajectory/generalisation for my taste, imposed by you. You completely misrepresent what those five episodes (and play) were supposed to convey. Blackstuff was, is, and always will be a sort of "social document" (and a damning indictment of Thatcher and her politics from a city that she never once visited) that yes spared no punches on the "ill" side of the city but did so in ways that depicted genuine struggle and hardship with regular gallows humour, pathos, moving splashes of reality, and a knack of saying what mattered most in a single line. I see much of what makes me proud to be from the city in those five episodes.

It was dead grim, I agree, but that was the whole point. Look beneath the surface, there is plenty there.

People have written dissertations on what Blackstuff represents and its multiple multi-layered significances, so I won’t go on in that vein but I can if you wish. My God, even the hooray Henrys and Henriettas at my university were moved by it, two of them who ended up getting married – both born in privilege in Midhurst, Sussex - moved to Liverpool in 1987 to work as social workers and are still there doing the same work.

I was shaking my head in disbelief when I read this: Alan Bleasdale/Blackstuff “set the tone in perceptions that still exist today”. I’d love to see you say that to Bleasdale, Danny, as you say, you can’t keep your mouth shut. I don’t know how old you are but those “perceptions” were deep-seated long before Blackstuff first became an idea.

Barry Rathbone
14 Posted 08/09/2023 at 20:11:17
Paul Ferry 13

Disagree entirely.

Whatever political slants are put on the black stuff the method still lent heavily on scally stereotypes - "gizza job" from the loathsome thug - yozza hughes - took years to vanish.

If Alan Bleasdale asked for my opinion I'd tell him straight.

Paul Ferry
15 Posted 08/09/2023 at 20:22:35
Rubbish, Barry, but 14 is in keeping with your overall presence on here (I'm sure you would let AB have your opinion "straight").

The lazy stereotype is your treatment of the Hughes character. "Years to vanish"! Care to elaborate on that in chapter and verse Barry and actually present the narrative/chronology of this, without descending into one-liners and generalisations that nearly always need unpicking. What I'm missing in your post is something of substance.

Barry Rathbone
16 Posted 08/09/2023 at 20:46:33
Paul Ferry 15

You're very angry over a crap tv show aren't you? CALM DOWN CALM DOWN!! - (d'ya see what I did there? Don't you love scouse stereotypes?)

If you were a scouse exile (like me) references to "gizza job" followed like a bad smell for years around the UK.

The defacto time scale of when the crap actually vanished is a mindless, infantile question. These things aren't collated on a register they just happen and from personal experience the "gizza job" BS lasted years.

Now, if you don't like hearing first hand knowledge then by all means keep stamping your feet in high dudgeon no one is really arsed.

Peter Gorman
17 Posted 08/09/2023 at 20:52:16
Well, I liked Boys from the Blackstuff, so there.
Mike Doyle
18 Posted 08/09/2023 at 21:04:16
Paul #13] in an interesting (possibly) twist, not-born-in-privilege Liverpool comedian John Bishop now lives in Midhurst. Not sure he’s doing any social work though.
Danny O’Neill
19 Posted 08/09/2023 at 21:06:32
Paul, I'm 51. 52 next week, sharing a birthday with Neville Southall and going to watch us against Arsenal to celebrate.

By the age of 16 in the late 80s, my parents lost their house and I had to live with relatives in Speke or Croxteth. My brothers and sisters were in a council bedsit with my mother until they eventually got re-housed.

I joined the Army of no fixed abode other than giving my Uncle's address in.

So I'm well aware of what was going on in hindsight although as a teenager, I was just focussed on going to watch Everton most weeks.

My point is that the programmes portrayed a negative narrative about our city that lasts to this day., when in reality at that time, large parts of the country were experiencing similar difficulties when you look back.

Call it tripe if you wish. That is your view.

Liverpool did suffer more than most, but we weren't the only ones. They were difficult times nationally and internationally.

Brian makes a very balanced point, as difficult as that may be for some to stomach. Heseltine actually showed interest and generated investment in the city of Liverpool that triggered the start point for where we are today as a progressive city.

It might not sit comfortable with everyone, but he did.

Bramley Moore Dock will be the next phase and the north docks.

Brent Stephens
20 Posted 08/09/2023 at 21:09:48
Danny #10 “ Trouble is, I can't keep my mouth shut!”.

Ironically, you’re not helping to dispel that image of scousers!

Paul Ferry
21 Posted 08/09/2023 at 21:10:41
I believe that you can do better than that Barry.

By the way, I've been a "scouse exile", like you, for 39 years, in 5 English towns and cities across the country and across the Atlantic (and travelled all over the world) and while I did hear on odd occasions the "gizza job" stuff (water off a duck's back, to be honest) it was insignificant in comparison to the admiration for my home city, some of which was related to Blackstuff. Maybe we just moved in different circles/worlds Barry?

Again, I'm happy to engage in substantive debate with you about this or any other issue, but somewhat less happy to go round the houses with someone who thinks they know about the lives of others when they know nothing or who thinks that a serious point about the trajectory of a representation
is "a mindless, infantile question" (that's called deflection or avoidance, take your pick).

This is a tad rich: "Now, if you don't like hearing first hand knowledge". To put it another way: "Now, if you don't like hearing MY first hand knowledge". My "first hand knowledge" is rather different to yours Barry and every bit as relevant - even my Midhurst Liverpool converts.

Danny O’Neill
22 Posted 08/09/2023 at 21:11:33
Paul, I invite you to travel me with the Arsenal fans there and back next Sunday.

That will give you the substance of the stereotype that has been created.

Like when I travel with Chelsea, West Ham, Tottenham, even Crystal Palace.

We pay your benefits.

Winds me up.

Paul Ferry
23 Posted 08/09/2023 at 21:16:12
Danny, while I respect your experiences and what Barry calls "first hand knowledge". I asked how old you were - I thought you were in that range - not I to ask for your biography, I know it well already, or to hear again that you will be at the match, but to point out that your claim that Bleasdale/Blackstuff "set the tone in perceptions that still exist today" was wrong.
Brent Stephens
24 Posted 08/09/2023 at 21:24:02
Boys from the Blackstuff reflected a reality. That reality was already there. Bleasdale raged about that reality. Others reacted afterwards to his reflection of that reality.

Bread was a comedy not a social commentary. Boys from the Blackstuff was a social commentary with a dark, depressing “humour “.

Paul Ferry
25 Posted 08/09/2023 at 21:26:34
And, Danny, I very much admire the people who get to so many games, I wish I could, and I wish that I could join you on that train, but I will not be in a position to do so until the Spring.

I'm sorry that you still have to put up with that sort of caricature shite - it tickles me no end to hear Geordies singing "sign on" when a quick trip online might make even them realize how stupid they are - but for me it's water off a ducks back, as I said. That it's easily dissected nonsense is not lost on anyone who actually thinks and yes while it can make us wince and recoil, not least in highly charged footy settings, it's not hard to rise above what comes out of the mouths of sad little wankers.

On the lovely occasions when I take up my seat in the Park End, I'm alway struck at how 99% of the good folk around me cannot be arsed or give a toss when some wags next to us giggle and sing "sign on".

Paul Ferry
26 Posted 08/09/2023 at 21:34:20
Love that Mike (18), almost as much as I dislike that Tarby-like professional scouser Bishop. Looks like he broke the mould, however, and chose not to live within five miles of Henley-on-Thames!
Barry Rathbone
27 Posted 08/09/2023 at 21:34:36
Paul Ferry 21

“while I did hear on odd occasions the "gizza job" stuff “

And there we have it.

Despite your “rubbish” claims the totally unnecessary thug characterisation of “yozza” arrived in your parish as it did many from the area. Now whilst water off a duck's back to you it wasn’t for everyone which is something you should heartily grasp given your pedantry about “my experience”.

If Bleasdale had anything about him he could have created something without scally stereotyping but he didn’t which makes him a lazy hack as far as I’m concerned. Not only that I thought it a genuinely shit series.

Dale Self
28 Posted 08/09/2023 at 21:38:19
Thank you Brent from the Yank upper stands, as opposed to one understands. Getting my coat, scarf and accessories now. Good Liverpool stuff.
Dave Abrahams
29 Posted 08/09/2023 at 21:50:25
Brian (11), I think Margaret Simey the Liverpool Councillor for the Granby Ward in Toxteth before, during and after the riots in the city did a lot more than Michael Heseltine to help the people of the South End of the city.

A lot of the work provided after Michael came was cosmetic, it had no lasting effect although I’d agree he was a more decent type of Tory than most.

Margaret Simey cared for her constituents for all the time she held the post, not for financial gain or honours, she scoffed at being awarded the “ Freedom of the City” award and refused it, she never needed or wanted a fuss made of her but I think she got satisfaction but being appreciated by the people she tried to help.

Paul Ferry
30 Posted 08/09/2023 at 21:51:54
Barry, the art of selective quotation is as old as the oldest profession and with it someone tries to put words or thoughts in the minds of others for their own ends by failing to include - in this case - the rest of the sentence to which only a fool would think it was unrelated. The key words for you here Barry are "insignificant in comparison to the admiration."

"And there we have it", you say?

Erm, no.

Quite frankly, Barry, I should probably hang up my boots as there is little point in discussing Blackstuff with someone who seems only to think that it matters and interprets it for "gizza job". No wonder you think that it is "shit".

Dennis Stevens
31 Posted 08/09/2023 at 22:16:13
Although the "gizza job" line was much quoted, I prefered "... I'm desperate, Dan".
Barry Rathbone
32 Posted 08/09/2023 at 22:23:44
Paul Ferry 30

The point you got irate about was the descriptor of the "Yozza" character as a thug, begging the question what do you call someone whose calling card is putting the head in?

The "gizza job" nonsense represents the impact such a worthless Liverpool characterisation has on the general populace. It became a shorthand response to anyone with a scouse accent, something you had to concede when less irate totally contradicting your initial bluster of "rubbish".

Whatever qualification you added to your admission the salient fact is you confirmed from experience the stereotype had penetrated the greater public mindset.

Now, I might accept you don't care about the public perception of people from the city except you said this:-

"I absolutely hated Bread, trotting out lazy, false, patronising stereotypes of our city and us in every single one of its warped and easy caricatures".

So weird.

Christine Foster
33 Posted 08/09/2023 at 23:07:38
Jesus Christ.. Boys from the Blackstuff and Bread. Like trying to compare chalk and cheese. The latter was light hearted but dross, the former made me cry.

Forget the accents, if you can, the Blackstuff mirrored so many lives and the stark reality for a huge swath of people in Liverpool. If you were one of those people as I was, so much of it not only rang true, it was an accurate depiction of what family life was like. The characters were real, not plastic, situations real and faced everyday. Remember "Managed decline?" This was what it was.

I don't care if it enforced or created stereotypes of scousers because they weren't there, they didn't live it, they don't know.

When I remember Bread, I feel nothing; when I remember Blackstuff, it hurts. It was an accurate depiction in a fictitious format. (George remembering the docks being wheeled around Albert Dock as it was, Christy telling the man behind the counter at the dole "I wouldn't be you", the cash jobs, the fear... the rest of the country was light years away from Liverpool, perhaps why they ridiculed it, because it wasn't the life they had.

Derek Thomas
34 Posted 08/09/2023 at 23:21:43
Paul, Danny, Barry et al; while I did hear on odd occasions the "gizza job" stuff (water off a duck's back, to be honest) is usually my reaction - most times

Well that's one way of dealing with the 'low yield idiots' stuff and probably for the best, turn the other cheek etc. There is no quick way to deal with what in other circumstances would be racial stereotyping or some such.

For the 'medium yield (usually a bit loud) sarky idiot', if you reply verbally you get "It was only a joke, I thought you scousers were supposed to have a sense of humour."

Any attempt at discussion: "Yeah mate, we do, but you're not funny and here's why you're wrong as well" is mostly met with an attitude of "Well, I'm not arguing with anybody who wants to get clever and start throwing facts around... you could put somebody's eye out like that, jeez..." As they disengage and walk off. Talk about touchy!

For the mega obnoxious high-yield tosser, usually with his mates, going from nought to Fat Harold / Yosser in 4.2 seconds just reinforces what they already thought they knew... that only works if you're Jack Reacher and I'm more Tom Cruise's size.

All told, Bread and other 'popular TV' going back to the 60s (puts on tin hat), including The Golden Vision, did us no real favours, especially when you throw in the antics of our Red Shite neighbours.

Supplementary Question; With all the above-mentioned so-called negatives, how the fuck did the rs cult get so embedded all over the geographical Country (nay the world, 90 000 turned up in Melbourne a few years ago to watch them for fuck's sake!), it's media and establishment?

Barry Rathbone
35 Posted 08/09/2023 at 23:24:41
Christine @33,

"the rest of the country was light-years away from Liverpool, perhaps why they ridiculed it, because it wasn't the life they had"

Not what Professor Jonathan Tonge BA MA PhD of Liverpool University concluded. " According to Prof Jon Tonge, of the University of Liverpool Politics Department, the city was no different to any other northern city that depended on heavy industry."

Why Liverpool never loved Margaret Thatcher

Barry Rathbone
36 Posted 08/09/2023 at 23:26:52
Derek 34

Great points and spot on

Christine Foster
37 Posted 08/09/2023 at 00:03:34
Barry 35,

No different than anywhere else then, Barry?

Perhaps you would care to table all those other "northern towns" deliberately earmarked for managed decline by Thatcher? Nothing special indeed...

Barry Rathbone
38 Posted 09/09/2023 at 00:09:31
Christine 37

Not my survey.

Thought you might be interested in a view from someone hailing from Liverpool Uni who studies such things professionally rather than anecdotal protestations.

If you read the citation, the "managed decline" was not carried through in fact, the complete opposite via Heseltine.

Kieran Kinsella
39 Posted 09/09/2023 at 02:04:16
I didn't intend to open so many old wounds by making a reference to a sitcom.

But to Paul Ferry's question: no I didn't spend my formative years in Liverpool which was probably a good thing based on this thread as I was in my formative years when Thatcher was Prime Minister.

I spent my formative years “daaan sarfff” but what I will say is this. Circa 1986, a kid from St Helen's moved to our school. A certain number of kids relentlessly bullied him for being Liverpudlian and on the dole. I assume this came from the parents as I had no idea what they were on about.

I was one of four hereditary Evertonians at school and we were and still are friends with this kid — now man — who sadly was an RS.

A decade later when I went to Uni in Manchester, I don't remember a particular anti-Scouse issue but it was more south v north. The stereotypical northerner viewed as a mix of Arthur Scargill, Jimmy Nail, Liam Gallagher and Cilla Black.

There were a lot of fights in night clubs between southern and northern students but generally it was Geordies who were the agitators and seemed to think they represented the north v the south. I had good mates in Uni from Liverpool and North Wales who loved a rumble but they tended to join the southerners v the geordies in these drunken brawls.

Also, for clarification, the combatants on all sides were working or middle class. I remember one occasion a massive brawl between Geordie's and kids from the South West. a group of Hooray Henrys piled in, attacking the Geordies. Suddenly the SW kids and Geordies formed an alliance and all beat up the Hooray Henrys.

I'm not questioning or denying anyone else's experiences but, for what it's worth as a displaced Evertonian, that was my personal experience.

Don Alexander
40 Posted 09/09/2023 at 02:08:19
My Ma is living quite independently just 4 months short of her 100th birthday. She lived from birth to 30 within a furlong of the docks. She still has her soft scouse accent but by the time the Beatles emerged she was and remains bemused as to the hugely exaggerated scouse accent that emerged in their wake, aided by Cilla and Tarbuck, and many others.

That exaggerated accent was exemplified by TV series such as Z-Cars, Bread (which was as funny as toothache), Blackstuff, Brookside and we scousers swallowed it all up to the point of further exaggeration.

Then we were all "had" by Hatton and his crew of maniacs in local politics despite the fact that was then, and remains, that our city centre is still very significantly "owned" by whoever the feckless fucker is who now contends himself as the duke of Westminster,

Thus we've always failed to realise that the powers that be, the Tories with their decades-long undisclosed plan to arrange the downfall of our city for years even whilst the ultra-Tory Heseltine parades himself to this day as our saviour on account of spending money found in a Tory sofa on a mere blip of a flower garden (as he sought restoration to the top of Tory government of course), the monarchy with their perennial demand for money for nothing (the duke of Westminster being a cherished member), and the alleged "establishment" incorporating the law and media of course, have always had it in for our people.

Shithouses like Moshiri and Kenwright depend on it of course.

Kieran Kinsella
42 Posted 09/09/2023 at 02:20:33
Talking of better times there is a series on Amazon Prime called Victorian Britain in Color.

One episode concentrated on the affluent city of Liverpool where anyone with money or prowess wanted to be seen. It's pretty interesting all the top hats and even disproportionate numbers of early cars. Some of the more seasoned posters may recall some of the old landmarks in it that later were toppled.

Steve Brown
44 Posted 09/09/2023 at 03:16:07
Kieran, you are on a roll with the WWII and Bread threads!

Back to your main point, I always thought Moyes was more Mavis Riley from Coronation Street.

Kieran Kinsella
45 Posted 09/09/2023 at 04:07:01

Lol, the accidental pot stirrer I am I guess!

Paul Ferry
46 Posted 09/09/2023 at 04:17:38
Don (40),

I hope you don't mind me being the first to wish your mum a very happy 100th birthday! She sounds like a wonderful lady.

You won't be surprised to read me say that I don't agree with you about Boys from the Blackstuff but I do agree with every word you wrote after "exaggeration" (apart from "maniacs", they weren't all cut from the same cloth)! Great post.

I wasn't trying to insult you, Kieran, it was a genuine question, and I enjoyed learning more about you (Manchester Uni sounds terrifying).

Kieran Kinsella
47 Posted 09/09/2023 at 05:07:01
Paul Ferry,

No offense taken and yes Manchester was mental and that's just the students not to mention the locals.


Happy birthday to your Mum mate. We still need to meet up for that beer in Kansas, Australia wherever. And of course discuss our mutual love of William Kenwright esquire.

Christine Foster
48 Posted 09/09/2023 at 05:23:12
Paul, I was about to respond to Barry, his viewpoint I found quite dismissive, but having read your response I think it more than suffices as a retort, I genuflect to you sir.

I note that Jonathan Tonge was born in 1962 in Bury, went to uni in Hull and joined Liverpool Uni in 2005, some 20 years after the Thatcher era. Hardly lived through it then and not a scouser by any stretch.

It's a bit rich to dismiss anecdotal evidence from others who were there and indeed in some respects this feeds into the perception of scousers, geordies, brummies, whoever... Unless you have experienced life as such, stereotypes are often pigeonholes for people to mock others with.

Don't mock me or mine. I bite.

Thanks, Paul.

Paul Ferry
49 Posted 09/09/2023 at 05:46:48
All the best, Christine. Your heart is always in the right place.
Chris Williams
50 Posted 09/09/2023 at 06:57:32
I recently rewatched Boys from the Blackstuff, and the one-off play it came from. It was harder to watch it with my older eyes, with its dark-as-pitch humour, and raw, desperate emotion. A Thatcherite State Of The Nation snapshot.

A brilliant drama by a great writer, with a superb, award winning cast. But a hard, hard watch.

Kevin Molloy
51 Posted 09/09/2023 at 07:52:54
I grew up thinking Boys from the Blackstuff was brilliant. I watched it again recently though and it hasn't aged well in my view.

Bleasdale's stuff just seems to date almost immediately, whereas say Willy Russell's stuff hasn't. I suppose that's the price you pay when you write about social issues. But it also felt clunking and over the top from 40 years away. Not much subtlety there, you could certainly feel 'the presence of the writer'.

Bread was an abomination.

Barry Williams
52 Posted 09/09/2023 at 08:10:49
Derek Thomas - 34

I have lived and worked in 10 different countries and also went to Uni in Hull and even served as a mobile phone salesman in Manchester in the 90s (I should have been given danger money for that).

I have heard so many anti-scouse jibes that the best way to deal with it was to tell a load of anti-scouse jokes in quick succession and then say "Are we done?"

It seems to work!

Dave Cashen
53 Posted 09/09/2023 at 08:17:05

Well done for making this an interesting debate in the absence of a game this week but, as another exiled scouser, I have to agree whole-heartedly with Paul Ferry and Christine.

Boys from the Blackstuffwas truly groundbreaking. it had a profound effect on the nation's conscience. It was not simply about Yozzer. There were other wonderful characters who demonstrated the Scouse ability to find humour in even the darkest of places.

Yes Yozza will remain in the memory longest, but the creation of his character was perhaps a touch of genius by a man who could clearly see the damage being caused by a crass uncaring government which only concerned itself with looking after its own.

The managed decline of our city was not just a government thing. The entire Tory membership were delighted to climb aboard that train. Corporate investment and the city of Liverpool had long since gone in different directions. The scouser was seen as troublesome. The more he fought for a fair deal, the more troublesome they viewed him. The fighting spirit of this city which we now see being used for the greater good, unnerved the establishment back then.

Yozzer wasn't just a scouser. He was a working man driven to a complete breakdown by being denied the basic dignity of being able to provide for his family. His character may well have attracted ridicule from those who had yet to know hardship, but there were around 3.5 million unemployed people living in Northern towns and the coal mining communities of Wales and Scotland who found watching him unravel very unnerving — "There but for the grace of God".

I actually believe Yozzer Hughes was one of the key fictional characters of the decade. Through him, Bleasdale somehow tapped into the nation's conscience. His work, along with some other notable writers, was instrumental in the eventual downfall of the Conservative government. Just my opinion.


I think everyone who follows the Bblues will know exactly what you are saying. Listening to fans from other clubs singing "Sign on" or "We pay your benefits" is no longer even boring, although it can be brushing when the latest rendition ends in howls of hysterical laughter from people who clearly think they have just made it up and are the first to sing it.

Carla Lane may have meant no harm, but she did as much to create and promote the Archetypal Scally as "Arry" Enfield or The Sun ever did.

Danny O’Neill
54 Posted 09/09/2023 at 08:27:33
Some great diverse views on this thread as there always is on this site.

Here's another one that some may remember - One Summer.

I think all of a certain generation experienced it. And they were grim times in hindsight. Although not unique to Merseyside, the city and region felt it harder than most. No denying.

Some will point to Thatcher's Britain and the siege mentality that Hatton built on as he wined and dined in the 500 club. Hypocrite. He probably still does in the modern day equivalent and has a speed dial to Bill. Whilst the self proclaimed knight in shining armour socialist enjoys the privileges, most of us are scrambling around for tickets to just be in the ground and support the team.

I didn't want to leave, but there was nothing for me so like many, I chose to. I came back and I still do. My family still live there. She's my home city. Always will be and I'm proud of the redevelopment that has taken place. More to come.

On a more light hearted note, if you haven't watched in, try Max & Paddy's Road to Nowhere. It's funny and refers to Thatcher's Britain.

Politicians of all flavours and colours wind me up. I don't treat politics like football. The latter is non-negotiable. The former, I am ambivalent.

Paul, next time you are up, come and meet the gang. We are a good mix and it's always different discussing in person.

Bobby Mallon
55 Posted 09/09/2023 at 08:38:15
Barry 27. How should have bleasdale portrayed scousers from the 80’s I’d like to see your interpretation.
Bobby Mallon
56 Posted 09/09/2023 at 08:43:30
Christine 33 perfectly put well done.
Danny O’Neill
57 Posted 09/09/2023 at 08:55:25
I'll have a go at that one Bobby - subject to criticism.

Factories being shut down and jobs at a minimum. No hope. Despair and worry.

A down trodden city that had once been the second city of the British Empire. We had fallen from grace and been overtaken by others. A port city that faced the west was replaced by south east coast ports closer to Europe (for those who favour the EU). It cost the city. Failure to capitalise on Speke Airport early, opening the door for Manchester to become the UK's 3rd air hub.

The people of a once globally outward looking city became insular defensive and protective (as we do - I do on the train!).

We are still scarred, but the city has improved no end. When I travel and when my son was at Liverpool John Moore's, the city centre was almost unrecognisable. I hear nothing but good things from friends and non-Liverpool family who visit.

It's been a tough ride, but our typical perseverance and fighting spirit has seen us through. And will continue to do so. We don't give in. Our mums taught us that.

Manchester stole a march, but like Everton, the city of Liverpool has so much potential. Speaking as someone who now lives away, honestly, people are intrigued by the city. And Everton.

David Bromwell
58 Posted 09/09/2023 at 08:56:28
What a brilliant debate this has turned out to be, Kieran, thank you for posting the original article.

When it was first shown I loved Boys from the Blackstuff and thought it told a story of industrial decline and the social consequences. At the time, I was moved by it and it made me angry, but I agree with those that say it hasn't aged well and I find it difficult to watch now.

I would also agree with all those who spoke well of Michael Heseltine. The rebirth of the Albert Docks and the International Garden Festival were just brilliant initiatives.

Sadly for me the City has re created itself as a Party Venue, and it saddens me to see so many wonderful buildings now hosting leisure and entertainment businesses. For me there is an easy money to be made feel about it all and I feel uncertain that the new operators of these venues will be prepared and able to keep the fabric of the buildings in good shape.

One final thought, I think it's just wonderful that after all these years since it was first shown, Boys from the Blackstuff still generates strong and opposing debate, so credit to the writer and the actors for producing a legendary piece of drama.

Bobby Mallon
59 Posted 09/09/2023 at 08:59:07
By the way. What an amazing thread Kieran well done
Alan McGuffog
60 Posted 09/09/2023 at 09:06:45
I have oft recommended "Waterfront Blues " by Brian Towers, to the good company here on TW. Superb account of the decline of the port. Goes a lot deeper than "it was all Maggie's fault".

As regards the portrayal of Luverpool people on the box. I despised Bread for so many reasons. One being that the acting was shite. But do any of you recall a programme from the early 70s... entitled, ha, ha,.. The Wackers? Sweet Jesus, it was toe-curling.

Steve Shave
61 Posted 09/09/2023 at 09:08:38
Glad to see you've not held onto any ToffeeWeb grudges over the years Kieron ;) ha ha only kidding bud, good article thanks for posting.
George McKane
62 Posted 09/09/2023 at 09:10:47
It got worse and worse - the Anti Liverpool jokes and jibes - from every time a “ scouser” ( I do not use this word - I am a Liverpolitan) was mentioned or in the media it was negative - drugs/ car theft:/ DOLE: fiddling/ robbery - I created a Project called “Reclaiming The City For Artists Lovers and Poets” - I challenged every comment and check up robberies car theft set seq and wrote to News Agencies -? I wrote to Comic Relief about their characters - they met and supported our Project - I was in the Local/National and International Media - newspapers/ radio and TV - my biggest attackers were “ the local Celebrities - including Carla Lane/ Stan Boardman/ Cilla Black/ and many many more - my line angle was the negative effect it had on our young people and created a stereotype which many thought actually was who they were - replace the “scouser” with any other minority group and it would not be accepted - I was asked by many of the so called Celebrities where my “Scouse sense of humour was” - my answer was that I don’t use humour to insult people and also in many of the cases the first thing they did with their Celebrity Status was get out of Liverpool - which is fine of course - but their jokes/ shows didn’t effect them - except made them money - I did a CD of Poetry and Music made by our Yellow House Young people - one of the tracks was called “ Calm Down Yourself” - we did performances showing the positives of young people in Liverpool - taking them on the road - including a show in Hamburg - I created a little booklet about all the positives and hosted a One Day Conference about “accents” - with a great guest Carl Sing from Birmingham who wrote a book called “Shakespeare was a Brummie” - and yet it still goes on - every home game with the dull - boring - outdated - meaningless chants - have to stop writing now - getting tired. Best wishes to all Evertonians and Liverpolitans.
Tony Abrahams
63 Posted 09/09/2023 at 09:14:32
Thanks for that link Barry R, with my first thoughts being, I wonder if that professor had first hand knowledge of any other northern city, also being driven to managed decline?

I personally think Thatcher hated us as a city, a lot more for the way we backed the striking Yorkshire miners, even though we were on are arses ourselves. Hatton was never going to win once every other Labour constituency backed down except our cousins in Lambeth, which always made me think she hated us because we were backing the people who gave Twatcher her hardest fight?

It's water under the bridge, and without ever being an over the top professional scouser, I'm genuinely proud of the way our city bounced back, because I'm sure most places would have went under if they didn't have such great spirit, although having the two football teams fighting it out at the top definitely helped the people a lot.

There was riots in most major cities but only one was really talked about by most of the national press, and that bastard Thatcher definitely used one infamous newspaper after first travelling to Sheffield to get her story straight with the people she was going to defend.

I could go on, it's why I despair when people only want to use plastic instead of “real money!” with my standard reply being, I hope you never have to face hard times. I say this because I don't believe our city would have survived without a black economy, but survive we fucking did.

I thought you nailed it, Christine, when you said the Boys from the Blackstuff made you cry. I remember finding it very realistic even though I was only an 11-year-old child, and we used to bounce into school, talking about the episode that we had just seen the previous night.

When I was older I remember my mates wanted to put it on the telly one day when we were all sitting in our house (Dave had it on video, even though he didn't know how to work the thing!) and I told them not to watch it because it would only depress the fucking life out of them.

I left them in ours and went for a run, and when I came back I remember them all saying, you was right about that, it's nowhere near as funny as we thought it was when we were kids. Desperate Dan, was hilarious though Dennis, even if my favourite was when the arl jock was sitting in Williamson Square shouting I hate scousers - brilliant!!

Danny O’Neill
64 Posted 09/09/2023 at 09:18:47
Love that, George. Liverpolitan.

Don't ever call me a Liverpudlian. Maybe it's just me but that makes me feel I'm being associated with them.

Liverpolitan. A citizen of the city of Liverpool.

Great to hear from you and I hope you are well.

Barry Williams
65 Posted 09/09/2023 at 09:38:33
George McKane - 62

I often thought that the Liverpudlian celebrities were happy to perpetuate the stereotypes in order to make a living. But life started mimicking art, as many people took up the mantle of what it was to be a 'scouser'…

To the point where you can meet someone from Formby, who was born and bred there, and they have some quasi-thick 'scouse' accent. Ridiculous!

Pete Neilson
66 Posted 09/09/2023 at 09:39:02
Thanks for the link Barry (35) it's an interesting article.

I was work mates and friends with Jon Tonge in the eighties, lost touch over the years. He was brought up on Merseyside and, as far as I know, still lives here.

I don't understand what his birthplace has to do with academic research, if that were necessary then only Inuits would have credibility writing about the Arctic.

James Hughes
67 Posted 09/09/2023 at 09:57:17
Boys from the Blackstuff was a great programme and displayed the harsh realities of life in the city at the time.

To call Yosser a thug totally misses the point. Bernard Hill was a man desperate to work and get some self-respect back.

I finished catering college in 1982; jobs were non-existent and the Tory mantra was 'get on your bike and get a job'. Which I duly did and, 40 years on, the 'scouser is here, watch your wallet' still boils my piss.

I no longer react as the lovable chavs round my way respond with, "Calm down, calm down" or "It's only a joke".

Barry Rathbone
68 Posted 09/09/2023 at 10:30:33
Bobby Mallon 55,

He could have invented any number of characters without descending to the depths of Scouse Scally.

Perhaps a determined 17-year-old young footballer who walked out of school after his last A-level to instantly face the pressures and responsibility of becoming a man.

Instead of going home to his parents, he got the 15d to Kirkby to see his childhood sweetheart who had managed to get a council flat in a rough arse part of Tower Hill because she was about to give birth to their first child.

Despite the unemployment statistics and his own dream of becoming an Everton player, he managed to find work in order to support his family.

Maybe the scenario of surviving the financial pressure of such circumstances along with the all too common confrontations of ghetto living is a bit of a stretch. Perhaps the notion of working hard to escape the piss-smelling half-vacant tenement buildings, replete with drugs, alcoholism and violence, is too far-fetched… but who knows? Maybe not, but that's not the centrepiece of the Bleasdale creation.

The characters could have been developed to show these hard-working scousers grafting like hell, knowing one day they would emerge with dignity to better things. She working in various part-time jobs; he confounding his employers by achieving his professional qualifications in one year instead of the normal 3… and paying the exam fees out of his own pocket to do so.

The general public might have respected such characters and the people they represent rather than ridicule them.

But maybe the truth is triumph over adversity doesn't sell as well as non-stop, bone-idle, sanctimonious carping about how hard done by scousers are.

Maybe walking around in a psychotic trance sticking the head in as per the thug, Yozza, is a dramatic device that simply has to be included.

There were plenty of options for Bleasdale; he chose not to see them.

Dave Abrahams
69 Posted 09/09/2023 at 10:38:58
Yes top marks to those who remember ‘Yosser' as a desperate man losing his sanity through not being able to provide for his family. Christine (various), I agree with you entirely, as usual, you've moved far away but your soul still resides in Scotland Road and Liverpool.

George (62) Lovely to see you back on here, fit and well, I hope, full of common sense.

Another play based on Liverpool kids and their teachers from school was Our Day Out about young Scouse kids being taken for a rare trip out of Liverpool and what they got up to, including trying to rob a penguin. I hope that hasn't become outdated, it was a truly comic play, to me.

George McKane
70 Posted 09/09/2023 at 11:00:28
Thank you, Dave, and everyone for your good wishes and comments.

I cannot write much these days - without being dramatic, I am concentrating on the chemotherapy treatment. I had the second session last Wednesday and the after-effects are very tiring: lots of sleep, no pain – all controlled.

I take care of my spirit and soul, the doctors take care of my body. Meditation and medication – I am good and very positive. Thanks again – I can feel and receive the positive vibes and grooves and send them with a big + all the way back to you all.

Barry Hesketh
71 Posted 09/09/2023 at 11:01:26
Nearly everything produced by TV, when featuring our home city, seems to me a free shot to promote the neighbours. It's incredible the amount of brand new LFC shirts that are on view, or life-long LFC fans pledging their love for their club, from cookery shows, to dog training, and everything in between. It's no wonder people believe that this city of ours is a one club city.

Don't bring that old chestnut up, "if we were successful, we'd be recognised", because as soon as we were in the mid-1980s, all our success was seen as representing 'Merseyside' whilst the other lot were seen as representing the city and of course themselves.

I disliked Bread with a passion and any other 'comedy' show that promoted stereotypes that aren't at all representative of the city or its residents. The fact that so many 'scousers' wrote or produced many of these shows is as annoying as much as it's sad.

Mike Doyle
72 Posted 09/09/2023 at 11:02:50
Alan #60] I vaguely remember The Wackers too - and The Liver Birds (the 2 “Liverpool” girls being played by actresses from other part of the country) - both were pretty awful.

Then again I know East Enders who hate the image portrayed by that programme, Yorkshire folk who despair at Emmerdale and a couple of friends in Chester who wonder why Hollyoaks is full of youngsters, when the average age of the locals is 80+.

Being from Old Swan, but having lived in S W London for 30+ years I find that, in daily life/the work place, most of the old scouser stereotype comments have faded away.

I’ve spoken to many who have visited the city in recent years - as tourists - and all found the experience very enjoyable.

The one aspect that persists though are painful comedy impressions of the Liverpool accent. Exactly why it’s so different (higher pitched) than when I was a kid is hard to explain.

My mother is 86, still living in Liverpool, asks the same question as Don’s mother. Any ideas?

Dave #69. Our Day is great- and can be found on YouTube. Alun Armstrong gives arguably the performance of his career as the teacher who doesn’t like kids. I recall teachers just like him.

Brian Harrison
73 Posted 09/09/2023 at 11:03:24
Dave @29,

You rightly championed the work that Margaret Simey did for her Granby constituents and also a long-time critic of Kenneth Oxford, the then Chief Constable of Liverpool, for his stop-and-search methods.

This Glasgow-born woman certainly loved this city and worked tirelessly to try and change things. But I don't accept she had more to do with the regeneration of Liverpool than Heseltine.

Thatcher hated Heseltine and she thought she was handing him a poison chalice making him Minister of Merseyside, as her and her fellow cabinet ministers thought that Liverpool should be put into a managed decline. But Heseltine used his wealthy contacts like the Duke of Westminster to inject millions into building Liverpool One and the Albert Dock, which allowed this city to look forward with enthusiasm and belief – something we hadn't had for decades.

Derek Thomas
74 Posted 09/09/2023 at 11:04:33
Nice to hear from you George - Liverpolitian it's is from now on.
Tony Abrahams
75 Posted 09/09/2023 at 11:05:35
Google it, Dave, I watched it on the internet not so long ago.

There is a line that has always resonated with me since I first heard Peter Gabriel sing it, in family snapshot – a song allegedly about the assassination of John F Kennedy.

If you don't get given you learn to take – I believe everybody has got to find a way to survive.

Tony Shelby
76 Posted 09/09/2023 at 11:06:19
Everton - Bread. What a weird analogy.

Presumably Daniel Levy is Lilo Lil?

We're probably more like One Summer. Kenwright is daydreamer Billy; with Moshiri as Icky, the lad without a fucking clue who ends up going down in a ball of self-inflicted flames.

Tony Abrahams
77 Posted 09/09/2023 at 11:12:20
Keep using that old Cardinal Godfrey spirit and keep fighting George. Lovely to hear from you, and hopefully you start gaining more energy and strength in the very near future mate, just like your team, I hope🙏
Alan McGuffog
78 Posted 09/09/2023 at 11:42:12

The Wackers, unlike the Liver feckin Birds had some great Liverpool actors... Ken Jones, Sheila Fay, and, I think a young Keith Chegwin.

It was sheer drivel with all the old Orange - Green bullshit hammered to death.

It lasted one series, thankfully

Dave Abrahams
79 Posted 09/09/2023 at 12:37:39
Brian (73),

Fair enough, Heseltine did well originally and The Albert Dock was great when it first became a tourist attraction and also to us Liverpool people who lived in the city but I think it then dropped away and many of the shops and restaurants closed or were sold on, prices charged there one of the main reasons.

It was the same with Liverpool One, there is a lot of activity with people walking round and again some big shops have moved from other locations, like Church Street to Liverpool One and the shops closing there or changing hands still happen a lot.

Back to Michael Heseltine. I'd love to hear his opinions on the recent lot of Tory Prime Ministers and Cabinet appointees, is there any or has there been one outstanding politician amongst them?

And I'm afraid none of the other parties have one amongst them. I'll never waste my vote but it's hard, very hard to have any faith or belief in any of them. It's the same at local elections, voting for your Councillor, I haven't seen any of them for years even when it's election time!

Ian Jones
80 Posted 09/09/2023 at 13:09:15
Amazing how these threads end up going all over the place. Incredible insights.

I'll add the TV comedy Watching to the thread-more Wirral based. Not political but had a character called Brenda who was an Everton fan.

Trevor Bailey
81 Posted 09/09/2023 at 13:14:10
Hi Ian, I remember that as well. I think it was filmed in Meols.
Andy Crooks
82 Posted 09/09/2023 at 13:48:26
Carla Lane has her hand in some of the worst shite ever shown on TV. In a competitive field she is a champion of anti talent.
John Burns
83 Posted 09/09/2023 at 13:59:42
So good to hear from you, George. We all are, and wish you nothing but a speedy recovery.

I love Liverpool and am so proud to be from here. I hated the stereotypical jibes we have all suffered from throughout the years. The prejudice and insults, often caused through those TV shows. (But somehow, I still laughed at Harry Enfield!)

The international community I am involved with now, don't seem to hold those stereotypical prejudices. They love Liverpool. They comment how friendly and welcoming the people are. I think the statistics indicate something lie 70% of students who come to Liverpool to study stay on, find jobs here because they fall in love with the place.

Whatever the problems and attitudes to us in the eighties are slowly evaporating. There still are the idiots, like the ones Danny highlights from Arsenal fans etc. But that is the role of the opposition fan, I suppose, to throw insults. But the reality is, we have made so much progress as a city and I'm proud to be a Liverpudlian… er Evertonian!

We are a feisty people and long may it continue.

Dale Self
84 Posted 09/09/2023 at 14:04:22
Beautiful to see you and your prose George. This thread is forcing me to deal with some Okie issues. Life at lower stations is misunderstood by the well off and derided by those who love the human hamster wheel. Sadly, I must add David Gates of Bread is an Okie.
Mike Gaynes
85 Posted 09/09/2023 at 14:17:26
George, glad you're able to rest pain-free and rest your mind with the meditation. That's great medicine. Stay strong.
John Williams
86 Posted 09/09/2023 at 16:45:17
Totally agree, Carla Lane was a poor writer, when you compare her work with the likes of the Likely Lads (Newcastle), Only Fools and Horses (Peckham).
Steptoe & Son (London).
The Lovers (1973) filmed in Manchester with Richard Beckinsale & Paula Wilcox.
A Taste of Honey and many more.
Nick Page
87 Posted 09/09/2023 at 16:47:42
Boswell out
Paul Ferry
88 Posted 09/09/2023 at 16:50:05
I don't think that it's as high as 70% John (Burns), but I definitely read or heard not too long ago that more Liverpool University students stayed on in the city after graduation than any other university in any other city in the country. That's a very good thing in just about every respect.

I have to agree with those on here that the vast majority of people I meet have a high opinion of our city. I was just staying in Limehouse for three months right on the river, and I genuinely lost count of the number of people in my local - the Grapes on Narrow Street, owned by Sir Ian McKellen - who said that Liverpool was the friendliest city with the friendliest people in the country. Blackstuff, whenever I bring it up now, was/is for nearly everyone I speak to.

First and foremost, wonderful, moving, and aching TV.

Second, a social commentary, yes on the city that suffered more than most, but also something that remains a damning critique of Tory and Thatcher politics more generally in scope and scale and a moving portrayal of working people and the struggle to keep heads above water in all corners of the country, and that includes the "sarth" where there was deep suffering in many places like Southampton, Portsmouth, huge swathes of metropolitan London, Cornish villages, Plymouth, the near shanty areas of Bristol, torn down Gloucester, new towns nearly everywhere, and so on.

And, thirdly, a work that was highly original and influential in its genre, and one of the most important things to come out of tele-land in the 1980s, with characters, scenes, and lines that many carry around with them to this day, and human dignity and decency and intense emotion all the way through (and yes, to the one who shall not be named, even in a Kirkby kiss).

A potential "issue" on this thread is that some of us – no names mentioned! – persist with a somewhat unitary and one-dimensional attitude to what others think of us. It's quite simply not like that at all. Not many things are black and white; always stay in the grey, I always say to my students, that's nearly always where the interesting stuff is.

There are a wide range of attitudes to God's own city and they might even shift in one person according to the situation they find themselves in. Few things, not least attitudes, are completely frozen and "one". The attitudes of I'll call them Danny's "sign on", "do they know it's Christmas" knobheads - because Danny, trapped on a train but with a bevvy and voice, has to put up with them more than most - are about as representative of attitudes to Liverpool up and down the country as say thick Geordies, yuppy 'Sarfeners' who don't give a toss, tractor boys, strange and odd Fens people, arrogant pseudo-Texan Yorkshire, mangy and miserable Manchester, ivory tower Cambridge or Oxford, sheep-loving borderlands, lackluster Leicester duck, BNP Luton, etc. are to their cities, towns, and regions.

Absolutely lovely to see you on here, George, and all the support and affection in the world for your imminent recovery. Your pen, your sword, is always sorely missed.

On TV/films, I can't think of the name - Away Days? - from, I think, the 1980s, the scene when the scouse/Birkenhead lads in designer gear meet up with the other "firm" in long hair, denim flares, scarves decorating heads, necks, and wrists, and newly shined DMs that day (paraphrasing: "Wear yer colours knobheads") is a priceless snapshot of the times. "Wear yer colours knobheads" is up there with "I'm desperate Dan".

One thing at the end of the day, we are all lucky to have either come of age in Liverpool or chose to support for a rainbow of reasons the team in the city with God and good on its side.

(Remember that Crocodiles and Heaven up Here were “made” in our city; and Mick Head (tragically red shite) and the Paleys graced “Larks in the Park”.)

Jay Harris
89 Posted 09/09/2023 at 16:51:51

I've given up on politicians of any party. They used to be in it for their principles or to fight a cause. Nowadays, they are just in it for the money. The Bessie Braddocks of this world are no more.

On a more important note, glad to see you're on an upward trajectory on the road to recovery. Remember, just like Everton: no pain, no gain – but we are all rooting for you.

Dale Self
90 Posted 09/09/2023 at 16:58:25
As an outsider can I just say that Berger was intolerable? Like England playing in a red kit intolerable.
Kevin Edward
91 Posted 09/09/2023 at 18:29:00
Not many Evertonians in 70s pop culture.
Although young Mr Grace was a massive blue in the sit com episode when he sold his shares in Grace Bros. to a billionaire businessman and negotiated the transfer of Miss Brahms to Tottenham.
Ian Pilkington
92 Posted 09/09/2023 at 19:14:47
Minor point about Boys from the Blackstuff; I have always been bemused as to where Bleasdale got the title from as the term used universally in the construction industry for asphalt road surfacing is 'blacktop'.
Neil Copeland
93 Posted 09/09/2023 at 20:54:36
Kieran, cracking thread this one mate, you hit gold! The fact that George has posted is testimony to how good it is.

George, great to hear that you are making progress and to see you posting again.

Someone mentioned John Bishop and his false exaggerated accent. I worked on the Whitehouse Industrial Estate near Runcorn for almost 30 years and 10 of them as Director of Operations. Most of the shop floor workforce was from Runcorn. Some of the strongest but not quite accurate scouse accents came from people born and bred in Runcorn. Some of the older ones were from Liverpool and had softer accents.

The company I worked for was American and the owner (President) liked to hold question-and-answer sessions with the workforce. He was quite a fierce character and wouldn't end these routines unless he had at least 2 or 3 questions from the shop people. Most were either too afraid to ask him anything in front of the whole workforce (around 200) or just couldn't be bothered.

Anyway, on one such occasion one of the more mouthy and brave (foolish?) lads asked in an overdone scouse accent and very sarcastic tone “When are yer goin to pay decent money?”

Fortunately Gus (the owner) couldn't understand a word he said. He turned to me and asked “Copeland, what did he just say?”

Instinctively, I replied “Bob was asking what effect do you think the Iraq War will have on the business?”

I could feel everyone looking at me and thinking “You're toast!” But to my relief, Gus took it all in his stride and said “Great question!“ and then preceded to give his answer which I can't remember. He even commented to me later about how impressed he was with such a well-informed and intellectual workforce!

I live near Nantwich these days which is only approx 7 miles from Winsford and another Liverpool overspill where again, loads of people have overdone scouse accents.

It's funny but I have never been particularly bothered by the stereotypical comments about scousers. These days I am self-employed as a plumber/heating engineer so I work with lots of other trades. Being in Cheshire, loads take the piss but mainly as banter rather than provocatively. “Watch your tools lads” is probably the most common. I normally respond by asking them if they want some new wheels for the van or how about a few bricks? They get the message and as a result, I have very few issues with the Scouser jibes.

It depends how you take it in my opinion and laughing at yourself is nearly always well-received. Life is too short to worry about shite like that.

Barry Rathbone
94 Posted 09/09/2023 at 22:48:58
Dave Cashen @53

With respect, I think you miss the point as did the 2 participants you mention although gladly not exhibiting the same wounded angst.

The TV show may have been marvellous entertainment for some (not for me) but did it have to lean on damaging scouse stereotypes or could Bleasdale have been more creative?

Things have changed somewhat but don't be fooled as Danny and others have exampled the latent insults remain and should we really have to laugh it off and take it on the chin in this day and age?

Pernicious media impact of this sort never truly goes away it reminds me of the hidden racism my Jamaican friend talks about. He once told me a black man getting into an argument with a white person knows the words "you black bastard" are just around the corner.

That someone liked the show or the political message is neither here nor there – it is the message method that is (or should be) of concern to denizens of this city.

Alan J Thompson
95 Posted 10/09/2023 at 07:34:54
I first saw "Boys from the Blackstuff" on one of my then many refresher courses back to the city of my birth. At that time, I was living in Sydney and mentioned to a friend also from Liverpool that it was being shown in an "art house" cinema in North Sydney.

He went to see it and told me that, when he arrived, the queue stretched around three sides of the building and, after a while, asked the people in front of him when they would open the doors as the film should have started a few minutes earlier. The reply was that this was for the second house as the first had been sold out.

I also recall speaking to another friend from Liverpool about the part in "Educating Rita" where Michael Caine's character asked if anyone knew anything about Yeats and Julie Walters's character replied something about having been in one of his wine lodges. Although we watched it at differing times in different cinemas, we both recalled being the only people in the cinema who laughed at that part.

Also, does anyone recall the documentary, "Get us Kids out of here"? It was based on some graffiti on the side of a block of flats, I think in Everton Valley, but in one part a scuffer said that a police car followed a stolen vehicle up a dead end but the 12-year-old driver did an 180-degree handbrake turn and lost the police car as the police driver didn't know how to do it.

It was also said by same officer that they thought that car thieves were now aged above 7 years and, when asked why, replied that any younger and their feet couldn't reach the pedals.

Even in Australia, I've had the jibes about coming from Liverpool, the "Liverpool kiss" and being a £10 Pom but when I tell them I paid my own way out, and they can feel free to pay my fare back if they wish, they soon quieten down.

We'll keep the Blue flag flying high.

Danny O’Neill
96 Posted 10/09/2023 at 08:38:34
Neil, I agree with you.

I've worked with enough people from all parts of the country and other countries. We all have our stereotype views.

Jocks are tight. Welsh people like sheep. Cockneys are arrogant [insert a word I can't use on this site]. Geordies are blind in their belief they are more special than anyone else. People from Yorkshire wear flat caps and own a whippet. But ultimately we all get on apart from the odd idiot.

I'll be honest, the most balanced I've come across over the years are people from Manchester. Considering how, growing up, they were viewed as the enemy (when we used to compete), having worked with, made friendships, travelled on trains (even in the 80s), sat amongst them at Old Trafford and been hosted in some of the most Manchester United of pubs on a par with their equivalent of the Brick. I've always found them fine. And how similar they are to us.

The accent discussion is interesting and we (family) were only talking about it last night. South Liverpool was always softer in comparison to North Liverpool. Historically, listen to the Beatles. There may be pockets like Speke and Netherly, also Halewood. But when you think Woolton, Allerton, Mossley Hill, there was traditionally a shift in the accent.

But that might be because people were moved there during the clearances and came from the north of the city? Wasn't there a song? "Don't want to Kirkby, Skelmersdale or Speke"?

It might also explain places like Runcorn and Skelmersdale. Some of my cousins grew up in Runcorn and there was a distinct difference between the new town (people from Liverpool) and the old town. The scouse accent was transferred. Likewise, I have a few friends from Skelmersdale who you would think were from Liverpool if you didn't know otherwise.

On the city, it's come a long way. Bold Street transformed and I believe now referred to as the Rope Walks. I still remember walking that way and having a sit down with my best mate (RIP) at the bombed out church before queuing at the taxi rank near the entrance to China Town.

Liverpool One taking over the city. No more walks across open ground from the Albert Dock into town. The hotels and vibrant area to the north of the Pier Head. The "bubbles" as we used to call them replaced and Queen's Square behind St George's Hall no longer a derelict wasteland.

All of these developments tend to transfer the balance of city centres. I am actually glad that Liverpool chose to develop in the centre. I've seen places like Sheffield and Dudley, where my wife comes from, develop out-of-town shopping centres that initially killed the city centres.

There are areas that have suffered as a result of Liverpool One. When I have to stay over, I usually go to the Adelphi (it's surprisingly cheap but there's a reason, but it's a bed). Although there's been a bit of a facelift, Renshaw Street seems to have been left behind. And probably a bit nostalgic of me, but the old Odeon on the corner opposite Lime Street has been left to rot. It's sadly become an eyesore.

However, a lot of progression and a city to be proud of. Next step is the new stadium and the subsequent regeneration of the northern docklands.

As for me, I don't have a particularly strong accent. Diluted after many years away mixing with people from all over the country and internationally, in particular the States. I think people know where I come from and apparently when I come back from an Everton match I get told I sound like "Sammy the Scouser". That's all your fault!

Danny O’Neill
97 Posted 10/09/2023 at 08:43:32
Sorry, on a roll about my home city.

As well as the centre, we have to remember some of the other gems we have.

Speke Hall. Despite the notorious reputation, Croxteth Hall and its country park.

And two of my favourites, Camp Hill in Woolton and Calderstones. Hale Shore is also a great walk on a Sunday morning.

Dave Abrahams
98 Posted 10/09/2023 at 08:57:10
Neil (93),

Very good post, especially the last two paragraphs, laughing at yourself is a very good remedy to people having a go at Scousers,

Jimmy Armfield, former Blackpool and England player, used to say he loved the banter with Scousers but he said a lot of them couldn't take it back, alright giving it out but not the other way… I think he made a good point.

Ian Jones
99 Posted 10/09/2023 at 09:00:26
Ian @92,

Couldn't tell you why Bleasdale used 'Black Stuff' apart from it possibly sounds better and it's the slang version.

However, my Dad used to tell me when he was teaching me to drive that I should be okay as long as I keep on the black stuff.

Barry Rathbone
100 Posted 10/09/2023 at 09:52:34
Dave @98,

The problem with banter is it's entirely subjective and akin to sparring with escalation just an errant punch away. But I agree with Jimbo there are some who really can't take return fire but not just folk from this region.

Phil Greenough
101 Posted 10/09/2023 at 10:05:35
Following on from Danny's posts, here is a list of things, where Liverpool led the world.

1639 – Liverpool-born Jeremiah Horrocks was the first person to show that the Moon moved around the Earth in an elliptical orbit and to predict the 1639 Transit of Venus.

1791 – First school for blind people opens (Commutation Row, and later London Road).

1835 – World's first railway timetable published (Lacy's).

1841 – Society for the prevention of Cruelty to Animals, later RSPCA, founded. First British purpose-built office block (Brunswick Buildings).

1842 – World's first public Baths and Washhouses founded by Kitty Wilkinson (Upper Frederick Street).

1857 – World's first Rugby Club and Britain's first Chess Club.

1860 – First purpose-built public library.

1867 – Britain's first cycling club (Liverpool Velocipedes).

1877 – First British public Art Gallery (Walker Art Gallery)

1883 – The Liverpool Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, later the NSPCC, founded on 19 April by T F Agnew and Samuel Smith.

1884 – Britain's first woman to qualify as a doctor opens a practice in Liverpool.

1889 – First pre-payment gas meters installed by the Liverpool Gas Company (Cazeneau Street). Liverpool's Police Force the first to be equipped with rubber-soled boots for night duty.

1890 – Football goal nets invented by ex-City Engineer John Brodie.

1893 – World's first overhead electric railway.

1895 – First British School of Architecture and Applied Art.

1896 – First British use of x-ray in medical diagnosis (at the Southern Hospital).

1899 – Britain's first School of Tropical Medicine.

1901 – First escalator in a railway station (at Seaforth Sands Station, on the Overhead Railway). Patent for Meccano taken out by Frank Hornby.

1902 – Britain's first motor fire engine (Hatton Garden Fire Station). 1904 University of Liverpool establishes Britain's first school of Veterinary Science.

1912 – First automatic telephone exchange.

1913 – The world's first crossword puzzle was compiled by Liverpool born Arthur Wynne and appeared in the New York World.

1927 – Liverpool's first woman Lord Mayor (Margaret Bevan). First British Arts Centre (Bluecoat).

1932 – First purpose-built boxing stadium in Britain (Bixteth Street).

1933 – First use of gas and air in childbirth (Dr R J Minnett at the Maternity Hospital).

1934 – First British police force to use a two-way radio communications system.

1947 – World's first Radar Lighthouse.

1952 – First hospital radio service. Britain's first package holiday flight (from Liverpool Airport).

1953 – Liverpool singer Lita Roza is the first British woman to top the charts (“How Much is that Doggy in the Window?”).

1960 – First bank in the world to use a computer (Martin's)

1962 – First port in Britain to use a computer (Mersey Docks & Harbour Company).

1964 – First Police Force to use closed-circuit television.

1970 – Britain's first public planetarium (World Museum).

1978 – The world's largest Anglican Cathedral has the world's largest organ and highest and heaviest peal of bells.

1983 – The Walton sextuplets are the world's first all-female surviving sextuplets.

2011 – First British city to install rainbow street signs in the gay quarter.

Mark Murphy
102 Posted 10/09/2023 at 10:10:29
From St Helens, living down south, I get the s'caarce cant', 'bin dipper' crap all the time. I used to reply that "I'm not scouse actually" but it's a waste of time and it doesn't bother me anymore anyway.

Not as much as being called a wool, nonce, or being told to fuck off and support Man Utd as happens at most away games if I dare open my mouth.

Always makes me laugh when I hear scousers getting affronted by “bants” when they give it out more than most in my experience. Sorry, but it wears a bit thin being abused by our own fans.

Tony Abrahams
103 Posted 10/09/2023 at 10:14:38
Starting backwards, there is no better place to take a walk in Liverpool on a Sunday morning than along the Pier Head Plaza, Danny, especially when you can hear the church bells ringing from the church across the road.

I was stuck in traffic yesterday, but had to smile when I saw the advertisement on the bus in front of me. Boys from the Blackstuff is going to be on the Royal Court, from sometime in September until the middle of October, if anyone is interested in watching the stage play!

Finally, I heard some great news yesterday when I took my youngest son to play his first match of his new season. I was speaking to someone who was telling me that the league have sent out a letter to all professional footballing academies, advising them that they should now be letting the younger kids start playing grassroots football again.

This was music to my ears, even if I'm sure it won't be long before these clubs just start putting on extra training sessions. He told me this was already being put in place at the club his son has signed for (the minute he turned 8!).

A lot of people say they send their kids to these academies because they receive better training, although my own opinion is that the training is only better because of the standards of the other kids.

Maybe this deserves its own thread, Michael, although it's probably been said a thousand times on these pages already. Maybe it's best to wait and see how the top clubs react to this new ruling, but I'm not sure everyone will be happy.

John Williams
104 Posted 10/09/2023 at 10:57:47
Mark 102,

I was born and brought up in Liverpool along with my wife and moved to the St Helens area in 1969.

I should first say, we have many friends here (locals) and my 3 children had an excellent education, all going on to University. My son and his family are Everton season ticket holders for many years.

Having said that, over the years, various attitudes towards so-called scousers had often been stated. Many locals hate Liverpool FC and you find most are Man Utd supporters, in fact go into the sports outlets and their products are everywhere.

I remember trying some years ago to buy a couple of Everton Shirts for my two grandsons and being told, you could try Prescot, otherwise you would have to go to Liverpool.

Many older locals have always resented being in Merseyside and wanted to be back in Lancashire, many forgetting that Liverpool was also in Lancashire. You often received, "I hate scousers", then you would get, "But I don't mean you".

It probably happens all over the UK, ie, Newcastle don t like Sunderland… then there is Nottingham - Derby and Burnley - Blackburn. People will never change.

Danny O’Neill
105 Posted 10/09/2023 at 11:07:11
That's encouraging, Tony. and I might take that show in.

You and others know my views. Let the kids grow and develop in their natural environment, not the academy bubble.

They can go, let's say, once or twice a week, but they are still learning at grass roots, playing for their local teams.

And the club should be reaching out to help and assist local clubs.

A twist on EitC, but Everton in the Football Community. Send coaches out to help local football, not just sit behind the gates of Finch Farm.

Let the kids develop and enjoy football rather than the expectation and pressure of being in an academy. If we put them into academies, then maybe at 14. I'd go further and suggest 16.

I forgot to mention Otterspool Prom. That's a nice walk too!

And in line with the title, if my geography serves me, the street where Bread was based is up on the right as you approach the now Brunswick station.

Fascinationg facts, Phil. A city of firsts indeed.

Danny O’Neill
106 Posted 10/09/2023 at 11:42:24
Mark, there is always a bit of ignorance amongst some. Fortunately, it's a minority.

Proud of our roots and local support, but we've always had support from around the region outside of the city boundaries, and from places like North Wales. We have the West Country blues who are vocal on here. No doubt others from other places.

I have a friend from Gloucestershire who is an Everton supporter. I served with her husband, who never really followed football. He is a convert, their two sons are Everton supporters and they travel regularly.

A very good friend of mine is from Warwick and I influenced him. He has been a devoted Everton supporter for decades, his first match a friendly against Celtic in the mid-90s. His two children who have grown up in Bedfordshire followed suit (yes, my fault).

Not the same, and I've mentioned this before, but my own favourite experience of being abused was sat in amongst Lucifer's Children at Anfield when we beat them (Kanchelskis). I got lectured (polite term for abused) by an Irish family next to me who basically told me I should support my own city.

The language was a bit stronger, but the irony. The response was politely robust with a smile on my face. I didn't get ejected and remained for the rest of the match.

It doesn't matter and the vast majority of us understand that, you'll just always get the odd jibe. There is no entitlement to being an Evertonian. Every single one of us is part of the family regardless of how we speak or where we come from.

My son was born in the West Midlands, spent his early years in Liverpool. His first nursery was St Christophers in Speke, his first school was Much Woolton. He had a very strong accent as a youngster.

But he's spent most of his life travelling and since 2004 in West London. You wouldn't guess he's from London.

He's as big an Evertonian as me. More sensible actually. I'm the village idiot when it comes to Everton apparently!

The point is, I don't care where people come from or how they speak. If they are there supporting Everton, they are Evertonians.

We have Mike Gaynes coming over from the States for a couple of matches soon. Is someone going to tell him to go and support LA Galaxy? I doubt it. Anyone who would think that wouldn't be able to spell it.

Mark, you're a huge Evertonian and always great company. We all are. See you soon.

Kevin Molloy
107 Posted 10/09/2023 at 11:43:54
Bloody hell, Mark, talk about getting it from all angles!

It used to bother me quite a lot when I first went down south, and hear this unthinking unfunny Scouse prejudice. Especially growing up in Liverpool, where an atmosphere of 'Aren't we great' can prevail on occasion. Quite the shock to realise that in large pockets of the country, scousers are not the flavour of the month.

It's probably all for the best though. You did need to toughen up and not be so precious; no bad thing. And I can't really complain about how scousers are treated if I spend half my time slagging off mancs and Geordies.

And in some ways Liverpool needs some hard truths telling. It's not in great shape, and corruption is rife. There's a part of me that thinks Liverpool needs to stop nursing its wounds and grow the fuck up a bit, and just get on with things. It is a beautiful city, but I don't think our ancestors would be too impressed with the way it's been looked after.

I'm not sure they would allow that that's all down to 'Tory cuts'. Something's gone wrong with our communities. To all communities to a certain extent, but particularly so in Liverpool. I thought we'd turned a corner a bit with Liverpool One, but to see Hatton still at the centre of things after 40 years as bold as brass and the Council placed into special measures cos of corruption… not great.

Mark Murphy
108 Posted 10/09/2023 at 11:44:22
John, I used to get the train from St Helens Junction to the match. To get a train ticket, I had to walk the gauntlet of 30 or 40 United fans on the Manchester bound platform. Usually in stoney silence… then, once I got to the opposite platform, the abuse would start, to which I always asked why they didn't start when I was among them?

I'd get on the train and then face another gauntlet at Lime Street Station where young scallies standing under the clock would ask me "What time is it, lad?" The scamps! Most of my mates were scousers.

My actual two best mates were very scouse and went to most matches with me although I often went to away games on my own. I learned to keep quiet but have forgotten that trick lately, especially when riled up! UTFT

Neil Copeland
109 Posted 10/09/2023 at 12:18:57
Mark 102, I used to get called a Woolly Back when I got off the football special at Allerton (South Parkway now) or West Allerton!

A builder that I work with who is from Northwich supports the dark side and follows them everywhere, takes loads of flak from the scouse supporters. He is a decent bloke and very knowledgable and probably knows as much about that lot than anyone. It winds him up and he reckons it’s getting worse. I try to convince him that they are just bellends who don’t know any better, best to ignore them. Not sure if he can though.

Phil 101, some great information there, thanks!

Danny 96, you’ve brought lots of memories back with that post.

I lived in Halewood, which was not in Liverpool at the time although it had a Liverpool postcode, until I was 9. Then we moved to Grassendale and latterly Mossley Hill. When I eventually left home, I bought my first house on St Mary’s Road in Garston.

Dad used to take us to Camphill to go sledging if it snowed. Woolton Woods was at the back of Camphill if I remember it correctly. All the places you mention are/were great, we used to play football on Otterspool Prom. There is also Otterspool Park which connects the prom to the top of Jericho Lane/Aigburth Road. The park supposedly had a haunted railway bridge (which I think was bollocks really but added some mystery at the time).

Mossley Hill church is the highest point in the city and next to it is Holts Field where we also played football on a sloping pitch. Over the road is Sudley Park and Sudley Hall which, not as spectacular as Speke Hall, is still worth a visit.

Calderstones Park was great, we used to go wading and swimming in the lake in the summer.

Sefton Park is huge and surrounded by what used to be the shipping company owners houses most of which have been converted to flats, nursing homes or hotels now. I think Sefton Park was one of the biggest inner city parks in Europe? One year the lake was frozen and someone had parked a (stolen?) car in the middle of it!

Oglet shore at the back of the airport runway still had anti tank concrete pyramid shaped things up until the mid 1970s I presume they have gone now.

Liverpool is such a fantastic city with so much to see. Very few I know that visit the city leave disappointed and most are very pleasantly surprised and impressed.

Danny O’Neill
110 Posted 10/09/2023 at 12:22:55
Sorry to labour, but it has been an interesting thread.

I remember after a match against Luton waiting for the 81D on the corner of Queen's Drive and Walton Hall Avenue. It was in the 80s.

The Luton Coach came past and the players (yes the players) were laughing and waving wads of cash at us and pointing. I don't know what they were saying but I can take an educated guess.

A similar incident was at the 2009 FA Cup Final. Unlike the semi final where we had the Green Man end, we were at the end that basically gives you an industrial estate and Silver-somethings (can't remember the name).

An open top bus full of Chelsea supporters went past carrying out similar gestures.

Anyway, on Sunday, I'll go into negotiation mode. I'm more than used to it!!

For those who want to and can, let's meet up for a swift one. I won't be able to hang around after as I've got one eye on the last train from Lime Street. Otherwise, its the National Express and about 6 hours on a coach.

Christine Foster
111 Posted 10/09/2023 at 12:46:05
Danny, @106, we are all Evertonians, linked by an act of God you might say and it matters not a jot where you came from, colour or creed, gender orientation, we are Blue.

But I have long since learnt that, just because someone is a blue doesn't make them your friend, or someone you would want to know. Society comes in all shapes and sizes, all manner, good and bad. So do Evertonians, so do all fans.

We are predisposed to help another blue, these pages bear testimony to that on a daily basis. But friendship can only ever be out of mutual respect and respect is earned.

Danny O’Neill
112 Posted 10/09/2023 at 12:53:16
Your last sentence says it all Christine. Trust, respect and friendship.

And Everton!!

Tony Abrahams
113 Posted 10/09/2023 at 13:00:56
Agree with Danny, thanks for providing those facts, Phil, especially the school for the blind, which was a tremendous innovation.

I'm sure the bread streets are called the holy land, and although us North-Enders have always had those really grueling hills right along Netherfield Road to help us get fit, I often think about the little circuits that the south end lads must have done up and down those streets because although they are steep. They are also short enough to sprint from the bottom to the top, and sprinting is definitely the one that gets us really fit!

Here's me talking about getting fit, when the most famous character in Bread has ended up being Avaline.

Jim Marray
114 Posted 10/09/2023 at 13:41:49
Well, this has brightened up an overly hot Sunday in Frankfurt!

Firstly on the original post, there is certainly a lot of foresight in your perceptions of bungling Bill that I and many others did not see at the time. And I believe even more that once the club is led by realists and not rose-tinted glasses-wearing dreamers that the club can move forward over the coming years.

On the subject of TV shows, I met two of the actors from the show when working in London. Neither of them saw the show as a reflection of Liverpool. Personally, I always find such comedies reflect the realities of the day, reinforcing existing rather than creating new stereotypes.

It is also easy to identify the core truth of the stereotype and in Bread it was the reflection of people struggling to keep a family together which, considering thousands of young and not-so-young people from Liverpool who headed out to find work due to the anti-family and anti-working class policies that the Thatcher era had brought in, was quite poignant.

Boys from the Blackstuff, for me was a stereotyping of a different order. It showed the damage that the same Thatcherite policies were having on the working class of many industrial northern cities and the characters represented a mix of people even I had met growing up in Liverpool.

Living on a council estate that had its name changed to make it more palatable, I saw many people who could be compared to Yosser and other characters. It was realistic in as much as it exaggerated what was happening in Liverpool, Newcastle (epitomised by Auf Wiedershen Pet), Manchester and even Birmingham as a consequence of the dismantling of industry in favour of service-based enterprises.

As for Heseltine, while I could never vote for him or the party (and its funder), I would at least be willing to give him the time of day. He is one of the few politicians I ever knew who had some principles.

The city that was my home and its people are still as beautiful as when I left but regrettably, as someone else said, it has been turned into a tourist attraction while it needs, as Leahy of Tesco once said, more Tier 1 office space to bring in big companies and better-paying jobs.

I left Liverpool in summer of '82, transferring to a new DHSS office in London. The new office was over the road from Stamford Bridge and I still remember a manager recommending I leave early as Chelsea had a mid-week game against a Northern team.

That is but one example of the issues I had with my accent. I was also the 'token ethnic' in a Croydon Sunday league team. I always regarded such banter, even when used as an insult, as a joke some of which I laughed at but always knew was due to ignorance.

What hurt me more was when politicians, who should know better, used similar insulting language (Jack Straw comes to mind). For the man to disparage one of the greatest Labour strongholds in Britain showed me how far that party had fallen and worse continues to fall.

But then Everton fans also ruined my enjoyment of games with the stupid chants of 'Everton are white' which was as unacceptable then as it would be now but often went unchallenged (although I did once point out to some wankers in front of me who were chanting this, that perhaps because we had no black players explained why were getting hammered by Arsenal at Highbury). As fans we were as guilty of some of the same 'crimes' that we are complaining about in this thread.

At the end of the day, I am from Liverpool, I am proud of my heritage, I am proud of my city and my family who still live there. Liverpool is great city but it is not alone, Glasgow (where the Glasgow Kiss as used by Yosser originated), Newcastle, Sunderland, etc. all have a strong sense of pride in their identity and the people in the media who forget this need to remember our day will come again and we will get our revenge. :)


Rob Halligan
115 Posted 10/09/2023 at 14:03:40
Neil # 109… I'm pretty certain the highest point in Liverpool is the reservoir tower on Reservoir Road, Woolton, which happens to be opposite Reynolds Park, another hidden gem of a park in Liverpool, albeit nowhere near as big as Camphill, Calderstones or Sefton Park.

Tony # 113… the street where The Boswell lived in the series Bread was Elswick Street, off Grafton Street. Probably no more than a mile away from The Holy Land. The Holy Land consists of Moses Street, Isaac Street, David Street and Jacob Street, which all run parallel to each other off Park Road.

Danny O’Neill
116 Posted 10/09/2023 at 14:26:45
Yes Rob, turn left of the top of Aigburth Road and head up Park Road on the Dingle side of L8 and the Holy Land was those streets you mention. Option had decorated paving stones in the colours of the Irish Tricolour if I recall
Tony Abrahams
117 Posted 10/09/2023 at 14:43:10
Thanks Rob. I always thought the highest point in the city was St George’s church, right next door to a place where I spent many happy years whilst growing up, in the Albion House, with its little outdoor five a side pitch, being that small, that it inevitably meant that everyone who played used to get kicked to fuck!

Danny O’Neill
118 Posted 10/09/2023 at 14:48:10
**often had. On the phone and in denial about going to the optician's
Rob Halligan
119 Posted 10/09/2023 at 14:52:50
Danny and Tony… all guess work on my behalf, because apparently I'm not a real Scouser!!
Neil Copeland
120 Posted 10/09/2023 at 15:02:08
Rob 119, I have just googled it and you're right mate! So that's why the reservoir is there…… Pretty good for a wool I must say……

Quite funny really because my dad would tell anyone within earshot that Mossley Hill Church was the highest point in the city!

Dave Abrahams
121 Posted 10/09/2023 at 15:13:28
Rob (15), Reynolds Park, me and my wife got put onto that by a taxi driver after we were telling him how lovely and peaceful Greenbank Park, opposite the Spire Hospital, was. We went to see Reynolds Park a few weeks later and it is a hidden gem of a park.

Me and my wife were both born about five minutes from the city centre but we think the South end of the city is the best-looking part of Liverpool although the rest of it has plenty of interesting features as well, and wait ‘til our new ground rises up in all its splendour!

Rob Halligan
122 Posted 10/09/2023 at 15:17:58
Neil, I have to say that the views overlooking across the River Mersey, from either the top of Camphill, or by the reservoir tower, are superb, especially on a clear sunny day like we've had the last few days.

As others have already said on this thread, some of the changes that have taken place in the city over the last few decades, notably right along from Otterspool prom, passing the garden festival site, then the marine, heading towards the Kings Dock, and probably our gem, the Albert Dock, the Maritime Museum and our new soon to be home at Bramley-Moore Dock, makes this city one of the top tourist destinations in the country, especially for the almost daily cruise ships that sail up the Mersey.

I often see many of these tourists doing the city open top bus tours as I walk the dog, notably stopping at Strawberry Fields, John Lennon's house on Menlove Avenue, and St Peters church hall in Woolton village, where in reality it all began for The Beatles.

Neil Copeland
123 Posted 10/09/2023 at 15:25:33
Rob, I agree that Liverpool is a great city and the waterfront will only get better when the stadium is completed.

As you say, some of the views are fantastic but they will pale into the background against BMD.

Rob Halligan
124 Posted 10/09/2023 at 15:29:17
Dave, the amount of green space around the south end of the city is amazing. There’s also Allerton Towers with its ruins, though I don’t know what ruins they are, and then Clark’s gardens, which is a lovely park with Allerton Hall, or more commonly known as The Pub in the Park. A pub well worth visiting.
Brendan McLaughlin
125 Posted 10/09/2023 at 16:22:17
Ian #99

"However, my Dad used to tell me when he was teaching me to drive that I should be okay as long as I keep on the black stuff."


No wonder you scousers have a reputation...

Geoff Cadman
126 Posted 10/09/2023 at 16:56:21
Phil #101 an impressive list, one you could add "Ma Molly Bushell "
and her world famous Everton Toffee
Alan J Thompson
127 Posted 10/09/2023 at 17:24:02
A lot of the parks and some schools around Woolton and Allerton were properties left to the people and Reynolds Park does back onto what used to be the Bishop of Liverpool's home amongst whom was one Rev David Shepherd who also played cricket for England.

Indeed, the Woolton Village Club was left to the people and pays a peppercorn rent. The first school I went to was a church hall until the Primary school in Out Lane was built. There were also tunnels from Woolton Hall which ran under a lot of the village and supposedly were priest's bolt holes.

Whenever I get back now I see a lot of fields that I used to play on are all built on and some of the planning permission given is diabolical, I believe that not long ago they were also trying to build on Woolton Woods.

George McKane
128 Posted 10/09/2023 at 17:54:48
Jim (114),

Jack Straw said on TV: “Well, you know what scousers are like.”

I asked Granada Reports to invite him on with me to debate what he meant – he refused, of course.

Paul Ferry
129 Posted 10/09/2023 at 19:37:03
Phil, can you delete this one mate:

1964 – First Police Force to use closed-circuit television.

Phil Greenough
130 Posted 10/09/2023 at 19:47:29
I can't, Paul, the edit facility has expired. However, Liverpool did play its part in the growth of CCTV.

"Although most commentators have dated their arrival to the 1980s, the use of public CCTV systems by the British police has a history that stretches back 40 years. Initial experiments in the 1960s with CCTV in London and Liverpool were unsuccessful due to the high cost of cabling. The first permanent use was the surveillance of political demonstrations in central London. This fitted into existing police operational requirements and structures, and continued a process of centralization and mechanization that began in the 1930s with working practices originally deployed in the First World War. The arrival of police surveillance systems in the 1960s thus calls into question any easy theoretical association between them and ‘post-industrial society’."

Danny O’Neill
131 Posted 11/09/2023 at 08:40:24
Well, it's a long wait until Sunday, but this is a good thread.

Rob, Woolton Village is another gem in the city as I am sure Stephen Vincent would vouch. I had a house there for years on Charterhouse Road. Great place to live and very vibrant centre in its own right. A self-contained place that has retained an independent identity since being incorporated into the city in the early 20th century.

Very different, but I always used to like Allerton Road too. I used to play football near there. I can't remember what the fields were called.

It almost served as a boundary between the leafy suburban areas of the south part of the city before you hit Smithdown Road, where I was born. The then Sefton General Hospital. Now the site of an Asda.

When we lived in Woolton, my son used to pick strawberries on what is now Finch Farm in Halewood. There used to be an RSPCA site nearby too. I don't know if it's still there as I usually shoot past on the train these days.

To bang an old drum, I am still a promoter of the Greater Liverpool concept. Halewood, Huyton, Kirkby, Crosby, Bootle, Litherland, Aintree. All Liverpool to me. I could walk 200 m down from my house, cross the road and be in Halewood next to George Harrison's old family house on Mackett's Lane. Different sides of the street and different coloured wheely bins. But still very much Liverpool. Political boundaries don't change the culture.

I wrote a piece that was published in the Red Echo years ago (90s) suggesting we should expand the city boundaries to include Knowsley and the southern part of Sefton. In hindsight, I think the City Region concept works. Decades behind, but tentatively following the Greater London and Greater Manchester concept, which has worked well for both.

As the Beatles were mentioned, I have to respond. Although now his family home in Allerton is world famous, Paul McCartney is from Speke. His mother was apparently a local midwife and they lived on Western Avenue before moving to Allerton.

George Harrison was born in Wavertree, then moved to Speke at a young age before his family then moved to Halewood (literally across the road from Woolton). Obviously Lennon spent a lot of his childhood in Woolton on Menlove Avenue.

One city and us southies contribute!

Ray Roche
132 Posted 11/09/2023 at 08:54:09
Danny, I think that McCartney was born in Walton Hospital.
Rob Halligan
133 Posted 11/09/2023 at 09:11:48
Danny, did you play on Wyncote, which belongs to Liverpool university? The site is directly opposite the TA Centre and adjoins Tesco. The RSPCA is no longer there, and like everywhere else, is now a housing estate.
Les Callan
134 Posted 11/09/2023 at 09:50:24
Ray @ 132. That’s right he was. I think that the family lived in Tommy White gardens in Heyworth Street at the time.
Tony Abrahams
135 Posted 11/09/2023 at 10:42:03
I remember when my neighbour, who had unfortunately turned to drink, came into a few quid. "You have let the house become rundown," I said to him. "So, instead of spending all your money on ale, why don't you do your house up a little bit and start living in a bit more comfort?"

He took my advice and when he stripped back all the wallpaper, there was a couple of caricature drawings on the bare wall. He was all excited because he said the house once belonged to Paul McCartney's Nan, and he reckoned if these pictures were drawn by McCartney, he was going to make an absolute fortune.

His excitement was growing when people came out to assess the drawings, but unfortunately for him they found out they had been drawn by their Michael, and not Paul.

The saddest thing was that because he thought he was coming into a load of money, he had already began to drink away the money he had put to one side to do his house up. A funny but sad, true story.

Mark Murphy
136 Posted 11/09/2023 at 10:43:42
“Greater Liverpool concept. Halewood, Huyton, Kirkby, Crosby, Bootle, Litherland, Aintree. All Liverpool to me. “

This is new and very interesting for me. I accept that I'm a “wool” as I was born and raised “t'other side of t'border” but I never ever realised there were subclasses of scouse. Indeed, the Huyton and Kirkby scallies were the most anti-wool brigade on the train in. I wish I'd known back then they weren't proper scouse!

On a similar vein, accents fascinate me. It amazes me how an accent can change so much within a couple of miles that I can be spotted as a wool while someone from Kirkby or even Knowsley sound so much different.

The truly notable case of this is with Yickers, from Haydock. It's part of S tHelens but the yicker accent is remarkably distinct and I can still spot a yicker anywhere in the world.

Apart from Conor Coady – he's the scousest yicker I've ever heard. Maybe he developed the scouse to avoid the scallies at Huyton and Roby or at Lime Street??

Tony Abrahams
137 Posted 11/09/2023 at 10:48:43
A lot of the people from Huyton and Kirkby were originally from town, Mark, and would have become very, very offended if you had said to them that they were not proper scousers, mate. Especially if it was coming from a wool!!
John Williams
138 Posted 11/09/2023 at 11:25:21
Mark 102,

Connor Coady went to Bleak Hill School in Eccleston and then on to Rainford High School, his younger brother Harrison did the same.My eldest daughter was their teacher for a couple of years at Bleak Hill.

You can certainly hear different accents in St Helens, Billinge accent is completely different. In St Helens they say, "How are you, cock!" "Chip and egg for tea".

I watched a documentry last night on Talking Pictures about using the coach services in the late 1950s. It showed you the Pier Head and the Edge Lane Crosville Bus Garage.

There were no scouse accents as a rambling club and a fishing party headed to North Wales for a Sunday outing. Accents seemed to change with Cilla Black.

Eddie Dunn
139 Posted 11/09/2023 at 12:44:20
Accents seem to have got stronger on Mersyside. I grew up in Tranmere and then Eastham. At my school, accents were strong and, the stronger your accent, the harder you appeared to be. We were wannabe scousers.

I left the area at the age of 20 and have lived all over the place. My accent got watered-down in London, making myself understood.

I lived in a house with Glaswegians, from Cumbernauld. Strictly speaking, they were from Dumbartonshire but had a Glasgow postcode. I needed an interpreter with one feller called Jimmy. To me, they were Glaswegians and to them I was a scouser.

Ironically, lads from Wirral had trouble off people all over England because to them we were scouse.

At Poly in Nottingham, there were a few scouse, and Wirral lads on my course, but the strongest scouse accents were from a couple of kids from Holyhead! I couldn't believe it.

Now it seems that so-called celebrities from Merseyside are as exaggerated as their opposites in Essex.

Stephen Vincent
140 Posted 11/09/2023 at 13:29:40
Tony #137, remember the Jacqui and Bridie song -

'Don't want to go to Kirkby, Skelmersdale or Speke, Don't want to go from all I know in Back Buchanan Street'.

Lots of families had no choice where they went following the bomb site clearances of the 60s. We lived in Old Swan just off Rathbone Road, my Dad joked that they pulled our house down and built slums!!!

Mike Doyle
141 Posted 11/09/2023 at 13:36:36
Thoroughly enjoying this thread - great read.

The big revelation though is that Mike Gaynes is planning another trip to the city – which can mean only one thing – him and Rob Halligan back at the Grafton for "Grab a granny night 2 - the return of Gaynes".

Danny, given your military background, perhaps it might be best if you join them – to provide the security they are bound to need.

And who knows – you might get lucky too!

Dale Self
142 Posted 11/09/2023 at 13:46:08
Yank night at the Grafton.
Stephen Vincent
143 Posted 11/09/2023 at 13:48:16
Danny, you know I love 'The Village' The White Horse, The Grapes and the refurbished Derby Arms. It's not quite as vibrant as it used to be (I miss Squires) but I still enjoy a night out there.

Jimmy Husband had a bungalow in Charterhouse, I cleaned his windows for a while.

I think the outside world's perception of us, is that we are arrogant and inward looking. I posted on here a few months back that in a survey people were asked what they thought England's second city was.

Geordies said Newcastle, Mancs said Manchester, Brummies said Birmingham - Liverpudlians said London!!

Mark Murphy
144 Posted 11/09/2023 at 13:52:35
Tony, it wasn’t me saying that. I’ve always considered those area to be scouse. Seems to me there’s a bit of “more scouse than youse” snobbery around these days!
Tony Abrahams
145 Posted 11/09/2023 at 15:05:51
It's always been there, Mark, and to this day I think anyone calling a scouser, a little fuckn wool, is definitely trying to rattle their cage. I'd never heard that song Stephen, and neither had Bill Kenwright, when you consider where the bastard was prepared to send the famous Everton Football Club.

"We will get more footfall" said Mr Wyness, but he had obviously never spoken to Mark, who could have told him that Evertonians have got no time for wools!

Seriously though what a shout from that fat controller lookalike Mr Wyness, another who must have made a fortune out of signing a non-disclosure agreement on his departure…

Mark Murphy
146 Posted 11/09/2023 at 16:38:50
Not looking for a fight here Tony but it works both ways – calling a wool a fucking scouser isn't always met with a smile and a hey nonny no…..
Danny O’Neill
147 Posted 11/09/2023 at 18:02:12
The White Horse was my favourite when I lived there Stephen.

It's interesting that we are now considered insular and I think you're right in that. For a city that was so outward looking, maybe we have become over the decades?

As for arrogant. My wife has a different view, especially regarding Evertonians. Apparently we are idiots

Tony Abrahams
148 Posted 11/09/2023 at 18:30:57
I can't speak for the whole city, but young scousers have never been insular, although this can sometimes change depending on certain circumstances, which isn't always a bad thing, imo.

It's also good to see we have retained our sense of humour, judging by that poll, Stephen, and I think this is what puts Liverpool near the very top, when it comes to having its own vibe.

I've never called a wool, a Mickey, Mark, but I've told loads of Mickeys to stop acting like a fucken wool!

The great thing about traveling is that I eventually made my own mind up, once I finally rid myself of being a scouse snob!

It's all about humour though, when I was talking to Dyche last week he said he met a few decent Evertonians whilst he was out having a couple of drinks with Ian Woan. He said they were asking:

"Why do you keep playing this player, and why don't you ever play that player?"

"It doesn't matter who I play, you hate most of them anyway," he replied smiling.

I told him those are the type of replies, that will definitely help him fit in in this city!

Danny O’Neill
149 Posted 11/09/2023 at 19:17:41
I don't believe we are insular, Tony (not that I'm young!). It's a perception. A misinformed one.

We remain very creative people and retain our sense of civic pride no matter how far we travel.

I think there was a period where we maybe got defensive and suffered from a bit of siege mentality. That period gave rise to the jibes we've been talking about, which resulted in the chants we still get subject to today. Another one I'll no doubt hear at the weekend: "Self-pity city".

I know a mix of football fan banter and misinformed perceptions, but that one in particular really grates me.

Interestingly, a very close former Army friend of mine from Swansea has two of his US colleagues over from The States and chose Goodison to take them to a football match. They're at Bournemouth, so I'll bring them along to the Harlech, the Brick and the Goodison Supper Bar! Maybe they can hit the Grafton afterwards.

Well, when we play London clubs at Goodison, the train journey is always eventful and entertaining!

Mark Murphy
150 Posted 11/09/2023 at 21:43:38
“but I've told loads of Mickeys to stop acting like a fucken wool!”
Spoken like a proper fookin scouse! Dya see? It’s derogatory but Luckilly I’m not sensitive…
It does piss me off being spoken to like I’m some sort of untermensch by tanked up scallies at the game because of my accent.
I recently found out that a mate I’ve been going the match with for the last 4 or 5 years, whose been calling me a wool all that time, is actually from Hoylake. He doesn’t call me wool anymore…I took my southern born son to West Ham last season and the scouse lads thought it was great that a “posh lad” supported Everton. They loved his accent - especially when he used the word shite. Yet at the same game I was called a fooken disgrace by a pissed up knob who totally misconstrued a friendly comment and told to fuck off to ManYoo! It seems even 250 mile distant blues are more welcome than those of us from literally 12 miles from Goodison.
Like I said tho, I’m not sensitive..
Tony Abrahams
151 Posted 12/09/2023 at 18:03:28
I'm not the sensitive type myself either, Mark, and have genuine respect for most Evertonians. I honestly don't understand why people actually go into the match when they are tanked-up, and I'd definitely prefer to sit next to a few sensible wools rather than some of these people, mate!

I honestly wish we had a bigger fanbase from all over the world because, if we did, we might have been able to generate enough power to make sure Moshiri has to sell to people with our best interests at heart, instead of worming his way out of the back door with his tail between his legs, before he has to go and explain the ridiculous losses to his boss?

Mark Murphy
152 Posted 12/09/2023 at 18:10:24
S'ok Tony, I'm ironing my penny round shirt and 3 star jumper as we speak in preparation for my next sally forth! The feathered hair is sadly a thing of the past. (I honestly had NONE of the above, nor whippet nor sparking clogs.)

I love the away games, especially some of the new mates such as Danny and Martin amongst others on here and I'm hoping to get to Goodison soon, partly to get a pint in the Harlech (I usually go the Denbigh then the Oak) but also because the days at Goodison are numbered. So many memories… up t'fookin toffehs!

Tony Abrahams
153 Posted 12/09/2023 at 18:34:26
Give me a little bit of advance notice Mark, and I will try and make sure that you get two tickets, for you and the posh kid!

I sometimes listen to scouse Carl, talking to the other Carl, who is from Ashton in Makerfield, about how rough parts of St Helen’s used to be, so you won’t have any problems at Goodison, sitting in these seats, mate!

Mark Murphy
154 Posted 12/09/2023 at 18:52:50
The posh kid returned to Liverpool on Sunday for his second term at John Moores Uni. He loves Liverpool. When I come up for games we go to Maggie Mays for brekkie then on to Shenanigans for proper Guinness before I go off to the Harlech and the match.

I've never been able to get two tickets together so I may take you up on your kind offer. To be honest, I never have problems at home games with the “locals” — it's only ever at the aways and always with the braved up on booze scallies.

Tony Abrahams
155 Posted 12/09/2023 at 19:23:32
No problem, Mark, but get yer coat on and get moving cos it looks like Bill Kenwright hasn't got long left, and I can't wait to get back into my seat at Goodison Park.
Christine Foster
156 Posted 13/09/2023 at 12:31:48
As a fitting footnote, just been announced that Jean Boht, who played Nellie Boswell in Bread, has passed away today aged 91, sadly she passed only a month after her husband the composer Carl Davis. May they both Rest in peace
Paul Ferry
157 Posted 13/09/2023 at 15:31:37
I did not know that she was married to Carl Davis, Christine, that must have been some house(hold). I just saw this sad news. RIP Jean.
Danny O’Neill
158 Posted 15/09/2023 at 08:20:22
I saw that news yesterday.

Tony, get back to where you belong.

Mark, see you at West Ham with Martin. Don't listen to them. Most of us like a drink on matchday. It's nothing that a sharp word can't sort out.

Meanwhile, Sunday awaits.

Dave Abrahams
159 Posted 15/09/2023 at 09:23:24
Mark (154), Shenanigans! You must have met or seen some characters in there right in the heart of Holy Cross parish and most of them Blue Boys, well once upon a time they were Boys.

Next time you come up I’d like to meet you in The Harlech and have a chat.

Dave Abrahams
160 Posted 15/09/2023 at 21:18:36
Tony (103),

Alan Bleasdale was on TV tonight talking about the opening of the play
Boys from the Blackstuff. I don't know what it will be like but I noticed Andrew Schofield is in it, so that's a plus right away, don't know why he never made it to the top but he is a very good actor.

Mark Murphy
161 Posted 19/09/2023 at 09:20:13
Hi Dave,

I just heard Mike Gaynes is coming over for the Bournemouth game. It would be great to meet you and him at the same time so I'll try to get up for that one.

I think I've missed the window though on the Members tickets availability but I'll keep looking. In the meantime, if you do hear of any going spare, I'll have one thanks. Not sure if the posh lad will be around but I'll ask... UTFT

ps: Does anyone else have this image of a big bloke wearing a royal blue Stetson when they read MG's posts?

Dave Abrahams
162 Posted 19/09/2023 at 10:24:47
Mark (161), Yes it will be great to meet you and have a chat along with Mike.

I'll keep my eye out for tickets, I think Tony has sorted his out but hopefully you will get one.

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