The Stour Valley needs its railway back News from the Angel: Long awaited autumn edition ... er, ... actually, it's December 1 ... sorryThe Stour Valley needs its railway back

OK. I know it's been a horribly long time to wait, but there've been a few hang ups in the Technology Department. Dear Old UKOnline wouldn't let me into my own website for a long time.
They claimed it was my fault.
So I spent 105 getting my computer fixed, and then they admitted it had been their fault all along.
Ho hum.
Compensation? Nah.

So what follows will, inevitably, be a fairly feeble attempt at catching up. Apologies if anyone's favourite exploit, anxious for inclusion, has been left out.

As everyone well knows, these pages are an unofficial record of the goings on at The Angel, from the partisan point of view of a paying customer. All views expressed are those of the author. So up yours, Greene King.

1 December 2002

Last things first

One noticeable feature of The Angel of late has been that everybody has been being 40 (except for Old Mother and myself, of course, who are far too old, and TA, who is far too young, even for Jonathan, who doesn't look a day over 14 but has been drinking legally for at least 12 years).
But I digress.
Among recent celebrants have been Tim and Jos, and Rosie, whose celebration on 30 November had the rafters rocking yet again. Many happy returns, each.
Not to be outdone, Steve Plumb pulled rank and celebrated the next Big One (above 40) a few weeks back, with a Grand Curry Up at an establishment in Melford. Reports of the success of the evening could be heard the next morning, all over this part of the Stour Valley.

Talking of Jos and Tim

The middle of the year (and beyond) created quite a stir among the denizens of the local building trade when the two "DIY" enthusiasts began ordering copious quantities of sand-'n'-cement. Both were apparently intent on extending their properties.
Must be something to do with their age that brings on feelings of territorial inadequacy, I suppose.
Anyway, whatever the reasons, and despite attempts by the local weather gods to send their erections floating down the Stour, Tim completed his conservatory, and Jos is in line for prizes from the local Building Inspector for the "Best Footings in South Suffolk".
Such is fame.

Nothing like a Good Romance

Regular readers of these pages will have been waiting with baited breath for the latest news of the burgeoning relationship between Jonathan "Babyface" Farrance and the Lovely TA from Bridge Street.
Wait no more.

After further exploits involving wrong turnings, weddings in Bournemouth, mishaps with locked hotel room doors, that idyllic holiday in Greece, and enough hints from friends to fill a new edition of the Good Wedding Guide, I am delighted to report that the pair of them have announced their engagement!
Let it be said straight away that I am perfectly serious in tendering all my best wishes.
I've not met one person who is not absolutely delighted at the news.

Apart from anything else, it should provide plenty of copy for these pages for years to come.
Watch this space.

No respite for the Tractor Boys

Needless to say, there have been some long faces in the bar since September as the succession of results have mounted up against the Lads from Portman Road. George Burley's departure was not acclaimed universally; Joe Royle's arrival was treated with equal suspicion.

Indeed, the only positive side of the affair has been the increased sale of road maps in local shops as season ticket holders (like Mother) scurry to locate places such as Port Vale, Brentford, Cheltenham and Chesterfield, ready for next season. Somehow, a local derby at Colchester or Peterborough doesn't have the same ring as one at Carrow Road, does it?

Team News: Cribbage

Away from the trauma of the football results, The Angel regulars are continuing, in the main, to do the old place proud.
The Crib team began the season erratically, but at least won a few before sinking into a familiar pattern of defeats.
For once, however, the news has not stayed bad, because they have recently rattled up an undefeated run of 5 matches.
Uncharitable people, it has to be said, were heard to associate the upturn in fortune with the time that that Nice Mr Orton had to spend in hospital, leaving the fate of the team in the hands of Jim "Sizewell" Gardner.
This theory has been disproved however, because the run of success has continued after Roger's welcome return.
The winning streak has even survived a return visit by Colin "Old Salty" Phillips from his Helvetic Exile.
We will watch the results sheet with renewed interest as the winter takes hold, with heavier pitches and more difficult travelling, and look forward to seeing the team climb to the dizzy heights of mid-table.

Team News: Quiz

Despite an ambition to run two teams this year, we decided in the end to stick with one. It is nice, for a change, to be able to ring selection changes from an enlarged squad of players.
There have been several goings and comings since last season. Trevor and Chaz, backbone of the team for so many seasons, have stepped back to a reserve role because of work commitments. They are greatly missed.
But, as so often happens, new faces have appeared to make up the team. Patrick and Pauline are recent newcomers to the posh part of the village, who have made The Angel their Preferred Place of Refreshment. They have certainly made a big contribution to the success of the Quiz Team. Equally, the Two Roberts (Sippett and Plumb) are forging a strong middle order partnership, and Maggie, who has previous top-of-the-order experience with the Black Lion, does far more than make up the numbers. Steve and Andrew Plumb, along with your correspondent, complete a very competitive squad.

Apart from a dreadful defeat at home to the Melford Swan, the team has been doing quite well, and are averaging over 50 points per game.
It's a small league this season, and a game of two halves, but if the questions fall right, the boys should've done well, and it shouldn't just be about the toss of a coin. Results can be found HERE.

Team News: Darts

Call me prejudiced if you like, but I have never been a great one for darts. The thought of taking someone like Eric Bristow seriously makes me shake with disbelief. The need to don protective clothing to get to the loos in The Angel is another downer, as the arrers veer unerringly away from the Double One wire.
It cannot be denied, however, that Monday night matches have brought a really positive hum to a normally very quiet night in the bar. Cries of "Good Darts, Dazzer" echo around the Eyrie.
Sadly, Darren normally plays for the Other Team, because success is something that has, so far, eluded The Angel team.
Kevin wears a brave face, and is never slow to tell us that "I won my games."
Brian "' Mother" Riley also wears a brave face. He has to.
Never mind, people: that first victory will be a real cause for celebration - but I'm not betting my house on when it will be.

Other News

I'm sure people will be reminding me constantly of matters I should have written about, but have forgotten.
Hannah's translation to Dublin for a while promised to be rewarding, but no e-mails arrived, and then she was back. So no story there then.
There's a party going down to Oz for the 4th and 5th Tests. Need I say more?
You'll already have read about Monsieur Chilwell's migration to Brittany.
The beer remains first class, although the Guest Beers section is still a bit short: Old Speckled Hen is just another GK brew these days, isn't it? And Abbot is just Electric Soup of a higher quality.
GK have tried one of those promotion gimmicks lately. Called Enigma, it claims to be a game of codebreaking, using letter cards and mysterious plastic overlays. Some marketing genius somewhere must be sitting back giggling into his lager, because the excitement lasts as long as it takes to spell "Pint" of "Half". It's just as well our Security Services don't depend on such acts of genius. Then again, maybe they do. ... Actually, that's unfair, because more amusement is to be had watching the Poor Punters trying to decipher the almost-illegible instructions and then trying to read through the plastic overlay, which has the light filtering quality of a sheet of lead.

What else?

Blimey. I nearly forgot. Back in October, our illustrious landlord went over to a weekend beer festival in Belgium. From what he can remember, it was a giant p**s up; what he doesn't remember, Paula would rather not know about anyway, so we'll just say that a good deal of beer was consumed and that all got back safely.

New Year's Resolution

Yes it's that time of year again, and I intend, this time, to keep the updates running with greater regularity. The first edition of 2003 will also contain details of other Angel Regulars' Resolutions. Watch this space.

Lifeboat Update

I received an e-mail recently from an appropriately named person, which I'm printing in its entirety. Comments welcome about these proposed changes to the constitution:

Dear Coxwain
Further to the announcement of the possiblity of a Glemsford Inshore Rescue Lifeboat, I would like to raise the following points:
1. In clause 5 of the announcement I was rather preturbed to notice the affirmation of non rescue of King Charles Cavalier Spaniels in Melford. Antiques, plastic ducks and even Pekes I could understand but what has my Daisy, Rosie & Cromwell done to deserve the threat of non rescue. Do you expect them to doggy paddle behind the lifeboat! I would hope in that case a compassionate member of the crew, provided he is not too inebriated to fall overboard, would toss out the odd lifebelt or two.
2. Should I follow my ancestors i.e. the Allens and Copseys can come to reside in Glemsford, would you then guarantee the poor pooches would be rescued?
3. What is wrong with green wellies as part of the lifeboatmens' uniform? I would imagine they would look very fetching with the yellow souwesters, or are you afraid the Melford Mob might call you a bunch of 'daffys' (daffodils)
4. How about calling the lifeboat GLEMSFORD which I understand means ' a ford where people assemble for revelry and games. ( Just about fits the discription of the GIRL crew!)
I await your remarks with interest as the future planning of a flag day in my home town, (which is only eight miles from the sea and not even possessing a row boat) for lifeboat/boozing funds depends on the committees decision to amend clause 5.
Christina Seaman
P.S. If your finances can't stretch to a full lifeboat yet, my son has an inflatable dingy he would be willing to rent out for a reasonable fee, just to keep the crew in training.

So: what do we think?

I've decided to keep each addition to these pages separate, rather than simply add length. I hope regular readers will not get too confused.
To see earlier editions, follow thses links:

September 2002 - Early Autumn in Glemsford

August 2002 - International Special Edition

July 2002 - Newcomer at the Sign of the Flower Fairy; Transatlantic Oddities; Peregrinations

June 2002 - The Flower Fairy, World Cup and the Jubilee

Kevin and Paula's Early Days at The Angel The Flower Fairy

The end of The Thorogood Era

Life under The Tyranny of Spaniels

The first part of 2002

News from Christmas 2001 and January 2002

News from - December 2001

Back into October and November 2001

Page maintained by Stephen Clarke, 09 November 2005 Copyright(c) . Created: 27/08/2002 Updated: 01/12/2002