One of many rewarding things about our move north has been how many "readers" have been anxious that these pages should continue.
...Greetings of the season to you good sir, I trust that the overweight bearded Scandinavian gentleman festooned you with suitable giftage this Saturnalia.
The weeks in the lead up to Christmas have mostly been documented already on the News Section although there remains one omission - the assasination attempt by one K L'Estrange upon one Roy "You're off the will again boy unless yew get me a pint in" Porter.
Now, the Sunday lunchtime draw is now an established part of Angel life, with Kev s drawing out a number and if the owner of said number is present in the bar they then scoop the kitty.
Should they not be present then an extra tenner is added to the kitty and the (un)lucky winner receives a mocking phone call or text message informing them, in the finest Jim Bowen fashion, of what they would have won.
Anyway, 3 Sundays prior to writing this, the kitty had reached the grand total of £110, "You're off the will..." (now to be known as "Yeroff") was enjoying his Sunday lunch appetiser in typically understated fashion when the draw was made.
A deathly hush ensued as Kevin announced the winner to be "Porter...", at which point Yeroff leaps to his feet with a speed only ever seen when he's realised that it's his round next, to be met with Kevin concluding his announcement with "...Neil".
Much mirth ensues with Yeroff taking it all in good humour with the rejoinder "You can't do that to me boy - I'm an old man and can't take the strain of shocks like that".
Now just who are you calling "overweight"?
The kitty is donated by the kind management of the pub.
It goes without saying, Christmas Eve was a roaring, nay, bellowing success with musical accompaniment by Finian 'Porcus Rex' McGurk, a one man act playing guitar, fiddle, tin whistle and backed by a DAT tape backing when needed. He entertained the healthy crowd of Angel regulars, occasional visitors and various itinerants passing through in search of civilised company on their way to, or from, the Cock.
The set consisted of various tradional songs, some country standards including Steve Earle's mighty 'Copperhead Road' and 'Devil Went Down to Georgia', some more recent offerings, such as 'What if God Was One of Us', and 'Fairytale of New York' and an airing of Gordon Lightfoot's 'If You Could Read My Mind', much to the delight of Graham Farrance.
Highlights of the set included Mr McGurk ALMOST making his way through an extended tin whistle solo without an Ellie-inspired fit of the giggles making him stop for breath, the inspired witty banter with the 'emotional' crowd and a stunning set-closer of a song whose name escapes your correspondant's memory but managed the rare feat of silencing even Hannah and Dave Hill with it's haunting lyric concerning the famous 1914 Christmas Day 'football match in the tenches', as I type I'm getting shivers down the spine thinking of it.
After a Kitty Win like that, I should jolly well think the Porter Christmas did go with a swing ...
An interesting set-list. would I had been there for the Lightfoot number: "Just like an old-time movie ..."
Those of you who haven't met (or, more to the point, heard) Ellie, won't understand the full resonance of this comment. If you have, you will.
'Snapper, I accuse you of becoming a curmudgeon before your grandfather: whoever would want to silence Dave and Hannah?
OK, better not answer that.
Most of the usual regulars were present including Rosie, Tim and son, Karl, the ever reliable Jos, the ever camera elusive Paul Jacques, that nice Mr Orton, Old Mother, Porus and Pauline, Sippo, a varying number of Plumbs, Farrances and Porters (suggestions for collective nouns for groups of said families welcomed at this point), a barely noticeable and typically reticent Ellie, accompanied by fiancé, Dan, and last, but not least, Glemsford's own answer to George Melly, Mr Anthony 'Wardsworth' Ward, who was in fine fettle, contributing to proceedings with his usual rich and varied dialect of the English language which, these days is sadly confined to dockers.
Apologies to anyone missed out.
|Ah, Wardsworth: the very name tells of life itself, and derring-do, and have some of that ....|
Sadly missed were Jim Gardner, occupying his usual
spot in the stool by the door, Tony Williams and Clive Bryan:
|Indeed: a sad year it has been for so many. |
Here's to you, gents.
Also missing was Lord Thorogood, possibly unable to attend due to having to set the dogs onto any oiks stood at the door slurring 'We wish you a merry Christmas' and then expecting money.
Porus and Pauline were responsible for the most nauseating moment of the evening when, in a preamble to a song, (possibly 'The Wild Rover' - again my memory fails me for some curious reason) the assembled crowd were asked "Anyone in here in love?" A deathly hush ensued as various drinkers half-glanced in embarrassed fashion at partners, before the silence was broken by Pauline piping up with "YES! We are." and wrapping herself around Porus.
Cue a McGurk-inspired round of applause, round of 'ahhhs' and a rush for the gents ... . I know it's Christmas, but have some decorum.
|You sad, unromantic so-and-so, 'Snapper. How can you be so cold?|
Anyway, I shall wish you a happy and prosperous New Year and sign off.
|And the same to you, 'Snapper, and everyone else at The Angel|