Big Mac

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  1. Big Mac

    FIRE!

    There was a massive fire at Swiss Mills (lace makers) in Beeston in 1984. It was said to be one of the most ferocious ever in the county. I remember listening to a report on Radio Trent when the chief fire office said, “When we got there it was going ever so well.” Which I thought was a somewhat strange thing to say, almost as if he was admiring it. The cause was stated to be arson, but I can’t remember if anyone was ever charged.
  2. I went to St. Bernadette’s, Sneinton, between 1960 and 1965 and don’t recall any movies being shown. In June1963 our form went to see Man and Superman by George Bernard Shaw at the old Nottingham Playhouse on Goldsmith Street. In fact it was the last play to be shown there before the new Playhouse opened on Wellington Circus later that year. In 1965 we went to the new Playhouse but I can’t remember the production but the then relatively unknown Judi Dench was a member of the company. The Artistic Director was John Neville. In 1967 some friends and I were walking past the Playhouse when we saw Judi Dench and Neville strolling along holding hands. Whether it was anything serious or just par for the course in the lovey-dovey world of theatre who knows. On a similar theme of school and theatre, in 1964 St. Bernadette’s made a film about the school’s activities. One of the segments was an excerpt from the Merchant of Venice in which I appeared as Bassanio. We saw the film once it was completed and then despite efforts to find it again it seems to have vanished. Anyone have any clues.
  3. I posted the above in response to someone reporting that Mick Piggot had passed. Well he hasn’t. The Mick Piggot I know is very much alive and I’m now in contact with him.
  4. Wow IAN123 I envy your Dad getting that close.
  5. REMEMBERING THE GREATEST The Greatest left us on June 3, 2016, but his spirit, example and unforgettable memories will live on forever. Muhammad Ali represented the soundtrack of my life. I grew up with him and his fabulous career. What a lucky man I’ve been. ALI IN THE FLESH One May evening in 1963, I was 13 years old and on my way home from a school cricket match in my hometown of Nottingham, England. (I played for St, Bernadette’s, Sneinton.) As I walked past the Victoria Hotel at the bottom of Mansfield Road, in the center of town, I saw a huge crowd spilling into the street blocking traffic. To get a better look, I went up the steps of the Mechanics Cinema that faced the hotel. From this lofty vantage point, I was able to see that the focus of the crowd's attention was Cassius Clay (he didn't become Muhammad Ali until early 1964). He was in town to attend a British middleweight championship bout and was using it as an opportunity to publicize a fight he had the following week in London with British champ Henry Cooper. Dressed In a brown blazer, tan slacks and a crisp white shirt with a dark tie, he was sartorial sophistication personified. His skin glowed with the health of a honed 21-year-old athlete, and at 6'3'' he stood head and shoulders above the crowd. I stared transfixed, as if I'd seen a God and remember vividly the grace and elegance which accompanied his every move and gesture. His voice boomed across the city, "I can't ever be beat. I'm gonna whup Henry Cooper!" It's a memory that's as fresh to me today as it was the instant I witnessed it. In 1989 I saw him again in Nottingham when he was doing a book signing at Sissons & Parker. He hadn’t fought in eight years and this time was seated as he signed copies of his book. He was heavier, a little puffy in the face and the early symptoms of Parkinson’s was evident with his slurred speech and trembling hand. But he still looked like a God to me. The comparison between the 1963 Ali and the 1989 version was stark. In similar cases one would bemoan the decline of a great athlete. But it was different with Ali. He never felt sorry for himself so we weren’t allowed to either. In some ways the manner in which he dealt with the growing ravages of his illness over the years somehow enhanced his nobleness. Who can forget him lighting the Olympic torch at the 1996 Games in Atlanta? It could have been embarrassing as he shuffled out with his arms shaking. But such was his sheer presence, the almost universal love he engendered, that he carried it off with dignity and style. It sort of reminded me that when he was knocked down in his 1971 fight with Joe Frazier the way he went down was with a poise that was almost balletic. The man was pure class. THE LAST HURRAH? In 1974 I went to Nottingham’s Ice Stadium to watch a live broadcast of his Rumble In The Jungle fight with George Foreman. I went with the mood of going to the funeral of a close friend. Foreman was a fearsome puncher, eight years younger than Ali, and almost everyone predicted he would win by knockout. I feared my God would be badly hurt but he had given us so many iconic memories the least I could do was be there at the end however painful it would be to watch. Oh, Peter, ye of little faith, hadn’t you learned to never doubt The Greatest? Although the rope-a-dope strategy is now the stuff of legend it wasn’t clear at the start as Foreman came in swinging those thunderous punches and one feared for Ali. Then in the eighth round, in the greatest sporting moment I have ever witnessed, Ali spun the tired giant around and with marksman like precision stunned Foreman with a left and then a right. As Foreman swayed past on his way to the canvas, Ali had his right fist cocked ready for the coup-de-grace but declined to do so, almost as if he was admiring his handiwork and decided why spoil a thing of beauty? Of the 10,000 inside the Ice Stadium maybe 80% were of West Indian origin, and they were screaming and standing on their seats in acclaim of their champion and what they had just seen. For an instant I wondered why I could still see the screen despite the crowd standing on their seats. Then I looked down and realized I was standing on my seat and yelling like a dervish. It was like 4.00am in the morning and I went home but couldn’t sleep such was the constant adrenaline rush. From that high of course Ali went on too long and was beaten by fighters he would have dispatched with ease in his prime. In my view Muhammad Ali was and is the greatest, most inspirational (in and out of the ring) most charismatic athlete in history. What a fighter he was. What a man he is. What a legend and icon he remains. What a legacy he leaves. Rest in peace champ. Thank you for all those fabulous memories. You sure shook up the world and we will never see your like again.
  6. That's so sad. Earlier in this thread I said I used to train at same gyms as Mick in the '60s and '70s. A very affable, pleasant guy. We used to call him Les (as in Lester). Really saddened me. Remember us all being in our early '20s. RIP my old friend.
  7. Pete C, I went tom St. Bernadette's fro 1960 until July 1965. Wonder if we know each other? Now live in Florida.
  8. A memory of Tony Hateley. In the summer of 1963 he was transferred from Notts to Aston Villa for a fee of I think 30,000 pounds. As luck would have it his first game for Villa was at the City Ground against Forest on the first day of the season, August 24 (my 14th birthday). Me and my pal Rob were seated on one of the football buses that used to take you from Boots on Parliament Street to Trent Bridge when Tony came up the stairs and sat down. He had a duffle bag over his shoulder (which presumably contained his boots). He got off at Trent Bridge and we followed him as he walked to the ground, bantering good-naturedly with the fans. Compare that to the prima donnas of today who are ferried around in luxury limos and coaches and stay at a five star hotel the night before a match. Anyway Villa won 1-0 and Tony got the goal. A typical old-fashioned English center forward was Mr. Hateley. RIP.
  9. Stu, used to manage the Pretty Windows back in the '80s. Sorry to hear about his health. We once has a serious altercation but we got over it.
  10. Big Mac

    'Serry'

    "Serry" was a common form of greeting among my football mates of the '60s, '70s. I remember one lad turned up for one match with a newly styled Beatles cut. He got the usual "Ay-Up Serry" So I told him he was the Serry with the fringe on top. Always assumed Serry was slang for mate or similar. A regards the word sorry (as in aplogising) a replacement for that when playing football was "Sos." You'd foul someone and say "Sos, mate." Course you could have also said, "Sos, Serry." But not if you had a lisp.
  11. My wife (like me, from Nottingham) uses the phrase regularly, although in South West Florida no-one apart from me knows what she means. Mother's has to be said as MOHTHERS NOT AS MUTHERS.
  12. Rob Liddle was same age as me and in same form. I left in July 1965 a month before my 16th birthday when all of my form left. Funnily enough I met up with Rob Liddle in early 2012 in Nottingham: we hadn't seen each other in 44 years. We're now in touch. The Pete Williams in my class was captain of the football team and the cricket team. Definitely John Millett. He was Irish with red hair. Played in the football team and was a great sprinter. Cheers
  13. I remember Simonite. I left in July 1965. I'm thinking those you mentioned were a year or two behind me.
  14. I went to St. Bernadette's from 1961-'65. Old Man Casey was the headmaster at first and he was a sadist: He would be locked up today. Later Mr. Higgins was headmaster. Teachers I remember, Mr. De Lee; Mr. McKeever; Mr. Jack; Mr. Hopkins; Mr. Byron; Mr and Mrs Redycan; Mr. Trekasges; Mr. Hollingsworth. Pupils Robert Liddle, Mick Marecki, Trevor Ramowski, Bohdan Lesiuk, Bodhan Grabowski, Michael Unwin, Valdis Gulaytes (spelt wrong), Pete Williams, Jimmy Day, Danylevitch twins; Archie Ruthven, Francis Kalywoda-Morgan, John Millett. I live in Florida, but will probably be visiting Nottingham in October. I'd be interested in knowing more about the reunion.
  15. John, I was milling around outside the Odeon, the night The Beatles played. Maybe we banged into each other. It was bedlam.
  16. Ken Dodd. In 1965 the annual holiday day out for our firm (John Line & Sons -- Wallpapers and pain merchants) was a tripe to London with the finale being the Ken Dodd show at the London Palladium. I had no real opinion of him but he was onstage for 2 1/2 hours cracking joke after joke. Everyone was in hysterics (including me) and it was like you were in so much pain from laughing you wanted him to stop. Anyone else remember when companies would close for a day (the above trip was a Wednesday) and take the staff of somewhere?
  17. The series being filmed in Notts explains why one night at Jimmy's (night club in the Lac Market) I saw Jimmy Nail nailing a few. At the time I wondered why he was there.
  18. As a kid growing up in the '50s we lived in Lincoln. My friends and I would go to the Brayford (which was like an inland dock) and ask to ride on barges from there to Newark loch and then catch a ride back. The bargies were good to us and looking back you have to say how much the world has changed. Of course the barge traffic has gone but in this day and age seven and eight year olds wouldn't be allowed to wander around so freely for fear of what might happen to them.
  19. When Bobby Brown's opened it seemed a bit ahead of its time. It was real trendy -- a big place with loads of choices of beers. Don't know why it closed.
  20. There used to be a big record department (in the basement I think) of the Co-op on Parliament Street. They had a number of booths where you could listen to a record -- or part of it. They wouldn't let you listen to too many as then they'd suss you were there to listen and not buy. Heard Bob Dylan for the first time (1963) in that dept. Followed him ever since.
  21. I got complimentary tickets once in 1980 to see Frank Carson. He was very funny and I met him backstage and he was even funnier. It was a Friday and the next day Forest were playing Manchester City who he supported. Invited me and wife to go with him but it clashed with something else we were doing.
  22. I was 16 and we lived on Radford Road, New Basford. Watched the match on TV with my Dad, who's a rabid Scot, never supported England. Match kicked off at 3, and by the time extra time and presentations had been done it was about 5.30, which in those days was evening opening time for pubs. So my Dad, never one to let his nationality stand in the way of a booze-up, decided to go to the pub across the road (forgotten its name) where the festivities he figured would be riotous. We thought we'd not see him for hours. He came back 30 minutes later saying, "Bloody English, don't know how to enjoy themselves -- they're more interested in their dominos."
  23. So one way or another Pete's still working with iron.
  24. The electrician’s shop was on the corner of the ground floor with the gym on the second and third floors. You entered the gym through that (now) red door. It was all free weights – you even had to load up the lat machine. The showers either didn’t work or delivered only cold water. Further along Lake Street was a grocer’s store where we used to buy a pint of milk to swig while we trained. The gym smelt of sweat and milk. I can smell it now. Happy days. Denshaw, I can remember Pete Brownhill.
  25. No, that doesn't (like a bus) ring a bell The last time I trained at Lake Street was 1973 so maybe our paths never crossed.