Every month we award a bottle of Glengoyne 10 year old single malt – the finest whisky available to humanity – to a commenter who tickles our fancy…
Jonathon Green has an incredible facility for evoking an era. Slang obviously helps – words, rather like smells, seem to have the ability to mark a time and place. The rest must be down to deep learning and extraordinary writing. Last month he worked his magic on an aspect of the sporting life from before the Great War, recounting the history of The Sporting Times, aka the Pink ‘Un.
JG’s generous gift was made manifold through at least a couple of treasurable comments. Jonathan Law, rightly envious of the ‘Dwarf of Blood’ moniker, with one. John Halliwell with another, serving up a thick and savoury slice of Lancastrian sporting experience:
I was a kid in the mid fifties and stood about 5 feet 3 inches. I spent every second Saturday afternoon, from September to end April, on the Old Trafford terraces cheering on Busby’s brilliant teams. I was often lodged between rough, tough Mancunians who always seemed to be unshaven, spat a lot, swore even more, wore shabby raincoats, cloth caps, hobnailed boots, and seemed to me to be at least 6 feet 7 inches tall; they just don’t make women like that any more. It was wonderful: no threat of violence; no overt hatred of visiting teams and their supporters, relative tolerance shown to the failings of officials. And the slang – glorious slang: “You bleedin’ wazzock” “Shut your gob, you f***ing barmpot”, “You sken-eyed mard arse.”, On the final whistle, 60,000 fans seemed to converge at the very same moment on the railway bridge on Warwick Road, and I swear my feet never once touched the ground; I was carried over the bridge wedged, and rapidly turning blue, between two large, but always good-natured, chaps. The point is simply this: by the time I’d gasped and staggered my way to Warwick Road railway station, about half a mile from the ground, I was able to buy a copy of the Manchester Evening News Football Pink, which carried an account of the match I’d just attended, including photographs. Unbelievable! I then relived the match through the pages of the Pink on the 40 minute train journey home; then into the chippy for fourpenny’s worth and do you know what? They were wrapped in that day’s Football Pink!
Perfect. We hope the Glengoyne helps keep the memories and words flowing, John.
By the way, we all – Dabbler editors and contributors – do this blogging lark for the fun. For the laughs, conviviality, glory, showing off; the learning, sharing, enthusing, connecting; even for the opportunity to use the odd semi-colon. We none of us do it for the money (not one penny – ok, perhaps the odd review copy).
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