Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Where Are Yer?

We football supporters have some strange notions about geography. Given that a travelling football fan sees more of the country than most people, you’d think that we would have a better idea of where places are than the average Joe. However, the evidence suggests otherwise.

We pretty much know that London is south of here and the North Pole is to the, well, north, but after that the details can get a bit patchy…..

A case in point occurred at Redditch, when some of our Chavs accused their Chavs of being northern, and if I recollect, scum. Northern? You’d be forgiven for thinking so after we travelled on the Northbound A14 and M6, but no, Redditch is actually to the SOUTH of Kettering. So, Redditch go from being Dirty Northern Bastards, to Soft Southern Jessies in the blink of an eye. They didn’t like being called “Brummies” either. “We’re not piggin’ Brummies, we’re Redditch” one Brummie piped, in a broad Brummie accent.

Teams like Telford, Chester and Hereford have not responded well to our assertion, when visiting their grounds, that their proximity to the Principality means that they are Welsh (and they know they are).

The anger shown by Telford and Hereford at our geographical faux pas is perhaps understandable. Hereford is a mighty 17 miles from Taffyland, whilst Telford is a whopping 26 miles from being in sheep-worrying country. Chester, on the other hand, can’t really hit back at claims of closet leek-waving tendencies given the fact that half of their ground is actually in Wales!

What constitutes a Cockney is also open to some debate. The accepted wisdom is that you need to be born within the sound of Bow Bells to claim the dubious honour of dressing in a pearly suit, eating jellied eels and knowing the Kray family personally. This distinction has proved far too narrow for we Poppies fans who have in the past accused everyone from Stevenage down to Maidstone of being Cockneys.

But even then, we don’t have the record for rank geographical ignorance. During Darlington’s brief stay in non-league, one of their charming followers called my better half a “Cockney Slag” as she was selling programmes at Rocky Road. Either this person possessed an extraordinary ability to somehow divine that her maternal grandmother hailed from London, or, more likely, assumed as they’d sat on a coach headed south for 4 hours that they must surely be in London! Oh, and the slag bit was wrong too, I hasten to add!

Even within London, regionalism runs rife! I remember watching Arsenal play West Ham once on the TV, and the Gooners were calling the Hammers, “Cockney W*nkers”. My first instinct was to say, “you’re all Londoners, surely, you’re ALL Cockney W*nkers!”

Here's a helpful map of the UK purely for illustrative purposes. The appearance of the fair Becky Mantin is purely coincidental.

Monday, 26 October 2009

Getting the ball rolling

We recommend anyone who is concerned with our Council's attitude to Kettering Town Football Club to follow the link below and register their support.

The dates for proposed riots on the new Market Place, burning in effigy of council officals and the (further) ransacking of the town centre are TBC.

The "Google" Test of Support

As our councillors continue to blather and ring their hands over the Poppies, and squeal about treating all the local sporting clubs exactly the same we thought we'd try to gauge the interest our small football club generates online.

By typing the word "Kettering" into the Google search engine, we were amazed to find that little old Poppies generated the most results with 381,000. The Council received a creditable 364,000 results, and the Hospital rounded out the top three with 326,000.

Curiously, none of the hundreds of sporting organisations within the Borough showed up at all in this not particularly scientific test. This is not to suggest in any way other sporting bodies within the area aren't important, but shows simply the level of interest the Poppies generates at a national and international level.

For better or worse, "Kettering" to the outside world, beyond planning guidelines, and "local plans" IS the Poppies. Not the Council. Not the Newland Centre. Not the Market Place. Not the Lighthouse Theatre. And certainly not the Lahnstein twinning association! Our councillors would do well to remember that when presiding over our fate.

Sunday, 25 October 2009

Guy "Blogston" Strikes Back!

Hello again everyone.

You'll be pleased to hear that I'm still doing really well and just about holding Burton's defence together single-handedly. Yesterday's five goals had nothing to do with me. I was nowhere near the ball on any occasion.

Looked out for you guys in the Cup draw, but you unluckily missed out on seeing how brilliant I'm playing at the moment. Of course, you could pop up to Burton rather than go all the way up to Hartlepool, assuming you beat Red Itch. Just a thought.

Catch you later.


Marketplace Revisited

I don't care what anyone says, I think the new look market place is OK. It looks good and you can kind of see what they were aiming for, right down to the bit on the Kettering timeline where they've conveniently left room for the demise of the Poppies. Plus, given the fact that the three and a half stalls which make up Kettering market are NEVER going to move back there, something had to be done with the area. By the way, I always laugh when the morning travel reports on Radio Northampton make a point of informing their listeners that they should look out for increased traffic on market days in Kettering! I'm not sure a fruit & veg stall, a bloke selling his collection of old CD's and a guy flogging fish out of the back of his van should really disrupt our over-burdened road network too much!

As we foresaw in an earlier blog, the area seems to have developed into a mecca for our dumb-ass, halfwit youths to do those tossy skateboard jumps, which by all laws of physics, should shatter their legs every time, and ride tiny little bikes with no brakes. What is it with these chavvy dickheads and their tiny little bikes? You must have seen them. Generally they are full grown men on piddly, single gear BMX type bikes, with their saddles about an inch above the back wheel, with their only method of braking to shove a foot on the rear wheel! When they pedal hard, reaching speeds of almost walking pace, their knees are bobbing furiously either side of their stupid heads!

Curiously, none of the Council's "artist's impressions" of how the market place would look featured the town's gaggle of half-brained, inbred scum draped over it, looking like they need culling. No, the initial drawings tended to feature perfect looking families enjoying the fountains, horse-drawn carriages and leafy trees. And not the collection of low-browed scuzz, who's only interest to society is to throw a spanner in the works of the theory of evolution.

But, as we are dealing with Kettering Borough Council, which is second to none when it comes to addressing the concerns of its residents (sarcasm), action has been swift and decisive. This sign has now gone up on the market square. Who knows, if the mongrels could actually read after attending school for 10 years, it might have some effect, but I doubt it. We shall see.

Redditch FA Cup Match Report

Friday, 23 October 2009

Memorable Things about Redditch

You say the word "Redditch" to me and three things spring instantly to mind.

The first is the guy they had in goal until the last year or so. Kinda little. Kinda looked like an accountant or middle management type. Always had a smile on his face, and constantly chatted to the crowd behind him. Despite the fact that he usually let in 3-4 goals per game he always seemed very happy to be playing. Almost as if he'd turned up to go over the club's books and ended up playing for them. The way I imagine it is that just as he was adding up the sponsorship receipts (all £3.20 of it), the players shouted up to the office that they needed a second goalie to help out with a training game. He put down his calculator and said that he'd played a bit back at college. The players convinced him to give it a go, so he fished his golf boots out of the back of his Mondeo and went between the sticks. Next thing, it's several years later and he's still playing for them, which didn't say much about the previous goalie.... Here's little Richard having yet another swing-and-a-miss.

The second image that springs to mind was the pissed-up gumbie who threatened about 30 Poppies fans for celebrating a goal. He just walked up to the little stand we were sat on and basically threatened us all. I say "walked." He had been liberally swigging from what seemed to be a large clay cider pot through most of the game, pausing only now and again to swear and gesture at the away supporters. In fact, when he'd had just about enough of us and came over to give us a barely affordable piece of his mind, he left his drink container with the steward he had been standing next to for the entire game. The obliging steward, who could teach our stewards a thing or two about customer care, dutifully guarded the bottle until its erratic owner came back. Marvellous entertainment.

The third thing that comes to mind is that great big black defender they used to have. What was his name? Exodus Mombassa or something. Bloody good player with an enormous throw-in. I often thought, if he could be on the end of his own throws, Redditch might be a decent team!

I wonder what happened to him?

Saturday, 17 October 2009

Email to our Councillors

Below is a copy of an email we have sent to all the councillors that have email addresses. We await the responses with interest. Perhaps they will not all be in political double-speak, but we're not hopeful.

Below is a link to locate your local councillor. You may not have voted for them, or have even heard of them, but use your right to question them. All we will suggest is to keep your email as polite as possible. Yeah, it's tough, but give it a go!
"I trust you have read the report in the Evening Telegraph on 16th October 2009, suggesting that the Council are indifferent to the survival of Kettering Town Football Club. As far as it is apparent, the Football Club are not asking for public money of property, and yet still our elected officials seem to object. A private initiative between KTFC, a supermarket chain and a local landowner would have paid for everything, and still it is not good enough for KBC.
In Northampton the council built the current Cobbler's ground. In Corby the council are about to build the Steelmen their SECOND new ground. KTFC are asking for nothing from you other than permission to save the club that means so much to so many people in the Borough.
Seemingly the Poppies are treated like lepers by our Council. Except, of course, when they win trophies of do well in the FA Cup and the you all get to bask in a bit of reflected glory.
It has since been alleged that someone within the Council has told the supermarket chain that they will not get permission to build a new store, football ground and community facilities, BUT it will receive permission AND land if they build the Council a new facility and swimming pool on the site earmarked for the football club.
I have no idea if this is true, but in a climate where the standing of politicians is at an all time low, surely such an illegal not to mention immoral move could prove disastrous.
As a resident of the Borough of Kettering I would greatly appreciate it if you could confirm that (A) you yourself have had no such conversations as appear in the bold section above, and (B) whether you would support the football club's plans for the very survival of professional football in this town?
Thank you for your time."

What do you call 100 drowned politicians?*

So where does Councillor Hakewell's "decree" that we cannot build a new ground in conjunction with an out of town supermarket leave us? If it was down to him and his ilk - dead. Politicians, eh?

Let's see if we have this clear....

Kettering Town Football Club have asked our Council for NO MONEY.

Kettering Town Football Club have asked our Council for NO LAND.

The land and finance were sourced elsewhere. All we need is permission to build on land the council doesn't own, in an area they don't want.

It would cost Councillor Hakewell and his cohorts ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to ensure this Club survives, and yet this man has the audacity to say "No". By what right?

This man who doesn't even live in Kettering seems to think he has the right to determine if OUR football club lives or dies. This is a man who claims to care for the needs of the wider community beyond the "few" of the town's citizens who support the Poppies. What he neglects to say, however, that his mandate to speak for the whole of Kettering was the whopping 1049 votes he received in the 2007 Borough elections. That's right, based on a smaller number of votes than we'd get supporters for a midweek fixture in January he can determine whether the Poppies live or die. Less people could be bothered to sign an "X" next to this man's name than would pay good money to stand around and watch the Poppies in the rain and sleet.

He managed a crummy 1049 votes in a wealthy middle class area! Is this democracy? Should this give him the authority to kill the only institution that projects the good name of Kettering beyond the borders of the town?

The alleged news that the deal the Club had worked out with the supermarket chain may have been hijacked by various councillors in order for them to get new offices and amenities built is outrageous. If true of course. Are politicians as bad as the tabloids tell us they are? As sleazy? We cannot believe that one of them would have the gall to meet the representative of a supermarket chain and say something like -

"We won't give permission for a new supermarket, football ground, and community facilities, BUT, if you build US a new council chamber and offices along with a new swimming pool we may we'd look favourably on the application".

This sounds too preposterous for words. Surely? How crooked would this be? How illegal?

We feel that the Kettering Borough Councillors, have the right to refute such an obvious falsehood. To that end, PATGOD will be emailing each and every Borough Councillor and offer them the chance to confirm that they not only wouldn't had made such an offer, but to condone such a discussion if it had occurred.

It will be interesting to see who does and who doesn't reply. We'll keep you informed.
* Some might say, "A start".

Friday, 16 October 2009

Corby finally denied something shock!

News has reached us that Corby will NOT be the centre of a new "University of North Northamptonshire."

Corby MP Phil Hope replied to this almost unique instance of Corby not getting what it wanted with the measured and statesman-like response of spitting his dummy out and exclaiming, "Don't these people know who they're f**king with?"

The Higher Education Funding Council (HEFCE) knocked back the plan to give Corby a University, reasoning that it would be, "An absolute waste of time offering degree level courses to the brain-dead, drugged-up, wannabe-jock, knob-jockeys who infest that town."

We asked a local Corby youth for his opinion on this story. He offered to, "Blow yous for the price of a can of Irn Bru", and then pulled out a knife and chased us down the road.

Issue 8 - The next 10 years of County football

The centrepiece of issue 8 was our mammoth look ahead to the various fortunes of the County's senior clubs over the following 10 years. We'll be the first to admit that it didn't turn out 100% accurate, but some of the nuttier stuff we suggested became a lot truer than we feared!

We have split the 10-years into a couple of manageable portions - you don't want to burst your sides badly at a single sitting do you?

This may seem familiar material as an enterprising Chatterboxer, entirely unfamiliar with the laws covering plagiarism and intellectual property, took it upon himself to post part of the article. We would have consulted our lawyers, but we don't entirely understand what those terms mean either.

A Manchester City fanzine did re-use the piece wholesale, with some obvious name changes, but as they included the Poppies as the team sweeping all before them instead of Rushden, we let it go that time. Next time, their multi-Zillionaire owners better get ready to write some hefty cheques!

Here we go then, buckle up for a glimpse of things to come, reflecting the past as seen from the future....

1990-1991 Season

Rushden Town win the Beazer Homes League by a landslide and the Trophy in a Final against Telford (as usual).

Northampton Town steer clear of relegation to the Conference by a massive 2 points. The seating capacity is further reduced to just 8 (not including dugout space). Supporters find themselves having to book 4 years in advance for a seat.

Corby Town get stuffed by everyone every week and switch their games to provide pre-match entertainment for the athletics meetings.

Kettering Town finish 2nd in the G.M.V.C.

1991 –1992 Season

Rushden Town win promotion to the Football League after their first year in the Conference. Manager Roger Ashby says, “The lads done me and the town proud.”

Northampton Town announce the start of construction of their very own ground. Chairman Dick Underwood says, “We feel that this is what a club of our stature needs. It’s what the board, the team, the fans, and the cricket club wants They told me they were sick of people running onto their square to fetch the ball back.

Corby Town are relegated into the second division of the Beazer Homes League. Their manager says, “I’m pretty confident we can bounce back from this setback.”

Kettering Town finish 2nd in the G.M.V.C.

1992 –1993 Season

Rushden sweep to the top of the 4th Division and take the title by 25 clear points. Their ground’s capacity is increased to 25,000. Manager Roger Ashby says, “The lads have pulled it off brilliantly.”

Northampton Town avoid relegation by virtue of least goals conceded through overhead scissor kicked back passes by registered disabled Anglo-Ethiopian centre forwards. Chairman Dick Underwood says, “Obviously we’re upset at finishing so low, but I think things will get better when we move to our new purpose built stadium.”

Corby Town are relegated to the premier feeder league to the Beazer Homes league. Their manager says, “I’m certainly down right now, but don’t write Corby of just yet.”

Kettering Town finish 2nd in the G.M.V.C.

1993 –1994 Season

Rushden Town win the Third Division and reach the quarterfinals of the FA Cup. Further success comes with the winning of the Lada Cup, formerly the Leland DAF Cup. Roger Ashby says, “The boys got stuck in well and deserve all their success.”

Northampton Town’s new ground isn’t yet completed. They have to ground share with Peterborough Utd after the cricket team threw them out for wrecking Curtley Ambrose’s run up. They avoid relegation due to a clerical error at the F.A. who mistakenly relegate Southampton to the Conference. A F.A. spokesman commiserated with Southampton who had finished the season 3rd in the First Division, but insisted his hands were tied once the decision had been made. Chairman Dick Underwood says, “It seems someone up there likes us.”

Corby Town suffered another poor season, being relegated to the East Midlands Alliance. New player-manager Neil Edwards says, “It would be folly to write us off. The feeling in the squad is reasonably high, considering.”

Kettering Town finish 2nd in the G.M.V.C.

1994 – 1995 Season

Rushden win the Second Division title in a nail-biting final game against a rapidly deteriorating Liverpool who began to falter as a major force when they employed Emelyn Hughes as team manager. A place in the Cup Winners Cup was guaranteed when they beat Man Utd 7-1 in the F.A. Cup Final. Further ground developments are made, boosting the ground capacity to 50,000. Manager Roger Ashby says, “It’s been a pretty meteoric rise for us.”

Northampton’s new ground is still not quite ready and they avoid relegation by switching to sharing with Northampton Spencer. The letter of expulsion from the league arrives at Peterborough and they are displaced from Division Four. Chairman Dick Underwood says, “The builders have had a few problems interpreting our design for the ground, but I am confident we’ll be able to move in soon.”

Corby Town are relegated from the East Midlands Alliance for fielding too many crap players and join the Kettering Sunday League. Player-manager Neil Edwards says, “We’re certainly leaving ourselves with a lot to do.”

Kettering Town finish 2nd in the G.M.V.C.

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Notts Unravelling

For sheer entertainment value the ongoing events at Notts County take some beating. To recap on developments so far this week:

Sunday – County blow a two goal lead against Torquay, but live on Sky and in front of a pack of reporters from the nationals.
Monday – Ian McParland is sacked before the clocks go back, a surprise only to those who predicted he’d be gone by the end of August.
Tuesday – the vacancy is linked with ex Inter boss Roberto Mancini, who is “thought to have ambitions to manage in England”. Love to see the look on his face when he takes that call.
Wednesday – Sven turns down approach from North Korea to take them to South Africa, or was it South Africa to take them to North Korea?

This all has the feel of a perfect storm of everything that is wrong with modern football being played out as a parable before our eyes.

Greed (“So Sven what first attracted you to the millionaire Notts County?”)

Shadowy Owners (yet to be actually identified, sheltering behind faintly preposterous acronyms like QADBAK, which sounds like it might be the Iranian secret service or maybe the new 4x4 from Daihatsu)

Silly Expectations (talk of a five year plan to get to the Premier League – always a five year plan isn't it, never fulfilled)

Ridiculous Signings (“So Sol, what first attracted…” – ok we’ve done that one already) - not forgetting the Clueless Chairman (the brilliantly named Peter Trembling, whose moniker doubles as a job description).

For fans of a club who less than a year ago were soundly dumped out of the Cup by little old us and must have been watching Eastwood’s rise a trifle nervously, this must at one stage have seemed like salvation.

What fools, the arrival of Eriksson should have been ample warning that something was amiss. From Man City to Meadow Lane via Mexico, quite a career shift and the only reason he wound up there was Big Phil beat him to the Uzbekistan job.

Having Eriksson on the payroll is looking increasingly like the death rattle and we can only hope his next port of call is youth team coach at Diamonds.

For the rest of us the comedy just keeps on coming. Indeed it would come as no shock to eventually learn that the whole thing is an elaborate hoax cooked up by a Forest fan called Dave from Beeston.

Saturday, 10 October 2009

A Saturday Day Off

Amazingly Wrexham actually had some of their players playing in the Welsh Under 21 game today. I say amazing, because if you'd seen how ineffectual the Wrexham players were when we won easily at the Racecourse a few weeks ago, the last thing you would imagine is any of these players playing International football at any level. And that includes Subbuteo.

But Under 21's seems to be a curious level of national recognition. Irvin Gernon played for England at that level! OK, the National boss was his former club Manager, but still that's pretty impressive achievement for a player with such a moderate amount of talent. On the subject of small talent, who can forget Nathan Koo-Boothe's Under 21 International status?

Certainly not we fans who were forced to read about it in matchday programmes the length and breadth of Conference North. Wow, the opposition fans must have thought, he must be good. They are soon cured of this opinion 45 seconds after kick-off and his third consecutive clearance goes straight in the air. One can only assume that when he played, the entire island of Jamaica had only 11 men under the age of 21. Mind you, even then he should have been on the bench.

In the absence of Poppies action today we all had to find something else to waste 90 minutes of our life on. Not being some sort of sad-case groundhopper who simply must watch 22 men huff and puff after a seemingly greasy ball, even though they don't especially care who wins, I got as far away from football as possible. Or so I thought. I found that even traipsing around Fineshade Woods you can't quite escape football. One of the RSPB volunteers at the woods was a certain Geoff Williamson, former Poppies director, under the reign of Gingell the Glorious.

Should I have said hello? Should I have mentioned to him that in my younger days I used to draw nasty little cartoons in which he prominently appeared? Should I have asked him where all the money went to during his tenure? Nah, it was a nice sunny day, and it's always easier to be brave from behind your keyboard!

Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Patgod Issue 8 - Start of 90/91 season

Obviously nothing was happening in our private lives during the summer of 1990 as we had a spanking new issue of PATGOD out for the start of the new season. That, or we were all fired up by our National team's oh-so-close brush with winning the World Cup in Italy that we rushed t our typewriters and grabbed the carbon sheets in excitement. At least, we thought, we'll never take penalties THAT badly again!

It would be fair to say that the previous season had proved to be disappointing for the Poppies after the one before. No trips to Charlton, that's for sure. We had to face the inescapable conclusion that we had started the damn fanzine just one season too late!

The moderate nature of the 1989-90 season was such that, on the odd occasion, we had been slightly critical of the direction the club was heading. We also knew those running the club had read these comments, and, in all probability, held different views. The two viewpoints came to a head at the end of season bash at the Royal where we were ambushed by Peter Morris and Cyril Gingell and told in no uncertain terms that our views were unwelcome as an unpaid VAT bill, and that the fanzine wouldn't be welcome at Rockingham Road again. God alone knows how they would have reacted if the internet had existed then, and they were inundated with negative supporter views on an daily, or in some cases, hourly basis.

There was some good stuff in this issue. Hopefully we'll have scanned some of the better bits and put them on the blog the next time you come back! In the meantime here's a little picture of Peter Morris in happier times, during his catalogue modelling days....

Thursday, 1 October 2009

"Always call it the Scottish Play"

Talking about past efforts to relocate the Poppies has reminded us of one of Mallinger's last efforts in that regard. Showing a sharpness of purpose which was sadly absent when negotiating Peter Morris's 30-year contract extension, PM hit upon the idea of combining our new ground with a new theatre. The poor excuse for a theatre on St Mary's Road was in it's last year, and it was common knowledge that the wife of then leader of Kettering council was of a theatrical bent.

It seemed a workable idea. Build both a football ground and theatre on the same site. Presumably using the same car park, if not the same dressing rooms. Hamlet in a jockstrap works about as well as Lee Harper wearing make-up and tights. Damn, that image won't disappear out of my head for a while...

All of the interested parties were invited up to the social club to look over the plans. Suddenly I was in the surreal environment of a room half filled with our assorted freaks and gumbies, and half-filled with theatrical luvvies wondering what the hell they'd let themselves in for. It was a sight to behold. On the same table you had one of our cross-eyed, beenie hat wearing gimps from the villages, alongside retired brigadiers and JPs wearing cravats and and Panama hats. Bernie probably shifted more of those individual red wine bottle that evening than over the previous half a dozen seasons.

Speakers from the theatrical side of the room spoke eloquently and projected their clear voices during the debate, enunciating vigorously the need for this new venture to succeed for the sake of both partners in this endeavour. Our half-wits cheered when a glass was dropped.

Of course, as ever, nothing came from this meeting. Other than half a room of people deciding to burn their clothes once they got home.

But it wasn't all bad news. Although the Poppies were allowed to limp on, somehow the funds were mysteriously accrued to build a new theatre in the town. It just shows what can be done when the political will is engaged, a group of dedicated people put the effort in, and, of course your hubbie runs the council!

Grounds for Concern

The latest, completely unsurprising twist in the seemingly eternal saga to prise us away from Rockingham Road has left us without a ground backer and looking for help from our ineffectual Council. It would be interesting to know if any Council in the country has assisted it's premier sporting club less than Kettering Borough Council? Have they ever lifted a finger to assist an institution which puts their town on the map more during one good cup run than they can manage with a couple of decade's worth of initiatives and website relaunches, and having cheese and biscuits with a bunch of Krauts we happen to be twinned with?

Without Asda's backing it would appear we are back to square one on the new ground front. Being on old bugger with dodgy recall (it'll come to you too, mark my words!) I can't actually recall why 2012 is the year we need to be out of Rockingham Road. What happens in 2012 other than the Olympics coming to London and the end of the world according to the Mayans? And don't we have the protection in law that our ground cannot be used for anything except hoofball until we have an alternative venue? I'm sure I remember this from somewhere in the past.... Has this changed too?

On the subject of a new ground a number of our former, future locations have been in the news recently. Remember Cohen's Yard? We couldn't go there because the traffic once every fortnight might impact upon the car park known as the A14. This didn't stop other developers being granted permission to build numerous retail and business units on the exact spot where our occasional use would have brought gridlock to the County. Perhaps our bribes weren't big enough?

The delightful old scrapyard was scrupulously buffed-up and infrastructure put in place. Then the credit crunch happened. Next thing, the developers are insisting every unit be sold BEFORE they start building. Mmm. The site could remain as it is for many years, unless an enterprising young Asian steps in....

Another mooted site was the Weekly Glebe playing fields, which now look like they are going to be concreted over to make a new Academy for numerous of our local delinquents. It would replace Montague school which is all of 30 years old, and obviously completely decrepit! When I was at Stamford Road school our textbooks were older than that!

I don't know if the area between the top of Deeble Road and Barton Seagrave was ever a serious contender, but it looks as though we'll lose out there too, to 5000 new houses that we are told are needed, although again, no one can quite remember why.

All in all, the land is disappearing pretty damned quickly. But hey, who knows. Maybe our Council will take a leaf from Ebbsfleet's Council and recognise that the town's football club, even a poor one, is worth saving?