2010: A year of finding old friends and giving my soul to the internet.


Tuesday, 30 March 2010 at 20:04 UTC+01

Is looking forward to meeting long lost friends, then watching the Gas on Friday

Getting back in touch with people has become so much easier for people of my generation. For me it really started with Friends Reunited. It was addictive enough as an observer to draw me in to finding where old school and University friends were, but remote enough to ignore should I not be brave enough to contact the person. When reconnecting with Rose I had no idea how important that might be in the long term but I can only guess that I wasn’t the only one who wanted to find out more than just what one did as job and how many children we didn’t have. It is far more difficult finding and contacting those who you once thought of as significant friends. There is the whole issue of whether to drag out the past when thirty years of real life is far more important. I went all around the houses to find out what had happened to Helen “Brunning-Geog” and Tim in the past 30 years. Then came Facebook and a chance to search for friends of friends and a question rather crudely put to one such lost one

Monday, 17 August 2009 at 23:44 UTC+01

Are you Tim and Helen Brunning?

8 months later and a few conversations later and Rose and I have a chance to combine a weekend away watching the Gas with a holiday in the Lake District. Bite the bullet time. Can we meet up?

Monday, 22 March 2010 at 14:34 UTC

Tim and Helen, Rose Seagrief and I will be staying in Carlisle from the 31st of March to Sat 2nd doing the Bristol Rovers thing and rose fancied a break away. We were wondering if we might meet up on the Thursday. If not then we will be doing touristy things in the Lakes. Perhaps meet up for some lunch near where you live?

I really shouldn’t have been so worried and nervous. Tim and Helen were as lovely as I remembered them and we had a great couple of hours looking at their life as old friends picking up on a conversation from our past. There was plenty of envy on my part at the way they have an idyllic looking life managing their woodland in Wasdale.

rs and helen brunning-geog

Friends reunited

Reunions don’t always go quite so well. Especially it seems if they are organised. In September we were corralled in to a 30th anniversary of starting at Southampton University. I, of course, watched the Gas before heading down to a weekend of catching up with the old friends of our Geography and Rose’s Archaeology days. In true Stedders style I will just concentrate on the good bits as I saw them. I was able to chat with the P and B girls who lived two doors down in Derby Road. On Sunday we went and had some lunch at the Crown and Greg Boughton entertained us with his diaries written in 1980. I felt relaxed in the company of those I had kept in touch with but in all honesty there was a bit of competitive conversation that I purposely let fly well over my head never to follow and try to catch.

IMG_0626 (2)

Alex, Louise, Jacquie and Annette, The Physiology and Biochemistry Girls.

22 Aug

Picnic on Clevedon pier with Jo, Rose and a Meantime stout, perrrrfect

My Facebook pages have plenty of contacts with ex-students. This can be much more unpredictable but generally old pupils are more than happy to talk about the fun bits.

Saturday, 17 April 2010 at 00:51 UTC+01

Had an excellent evening with two ex-students. Thanks Nikki and Becky, top geezers

We met after a Rovers game on the Gloucester Road. had a couple of hours reminiscing on the good old days and left to continue our lives with more than a passing interest in the successes and ambitions of their lives to come.

Living in Pilning. In this case Facebook was an unadulterated massage for my ego.

There were also some chance meetings with old boys.

14 Oct

Two pubs in Milton Keynes today. One landlord being a student in my first a level classes of 1981. Guy Plumb, the legend of the Red Lion

I would like to think I might have a similar effect when I went to the Severn Beach School open day in July.

17 July 2010 at 16:57 UTC+01

It was good to see Messrs Taylor and Griffiths plus Susan Williams as was at the Severn Beach School fete today. Even won a Teddy bear in a draw.

Mr Taylor and Mr Griffiths were important to the 10 gear old Stedman. I had a chance to tell them so but couldn’t quite get the exact words.

I was also re-engaging with old friends who had become estranged by my flight to the North West. Rovers mates of old came in many different guises but reunions always involved a few beers and long chats. One such event however left a bitter taste. We watched the Gas and were crawling post-match on the Gloucester Road when the Landlady took irrational exception to our group. She decided to use her fists to make her point and then ran off up the hill; when we called the police.

13 November 2010 at 23:22 UTC

Good company today spoiled by the Victoria in Gloucester Road   If I had my way that pub would be closed now. Witnessed an assault on a good friend by a thug of a bar staff member. Please if I have any influence on friends, never use this pub again, moreover tell all those you know, what a shit hole, drug dealing, Fascist serving, dive it is.

TODAY’S NEWS UPDATE; The Victoria is up for sale. I have never wished a pub to close but I can say I still hope his pub would wither and die.

On a more positive note I now had a Pilning routine and was getting my own house in some order.

Monday, 8 February 2010 at 12:38 UTC

The builders have arrived. The days of Franks lean-to are numbered and the mystery of the tomb patio revealed.

 extension before


extension during


extension after


The house I had bought was previously lived in by Frank and Lee. Frank was, and still is, an old school local farmer and he was happy to improvise when building things. I soon discovered barely covered electricity cables running from the house to the pond pump, perfect for my spade to cut through when relaying the lawn. The popping sound I heard one evening was that of the water from the sink running over the electric spur at the back of the kitchen cabinet. Fortunately I was awake when the smoke started to escape the cupboard. The evidence of black walls and ceiling mirrors ware redecorated. The pond was also removed. The fences separating dog areas were destroyed. The kitchen was rewired. Best of all was a utility room that had a definite lean-to attitude, complete with inch wide gap between roof and wall. It was a home for a washing machine and half the winter crawling wildlife of Pilning. It had to go. It was replaced with a Dunraven built Sun Room. I have lived in this room ever since.

11 Aug

First bike ride for years, puncture, and result! That’s in the garage for another ten years then.

The bike had fixed pedal straps and I stopped without releasing my feet. It was a graceful and painful topple to the left followed by a slow haul home. Fortunately no one witnessed my embarrassing fall. The bike has now been consigned to the deepest depths of a very spidery garage.

My local become the Plough. Old school friend Dave McLeod was boss and they had a quiz that I could regularly won. Not so much a boast as a reflection on the lack of numbers who entered on the pubs quieter nights.

The most important date of the year was this one:-


I went to Colne for a final weekend fully aware that it might be a difficult event. Dan and Dave had announced they were leaving and they owed me a significant amount of money in back rent. My good friend Peter was taking over and could do with some help getting to know the ropes. I intended to stay a few days and help where I could. I am glad I was there because the youngsters were in asset stripping mode and their final party would have left Peter with the prospect of a total replacement of fixtures that they had bought for a nominal pound. My washing machine and television had mysteriously broken down and not been replaced. The cellar had lost its essential fixtures such as hammers and mallets, buckets and spare pipes. I would not have been surprised if they didn’t want to take the optics from behind the bar. I was not welcome at their party but I was sure I wasn’t going to watch them remove what they could. On the Monday however, once the keys were exchanged I left Peter to it. I just couldn’t stay and get involved. It hurt!

So what to do next?

I intended to restart the guides but with a publisher.

8 Oct

Contact made with first of publishers. Anyone who wants to publish the guides should get in touch with me

That was a waste of time. Apparently the age of print was over and the way forward was via the app. I wanted to do a full update but without the year-long pub crawl and went about contacting old beer hunting friends. In the meantime I advertised the website and found ways to use social media to update the pubs daily if necessary by focusing on their websites, Facebook and twitter feeds as information points.

23 Oct

Up at five and off to Hartlepool. Now I am sad

Back from Hartlepool. Grove, brewery tap and causeway all good. Good to meet up with Jim and of course watch five minutes of exciting footie

23/10/2010           Hartlepool A 2-2

Monday, 25 October 2010 at 17:14 UTC+01

Had a good day in Hartlepool on Saturday but a very long day. What happens the next day? Darlington away. Boo.

Hartlepool updated. Also lunch with Mick Escott at the Nova Scotia. What a social animal I am (Not)

stedders happy

Stedders happy in 2010


1994       Blackpool H 1-0

1996       Bournemouth A 1-2

2007       Cardiff V Neath

1993       FT


2005       MILTON KEYNES

2009       Rodney

1999       Wigan A 0-1

2013       York H 0-0

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