2011: Of county cricket and friends new and old.

Tweet: 8th April 2011

Good day at Neville Rd. One for the purists. Who ever thought I might complain about too much sun. Good to catch up with good friends.

Cricket at Nevil Road

Gloucestershire V Derbyshire

Gloucestershire 343 and 146 -3

Derbyshire157 ( L Norwell 6- 46) and 331 (D Payne 5 -76)

Gloucestershire won by 7 wkts


I always get a scorecard.


2009: Settling back into a Bristolian life

Monday 23rd March 2009

A quiet Monday at home at last. I bought a paper from the beach shop and took a short walk along the sea wall. Gave the lawns a first cut and managed to sit outside for the first time this year. Wrote a bit on the beer of the year for my website. Will be going up to the Rodney next week as Dan and Dave want a holiday and I am happy to step in for them. These visits are fewer and less welcome but I can keep an eye on the building and check my stuff isn’t being abused. Rovers’ season seems to be over, no late run for promotion this time. Been writing up pages for the new smaller versions of the guide for friends and other users of the old guides. They are more like update sheets than the real guide.


2008: Stedders recrosses the North South divide

Thursday 13th March 2008

Bought a new phone and spent the day doing Facebook type things. Will be uploading loads of photos and finding old friends to make it look like I have some in the next few days. Bought the phone in Burnley, an IPhone that is quite up to date. The cyclists were in this evening. This meant quite a late night sitting outside chatting to them and watching them set off safely at the end of the evening. Called Ray to arrange for him to come up on the 25th with Colin. Takings quite good for a Thursday.


1998: American holidays, walking and avoidance tactics

Monday 21st December 1998


It is the first day of our Christmas holidays and what do we do? Book up an MOT and service for the Primera for 8 o’clock. So it was a walk home from Stacey Bushes for me as Fiona had the deserved lie in.  Back by nine with bacon rolls from the bakers shop at Heelands. What was she doing when I got back? First day of the holiday and she is marking. Apparently she couldn’t sleep in, so decided to get some out of the way. So much for romantic gestures of breakfast in bed then. As she had started she wanted a clear run of a few hours or so. I might as well go in the Micra and get some Christmas shopping done. Bottles for family, Fiona stuff bought but not written here just in case. Fi has sorted out presents for MIL and her side of family. All done within two hours and back when phone call comes through with results of MOT. All ok, just service costs and two new tyres. Fiona dropped me off and I drove it back for 3.

We have a few days before we head off to Tunbridge Wells. Nipped down to Albert at 6 for an hour or so with Ray and Andy. University Challenge at 8.30. Finished writing out cards for people we forgot and for posting tomorrow.


1996: A year of first and lasts

Thursday 5th December 1996



The view from Hunters Reach December 5th 1996

Woke up to a decent covering of snow. Both our schools were closed to pupils as too  was our local one so there was nothing left to do but make the most of a rare day off. Fiona of course decided it would be a good idea to finish off some preparations for the school concert and shamed me into doing some marking and report writing. The good thing about the pupils at Wendover is they don’t create a lot of marking. The bad thing is there are always some reports to write or records to complete.

I was bored silly by 11 so persuaded Fiona that we should go for a nice long walk in the snow. We set out around 12 and arrived in Stony for 1. The route took us through Bancroft, New Bradwell then Wolverton and along the canal and river to Stony. It was only right that we should drop in the Vaults to check that everyone was o.k. in this weather. It was like an old school reunion of Denbigh folk so we were able to catch up with Roger Siewert and Tim Hawkins over a pint.

We walked back through Galley Hill and Two Mile Ash, getting home at around 4. A good walk and well worth it. A night of watching the T.V. Third rock from the Sun, Crocodile Shoes and Question Time. Snowing again, looks like tomorrow may be off work wise as well.


1990: Phlegm, Fiona and Swindon Town

Saturday 13th Oct 1990

A Brilliant day!

We left around 10 for the game at Swindon. Fiona made us take a flask of coffee and some sandwiches for the car journey. The route was A 421 via Buckingham and Bicester and around the Oxford By pass and on to the A420.  As Fiona was driving we stopped for a pint at the Fox near Faringdon. Nothing real here but convenient. We parked up behind the County Ground around 1.30 and went straight to the match. We were in the Town End, under cover and it was very crowded. We were early enough to get a bar so Fiona could see. Gerry played Tony Pounder up front alongside Devon White. Not sure about that long term but today he scored one and was brought down for the penalty, A 2 – 0 win away from home certainly made a difference. Best bit of the game was Geoff Twentyman’s clearance off the line. He headed it up and over the bar from point blank range. Swindon fans didn’t like it at all. We left and had to walk to our car through them walking behind the stand. Some tosser decided he was so hard and spat over my coat and then ran away like a little kid. Another Swindon fan apologised for his fellow fan and offered a paper tissue to clean the gobbings. On the way back we stopped at the Red Lion at Finmere. A pint or two of London Pride after a win is always good. Home by 9. Watched Where Eagles Dare and Ben Elton with a take away Chinese ordered from Stantonbury.


1976: Norman no mates, work and a poem

Saturday 19th June 1976

Worked at Jefferies in the morning. Easy deliveries until 11 and then sweeping up and saw dusting the boards. We got the news that cricket was rained off when we arrived at the ground to get lifts to the game. We are playing tomorrow at Patchway and at least the forecast is good for that. What to do instead? The cricket at Lords was off as well so couldn’t even watch it in the T.V. Golf at Ashton Court? By the time we got there it would be time to come home again, and would be wet anyway.

Decided to go home and watch some television. My God Severn Beach is boring when it rains. We planned to meet up at the Cross Hands at 7. Studs went to see if ICI were playing. When I got back to the beach the train was just coming in so I told Mum I was out for the afternoon and jumped on it to go into town. Here I was again, bored and on my own and on this flipping train to nowhere. We screeched as usual around the bend at Avonmouth. What are the chances of meeting anyone in town? No chance, that’s what. Got off at Clifton Down, walked along Whiteladies road and went in to the Victoria Rooms to see what was on. Nothing was on, that’s what, not even a poxy model railway exhibition. It was empty and closed. Next stop the Museum. There is only so much of Alfred one can take so did a quick tour around and on to Park Street. Went up Brandon Hill and back down to the Library. I fancied a beer so risked it by going in the Hatchet. Didn’t stay long. Didn’t even buy a beer. It is always a bit threatening in there. Went along to Christmas Steps and down to King Street. Had a beer in the Old Duke. A pint of Courage Best.

Sat in the Corner and wrote this:-

 old duke bristol poem

Old Duke Bristol June 7


Bristol, home of ships and Pirates looking out to see,

What have you found and kept for me?

Lines of history that are closed,

Streets of value shut firmly against my age,

Houses of doubtful virtue, open to those who want,

Shops of welcome to those who cannot afford,

Like dripping rainfall from a holy canopy,

You promise refreshment from your uncomfortable touch,

But when drops hit my head, all I get is wet,

And a look of laughter from your knowing face.

Bristol, now home of tramps, human not steam

I can’t wait to go, to leave and be gone.

You have nothing for me to keep or believe.


Richard E Stedman


On to Temple Meads and a train home for 6. Bike up to Northwick for 7. No one in the White Horse, not even Studs. Had a pint, Oops, wrong pub, race to the Cross Hands, too late, they had all gone. Home by 9.

Bored, Bored, Bored.


On Jefferies the Butchers: I had a job in this family butchers in Meadow Street in Avonmouth.  It was a short term holiday job. I had to do some of the following. Slicing bacon; making up delivery orders; helping Mel with the deliveries around the docks or Avonmouth plus general cleaning of the shop. I was too young for serving customers but not too young to be shut in the cold store with the hanging meat as a joke at least once a day. On Saturdays it was just house deliveries. I liked the days when we went to all the canteens on the docks dropping off tons of bacon and sausages. The worst part was sorting out chitterlings and other offal.

Other Holiday jobs 1976 – 1980 were:-

In no particular order:-

BAC Sports ground at Filton: Groundsman responsibilities. Painting Rugby posts, cutting outfields, painting lines, sweeping changing rooms. Clocking Southmead Les and Shane in and out when they were late or wanted to leave early. Laughing at their jokes, the same jokes every day.  Pretending to see the girl who stripped every day at 4 for Shane and Les in the house opposite the tennis courts. Brushing those courts. There was strictly no cutting of wickets or bowls greens. Apparently this was far too responsible.

Builders mate: Working for a local building team with Denzil Roylance. I helped do the following. Tiling a new roof on a house in Old Down; renovating a barn in Olveston; replacing a flat roof on a chalet in Woodlands Park in Patchway; and rounding up sheep in a field without a sheepdog in Olveston. In this case I was the sheep dog being whistled at, because I was the quickest at running around the field.

Plymouth Chemicals in Portsishead; Loading Lorries with Chemicals for Don Baker and Colin Reeves to drive all around the South West. Sometimes navigating and being a driver’s mate, i.e. getting the cakes and bacon butties en route. Filling Carboys with acids. Usually Sulphuric acid or a mix of Hydrochloric for use in swimming pools. Being the butt of their posh boy jokes. I deliberately brought in the Times to read, just to wind them up when they read the sun in tea break times.

Plant Hire Firm: Next door to Plymouth Chemicals in another year: Cleaning cement mixers when they were returned after hire. This was a grim job because there was not established method of chipping away at cement in a mixer with needle guns, chisels, whatever would work, and then cleaning them with high pressure hoses. If I was lucky I could have a go at cleaning a larger dumper truck.

How did we get by in in the days before mobile phones? Looking at this example, I didn’t. The piece of doggerel hasn’t seen the light of day and deserved really to stay unearthed. I am however, writing this in the spirit of opening up thoughts, good and bad so perhaps it fits with my then 17 year old self. In those days I did carry around scraps of paper and a notebook just to record thoughts. How very pretentious but there we go. Poetry was there somewhere but, not to be exposed to the world in these pre-punk, self-conscious teenage days. I didn’t help myself much by going off on my own like that without any real plan. Bristol in 1976 was a depressing city. The docks were a downright dangerous place to just stroll around. There was always a risk of walking around the wrong corner to meet up with some rampant football fan looking for some fun at your expense. Getting a beer was never a problem. At 6 foot 4 tall I could get a beer in most pubs, no I.D. was needed, only a bit of self-confidence. Not that solitary drinking was much fun though.

The White Horse was my favourite local pub at the time. I had my 18th Birthday celebration there. I say that but in fact we were “barred” when I said it was my 18th, as I had been going in there for the last two years or so. We would play darts sometimes but usually just talk about things, the usual teenage stuff, of football and cricket. We later had occasional female company in the form of Belinda or “Fi-Fi” Hignell. I can safely say that I was not the focus of their attentions. It was the younger Malpass who caused their fandom to our little group. In the Cross Hands we would more likely meet up with other members of the cricket team but it was often the older players who would just as well cope without our company. Strangely enough, in the land of the ever present skittle alley, I never once rolled a ball in anger. I did some sporadic “sticking up” for the Black and Tans in the league but playing was left to others. In later years Studs and Neil had a car to get us out of the village. Neil has a Triumph of some sort (TR7), with an aluminium exhaust of which he was very proud. Studs was more likely the one to get us to a pub in his car. The usual destination a year later would be somewhere like the White Hart at Littleton. My only form of transport was my hated Puch Grand Prix Moped. It saw the roads of the Severn valley a few months after this post. It provided a form of independence in getting to school or work. It died a death, as I almost did, when I rounded the bend at March Common one evening, over cooked the corner, and took an option to drive into the ditch rather than the headlights and front bumper of Celia Kilminster’s Dad’s car.  My parents never did get the full details of why I stopped riding my super moped. It did however, get sold in 1982 when I wanted the deposit of £100 for my first house. For that it was very useful.


Of the weather: This day was to be the last wet day of the summer. The summer of 76 that had drought, bank fires, swarms of ladybirds, stand pipes in the street and late night conversations about loves and futures. There was very little to bore me from that day on in this summer.

1978       Geography Staff V Stoneham W

1993       Wolverton Town H L 0

1994       Linslade A L 42

1996       Russia v Czech Republic ANFIELD

2005       Northamptonshire v Gloucestershire Stowe School

2009       Middlesex

2010       Hampshire

2015       Essex