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Showing posts from September, 2015

In Neil We Trust....

News broke today that Neil Aspin had been relieved of his job as manager of FC Halifax Town.

6 years on, he has taken the team from the depths of the Unibond North up 3 leagues to the Conference, or Vanarama National League as it is now known, playing some fantastic attacking football on the way, backed up by a defence so mean it made Ebenezer Scrooge look like a philanthropist.

6 years, where we have had some fantastic players and characters: Jamie Vardy, Lee Gregory, Liam Hogan, Mark Roberts, James Dean, Danny Holland, Danny Lowe, Tom Baker...the list goes on.

Some great times, a period where we had been winners rather than the losers us supporters of 40-odd years were more attuned to. Neil Aspin turned the club into serial winners and achievers.

But, sadly, it couldn't be maintained. Once we got back to the Conference, once Lee Gregory had been sold to Millwall, it changed. A great finish in 2013-14 saw the team finish 5th and make the play-offs, and 2014-15 ended in a reasonable 9…

Summat Brewin' at the Sportsman

What a great idea: Two real ale-loving musicians record an album of songs about drinking, then arrange a tour of real ale pubs and venues to promote the aforesaid album.

Well, when your blog is called 'Real Ale, Real Music', you just have to check it out!

And so, that is why I was at the Sportsman in Huddersfield last night for the album launch of 'Summat's Brewing'. Well, not only for that. I have been enjoying the excellent music of Belinda O'Hooley and Heidi Tidow for a few years now, going back to pre-blog days, and it was a great opportunity to get to see them again. Sadly, Tara and Elaine, from local brewers Mallinsons, who had lent their support to the project, were unable to attend on the evening.

I got to the Sportsman just before 8, genial landlord John advised the bar would be closed during the performances. So, I grabbed a quick pint of Ringmaster, just as Boff Whalley, late of Chumbawamba started.  And enjoyable he was. Quirky and witty songs involved…

Rushbearing in Sowerby Bridge

Spent the day at the Rushbearing Festival in Sowerby Bridge last Saturday for the first time in at least 12 years. The occasion was a family get-together, with it being my Mum's birthday on the Sunday, as well as a desire by my kids to take theirs where I'd taken them when they were little! So it was that 14 of us covering four generations enjoyed a pleasant lunch at The Moorings, by the canal basin, close to where some of the action was happening.

So what is the Rushbearing Festival all about? I was asked that by a couple of friends I'd seen at the station as we waited for the train from Brighouse. I mumbled some waffle by way of an answer, as over the years I had forgotten, and I had to look it up in order to jog my memory!

In doing so I was reminded that the event has been taking place in and around the town since 1977, although its origins date back to the 19th Century. It is based on the old tradition of presenting rushes to the local churches which were then used to co…