Monday, 14 October 2013

On This Day

Eighty-Five Years Ago

Business developer Reginald Scoggins unveiled to a sceptical press his new system of road navigationalism for motorists. This came in the form of a network of smartly uniformed ladies for hire, equipped with large maps and commanding voices, suitable for giving directions and instructions at every point of the way. Hatnav, the Motorist's Friend (named after the inventor's wife, Hattie), was stated to be near foolproof, ready for roll-out and soon to be seen as standard on all journeys.

The tycoon from Tidworth dismissed as early teething problems reports from around the country of systems failure and human error resulting in large vehicles getting stuck in muddy fields, private gateways and a small cave in a rocky outcrop off the Pembrokeshire Coast.

Ninety Years Ago

Wigan eccentric Wilfred Arkenshaw was refused admission to the local football derby with Accrington Stanley, when he appeared at the turnstile not wearing a cap. Defending the action of the club, Board Member Alderman Trussington Smythe put the question, 'What if they all did this?'

One Hundred Years Ago

A collision in poor visibility on the Great North Road (A1) near Hatfield brought traffic to a standstill, causing a tailback of vehicles in each direction of almost thirty yards.


  1. Laugh out loud funny, as ever.

  2. Funny ? FUNNY ?! William "Billy" Arkenshaw was my great uncle and died brokenhearted less than a week after your correspondent describes. Uncle Billy was born wearing a flat cap, but on the occasion of the derby match against Todmorden Corinthian, he was suffering from head boils, a common ailment amongst throb - knockers - and could wear no head covering. That his beloved Stanley won [1-0 in extra time. Header by Reg Gritty] did not halt Billy's slide into the Slough of Despond from which he never re appeared. R.I.P.

  3. Ah, throb knocker's head boils - you don't see many of those around these days. Funny how it's the little things you miss the most (like the 59 chances of an open goal passed up by Reg Gritty in above-mentioned game, his sight of the ball at his dubbinned feet obscured by a] thick fog and b] the ballooning volume of his shorts). Didn't he have a broken neck at the time?

  4. Ah, no, that was Bert Trauttttmannnn, ex-prisoner of war and German person. He was City's goalie for 54 years and did in fact play with a broken neck for 32 of them. I remember the kerfuffle at Turf Moor against Burney when Bert's head finally fell off, only to be expertly fastened back in place by two St John's ambulance men. Amazingly, one of those ambulance men was, yes, you've guessed it - Reg Gritty who had retired from the game two seasons previously having been convinced, finally, that he was crap at it.. At the time, he was making a decent living out of tents fashioned from a couple of pairs of shorts.


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