The Dentist’s Diary – 603rd

It’s never dull in Hull is it??

In fact, in a week when ‘Busy doing nothing’ Jamie Peacock, relinquished his role across the City at Hull KR and we welcomed back International RL to the KCOM, it has still in many ways all been going on. The Peacock news has been one of the worst kept secrets and indeed on the cards for ages and so, in the wake of that and several other interesting happenings, after a short three-week break, the Diary is back!

Mr P’s football manager role was one that I and numerous Dobbins fans I speak to never really understood anyway, but just the same I guess that it’s the end of another chapter in the ever changing face of the game in the City. Not that the action has been restricted to happenings over in the ‘Land of Make Believe’ either.

I thought I was safe jetting off to Tenerife at what has traditionally been a very quiet time at the Club, but, with a plethora of signings (which for me were as flummoxing and perplexing as they were fascinating), season tickets on sale, a quite revolutionary new home shirt, international call ups and indeed even an international opportunity being spurned, it’s been far from that!!

At Hull FC we have been occupied with the business of engaging those new players, two or three of whom, a bit like Peacock’s job description, were a mystery to many of us! However, in our case, we are told all that frenetic activity signing wise was in the name of building a Reserve grade team for the 2019 season when, we are assured, most teams will have one.

So here, in the first diary back, I’ll try and make some sense of it all as we endure the closed season, approach a return to training on 5th November and face a 2019 campaign in which we simply have to deliver. And you know what? I think that both at the Club and in the game at large we could yet see more changes to come.

Let’s look at those signings first and as I say, since the last diary we have been pretty busy on that front. However, the main one that stood out to me, was without doubt young and highly rated City of Hull Academy full-back Connor Wynne who last week signed his first professional senior contract, putting pen to paper on a three-year deal.

Not that much was made of the fact that it was a ground breaking signing too, with Wynne being the first none ‘ring fenced’ player to sign for us from the (still much maligned by some of us) Joint Academy. You’ll remember the move to ring fence certain players was to effectively give the two clubs first pick of the players they were already developing at their defunct academy’s when the new set up was introduced. It was a move that came about as a sop to all those who (because they wouldn’t even join a Christmas club with Rovers) bucked at the prospect of introducing the new academy in the first place, particularly after all the great work Richard Horne had done with the dedicated FC outfit at Bishop Burton. So it was, that back then both clubs agreed that the players individual club would still have first ‘dibs’ on their services at the end of their tenure at the new Academy. I’ve not seen Connor play yet (because of my aversion to watching any sort of combined team with that lot) but everyone in the know who I bump into tell me he’s a great prospect.

The 17-year old becomes the fifth academy player to sign up for next season following on from deals for Jack Brown, Kieran Buchanan, Charlie Graham and Andrew Bulman. Connor is a strong and pacey full-back who is fames for his illusive running and great positional sense. He was originally signed up from Skirlaugh Bulls in 2016, after coming through their junior ranks. The young star has now been rewarded with his first professional deal, after what several I know, (including the ubiquitous Hutchie who is really close to the local youth set up and knows a good player when he sees one) say has been a remarkable 2018 campaign for the youngster. He’ll be one to watch I’m sure.

Connor Wynne is actually one of nine new additions to the first team squad for next year and across the game several other clubs have also been snapping up some off the wall type signings too. I guess as the talking goes on and the Clubs formulate their plans to revitalise the game before the next TV deal is up for negotiating in 2020, the RL and Super League Clubs are positioning themselves for an immediate return of second grade rugby for all Clubs in the game’s Premier Division. I’m hoping that Elstone and the bosses ensure that it is mandatory, because all Clubs need to be doing their bit to bring through young players, for too long some clubs have done this whilst others have lived off the fruits of their efforts. Leeds won’t like it and some in reality can’t afford it either, but it looks to be firmly on the agenda at present. The owners are certainly dead set on getting it sorted and its certainly not rocket science that such an obvious progressive means of blooding developing players is something that every team sport that is to thrive requires. At the FC we seem convinced it will happen and so we are making on.

What’s had several fans scratching their heads is the fact that many of those we have brought in are scarcely more than fringe players or juniors hopefuls at best. In addition to Connor and those four fellow academy signings, there is also the return of Jordan Thompson, (who in fairness always gave 100%) plus the arrival of Matty Dawson-Jones, Levy Nzoungou and Danny Langtree who have all joined the club after varying careers with other clubs. And don’t forget both Lewis Bienek and Joe Westerman who both made brief appearances in the first team last year, but who are still like new players coming in. That’s 11 players that are new or almost new added to a squad that was pretty big to start with and one that hasn’t as yet, lost that many players from last season. Although the ‘as yet’ bit of that, is maybe the salient point there!

Starting a reserves team whilst trying to continue to honour our arrangement for duel registration with Donny is a big ask and thus the plethora of additions and no doubt a massively escalating wage bill. However, the players we bring in have to be at least in possession of the ability and potential to eventually become first team regulars, otherwise there is no point in paying them. But, that said, it was always going to be extremely difficult for the club because making such a big step up from not having a reserve grade to creating a competitive team to take part in the new competition, is almost impossible to deliver.

Back in the austere, but yet halcyon years of the old A team in the 70’s 80’s and 90’s, there were players in there that had either been first team regulars who were getting towards the twilight of their careers, but who still had a lot to pass on and still a bit to offer when called upon, or youngsters with some talent to rise to the top but who needed game time with and against good players. On top of that there were others who were coming back from injuries or struggling with a loss of form, plus the occasional ‘Trialists’ with possible potential. In the games current parlous financial state, actual make-weights in any squad are just a waste of money and so we have to hope these guys all fit one of those criteria and that they all have the potential when called upon to sooner or later create an impact on the first team.

One thing is for sure, whatever happens now we certainly have the depth we need to firstly field a second team and secondly get through any sort of injury adversity that is thrown at us. However, as fans, as far as those injuries are concerned, we’ve certainly learned a lot from last season. The question now is as to whether these new additions actually have the quality to force their way into a permanent first team role or at least enough of it to sustain a level of performance when called on in times of crisis. That for me will be the acid test and the really interesting thing to watch as the newcomers settle in during the coming weeks.

Good old Hull Daily Mail and what a picture! There are a few fearsome players in that PNG team, but I wouldn’t fancy tackling Fashy much would you?

It was good to see our two representatives doing well in that win in Papua New Guinea and indeed to watch Jake Connor turning out for England again. However he was to perform on the day, after the England Coaches comments about him in the build-up it is hard to understand as to whether we actually appreciate at Hull FC just how good a player he is. Just like what happens at our club, a man so talented, creative and off the cuff was again for me wasted a bit out in the centre. In that first half we scored first, but they looked like their halves could create openings at will whilst ours could not produce much at all and as a team we made too many mistakes and our ends of sets were poor. But boy did we scrap it out and it was a brave call as well from the off field official for Connors try, although on looking again and hearing the video ref’s rationale on it, you could see it was a foul. However, on that point watching it back how refreshing it is to hear the video referee’s deliberations. For me, Sky have a lot to learn there; bin Cummins and do as the beeb do and let’s hear what the off field official thinks as he sees it!

The second half was a real battle and it was good to see Jake keeping Manu quiet and playing his part in what was a win that made me proud once again to be a British RL supporter. We really showed some determination against a team that had just beaten the world champions. There was a good turn out from the fans too and all in all I enjoyed the game immensely.

So, moving on and in life one things always guaranteed; nothing ever pans out exactly as you hoped, does it? So, it would appear, it is with rugby teams too and the best laid plans of Lee Radford to get everyone back on time for pre-season training were certainly thrown into disarray with Miloudi in (and scoring for) the current French team and Shaul involved in the Test against France, whilst in addition, Fash and Hadley are away in PNG with the Knights. In addition, of course Connor started for the full England squad, so already even if they all come back fit and well from those games, they’ll need a 4 week break and so our plans have already been thrown into disarray somewhat already. Seke Manu who travelled to New Zealand to play for Tonga before retiring from the international game is hardly likely to be back for 5th November either is he?

Of course, Jamie Shaul was off to PNG as well, but family reasons saw him stay in this country, however its unlikely that the first four I mentioned above will be back much before mid-December with them then obviously starting behind the rest as far as their developing programme is concerned. It’s never easy is it. Again, no doubt, we’ll see how all that pans out in the fullness of time.

Now, in basic sports economic terms, the time when there is no week by week game day income available is tough and it is an accepted fact that the closed season is a difficult period for Clubs as they continue to try and balance the books. Cash flow is everything because wages still have to be paid and at such times the launching of new shirts and timing of the season ticket releases are critical and thus carefully scheduled to try to get the club through a tough few weeks. With Season Tickets in particular (and following the going’s on in the last 11 games of the season), that was always going to be a challenge and a month into the ‘fallow’ period of the club rugby year, I’m sure the reality of selling the 2019 season is no doubt hitting home to everyone at the Club.

They have started well with around 4000 sold up to this weekend, which is a quite phenomenal response and well done to everyone that has subscribed so far, for it is certainly encouraging as even I, fed up of having to physically renew every year, went along last Tuesday and took advantage for the first time of the rolling direct debit scheme. However, on past experience the next 3/4000 are the hardest to sell. That’s where we come in though, because as fans we all have to pull together and cajole and convince every pass holder we know to sign up again. Those might be great figures for sales so far but moving amongst the Faithful there is little doubt that some are wobbling and chatting to folks its certainly a time for a bit of head scratching and perhaps even a bit of doubt amongst the next 5000 ‘intenders’.

But with the obvious disappointments of the end of last season apart, why exactly is such resistance to subscribe the case amongst such a devoted and long suffering fan base. I’ll have a go at answering that because I believe that the spirit of 2016, a fictitious rationale that I often talk of in here, was built on tenacity, guts, sweat, passion and an almost obsessive will to win, all intrinsically linked with the absolute fear of losing. That got us past Wigan in that Doncaster semi-final and past the Wire at Wembley. It made history, saw dreams come true and provided unforgettable memories, but most of all for all the fans out there, it took away the stress and pressure of years and years of waiting, wishing and hoping.

However, once as fans we had all got over the initial euphoria of it all, the dye had been set, we all bought into it and that level of commitment and aspiration became what was automatically expected when you ‘pay’s your money’ to watch the FC. Everyone anticipated great things again in 2017 and by and large everyone got them, but the cracks were starting to show a bit and we slipped back a tad that year; despite still winning again at Wembley and getting to the semi-finals in the League. Come last season and it’s easy to understand why for many, (despite the excuses, bad luck and extenuating circumstances we all understood), it developed into a hugely disappointing campaign and one that, even for some of us long suffering pilgrims, couldn’t end quickly enough.

The Club is working really hard at getting the aspirations and expectations back to where they should be, but at the very least before any talk of developing our skill and technique is focussed on 2019, we do as fans need reassuring that we have a real determination to regain that hunger to win. We need everyone in that shirt to buy into regaining that dream, to be visibly flogging themselves throughout and for them to regularly end up out on their feet and leaving nothing on the field. Win or lose we need every single player to be drained and gasping for air at the end and for them to be to a man as disappointed as we all are on the terraces, when it doesn’t work out. We need to be winning again and be doing it through our belief and tenacity, in short we need to once again be ‘Lee Radford Dogs of War’. Anything short of a belief that such things will return to be the norm, won’t see the doubting fans returning after those 11 defeats on the trot. Get it through to everyone though, and they’ll be back!!!!!

That will be the aim of Lee and Adam but how we bottle all that, how we assure the wobblers and guarantee it to the still doubtful subscribers grasping their 2018 passes and wondering, is the big question. What’s more the greatest challenge the club now faces in 2019 is ensuring that last abysmal campaign is consigned to being just an unfortunate hiccup and indeed re-selling the never say die ideology is the biggest challenge our back room staff have faced since 2015. But they have started well, very well in fact, they have worked really hard at it and the fans have as always come good, the administration have done it before, what’s more I think they will do it again and as I discussed earlier Adam has certainly backed Lee with his wish to have a massive squad in place to deliver that success. But, beware as well, because I think that should that renaissance not occur, and we start to struggle to again have the heart needed to get over the line, then that outlay will dictate that jobs will soon be on the line.

So, 2019 is a make or break season for the continued renaissance of the Club, however, personally I do think that we will bounce back next year and surprise a few, the gauntlet has already been thrown down by the fans, because so far their response in buying those passes has been simply amazing.

I think Lee will deliver because I believe that our coach still has the desire, the hunger and the ability to make it happen, but as I said in starting this segment of the Diary, they need our help to sell tickets and convince those wobblers that this is the case, in short we all have to muck in, rally around and support the club we love. Put simply it is in no one’s interest, (be they at the club, at Country Road or on the terraces) for the club to slip backwards income wise after so much progress has been made and such rich rewards attained since that dismal 2015 season.

The new shirt, launched since the last Diary, was another of those timely financial initiatives that are so critical to the Clubs cash flow scenario, but it is one that relies heavily on the quality of the shirt and the look of the thing and let’s face it there is only so much you can do with a black and white design, isn’t there?? However, this new one is certainly a smart offering and meets with the desire of a lot of people over the years, to have a predominantly black strip. I’ve banged on about that in here for years but was told by the Club that the RL did not allow it. Now that it has come about, I really think it looks good and, although nothing short of uncluttered and sticker free traditional irregular hoops will do for old farts like me, I get the need to change and at least this one isn’t too gimmicky and what’s more I think we’ll look like we mean business playing in it.

So now onto the much maligned (and thankfully now no more), Million Pound game, where the last playing of the end of season jeopody-a-thon crown saw The London Bronco’s as victors and the Toronto Wolf pack as the vanquished. If sport is all about everyone starting on a ‘level playing field’ then it’s ironic I guess that as a sport the relegation of Widnes saw us at last losing our only artificial pitch (and its obvious advantage to the home team) and then watching two teams that both played on them, battling it out to get up in the Cheshire Clubs place!! It was a tough old game and no mistake, but it won’t do Toronto any harm to continue in the rather bleak reality of the Championship, as they continue their learning curve and spend another year outside an elite division where I expect, none the less, that they will be firmly ensconced by the turn of the decade. Undeterred, they have certainly already put their money where their mouth is and signed some impressive players for next year.

However, all that said, on the day of the final game of the year the best team won, but for me after years in the wilderness, starved of funding and of a nomadic nature as far as a home is concerned, the Bronco’s just ain’t Super League ready at all. But, there’s not much we can do about it now, because that’s the way the system works. It sounds like a bit of sour grapes I know, but realistically the Broncos will struggle on several fronts in the coming 12 months. They’ll receive £1m extra in central funding as a result of promotion, but they have already had to be given special dispensation by the Rugby Football League (RFL) to remain at the ‘Ealing Trailfinders’ Sports Ground, which has a current ground capacity of just 3,020. If we are playing well, and with the lure of a weekend in London, we’d fill that without their fans being there!!

The team were already planning to erect a new stand in the winter to add a further 1,040 seats – which will enable the ground to meet the RFL minimum requirement of at least 2,000 seats being in place for Super League games, but the overall capacity will only still be just over 4000. It will all look a bit parochial to say the least and won’t be a particularly good advert for a team representing our sport at the top level in the nation’s capital will it? Whatever the playing fare on offer, that type of set up is hardly the stuff you want to see on TV in the country’s premier Rugby League competition is it? Perhaps the short-comings of the London Clubs off field arrangements bring back to us all the ‘advantages’ of the restricted practises of the rules, regulations and standards set down in the much maligned franchising years; which in hindsight where perhaps not as bad as they seemed at the time.

Ok some will point to Salford’s on going attendances and Widnes’s last season, but my point there is when you look at the quality of their stadia, at least they are big enough and ready, come the revolution, to take gates of up to 10,000. However, what will be will be and, as I always say, we just have to get on with it!

None the less with a big effort to update and raise the profile of the game with shot clocks, the golden point and just 8 substitutes all about to be announced for next season, I think that the game has to also look to the quality of the actual product and that has to include the off field criteria set down in advance for joining Super League.

I see that after all my ranting about how important it is in the new structure going forward that we somehow look to get as many games played on days when there aren’t televised matches on Sky, things have developed a bit this week. I have said in the past that if for instance it was possible to have televised games on Thursday and Saturday/Monday evenings with all other Super League Games played on Fridays and Sundays, then I’m sure there would be bigger audiences both at home for TV games and at the stadiums for the live rugby. At present some fans still decide on a Friday night, as to whether to go to their local game or stay at home and watch it, or another game, on TV if for instance its pouring down. And that ain’t helping things at all.

It was therefore interesting to see this week that after consulting their fans the Salford Club have applied to have their official game day switched from Friday to Sunday, to try and maximise their gates by avoiding any clash with TV games. The Dobbins have long believed that a traditional Sunday afternoon game day is their best bet of getting good gates but have incessantly been buggered about by Sky, so that in the end few are actually played then. If the two main televised games each week were to be broadcast on either Thursday, Saturday or Monday and as importantly they also stick to the games they initially intend to broadcast, then I’m sure both the broadcasters and the Clubs would benefit. It would take a bit of ‘fixture arranging’, but in the computerised age its not rocket science is it really? We have to get people back to live rugby again if we can. Incidentally I hear that the Clubs aren’t getting far with that one with Sky at present!!

Now from time to time on social media one or two fans do bang on about not liking ISC their strips and designs, but in general over the years the Aussie based shirt sports clothing firm have served us well. We were one of the first clubs to use them and with the exception of the long lead in times it takes to have stuff made and imported from Australia, it’s worked well. However, this week I noticed that Warrington Wolves, one of ISC’s other initial customers have now agreed a two-year partnership with Irish kit manufacturers O’Neills ahead of the 2019 season. They as a company have the ability to manufacture from their own fabrics allowing them to specially design garments to meet the short delivery dates dictated by the market. They will customise garments in their embroidery and print departments to satisfy the needs of the club. Of course too, they are much closer to home! O’Neill’s currently work with a wide range of sports including Gaelic Rules, soccer, rugby, boxing, basketball, athletics, special Olympic athletes, hockey, and netball and no doubt a few clubs will be watching what they deliver for Warrington with great interest!

It’s the little things and the great gestures that make our game so great and that was epitomised this week again when I heard from my mate Richard about a typical bit of rugby league greatness. In jest and as he knew he could take a joke, he tweeted Richard Whiting before the Million Pound Game to ask if he could have his boots after the last ever such game had finished, but hearing nothing else he quickly forgot about it.

To his amazement and out of the blue, this week he received a signed FC shirt and a signed Toronto training top through the post from Rich. What a gesture from a player who will always be an FC legend who I got on really well with and who will always be remembered as a thoroughly great guy! Enjoy your retirement Stilt mate!

‘The boys’ with Rich Whitings gifts. Great bloke, Good old Superman!!!

This week we will, not for the first time I’ll admit, go back just a short while and cover a game that took place in this 21st Century and one that just about everyone who reads this will remember as if it were yesterday. Regular reader Bill Jeffries of Kirk Lane in Walkington stopped me the other night in The Barrel as I gulped down an excellent pint of their Wainwright’s Bitter and asked if I could once again feature his favourite game of all time, (other than THAT ONE of course!) in the Diary this week. I was happy to oblige and it was a match that our coach back then, John Kear, described afterwards as ‘Near Perfection’ and Dick Tingle the writer for the Daily Mail said that in 34 years of covering the team it was, ‘The most outstanding performance he had seen from a Hull team’. Some accolades eh? But this week we’re not off to Cardiff, but to the game that got us there, that fabulous, fabulous semi-final against Saints at Huddersfield on Saturday 30th July 2005.

It was one of the most memorable games I have ever seen too, and was such a polished and comprehensive display in the end that even the Saints fans had to agree they were totally out played. Of course travelling to the ground in that great surge of black and white that made its way down the M62 that day, we were all apprehensive because of course we had drawn the short straw and were up against the Cup Kings and the odds on favourites to lift the Trophy, no one gave us a cat in hells chance of winning and even the toughest and most hardened optimist’s around were thinking more of keeping the score down than getting a win. That was just not going to happen.

The media were telling us that no one since 1998 had broken the monopoly of the ‘Big Four’ in the final and it was back in 1936 when we last beat Saints in the Cup. Add to that the fact that Saints were also unbeaten in their last ten league and cup games and so we had no chance. Fortunately, no one told John Kear and the players at Hull FC. We sat in a traffic jam for an hour and a half and just got into the Galpharm about ten minutes before kick-off. However, you could hear the ‘FC Faithful’ letting rip about half a mile away from the ground where we had to park the car.

Our selection for the game was an adventurous one too with Brough and Horne at half back and Cooke at loose forward giving us something that is much coveted by FC fans these days; three pivots.

From the kick off it was obvious that this was not going to be any sort of ordinary performance, as Dowes, Carvell and McMenemy took the big Saints pack to task in the first two sets and drove them back time and again. Whilst a diminutive Brough went in well to stop a rampaging Wellen’s in his tracks. Sculthorpe tried to muster the troops but he was put in the shade by FC’s Stephen Kearney who led by example and from the front. Then that man Cooke went down the field and executed a perfect delayed pass for Shayne McMenemy to steam in. Cooke converted and added a penalty and although Sculthorpe added a penalty we were heading for half time 8-2 in the lead. Then as so often happens with Saints just as we thought we were going in with an unlikely lead, Gardener shot down the wing with only young Richie Barnett (Junior) to beat. As Gardener tried to get around him the youngster pulled off a miraculous tackle, that left him injured, but the threat was averted and we maintained our slender lead.

We all expected a real tanning from the wounded Lancastrians in the second half and that looked on the cards as a mix up between Raynor and Briscoe saw a speculative Sean Long kick land in the arms of Jamie Lyons and he didn’t need an invitation to score the try which Sculthorpe converted to level things up at 8-8. However, Kearney got all the lads together behind the sticks and rather than this unfortunate score opening up the floodgates it seemed to re galvanise the FC effort as we started the next set viciously felling everything above ground with Kingy and Thackerey magnificent. Cooke kicked another penalty and we were back in the lead but only but two points.

The crunch came on 54 minutes when after we had forced 3 drop outs, Whiting, who was having the game of his life, forced a fourth. As we retrieved the ball Richard Horne provided quick service from dummy half, Cooke and McMenemy worked a run around that Dave Topliss would have been proud of and Cooke sensing the drained legs of the opposition, backed himself when all looked lost and stretched over the line to score. The FC Army went Ballistic!!!! For the first time in the game we were two scores up and if there was still a long way to go the ‘18th Man’ on the terraces were doing their part. Saints were all of a sudden chasing the game and playing some risky catch up football. Time and again Horne and Broughy kicked magnificently to pin the cup holders back in their own half. In one desperate attack, four minutes later Saints spilled the ball, Richard Horne fly hacked it forward and McMenemy pounced for his second try, and the unthinkable started to become a definite possibility.

Of course despite being 22-8 up we all knew that we could not let up against the ‘Come Back Kids’. King, Tony and Carvell hit the advancing Saints line hard in every tackle and as the Saints fans sat open mouthed, every time we had the ball our formation, utilising those three pivots, saw us looking likely to score. As the clock high on the scoreboard in the stand seemed to stop with just six minutes to go, hero of the day Richard Whiting made a tremendous break out of our line and Motu Tony who had done well after coming on to replace Barnett, went in to score and we were in dreamland.

The Saints supporters in the far end stood stunned before starting to head for the exits in ever increasing droves. Just to rub salt into the wounds Kearney who had been massive in the second row opened up the defence one last time to put the supporting Richard Horne in for one of his trade mark tries and with Danny Brough converting both our last two efforts a remarkable performance was complete. As the final hooter went the fans went wild and I just sat there with tears in my eyes because it was one of those rare occasions that make all the trekking across the Pennines and all the getting soaked and often well beaten worthwhile, it was a cherished moment for every FC fan.

It was such a special time for those die hard fanatics like me who never believed we would see again the day that we were back in a Final. I was so proud particularly as we left the ground and the Saints fans stood in line and applauded us. I’ll always remember them for that great sportsmanship! That wonderful feeling was summed up completely for me when sat in a traffic jam outside the ground a City supporting City councillor who I knew, who had always belittle our club compared with his own football team, ran across the road tapped on my window and said, ‘Didn’t WE do well’. Yep WE had done brilliantly well, but some of us had a special feeling, and a special reason to be overjoyed that day something that was borne out of what we had gone through to get there, but even those tingly, proud, shivery feelings were about to be surpassed a month later at Cardiff.

So great memories of a wonderful day that everyone who was there will remember forever. Thanks for the idea of featuring that match again Bill and I hope everyone else shared your love of it!! Back in the present and as I say I went down to the town centre shop last Tuesday and duly signed up again for our two seats in the centre of the East Stand. The big change was that I went over to the direct debit scheme simply because I can now pay monthly until I snuff it if I want to and not have to go down every year and sign up again. It’s self-perpetuating and so for me takes the hassle of travelling to town or the KCom and searching for and then panicking about cut off dates for renewals etc.

The ladies down there are just great, always smiling and obliging and quick to help, they sorted me out immediately and it was so simple and I guess also a lot less painful than laying out a big wadge of cash in the run up to Christmas. The fact that so many folks are now paying for their season tickets this way is making the shop staffs job a lot easier too and as for us lot well as I said earlier we have to do everything we can to keep the season ticket ball rolling for 2019. We just have to get as many as we can there next season and hope, because as so often at these times not only is it the hope that eventually kills you, but it’s also all you have to keep you going.

I have had so much mail over the last three weeks and I’ve tried my best to answer it all and reflect a lot of it in what I have commented on and expounded in this week’s offering. Thanks as always for your support, I’ll continue to try and find out what’s going on and pass it on in here and I’ll see you all next week.

Faithfully Yours


Oh and keep believing!!!