Get around town, get around town Where the people look good, where the music is loud Get around town, no need to stand proud Add your voice to the sound of the crowd.
Going with our subculture theme and ’80s terrace vibe, Scottish casual lassies came together through that very scene. Unlike the mod, punk, rocker ladies, the casual girl didn’t get as much exposure but they were certainly there as much as the other scenes.
Choo choo went for the “talent”; Katie for a fight with the nearest current bun. Diane and I were a mixture of both, but ultimately we all served the same purpose within the CSC to be one of the boys. Being accepted by a group of boys (we were all teenagers) was no mean feat. Being ever present at home and away matches from season 1985/86 and our love of Glasgow Celtic sealed the deal.
Some of the lads disliked girls at the football, some admired us but the majority want to kiss us, which would happen on occasion if were the “winch them” to fool the polis, or disguise the fact that they were steaming.
Diane used to go out with Tonto, he lived with his mum in Pollokshaws and we would play the Beastie Boys “You gotta fight, for your right, to PPAARRTTYY”.
Other than dressing like the boys (but with a female edge – see flares and cartoon duffel coats). Our pastel Gazelle trainers we would swap one shoe with each other for a laugh, this happened mainly in the Main Stand at Celtic Park once we’d fooled the St John’s ambulance from taking us from the Jungle to get treatment for a “sprained ankle”, aye right we came from the Stand. Us girls were useful to keep the edgy and give our mob the heads up from other mobs approaching.
This was most effective as Celtic were, renowned for owning the town at that point. Our gang hut being the Queen Street phone boxes were the huns and us would call each other from. No mobiles back then we were just street smart.
Choo choo (as she was known for talking 100 miles per hour) was a livewire always joking around. Katie on the other hand could take on the blokes as much as the next guy and she did. We had varied styles Choo choo opting for Benetton and Katie the leather/suede tunic. Diane and I would co-ordinate with Next cagoules and Fiorucci/Mexx tops, mostly purchased at the same time on a Saturday afternoon but in different colours that we would share. We often got the catalogues, Matinique being my favourite and put the posters on our wall.
As the seasons we went past, we were treating more like their sisters, often helping with relationship advice, or on some unfortunate occasions taking them to the Royal Infirmary.
My most memorable game has to be Rangers vs Celtic new year’s day 1986 mainly because me and Diane hid in her bed and listen to on the radio, avoiding her Dad who was annoyed with us as we were promoting nightclubs underage (Mardi Gras/Warehouse). We won 2-0 that day.
The best dash being after Celtic won the league at Love Street in 1986 and stole it off Hearts and we ran Rangers all over town after we got back from Love Street, no LSD that day ……
The ICF didn’t know what hit them and it was the talk of the Queen Street phone boxes for months.
Celtic did embrace girls from other mobs (not the huns though). Nikki came along with (Rusty top boy and boyfriend). Our first meeting was in 1986 standing outside the Country Corner. Me with the blonde boys wedge haircut with the her best friend Diane. Rusty introduced us.
I think it was 1985?. They were both at the Hearts vs. Celtic game Tynecastle on a Wednesday night, all stood under stood by the pylon floodlights (at the height of the AIDS scare); Nikki and Rusty were together as always (inseparable). At that point Hearts were determined to give her a hard time over the fence as Nikki defected! Nikki still Hearts loyal, caused massive problems back in the day. CSG gave it back but it got too much and us girls walked away. We did had the first of many CSG girl group hugs over the years, such is the bond with the casual girls.
One school night me Nikki, Diane and Co. Edinburgh again. This time against Hibs right proper kick off. Nikki with her half bar down her duffle coat, that wasn’t required as JOK saved the day. I was running all over the place.
Other mobs had girls too, most notably Sharon and Julie of Rangers who were ruthless in the pursuit of us girls to the point where they would show up on your doorstep. This happened to me once after school, no violence occurred by I held my ground verbally.
The violence side wasn’t restricted to the boys, we would get stuck in too. Katie being the instigator I would throw a punch and hide behind her. Although I did come a cropper once at Motherwell and was rag dolled with the dungaree straps.
Most of all both we are glad we experienced being a lassie casual as it keeps you grounded to this day, best of all we are still good friends to this day.
Er it is though! New Year, same sh*#e, same shenanigans, Some from Christmas… In & Out’s shake it all about. ICW with David Rosling productions …
Cold Water Therapy including ice baths outdoors
The idea of pizza vending machines.
Sacking alcohol Paisley pattern shirt comebacks. Timberlands at a decent price! Putting all yer wheelie bins out, instead of checking which one is due! Sticking anything in the nearest wheelie bin! Gerry Cinnamon – lyrical genius … Sun Queen Saying … Cheers now! instead of Happy New Year! Hibernating till the next Celtic match! POP 84 sale! The ‘Hey Hey Hey Hey Hey Hey’ intro to Rasputin – Boney M.
Sorting liberty takers!
OUT: Black Mutt January – Black Mutt Covid January Tory Bar-stewards. Liberty takers! Blokes chanting ‘wohohohohohoho’ at Christmas night out, on the dance floor.
Lads doing press-ups, fag in mouth, to impress them ladies. No enough ladies wearing Gazelle and Burlington socks!
The loss of Weatherall Hipsters thinking they invented style! Five paragraphs of yadda yadda yadda The quote ‘some aren’t homeless, they live in a car!’
Peter Lawwell, Dermot Desmond and Neil Lennon.
That’s it for now. Cheers Now. Eat yer porridge, eat yer greens. Look for peace and not excitement. Get into a Boxing Club. Keep on Keeping on!
Nostalgia is one of humanity’s default settings. It is a way to drown out those inner critical voices and the tedious daily humdrum in modern-day living whilst attempting to get into some middle class box. The loss of personal bohemia causes nostalgia. Paradoxically, although nostalgia can be mentally draining for its practitioners, it is also part of what attracts the next generation of enthusiasts to a locale.
The streets around Celtic Park is where I feel I grew up. From a very young age, that is where I was on a Saturday — my second home. There is a residence to places and buildings, a definite spirit. Certain places have always triggered activity and emotions. Years of vibrations sent into buildings. That is how I see the streets around that area; which is why I could never accept moving to a new stadium. For me, when I am back at Celtic Park, I feel that homely thing, each street triggering a vivid memory.
Perhaps coming from out of town made the area and the football more of an escape. I was always more looking in, rather than looking out. The City of Glasgow was the birthplace of all the bands I was listening to as a kid, it was almost like a parallel universe with that underground mystique. I liked going there to Celtic, it is a symbol of how things used to be, and still remains. The bug I caught was as much to do with visiting Parkhead as it was to watch Celtic.
I think about the West Ham scenario where they have had to migrate to this new Olympic Stadium eyesore. The fans were sold a false dream, having to move from Upton Park and having the soul ripped out of them. I am by no means an architect, but I would have thought you could have easily built another 10,000 seats there.
A “great business opportunity” moving to the London stadium?
Outside the new ground you can find a van selling Domino’s Pizza, but you won’t find a decent bar. You can, however, purchase a beer in a plastic cup and an overpriced hot dog inside the stadium. All this resembling an American soccer arena. The place is soulless.
I have always had a soft spot for West Ham especially in the ’80s when Frank McAvennie played there. Celtic and West Ham were okay with each other. Their passionate fans, the community club, everyone’s second team. Their support is a mixed bag of cultures and politics but the colours are claret and blue. If there is one set of supporters not compatible with this corporate eyesore, it is West Ham United.
My soft spot for the Hammers has increased in recent times and that is mainly down to compassion for their support. Their club owners polarize everything wrong with modern day football. Mirthless — high on solvency, low on personality. I know a lot of old West Ham diehards that won’t go to the new London stadium. Part of their day out was the area they came from as a club: the streets, the pubs, the pie and mash shops, and the community. Then we have this progressive quote: “but we must move on”. But move onto what?
The fans were sold this London Stadium dream but the club has went backwards since leaving Upton Park. A club like West Ham should never lose its identity. For many of the supporters the club is about the fans. To take them from Upton Park to this “soulless bowl” could only happen with conditions. The support were promised next level football to convince this faithful support to move from their spiritual home. The promise was a world class stadium with a world class team.
When you see this new stadium from the outside it might look impressive but as soon as you set foot inside, it confirms to be an Olympic stadium not suited to football. The atmosphere has gone and the connection is going with it. With this, it seems that around 20,000 old school fans have left since the migration, finding it basically impossible to adjust to.
As I type this, West Ham are on a decent run of results and we can only hope this continues, keeping them above the relegation zone. The protests continue against the current board with the impressive “GSB OUT” banners on display outside most empty stadiums during the Covid-19 pandemic. The owners continue with lie after lie and false promises. They have taken a working class support into an Olympic stadium, where seating is a big distance from the pitch. It is also a significant distance from its spiritual home.
The feeling of an icicle in the chest is how I would describe it.
The icicle likes to go on a negative thought hunt always the places that make us feel bad about ourselves. It will then go on a bad memory hunt – picking out files in our minds from the past. Things that have been and gone, not really significant but it tells you it is — it knows where to go.
The icicle is only a feeling and it needs an outlet, we could just as easily obsess over good things with good thoughts but the icicle doesn’t want to go there.
Anxiety is it’s clinical name, try and think of a positive thought but the icicle’s walls come up higher; this is us in an episode or a prolonged attack.
The icicle then decides to go on a “what if” hunt, building up scenarios for the future as if the bad event is actually happening right now.
So, you may hear people say “don’t think like that” yeah? Well it’s not you that has the 100mph icicle garbage truck going round the head. This excess adrenaline needs an outlet. If I say don’t think about a pink elephant what do you think you are going think about? The icicle loves avoidance it feeds of it!
If I can change my brain and body, I can change my mind and in turn my life!!
How exercise is very important, even just a nice walk in nature can do you the world of good (there is also a natural probiotic bacteria that is released in nature, that is good for us) and Yoga stretching is great for my Vagus nerve and my Psoas muscle. Both of them are related to the fight and flight response. Exercise gives more time than it takes. I think that exercise is the most powerful antidepressant. And its great for the hypothalamus. The control centre of the brain.
Motion is emotion. It’s about getting the issues out of the tissues.
Breathing techniques can change everything.
The breath is what connects the mind and body.
I’ve found that if I write down all the good I see in my day (thankful and grateful journal) it helps me think and feel more positive, rather than thinking impending doom all the time. Train the mind to notice the good things.
But not to become to obsessed on being happy all the time. Because striving for happiness can be very tiring. The constant pursuit can have the opposite effect. Thinking of massive changes can be overwhelming.
If you can isolate the things that makes you feel worse, then you can also spot the things that make you feel better.
If you are in the mindset of, “I could do better” all the time, this can go against you, by making things unachievable. If you want to make lasting changes, then you need to start small.
The unconscious mind learns by repetition.
One of the problem that has come from positive psychology is that we have distorted our thoughts about normal emotions like, disappointment, anxiety, sadness, depression, anger, bereavement and many more, and we’ve given them label’s and literally shining a light on them. And then we’ve made happiness the be all and end all.
I’ve learned that meditation and mindfulness can help me become more familiar with myself (know thy self), and how to deal with any situation better, by being aware of my response to them and how my emotions can teach me so much about myself.
Both have helped me stay out of the high Beta brain wave, and more in the Alpha. Also how to use my whole brain, rather than the left or right separately. And they too also help the Amygdala to decrease in size.
How playing can be so good for your inner child, who hasn’t a worry in the world. Getting in the zone, the flow, in the now. Escapism.
I’ve learned that I am not all my thoughts, I don’t need to react to them, resemble them, or become them, if I just acknowledge them, be aware of them, and ask myself if they support me or not, then I’m in control of them rather than them in control of me.
Remembering after a panic attack to shake it out, like the animals do in nature, after being chased by a predictor. Dispersing all the unwanted, unhelpful chemicals.
We have always focused on the dangers, the frets, the negative things in life. This has helped us survive in the past. But that way of thinking isn’t helping us anymore, in fact, it is now doing the opposite and harming us. It’s time to start focusing on the helpful things, the things that make us feel good inside, the things that send the right chemicals and hormones to our body’s and brains, to help us heal, grow and live.
The body is a reflection of our thoughts, emotions and our beliefs, more than anything else.
And last but not least, remember, love is our most powerful emotion!
So replace fear with love.
Our brain and body can’t do both emotions simultaneously.
Anxiety can be switched off far more effectively by heart-focused activity rather than head-focused activity.
We must learn to see any illness, mental or physical, as part of our journey and as signposts along the way, rather than something to fight and get rid of. We need to stop being ‘at war’ with our minds and body.
All this has taught me that when it gets hard I need to be in the now, in the parasympathetic nervous system (rest and digest) relaxed state, not in the sympathetic nervous system (fight, flight, freeze) fear. Both these systems cannot work simultaneously.
Going along with our terrace, music, threads section. Holywell Street have been hoping to bring in Peter Hooton from The Farm, for a chat for some time. We are pleased to say that he has taken time out of his active schedule to pop into HWS Towers to see us.
Peter Hooton was born Liverpool September 1962 in the Everton district of the City. This city was a massive influence on him and in particular his beloved Liverpool FC. Famous for his music and sharp witted tongue. He went on to create a fanzine, entitled The End. With no journalistic experience, he felt that Liverpool (more so the football fans), needed something witty, warm and intelligent to read at the match. He is very much an activist for the working class.
Thanks for speaking to us mate, how things?
Congratulations on Liverpool winning the league, there was a spell there, you weren’t sure if COVID-19 would halt this happening.
Do you expect a bit of domestic domination going forward for Liverpool.
I hope so – I think we’ve got the players and arguably the best manager in the world, but it depends on a few things – nobody knows how Covid-19 will affect teams but I think if Klopp is at the helm, I am confident we can dominate. City were supposed to be the best team in the history of football, but Liverpool totally blew them away last season. I really hope they get their act together again so they can give us more of a challenge next season.
A few bands tour and play an album in it’s entirety is this something you would consider?
We did it a few years ago with Spartacus – I enjoyed it but would still rather play from our entire back catalogue. I can see why bands do it, but I prefer the entire catalogue.
From the back catalogue which of the albums optimises The Farm the most?
Pastures Old and New was a selection of Peel and BBC sessions so I suppose that was our sound in the 1980s but as soon as we discovered and used technology Spartacus was our ‘sound’- we were ring to emulate what was happening in London with Big Audio Dynamite and Flowered Up but journalists lumped us in with Madchester which was lazy and inaccurate!
I believe Stan Smith is one of your favourite trainees … what are your top three?
Stan Smith originals Stan Smith black Stan Smith blue Seriously they are my favourite closely followed by Puma States and Adidas Gazelle.
What are your best three ’80s terraces looks?
That’s a difficult one but the first would be a green Peter Storm Lois jean and a pair of trainees. Second would be the duffel coat with straights and a pair of suede desert boots Third would be a tweed jacket polo shirt, jeans and cord shoes.
And of course can you give us your top three influential albums?
Revolver – The Beatles The Blue Nile – A Walk Across the Rooftops The Clash – The Clash but this list changes all the time
The End Fanzine began in 1981 what did you initially expect from it?
I just wanted to make people laugh and encourage people to write about their lives. Every knob head does it now on social media but in those days, it was quite revolutionary to get the working class to write about their lives. I wanted it to be observations of everyday life – we never had one ‘joke’ in The End, but people found it funny. We were ruthless and attacked every sacred cow and basically anything that moved. I wanted it to be a magazine that people had to take notice of. It was the first magazine to include music and football, but I did not see it as a ‘football’ fanzine even though we were trying to appeal to people who went to Liverpool and Everton matches especially the away games. Hopefully, we encouraged people to write and express themselves – if it was still going today, we would have a field day with the conspiracy theory crew!
In honour of the End Fanzine can you please give us an IN and an OUT for this week?
IN – Shamrock Rovers v AC Milan
OUT – Piers Corbyn
We were recently made aware that the Cavern Club in Liverpool being under threat due to COVID-19, are you supporting the case to keep it open?
Yeh, believe it or not I Chair the Beatles Legacy Group for Liverpool City Council – it is unthinkable that it would close but they need Government help to get them through this period when they can only open with a reduced capacity. It was 500 but they have been told they can only have 150 in at the moment. I think in fact I am sure people will rally around to help them.
We were shocked and saddened to at the passing of Andrew Weatherall here. How did you view him and his work?
He was a visionary. When I first heard him DJing I was mesmerised as his tastes were so varied, I loved the way he mixed different genres. In a way he reminded me of John Peel. I did not know at the time, but he had started the Boys Own fanzine in London with Terry Farley and Simon Eckel after reading The End. They loved The End, but I remember Terry Farley telling me it was probably too left wing for Stamford Bridge so obviously with Boys Own they kept to clubbing and fashion. When we went to Ibiza in 1990, he was at the top of his powers but he was never big headed or pretentious. His remix of Soon by My Bloody Valentine was the sound of that summer for me. I was so shocked when he passed away – but his music will never die!
Pre-Covid, have you been up to Scotland for any games in recent times?
Not recently – a few years ago my mates lad was on loan from Everton at Motherwell so went to a couple of games and another mate was the coach at Hibs with Stubbs, so we went to Easter Road a couple of times. The last time I went to Celtic was when Liverpool played there but my claim to fame is, I shook Jock Steins hand when we went on a school trip to Glasgow to play some teams and got a tour of Parkhead with Jock. The next day we went to see Celtic v Aberdeen and the Celtic fans sang a wonderful version of YNWA – a higher pitch to the Kop but I will always remember it.
We went to Balloch after the game in the school minibus as we were staying in a Youth Hostel there. Our priests who were on the strict side were in plain clothes so when we went to a local chippy with them, we thought nothing of it. All sudden a police van screeched to a halt and a load of police pinned everyone against the wall. Our priests tried to explain we had just come from the Celtic match, but the police were not having it they just would not listen. We were all trying to control our laughter as one priest was a ‘authoritarian’, but the police were telling him to shut up. It turns out they were looking for a Glasgow gang in the area – oh how we laughed (we all had Celtic scarves bobble hats on) – the priests never got an apology but, in a way, we were made up they had been powerless!
Do you think Celtic will do 10-in-a-row?
Yes, who will stop them?
As a vocal Corbyn supporter, what are you views on Keir Starmer?
No comment until I see my lawyers
Has he got the metal to see it through and get rid of Tories?
Mass confusion appears to be the main weapon of modern politics – everyone should watch Bitter Lake and Hyper normalisation by Adam Curtis to understand how confusion is the weapon of control – how in the year 2020 we can end up with Boris Johnson as the Prime Minister is the perfect example of that. An old Etonian with few if any redeeming qualities was voted in by the so-called Red Wall to their eternal shame – nothing seems to have changed since the Ragged Trouser Philanthropists was written in 1914.
What was your favourite stadia Liverpool won a European Cup in and why?
Must be the Olympic Stadium in Rome when we beat Roma in 1984 in their own ground. I have never heard a noise like it before or since when the teams took to the field. As far as the Romans were concerned, they had already won it – after we beat them on pens it was like an inferno as they burnt all their massive flags. Let’s say they were not happy.
Football was very different, and the match going experience fraught with danger, No alla violenza, how did you become involved in that?
I was not involved in No Alla Violenza I just wore the t-shirts. As far as I know they were not an organisation as such it was a just a t-shirt – during that period the working class just decided fighting at the match was an 80s thing. Dance Culture swept the nation and after years of the authorities under Thatcher trying to clamp down on football violence it was football fans themselves who rejected it in favour of peace and love (and doves)
Would you agree that the “right-wing” tried to high-jack the casual scene of the ’80s?
I think they succeeded – as soon as every small town in England started dressing like the big city teams it was inevitable. But the so-called ‘casual’ scene was never about politics it was about fashion.
What’s your take on the Football Lads and Lasses against Fascism (FLAF)?
Anyone who fights against fascism needs support – I wouldn’t say I know much about them, but they are a good antidote to the DFLA who are an embarrassment.
Favourite “lively away day” and why?
I always liked going to London games – they had a touch of glamour and adventure about them although the tube stations could be scary places. I loved going to Chelsea, Spurs, West Ham and Arsenal back in the 80s until I was kicked unconscious at White Hart Lane. I made the mistake of wanting to stay in London to go to a mates birthday party I had met on holiday, he was a Cockney but into The Clash, so we got on. Fatal mistake, as I had to cut off one of the side streets on the Tottenham High Rd to get back to his car. I unfortunately picked a street that about 50 Spurs were coming down and as soon as they saw me in my cagoule and trainees they pounced. I thought I was getting away jumping over parked cars but then heading towards someone on the pavement who looked like Giant Haystacks. He bounced me into the privots and the last I can remember was the pack of hyenas screaming kill the ‘scarse cant’ – I’m not sure how long I was out for but the lad who woke me up said he was a Millwall fan and he had rescued me. I went in the ambulance to a local hospital and it was like a war zone – when I staggered in everyone laughed – one Spurs wag with a screwdriver sticking out of his thigh shouted ‘fackin hell scarse you been run over by a bus?’ – oh how we laughed! The camaraderie in the hospital was something to behold. I lost my two front teeth and had a fractured cheekbone, but I did get a grand in compensation, which was a good pay-out. Something happened that day as I could’ve died I suppose – I think I must have got some sort of brain damage as I became indifferent to what other people thought of me so maybe that enabled me to write The End and sing in front of people with The Farm- I certainly wasn’t as self-conscious after the attack.
Bramley Moore Dock, is this a good move for the peoples club, Goodison Park is a great away ground and one of the few left, will you miss going?
I think they should stay and invest in the team and redevelop Goodison. When the Spirit of Shankly were protesting Hicks and Gillett in 2008 to 2010 we argued with them to redevelop Anfield, but they said it was impossible but when the new owners took over in 2010, they did exactly that. I know Evertonians want a new start but I would say be careful what you wish for just look at Arsenal and West Ham – we told the West Ham fans the move would cripple their identity and they still would struggle to get in the top 4 – that move did just that and they have lost their heart & soul and they are still a million miles from the Champions League.
Finally, 2020 has been tough from promotion of live music, what is planned from The Farm?
There is very little chance of us playing again this year. All our festivals and support slots with Madness have been put back until 2021 so hopefully they can happen then. One consequence of the pandemic is All Together Now has become a song for unity in many countries around the world and we can see in our Spotify listeners that we should tour South America when all this is over as Brazil and Argentina can’t get enough of The Farm!
Thanks for popping in Peter and talking with us. Much love.
Thanks to Peter and the Holywell Street team: Angela, Paul, Red Caz for the questions.
Imagine a slightly more argumentative version of Alf Garnett, throw in an almost pathological hatred of the Welsh, put it into a suit and tie, and you have a curious little git called Trigger Hume.
Trigger was from Hike in the Scottish Borders and loved nothing more than a good row – it was his hobby – only he often lost, which meant that his squabbles would sometimes take a sinister turn with him going home to ‘get his gun’.
Of course the gun didn’t exist, and no one really thought that it did. Gun crime was non-existent in Hike then and it still is now, which is hardly surprising if the underworld there are all trying to bust caps into each other with imaginary shooters .
Most days you would catch Trigger and his ‘henchman’ Hike Wattie (HW) in the White Swan playing dominoes, both wearing a suit and tie as they did every day of the year. At the end of each game, whoever won would sing to the other, ‘It’s like taking candy from a baybeeee’.
That Len Barry classic still gives me the scunner, like when Quint scrapes his finger nails down that blackboard in ‘Jaws’, or when Boris Johnson speaks.
Rumour has it that Trigger got expelled from the Army when he was 18 for ‘skelpin Welsh cunts’. Now, being expelled from the Army for assaulting Nazi sympathisers or maybe even holding a grudge against one of their former enemies could be excused. But the Welsh? It’s like hating kittens or her out of Countdown – it doesn’t make sense. But, for some inexplicable reason he had an issue with our Celtic brothers and he’s still bitter to this day.
Surely he can’t have believed all the rumours about the sheep?
However, for all his faults, Trigger did have a sense of humour, sort of. He and HW would chuckle away at funerals, prompting an uncomfortable feeling within a morbid situation.
Every funeral wake they attended, the double act would approach the deceased’s family telling them, ‘They will be up there having a pirty.’ As if that was some kind of comfort. It’s up there with the classic: ‘They’re in a better place now.’
The White Swan attracted other strange individuals, such as Flossy MacFarlane. That, of course, is if you call sitting and staring at the regulars in the pub and claiming that you had hidden super powers strange. I always thought Flossy would be ideally suited at leading a cult, but the pub was his place of worship.
I used to work shifts in the bar and listen to their mundane drivel. Sometimes Flossy would sit with Trigger and HW while they were playing dominoes, in fact it was usually just the three of them in the pub during weekdays. Flossy would use his powers to tell them that he knew who would win each game before they’d even started, but would keep the information to himself. Trigger would say, ‘He kens fack all!’
As well as trying to read your mind, Flossy would claim that he knew the lottery numbers for the upcoming draw, again keeping the info to himself. It should be noted, however, that during the whole time I knew him, the most he ever won was a tenner. Either some cruel punter had hidden some kryptonite somewhere in the pub to deliberately weaken his powers, or, as is more likely, he was talking a load of shite.
Every second year the Welsh rugby fans would arrive in Hike for the Home Nations match. Many of our Celtic brothers would stay within the pubs and most of the locals would join them. I’ve had a lot of liking for the Welsh most of my life and that seemed to be the general attitude with most of the locals.
However, Trigger could not contain himself if he saw ‘Welsh caaants’. The only other group of people who even came close to yanking his dick as much as the Welsh were anyone from the Sovr Plooms area, a town 18 miles away who were the sworn enemies of Hike folk.
One Friday evening in the pub, the Welsh crowd were in scooping up, all in-song with locals sharing and joining in. Trigger was looking over in their direction and may as well have been holding up a sign telling them all to fuck off. To him, they were about as welcome as a gay dance troupe dressed in drag at the Westboro Baptist Church’s Christmas Party.
After a while he decided to introduce himself to the exotic foreigners by aiming a punch at one of them while shouting, ‘Ya taffy bastirt,’ then missing before spinning around 360 degrees and punching the table as he fell to the ground. A round of applause was the obvious response from the joyful, hectic pub. True to form, Trigger tells everyone he’s away to get his ‘fackin gun’ and he was never seen again until midweek.
A few days later, it appeared that Trig had broken his wrist due to his boxing antics. When anyone enquired as to the cause of the injury, his comeback was, ‘skelpin Welsh caaants’ followed by a ‘kakakakakakaka’ smokers laugh, although, I’m not sure our Celtic guests would agree with the story.
Back in the pub midweek, Trig was struggling to play dominoes with HW due to his wrist being wrapped up, so they got their kicks from old singalong songs from the jukebox. When I was working in the bar it was quite soul destroying at times so I would sit with a wee notepad writing down what I saw and heard. This was for amusement purposes in later days. At least the pub had a new fit barmaid who had started, a good soul named Sophia who was also very astute and sensible.
Hike Wattie always had this ‘I-know-more-than-you face’ when it came to music and would clash with Flossy on a regular basis. It was my first shift of a humdrum week and I was hanging by a thread after a few days of alcohol and Collie dugs intake. The three amigos were picking songs from the jukebox from days gone by such as Boney M and Alvin Stardust. They then had the notion to play us, ‘Ooh Aah … Just A Little Bit’ by Gina G; this whole situation was like a theme tune to my depression. Any positive attitude was sinking back to that dark cobweb place.
To make things worse they started a threesome choir to the chorus, ‘Ooh Aah … Just A Little Bit, Ooh Aah, Just A Little Bit morrrre’ directed at the lovely fit Sophia behind the bar, they then proceed with the offer of, ‘Gees a coup’, which was their way of welcoming her.
Sophia was just smiling with that look of ‘heard it all before’ that all bar staff learn to do as I threatened to pull the plug on their shenanigans. Trigger’s reasoned that this was because I was, ‘Jist a Sovr Plooms bastitrt!’ The cringeometer was off the Richter scale by this time.
Later in the day after continuous pints of pale ale and shots of whisky, the three amigos were sitting putting the world to rights with Flossy gazing at them. The odd bit of personal abuse was fired each way, then Trigger offers Flossy outside. HW tells him to get away hame to his wife. Trigs rejected this suggestion with, ‘Fack off! I worship the grund that’s coming ae her!’ An average day in a Hike pub.
Blobby Chris was another celebrity ’round those parts. He would wobble into the pub like an elephant seal who had just done a half marathon for charity. I normally wouldn’t concern myself with his size and indulge in fattism but his choice of football team, severe right-wing politics and funny as toothache racist jokes, were suited to his big red raging face that always looked if he had just bought a massive bouncy castle and blew it up with his mouth.
He was also a miserable half-glass full type and whenever he replied to a question it was as if you had just woken him up from a snooze by teabagging him and hitting his genitals with the jaggy side of a hair brush. The only time you would see a grin on Blob’s face was when he was in the pub singing Rangers songs with his buddies. This lot were of standard bluenose material, steeped in deep mediocrity and Herrenvolk Hubris with a compassion bypass.
You could argue and debate with this lot all day, but their white-flag moment will come when you are reminded that you don’t meet the requirements for being a ‘people’ like standard as themselves. This settles their debate.
One glorious evening there was a young crowd sitting at the back of the pub being quite rowdy, although harmless. Every so often I would ask them to simmer down.
Blobby Chris wobbled in as he normally would. The young crew at the back decided to have a wee sing-along aimed at him. To the theme tune of ‘Jim’ll Fix It’:
’10 bacon rolls was only the start of it
Strawberry gateaux can’t get enough of it
Chris will eat it
Chris will eat it for you
and you and you
and pum pa pum …’
The other pub locals sung along in unison including Trig, HW and Flossy. Blobby Chris was eyeballing over in rage and giving them the middle bar, pork sausage style. I must confess I would normally have stopped this disrespectful commotion, but I couldn’t bring myself to step in for some reason. I let this catchy ditty continuously flow as I served him with his usual pint of cider.
The highlight of the Hike year was the Common Riding which happened in June. It was the annual town festival and it involved people riding horses through the town to mark some old historical traditions. When I say people, I should point out that women were banned from riding. In fact it was easier to get a woman to ride John Barrowman than it was to get one to ride a horse during the Common Riding back then.
I didn’t pay much attention to this malarkey, but it seemed to be a topic of debate especially with Trigger, HW and any women arguing the case in the pub. Although the double act would say, ‘Oo must stick wae oor tradtions of nae weemin’, they never actually left the pub to join in with the festivities.
This is the self-declared “Michigan State Militia” who only a few weeks ago were allowed to walk freely right up to and inside a federal building armed with an array of automatic weapons. Once inside they shouted abuse at state officials and what were they so upset about?
Lockdown. See, they are Free Born (White) Americans and as such can disobey government restrictions, even during a pandemic that could if not controlled wipe out millions of their fellow citizens.
Now, Imagine if they were all black men carrying such weapons and a very real grievance that those supposedly employed to “protect and serve” their communities keep on, week after week, year after year, decade after decade, century after century, brutalising and murdering people of your own colour AND are supported in this by the white power structures that benefited from the enslavement of your ancestors.
How far do you reckon they’d have got before the police opened fire?
That’s the difference. Of course during a riot when for a few hours the normal laws and power structures and economic systems of oppression are no longer there, people will loot and take what they can.
Yes people will say “what if they trashed or torched your business then Mr Bleeding Heart Liberal?”!and i’d deffo be pissed off because ours is a community project but still i think i’d understand the motivation and justified rage manifesting itself in the only way it can: destruction.
Riots are not just acts of chaotic criminality, they are symbolic. Some would argue that violence achieves nothing and that all riots burn themselves out, the state elites will continue to rule, poor people will stay poor and the police will keep in protecting and serving people like them and brutalising and murdering people who they despise.
Poverty breeds crime. Simple. Power breeds crime. Simple. It’s all subjective. The President is a criminal on a whole different scale to that poor black kid grafting a pair of trabs.
Yet there is a feeling that THIS time the power elites aren’t so powerful as they once were and that the old orders both in the US, UK and Europe – ya know “The Free West” are crumbling away before our eyes.
usually when faced with a crisis of this magnitude the capitalist class will engineer a war of “nations” – flag waving, calls for patriotic duty against enemies real and imagined and then the circus keeps on moving along to the next town.
Send in the clowns. When there’s an accident, a tight rope walker falls to their death, a lion bites the head of its tamer, the circus master with his big whip sends in the clowns to distract the audience from the shit show.
Trump and Johnson are just a sideshow even if they don’t know it themselves.
Not on the telly only on HWS platforms, in out shake it all about!
Lockdown story writing
Pinky out espresso drinking
Weatherall’s 11 o’clock drop
Ye auld Twisters
Paul Heaton — great man, great life
Dressing like an Afghan Hound during lockdown
Cleaning all your Adidas shoes while isolating
Magnum ice cream plain or mint
Doddsy’s social media Rebel nights
Two offices on Holywell Street after lockdown
Voodoo Ray pumped up on iTunes
Saffiyah Khan coming to HWS
Toady from Neighbours
Gerrard arrogance personified
“It is what it is”
”everything happens for a reason” cosmic forces crap!
Cummings, Trump, Bojo
Nacho Novo — now he is a whopper!
Daily Record desperate for positive SEVCO news
Wee ponytail on beard types
Mental Health stigma
That is all for now, thanks for checking in.
*Please note Holywell Street offices will be open for the public to visit after lockdown, come along and see us! Bring the fuck-it bucket from KFC at the Forge. Speak to Paul Kealy for further details.