By Brian Hall
Saturday 22 Oct 2011 11:14:00
Browse all Brian Hall articles



It is a well known fact that some visitors are welcome, and some are not. Today marks the anniversary of a bunch who, I suppose, fell into the latter category. On this day, 1644, a bunch of Scots tourists arrived in Newcastle, breaking through the walls of the city which was the last stronghold of the Royalists. Now, am no lover of the Royals, and I have Jock family connections, but there was no call for smashing our walls in, as far as I am concerned. Some of them even tried it again when we played Rangers in the Fairs Cup semi final, but we managed to repel the invaders then. For sure though, that 17th century lot were unwelcome visitors to the Toon. Actually, so were those Rangers fans that night 3 centuries later - I was only a bairn, so I played no major role in the Geordie resistance movement on that occasion, apart from singing a song or two.


Generally, I am usually keen on visitors and tourists to our region though, but one, for me anyway, was not welcome the other day. Tony Blair, the fanatical Mag, somersaulted into Cramlington and Durham City, presumably on a break from his role as Head of Solving the Middle East Crisis and making millions. It seemed a noble cause - the Tony Blair Sports Foundation - and he was talking to schoolkids about the Olympics and things. He even had a Q and A session with them, but sadly, proved that he still has an inability to tell the truth. Asked what he wanted to be when he grew up, he replied to the bairns that he had always wanted to play football for Newcastle United. Tony, no need for that now, man.


And then, even yesterday saw one group of visitors who seemed to annoy people down the Crown Posada on the Quayside, itself a canny historical place. I was catching up with an old friend,  was about to leave, and suddenly the door opened. A group came in, asked if this was the famous ancient inn, took a photo from the entrance, and immediately left. One of the lads told me that this was common practice - southern tourists doing some kind of itinerary of our city. He pointed out that none of those types ever take a good look around the place, let alone buy a drink. Apparently, in the cold winter, such characters leaving the door there open as they take their photos are not given a friendly Geordie welcome on such visits.


Anyway, talking of buying a drink, I popped out last Saturday dinner time for a visit of my own - to one of the local pubs in Heaton. Quiet bit crack, game of pool for an hour, that kind of thing. Except the bar and lounge was packed with visitors. ManUre were playing the Red Scousers. It might just say something that I did not even know, or even less care, that the game was scheduled for 1.00pm and live on SKY. Only the pool section was empty, so at least I could have a game with a couple of mates - both Mags by the way - and ignore the ooohs and aaahs of groups of plastic gloryhunters. I was unable, however, to ignore the ramblings of one visitor when I went out for a tab. He told me that this fixture was the biggest one in world football - in a growing sign of my maturity, I just said.....really, bigger than the NE Derby, the Celts v Gers, even bigger than Barca v Madrid? There was a time in my immature youth, about a couple of years ago really, when I would have told him back to Brighton and stop talking shite.


Still, some visitors are more than welcome. Even got one myself yesterday to show me how this second-hand computer works - not for the first time. He does, I have to admit, show increasing signs of severe stress, but I obviously assume that this has nothing to do with his sighs when I fail to understand one world he has said, even though he HAS to talk to me like a 5 year old when explaining how to use this machine better. Just to add to this welcome visitor's misery, another mate got wind that he was working on this IT exercise and came visiting in his car, as he wanted some advice as well! We both intend to visit the computer friend  soon, once he has made some progress in his recovery and his medication is reduced.


Finally, looking forward to some tourists and visitors on Saturday. They are coming up from the Lancashire area, Wigan actually. They will not have time to go to the Crown Posada, as they have to  go to one of our greatest attractions, St James Park NOT At Sports Their fans are more than welcome to open the doors there, take a photo, and even stay for a drink - but their team better not leave with any gifts.










tHIS MORNING SAW A VISITOR                A COMPUTER MATE                            FOLLOWED BY ANOTHER MATE WHO KNEW HE WAS HERE             ALSO SEEKING COMPUTER ADVICE.......................



more unwelcome visitors                                last weekend to the local                  only to encounter manc     liverpool      and then on sunday night rare visit to talk sport                   in search of praise for the mags              only to hear of ...well    manc and liverpool                and in depth analysis on state of footy


finally unwelcome visitors      the champions league bore on t v                               champion....                           sat                                                     wigan                                   welcome?




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