By Steve
Wednesday 03 Aug 2011 11:50:00
Browse all Brian Hall articles



It happened a long time ago, when a Showman drew huge crowds to Castle Keep in Toon, with the promise that he could fly.                                              Naturally, a big crowd turned up, true to Geordie tradition. Unfortunately, at the top of that high Keep, 100 feet above the ground, he got nervous. He then decided to do a test flight and ordered his donkey to undertake the test, complete with his prepared wings. It could not fly, astonishly enough,and landed on one very unlucky member of the vast crowd.


 Part of our rich Northumbrian history, and it occurred to me that Mike Ashley could mend some bridges with us by reenacting this incident - it would make good pr for him, as it would indicate that he IS interested in so much of Tyneside's heritage. 


Del Boy Llambias could play the role of showman, Alan Partridge would naturally be the donkey, and Wor Mike could be standing alongside the assembled crowd, sporting his black and white scarf and grin. Wor Alan would survive - the donkey did in that event way back in 1733- Mr Ashley would not. He would be the one landed upon. As for Del Boy - just like the showman from that Castle Keep incident, he would be chased out of town. Just a thought.But being a man of peace, maybe it would be better just to put all 3 on the first train to London Kings Cross - single tickets only, please. 


It is often said that history can repeat itself. I find this theory nonsense. The current situation at NUFC sees players' discontent, a Board that takes the piss, and fans in uproar shouting Sack the Board. Obviously this has never happened here before. Err..............ok, history does repeat itself, except this particular period surpasses anything I have ever known in life at SJP.




I do agree that sometimes we can learn from history though. For example, never play dominoes when you are tired. After my sporting fitness programme continued the other night against wor lass and a mate, a 2-0 lead then turned into a 3-2 defeat. Obviously, revenge was required,  just like it is for the Entertainers in the PlayersInc rematch against the Scousers - 4-3 to us this time when that charity event blasts off in October.Anyway, I learnt from history. The domino rematch took place last night, I was far from tired, and the result was a triumph, 3-0. Sorry, Neil, by the way, to mention this.  


Getting away from revenge, but not history, it always strikes me how our region turns up in some plot or other. One turned up accidentally yesterdat, the other is a well-planned manoeuvre. The first involved a mate of mine from the West End, the Newcastle one, telling me about the ships built for the Japanese navy in the late 19th century. Tokyo gathered up a fleet, defeated the Russians in a shock defeat - and most of the boats came from....Elswick and other celubrious parts of that end of our town. Some were called the Elswick Cruisers, which sounded a bit threatening to say the least. There again, the bigger fear for me came from the uneasy feeling that the Cruisers might exist in another form these days - and aint building ships. Must keep in touch with my mates in the West End, me thinks.


Anybody who fancies a Cruise of a different kind might like to pop into the Heaton Arts Festival coming up.on the weekend of August 12 to August 14, with other events running alongside of either dates. Everybody seems to have hoyed in, young and old, chips shops to catering firms. Community in action, and entertainment with it. A load of stuff is organised, ranging from local bands, artists, and you name it, from the East End of Toon. All this against the backdrop of the Jack Common streets of Heaton. Jack Common, another famous Geordie, who was rated as good a writer as George Orwell - funny, they never taught us that in history lessons at school.



 Bry.                Keep the Faith, Just!


ps on History. Talking of donkeys - not the ones at SJP, that is - our region has another claim to fame related to that breed of animal. The most famous Aussie hero, celebrated on Anzac Day every year Down Under, is John Kirkpatrick. John used to work the donkeys on South Shields beach as a young lad, emigrated to Australia before the outbreak of World War One. He ended up at Gallipoli when the Anzacs were butchered by a Turkish Army in a cove, and used his skills with donkeys to get out the wounded on the bloody beach to safety. Aye, we have some history up here.                    Tarah and keep ahaad



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