Sunday, 4 December 2011


The Casual Connoisseur's Weir hat is due for release tomorrow- These have become a cult hit in the short time they have been in production and are due for 3 new colors this time round.
Named after the Scottish broadcaster/climber Tom Weir who wore a bobble hat and had a passion for climbing and the Scottish landscape.

The brand has been going on-wards and upwards with going into shirts and lightweight jackets ( The 'Beat a Storm' respectively) They have come back to the old season favorite with a new twist on the colour ways.

These are made with double acrylic which allows for more use with colour, The hats are designed to be able to stretch so they can fit heads of all shapes and sizes, They are also made in England which adds to more of the appeal for us.

Grab one while you can, These wont last long. From there website 

Friday, 2 December 2011

Clarks Desert Boot.

The humble desert boot, You can look smart in the office with a pair of trousers shit or tie or look dapper in a pair of jeans, They are universal in how you can wear them - Dress up or down.

The desert boot was created when  CJ Clark spotted the boot of choice by soldiers in West Burma in World War 2, There design and breathable material in the hot humid climate and when Clark returned to his small home town in Somerset he set out to create his version of this boot, When his pattern cutter designed the shoe and when it came to selling - It struggled initially in Europe, But sales flourished as the upper class American 'prep' look at there Ivy League university's took note of the shoe.

Throughout the 60's and right through to the modern day the shoe has not been out of 'fashion' and could be seen on the feet of Steve McQueen,The Beatles, Oasis..It also became a staple shoe for many sub-cultures, The mod's...Hip Hop...Right up to Indie and during the dressing down era of the Football Casual.

 The desert boot has become and in this writers opinion, always will be a timeless classic in footwear.

Steve McQueen in the desert boot

Nathan Clark with The desert boot & desert trek.

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Publication of the day

Loire Magazine is a new fanzine/magazine that has been set up in my home town - Wigan, It is run and edited by a local journalist/author/football fan Vauganie. The magazine is quite in depth with content ranging from An Open Letter To School Re unionists to The Day That Pete Came To Wigan - The man himself Pete Doherty. There is also interviews with artist/design illustrator Ben Lamb which again is quite in depth and a good read and Dresser a interview with Danish shirt extraordinaire Mikkle Rude. The magazine itself is top quality and well worth £3.50 of the queens finest.

Monday, 28 November 2011

Last thing purchased

Here are a few things that has been purchased recently that I have not put up yet on the blog - 

Native Craftwork's Dalesmen shoes

These shoes are made with the upmost quality that you can purchase for something to wear on your feet.
These shoes take 4 hours to hand craft by hand and go through over 150 process to make a pair of shoes, The brand believe in making shoes the correct way and not the cheapest or the quickest, These show with the quality.

A little overview on how these shoes are made taken from Proper Magazine issue 11

The process which goes into making these shoes starts off with the leather, it has to be examined to ensure it is the correct colour weight, quality etc, once this has been assured it then moves on to clicking, The clicker revives the leather for both the upper and lining and starts to cut around each pattern piece needed to make the shoe, There is a huge amount of technique and skill required for this process,. It is crucial that the edges are cut cleanly and that the leather is cut accurately to the pattern.

After this process it moves on to skiving which is a process using a sharp blade to reduce the thickness of the leather along a certain edge, Because the leather we use is thick, certain edges have to be skived to avoid bulky seams, This then moves on to closing which is giving to the process of stitching the upper together. Before the pieces are stitched, The edges of the leather are stained to improve the appearance. Our logos are then heat embossed onto the heal tab and sock. 
The back of the shoe is handsewn together for strength and durability. This takes time, but is fundamental to the final strength and comfort of the shoe. The pattern pieces are then stitched together inthe correct order. This is a highly skilled job. The stitching needs to be straight and kept a certain distance from the edge of the leather. The leather lining is stitched into place as the tongue and top line are stiched. It is essential to avoid any creases in the lining, Finally the inner sock is stitched into place and the upper is ready to be lasted.

The above is just a little in site into 4 steps to making a sew...You can read the rest by purchasing Proper Magazine here

The crepe sole that you can see on the shoes are from Sri Lanka and is molded onto the shoe by hand, Like the rest of the process.

Just a shoe? 

Note* There is no marks on the shoe.

Dr.Denim 'Donk' Chinos...

Purchased these from Urban Outfitters in Manchester, They are the navy colored variant of there ' Donk' Chinos which are made of ridged twill cotton, I wear with a slight turn up and have a tapered fit.

Dr,Denim are a Swedish brand, based in Gothenburg. which was born out of the idea to create a contemporary  interpretation of denim and tweak it with a modern twist.

Detail that is on the fly buttons.

One True Saxon socks

I have never really spent money on socks and stuck to Marks and Spencers when it comes to them..However I saw these at a bargain price in TK MAXX and they come in two funky colours, Also come in there own ' the casual tailor' box.

Monday, 14 November 2011

A.Poole, Liverpool Regiment.

 My Great Grandfathers war medals - From the Boer War right up to a general service medal for World War  2, He managed to make it through all the wars.

A closer look at the General Service Medal for WW2

A closer look at the Boer War medal - 3 campaigns he fought in.

Thursday, 10 November 2011

I’m a North-End-er ‘til I Die

No, Don't be silly. I have not changed my team - A writer from Preston who resides over on the Casual Co forum has sent me his article on the sights he sees & what happens at a Preston North End game - William ( Bill) Routledge is a author from Preston who has written ' Oh Yes, Oh Yes We Are The PPS' which is a in site into what happened being a North End fan during those heady years when more than just watching the match happened at football, He is currently writing ' Northern Monkeys' which gives the chance for people to give there account on what happened at football following there team, What was worn and also what music was around at the time.

“If North End were playing in the back garden, I’d draw the bloody curtains!” – Quoted by most town folk from Preston at some stage over the last 40 year period

Don’t worry, I’m not gonna jump, things aren’t that bad, not yet anyway!

Being a football fan nowadays is somewhat different when I first fell in love with the game in the early Seventies: since those days of innocence, I’ve followed my team home and away whenever I possibly could. From standing on the terraces at Deepdale, to far-flung corners all over Britain I’ve witnessed highs, and a lot of lows, I tell ya. And WE, we being Preston North End, have always been the nearly men/team – I won’t harp on too much, though. Whereas little Wigan, have bypassed us and reached the Promised Land. Bitter? No. But EVERY team from the Red Rose county has had at least one season in the Prem, bar us. Anyway, times have changed and my Saturday may have over the years, but below is a somewhat typical Saturday for me nowadays (last season), a typical Northern football fan.       

After spending the night tossing and turning in bed over the misfortunes of my team, PNE, it’s Saturday morning and it’s bucketing it down outside, the norm in the North, whatever time of the year it maybe. For nigh on 35 seasons I’ve been attending Deepdale on a regular basis –  the brother-in-law took me to the occasional game in the early-to-mid-70’s - missing only the odd home match due to reasons out of my control or, I’m away on me jollies. Sometimes I still even make the effort to venture to away games. I won’t even go there on the state of football and connecting politics, I wouldn’t want to bore you rigid and there isn’t enough space on the blog to do so. Only the ritual of bouncing out of bed with trepidation and anticipation of what adventures lay ahead that day may have long gone but, deciding what togs I wear for the terrace catwalk hasn’t. Coming from the North, the birth place of the Casual/Dresser (read Casuals by Phil Thornton for more information, ha) we take great pride in our threads and the decision of the combination of clobber for footy can begin days before, plus it don’t half soak up a decent potion of your hard eared wedge too. But today, I’m on a freebie to the match, with nosebag and hopefully a kitty to do-in. The firm that a mate works for has four season tickets to wine, dine and entertain (I think the Trade Descriptions needs a call on that last one) clients in the Invincible Suite at Deepdale, at least 3 or 4 times a season. These clients being 3 of us who still bother with North End and spend the sum total of nowt, with the mates firm - mum’s the word though. So, today, I’ll be mainly wearing a dressed-up/dressed-down cocktail of attire, a kinda smart scally scruff look. On the plates are another pair of Clarks Ramblers that I obtained in the January sales for just over 50 sov’s. Armani ‘comfort fit’ brown cords, that I’ve had over 15 years - and I too, are amazed that they still fit... or have I always been this fat? A country style check shirt, unbranded, but dapper, that complements a Dunn & Co tweed jacket I hunted down in a charity shop for under a fiver. And a vintage, orange Berghaus Wayfarer cag off the ‘Bay, that cost six pretty green ones and can be folded away into the pocket later on.    

Anyway, going the match can become very mundane, and a solitary event on occasions nowadays, and sometimes I find myself supping on me own before the game – If you can’t enjoy your own company whose can you enjoy? But travelling to Preston from the village that I reside in, which is less than 5 miles away, and whilst ambling pub-to-pub in town, and up to the ground too, I will pass historical landmarks, buildings of interest and quite a few ‘firsts.’ So, I’ll take you on a  pictorial ramble, very typical of my fortnightly venture into the now ‘BIG city’, and the diverse objects and subjects that can, and do, go unnoticed by most or, in general, most haven’t got a foggiest about or, to tell the truth, give a second glance or, give a shit about. *Please remember it’s pissing-down so, the photo’s clarity will be effected by this. You can’t pick and choose your days to do the photo shot coz, it’s always ‘Grim up North’
The Preston By-pass

With the buses round ourway being as regular as a North End win, I walk the mile-n-half to Gamull Lane to catch a Preston Bus up town. This after giving the Mrs a peck on the cheek and the words “Behave yourself!” still ringing in my ear, another ritual over the years. On my trudge, in the belting rain, I cross a motorway bridge over a... motorway, but not just any motorway - even though it’s now a part of the M6 - it’s the Preston By-pass. The Preston By-pass – I do often wonder why folk wanted to by-pass our town? - was the first stretch of motorway constructed in the UK in 1958, and spanned several miles in length between Bamber Bridge and Broughton – now J29-J30. This would be a ‘guinea pig’ for the future of the modern day motorway system with many a Irish ground-worker crossing the North Sea to work on the project and then also laying roots down in the town. Within a month of opening the motorway had to be closed due to problems with the roads surface. Two major bridges needed erecting too over the River Ribble for the connection to be completed; this a river where you could back then, tickle trout in the shallows and catch the beast of a fish to have with chips cooked in beef dripping for tea, following a hard days graft at a local mill. And fresh water mussels could be gathered for the making of a traditional Lancashire hotpot. Centuries before, The Battle of Preston, during the period of the Second English Civil War, took place at Samlesbury Bottoms (just out of view on the above photo) where the bridges are situated. Plus the largest find of Viking treasures, the Cuerdale Hoard, ever discovered in Britain was stumbled on once in the river.

The Gamull

Formally know has The Fulwood & Railway, The Gamull, is a watering-hole which became my local in the early 80’s when I first began drinking. But like I mentioned, the original name of the pub, The Fulwood & Railway, well the railway part, played a major part in Preston’s history until the late ’79 too. Stone quarried in Longridge, some 7 miles east of Preston, would be shipped by train to the town centre for the main Heritage Buildings, and coal would also be ferried on a nearby rail-line to Courtaulds, at Red Scar, adjoining the by-pass – trains we would jump on when they were passing for a dare. The latter, Courtaulds, had manufactured man-made fibres and employed many a Prestonian, aswell as a large community of Asians who had immigrated to Britain for work, and choose Preston as their new home. A towering chimney and two cooling towers became a major landmark and a welcoming sight after travelling round the country watching North End away and get routed. When Courtaulds stopped spinning yarn, along with the towns other mills, countless sweatshops began setting up due to work shortage and churned out many a snide clothing product. And by the 90’s, Preston became renowned for its copied/fake jeans. The town also has a long, long history in the cotton industry with at one stage 80% of the population depending on the cotton mills.

I board the bus to town and past through an area where the North meets the south, Ribbleton - Ribbleton Lane. The ‘Lane’ is awash with takeaways offering cuisine from just about every corner of the globe with Asian and Polish shops selling a wide range of home comforts too for the residents of the rows of terrace houses that branch off the main drag. Wedged in-between the multitude of brightly coloured neon signs, and displays of tropical fruits is, Rounds of Ribbelton Pie shop. And as usual, there’s a orderly queue formed outside 20 or so long – in the rain – and the shop is busting at the seams, another usual. Their pies are legendary around our parts, and you would go a long way to beat their scrumptious, meat ‘n’ tattie pies that are hand-made and still wrapped in old newspapers.

Preston Prison

On the fringes of town is Preston Prison. The Victorian prison built in 1840 is surrounded by a 50 foot wall and anyone incarcerated in its tiny cells – two to a cell - can expect being banged-up 22 hours Monday to Thursday, and 23 hours Friday to Sunday. How this is addressing matters, and issues, to why they’ve been jailed and somehow stop occupants reoffending when back on the streets is beyond me, but who am I to be an expert, judge or jury on such life’s happenings. (Checkout the banner over the front gates?) While on the subject of crime and punishment; the last two men hanged in England, simultaneously – one at Strangeways Prison in Manchester, the other at Walton Prison Liverpool - on 13th August 1964 both lived in Preston but had been found guilty of committing a murder in Workington, and the Crown decided they deserved such a fate has death.

None escape his tight embrace

Next-door to the prison is The Museum of Lancashire in Preston’s Old Court House, that houses displays of artefacts from conflicts which the Red Rose county were involved in. Over the road is a tree, not just any tree, but a tree that when a certain King of England rode into town on his horse, and he stopped off for a pint and a piss in the alehouse situated behind the grand Yew, he tied his horse to this tree. Which king, I haven’t got a clue, but they renamed the pub the Kings Arms. Any other tree of this sheer size would have been axed and erased to the ground, because of its close proximity to the Ring Road, where thousands of motorist pass everyday in case it was felled in a storm. It’s a waiting game. Only just like the sign of the times the pubs doors closed years ago and it was turned into loan outlet, which is now shut too. One memory stands out amongst others from the Kings Arms, but this isn’t the time or place, they were always game though, Bolton Wanders that is!

Preston Bus Station

Within 20 minutes, coz the traffic ain’t  to bad, I enlighten onto the Brutalist, Preston Bus Station. Recently I’ve done a couple of articles for CasCo & Our Culture for my views on the structure – please have a gander.   

Blue Bell

Time for the first ale of the day: The Blue Bell, on Church St, which opened in 1716 is the oldest public house that still serves ale to this day in Preston. Only in the first 12 months of opening the landlady was taking to court for keeping a ‘disorderly house’ in the establishment – prostitutes kept customers entertained on cold, winter nights and summer days too. She was fined the grand sum of, £2. There are also tales of ghouls and ghosts haunting the gaff. In 1944, a Yank solider, based in Bamber Bridge during WW II, began slagging the British Forces off while stood at the bar. A serving Brit didn’t take to kindly to his comments and stabbed him to death where he stood. And there’s meant to be a ‘priest hole’ in the cellar. The beer on draught is Samuel Smiths, a Yorkshire brew (spits) and if you can make out in the photo it’s cheap as chips, even though it has just gone up thruppence since I was last in. The only thing that spoiled the atmosphere of the murmur of bloke chat – there’s no jukebox - was a loud Cockney accent from a geezer at the bar droning onto the barmaid about women and how bad life has treat him. It can’t be all bad, because I caught he now resides in Preston. 

Memorabilia from a bygone time

I leave the cosy pub pulling the hood of me Bergy over me barnet. Yes, it’s still leathering it down. I then pass a solitary shop in a row of boarded ones, a old cigarette and football card shop. This takes me back to when I would sat on me Dads knee listening intensely to stories of WWII when he defended the country in the Royal Navy. He would also show me the ciggy cards that his Dad – my Granddad – had saved from before, and during, WW I, which are now framed and are on display in the spare room/my office at home. The shop is owned by an elderly bloke who shakes profusely with Parkinsons but he still manages to frame and cut out the holding inner-sleeve so you can view the information on the back of the cards if you reverse the frame. Another skill, and shop, that will be lost forever, shortly

Making my way to The Wellington pub there’s an abundance of late night curry-houses, rundown boozers selling ‘Credit Crunch Beer’ that’s nearly out of date and more takeaways. I glance up and remember an article in the local rag some years before on one of the oldest photographic shops in the UK, its darkroom and the glass roof it needed for development of photos that had been left in a state of neglect. Pigeons were roosting and nesting in the roof space by accessing through cracked panes of glass etc, and it needed a rapid overhaul or it would have to be stripped and a modern roof erected. It hasn’t been touched, and I can only guess it will soon be replaced.

The infamous Warehouse

Now then, that alleyway. And, the Warehouse! From January 1980, ‘til the mid-80’s, how I managed to avoid breaking my ankles, on hundreds of occasions, when making my weekly jaunt on Thursday nights – 9pm-2am - to the Warehouse, while, 9-times-out-of-10 slightly intoxicated, I will never know. I bet there’s a book in me on Warehouse exploits alone involving the venue and events surrounding the live music thrashed out on its cramped stage. One day I may do such a project. Anyway, have a browse of the bands I watched; from anarcho-punks Crass – the first ever group I saw live – to Joy Division – where and when they recorded a live album just before Ian Curtis departed this world – to Black Flag – when I ended up rollin’ round the dancefloor with Henry Rollins. Here’s a mates site who’s still ‘living the dream’ in a band called Pike and a list of bands that played Preston   And here’s the Warehouses’ brief history   
Psycho Alley

On my guard, and with major anxiety setting in, I hit the part of Church St once nicknamed ‘Psycho Alley’ by a officer of the law in the Lancashire Evening Post. He also expressed a concern that the 300m long stretch of road, oozing both ‘fun’ pubs and nightclubs, was a ‘virtual no-go area after midnight’ (a near 1000 crimes were committed in less than 12 months). Tones of the Gaza Strip, I think not though.

Phew! I made it. I then throw a left into Glovers Court, a street that tops the National Crime Map and according to the map it’s the most crime ridden in England. So I better be on my guard and I now wish I’d donned a stab vest too when leaving the house that morning.

'Proud Preston' at the Wellington Pub

On this street sits various late night bars and clubs that open when the witching hour begins, a wedding dress shop, a hairdressers and, The Wellington pub – which I dare to set foot in. The pub is full to busting with a cosmopolitan mixer of Saturday shoppers dining while they take a break from running up their credit cards. Wellie grub has a word of mouth reputation of being second to none in town for being top notch and under a tenner too. It has just won ‘pub of the season’ in the local Ale Cry and stocks at least three changing ales. Regulars who’ve their own spot at the bar nod at newcomers crossing the threshold. All very friendly. And, the interiors are a blend of the old and new with a real log fire radiating intense heat, dark oak panelling polished so intensely you can see your reflection in and a stained glass window of Preston’s coat of arms is on display. The aforementioned is a medieval Paschal lamb which dates back centuries with PP underneath; PP standing for either Princeps of Palis, Prince of Peace or Proud Preston. Less than a bottle throw away was a factory, the Gold Thread Works, est 1827, which closed down two years ago that provided the Queen with thread for her wedding cake, the Titanic staff’s uniforms piping, Winston Churchill’s Knight of the Garter and, they faked English spies operating behind enemy lines realistic ribbons for their German medals. Not bad that for a manufacture and pub on the roughest street in England, is it? I also asked the landlord what he thought of being labelled in the bracket of a street to avoid at all costs. The look back sufficed! Police get facts and figures wrong again, shock horror.

Harris Musem

Leaving the Wellie, and Glovers Court, in one piece, I head to Market Tavern. I go past the stunning Harris Museum made from local, Longridge stone. The Grade 1 building is also home to a art gallery and free public library. (I do wish more people would make the most of the no-charge entry to the museum and also educate themselves with the minefields of books stacked on the libraries’ selves.)        

We Will Remember Them

The 21m high sculptured, Cenotaph – empty tomb - is where I pay my respects on the Sunday nearest to 11/11, to my Dad, and millions of other brave souls who gave their lives for our freedom, lest we forget: R.I.P.

Be ever mindful of the men of Preston
Who fell in the Great Wars
1914-1918 1939-1945
This land inviolate your monument 

Friargate, one of the main hubs for shopping in Preston in days gone by; either outlets are empty or loan, pawn and Pound shops that have taken a grip where designer boutiques once ploughed their trade. Today’s environment for any business apart from the 3 mentioned is grim. I only ‘shop ‘til I drop’ for Chrimbo prezzies in Preston on Xmas Eve these days, it’s Manchester or the ‘net coz there’s not a emporium worth bothering with – sad, but true.

This row of 8/9 red phone boxes is the longest row of old style kiosks anywhere in England that are still useable. And Preston were the first to install public phone boxes – not those – in bygone times. We were the first to have a KFC back in 1965, the year of my birth too, but who’s bragging?

The 1870 open/covered market photo speaks for itself; flaking paint and folded stalls. The market was once a hive of housewives out for a bargain before t’Asda and likes.

Greggs, that aint a ‘proper’ pie shop. A few years back the shop applied, and got, a 24hr licence to trade. They thought their pies, pasties and sausagerolls would be a catchment for late night/early morning revellers staggering home instead of a ruby, pizza or donner kebab. They weren’t, so Greggs threw the towel in that Prestontians would prefer the wares when pie-eyed. You can’t pull the wool over our eyes and put them wafer thin, lined pastries in the same bracket as Rounds, I tell ya! The Market Tavern is a belter of a ale provider; there’s 4 decent cask’s on and it’s brimming with Icelanders, ones that frequent at the Iceland store 10 yards away, that is. And on weekends Northern Nites are held and groups sporadically play there.    

The Great British pub

The mate rang when I was leaving the Market and he’ll pick me up outside Action Records in 20 minutes, so I’ve time for a swift one in the Black Horse. This Grade ll Robinson owned alehouse has a protection order on both its exterior and interior, and so it should have. Slap bang in the middle of town, the Black Horse internal features and furnishings take you way back to when life was more black & white, wasn’t all materialist and bling bling look at me/this newfangled gadget. You've even got a choice of three doors from three different streets to make an entrance; this is the only pub in UK which has this accolade. Very confusing for a drunk if they’re ever turffed-out. The floors are mosaic tiled, and the curved ceramic bar is 1 of only 20 left intact. There’s also acid etched and leaded glass paneling, bevelled mirrors and dysfunctional bell pushes galore. At weekends they open a function room upstairs that hosts a wide variety of events too. A tranquil retreat from city life, the Black Horse is. There are a two issues that let the public house down at present time though: 1; the ale isn't kept right by the landlord at the moment. And 2: the landlord is a dickhead.

With haste I navigate my way to Action Records. The Crown Courts are First Tier courts and many a high profile trail has been tried there. I’ve never attended a case, or would want to, but I have concerns why it took the police 35 years to track down a murder who should have been tried there! Yes, it took nearly 35 years to find out who really killed Joan Harrison who was bludgeoned to death in a derelict garage in a suburb of Preston one darkened night in November ’75. The finger pointed at the Yorkshire Ripper Peter Sutcliffe until Chris Smith was arrested in 2008 for drink drinking and his DNA matched that of the killer of Joan. Smith died 6 days after his arrest and was never convicted of the horrific crime in front of the courts.   

I nearly jog/fast-walk into a lamp post - head stooped due to the bloody wet stuff - which has the towns crest moulded into its cast. It’s just the right height, the coat of arms that is, for a dog to cock its leg and have a piss in the lambs eyes. On the theme of lamp posts, Preston was the first provincial town outside of London to have gas street lights erected in 1816. 

The eyesore that is the Guild Hall. Back in ’72, the year of Preston Guild – they come around every 20 years – there was a massive outcry by town folk when the brickies went on strike on the contract for better pay and rights and because of this it wouldn’t be finished in time for the Guild. I wish they’d hadn’t bothered finishing it at all. Saying that, I’ve memories of teen disco there in the 70’s, concerts in the 80’s and 90’s and, ‘Chicago’ the musical last year – I’m cultured, you know. Not really, I bought the better halve a pair of tickets for her birthday and she couldn’t get anyone else to go.

Black Power/clenched fist/Power to the People/Keep the Faith, brother – you need to keep the faith being a Northender. I remember a Rasta with a hammer and chisel in hand tapping away at the solid brick pillar 15 or so years ago for months on end, this after being commissioned to sculpt the fist. Maybe it was all the weeds’ that needed getting rid of that added the length of the project? It’s now hidden behind derelict buildings waiting to be knocked down for the forthcoming, imminent, Tithebarn Project that will change the heart of our town/city forever – the project is on hold.

Arriving at my pick up point, Action Records, I find the place having a spot much needed remedial building work. Only don’t judge a book – record shop – by its cover – frontage. I’ve known Gordon, the owner, before he set up shop in this part of town, when he’d a record stall at a market in Lasherland (double spits) and advertised in Sounds and NME back in ’78. I would go to his home, in a not-so-nice part of town, to purchase limited addition and much sort after Punk vinyl. On leaving through his fortress thick, bolted front door, I’d to stuff the 12” LP’s or 7” singles deep inside either my ex-army, slogan dabbed jacket or studded leather, jam jar lid badge riddled, motorcycle one. He/the shop has come a long way since them early days, every credit. Action’ is one of the largest independent record stores in the country and he has established his/their own record label. They’ve signed bands from The Boo Radleys to Big Red Bus and, The Fall plus Mark E Smith records as a solo performer.  When roving in that neck-of-the-woods I bob in and flick through the racks of golden oldies, inhaling deeply the hint of teen spirit musk they emit – it takes me way way back... I sometimes purchase the odd quintessential, deleted album too.

Moor Park

The mate pulls up and we’re on Deepdale Road/Sir Tom Finney Way within ten shakes and park next to Moor Park. This park is not only the largest park in Preston but also the world’s oldest park! Originally common land the area was turned into the first municipal park by the Charter of Henry lll in 1235. Endless happenings have happened on the mud-bath since, to many to go into details – include in this before and after events on match days. Today local football teams play on the park on Saturdays and Sundays, and cricket is played too in the summer. Also there is/was four public toilet blocks on or near the park. And hanging in and around the lavs were diverse individuals wanting/needing alternative pleasures. One or two couldn’t/didn’t manage to cut the rope on cue and were found swinging from the rafters with a puddle of freshly squeezed, seedless orange juice beneath. Very strange those kinda kin/tribe/clan, indeedy. 

We cross the road to once fortress Deepdale that’s steeped in history and heart rendering encounters.*wipes tear away* Preston North End: Founder members of the English Football League. First ‘Double’ winners, in the first season of the League 1888-89 – they went all season unbeaten. And the team didn’t concede a goal in all the FA Cup ties too. So, its all been downhill since.

This is when it starts to go unhinged. You can stick those prawn butties where the sun don’t shine, for me. Corporate football, what the fuck is all that about. Give me the ‘good old days’ anytime. The meal is normally non-to-bad but today, it’s crap. You’d get better tucker at a 2-4-1 plastic-pub. I’d much prefer a pie, Bovril and a Wagon Wheel while stood on terracing with piss cascading, past your adi’s from overflowing urinals at halftime. And they’ve no hand-pump ale on, I’ve to hit the Black Stuff. Pushing the gruel to one side we take our cushioned seats for the match. I’ve got Mr & Mrs haven’t-got-a-clue on the offside-law, both of them, sat in front of me with a bigger interest in a bag of boiled sweets than the game. Gone are the days of wandering the paddock and bumping into mates and swapping stories of rendezvous before kick-off.

I’ll decline to give chapter and verse on the so-called game of football witnessed which contained comedy likened Keystone Cops defending – we got dicked 4-0 off Bristol City. (We’re staring down the barrel of relegation as I type.) On passing through the lounge area on the way-out we overheard two blokes settling down in front of a TV saying “Time to watch a proper game of football, and a proper team, Man United.” The mate gave them a few choice words along the lines of we didn’t want their sort at Deepdale, and we left. *Man U got beat of Wolves*

Mighty North End!

Phil Browns new sunbed .

Just before we exit I noticed a orange tinged glow radiating from the pitch though a corporate box window? It then twigged! I’d forgot for the moment that Phil Brown was in-charge of our club, so it was nice to see that the chairman had installed a sunbed for him to top up his Real Deal David Dickinson tan, at least. The future’s bright, the future’s orange.

The night is rounded off by a trip into town to a Six Nation Beer Festival in the Black Bull that has 23 Welsh ales on tap. The bitter sweet was England had beat Wales at rugby on Friday in the competition. With disillusionment setting in we nomenclature, slag our clubs fortunes on and off the pitch of recent and what fate lies ahead. Also excessive, overindulgent in ale contributes to such factors. Will it be, North End ‘til I die or, ‘til they go bust?

Your Northern Monkey correspondent, Bill