Extra time

Football, or many other sports, can be an obsession for people running about chasing a ball or a puck, and which ever way you observe sport it can divide opinion. Football is, and always will be my choice of sport, and not because I was raised on playing or watching, I instinctively liked football. (more…)

Ruby Loftus

There’s a picture of Ruby Loftus on the Imperial War Museum website1, which shows an engineering shop under the Essential Works Order during the Second World War. Ruby, who was 21 at the time, stares at the cutting tool, her face lit up by the centre lathe lamp. The workshop around her looks remarkably clean, bright and industrious, with other women working at benches. This picture is evocative and has a romantic air which draws you in. But all is not what it seems. (more…)

Land NationalisAction

  • “The poor increase like fleas and lice, and these vermin will eat us up unless we enclose” Pseudomismus (17c) on enclosure of the land
  • No man has any right to buy and sell the earth for private gain” from the song about the Diggers: The World Turned Upside Down by Billy Bragg

St George’s Hill, the ‘Common Land’ where the Diggers settled, is now a private estate of over 400 mansions. It has golf and tennis clubs, and the roads and verges belong to its residents’ association. This is Socialism for the rich! (more…)

Elstead Road

Forty two years ago in 1977, I was awakened by my father, who said, “Get dressed, we’re going to Elstead Road”. Elstead Road is in Sparrow Hall, where the houses are separated by a thin dark alleyway, and these council owned houses were filled with Scouse characters, who either support Liverpool or Everton. This vast estate links onto the East Lancs Road, a perfect bus route for football devotees. (more…)

When a old legend departs the stage

“When a old cricketer leaves the crease, you never know whether he’s done” teased Roy Harper at this sold out, Philharmonic Hall concert. He then announced that his six date tour is to be his retirement parade. Now Roy has got history regarding farewell tours, but tonight’s gig felt like a finale. At the age of 77 (78 this year), he informed the audience he wanted to retire whilst he had a choice. (more…)

Pools Spring

Upside down S.A.D city, now freshly strewn with linen shirts and open top sandals, the stench of fast meat heightens my senses and I’m bewildered in my home city. Today, I could be in a desirable European destination, with its worldly residents and pedestrian tourists, but this is my city with its witty rep, except, I feel like I’m on holiday and my observations of the throbbing carnage of people, mirror my thoughts; those who serve and those who preserve this upside down S.A.D city, which now brings and rings G.L.A.D with its worldly smiles and local twang.

Writing, Music & Chips – a tribute to Arthur Adlen

We were thrown together in the late 90s, during the time of our work with Unemployed Centres. In an earlier life we would’ve been sworn enemies; sharing a history, but divided by ideology, until the Wall came down and we both changed. Arthur’s involvement with Philosophy in Pubs led him to Nerve Magazine which, at times, seemed to be much the same thing. The difference between Pips and Nerve I would tell him, was that while Pips interpreted the world, in various ways, Nerve just got on with changing it. (more…)