October 03, 2014

Any Other Business

Any Other Business


MERVYN THE MONKEY mops up


Pools went to Northampton. Charlie Wyke scored early, then got carried off with concussion and Northampton won 5-1. A game of men versus boys. 

Northampton were bigger, stronger, more creative and more determined. Which may also summarise the two clubs in a different way. Because while both clubs play in the same division, in similar-sized towns, at council-owned grounds, only one seems to be going places. And that one is, despite council cuts and financial fair play rules, building a new grandstand, plus a conference centre, hotel and residential development around it, and all with council cooperation. Meanwhile Pools, having probably lost any chance, whoever owns the ground, of doing something similar at the Vic, soldier on looking more like the Conference club that they seem likely to become next season.

Sixfields, which was quite smart already, with the frame of the new grandstand showing some ambition


Next we have reminder of another stand, perhaps not a grandstand, from the good old days when Pools used to play once a year at Darlington's old ground, Feethams, before George Reynolds waved his magic wand to eventually turn them into a pub team.

And what has this manky old building got to do with Darlo? Well, not only is this a tin shed by nature, it's also a Tin Shed by name, as was the away end at Feethams.

This Tin Shed is actually a museum of First and Second World War memorabilia, located somewhat oddly in Laugharne (pronounced Larne), the picturesque Welsh village, overlooking a sea inlet, where the famous Welsh poet Dylan Thomas spent his last few years, much of that time in the bar at Brown's Hotel. The latter fact probably hastened his early death, and he now lies in the churchyard not far from the Tin Shed. This month is the centenary of his birth.

The Tin Shed at Laugharne


Now we can move smoothly on from a shedful of First and Second World War memorabilia to something also having connections to the First World War - and to yet another grandstand. 

Bombarded CD Cover image
image derived from a photo by permission of the Culture 
and Information Service of Hartlepool Borough Council
Poolies with long memories may remember that Monkey Business editor Lol Moran was the lead singer for The Hartlepool Monkey Song, which was part of the Pools fans' Monkeyhangerz single that got into the BBC singles chart in 2005.

Well, he's been a bit busy lately writing and recording a new album of 15 serious and humorous songs about the Hartlepools in the First World War. They are mostly concerned with the 1914 German naval Bombardment (the centenary of which will be in mid-December), but one song which may be of special interest to Poolies is entitled The Kaiser Demolished Our Grandstand. You can find out more on Lol's website, lolmoran.com.

All proceeds of the album will be going to the Heugh Battery Museum on the Headland, from where you can buy a CD at only £3.00 from October 9th (it's across the road from the lighthouse, and is open Thursday to Sunday, 10am until 4pm.)