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About Brianza

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  • Birthday April 18

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    Western Cape, South Africa

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  1. VOLL dies today aged 82

    Very sad news especially having seen his 1957 Springbok shirt at a South African winery some 3 weeks ago. I am booked in the same restaurant tomorrow (22nd Oct) - the sight of that shirt will be very poignant. RIP Voll.
  2. For Brianza - SS = Stan Gibbons as you surmise. Would be happy to swop stories of West Park

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    2. stanley stamp

      stanley stamp

      Hi Brian,

                Who said anything about females . Kidding . Any muso will tell you working on cruise ships can sometimes  be the last refuge of a scoundrel so its not something many would choose but hey ho  somebodys gotta do it . Your CV on the other hand reminds me what I've missed. So, anyway,  Barney - when I landed back in St Helens in 2009 I learned of his passing & still don't know the details perhaps not wanting to know . He was a one off , no doubt about it. Talented , he could draw like a professional . Far ahead of anybody in 'Bert's' art classes. And of course the Warren Beatty of St Helens. Now there was a man for entertaining the ladies . Don't see anyone from the West Park days . You mentioned Billinge & I remember knocking about with 'Tash' ( I think his name was David)  Calderbank who lived in a bungalow on the main road . His dad had a newsagents on the old market . Anyway we went to a few rugby matches in Wigan & I remember Billy Boston, Mick Sullivan et all. This was apostasy for a St Helener but a taste of things to come . No roots  , no commitments, no loyalties to speak of . Remember Joe Cohen ? Me not sporty so didn't have much to do with him but yet one more kind of odd ball character from the green of nisi dominus frustra. I will make enquiries about Barney if you are interested - his wife (?) Hilda still running the hairdressers in Harris Street .

                                                   regards Stan

    3. Brianza


      Hi Stan,

      When Barney died I was told he had cancer but I'm not sure to which part of his body and it was a long time ago. I do remember him being very good at art and also at entertaining the ladies. I'm surprised the hairdressers is still going, it's not an area of St Helens I go to when I return although my brother still lives in Windle about a mile away. When I do visit St H I always make for Burchalls to have my "fix" of their pies - the shop front hasn't changed since Eric North's days; come to think of it neither has the flavour of the food.

      I remember David Calderbank but never bumped into him whilst living in Billinge between 1975-89. I did see Joey Taylor once and he had lost an eye due to a pellet gun accident but never saw him again.

      I bumped into Joe Coan at Grange Park GC many years ago and had a good chat with him, he turned out to be a real gent. He almost remembered me asking If I was Forber? He had the right year and this was in 1990 almost 30 years after leaving school - I was impressed.

      I recently went to a local winery in Stellenbosch and was amazed to see Tom van Vollenhoven's South African international shirt, from 1957, framed and hanging on the on the wall. I put a blog on the St H Connect site and then 3 weeks later he dies. It seemed scary that I had these memories of him rekindled just before his death and other blog members had done the same.

      Your opening sentence had me worried for a few seconds = pleased to see you were kidding.

      Cheers Brian

    4. stanley stamp

      stanley stamp

      Hi Brian,

                        Quick note as I remember. I shared a desk with Chris Hesketh ( another wigan connect ) and many many years later looked up the name & found he had been a prominent rugby league player . Salford comes to mind. I remembered a game on the West Park field where he scored a try flying over the line in spectacular fashion. Shades of things to come. Me & Barney were invited to leave West Park at Xmas 1960 .    cheers Stan

  3. Remembering Voll

    A tribute from SA rugby and GB rugby to Voll. Unusual respect from the Union fraternity for a player turning from RU to RL. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PpbJr9Mztkw
  4. Remembering Voll

    Hi Hort/Alan, I was also there, having travelled by charabang to the Smoke. The inter-passing between Large and Voll, running towards us in the crowd and Eric Ashton catching Large with every stride. All of us screaming "pass it to Voll'. Thankfully he heard us and the rest is history. It seems only like yesterday. A think a better video of the try is this link on You Tube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vSJlppjrdxw
  5. Remembering Voll

    I went to a winery/restaurant in the Western Cape, South Africa yesterday - and very enjoyable it was. The very wealthy owner has various rooms dedicated to his many interests, one of which is sports memorabilia. In a glass case, in that room, was the Number 3 shirt worn by Tom van Vollenhoven for the Springbok RU team in 1957 - 60 years ago. I had always thought that South Africans had forgotten Tom and never forgiven him for turning to RL to earn a living because he had a gift. Obviously I am wrong. The memories of the ability of this unique sportsman came flooding back, especially Wembley 1961, so I sat down, relaxed and had another glass of wine.
  6. Do you remember these faces?

    Thanks Ratty. I remember The Cullett very well, the majority of my family worked at Pilks and there was always a copy knocking around. The next time I return to St Helens I'll make a point of visiting the History and Archives Library to rekindle the memories.
  7. My favourite sounding thoroughfare is in Ashton in Makerfield and I am not sure whether it is allowed to be named on this site covering St Helens. It is a narrow passageway in the town centre, joining Gerrard St and Heath Rd and is affectionately called "Squeeze Belly Entry". Unfortunately, it is not shown on Google Map.
  8. Do you remember these faces?

    The lady being presented with flowers is Rhoda Puncheon, my great aunt. The family believe she was the first forewoman at Fibreglass and it is on the occasion of her retirement
  9. Things you don't see anymore

    Maybe it was a word just local to Clinkham Wood. It's like the words "tuttut", "stonies" and "slansing" - very common words in St Helens but people look at you as if you were a foreigner when you use them outside the town.
  10. Things you don't see anymore

    A trungle is a bicycle wheel without any spokes or tyre - a metal hoop. Kids would run along side it whipping it with their hand or a stick. Parents would often send the child on an errand telling them to go on their trungle.
  11. Things you don't see anymore

    1) The kid in the class that had a plaster over one lens of his spectacles. 2) Kids running errands on their trungle. 3) The front door knocker wrapped with a sock because your dad was on night turn.
  12. Things you don't see anymore

    Empty milk bottles, with notes in them, on the doorstep.
  13. lowe house class photo 1945 onward

    I also have a Lowe House communion photo taken in 1951 so the children would be born in 1943/44. I would post it onto the site if I knew how. Maybe someone could help. This is my first comment onto the St Helens site and will hopefully contribute positively to future topics.