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philthespark last won the day on May 19

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  1. philthespark

    Fox of Spring 2018

    Wonderful photo's of a lovely creature, many years ago I worked regular nights at a large site in Horwich, I was in the habit of leaving my office around 2.30 am and taking a stroll around the site to help digest my meal. One night as I was heading back to my office I became aware of a small dog following me at a distance, it later transpired that the "dog" was actually a fox! I returned to my office and opened the window, I looked out and could see the fox about 300 yards away sat in the shadows,I had had chicken pieces as part of my meal and the bones and leftovers were on my plate. I threw them out of the window as far towards the fox as I could, then waited to see what would happen, eventually it ran over, grabbed the scraps and left. Over the next couple of weeks I kept doing this, but luring the animal closer to my window, eventually it would come right up to the window, you could almost touch it. I always kept to the same time, and one night I opened my window to see it sat there waiting, I dropped the scraps out and it sat and ate them in front of me, I love wildlife and it's a real privilege to be able to get so close to a wild animal, well done for having the patience to achieve it
  2. philthespark

    Sutton Library

    Speaking of Sherdley park, I was driving along Sherdley road towards St Helens recently and noticed a young lady on the opposite carriageway with a flat tyre, I turned around at the roundabout, and went back, thinking she was unable to get the wheel off, it wouldn't have taken me 5 minutes. Anyway when I arrived, she was quite distressed and had two flat tyres, apparently, she'd been driving towards the Bull and Dog roundabout, when a group of youths had shot out of the park on Robins Lane, roared up the footpath, then pulled into the road in front of her! In an attempt to avoid hitting them she had swerved and hit the central kerb, totally destroying both offside tyres, she'd rang the police, who'd said they'd get someone out urgently, and advised her to ring a garage to remove the vehicle as it was in a dangerous location. This was an hour before I arrived on scene, and to my disgust the idiots who had caused the accident were still tearing up the park! The police "pretend" they are dealing with off-road bikes,in reality they are doing very little, recently a group of them were tearing up and down a road where my friend owns a children's nursery, after several near misses we rang the police, only to be told they were too busy. My friend replied that in that case, the next time they came past he was going to throw a stick into the wheels. "in that case" said a police officer, "we'll come straight round and lock you up". It's totally pathetic, these people are riding illegally, openly sticking two fingers up to the law, yet the law forbids you to do anything, as far as I'm concerned, they are illegal and if they get hurt then tough! If they hadn't been there then they wouldn't have been hurt, it's a little thing called action and consequence.
  3. philthespark

    Sutton Library

    I think it's very wrong for the council to go around demolishing perfectly good buildings and selling off the land for a large sum of money to private developers. The building belonged to us, the people of St Helens, it was something tangible that we could see, touch, and use, I would like to know what they do with the money they get from doing this, probably waste it on something that we didn't want, and more importantly will never benefit from. I remember some years back and they wanted to sell off the market square in Earlestown, they'd have got away with it too, were it not for a knowledgeable member of the public, who pointed out that it wasn't actually theirs to sell. I'm surprised they don't try and flog off Sherdley Park, they got rid of pets corner, the cafe went, even the lake looked neglected last time I was there, it was a lovely place when I was a child, even as a young man growing up, it was a nice place to walk around with your young lady on a summers evening. We need to forget trying to be like London or wherever these councillors are trying to emulate, lets get it back to being just St Helens, a decent town with good friendly folk , where you can go into a pub and chat with strangers, with parks for our youngsters to play in and our elderley to sit and relax. I don't want to live in a fancy posh rat race place where nobody has time for anyone but themselves, no give me the old St Helens any day.
  4. philthespark

    bicc transport firm

    Oh, I stand corrected then. lol
  5. philthespark

    Classic Car show - Victoria Park 2018

    Yes, and that for me takes all the fun out of it, years ago you'd get a misfire and maybe spend an hour finding the cause, then probably a fiver sorting it out, now, unless you have the diagnostic tools, it's usually fifty quid to have the codes read, then at least a hundred to have it fixed. I got so fed up with it that I went and bought the diagnostic tool, it plugs into my laptop, and as well as reading the codes, it can give real-time information, great when looking for an intermittent fault. Simply plug it in, switch it on, and drive, I still think it spoils all the fun though.lol
  6. philthespark

    bicc transport firm

    No, it was to do with the manufacturing process, calendering was part of it used I believe, to apply certain types of insulation, Although it's correct name was BICC, it was known as "the B I" to most of the workers,
  7. philthespark

    bicc transport firm

    Here's a link to several films about the B I, in one of them it shows the wagons leaving the works.
  8. philthespark

    Classic Car show - Victoria Park 2018

    My first car was a Morris Marina, and you know what, I'd have another one tomorrow, they were a decent car if you looked after them, plus you could take one completely to bits with only about 6 spanners, God how I miss changing a set of points, don't even think I could find my feeler gauges now, lol.
  9. philthespark

    Shouldn't Throw Stones

    I remember going there years ago to visit the glass museum, I went back recently to see one of the companies that operate out of the main building. I had a bit of a walk around and was upset by how the site had been allowed to deteriorate, all the glass broken in the building at the bottom of the lake, and the fountains weren't working. Other towns look after their important buildings, how come we don't? It would be a shame to lose the place, let's get it restored to it's former glory and find a proper use for it.
  10. philthespark

    For over 45 years....

    I started drinking in the Eagle when I was 15, in 1980, Harry and his wife had it, he was a retired copper, he knew my mum and dad and used to let me go in, have a pint and then send me home. He used to say he was keeping me out of trouble. I remember when he died and his wife was going to pack it in, there was quite a group of us used to go in, by then we were all around 18 or 19, we persuaded her to keep it on for a while and we'd "run it" . We used to move kegs in the cellar, bring crates up for the bar, mow the bowling green, clean windows, do any odd maintenance bits, and chuck out the odd rowdy person occasionally. They were a lovely couple, my mum and stepfather had their wedding "do" in the Eagle, as did I for my first marriage, it was a great pub, even though they refused to have a juke box. I remember a VE night party in there,a VJ night party, and many new years parties. We used to sit in the little front room, on the right as you looked at it from the front, on the left was the "tap"room, the old blokes played darts and dominoes in there. some of the old fellas used to "pop next door" and have a drink with the lads, we didn't mind buying them a beer now and then and they'd tell us some fantastic stories. One daytime I went in, I was on a 48 off from work, there was an old bloke and he came and sat with me, I think he was a bit lonely. Anyway he'd been in the merchant navy during the war and started to tell me about it, it was very interesting, there was however a problem, this bloke religiously came in every day apparently, drank one pint of mild and went home.I returned the following day eager to hear the rest of a particularly interesting story, we'd just got to a really good part and I could see he'd almost finished his pint. I wouldn't be in tomorrow as I was on dayturn, so I bought him a pint, he looked at it and said that he only had one pint a day, I told him it was rude to refuse a drink, he agreed and the story continued, he'd almost finished, the story, but also the pint, so I got him another one, he looked at it sat on the table, "look mate, your not leaving until I hear this story, ok" I said with a laugh, the old guy nodded, "ok, then lets carry on", he did finish the story, and the pint, we became good friends and he always took a drink with me if he was in and I was in. There was another interesting old boy drank in there, Harold Pye, he was in his late 70's and fit as a fiddle, he was telling us one day how he could swing his leg up and put it on the bar, we weren't convinced and he did it, we bought him a pint. We used to get strangers coming in and we'd tell them about Harold, they didn't believe it so we used to tell them to buy us a pint and we'd prove it, they'd buy a pint of mild and place it on the bar, "hey Harold, do your party trick", he'd swing his leg up onto the bar to the amazement of the stranger, on a busy night he'd go home quite merry and hadn't put his hand in his pocket! He'd come in sometimes and tell us how he'd been mowing the lawn for the old lady down the road, or cleaning the windows for the old fella round the corner, because they couldn't manage it, they were younger than him, lol There was an old priest drank in there also, Father Cook, he'd be in every day 2 pints of cider, several fags, and play the bandit, there was also a really old lady who came in, I can't remember her name, but her son, Gerry, in his 50's used to bring her in, she'd sit with us because she, "didn't like old people" ! One day this priest had a go at me because he'd been on the bandit, when he'd finished I went on and dropped the jackpot first go. He was having a fit because he said he should have won it, I walked back into the little room and sat down, I was fuming over the incident and began to tell the old lady what had gone on. Suddenly she leapt from her seat, she couldn't half move for an old lady who must have been in her 80's and shot into the bar, much shouting followed! She returned to her seat and sat down, "that's told him the bloody hypocrite" she snarled, we looked at her in amazement, she went on, "sat in the pub, beer in one hand, fag in the other, and gambling, he wants to practice what he preaches". It turned out that he was her local priest and his sermons were all hellfire and damnation, all about the evils of drinking, gambling, smoking and fornication. She wasn't having it, him preaching it was all evil, then doing it himself, well the first 3 anyway, knowing the old lady she'd be keeping an eye on him for any sign of fornication. Many thanks to you guys for mentioning the Eagle, it brought back some really happy memories for me.
  11. philthespark

    Pewfall Junction on the East Lancs

    No, I am not, they make an unpleasant mess when they get hit by a vehicle at speed, unfortunately, I have seen the aftermath. I've seen people walking along the M58 to get to and from work, because, as one said when I asked him why he was doing it, "it's the quickest way home" It's like near me, they campaigned for a crossing for ages, got one at a cost of several thousand pounds, then ignore it and cross about a hundred yards away, maybe we need jaywalking laws like in the states
  12. philthespark

    Air raid shelters?

    There was a couple of types of domestic air raid shelter, the Anderson one, which was built of corrugated sheet steel, and buried in the ground, and also a much heavier concrete one that stood above ground. The Anderson ones were prone to flooding due to the fact they were in the ground, the concrete ones weren't as they were above ground, obviously, they were dearer and most people had the Anderson. Where I live, it is rather strange, there are a couple of council estates and these were largely occupied by workers in the local factories, the Vulcan works being probably the best known. Some years ago I got talking with an old bloke, he'd lived round here all his life, he asked me where I lived, and, when I told him he replied, "oh, the bosses estate" , apparently, and I've no idea how it was done, the 2 estates were sort of selective, the other one was for ordinary workers, ours housed the bosses and skilled workers. If you were just a labourer or someone without qualifications you lived on the other estate, if you were a tradesman, chargehand, or low-level manager you lived on ours, obviously the top bosses owned their own homes.it was the same with the pubs apparently, there are 2 not far apart, one for the underlings and one for the skilled people, talk about a class divide! Anyway, on the other estate there is no evidence of air raid shelters, obviously, all the old Andersons were removed years ago, on mine, there are still a few of the above ground concrete ones still in existence, obviously skilled men were valued more than labourers. in fact, there was one in next doors garden. Well the old couple who lived there went into a home and their son sold the house on, it needed quite a bit of work on it and the new buyer set to with much enthusiasm. One day as we were chatting over the fence he was telling me about his plans, "and I'm going to flatten that old concrete shed" he told me, I advised him against it, I knew what it was, and how strong it was. He set to with a sledgehammer, and at the end of day one admitted defeat, he'd have to hire a concrete breaker. He did, and this was still hard work, finally, it was down and he was telling me how hard a job it had been, "it was absolutely full of reinforcing wire" he complained, "well they did that with air raid shelters" I laughed. He had no idea when he started, just what he was taking on, I think that's why there are still a few left, people may not want them, but they're a real bugger to get rid of.
  13. philthespark

    For over 45 years....

    I used to call in there when I was in town, they did fantastic chicken and stuffing barmcakes, it's sad to see so many places closing, however with a lot of the pubs it's down to ownership, one of the companies who own a lot of pubs, Punch Taverns bleeds them dry. You have to buy the beer off them at their "vastly discounted prices", which are actually dearer than I can buy it for, then they bleed you for every penny they can get. I have a friend who had a pub, it had served food many years ago but stopped doing it, when she took over she asked the regulars what they wanted from their local pub. A lot of them said they'd like to be able to get something to eat after work, nothing fancy, just chips and burger, pie and chips, all day breakfast, that sort of thing. She contacted the brewery about doing it and they weren't interested, so she did it herself, cleaned the kitchen, bought food and started doing bar snacks, the takings went through the roof! People who previously came in, had a pint and went home now came in had a bar meal and stayed for several pints. A bloke from the brewery came out to find out why the take had increased, he then told her that as well as money from the beer, they wanted a cut of the food takings, she asked how they were proposing to split the cost of buying the ingredients, he said they weren't, it was her baby, she had to supply the stuff, however at the end of the day they still wanted a cut of the profits! She stopped doing the food, the take went back down and a few months later she gave the pub up, It's hard enough making money in any business these days, without greedy people wanting a large chunk of it for doing next to nothing.
  14. philthespark

    Around St.Helens

    I hope you got that swimming dog to sign a release before sticking its picture on here, otherwise, you could find yourself in serious trouble.It will only be a matter of time before one of "those" people spots it, and as the PPI thing is coming to an end they're bound to be looking for a new scam, I can just see it now. There'll be adverts appearing in veterinary surgeries and on tv all over the country, "hey Fido, does your owner leave you alone all day, have they banned you from sitting on the couch? you could be entitled to compensation. "hey pussycat, does your owner lock the catflap at night to keep you in, do they make you wear a bell to prevent you catching birds? you too could be entitled to compensation. Pets everywhere, were you quietly minding your own business when some bloke took your picture without permission? Call us now, we're so desperate to make money, we'll sue anyone for the most ridiculous thing, call us NOW!
  15. philthespark

    Pewfall Junction on the East Lancs

    Ah very true, however you forgot one thing about the junction 23 improvement scheme, it actually created jobs or at least keeps people in work. You see, I live not too far from there and under the old design there were 2 or 3 accidents a week, now there is at least one a day, so, given that most accidents require a recovery truck to move the damaged vehicles, police attendance, insurance company staff to deal with the claim, then garage staff to repair the vehicles, then obviously more jobs, or at the very least more work has been created, and that's before we get to the bloodsucking leaches who ring you for months afterwards trying to get you to claim for non-existant injuries. On a serious note though, I have to agree with you it's a total waste of money, the phasing of the lights doesn't help, it must have been designed by either a blind man or someone who had no idea about traffic management. I think the major issue is simply the volume of traffic, as my mum used to say, "you can't get a quart into a pint pot", something the designers of these schemes have obviously never heard.

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