Sue and Martin above Zermatt - 2018

Sue and Martin above Zermatt - 2018
Showing posts with label Memoirs. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Memoirs. Show all posts

Wednesday, 19 September 2018

An Unexpected Reunion with John Clark


It was a pleasure last week to be contacted by a UMIST contemporary who I hadn't seen for many years. John Clark studied Chemical Engineering between 1968 and 1971, which perhaps overqualifies him for his current occupation.

Those who remember the shy young lad from days past may be surprised to learn that he now runs a massage parlour in Glasgow.

He was in Manchester for a reunion of Chem Eng students. A sort of 50th anniversary party. Time flies.

He called round to see me in Timperley and we enjoyed a good natter, recalling old times when, having left university in 1971, he and Roger Freeman and I arranged regular meet up activities that were the precursor to the programme that I produced every year before transferring it to a rolling programme on nearly twenty years ago.

That programme continues to this day. I'll shortly be organising some short mid week walks.

We agreed that we should make the effort to see Roger in Yorkshire, sooner rather than later.

I’ve dragged a few photos from the archives. The top picture shows John in the Lake District during a trip that he and I had to Wasdale in July 1972. Is that Kirk Fell in the background?

Below, he and Roger look out from a vantage point on the island of Mull, in May 1972.


As some readers may know, I walked the University Rag Walk – Bogle Stroll – a 55 mile saunter, on numerous occasions.

By 1973 I had joined Thornton Baker. I named our team the ‘TB&Co Mad Ones’ and enlisted various ultra fit colleagues who mostly dropped out. To make up the numbers, Anna and Jacqui, my flatmates, were coerced into joining up. In those days I finished around breakfast time (we started at midnight, in February) and went out to walk in with others and generally help out with the Tech Domski Hiking Club’s many participants. Here, my two flatmates, who finished in 18 hours 40 minutes (Anna, Jacqui was ten minutes behind) are pictured together with John, who doesn’t appear on the list of finishers. Perhaps he got arm strain from carrying that bag? A and J would never have lived it down had they failed to finish. They feature quite regularly on these pages, and it’s good that John has now joined them.


Finally, for the time being, here’s a photo that I’m having trouble dating – perhaps the mid 1970s. From L to R: Beryl, Roger, John, Roger’s friend who drove a Morris 1000 Traveller with a corrugated iron roof, Gary (who I’ll be seeing next week) and me. I still have that anorak! It did many Bogle Strolls and many Lyke Wake Walks.


Happy Days…

Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Memoirs of an Insolvency Practitioner


Any such memoirs will be from memory only. Twelve years after boxing up the diaries that recorded my entire career in detail, I decided that there was no longer any justification for keeping the contents of those boxes.

In deference to the recycling company I laboriously removed all the wire and filled our blue bin with thousands of the shorthand pad sheets that detailed, in fifteen minute segments, many years of work.


Perhaps I ought to write a short piece covering a few highlights of all those years whilst I can still remember them, but rest assured – that won’t reach these pages.
On the other hand…

Sorting through my archives today with a view to passing them on to Grant Thornton (they were collected this afternoon), I did come across something with amusement value:


I think this dates from the late 1970s, before I moved from auditing to insolvency. Where are they all now?

The picture below is of a cricket team that won the Grant Thornton national competition, a prestigious victory as a number of offices sported individuals with ‘Minor Counties’ credentials.


You’ll see (maybe) that I was umpire on this occasion, chosen because I never ever gave anyone out LBW. My eyesight wasn’t good enough! There were some cracking players in that team.

I did occasionally manage to wield a bat. Defence wasn’t my strong point. The short boundary at Alderley Edge was one of the few places that I could clear the boundary fielder. I also remember a ‘What Happened There?’ incident in an away match with our Liverpool office. I turned to the umpire, somewhat flummoxed, recording my belief that ‘but I’m not a bowler’. Gordon Hope looked at me and said ‘Maybe, but although you got that hat trick without any help from the rest of your team, you may have to buy a round later!’ Gordon, a Liverpool partner in the firm suffered the misfortune of being appointed to investigate Ken Dodd’s tax affairs. This didn't do his health any good and he died far too young. Very sad, he was a good man.

On another occasion I was umpiring in a game against our clients, Manchester United. They had some good cricketers. I asked one of their team what he did at United. “Assistant chef” he replied, “but I did play cricket for Glamorgan before that.” Anyway, it got to the last ball of the match. We needed five more runs to win, so all was going well – we could allow our clients victory (etiquette demanded this) and everyone would go home happy. Steve Bruce bowled a wide. I called it very late (wicket keeper Maurice Watkins later came to my defence – he was a good man to have on your side legally, as well as being a splendid cricketer) after our batman had missed the ball, so Steve had another throw go. The ball was hit fairly gently to Martin Edwards (remember him – the Chairman?) for two runs. So we had lost honourably by one run. But we hadn’t – Edwards threw the ball wildly, missing the wicket keeper and allowing two overthrows to be run. So we had won by one run, and my ‘late’ call of a wide was forever held against me. The United contingent spent the next half hour in their dressing room, apart from the only first team player who had turned out, Steve Bruce, who came to the bar at Bowdon Cricket Club saying “anyone would think we’d lost the cup final; I’ll bring Pallister next time, he’ll sort you out!”

Happy days. We lost the United audit shortly afterwards, so never did discover Gary Pallister’s cricketing credentials.