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JohnnieWalker
Bonny Hills, Australia
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556 of 564  Thu 30th May 2019 3:18am  
Member: Joined Jul 2011  Total posts:280

On 29th May 2019 8:55am, Kaga simpson said: Johnnie Walker, I hope you're all well. As a kid I always loved running, but never joined a club. But . . . When I left school I became a farm worker/milkman, I milked the cows then delivered it. At seventeen I found myself sharing a barrack room with roly-poly Geoffrey Howe and eighteen other youths. Geoffrey had all the education, but couldn't run a dozen yards - on sports day he was first leg of our team, I was fourth leg. Geoff started us off, came in last over half lap behind the leader - we had no chance. Anyway, we finished 2nd and Geoff came across and shook my hand. He went on to become an officer in the Signals mob. Around twelve months later I met 2nd lieutenant Ginger Bagnall - he was my platoon commander. We enjoyed over six months of friendship and running training. Thirty years on and I read they both met at 10 Downing Street with Maggie Thatcher - wondered if they ever found out they knew the same milkman?
Hi Kaga I am well, thanks Kaga - been a bit traumatic for the past few months as we bought a house on the coast last December, anticipating that it wouldn't take too long to sell ours in Queanbeyan. The nightmare should be all over this afternoon as the buyers are - finally - going to pay up! Cost us a fortune in bridging loan payments! Anyway - running! So many great memories. Like the time I anchored the Godiva Youths medley relay in the 1964 Midland Championships at Perry Barr - the home of the dreaded Birchfield Harriers. The first runner does two laps - 880 yards, then the second and third do 220 yards each, then the anchor runs 440. We had a good team - Clive Raven and I were fairly equal as 880yd runners, but as I had a bit more sprint speed I volunteered to do the 440. Clive was expected to be very competitive, and the rest of us were capable of at least staying with the Birchfield, Small Heath, Wolverhampton and Tipton runners. Sadly, with 100 yards left in the first lap, Clive was knocked over by the jostling pack. He picked himself up, 30 yards behind, and gave chase. The two half-lappers and I gave it our best but could never hope to bridge the gap, so I crossed the line in 5th place. We had caught up enough to know that we would have won the event without Clive's fall. We dutifully attended the medal presentation, and congratulated the Birchfield (I think they won) team as they collected their handsome plaques - then listened as the announcer told us that, as the Wolverhampton, Small Heath and Tipton teams were disqualified for jostling, the second place plaques would go to the Godiva team! There was a great deal of merriment as we motored home squeezed into Harry Lapworth's dreadful Ford Prefect! I still have that plaque! Edited by member, 30th May 2019 4:34 am
True Blue Coventry Kid

Our Kaga
Midland Red
Cherwell
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557 of 564  Thu 30th May 2019 8:01am  
Moderator: Joined Jan 2010  Total posts:5293

JW Sorry to encroach but . . . is that the Clive Raven I recall from the pits at Brandon and Blackbird Road???
Our Kaga
JohnnieWalker
Bonny Hills, Australia
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558 of 564  Fri 31st May 2019 9:10am  
Member: Joined Jul 2011  Total posts:280

The one and the same!! Small world eh?
True Blue Coventry Kid

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Kaga simpson
Peacehaven, East Sussex
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559 of 564  Fri 31st May 2019 3:35pm  
Member: Joined Sep 2014  Total posts:2863

JW Yes good days when we could run, I can only live on memories now. The two guys I mentioned, my family could have lived a week on the money they would spend on one tie. I felt good about running them into the ground, but they ended up running Thatcher's government. I take it you are moving to the coast in NSW. Forests, rivers and the coast - great place to live, if modernisation doesn't kill it.
Our Kaga
Kaga simpson
Peacehaven, East Sussex
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560 of 564  Sat 8th Jun 2019 1:46pm  
Member: Joined Sep 2014  Total posts:2863

I hurry down the passageway past a number of closed doors of the hostel and out of the front door and Rome seeps into me. A woman steps out of an archway, collides into me. Packages fall. "Sh**!" she says. We stoop, faces only inches away from each other. "No calamity", I say. She smiles - small, fair, blue eyes, freckles. A Doris Day type - 1953, Calamity Jane had just hit the cinemas. We stood up with the packages and carried them to her van. Her name is Joan, chats non-stop. We collect more boxes from her office to the van. She's with the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, as guide to the war graves in the old city. She offers to drop me close to the Colosseum. Ten minutes later she pulls up in a shady spot - a store. Kids come out to greet her. There are many fountains. "Sit at the fountain. I'll get some cold drinks". A girl about thirteen speaks to her - looking at me they laugh. She comes back with cool iced drinks. I visit the cemetery with her, less than 500 Commonwealth graves. Six days of wonder and excitement. Over the next few days I was shown and told the history of ancient Rome by an expert of seven years living in the city - this was the days before tourism was really known. No charges, no touts. Rome is a beautiful city, but to learn its history, and its old re-cycling. The marble of one facade came from a temple in the forum, thousands of granite from the colosseum, carted over to build St Peter's. Eight years later they were taken out. Ancient temples, monuments, were painted sunshine yellow, electric blue, statues had eye shadow, hazel eyes, coral lipstick, magenta temples, violet skies. The Eternal City. Have no idea if this is of interest to anyone.
Our Kaga
Kaga simpson
Peacehaven, East Sussex
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561 of 564  Sun 9th Jun 2019 9:55am  
Member: Joined Sep 2014  Total posts:2863

I arrive back in Coventry in time for the London Motor Show - I believe it was in that year the Coventry TR made its first appearance. A few months later a number of them stood on the forecourt of an Italian dealer. There was a storm - 'The paint ran'. Patrick Leigh Fermor was a major in the Parachute Regiment. He abducted a German general from occupied Crete. It was then rumoured he went behind enemy lines with a phial of 'germ warfare'. With that and the secret Shaftesbury Hospital, two questions I seeked the answers to. Who better than Dick Crossman (Labour for Coventry) - he had been Eisenhower's top psychological warfare officer, sent to Aachen, near the end of the war, to help get them back on their feet after Nazi executions (worth reading about). Crossman told me he had never heard of the hospital. As for the phial, he reminded me that we were both still under the Official Secrets Act - nothing to be said. Which turned out a joke because a few years later he was accused of breaking the Act. Never did find the answer to either question.
Our Kaga
JohnnieWalker
Bonny Hills, Australia
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562 of 564  Wed 19th Jun 2019 4:32am  
Member: Joined Jul 2011  Total posts:280

Hey Kaga - I bet you can't wait for Donald Trump to unveil his re-election slogan - Keep America Great Again?
True Blue Coventry Kid

Our Kaga
Kaga simpson
Peacehaven, East Sussex
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563 of 564  Wed 19th Jun 2019 9:38am  
Member: Joined Sep 2014  Total posts:2863

J Walker. No interest in politics, much rather talk of Bonny Hills - never visited. Loved the Blue Hills and the Three Sisters, real rugged country, another side of Australia's lovely country (my son held NSW kickboxing belt, years ago). Spent a couple of months on the borders of NSW and Queensland, walked a couple of miles into the dense forest, found what was once a clearing, had a couple of huts - the vegetation taking it back, the men had left it hurriedly in 1926, the big cross-saws still embedded in a tree-trunk. Really interesting for a story, and a book.
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Annewiggy
Tamworth
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564 of 564  Mon 24th Jun 2019 5:40pm  
Member: Joined Jan 2013  Total posts:1451

Just realised we passed through your neck if the woods last week Kaga. Spent a few days in the caravan near Uckfield so we could go on the Bluebell Railway and had a nice run along the coast and spent a couple of hours at Newhaven Fort, carried on to Peacehaven before turning back to the campsite, it is a lovely part of the world
Our Kaga

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