Andrew Abbott's Blog

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Whose bright idea was that then?

As if it wasn’t risky enough to allow our own striker to play against us knowing he was going to go all out to prove a point it would seem some bright spark thought it would be a good idea to wind Kyle Perry up a bit more before Saturdays home game v Telford.

According to the Shropshire Star, Bucks manager Andy Sinton praised Perry’s attitude and revealed an extra spur was provided at the Lincoln end, just to make sure the big striker was completely motivated:-

“There was something pinned up in the dressing room when we got there. It was a little bit degoratory towards Kyle. I wouldn’t have thought it was done by the staff or one of the players but if they’re doing that then it shows they’re worrying about them.”

According to Sinton, Perry needed no geeing up from him:-

“I looked at Kyle this week and I thought he seemed really, really hungry to play and sometimes scripts are written,”

Yes indeed, scripts are written. Mainly by Lincoln City, one way or another.

Monday, 27 February 2012

How was it for you?

Driving home on Saturday afternoon there were some very mixed messages coming out of BBC Lincolnshire’s after match coverage of Lincoln City’s game against AFC Telford including some fans who thought it was a good performance. Obviously football watching is a subjective experience, one fans good performance is another’s rubbish and a case in point would be Louis Almond who I thought looked a fair prospect, finishing apart. Others along the row thought otherwise.

This brings us to Mr Kyle Perry, subject to some rather unnecessary barracking from home fans, he is still our man at least for the moment. Kyle, for me demonstrated why somebody thought he was worth signing in a show full of effort, industry and of course a goal as well. He did rather make the mistake of celebrating fully in front of the Stacey West regulars when perhaps one of those full of remorse, sorry but I am a striker, don’t congratulate me, I had to do it type reactions that we see from time to time might have been more appropriate. The question is why didn’t we see more of this from the striker before?

David Holdsworth will no doubt say that is the reason he is out on loan and there would seem to be really no way back for Perry at Lincoln which begs the question, is it really necessary to clear out virtually all the players from the previous regime? Before you ask, yes, Gowling and Anyon are still with us although in this correspondent’s view that is not for the want of trying in Anyons case. Yet again we have a plethora of new faces to get used to. Are we better as a result of these changes? Well, City sit five points away from the drop zone and it is all starting to look a bit like last season, relative calm and a sort of a gap but this is not going to get any wider with any more performances like we saw at Sincil Bank on Saturday.

Talking of Saturday, we had the highly unusual situation of each side having a player on loan from the other actually playing in the game. Presumably, no names no pack drill, somebody thought the likelihood of Perry putting in a decent performance and scoring a goal was negligible when balanced against the advantage of having Williams in defence. 2000 City fans no doubt feared otherwise. As it happens Williams had a mare whilst, in this writers view, Perry put in a man of the match performance. What a surprise! A player with a point to prove who is looking for a contract busts a gut (no slight intended) in front of fans who are giving him a hard time. At least some of those fans were big enough to give Perry the reception his performance deserved when he went off shortly before the end but in terms of management of Lincoln City things are not going to get any better whilst debacles of this type are presided over. City’s position is far from secure despite the managers assured interview persona. The way things feel at the moment it may not only be Kyle Perry who has no future at Lincoln.

Friday, 24 February 2012

Imps in Saturday home game shocker.

Lincoln City embark upon a Saturday home league game for the first time since 7 January. There was an FA Trophy game since but the mind has a benign way of blotting out horrific memories. What with the fixture allocation and the weather you get the feeling that somebody up there doesn’t like us but of course we don’t need outside influences to bring misfortune on us, we’re quite capable of doing that for ourselves.

City stumble on, still smarting from that late late goal from nemesis, Steve Guinan and the loss of Conal Platt, accidentally injured in a behind close doors friendly in the week. Some friendly although no one at Sincil Bank is pointing the finger at the Doncaster Rovers player involved and the news on Platt is better than feared although a lengthy lay off will still be involved.

Saturday is a chance for City to put a points difference between themselves and AFC Telford, this weekend’s opponents, but not a rise up the table by much, Newport are a point ahead of the Imps but Tamworth are six points away. The snowdrops are out and the end of the season is not that far away so even more reason to try to get the home form on some sort of track. After a decent-ish sort of record previously, home form has taken a depressingly familiar look of late. Telford are iffy to say the least on the road so David Holdsworth will be looking to give us something to cheer about. The fans will certainly be hoping for some of the determination of the last home game but just one point will not send the supporters home with much of a glow.

City and Telford each go into tomorrow’s game in the curious position of having one of the opposition’s players in their ranks. That each player has been allowed to play in the game ought to let those players know their likelihood of getting a new contract ie no chance at all and indeed Robbie Williams was in today’s Echo saying how much he would like to sign for the Imps and if a contract was offered by the club he would certainly be likely to take that.

Kyle Perry is of course City’s misfit, now rejected by David Holdsworth for a second time so he really must be aware that his future lies elsewhere, maybe as a vocalist, most Imps fans will be aware that the big striker fancies his chances behind the microphone. City and their supporters will hope everyone will be singing off the same song sheet tomorrow and moving up through the charts and that really is enough terrible musical jokes for now.

Thursday, 23 February 2012

Lincolnshire this week.

Classic car fans have given a helping hand to the RSPCA by donating the proceeds from shows and raffles. Boston Classic Car Club donated £750 to the East Winch Wildlife Centre. The Butterfly Hospice also received £750.

Staying on the subject of Boston and local MP Mark Simmonds is in the naughty corner having failed to declare an interest when speaking in favour of the NHS reforms. The member for Boston and Skegness is paid £50000 a year as a strategic adviser to Circle Healthcare. He is parliamentary private secretary to Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman. The MP had to apologise to the House of Commons. That £50000 must have slipped his mind as it does when you’re busy.

84000 trees will be planted at Somerby Hill, Grantham to mark the Queens Diamond Jubilee. The wood will eventually cover 70 hectares and the first 2000 saplings were planted by troops based in Lincolnshire. The work is being supervised by the Woodland Trust.

Two second world war bombs have been detonated by the Ministry of Defence after being unearthed at the former RAF Manby site. Anglian Water workers made the surprise discovery on Monday.

Natureland, Skegness is hosting a rare visitor, a North Atlantic Puffin. The exhausted visitor is of a breed that can normally be found at this time of year off the Scottish coast. They then migrate to the Norfolk coast and the Wash in March. The bird was found in a distressed state on the beach. Staff at Natureland are hunting out the smallest sprats they can find to feed the Puffin in the hope it can be strong enough to be released and make its way down to join its colony in a few weeks time.

In a sure sign that spring can’t come too soon as our brains are getting addled due to lack of sunlight a Folkingham woman is looking for volunteers to take part in a world record attempt. Lorraine Wise is looking for 300 superheroes to dress up as Superman and take part in a three minute dance, the Rutland and Stamford Mercury report. The nonsense is in a good cause though as money will be raised for Lives First Responders. The record is 282 Supermen, set in Barcelona in 2010. The downside is the dance is to, you guessed it, “Superman” by Black Lace. Cringeworthy.

Lincolns tourism profile is to be boosted by a television marketing campaign centred on a new logo featuring the city’s fleur de lys emblem according to new group Visit Lincoln Partnership. The city already attracts £130 million by way of tourists and the partnership want to increase this by 5% year on year to get nearer to heritage tourism’s big hitters York and Bath. Emma Tatlow of Visit Lincoln said:-

"People don't know where we are or why they should come to the city, so this new branding is a way to represent Lincoln to visitors and potential investors,"

This was backed up by Phil Hamlyn Williams, Lincoln Cathedral Chief Executive:_

"I am very excited by the new branding. We'll be able to speak with a much clearer voice to draw people in.

Staying in Lincoln and the Brayford Pools harbourmaster, Keith van Bergen reckons the historic water feature should be re named Lincoln Harbour. Well it is in Lincoln and it is a harbour. Mr van Bergen’s suggestion was raised at a meeting of the Brayford Business Forum. He told Lincolnshire Echo:-

"I said at the meeting quite clearly that I personally would love to see it renamed as Lincoln Harbour.

He’s unlikely to get his wish though:-

"Renaming the Brayford Pool as Lincoln Harbour is an interesting idea but I doubt the name will ever change because of its history," said City Councillor Neil Murray, representing Carholme Ward and a member of the Brayford Trust. No doubt you have just checked your calendar. Yes it is still February and not April the first!

Whatever floats your boat have a good one this weekend.

Sunday, 19 February 2012

Have I got news for you? Chris Addison at the LPAC

What’s good about living in Lincoln? Silence. It’s not that the packed audience at the Lincoln Performing Arts Centre couldn’t think of anything, there’s quite a bit that’s good about living in Lincoln, top comedians like Addison performing in the city for a start. No, it’s more our reticence at blowing our own trumpet, we tend to leave that to our friends in the north. The comedian explained that if we couldn’t do better there wouldn’t be much of a show. What’s good about living in Lincoln? It’s not High Wycombe came the answer to general hilarity. Chris Addison knows a lot about High Wycome, it’s not as posh as it sounds for a start, as any Imps follower who has been to see the team play at Wycombe Wanderers will testify. Addison knows, or has found out a lot about Lincoln too and a good part of his set early on was testament to that. For some reason Addison and other comedians come to think of it regard Lincoln as quite posh actually, this comes as a bit of a surprise to us locals.

One would presume Addison is a bit of a lefty. The reaction of Lincoln to his political probing (there’s quite a lot of political probing) was probably symptomatic of the country as a whole, what do you think of the coalition government? Groan. What do you think of David Cameron. Groan. Just for balance, what do you think of the Labour opposition? Groan. One would presume Addison is a lefty but, having savaged the government and had a good go at our toff prime minister he then proceeded to tear into the opposition and Ed Milliband (groan) so if he is a lefty he hides it well, maybe he just likes to lampoon all sections of the establishment, he certainly does this with relish and good comedy effect. Liberals, hand wringers, tree huggers all given a good kicking.

At £20 a ticket, Chris Addison is not the cheapest act to go and see but the audience does get good value for money, he was on stage for over two hours and the joke per minute ratio is high, in fact it’s packed with well researched content and he manages to score a direct hit on a lot of targets. The audiences reticence started to lift as Addison asked for examples of fibs parents tell to their children, in fact we came in for praise for the amount of suggestions. Participants from the audience were treated kindly although when he asked if there were any teenagers in a girl behind us was given a bit of a rough ride. As the comedian said, he thought he’d priced teenagers and students out.

At his own admission, Addison is never going to fill a large auditorium by himself. There were seats to spare at this venue last time but not this. After this show it would be wise to get in quick the next time this performer is at the LPAC to ensure a seat. It would be unlikely that anyone at Saturday night’s show would want to miss his next appearance in the city.

Friday, 17 February 2012

A hard rain’s a gonna fall.

Hopefully this is it and we can look forward to a bit more fine weather and some sunshine but who would have thought we would have been celebrating an admittedly admirable double comeback against mighty Braintree Town quite so fulsomely. Nevertheless such a determination would probably have not been evident in last year’s team so let’s not be too churlish about it.

I have to admit I’m still coming to terms with the level that City are at and really unable to get tremendously excited about the points gained against some pretty humdrum opponents and a look at the results in league two still bring pangs of jealousy, pain even. Braintree Town, a self professed “pub team”. It’s hardly inspiring is it?

The Lincolnshire Echo doesn’t bring a lot of relief; I’m still in the process of getting to grips with the new weekly look and yearn for the old days of a daily paper but always realising the reason for the change and the fact that there will be no going back. I wouldn’t dream of cancelling my subscription, of course but it just seems that when you gather together a weeks worth of Imps news it always seem depressing! This weeks main offering “David Holdsworth fears summer exodus of top talent”. Top talent? Sorry, don’t mean to be unkind but have we got any top talent at the moment? Joe Anyon? Well it doesn’t seem five minutes since we wanted him out of the door. It wasn’t any of David Holdsworths doing of course but this is the goal keeper who couldn’t force his way past an Aston Villa trainee who a goodly proportion of lads in the Stacey West or Coop Stand would fancy their chances against in a penalty competition. Even Holdsworth himself left out our rejuvenated stopper for much of the time before realising Anyon is a decent keeper, certainly at this level but top talent? Presumably the reason Joe is still with us is because no one came in for him.

The good news, yes there is some, is that it would seem our “top talent” do want to stay with us. The bad news is, almost every other team seem to be prepared to pay more than City are to get them. We really should be starting to get used to it but the plain fact of the matter is, such has been the lack of inspiration at the fare on offer we really are non league in all respects, certainly in terms of gates where a two thousand plus attendance is starting to be a bit of a novelty.

Kidderminster away tomorrow, just to get back to discussing some football. Somewhat further than it ought to have been if memory serves correctly but on the other hand a very warm welcome from Kiddy fans and a good pint in the slightly surreal surroundings of the Severn Valley Railway Station bar where the sound of steam locomotives will punctuate your chat with the locals. There now. It’s not all bad!

Lincolnshire this week.

Councillors in North Hykeham are to discuss a proposed new road linking the end of the Lincoln Bypass with a new roundabout on Chapel Lane. The new road is very much in the embryonic stage but the idea is to alleviate the problems of heavy traffic and speeding, particularly on the outskirts of the town where many drivers seem to think they can go as fast as they like on Chapel Lane. North Hykeham’s old problem of identity is also to be addressed with proposed shops which are intended to give the impression of a community rather than a large suburb bolted on to Lincoln. Assuming the town council approve it then goes to North Kesteven District Council. Although the idea is that private money will be sought for the construction it is expected to be ten years before construction would commence.

Work has now started on another city centre hotel, the £6.5 million Premier Inn which is on the site of a former pub and filling station on Broadgate. The hotel will have 130 bedrooms and is expected to open this autumn. The hotel will use the adjoining multi-storey car park as there will be no direct parking on site.

Staying in Lincoln, quite literally, a prisoner has been coaxed down from the roof of Lincoln Prison where he had taken up a perch in a roof gantry. The lag, in an area reserved for unconvicted prisoners eventually came down of his own accord. Probably shepherds pie on the menu that day.

Boston and Skegness MP Mark Simmonds has hailed government plans to forbid cash being paid for scrap metal purchases. Home Secretary Theresa May has announced plans to bring forward a new bill to make it a criminal offence to pay cash for scrap, forcing dealers to keep better records of who they buy from. The Lincolnshire MP said: "People across Boston and Skegness are appalled by metal thieves and the criminals who deal in stolen metal.

"We need to protect business, the public and our national heritage from metal theft and that's why I am pleased to back the Government's action.

"It's right that the Government is stopping cash payments and introducing tough penalties to clamp down on the illegal metal trade."

Lincolnshire Police expect to sign a contract this week for a new custody suite as part of the ten year deal with G4S. The site of the suite is unknown and representatives of the boys in blue are tentative about the new arrangement, the Police Federation expressed doubts that the private sector would approach the task with the same sense of duty that regular police staff would but Barry Young, chairman of the Police Authority said:-

"They [G4S] are bringing to the table not only their expertise and new ideas but also some investment which we simply could not make ourselves,"

"That's precisely why we've entered into this strategic partnership with G4S.

"Our strategic partnership, certainly, is the first of its kind in the country and there is no doubt whatsoever that G4S hope that by having a showcase here they will get further business.

Faldingworth residents are up in arms about noise levels following controlled explosions at a nearby test site. Faldingworth Defence is a former RAF location now used to test fireworks and weapons and for storage. Resident David Humpage said they were being deprived of peace and quiet but a spokesman for West Lindsey District Council stated that “a detailed investigation had been carried out and the activities at the site do not constitute a statutory noise nuisance and as such no legal action can be taken against the site.” Locals are threatening to with hold council tax a move that has been understandably described as unlawful by the council:-

"full recovery action will be taken against anyone who fails to pay”

You have been warned!

That’s it for another week in Lincolnshire, hope your weekend goes with a bang wherever you are.

Friday, 10 February 2012

Lincolnshire this week.

It has been revealed that a policeman hurt at a siege incident in Sutton St James recently had in fact been shot in the face. The siege resulted in the death of Barry Horsepool, found dead in his property after an all day stand off. The officer was reported to have been slightly injured at the time but was found to have sustained a bullet wound upon examination in hospital, it has now been reported.

Agreement has been reached on managing the Humber Bridge debt which will mean tolls halving on the road to the North. Neighbouring local authorities have now decided how their share will be allocated after the government cleared approximately half of the substantial amount still owing provided councils chipped in. Patients travelling over the bridge to hospitals in Hull and East Yorkshire should be able to travel toll free.

A 39 year old from Stamford has completed an eating challenge by demolishing a nine pound fry up in just twenty six minutes. The challenge, popular in America, you may not be surprised to learn, was to consume the belly busting Kidz Breakfast at Jesters in Great Yarmouth in the shortest time. The snackette consisted of twelve rashers of bacon, twelve sausages and six eggs. Not surprisingly the concept has been criticised by heath do gooders anxious that such bad examples do not find their way across the Atlantic too often. Diner Robert Pinto told the BBC:-

"I've always been able to eat a large amount. The less fat you have on your body the more your stomach can expand.

"I've always made sure I stay fit and healthy. I'm not constantly going out and eating a large amount.”

Mr Pinto exercises regularly and has a thirty inch waist, at least he used to have.

Lincoln MP Karl McCartney has won an award for his campaign for more stringent treatment of uninsured drivers. McCartney is now Road Safety Parliamentarian of the month, an award granted by safety campaigners Brake and Direct Line. The charity points out that uninsured drivers are more likely to cause a crash than law abiding drivers.

Lincolnshire, like the rest of the country is in the grip of snowy and icy conditions, a constant source of amazement for many UK citizens who continue to drive as if it were August. As usual, the council and emergency services bear the brunt of the blame for the many accidents caused by unthinking and unprepared motorists. On Friday morning four schools were closed as a result of a few centimeters of snow. Nothing to do with the half term holiday starting on Monday by any chance?

Marc Jones, who serves on the board of Lincoln Business Improvement Group has suggested that a “kebab tax” should be levied on those businesses responsible for generating the most rubbish in the city, takeaways. The Tory councillor reckons the fast food joints should contribute £100 to £500 a month towards clean up costs. As usual the true perpetrators, the litterers themselves are not to be held to account.

Finally, Lincolnshire’s “food Oscars” took place at the Doubletree by Hilton Hotel in Lincoln. More than 170 producers were at the ceremony to see Redhill Farm, Gainsborough win the producer of the year prize. My favourite sausage and pork pie purveyor, no surprise to me that one. Minting Farm Meats took the growers award, Village Limits, Woodhall Spa was best hotel. Proof, if it were needed that Lincolnshire is the home of food excellence. I even saw Lincoln described as a foodie destination on an architectural report last week. As always, keep it to yourself though.

Enjoy your food and enjoy your weekend, in Lincolnshire or wherever you are.

City have an Iron in the fire as another game is called off.

Thinking back to last winters big freeze, Lincoln City were casting about for somewhere to practise, Villa was one club who came to city’s rescue offering the use of their indoor facility for training purposes. It’s easy to think, good for them, how the other half live. Then, last night listening to David Holdsworth on Imps player, he thanked Scunthorpe United for letting us play at their training complex. That came as something of a thunderbolt. Scunthorpe?

Looking back to City’s fairly recent past and that much derided championship whatever it was, 2010 or something initiative, where the aim was to give City the facilities to compete at that level and now of course here we are not only not in the championship but not even in the football league and Scunthorpe United graciously loan us their facilities. That statement is not in any way intended as sarcastic by the way, it was gracious of them but the point is they invested in facilities and really did play in the championship an achievement this correspondent would dearly love to emulate. Iron fans, so often the target of our over confident jibes are the big noise in Lincolnshire and as we beg scraps from their table they must have laughed their heads off when they heard that.

Rant over and another week goes by without a chance to see how our new signings will fit into the master plan devised by Mr Holdsworth to at least get Lincoln City back to some kind of respectability. Judging by the cold and the forecast Tuesday’s game must also be a doubt. If that is the case also of course many an Imp’s partner would have to do without her Valentines Day treat, there’s no end to the agony!

David Holdsworth was practically willing the postponement of the Hayes and Yeading game on the basis that it would avoid a six-thirty start in the morning and a battle through the Saturday traffic for the game down south. So much for grit and determination David. You should try being a fan! City’s players should not get it in their heads that the weather will deliver an unaccustomed day off though. Holdsworth confirmed that even though it’s not exactly business as usual the team will be working if not playing.

Holdsworth expanded upon the fragments we already knew on the situation at Sincil Bank when he arrived pronouncing the team more united now, that there were divisions that necessitated the departure of nine players, although of course most of that was as a result of the straitened financial circumstances:-

"You now only have to be in the dressing room for a couple of minutes before you start to see the mannerisms associated with a good dressing room," said the manager

"There is laughter, there is a lot of banter and there certainly seems to be good blend of youth and experience.

"We have got some very good characters in the dressing room now in Tyrone Thompson and certainly in Joe Anyon, who has been a big voice and that is what I want, they are enjoying it.

"Overall, the dressing room is a completely different place to when I first arrived.

"Players are arriving early before training doing weights and core stability work, relationships are forming and for a manager that's fantastic.

"Before it was very quiet, there were divisions in the dressing room and the previous manager didn't like some players, but liked others.

"That does happen, but it's the unhealthiest thing to happen to any dressing room.

"But I've been around long enough to know that if you have smelly cheese in your fridge you have to get rid of it."

There we have it then, the fridge is clear. When we fans will next be like the cat that got the cream is an entirely different matter.

Friday, 3 February 2012

Go Patriots!!

Years ago, when it was first shown on British TV I got a taste for American Football. I’d avidly watch the highlights show and would take the day after superbowl off as it ended very late. Live, the game is very long and drawn out being virtually formulated for the TV advertising market. The superbowl is a very big, if not the biggest TV event of the year in America.

Naturally, being a sports fan I wanted a team to follow. I stumbled upon a quirky team called the New England Patriots. They had an old fashioned stadium and they played on grass, which is unusual in the NFL. They played in Boston, Mass and they were absolutely useless. We were made for each other.

I followed the Pats for years and years as they failed sometimes heroically sometimes they just failed. One of the things that struck me was however rubbish a team might be the stadium was always full. Oh and they always played, whatever the weather.

Unusually for the USA where it’s normally survival of the fittest, there’s a sort of handicap system in place called the draft. The worst teams get first pick of the year’s crop of college players, they don’t have to accept the club but it does ensure that there’s some mechanism whereby underperforming teams can drag themselves up, it keeps all of the teams on a relatively even playing field.

My interest in grid-iron football has waned and I no longer stay up for superbowl. My team have however, shorn of the shackle of having me as a fan, prospered and, once again made it to Americas biggest day. I wish them all the best, which should have the effect of ensuring that the New York Giants are crowned champions. I do hope not.

Vote of confidence.

David Holdsworth was all over the Lincolnshire Echo on Thursday morning in rather self congratulatory mode citing his wheeling and dealing and in particular reducing the club wage bill. This was certainly needed and probably satisfied his remit with the club but, whilst the position viz a viz the teams performance in the league has slightly improved the overall perception as far as the fans are concerned is that there has been very little to get excited about. The FA trophy offered an opportunity to make progress, just for once in a knockout tournament but this produced a flat feeling as the team put in a pathetic performance at Sincil Bank followed by a deserved elimination away at Carshalton.

That “display” in the trophy produced an impassioned reaction at half time and again on the final whistle as first the chairman and the board and later Holdsworth himself came in for criticism from a section of the home crowd fed up with the underperforming players. Of course Bob Dorrian emerged as some kind of a saviour some days later as details of the rescue investment emerged particularly as, in the same week, Darlington almost went under after years of mismanagement practically brought down this once proud league club. As a once proud league club ourselves we know how they feel and, whilst mismanagement is perhaps too strong a word Lincoln City have not exactly covered themselves in glory lately.

So David Holdsworth gives a “you’d be lost without me” type interview but is he right? Judging by the reaction in the paper and the views in the stands the jury is very much still out. Holdsworth states his primary objective is to keep the club in the division and there won’t be any arguments with that but who’d have thought that would have been the situation when City were relegated. Bob Dorrian describes relegation as totally unexpected but there will have been few fans dismissing that possibility as the end of last season panned out in all its awfulness. What has been a surprise is the total inability to progress in the supposedly easier division we now find ourselves in and the disadvantage financially over a lot of the other clubs in the league that City are experiencing. The restructuring and re financing that is taking place now, welcome though it is particularly when compared with clubs that are failing is mere papering over the cracks though and what is needed is a team that can enthuse Lincoln football fans and bring them back to Sincil Bank in much larger numbers. Can David Holdsworth produce that team? As fans we can only hope he can and wish him well.

To more pressing matters now and City are at home to Braintree Town on Saturday. A game for the taking but we thought that about Kettering last Saturday didn’t we? With the cold weather we’ve been having the match must be a doubt but the club were reporting on Friday morning that there should be no problem.

As expected from our master of pack shuffling, deadline day brought a plethora of signings and more names to familiarise ourselves with and faces to recognise. The constant to-ing and fro-ing will presumably now cease and City can start the process of putting out a settled side and finally make some progress up the division so that at least fans can have a decent end of season and go into summer with some hope in their hearts.

Supporters will be wondering just what team will be put out. Presumably City will be keeping it in the family by playing Jefferson Louis up front with Richard Pacquette. That’s something that should provide some excitement. Again, presumably, Danny Lloyd will be brought on to further test tired Braintree legs later on. We’ll see. At least we have something to look forward to. Hopefully those stay away fans will judge there’s something to get their coats on for. City can’t be doing with another gate like the last home turnout.

A vote of confidence is something to be dreaded usually when delivered by the board. Quite what it means when the manager delivers an endorsement of his own performance is anyone’s guess but, as always we will await developments with interest. If the manager delivers success then we will forgive any vanity. The other question though is, after the last few seasons what is success?

Thursday, 2 February 2012

Lincolnshire this week.

We start with a slow news week story. Louth Leader has reported the discovery of hundreds of dead starfish washed up on Mablethorpe beach. Skegness resident Miss Fisher (!) called the Leader to report the find:-

“I was walking along the beach when I saw hundreds of dead starfish, rows and rows of them.

“I’ve never seen anything like it.”

A spokesman for the Marine Conservation Society confirmed mass strandings were common in winter time and it was likely that rough seas had dislodged them in large numbers.

In a masterly stroke of understatement, the Taxpayers Alliance have described Lincolnshire County Council’s paying £22000 a year in taxi fares to transport three students to college as “not good value”. The journeys, by students attending West Anglia College to study animal management have caused a row, the students contribute £298 towards their transport. County Councillor Patricia Bradwell pointed out, this being Lincolnshire there was no public transport to get the students to college.

Poor old Boston is top of the charts again. This one highlights that the town faces the greatest risk of flooding in the country, along with Skegness. As if the borough hasn’t had enough to deal with lately, residents now find themselves facing increased premiums or even refusal of cover for flood risk when insuring.

Somewhere definitely not at risk of flooding, not the top anyway, Steep Hill in Lincoln, recently voted Britain’s best street by the Academy of Urbanism has been celebrating the Year of the Dragon. In the first of a series of events held to celebrate the winning of the title, the Chinese New Year has been marked in traditional style. Traditional Chinese style that is with a dragon, appropriately enough, crackers etc. In a BBC TV report it was pointed out that the street provides employment for over 200 people, cause enough for celebration in these uncertain times.

The East Coast Target reports that police are to investigate abusive remarks made on Twitter about contestants in a brass band contest held at Butlins, Skegness. The comments posted during the Mineworkers Open Brass Band Festival also included pictures of competitors.

A restored lifeboat which was rescued by a Lincoln man is to take part in the Queens Jubilee Flotilla. The event, to mark the Queens Diamond Jubilee held on June 3rd will see around 1000 boats sail in a special pageant on the River Thames. The boat, which was destined for the scrapheap was originally one of ten lifeboats flanking the large liners of the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company. Named Lady of the Mann the 27 foot boat will be in good company. On the flotilla will be the royal barge, historic vessels and even a floating bell tower.

Two barber brothers are to branch out by opening new premises in Guildhall Street Lincoln in addition to their existing shop in West Parade. The brothers, Giovanni and Greg Viscomi, members of a family established for many years in the city are carrying on the business started by their father Salvatore in the 1970’s. Salvatore himself came from a family of Italian barbers and has now retired to Italy and the crimping brothers are hoping to continue the dynasty and will be offering a very traditional barber service from their new city centre salon.

Finally, something to cheer us locals up if not those of you abroad. A new micro brewery is to open in Bourne if South Kesteven Planners agree. Michael Thurlby and Simon Raines want to operate the brewery from a former tyre and exhaust centre in Bourne having decided against a similar venture in Stamford. Simon Raines is head brewer at Ufford Ales. He told the Stamford and Rutland Mercury:-

“After we got planning permission last June for the brewery in Stamford, we found that there were a couple of things that weren’t right with the premises and we decided not to go ahead with it.

“We are looking at leasing the premises in Bourne. This is an application for a change of use whereas the premises in Stamford had that, so it is more complicated.

“The Stamford one wasn’t sustainable but hopefully this one will be.”

Mr Thurlby already owns pubs and a hotel in the area so there are plenty of outlets for the new brews. Here’s to their very good health, and the business of course.

Hopefully you’ll be having a little tipple this weekend yourself wherever that may be. Cheers!