Recently a mate asked how many times I had been to Britain and or Europe, and when I answered ’20’, he said I should write a book.
I’m not in the mood for that, and for those who follow this website, you will be aware that I regularly post stories from those travels.
But, with time on my hands, with this ‘Chinese flu’ keeping my wife, Marie and I largely housebound, I thought I would file a 20 part series on those trips, under sub-headings.
October 1986 to December 1986.
England and Wales
PURPOSE OF TRIP
To cover Kangaroo rugby league tour for Brisbane Telegraph (afternoon) newspaper. Australian side coached by Don Furner, captained by Wally Lewis.
Malvern Hills, Worcestershire.
Fish and chips at Whitchurch, Hampshire.
MOST MEMORABLE MEAL
Sardines at Flying Pizza restaurant, Leeds.
FIRST PUB/BAR STOP
Blue Boar, Longworth, Oxfordshire.
BEST PUB/BAR STOP
Whitelocks, Turks Head Yard, Leeds. A classic Leeds’ alleyway pub, with an ornate interior.
ONE SPORTING EVENT
First Rugby League Test, Old Trafford, in front of a then record crowd of 50,583. Wally Lewis was man of the match, but he thought Gene Miles should have got the award.
EVENT OTHER THAN SPORT
Sing-a-long in a London Pub on my last night in the UK. Stayed at Sherlock Holmes Hotel in Baker Street.
Ilkley Moor, above Wharfedale.
MOST UNUSUAL EXPERIENCE
Dinner at the Leeds’ home of BBC Humberside commentator, Peter Ward, watching award winning rugby league documentary, ‘Another Bloody Sunday’ with the likes of Australian journalists, John McCoy and Robert Smith, and Ray Fletcher from the Yorkshire Post. ‘Another Bloody Sunday’ told the story of struggling club, Doncaster from South Yorkshire. It’s well worth a look on You Tube.
FIRST THING OF NOTE ON DAY ONE
A walk in a Berskhire wood with my wife, Marie, who accompanied me for the early part of the trip.
1 Great Malvern, Worcestershire
2 1986 First Rugby League Test, Old Trafford
3 Rugby League Week’s Tony Durkin (foreground) with the BBC’s Peter Ward behind him – the gentleman with the white moustache, not the chap with the cigar
4 Ray Fletcher beside the beck (brook) which ran past his place in Leeds
5 Australian journalists (from left) Geoff Prenter, Peter Frilingos and Alan Clarkson enjoying the delights of Wharfedale.