The View from the Bar 

  Afternoon! Our last scheduled home outing, against Alresford at the end of November, fell foul of whichever storm it was passing by that week, and usually after a postponed match I try and recycle as much of my column as possible for the next game. Can’t do that this time, as I’d managed to NOT write one that week (life being such a hectic whirl). So here goes, all new just for today (no quality assurances given…). Pete Jeffery programme ed, must be chuckling – I played my ‘sorry, can’t do it’ card on a blown-out fixture. Rats…

  It’s been a while since I examined the goalposts at Westwood, I have to admit. But I’m tempted to, after our last home match. The number of chances we had that came back off the woodwork was remarkable for one game, and I’m tempted to say that if we had round goalposts instead of square at least a couple of them would’ve gone in. Having said all that, thinking about it I’m pretty sure we do have round goalposts already, so if we could find a way to be just c.1% more accurate with our shooting I’m pretty certain the wins will be flooding in shortly…

  It’s been largely quiet of late as far as picking up new bits and pieces for the club programme and ephemera collection goes, but this week I did take delivery of something of a rarity – a St. Helens v Cowes Reserves programme from the start of the 1984-5 season. It seems incredible now, but there were probably a dozen or more sides on the Island producing tidy little programmes in the mid-80’s, but it’s not very often that one from St. Helens turns up. Frustratingly, the Cowes team is listed as ‘to be announced’, as one of the joys of acquiring these bits is letting the names start a train of reminiscence, but it’s still a very welcome addition to the collection.

  Speaking of which, just before Covid hit we’d started talking about the possibility of holding a ‘memorabilia day’ up here at Westwood, probably before a 1st Team fixture, to give everyone the chance to enjoy some of the goodies amassed by the likes of the aforementioned Pete Jeffery and myself. Hopefully at some point in the not-too-distant future, when there are fewer germs around, we can re-life this idea. And it might even bring a few other gems to light, if people have a dig around. I’d welcome your feedback on this idea, and if there’s anything you’d like to see more of in the programme, just say…

  Hmm, Covid. New restrictions but, since we’re just about coming in under the 5,000 gate mark I don’t think there’s any direct impact on us as a club, or our matches. Please keep in mind the guidance about social distancing and whatnot though. There’s a good few people who haven’t come to any of our matches since the pandemic started, and quite a few more that have but who are sensibly taking things very cautiously and carefully. Strange times.

  The club are still looking for a permanent replacement for the retired Mick the Mic as matchday announcer. I’m especially keen to get this resolved since I seem to have been landed with the filling-in duties where I can…. So, if you’ve had enough of my dull, monotone drawl over the P.A., have a word with any committee member and we’ll be more than happy to let you have a bash. And club legend status is almost guaranteed…

  While I think of it, I think there’s just about still time to pick up tickets for the Christmas raffle – ask in the bar today (and while you’re in there, why not treat yourself to something to keep the cold out…

  So, Christmas is still a fortnight away but this is the last of these columns before the yuletide, so here’s wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and (although I’ll get another chance to say this bit) a happy and healthy new year too, and I look forward to seeing you all here for the Moneyfields game on December 28th (I expect the Cowes Balkans are looking forward to that one, too…)

  Merry Christmas everyone, and enjoy the game!

           Toby

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