Ground Hopping: Consett AFC v Spennymoor Town FC

As some of you know, I am an anorak when it comes to football. I became eligible for membership of the “92 Club” about 3 years ago when I completed visiting all 92 football league grounds. since then I have turned my attention back to grass roots football and in particular my home town club of Spennymoor Town.

I used to watch Spennymoor home and away in the late 1970s and early 1980s. They are currently near the top of the Northern League which is 9 steps below the Premiership. On Saturday 26th February, they were playing away at Consett AFC who were 2nd in the table before the game and Spennymoor were third. A top of the table clash.

Consett is a town of 27,000 people, high on the edge of the Pennines in northwest Durham. In 1841, it was a village community of only 145, but it was about to become a boom town. Below the ground was coking coal and blackband iron ore. Nearby was limestone. These were the three ingredients needed for blast furnaces to produce iron and steel

During the 17th and 18th centuries, the Derwent Valley was the cradle of the British steel industry, helped by the easy availability of coal from Tyneside, and the import of high quality iron ore from Sweden via the port of Newcastle upon Tyne. However, following the invention of the Bessemer process in the 19th century, steel could be made from British iron ore (which was otherwise too heavily contaminated by phosphorus) and the Derwent Valley’s geographical advantage was lost, allowing Sheffield to become the leading centre of the British steel industry.

Now what is significant is that the Bessemer Process is connected with…..Spennymoor!

Consett is bleak at the best of times, and on a cold wet February day it is very inhospitable Still the game was on, so off I went to the game. It is probably 27 years since I last went to a game in Consett. Arriving some 15 minutes before the game, it was heartening to see the car park at the leisure centre which the football ground shares was full. Hopefully a decent crowd would be there.

The first thing I noticed was that there is only one entrance to the ground The last time I was at the ground there were at least 2  if not 3 entrances to the ground. The admission price is £5 and programmes £1. Far cheaper than the Premiership. Once through the turnstiles, there was a whiteboard with the team sheets written up for all to see.

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The entrance takes you into the main stand which these days is the only stand. Last time I was here, there was a 2nd stand opposite the main stand. This has been completely removed and no trace of it is left to the uninformed eye. The ground is very big, but apart from the main stand in undeveloped. There is a lot of open space that could be better used, perhaps if the pitch were moved, the extra land could be redeveloped. It did take me some time to realise this.

The game started in very heavy rain. A very hard fought game between two sides chasing the league title. There was a bizarre moment in the first half though when the game was held up whilst the goal net was taped back up.

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I don’t recall games at Old trafford being held up for this problem. Another difference from the Premiership games is that here, when the ball went behind the goal, the goalkeeper has to go running for it.

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Can you imagine this at a Premiership game? Its lonely being a goalkeeper at Consett.

Halftime came with Spennymoor trailing 1-0. Time for a cup of tea and a visit to the facilities. Easier said than done. There is one snack bar in the ground, but it does a good cup of tea. I never sampled the chips or pies, but plenty of others did and they looked good.

Finding the facilities was easy enough. There was a helpful sign on the back of the home dugout pointing the way.

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The facilities were a portacabin in the corner of the ground. The problem being that there was a locked door and no key. So the facilities became a wall up against which one could relieve themselves – just like the good old days at the Gallowgate End at Newcastle.

 

As the weather had been so bad in the first half, most of the 300 or so fans were in the main stand.This was a stand that must have been impressive in its hey day.

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The stand unusually has standing behind the seats and has clearly seen better days. In the last picture above you can see the stand has been reduced in length at some time. The ground itself was built by striking steelworkers.

The second half of the game brought a respite in the weather. As a result, I ventured out of the stand to behind the goal, along with half a dozen Consett fans. There were far more Spennymoor fans behind the other goal. They were rewarded with 2 late goals and an away win for Spennymoor. It was also Consett’s first home defeat of the season.

There were probably as many Spennymoor fans there as there were Consett fans. A swift departure from the ground at full time to avoid the crowds? No, to get home for the quiz night at Ryton FC – 2 grounds one day.

Tomorrow I’m off to Chesterfield’s new ground the B2net Stadium

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No Rest for the Wicked

Well since last Tuesday when I said goodbye (temporarily) to Michelle and Josh, I have had a busy time by my slovenly standards.

I cycled to work on Wednesday & Thursday (see post Toys for the Boys ). Wednesday night, I had company, with Matt & Lynne & their two children coming round for a takeaway and a few beers. Its hard to believe it was June since I’d last seen them when they had a party for the England v USA game at the World Cup Final. It was good to catch up with them. got to make sure its not another 8 months till we meet up again. A night out in Barnsley sounds a good idea!  good to see you Matt, Lynne, Karen & Chloe

Thursday brought a trip to our new offices. We are moving from our current office premises in April. We are moving from an 8 floor building overlooking St James’ Park in London to part of one floor of a building in Kingsway, London.

St James Park

ST JAMES’S PARK (above)

OUR NEW PREMISES (below)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The new premises are rather smaller. In fact, it is only about the same footage as one floor of our current premises. It will be cosy! Actually, I cannot fault the decision we cannot justify staying in our current premises. They are too big for our need and the cost is a saving that can be made to the public purse. it helps towards the 25% savings we need to make in our budget over the next four years. It will be a change to work in an open plan office though!

When we went on an organised trip to the new premises, it was interesting to find the security on the building refused our group access, even those who have security passes for the new building. This augurs well for the future!

Friday brought an early morning start to drive up to York for work. I was delivering an excel training session to some of the legal inspectors in our York office. This was a rather hastily prepared session as I had only 2 working days (including the day of the visit to the new premises) to prepare the session. Fortunately, I had some help in preparing the session from Josh – 11 year old children have their uses.

Driving into york, I was following a learner driver who seemed to have a phobia about using the brake pedal. They drove in such a way that they never needed to brake if the car in front slowed down. They never accelerated to more than 15 miles an hour and kept so far from car in front that friction would slow them down before hitting the car in front! No brakes needed

The session seemed to go down well. I thought it was going to be hard to make it last 2 hours. In fact it lasted about 3 1/2 hours instead. At least now those who attended the session know what Darlington’s highest and lowest attendances in the Blue Square Bet Football Conference were this season, as well as knowing Gateshead are the only team to have scored seven goals away from home this season.

I then had to drive from York to Newcastle to spend the weekend with Michelle. This was another trip with an interesting driver. For around 20 miles on the A68, I was following a car whose (female) driver whom seemed unable to drive over 25 mph and insisted on applying the brakes going downhill to go even slower. She then proceeds to slow down, indicate to stop , then drive on before anyone could overtake her. Some people should not be allowed near a car.

Friday night brought an evening of just Michelle & I – and as this  is a public blog, the details will not be revealed. Saturday brought a parting of the ways, Michelle went into Durham to meet my mother ( scary for me!) whilst I went to the last century to watch Spennymoor play in the land that time forgot @ Consett AFC in the STL Northern League (That trip is detailed in a separate post).

Saturday night was a pub quiz at Ryton FC to raise funds for the U11 football side Josh plays for. It was rather a good night, with our team winning the quiz and my winning a prize in the raffle. The quiz prize was a bottle of spirits and the raffle was a bottle of wine Smile I must give a mention to the quizmaster – Michelle’s father. No, we had not seen the questions and answers in advance! Its just that I am a genius and got a mind full of useless trivia! Oh did I tell you I’m the most modest person I know!

Sunday brought an early start for us. We decided to go to the coast with the dogs for a walk, then lunch etc. So, we left the house around 12 noon – well its early for us! We can waste time for England.

We made our way to Amble in Northumberland where we had a brief walk with the dogs round the pier, then the market. Sadly the market is not a match for Dagenham Sunday Market, either in terms of tattoos on display or number of pit bull type dogs.

Fish & chips for lunch Fish & Chips

not the cheesy chips the prefer in S*nderland Mackem Delicacy

Then it was onto Boulmer and a walk followed by seeing another Muppet driving. He stopped his Volvo, indicated left, then reversed towards our car. He then drove forward, stopped and as we pulled round him he drove forward again. Then stopped, then drove on, then tried to reverse again. A seriously dangerous driver, this time male.

Home and just time time for Michelle to make me some pizzas to take home with me tomorrow. Did I tell you this lady can really cook. Home made pizzas for lunch all week Smile. Michelle’s cooking is excellent and it is made better by the fact that it is all Slimming World recipes so low fat. (Can you tell me how pizza’s ,curries, jerk chicken, cheesecake etc. are diet foods?

So, its the end of another weekend, and tomorrow brings a week of work in Leeds sat in the Crown &/or Magistrates’ Court observing the quality of the advocates. Interesting you say? Well, I’ll tell you later in the week. Sadly, it of course means that another weekend on Tyneside is over and worst of all, its going to be nearly 3 weeks till I am back here.

Toys for the Boys

Well this week has been a busy one for me (more about that later in another post). After Michelle & Josh went home on Tuesday, I spent the rest of that night trying to set up my new toy Smile.

I invested in one of these

Garmin 800 DataGarmin 800 ImagesGarmin 800 Training Partner

Its a Garmin Edge 800 GPS/ Computer. Its a luxury item, but I like it. It is:

a) a normal bike computer

b) a heart rate monitor

c) a sat nav device

It enables me to plot the routes I am going to ride in advance and specify the route I want to take, it will then navigate for me and re plot the route if I go off route. It gives me all sorts of data during the ride and after the ride, the data can be uploaded to the internet and viewed in all details I want.

its a toy, but to someone as anal as me re data, it is great fun. I am hoping it will inspire me to more riding. It is easily portable between bikes and no calibration is needed, so its simple to use. It even turns itself on, if I forget to press the start button.

I managed 2 succesive days riding last week and as a result of trying to beat the virtual training partner, my rides were faster than others have  been. Me competitive? Never – LOL, I won against the computer Smile

Sadly, I am not going to be near a bike till the weekend at the earliest owing to work. I am also likely to be away again next week as well so no cycling then either Sad smile.

Like a Revolving Door

Well, Michelle and Josh have just gone home today after an all too brief stay here. They came down on Friday to London, as did Tom. Tom went home after the Arsenal game.

What did we do over the weekend? Well, I did not a lot. Friday night saw me cooking dinner for us. My culinary skills extending to making a lasagne. Yes – making it- no shop bought rubbish here, not even a cook in sauce used. Contrary to those rumours spread by many people, I do know where the cooker is and how to use it! Of course, the food needs to be washed down with a few bottles of wine. Good old Asda doing 3 bottles for £10 ( list prices £23). So, for £30 plenty of wine was  obtained for the weekend.

With having 3 visitors for the weekend, I had to purchase an airbed for one of them to use. Sadly, Tesco’s sold an airbed with a pinhole in it, so rapid changes to sleeping arrangements had to be made. This meant Tom sleeping on the sofa cushions. He evened volunteered to give up his bedroom for Josh. He’s a well mannered kid- he obviously takes after me!

Saturday brought a rather lazy day. A trip to Tesco to return the defective airbed and get a replacement turned into a £50 shop. I’m not quite sure how that happened! Good job I had £50 of Tesco clubcard vouchers to use.

Saturday lunchtime brought even more culinary skills from me. We had scallops & chorizo in lemon and garlic. Thanks for the recipe Nigella! There is a new man here – I’ll be exfoliating and moisturising next – oh wait, hang on, I already do that!

Saturday night was a bit of a mixed bag – avoiding dancing on ice/ x factor / whatever other reality show was on TV. Tom & Michelle sneaked off down the pub leaving Josh & I to watch the film The Warriors.

Sunday brought a real cultural experience for two country bumpkins in Michelle & Josh. I took them down to Dagenham Sunday Market to see the sights. The stalls sell the usual market goods, but the “customers” are a sight to see. There are an abundance of pit-bull type dogs. The women are either 20+ stones and showing too much flesh or covered in tattoos and feeding their faces on hotdogs or burgers faster than a starving Ethiopian would. In fact the women seemed to be all of these things.

AN ONLINE REVIEW OF DAGENHAM MARKET

This huge Market is a stark picture of how the other half lives. For it’s filled with thirtyish year old tired looking grandmas looking to buy stuff for their familes on meagre benefits.  There are no trendy stalls selling fancy cupcakes but if you want perfumes that smells like your expensive stuff, then this is a place to go. And if you love Chav clothes, then you will find it here.  They sell just about anything providing it’s legal so you won’t find pirated porn DVD’s or stolen bikes like one well known Sunday Market.
Meanwhile the stench of cheap burgers permeates a landscape that is strangely post industrial. You are probably wondering why I  shop here…. Well they sell cheap gillette razors for starters. Along with toiletries etc.
But when I walk down a double parked road surrounded by rusting scrap heaps. I’m grateful for what I have as this place is a 21th century version of the George Orwell classic “Road to Wigan pier.”

Then it was home and off to the match. (O’s v Arsenal). Michelle and Josh stayed at home whilst Tom & I went to the game. Michelle doing her bit as the great homemaker she is, preparing a Sunday roast for when I came home after the game. The roast was delicious- that girl can cook. I’m not sure how many she was expecting for tea though as there was enough Yorkshire puddings to feed an army.

Yorkshires

This was one portion of the same. No Aunt Bessie’s frozen Yorkshires or packet mix for Michelle. She like to go au naturale – and doesn’t use prepared foods either!

Monday was a day off work for me, as was today. So Michelle, Josh and I went up into Central London and visited the Imperial War Museum.  This is a most fantastic museum which is a history of Britain at War since around 1900. Obviously large sections are devoted to the First & Second World Wars. There is a great mock up of a trench in the First World War section and it helps bring home the horror those brave soldiers had to endure in the First World War. There are also sections about all the conflicts since 1945, including Korea, Vietnam, Aden, Suez, Falklands, Palestine, Kuwait, and Iraq. Sadly, we had insufficient time to spend sufficient time at these exhibits and also did not have time to look round the Lord Ashcroft Gallery – which is home to exhibits relating to Victoria Cross Holders – the bravest of the brave. We were thrown out of the museum as it closed – the day was not long enough to do it justice. Victoria Cross

Today, I took Michelle and Josh to Kings Cross and left them at 14:20 at the ticket barriers to get on the 14:30 train to Newcastle on Platform 0. So at 14:40 I was a little surprised to get a phone call from Michelle telling me she had missed her train. She had managed to get on a train at Platform 1, which was the 15:00 train to Newcastle. The problem was that their tickets were only valid on the 14:30 train and no other train! Fortunately for Michelle, she managed to avoid the ticket collector on the train back to Newcastle and did not have to pay a huge sum to purchase a new ticket.

Tonight after getting home, I now have more visitors coming tomorrow night for a meal and a few drinks. Friends from Barnsley are down in London and staying nearby, so it seemed rude not to meet up with them. So, I’m looking forward to seeing Lynn, Matt & family tomorrow and a few drinks and a takeaway (The new man persona has disappeared!)

Up the Arse Again–Next Week

Of course I am not being rude or suggestive in my choice of thread title. I am obviously referring to the fantastic achievement by Orient in holding Arsenal to a draw at Brisbane Road in the FA Cup 5th Round on Sunday.

To put the achievement into context, Orient had already achieved more than Chelsea, Liverpool, Newcastle United, Tottenham and other Premiership sides by getting to the 5th round.

Arsenal have a squad that cost million of pounds to assemble and has a worth in today’s transfer market of in excess of £200 million. Orient’s squad cost £0 and at least 3 of the squad are on loan from other clubs.

Whilst Arsenal players get paid £20,000+ per week, Orient’s players earn far more modest salaries. In fact a recent past Orient captain was having lunch with his kids in the local greasy spoon cafe before the game. Can you imagine Tony Adams or Patrick Vieira doing the same at a greasy spoon cafe around Finsbury Park? No, neither can I!

Arsenal are some 2 divisions above Orient and some 50 + places. The feeling in the cafe and on the street was how many would Orient lose by. most orient fans would be happy to keep the score below five and hopefully a goal for Orient to cheer.

Just before the game kicked off, the draw for the sixth round was made, and it paired the winners of this tie with Manchester United away at Old Trafford. The ultimate glamour tie in front of 75,000 people. Shame there was no chance of Orient winning against Arsenal.

The game started and Arsenal were majestic in passing the ball around the pitch. They completed a record number of passes in a football match. However, it was not until early in the second half that Arsenal took the lead. Game over surely?

Well, the Arsenal never scored again, but did hit the post once. Orient brought on their French headless Chicken, who has the touch of a donkey with a bad leg; John Tehoue. With about 2 minutes left, he ran through 2 Arsenal players and drilled home a great shot to sent 7600 or so Orient fans into a state of excitement I’ve not seen in 10 years watching the O’s.

So, its off to the Emirates Stadium on Wednesday 2nd March for the replay. Sadly I’m away on work that day and at this stage do not know if I will be able to go to the game. All of East London will be hoping that Orient can put it up the Arse once again.

For the game at Orient, ticket prices were £20 for adults and £13 for those under 21 years old. For  the replay between the same sides, Arsenal are charging £34 for adults and those over 16 and £14. Its rather a big increase 70% for adults, 161% for 16-21 year olds and 8% for children. Premier League? Its a rip off. Arsenal need to charge these huge prices to the fans to pay their poor impoverished players a minimum of 20,000 per week.

Up The Arse? – I Hope Not

Well, it’s the FA Challenge Cup 5th round Weekend.  Although, there are still some 4th round ties to be concluded. Chelsea lost at home to Everton in a 4th round replay today. That was a shock result. Manchester United won at a canter against Crawley Town. I’m not sure they even broke sweat.

However, those results will pale into insignificance if the result goes right at Leyton Orient. The reality is that it is likely to be Arsenal winning by at least 4 or 5 goals, if not more. All Orient can realistically hope for is not to embarrass themselves.

The ground at Orient can only holds 9271 fans, according to the Football Fans Guide .  personally, I think the capacity is nearer 7500. Arsenal have only got around 1500 tickets, the rest of the crowd will be supporting the O’s.

I’m sure we will hear the usual chants on a big FA Cup day of:

“I’m Orient till I die”

and

“We’ll support you ever more”

The same people singing those songs will of course not be there again this season. It’s funny how EVERY club attracts these glory seekers. I’m not sure what glory they expect seeing Orient get hammered by the side who this week beat Barcelona. The fact that the game is on TV also hasn’t deterred them. I wonder where these glory seekers were when Orient played at home to Brentford in September in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy in front of 1,152 people of which 204 were away fans. Thus only 948 Orient fans turned up then, of which I was one. Similarly in the League Cup in August 2,489 fans attended of which 626 were away fans, leaving 1,863 Orient fans.

Even in this season’s FA Cup, in the 1st round replay in a local derby against Dagenham & Redbridge FC 2,901 fans attended of which 694 were away fans, leaving 2,207 Orient fans . Then in the second round replay at home to Droylesden, a crowd of 1,345 turned up, of which 69 were away fans, leaving 1,276.

I wonder what their excuses were for not attending those games? Washing their hair etc.?

On a similar point, Crawley Town today took 9,000 fans to Old Trafford for their tie against Manchester United. Good support for a non-league team you say. It is especially good when you consider their highest home gate of the season was 3,331 and their average attendance was 1,938. Funny where the extra 7,000+ have crawled out from isn’t it?

Anyway, its time to go as there is still some wine left to be drunk before the night is out. I’m psyching myself up for tomorrow by watching that classic 1970’s film The Warriors. Time to hit the vodka next I think

Orient-Badge

Happy Days

 

The Weekend Comes

Yes, its a Friday and the weekend is here.

This is going to be a great weekend. Yes, Leyton Orient host Arsenal in the FA Cup 5th round on Sunday. Leyton orient whose team cost £0 to assemble and includes several players on loan from other clubs and a total wage bill less than some Arsenal players earn alone. This week Arsenal beat European Champions Barcelona in front of 60,000 in the Champions League. Whilst this was happening, Orient were playing away in League 2 to MK Dons in front of 6,000. This was far more than Orient normally play in front of. They often play in front of 3500 – 4000 at home games.

This game is a 7,000 sell out crowd and will be the biggest gate at orient since the ground became an all-seater stadium.

flats at Orientleytonground

I’ll bet that even these flats are packed and the balconies are full on Sunday. Leyton Orient sold off the 4 corners of their ground in recent seasons to enable flats to be built. Some of these flats have balconies overlooking the ground. I’m not aware of any other ground like this.

However, an even better prospect that the thought of an orient win over Arsenal ( a fantasy I know), is the fact that this weekend I’ve got a full house as Tom is coming down tonight as are Michelle & Josh. Tom is going back home on Sunday night after the O’s game, but M & J are staying until Tuesday. I am really looking forward to spending some quality time here with them all. In fact, I really should be cleaning and cooking rather than typing this blog post. I know she will be inspecting the house when she arrives.

This house needs the touch of a good female. Actually, it needs the touch of a decent handyman and a good cleaner. Its me who needs the good female.

.I have been shopping today for essentials for the weekend. I’ve got 6 more bottles of wine from Asda for £20.oo (list price £43.00). Now I know they won’t last until Tuesday, especially with Tom down as well! Yes Tom, I am accusing you of being a drinker. [ BTW Tom, you know your grandparents are away again this weekend and its a relative’s birthday – I fear the state they will be in or the things they will  get up to]

Well, must go now and get preparing the house. Michelle’s train is due to leave Newcastle in 25 minutes Smile I’ve checked already on the website and the trains are not delayed. Tom is meeting me at Kings Cross/ St Pancras then its pick M&J up and home for a candlelight supper with lots of wine Open-mouthed smile.

Hurry up and get here you three.

Their Own Worst Enemy

I’ve spent most of the last two weeks in Magistrates’ Courts. No, they’ve not caught up with me- I’m still one step ahead of them. Hope I’m not tempting fate and the net is closing in on me!

No, seriously, I have been doing some advocacy observations on some of those presenting cases on behalf of the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS). At work, one of the current inspections we are involved in is a follow up to our 2008/9 Advocacy Inspection. Since that inspection took place,  associate prosecutors ( not lawyers) are now able to conduct trials for non-imprisonable offences. In practice in London this means the more minor road traffic offences, e.g. Using a Mobile Phone Whilst Driving, Failing to Provide Details of the Driver, No Insurance etc.

These cases are invariably involving un represented defendants. There were a number of the cases I observed where if only the defendant had taken legal advice they would not have wasted their time and money with a trial. For example last week, a gentleman facing a speeding charge. The evidence against him was a speed gun and the word of an experienced police officer. The defence was “I didn’t know I was doing that fast”. He was offered a fixed penalty ticket at the road side (£60 fine and 3 penalty points). He refused this, took the matter to trial, was convicted as he had no defence and found himself facing a fine and costs of nearly £500 as well as the 3 points. Even if he had paid for a solicitor to give him 30 minutes of advice ( more than it would take), he would have  saved himself a fortune.

Another gentleman was facing an allegation of using a mobile phone whilst driving. He managed to convict himself and end up with a penalty of £350 plus 3 points instead of a fixed penalty ticket of £60 and 3 points. Why? Well firstly at the roadside he refused to accept the ticket that was offered. Then his attitude in court was one of arrogance and rudeness. He turned up late for court, then demanded his case was heard in the morning despite other cases being ahead of him (cases called on in the order defendants arrived at court). Then during the evidence he ignored the court clerk and failed to advance any defence at all. Whilst the first example was perhaps through ignorance, the second was caused by the arrogance of the defendant.

Its not just the defendant’s who have attitude problems in court. I saw at least one case where the defendant was acquitted. The only reason I could see was the court did not like the attitude of the sole prosecution witness, a very shifty police officer who seemed to take offence at being asked questions by the defence. This police officer presented the attitude that if he said an offence had occurred no one had the right to question that.

In another case, the defendant ( D) was a facing an allegation of driving otherwise than in accordance with a licence. He was a foreign national living in London. He had a driving licence from his home nation. The case turned on how long he had been “resident” in the UK. If he had been resident  more than one year, his home nation licence was not valid. he had been in Up on and off for 2 years, but only got formal permission to remain here  7 months before the alleged offence. He gave evidence via an interpreter that he thought the 12 month period was from the formal permission to stay. He gave evidence he had been advised that by police officer at a named station ( not the officer in this case). He also produced a print out from the home office website which equated the permission to stay with residency.  It also transpired during the trial that D had got a full UK licence 12 months after the formal permission to remain had been granted.

Not surprisingly the magistrates gave the benefit of the doubt to D. He had tried to comply with all the relevant laws. Upon hearing the verdict the police officer in the case stormed out of court in a manner that would have had a civilian facing a contempt of court allegation. Quite why he reacted this way is not clear. The magistrates had accepted his evidence in full and were not challenging his credibility. He by his own action has probably ensured that next time he is before that bench of magistrates, they will not be looking favourably upon him or his evidence.

All the people referred to here have made pratts of themselves. They have made their situations worse as a result of their actions.

I’m sure that in each and every one of these cases, the person did not think about how their actions would impact upon them.

Sponsor Me? These Have

As you know, I need to raise approximately $1800 for the Police Unity Tour bike ride this may.

So far, I have received donations from the following:

Russell Jones & Walker £250.00

Admiral Insurance £300.00

Virgin Media £80.00

Argos £20.00

Excess of Expenses* £60

TOTAL £710 (approximately $1065)

* Excess of expenses – I am entitled to set amounts of expenses when working away from home, to cover meals etc. This amounts to a maximum of £26 per day to cover all meals, phone calls etc. when staying away for 24 hours. By prudent spending (namely Wetherspoons pubs for meals) I have managed to underspend some expenses and will be donating them to the Police Unity Tour fund.

Why have the other companies donated to my fund raising? These are all companies that I have had cause to raise complaints about customer service with. They have made offers of compensation which I have accepted and added to the Police Unity Tour fund. It goes to show how much compensation customers could be claiming for poor service etc..

How do you sponsor me?

a) give me cause to make a complaint or sue you

b) the easier way is to go to www.firstgiving.com/peterbennett and making a donation. You will need to use a credit card and the amount is in dollars £1 = $1.5 approximately)

c) Send me a cheque. If you want me postal address, then email me at spen666 @ hotmail.com

Listen to Bob Geldof and take the hint

GIVE US YOUR MONEY