- 14 Feb 2003
- Reaction score
- Walton on Thames
Getting on for nearly 2 years since we were last in Blackpool you can imagine the excitement of a couple of nights away in the height of the Summer season with a trip to Old Trafford to boot, with the TW8’s pitting themselves against some of earliest dressers in England – Manchester’s Perry Boys, to say I was excited would be an understatement.
I had a play list for the car ready that consisted of mainly dance and trance music to get us in the mood on the way up and baggy / northern soul / brit pop on the way back when we would be feeling somewhat more mellow. I opted for:
We were representing London in the north so it was important to look our best, especially as Blackpool were hosting Burnley in a friendly so there was the possibility, we might bump into some chaps on our night out. I was on driving duty for this one – every lad must do his bit etc. Pointy landed at my house at 16:30 and by 16:40 we were loaded up and ready to go. We drove 25 minutes up the road to Milton Keynes Central station to pick up Sir Nick of Logan. Tunes turned up (starting with 808 States Pacific State dance classic) Pointy and Sir Nick got stuck into #cans whilst we bombed up the M1 music blaring with 3 of London’s finest football casuals onboard, the retro feel of the near 20-year-old Mini capturing the mood perfectly.
- Adidas Trimm Trabb
- Aquascutum Shorts
- Benetton Polo
- ELLESSE Quarter Zip TIE Dye Jacket
- ELLESSE Hallan Bucket Hat (Tie Dye)
Other than the great soundtrack the journey up was relatively uneventful, with the exception of the four lots of biblical rain we had to drive through. Piss stops were done at Norton Canes and Charnock Richard and before you knew it we were only a few miles away from Blackpool itself. Sir Nick was like an excited schoolboy when the first glimpse of the iconic Blackpool Tower came into view 5 miles from our destination and with a soundtrack of Debbie Harry do her thing to Atomic we parked up next to our Hotel the Norwood Hotel for Groups at 20:30.
This was the first time we had used this hotel, having selected it on the basis of its inexpensive price point – a mere snip at £16 per person per night including Breakfast for a treble room with single beds. TBF the Chelsea and Glasgow Rangers fan pictures that are plastered all over their website should have given us a clue – this Hotel should have been renamed the Norwood Hotel for Chaps as for the chap element of any football it was perfect.
We dumped the bags in the room and all headed downstairs to the 24-hour bar for our first Blackpool pint, myself and Sir Nick opting for Strongbow and pointy for something else that I can’t remember. Our host was a 61 year old Barnsley chap who’s name I can’t remember but who was of the mindset that basically anything goes and just have a good time. We chatted a bit of football and told him about the friendly the following night.
Anyway by 21:00 we were walking towards the classic Castle public house. As we went, I looked down one of the side roads near our hotel to see a woman barely in her 20’s struggling with four kids walking past an abandoned sofa, I thought about taking a photo for the repot as nothing screamed Blackpool more than this scene but thought I would look a bit strange and carried on. We walked past a group of hammered teenage girls being lairy in the street (not to us) and made our way into the Castle. Given the recent bumper freedom weekend the pub had sold out of Strongbow an hour before we arrived and most of the fridges were looking a bit bare so we had a pint of dark fruit and reminisced about some of the great times we have previously shared in there such as the time a coach load of Owls Crime Squad landed on us first thing in the morning (they did nothing fortunately) or the time the house DJ verbally abused all of us in front of about 200 people. We could not reminisce for too long though as we had another amazing pub to go to, namely one the greatest pubs known to man, Ma Kellys North Shore.
We bowled into Ma Kellys at about 21:30, knowing we had 3.5 hours drinking in this place. We were joined by two more Bees in the shape of Paulo Bee and a non GPG Bee. The five of us sunk 7 pints of Strongbow over the next 3.5 hours and generally had a great time, I was enjoying myself so much that myself and Paulo Bee decided the dance floor needed some casualness and we decided to throw a few shapes. 9 pints in and a few blue shorts later (I have no idea what they were) and with the time fast approaching 01:00 in the morning we drank up and made our way to a little Australian themed bar called Walkabout. The place was doing a roaring trade, the Ozzie’s sure know how to have a good time and we knocked back another 4 pints of Strongbow whilst collectively looking the best chaps in there. Regrettably all good things must come to an end and Paulo Bee and his mate were feeling it – they had started drinking before us. So, we said our goodbyes and myself, Nick Logan and Pointy made our way next door to the Crazy Horse Saloon bar next door – with a tagline that said the West just got a whole lot wilder it seemed like our kind of place.
Given it was 03:00 in the morning the place had thinned out somewhat. That did not deter us as we sank another couple of Strongbows in there. The only thing I really remember about this bar was that there was a strange fat Eastern European bloke in there smoking a cigar and dressed completely in red. Sir Nick obviously took the surroundings a little too literally and nearly and nearly got a bit wild west after things got heated, we figured at this point it was probably time to head back to the Hotel Bar for more drinks so we staggered out the bar into the waiting taxi and headed back.
We got back the hotel bar at 04:00 and had a couple more Strongbows for the road whilst chatting about the Barnsley five O firm with our host, 15 pints in and the guard had slipped somewhat and the talk had turned from football tactics earlier (how do you think you will do next season etc) to reminiscing about the golden age of the football casual in the 80’s and 90’s with our host. Our host almost seemed disappointed when we decided to go to bed at 05:00 (after finding out that any kebab shop nearby was shut at that time of night) but needs must we had to be up for the small window for breakfast between 08:30 and 09:30.
3.5 hours later we were all awake – After 17 pints I felt pretty dreadful, so I let Pointy and Nick go and have their breakfast and I got myself ready. Mixing it with Manchester’s finest we had to look the part so had a shower and a shave and I opted for:
I headed down for my breakfast at 09:25 opting for:
- Adidas Stan Smith
- Aquascutum Shorts
- Benetton Polo Shirt (a different color to the one I had the day before)
- Lyle & Scott rain jacket
- Sergio Tacchini Bucket Hat
It was a buffet eat as much as you want and tasted amazing, even after a skin full and only 3.5 hours sleep. Breakfast demolished myself and Sir Nick headed out whilst Pointy had a shower etc. We jumped in a taxi on the sea front and opted for our first pint of the day at the New Albert pub which was now owned by Ma Kellys and marketed as a Sports bar. It was 10:00 in the morning and already it was doing a reasonable trade. Myself and Nick enjoyed our first pint of Strongbow on the benches outside the pub and watched the world go by. There was a family from Ulster on the table next to us and a bloke in his late 60’s also having his first pint of the day. Just as we finished our first pint Pointy arrived, so we went inside and Nick Logan and Pointy played a game of pool. We were impressed by a couple of local woman who were also knocking pints back like it was going out of fashion early morning, a scene you just would not see in a London boozer at 11:00 on a Wednesday morning. I was chatting about drinking to the bloke behind the bar who had recently been taken to hospital after drinking too much at his mate’s stag do. Outside the window a group of tracksuit clad smackheads walked past – with the Strongbow flowing it was a good time to be alive.
- Fried Egg
- 2 Sausage
- 1 hash brown
- 4 bacon
- Orange Juice
Four pints later we weighed up walking 10 minutes to the Gallant Pioneer and then ordered a taxi there. Since we had last been there the place had, had a makeover with the whole thing being refurbished, doubling in size and a new outside roof terrace being opened. Again, it was doing a fair trade and the owner was delighted to see us. He gave us a full tour of the pub and explained that even when the Jocks played England in the Euros the place was packed out and everyone was supporting England. He seemed especially proud of the toilets which were more Ritz than Blackpool. We took up our table by the Gazza picture and carried on drinking. We watched one bloke lose a score in the fruity with his three children watching and then him leaving the pub straight after – no day out at the pleasure beach for his offspring we thought. Whilst drinking ciders we also opted for a jug of the house special drink called Venom. I don’t know what’s in this drink other than lots of alcohol, but the last time we drank it Druggie got turned away at the turnstiles of Deepdale and was not seen again until the early hours the following day when some Brentford youth found him in a Preston kebab house having missed his train home to London. We also had a chat about Chap Mudder. Similar to Tough Mudder but basically just getting on it in Blackpool everyday for a week. We all agreed that whilst we may not excel at physical sport, chap mudder might be right up our street. With the time approaching 15:00 and having consumed 10 pints each (well 9 for Pointy) and a jug of Venom, thoughts turned to the match, so we left the pub having a good sing song and started heading towards the north shore. We decided to pop into Duttons for a quick one for old times’ sake before getting a taxi to Ma Kellys for one final drink before the train to Manchester.
Ma Kellys was buzzing even though it was only 16:00 on a Wednesday afternoon. We had another pint and went to the station via Sainsburys but missed our train to Manchester so had to wait till 17:00. Pointy was struggling by this stage so went on the water whilst myself and Sir Nick hit the #cans (3 each) and ate a few of Pointys crisps (appreciate eating’s cheating but it was a moment of weakness). We spent most of the journey listening to Andy Swotdog Layng’s chap anthem the Road to Sheshlehem on repeat (I’m not sure what the rest of the carriage thought but we were having a good time listening to SwotDog talking about being in love with the session.
We landed in Deansgate at 18:15 and headed to meet Paulo Bee and a few other non gpg Brentford chaps in the Albert Schloss pub. They did not have Strongbow and given the lack of practice I too was struggling at this stage. We only stayed for one and got a taxi to Old Trafford, Sir Nick had a sleep in the cab and I just concentrated on not being sick. We got out and headed to Old Trafford walking through the crowds of Mancs.
We got to the ground at 19:45 and made our way to the front right of the away stand with 50% of the other Brentford chaps. Rebus came over to say hello. As you might expect I was completely disinterested in the match itself and spent the whole of the first half trying to look as casual as possible whilst eyeing up the Mancs in the stand to our right. Given the Red Armys fearsome reputation and the Perry Boys reputation for dressing, to say I was disappointed would be an understatement – maybe I should give them the benefit of the doubt as it was a friendly, but it was almost up there with MK Dons level of chapness (not good to the uneducated).
The first half went by in a blur and at halftime I went downstairs and said hello to fellow dresser GP200 and Nocoat. Myself and Nocoat spoke about the football museum in Manchester and Nocoat introduced me to his son who’s name I can’t remember but I do recall him putting his old man to shame in the dressing stakes looking very dapper in a buttoned up Fred Perry. It will only be a couple of years and he will be binning his old man off and going on awaydays with us lot I thought to myself……….
By now I was now beginning to feel a little bit more human as we made our way back down the front for the second half and I did my best confident walk to the seats hoping that the Mancs were watching. The chaps started to drift away and with 20 minutes left it was only myself, Sir Nick and Pointy left. We figured we might as well stay till the end and made a big thing of clapping Thomas Frank and the boys at the end who came over to clap the chaps that had made the trip.
With the final whilst blown it was time to head out and as if by magic as we left the stand we were joined by another load of Brentford’s chaps. With our numbers up to about 10 the cry of no passengers and no runners echoed through the Manchester air as we made our way outside. We stopped at the programme stool for the matchday magazine which was a sterling effort to be fair (a shame their chap element could not live up to the quality of the programme) and I made a point of loudly telling the Manchester Old Bill and anyone else that would listen that we were London’s best dressed.
A five-minute walk later we flagged down a cab and were transported to Manchester Piccadilly station. Having been off the drink for a few hours it was time to make up for lost time so we purchased 3 cans each of Strongbow for the way back to Blackpool and then caught the 22:35 train back.
This train really was the TW8’s at their best in their natural habitat and we held court and talked football to a couple of female Preston fans and four lads who had gone to the match that night, one who supported Man Utd, One Preston, One Everton and I can’t remember who the other supported. The conversation mainly centered around the best things in life, football, drink, fashion and music. We all agreed that the best thing about Old Trafford was Man Utd running out to the Stone Roses and Nick suggested that perhaps Brentford should run out to Swotdogs road to sheshlehem. We gave the girls and Strongbow each and everyone left the carriage at Preston other than us who continued onto Blackpool. 2 cans later we were celebrating a historic night in Ma Kellys North Shore which was still doing a decent trade and we had a couple more Strongbows in there till it closed at 01:00. We all had a bit of a sing song to Princes Purple Rain which was the last song they played. We decided that staying in Walkabout till 04:00 was probably not sensible given the drive home the next morning so headed back to the hotel for more drinks there.
Our Barnsley mate was happy to oblige with more drinks so of course we got stuck in. Pointy had one and retired to bed at 02:00. I lasted another hour. During this hour there was a chap from Sunderland at the bar but his accent was so thick I could not understand anything he said so I just said Seaburn casuals whenever he spoke. We talked more football violence and fashion with our host and I had a debate about how if John Lennon was alive despite being a bit of a lefty he would love an evening out with the chaps. We both agreed that anything the Beetles did pre revolver was rubbish and post revolver was decent and both agreed that Magical Mystery Tour was the most underrated Beetles album. We were soon joined by a publican from the Lake District who was up there playing golf. He was ex RAF and wanted to talk about planes and refueling jets and that, but by this stage I was seeing double and could no longer talk so at 03:00 I finally called it a night and went to bed. Sir Nick followed an hour later at 04:00. We were all up at 08:30 for breakfast – I opted for
Clobber for the way home was the Blue England shirt circa 1990 – no need to make too much of an effort on driving home day.
- 2 Sausage
- 2 Fried Egg
- Fried Potatoes
- 4 Bacon
- 4 toast
We hit the road at 10:30 in the morning for an uneventful drive back. Given the amount of Strongbow consumed and the lack of sleep it was a real struggle but my playlist and a couple of Luczades saw us though and I finally got home in bits at 14:30.
This was only the warmup for the real deal to come and we have another five Blackpool trips to look forward to next season, starting with Burnley at the end of October. Like the team themselves undertaking their first season in the topflight since the late 40’s, where do we go from here……….
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Excellent work!!!!I will be staying late at work to write this one today. It’s been a heavy few days
Surely, what goes on tour, stays on tour.....??......
you really are no casual my friend....casuals dont throw up in public and they would never ever ever throw up on their own clobber......you are seriously confusing football casuals who do everything the right way to drunken football yobs who are an embarrasment to the culture.......you need a lessons in chapness lolI realise from reading these reports why bucket hats are de rigeur. Handy to chuck up in.
I look forward to a chap tutorial from you chaps one day!you really are no casual my friend....casuals dont throw up in public and they would never ever ever throw up on their own clobber......you are seriously confusing football casuals who do everything the right way to drunken football yobs who are an embarrasment to the culture.......you need a lessons in chapness lol
I look forward to a chap tutorial from you chaps one day!
I'm part way through a 6 part Hemingway documentary series on BBC4 and can see an equivalent version for FJ 50 years into the future. Future generations will lap it up.epic stuff FJ,,,,,i was almost disappointed when it finished.....ernest hemingway would love this sort of reporting.....if he wasnt long dead that is lol lol
lyle and scott was very casual, then went into a bit of decline about 10 years ago and appeared in tk maxx etc but seems to have bounced back a bit now and will always be a part of the scene.....was never that keen on ellesse anyway (too northern for me) and i wasnt overly keen on fj's blue top as a bit too lairy for me but he is younger so will forgive him !!! lolThis will not be a popular opinion but I'm disturbed with the wearing of Lyle and Scott and Ellesse.
Are these brands more "chav" than "chap"?
Its the only area that I think needs improvement.
Anything that was big in the 80’s, the golden age of the chap, is timeless imhoThis will not be a popular opinion but I'm disturbed with the wearing of Lyle and Scott and Ellesse.
Are these brands more "chav" than "chap"?
Its the only area that I think needs improvement.
So what? It’s the heritage of the brands that matters to me. They don’t have to be made in Italy and cost £100’s of pounds to be wearable. Each to their own of course.Large proportion of those brand names are now owned by Mike Ashley and sold in Sports Direct aren't they?
Fair but I think expanding the reports on this thread into YouTube videos of aspirant chaps tagging along to learn the ropes and show their as yet undiscovered talents would be good. They could call it The Chapprentice. 100 pints of Strongbow and a place on next season’s crew to the winner.Chaps don’t do tutorials, it’s intuitive and they tell me something they were born with
just using the word 'crew' has meant instant failure for you squire lolFair but I think expanding the reports on this thread into YouTube videos of aspirant chaps tagging along to learn the ropes and show their as yet undiscovered talents would be good. They could call it The Chapprentice. 100 pints of Strongbow and a place on next season’s crew to the winner.