Friday, 15 May 2015

Help the Hatters Update 60

In just over 24 hours between 6 p.m. Wednesday and  after 8 on Thursday 14 May, Help the Hatters swung into action again to  do stuff that needed doing.
Wednesday saw a team of 11 in the thick of it at the Booth Street Car Park , where there was a need to do a `litter pick' to ensure the site was in reasonable nick for the next Car Boot on 25 May.

 These two pics by David Wright give you an idea as to what the group were faced    by....

Alan was first to show and soon laid into the  area to the left as you enter the site. 

Alan gets stuck in........
The area was difficult to deal with due to the thick bushes thereabouts ,but  he coped , clearing a prodigious amount of accumulated assorted rubbish, being joined by Natalie, Jules and Ralph later.

Chris, David & Hopsky at the double....

David  , Biggles , Angela , Chris, Jules and Nats got on with the job moving along the left hand flank, whilst Fitzy and Mike were tasked with moving the huge piles of detritus to a spot where it could be eventually burnt.
Did I say eventually ? was not long before not one.....

....but two roaring fires could be seen.

I am grateful to David Wright for his excellent photos of this element.

As I left around 7.45, I could see Biggles laying into the right hand flank, with the others still beavering away    near the entrance....the fires now having abated .
Top group of Help the Hatters job !

As a footnote to this first part of Update 60, I feel I must comment on the volume of litter we encountered, and more specifically make a point about `who dumps it’.

The commonly held view is that `It`s yer booters wot does it!’, and for sure a cursory examination would lead you to agree with this mind punt, but in my view that is by no means the whole picture. 

There was a simply vast quantity of polystyrene trays of the type used in takeaway meals, and this, along with the swaying pile of ` Strongbow’ cans and bottles we shifted, points towards lunch time diners from the college as generous contributors to the mess also. In this respect the absence of litter bins on site would seem to be not entirely irrelevant to the matter in hand, thus my question to the Council would be

 ` Can we have some please?’

Moving on swiftly then to Thursday at 6 , when the previous days call was answered magnificently with 14 turning up to do a stint, amongst them first timer MR MOJO RISIN  from MB  who had a clutch of kids in support of his efforts, which saw him pitching in with Alan  Kip and  Biggles  getting things ship shape.
Mojo...Alan & Biggles give it some !

...whilst Kip just gets on with it unsupervised....

Alan then joined John G and yours truly slamming some blue on the rear exterior wall, 

Our `blue period'.......

but not before I had made my debut as a chippy sawing a plank of wood for Ralph who was in his element, his elongated bench ( see Update 59) now painted by David, was fully operational, so his attentions turned elsewhere…..

Finishing touches to Ralph`s handiwork, from David.
Yes…..they did and in no time at all my plank of wood was being incorporated in Ralph`s `Smokers Corner’ –

Smokers Corner started

 a simply excellent facility which will give those gasping for a fag somewhere to go to, whilst allowing those just wanting a gulp of fresh air, the space to do so!

....and well on its way ( inc my plank !)
Biggles did more work, assisted by Mojo, on his corner, which is coming on a treat, whilst Fitzy watered everything that didn`t move.
Fitzy tends the Vicars patch supervised by Dawn.

For the second evening on a trot, Ralph provided sustenance , which was really appreciated by all present, and after a short break…..

Break Time courtesy of Ralph !

work resumed, leaving the Bung exterior looking in really decent nick ahead of the `All Day Event’ in July.

`What`s happening between now and July?’ I hear you cry….and I respond thus……

Sundays 17  and 24 May …….Working Parties at the Bung starting at 9.30 a.m

Thursdays 21 and 28 May……. Working Parties at the Bung starting 6 p.m.

Wednesday 20 May   ……..Litter Pick at Booth Street Car Park- meet 6 p.m.

And……………do not forget…..Monday 25 May at Booth Street Car Park the next Help the Hatters  Car Boot Sale takes place. Angela will be seeking helpers soon for this vital fund raiser, so please respond positively if you can.

OK….that`s all for now, but dont forget to get your entry in for the Hatters Half Marathon which starts and finishes in the shadow of Edgeley Park on Sunday 6 September 2015, by visiting....

.....and following the links to the Run Britain Entries Page.

Ian Brown

Sunday, 10 May 2015

Help the Hatters Update 59

It’s 05.45 on a Bank Holiday Monday 4 May , and most people of sound mind are still abed.
At Booth Street Car Park however something stirs……a dozen cars, vans  & trailers are queuing for admission ,despite the clear instructions that proceedings do not start until 07.00!
Gate Patrol !
Also on site is the Help the Hatters organiser Angela Moore, who has spent much of the previous weeks fielding calls from booters wishing to ` book on’. Angela had the Man with a Hat with her and the duo were soon joined by others ( David, Clint, June, Steve B, Sam &  John G ) thus proceedings COULD start.

They shall not pass !
There were well over 100 booters booked on but the above mentioned team shoehorned them, and many more  punters wishing to park up, into the available space. It was a masterpiece ….a triumph of will and determination over other bad stuff!
A second wave of Fitzy, Jules, Dave, Chris & Pat ,offered some relief to the early risers and the whole thing went off magnificently well.

Angela is to be congratulated for her organisational nous, but rest assured that she will be on again seeking help for the next Car Boot which takes place on

Spring bank Holiday Monday 25th May 2015.  

So…..await the call and please…..please…..respond positively, the Car Boots are essential elements in ensuring Help the Hatters have the wherewithal to do what we do!

Since the above happenings , much has  continued to be done, largely in the area around the Bungalow, by Help the Hatters.

On the Tuesday evening following the Car Boot, it became apparent that there was a Blossoms gig on at the Bung on the usual W.P night, thus a quick switch to Tuesday was the only option. Despite the lack of notice 8 turned out and loads was done…..
 Ralph and Peter finished their third bench, and David did a fine job of painting one of them.

The fences were finished, and Biggles and the Vicar ( have you noticed they never appear in the same photo together!)continued with their landscape project.
Then to Sunday when the usual suspects gathered to the rear of the Bung to continue that which they had started. 

The Vicar simply bursting with pride !
The Vicar was in his element in his corner…..

David sorts a bench, while John`s G & F slap some blue on !
........... whilst Fitzy slapped the blue paint on a previously faded green surface, along with John G,  David joined yours truly adding lustre to Ralph`s magnificent benches.

Ralph and just one of those magnificent benches !
Have I mentioned yet….Ralph`s magnificent benches?.....well here`s a pic of said Ralph and just one of these superb structures! Not resting on any laurels however….he turned his hand to fixing a fresh elongated bench type seating arrangement which, on a sunny evening will give County supporters a decent view of the bowling green and beyond.

And there`s more.......
The usual suspects were pleased to be joined by Steve Cree who did a shift transporting soil from nowhere in particular to The Vicars corner, and another productive Working Party had concluded !

Steve Cree gets stuck in.

What`s next up then?

Well as far as the Bung is concerned the next Working Party will take place this Thursday 14 May at 6.00 p.m. We need a few to turn out for this if you can to get things sorted before we turn our attentions to Edgeley Park.

Fitzy has also arranged a `litter pick’ at the Booth Street Car Park, for the day previous……Wednesday 13 May . If you fancy giving us an hour for this small project please meet at the Booth Street Car Park  at 6.00 p.m.

Looking further forward therefore….and with Edgeley Park in mind, we are of a mind to commence E.P Working Parties at the beginning of June. Arrangements will be the same as last year, but will be confirmed nearer the time. Hold yourself in readiness then, and…..

Just one of our yesterdays  !
if you haven`t been on an E.P W.P before ask someone who has about what goes on, we get lots done, but in a good atmosphere.
So…wait for the word on this one!

And finally……

Some news from the Supporters Cooperative…….

The Supporters Cooperative is immensely pleased to announce that the Hatters Half Marathon  is definitely taking place on Sunday 6 September 2015, starting and finishing at Edgeley Park.

For details of the race and how to enter please go to….


You can also go direct to the Run Britain site and enter there via this link…..

Or…..if you do not want or are unable to run, but would like to help us on the day ,make this event really special, please contact Race Director John Giles on…..


 Catch you around then...........

Ian Brown

Thursday, 7 May 2015

County Development Squad 0 Hyde FC 3 ( Lancashire League West) 6 May 2015

County’s Development Squad had to settle for a final league position just outside the top three, at the end of their first season together in the Lancashire League, after going down 3-0 to Hyde FC at Edgeley Park last night.
The Hyde side looked every bit as quick and interesting as their seniors had done against us, in the replayed game this term, and always looked winners. For County, it was a rare disappointing performance in a season they can be justly proud of. Fresh from beating the league leaders on their own patch, this challenge proved too much of a hurdle for the blues to clear, and they had to dig deep at times ,depending heavily on the relatively experienced defensive heads of Connor Hancock, Wes Benjamin and Matthew Todd. The fast improving Josh Powell was in the mix too, pulling off a clutch of decent saves to keep the score line respectable. 

Josh Powell.

Praise too for Joe Noblett who was pressed into defensive service for long periods due to a head injury incurred by Wes Benjamin- Joe covered masses of ground and did it well, and the reshuffled County back four of Young, Todd, Noblett and Fitton saw the last 25 minutes out without conceding a goal!

Joe Noblett.
The blues looked a tad jaded however, and earlier goals…one from Sam Fitton and two from George West were enough to win it for the Tamesiders.

After concerted publicity pre-match it was somewhat disappointing to see only 115 in the main stand, to see Alan Lord’s highly promising side in the last fixture of season 2014/15.
Joe Noblett had an early shot on target, but this did not trouble keeper Danny Whiting. Jai Donaldson and Mike Hampson looked more likely, around this time, to cause issues for Hyde, but when the former beat Kieren Burywood to set a decent chance up, he dragged his shot narrowly wide.  

Hampson on the ball.......

Hyde were quick to respond through Pete Boyle and Sam Fitton, but Benjamin did enough to see the threat off.
So far so good, but the 10 th minute saw another break set George West up to open the scoring. It was a hammer blow to County’s hopes of ending the season on a high, and Hancock had to look lively to nullify another threat, this time from Rob Swallow soon after.
Ryan Hanson had a shot on target, but like Noblett’s earlier, it caused Whiting no issues at all, instead County were pushed back by a series of raids one of which saw Hancock ` take one for the team’ as Sam Fitton surged clear. 

West's free kick............

......and Powell's response !

West’s kick was a decent effort, but Josh Powell saw it the right side of the woodwork and it stayed 0-1.
Wes Benjamin keeps tabs on the opposition !

A head injury to Benjamin reduced County to 10 for a while after this, and …commendably…with Donaldson and Hampson to the fore…..County went on the attack ignoring the numbers in-balance.
It was over 10 minutes before Benjamin was able to return to the fray, with the score still 0-1. Boyle had skimmed the bar with one effort, but apart from that, County had coped pretty commendably whilst down to 10.

Noblett & Blackwell test the waters !
Twice after this …Noblett put pressure on Hyde…a shot giving the keeper work to do, and a free kick pushing the Hyde defence back on their heels. Jordyn Fitton did likewise, and Whiting struggled with the corner won by County`s full back with 5 minutes left of the half. 
Fitton seeks Donaldson with throw with Hampson showing  interest.
The finish was missing for the blues  and the moment passed un-rewarded, as did another again, set up by the County number three, a couple of minutes later.
Steve Higgins went as close as anyone in blue to notching one- a dipper from him causing Whiting a flutter or two as it headed for goal, only diverting minutely away at the last moment.

Steve Higgins tracks back......
Both teams had a go in the run in to the break……
Josh Powell having to make a decent double save to prevent Lee Wilshaw, and Sam Fitton ,from doubling Hyde’s tally.
A free kick by Jordyn Fitton saw Ryan Hanson lift his shot over the bar, and the same forward was inches away from glory when Whiting snatched the ball off his toes as he went for a long ball in the box!

Fitton/ Blackwell in combination.
That was the first half done and dusted, and it was good to see James Gannon along with Fitzy in the stands supporting the County team, as I went in a fruitless search for a pie at half time.
County were quickly under the cosh on the re-start, and Hancock did well to prevent further damage, with West and the Hyde Fitton looking lively.
Swallow looked even livelier and Hancock did his best work yet to rescue the blues as the number seven swept inside beyond Jordyn Fitton. The pressure was on, but Benjamin joined the fray and did enough to ensure Swallow was denied a shot on goal.
I began to perk up a bit 5 minutes into the half, as Whiting had to scramble in ungainly fashion to stop Noblett’s free kick from counting. 

Noblett puts some pressure on.

Then Donaldson went  close with another effort, but it was the lull before the storm and a small tsunami hit us in the shape of George West who shrugged off several attempted tackles before stabbing his side`s second goal home!
That was a good goal, and ….. but for good work from Josh Powell another would have quickly followed as Swallow tore into the blues again!
Although County were trying to get back into it ( Noblett had a shot saved 10 minutes in) Powell was the busier of the 2 keepers at this point, and his defence had to work really hard to give him support- Benjamin doing just that and earning fulsome applause for putting the shackles on Boyle as he broke clear.
Yes….the pressure was very much on County, and it was no surprise when they leaked another goal. Again it came via Sam Fitton, and had more than a touch of good fortune about it ( taking a deflection en-route),but I guess he had earned his luck ,and it was 0-3 ,and County had to work on putting things right.

Donaldson waits......
It did not greatly help that Benjamin had to be substituted with 25 minutes still to play, being replaced by Kieron Crosthwaite, and the next few minutes saw shots from Boyle and Fitton go close for the visitors- Powell doing particularly well to deny Boyle.
Noblett was now at the back again and doing well, as was Crosthwaite who announced his arrival with a neat tackle to stop West’s run, but Hyde looked well capable of inflicting further damage on their opponents, and it was a major surprise that neither Boyle nor substitute Adam Jones could finish off a move that had the blues stretched.
With Jordan Young and Will Hartley on late on, County set about limiting Hyde`s successes ….Todd clearing one effort off the line….Hanson and Todd again in there with further hard work blocking Hyde`s route to goal.

Will Hartley on for George Blackwell.
Late free kick`s by Hanson put some pressure on Hyde, and Whiting did make a five courser out of one of them , but there never really looked  a likelihood that the arrears would be reduced, indeed it took excellent defending from Jordan Young to keep it at 0-3 as West ( twice) burst clear at the death.

County keep working Whiting.
Whiting did have one from Donaldson to deal with just before the whistle, but no one thought anything other than that Hyde were worthy winners on the night.
For County….. the fulsome consolation of knowing that their first season in a strong league had seen them perform really well…..get results….and play decent football whilst getting them.
That will do for me!

County line up:

Josh Powell, Matthew Todd, Jordyn Fitton, Steve Higgins, Connor Hancock( Jordan Young 79),Wes Benjamin(Kieron Crosthwaite 67), Jai Donaldson, Joe Noblett, Mike Hampson, George Blackwell( Will Hartley 83), Ryan Hanson.

Hyde FC line up:

Danny Whiting, Kieron Burywood( Adam Lawrence 71), Lee Wilshaw, George Riley, Marcus Dibble, Jack Pritchard, Rob Swallow, Lee Gregory, Peter Boyle( Liam Delaney 77), Sam Fitton( Adam Jones 68), George West.

Attendance 115

Ian Brown