Friday, December 08, 2006


Some dry-as-dust statistics to illustrate Duncan's penetrating analysis. Individual scores: Bob 9/18, Wendy 6/21, Tony 3/12 and Tomo -/24 - good scores by everyone and well done Tony standing in as reserve. Once agfain the team did very well with conferring, scoring 19 on the Specialist and 17 in the General Knowledge; pass-overs were few, 2 in the Specialist and 5 in the General Knowledge but we gave little away to the Dolphin who scored 14/15 on conferred and 6/6 passovers.
Congratulation on winning the General Knowledge round - pity I missed it!!

Thursday, December 07, 2006

December 5th - Duncan's Report


Hello all.

A good news / bad news week for the Wonderers.

Well, not really - I lied about the good news, though they did win the General Knowledge round (again) before going down 136 to 161 to the Dolphin, a jolly bunch who enjoy a good quip whilst they are relentlessly hammering the opposition. Another bright moment was Wendy reaching the top ten individual chart. This will cheer her up no end. Wendy is often the life and soul of the team but recent results have made her a bit more introspective. Perhaps she is missing her book stall on Macclesfield market which she has recently relinquished. She kindly gave me one of her last remaining books "The Penguin Book of Quotations". I was overjoyed - I didn't even know penguins could speak!

Wendy is still having family trouble in Liverpool. Her cousin Billy lost his job as a window cleaner when his Black and Decker sander packed in. Wendy took him to his local for a drink to cheer him up and he won first prize in the raffle, which was nice. The first prize was a week's alibi.

Tomo did his best again with a magic trick in the interval, but even turning Bob into an ashtray failed to raise much of a smile. Bob's a bit despondent too at the moment. He recently wrote to a Lonely Hearts Club enclosing a photograph of himself. They wrote back to him saying thanks for the letter but they weren't THAT lonely! The redoubtable Tony Toft was standing in for Nick, who was doing his stuff in Vienna. The team miss Nick when he is away - they would follow him anywhere (out of morbid curiosity).

As for the quiz itself, there was an interesting round on alliteration. The team enjoyed it though some say such sophisticated speech sounds somewhat superficially supercilious. Not too many Welsh questions either.

Billy Prattlefaggit is still threatening to visit to "sort those tossers out". He sent me a grainy old photograph of his quiz team in action at the Limping Whippet, Higher Hurdsfield, in 1958. There was a notice on the wall behind the quiz team table saying.

"It were a rough place", said Billy in his note. "They used to keep a pig on the bar as an air-freshener, but at least we knew the answers to the questions, not like those losers at t' Waters Green!"

Still concerned about the lack of tactical nous amongst the Wonderers I decided to ask the Landlady at the WGT what she thought. Most of what she said is unprintable, but she gave the impression that she was not impressed. "I should be on the ***** team myself, in fact I have been before now. I used to be on a quiz team at the airport - I used to work there push-starting jumbo jets - and we NEVER lost". I broached the subject of underhand tactics and she promised to come up with some ideas for next week.

So watch this space, and in the meantime, a win will do nicely.

The Wonderers didn't win, but Macclesfield DID!! Roll on Chelsea!

Thursday, November 30, 2006

If Only We'd Had A Welsh Rugby-Playing Priest With A Passion For Heraldry and Asian Cars!

CUP SPECIAL! From Duncan Disorderly


Hello all.

A touch of relief for the Wonderers from the relentless pressure of the A League was sadly not in evidence last night. There were lo-fives all round as they succumbed to the Prince of Wales (not in the biblical sense you understand). Even a recount proved a false dawn as it only meant that the loss was by three points instead of five. The Wonderers are progressing toward their ‘perfect season’ – no points at all.

Things began inauspiciously when the Wonderers had to do some impromptu furniture removing to find enough seats in the absolute crush. Protestations went unheard as the decibel level in the pub was as high as….as high as….as high as something that is very high. Added to this, nobody told the Wonderers that because the pub team was called the Prince of Wales, most of the questions would be about Wales. This was a Wales/Rugby Fest of massive proportions with some stupid car model names thrown in for good measure. “Never say Dai” should be the motto of future question setters!

Things took another turn for the worse when I was contacted by Billy Prattlefaggit (pictured here) whose temporary fame arising from my report last week has obviously gone to his nonagenarian head. He now seeks a place on the team as he thinks he can ‘do much better than those tossers”. I have tried to dissuade him by pointing out that he is probably too good for the Wonderers who, unlike him, have delusions of mediocrity, but he is nothing if not persistent, and has threatened to come and watch the next match.

The final insult came with the announcement that there were no post-match butties (probably because this is not a Welsh practise). Back in the safety of the Tavern I decided that it was time to do some raw head-on interviewing. First I tried to interview Wendy Brown, but she had gone home in a huff. Bob had gone home in his car. Most unlike Wendy but she has had a tough week. Wendy, as my regular readers will know, is from Liverpool, and there has been a spot of family bother recently. Her niece, Tracey was up before the magistrates with her boyfriend, Darren. They had both been found in flagrante underneath the fence at Becher’s Brook on the night before the Grand National earlier this year. The case was harrowing and the evidence embarrassing, but in the end the couple decided to plead guilty and asked for twenty seven other fences to be taken into consideration. Father Donald, from Darren’s local church remonstrated with him for his actions but Darren threw a bottle of disinfectant at the holy man, which resulted in his being fined for a bleach of the priest.

So I interviewed Nick Peck, alias “The Prince of Wails”. He was, understandably, unimpressed…

“I signed the effin’ petition to keep that effin’ pub open and I’m sorry I effin’ did now. You couldn’t hear yourself effin’ speak and I didn’t know that smoking was effin’ COMPULSORY in that effin’ place. And as for having no effin’ butties, well, I’m effin’ etc. etc.

Then I interviewed Tommo Cooper, who was much more philosophical about the whole thing. After checking that he was not, and had never been, a member of Plaid Cymru, he offered the following quote.

“It was OK, but I’m very, very hungry. Do you have any sandwiches about your person? Looking on the bright side we are still in the plate and plates are what I need. Cups I’ve got, but I broke two plates last week. Are you sure that’s not a sausage in your pocket?”

Clearly the Wonderers should sit down in a pub of their choice and ask themselves why they did not take the advice I offered last week. If they would have been in a proper frame of mind they would have claimed that having no butties after a competitive match was a breach of their Human Rights and should incur a four point penalty to the opposite team – that would have been it – job done! As it is, they can concentrate on the misery of the league.

As they say, you can lead a horse to water but you can’t put your eggs in one basket.

My advice is to keep trying, and remember, if all is not lost, then where is it?


Monday, November 27, 2006

Duncan's Belated Report - and Some Sound Advice


Hello all.

Hard to improve on Nick’s excellent match report, but perhaps just a few words to ease the obvious tension which lies behind the matter-of-fact reporting.

No sign of a victory on the horizon yet but the Wonderers did have an A-League first. They WON the General Knowledge round. But there’s no denying that life in the top flight is slowly beginning to take its toll. Tomo was reduced to doing card tricks to cheer his team up. He’s a good lad even though he has troubles of his own. His one driving ambition, next to getting back into the B League, is to become the first magician to have his own show on the radio. Someone should tell him.

But it’s not all doom and gloom in the A League. The Wonderers had been told that it would be all a bit serious and anoraky and there was absolutely no fun or levity. Not True! Alan Levity was there himself, playing for the Principals! After the match I called the team to one side and gave them a little bit of advice. I know it’s probably not right and proper for an independent sports writer to try to help a struggling team but I told them that if they couldn’t beat the opposition by answering questions they should think of other ways of wearing them down.

I seriously advise trying to upset the other team in subtle ways that will put them off their stride and make them fluff their questions. For instance, one of the opposition team dropped his pen and quickly bent down to pick it up. Now to me, this is diving, and it is unforgivable. An appeal should be made to the question master and ten points deducted from that team’s total. Another of the guys took his sweater off. Again, that’s the same as a footballer ripping his shirt off to celebrate a goal, so another ten points should be deducted. Get wise Wonderers!

As these persistent defeats are getting a bit boring for an ace reporter I decided, by way of a diversion, to go in search of Macclesfield’s oldest quizzer. This turned out to be Billy Prattlefaggit of Higher Hurdsfield who is well into his 90s and claims that ICI had a quiz team back in the 1950s when they were just a small firm selling firewood off the Hurdsfield Estate. Billy sends the following goodwill message to all members of the Macclesfield Quiz League.

“Those were the days…. no crappy questions about SI units and State capitals. We used to get proper questions, like how many Boddington’s houses were there in Bollington and which bitch won best in show at Sutton Fair…. these days the buggers don’t know anything. I asked one of the quiz guys in the George and Dragon what a Royal Enfield was and he said it was where the Queen kept her chickens. Well, never mind, the old days won’t come back. I’m very old now. I've had two bypass surgeries, a hip replacement, new knees, fought prostate cancer and diabetes. I'm half blind, can't hear anything quieter than a jet engine, take 40 different medications that make me dizzy, winded, and subject to blackouts. I have bouts of dementia, poor circulation and I can hardly feel my hands and feet anymore. I can't remember if I'm 85 or 92 and I’ve lost all my friends.

But thank God I still have my driver's license.”

Thanks for sharing that with us Billy.

So come on Wonderers. Start thinking or you’ll be as old as Billy before you win your next match. In the meantime, in case you get a round on medical terminology, here is some handy stuff to bone up on. So no excuses for the next league match!


ARTERY The study of paintings
BACTERIA Back door of a cafeteria
BARIUM What doctors do when patients die
CAUTERISE Made eye contact with her
COMA A punctuation mark
CEASARIAN SECTION A neighbourhood in Rome
DILATE You live longer
ENEMA Not a friend
FESTER Quicken
FIBULA A small lie
IMPOTENT Distinguished, well known
LABOUR PAIN Getting hurt at work
MEDICAL STAFF Doctor's walking stick
MORBID A higher offer
NITRATE Cheaper than day rates
NODE Was aware of
OUT PATIENT A person who has fainted
PAP SMEAR A fatherhood test
PELVIS A cousin of Elvis
RECOVERY ROOM Place to do upholstery
SECRETION Hiding something
SEIZURE Roman Emperor
TERMINAL ILLNESS Getting sick at the airport
TUMOUR More than one
URINE Opposite of 'you're out'
VEIN Conceited

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Tuesday 21st November

We began the evening on a high note when we discovered we were not bottom of the League; however a sobering note crept in when we noticed that the one team below us still has two games in hand.

Even so, we have been studying form with Macclesfield Town Football Club ("Lose some, draw some") and the game was an exercise in containment - for the first time our opponents failed to get over 170 points.

Striding purposefully towards our goal of being the best losers in the A League we ended losing the game 134 to 111. The questions were not very well thought of (see the link at right) but it was a friendly atmosphere with some humour and good butties.

Individual scores were Bob 6/15, Wendy 3/18, Nick 9/15 and Tomo 6/6 but an analysis of the figures shows we do play well as a team. In the Specialist rounds, we scored 7 on conferred questions and a wretched 4 on passed over; the Principals picked up 8 and 9 respectively. On General Knowledge, we got 13 conferred and 9 passed over whilst the Principals mustered 14 and 10 - not much in it at all and illustrating that we play very well as a team knowing when to confer and giving very little to our opponents. Many of those we passed over were done very quickly without an answer, depriving the other team of time to think. And best of all, we won the General Knowledge round!

We were hardly distracted by the manchester United v Celtic game on TV but are pleased to report that on the same night Macc Town FC won their first game of the season beating top of the league Walsall and moving on to the next round of the Cup.

No doubt our sports reporter Duncan Disorderly will bring his penetrating gaze to the game and results with his usual touch of levity.

Monday, November 20, 2006


A slight error gave a misleading picture of the magnitude of our defeat last Tuesday - we actually scored 130 not 146.
Well done the Ox-Fford - we'll be back!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006


Last night's game as seen by Independent Macclesfield Minor Sports reporter Duncan Disorderly

By the end of the first specialist round I noticed that the Ox-fford were looking a bit sick as the Waters Green Wonderers had built a lead – of one. Then it turned out that the looks on their faces was caused by the fact that this is a Jennings pub. Jennings is that Lakeland beer with more bloody hops in it than a bucket of frogs. So I settled down with my John Smith’s shandy and concentrated on what was a good set of questions, put well and with good humour by Alan Hodgson. (I know it’s early in the season but are the questions getting better?). There was humour in the questions too, one of them asking them what the nickname of bomber Richard Reid was, and another asking who the Home Secretary was, adding a note that they were not related.

My reporting instinct to the fore, I took the opportunity to ask Alan Hodgson about his recent record-breaking achievement in scoring the first maximum 60 points individual score in the Macclesfield Quiz League. At least I think it is a record. I have been in the Macclesfield Quiz League now for twenty years (I am still searching for a life) and I cannot remember this feat ever having been achieved. Are there any players who have played (continuously) for even longer?

Modest as ever, Alan insisted that a free pint from all members of the opposition teams throughout the season would be an adequate tribute. The answer he got from the Ox-fford involved too much sex and travel to include here.

As a responsible and highly-unpaid journalist I have been doing some research into the nature of quiz questions. Starting at the most simple form, I boned up on what some well-known people said when asked why the chicken crossed the road –

It was the logical next step after coming down from the trees.
Chickens, over great periods of time, have been naturally selected in such a way that they are now genetically dispositioned to cross roads.
Sigmund Freud:
The fact that you are at all concerned that the chicken crossed the road reveals your underlying sexual insecurity.
As an expression of the repressed desire to have sex with its mother. The road symbolises the barrier presented by the cultural taboo.
Jeffrey Archer: It didn't. I was playing golf with it at the time.
Stevie Wonder:Chicken, what chicken?

Anyway, back to the quiz. Early optimism was ill-founded as it was just about all over by the end of the specialists. These A League wallahs never send anything our way – only 8 passed-over points for the Wonderers all evening - miserable gits.

Duncan’s Digest:

Score: Ox-fford 179 WG Wonderers 146
Marks for Questions: Specialist 4 and 4: General Knowledge 3 and 4
Highlight: A really well thought out and enjoyable “Round with a Bite.”
Lowlight: A question asking what bit of the huge British Empire was
coloured pink and green on the map. This was not British
Beer: See Above.
Refreshments Good
Parking Iffy

Here is a question to keep you all going until my next gripping report.

Which football player of the 1980s, who played for ten clubs, including Everton, Leeds, Newcastle, both Sheffield clubs, and Manchester City, had a brother who was one of the most well-known Hollywood film stars ever?

Well done to the ffin Ox-fford!

That’s all for now and remember, if you want peace and quiet, get a phoneless cord.


14th November

Restored to full strength with Bob's return we strode purposefully to another crushing defeat, this time at the Ox-fford, losing by 179 to 146. Nevertheless it was a very pleasant evening with good questions chaired with good grace and humour by Alan (Mr 60) Hodgson.
Individual scores Bob 9/21, Wendy 9/18, Nick 15/6 and Tomo 15/9.
The B League beckons and we've only played 3 games!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

7 November

On Tuesday we played host to The Dolphin, a long-standing A League team.

We managed to pluck Steve from his premature retirement to replace Bob who was winkling at the Wincle Women's Institute.

Whilst we were beaten quite heavily, we nevertheless played well as a team giving away very little.

Our minor sports writer Duncan was not in attendance, but no doubt that will not prevent him from producing a nail-biting account of the duel from perhaps a lightly partisan angle.

Final score 174/121, Steve 15/9,Wendy 9/9, Nick 6/15 and Tomo 9/15

A most enjoyable evening against a good-humoured team with excellent refreshments provided by Tracey.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Duncan's Hallowe'en View


Tuesday Night's game as seen by Independent Macclesfield Minor Sports reporter Duncan Disorderly

Several tricks but no treats for the luckless Waters Green Wonderers at home to the British Flag. At the end of the Specialist questions it was hard to know ‘witch’ team would win as they were only two points in it and what with no previous A-League experience for the Wonderers, things were looking good! Tension was in the air and it wasn’t just the Chelsea-Barcelona match being watched by everyone else in the hostelry.

Sad to say the Wonderers, for all their fearsome reputation for catching up in the general knowledge, ‘corpsed’ by the end. Questions coming back across the tables for the A-league rookies were as rare as rocking horse droppings. A good quiz though, with the HUGE combined score (171-146) showed that it was a) enjoyable for everyone, b) had good question setters and c) good question vetters. Well done to the question master, Ozzy Mandias.

Frankly, I worry about the Waters Green Wonderers. For a bunch of people who are supposed to be very knowledgeable on all sorts of things, this particular reporter would like to know why, on the 31st October, with arctic weather closing in over Macclesfield, two of them turned up in T-shirts. One member, Wendy, admitted that the temperature gauge on her broomstick, parked outside, was reading 3 degrees, and I’m not talking iffy pop groups!

Still, you can’t have everything – you’d have nowhere to put it.

Congratulations to the British Flag (bastards).

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

October 31st

The first quiz of the new season was a very pleasant affair against the British Flag, with the questions asked by the secretary of the League Mark - he did a great job both in setting the qestions and running the quiz.
Sadly we lost the game by 171 to 146 but it was most enjoyable and there was a fine spread afterwards to go with the consolatory beer.
You will see link on the right to the questions.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Here is a contribution from our quiz league reporter, Duncan Disorderly..


Last Night's game as seen by Independent Macclesfield Minor Sports reporter Duncan Disorderly

Tension was in the air at "The Weavers" last night. Hundreds of eyes were sharply focussed on the teams and the collective breath was held to breaking point. Then Man United scored and all was well.

Also being held at the pub was the Macclesfield Quiz League Plate Final between the George and Dragon Higher Hurdsfield and the redoubtable Waters Green Wonderers.

The Wonderers had not had their promised 12 rehearsal matches during the close season and it showed. Nick was a bit down having received news only on the night that the St. Dunstan, Langley, was no longer a quiz venue. For reasons best known (and kept) to himself, this has affected him greatly. Nevertheless he did a sterling job in whipping the team together. The team will follow Nick anywhere (out of morbid curiosity). Steve and Bob, ever the heroes, had risen from their sick beds to be there. Tomo sat on the bench in case of injuries.

I asked Bob in a pre-match interview if he had done any cramming since last season and he admitted that he hadn't. I decided to put him to the test and asked him a very basic Macclesfield Quiz League question. I feared the worst when he said he thought that Wat Tyler was a bathroom design magazine. Wendy and Ken have been busy adding to their tally of grandchildren, and as the count will soon be four, they are already planning an extra team for the WGT - the Waters Green Waifs, who expect to make their debut in the 2012 season. Wendy is soon to give up the renowned Macclesfield book emporium Readem and Weep, and is selling some of her stock. Some are specialist items and include three of the slimmest volumes ever written - The Penguin Book Of Italian War Heroes; a book of Swedish virgins, and the Handbook of Manchester City trophies since 1970.

In the quiz itself, the Wonderers were not helped by Wendy wearing a veil, presumably as a measure of female solidarity. Rick Davies couldn't hear her answers properly and she had to remove it. In his own kind way, Nick pointed out that the veils over which there was so much fuss were big black things - Wendy had got it wrong and was wearing the one she wore at her wedding.

The match was touch-and-go, nip-and-tuck, here-and-there, warp-and-weft throughout and eventually came to a tie-breaker. Fate struck a cruel blow when, just as the team were trying to work out how many runs had been scored in the Ashes test series, news came through that Stockport had beaten Macclesfield in the Tin of Paint Trophy and this news really put the team off its stride, so naturally we lost. The George and Dragon took their moment of glory before disappearing into the relative obscurity of the B League.

Waters Green Wonderers enter the A League with their heads held low - fearing the worst but hoping for the best. We will have the best beer in the Borough to support us through what may be a long campaign.


Wednesday, October 18, 2006

The Final

What a nail-biting start to the season last night's Plate final was. The George & Dragon sped to a quick lead but the Wonderers fought back and it was then neck and neck to the final question. And the final ended in a dead heat!!

The tie-breaker was "How many runs were scored in total in the last Test series, both sides together?". The Wonderers felt the scoring had been low and went for 3,400, the George & Dragon obviously had better memories of the series and went for 6,200. The answer was 5,700 so the George & Dragon took the title.

A great game, good atmosphere, the balance of questions was fine and the question master Rick Davies did a good job.

In two weeks the League starts. The first time in the A League for the present team (Bob has played in the A league with different team-mates). Not sure we could take the pressure if all the games are like last night's!

Thursday, September 21, 2006

At Last We Have A Date

The final of the Plate will take place on 17th October - the Waters Green Wonderers (us!!) and the George & Dragon. The league proper will start about 2 weeks later i.e. 31st October.
Sadly it is at The Weavers, a very smoky pub with no real ales. Hey Ho!!

Wednesday, September 13, 2006


The following was recited by Bob at the Celebration party in July:


North Of Oldham South of Diggle there lies a town called Mumps Where the tripe mines stand just by the washhouse wall
And in that deserted town where the shacks are tumbling down You can hear the scabby moggies lonesome call

Years ago this town was booming when the tripe rush days were on And the miners they rolled in from far and near
In the 'Sweaty Clog' saloon they were supping night and noon Sarsaparilla, liquorice juice and privet beer.

Now she was a good time dancing gal, any tripe miners pal For a bottle of Brasso she'd love you all night through
She was rough and she was tough, she wore no vest and took black snuff And was known to all the lads as Cowheel Lou.

Now Lou had one special man, his name was Dangerous Albert He sucked Fiery Jack and camphorated oil
He wore barbed wire combinations and slept rough on Oldham station And Wimpy used his dandruff for hardcore.

Now one stormy night in Mumps when the rain came down in lumps And the wind blew empty tins off Saddleworth Moor
In the 'Sweaty Clog' saloon the pianola played a tune And Lou was sewing mudflaps on her drawers.

While a gang of tripe prospectors and a couple of tram inspectorsWere gambling all their pay on snakes and ladders
While a pair of Huddersfield tramps were supping the oil from the lamps And Albert was trying to kickstart the pianola.

Well, the doors busted open wide and a stranger come inside It was Spotty Bum McGrew the lame evangelist
He was an hop-along bible thumper, he kept a white rat up his jumper And in his hand he held a tambourine.

He said " I'm looking for a man as how they call him Dangerous Albert I've heard as how he's known around this part."
Well the pianola stopped its tune and a hush came on the room So quiet you could hear a cockroach fart.

Said the stranger, "Me and Al, we were buddies he was my pal In the salvation army band we both did play
'til one night we went on booze, he ripped up me shirt and widdled in my shoes He blew his nose on me vest and smashed me tambourine!"

Then Albert caught his eye and the stranger gave a cry And leapt upon the bar with a scream of rage
Then Albert gave a shout and whipped his weapon out And in his hand he held a tambourine

Now tales have been told of what took place that night The fiercest fight that Mumps has ever seen
How Spotty Bum McGrew and the lover of Cowheel Lou Fought to the very death, each with their tambourine.

All night long they did do battle and their tambourines did rattle Spotty Bum's teeth went flying in the grime
They knocked off Albert's hat and hit the landlords cat And stopped to suck a lemon at half time.
Now the second half got dirty as they were both feeling a bit shirty Spotty Bum hit Albert with his rubber leg
Cowheel Lou could stand no more, she picked up pianola from floor Chucked it and killed them both stone dead.

Now north of Oldham south of Diggle, there's a broken hearted gal Who tends the grave so cold and so bare
For at Clog Hill above the valley where the wind howls night and day Spotty Bum and dangerous Albert are buried there.

So if you go 'cross Saddleworth Moor where the wind whips up from Diggle And you think you hear thunder in the east
Its not thunder 'cross those hillocks it's the ghost of those two pillocksKnocking buggery out of each other with their tambourines.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Promotion Party

At a party to celebrate promotion to the A League, we were fortunate in two respects.

Firstly, Dave Gilmour was kind enough to turn up and sing a few songs.

And secondly our regular reporter was on hand to record events:


The aspiring A League champions of next year were entertained by Nick and Marion in a super afternoon and evening of food, music and hilarity, when so much drink was imparted that Steve began to look like George Clooney (sorry, Rosemary Clooney). The talent on show was fenom....phernomer.....really good. Among Nick's many gifts is a culinary skill to match any canteen manageress, and many famous people were there for the happy occasion. The food was blissful. There was sardines and grapefruit for starters followed by braised armadillo in onion sauce. Steve accompanied himself on guitar on his own song - "I Used To Kiss Her On The Lips But It's All Over Now"; Tommo sang " If I Had To Do It All Over Again I'd Do It All Over You", and Bob gave a heart-rending rendition of "Don't Go Down In The Mine Daddy, There's Plenty of Slack In Your Pants". Wendy gave us a demonstration of Cumberland Wrestling holds and a medley of Liverpool songs. Wendy is from Liverpool, a city which is based on Iron and Steel. The women iron.....

World Cup Woes were forgotten when Nick organised his own Irish Olympics. Tracy won the "Catch The Javelin" competition and Ann conquered all in heading the shot putt.

Here's to conquering the top league (he said, with a wry smile). "

And this is Brian whose fine ales inspire us through the season

Sunday, May 21, 2006

From The Archives

A piece by Bob from the early days of the Quiz league - the league is sponsored by ICI in its new guise of Astra Zeneca now:


Without doubt, the most unsung effort to achieve fame for Rainow outside of its own stony boundaries is the annual foray of the Robin Hood quiz team to death or glory in the Macclesfield Quiz League. In the dark days between October and Easter-time the observant villager might spot one of its members striding resolutely up Stocks Lane to the place of battle. Even in the blackest winter night they can be distinguished from the ordinary passer-by through a distinctive mumbling which those with keener hearing might pick out as historical data or chemical formulae, chanted rhythmically as they pass along, oblivious to all around, psyching themselves for the fray in the great tradition of the late twentieth-century combatant.

Quizzes have never been so popular. Pub Leagues spring up and flourish in almost every town. Fuelled by television panel games and Trivial Pursuits their attraction continues undiminished, and no self-respecting pub, club, or school is without its regular, or at least occasional indulgence. Most of them are light-hearted affairs, fifty or so questions offering a welcome break from the usual round of conversation and argument about Eastern Europe, Northern Ireland, Southern Comfort, Ozone Layers, Poll Tax payers, First Innings, Second Comings, Third World, Forth Bridge, Man United, Man Divided, Green Politics, Red Rum, Black Activists, White Nancy, Nancy White, winds in Rainow, rain on windows.......the diversion of the quiz can be a welcome break.

Not in the Macclesfield League. Theirs is no stroll through the family quiz page of a colour supplement. Theirs is the Pennine Way of quiz leagues, the Grand National of General Knowledge. One hundred and sixty questions over twenty rounds, specially chosen to turn a beguiling muse over a favourite tipple into a two hour ordeal of mortal combat. There are three points if the contestant answers his or her own question, and only one if conferring is necessary. Add the fact that end-of-season silverware is given to successful individuals as well as teams, and the lethal cocktail is complete.

This megaquiz had modest beginnings in the town under the sponsorship of various small concerns. Things changed rapidly, however, when the organisers decided to abandon the homely patronage of accommodating auctioneers and philanthropic publicans and set their sights on multi-national status. The league's original two divisions has now grown to an army of five marching under the proud banner of the I.C.I. Quiz League.

This you will agree is no small accolade, and their adopted international giant has taken an interest in its new foundling which does it much credit. I have it on good authority from a Rainovian in their employment that at a recent Alderley Park meeting the group Chairman announced that turnover stood at 11.123 billion pounds, sales volume rose by eleven per cent, dividends were showing a steady increase, growth was strong in the United States and continental Europe, and the knockout final would be between the Limping Whippet and the Pig and Ball Bearing.

The quizzes themselves are a minefield, and long friendships have been lost in the heat of battle. Fierce argument is not uncommon, particularly when answers are open to misinterpretation. When I was at school (admittedly a long time ago), there were five continents. Now there are seven. WHERE DID THEY FIND THE OTHER TWO?! Then there is the question of accumulated knowledge. Personally, I have always been sceptical as to what you can really learn after years of hanging around quiz games. There is no doubt that you can come across some amazing, even earth-shattering facts, but airing this kind of new-found knowledge can be tricky. It is not easy to drop these little pearls into after-dinner chat in that suave, carefree, matter-of-fact way which has all your listeners gaping in admiring silence. You would not believe how hard it is to turn a conversation on rockery plants to the fact that the only creature besides man which can catch leprosy is the nine-banded armadillo, or that Dopey was the only one of the seven dwarves without a beard. Of course the real value is supposed to be in the inner benefit gained from garnering gems of random information, and I list here a mere ten facts without the knowledge of which my life would definitely have been the poorer:

Lusaka is the capital of Zambia, and
not a Greek dish.

A Royal Enfield is a vintage motor cycle
and not a place where the Queen keeps her

Stanhope, Phaeton, and Brougham are types
of horse-drawn carriage and not a firm of
Macclesfield solicitors.

The Vulgate is a Latin version of the
bible and not a street in York.

The Transuranics are elements and not
a rock group.

A dactylogram is a fingerprint and
not a message from a prehistoric bird.

Hapsburg is the name of the Austrian
royal line and not a lager.

Mungo Park is the name of a Scottish
explorer and not Dundee United's
football ground.

Gallophobia is fear of the French, not
of hanging.

The Diet of Worms was a religious edict
and not what kept the early bird alive.

There is one question which has fascinated me ever since the day it was first asked. This was "Where is Boadicea buried?". It appears that the last resting place of that scourge of the invading Romans is the site of the modern St. Pancras station, in London.......


The Queen of the Iceni nation
lay underneath St. Pancras Station
proud and serene, she lay in state
still waiting for the 12.08

Two fearsome daughters and their Mum
had come to sack Londinium.
they'd done the job and had a feast
and all-triumphant, headed East.

The Queen consulted her adviser
Which form of transport was the wiser?
"My Queen", he said, "we're sitting pretty-
just put your trust in Inter-city!"

Her chariot of gold was sped
down to St. Pancras engine shed.
She checked the times and bought a seat,
first-class return to Watling Street.

The hours passed, she lost her daughters
Who'd wandered off in search of porters,
The Queen, her ladies, and her men
were never to be seen again.

The centuries they came and went
until some antiquarian gent
whilst studying her erstwhile race
confirmed the old Queen's resting place.

B.R., with keen anticipation
decided on an excavation.
this find would guarantee their fame-
they'd even have a change of name.

They'd call it Boadicea Station
the latest travellers sensation!
the crowds would flock from near and far
to the "Scythe and Chariot Burger Bar".

They dug beneath the London clay
and found where Boadicea lay.
around her head, a golden band
A London Saver in her hand.

The station-master, passing by
came to look, and gave a cry.
"Dear dear" he said "now don't you worry
we'll have this sorted in a hurry.

We've cleared the blockage on the line,
the train will leave at half-past nine.
and as you've had a lengthy wait,
we'll only charge you off-peak rate".

The dig had been a huge success
with lots of pictures in the press.
They took her from her hallowed ground,
she left her grave, museum bound.

The Queen of the Iceni nation
has now moved three miles from the station.
Two thousand years, but don't despair -
with British Rail - WE'RE GETTING THERE

Saturday, May 13, 2006

An Entry From Bob, Our Longest Serving Member

What a gallery.I recognise two members of the quiz league. On the right is the renowned Paul Beard - a temperamental chap (that's 50% temper....) Top left is wotsit who plays for what used to be the cricket club and is now something else. Always smoking cigars.The third one looks a bit like Tomo on one of his suave bad hair days. Still working on that one!

A long way to go yet Bob!!

First Reply To Tomo's Picture Quiz

Hello there,
I hope you don't think I'm being a bit previous in trying your quiz out. I'm not very good because I don't know anyone yet. The one on the top left looks like my Uncle Ken, who once played in a quiz match. The second one is easy, even though you tried to be cryptic. It is Karl Marx and that's what wins quizzes - Marx!I don't know the third one. Looks like him off Changing Rooms who can't decide if he's Arthur or Martha.
Ed Banger

Friday, May 12, 2006

A Contribution From Tomo Our Newest Team Member

I'm not one for paranoia; I have enough trouble with reality as it is, but I couldn't help noticing that certain celebrities have started playing in the Macclesfield Quiz League -- even dead ones. The task for the dear reader is to work out which is which. As a clue, one of them has taken her glasses off

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

From Our Regular Correspondent

Dear Nick

Thank you for your reply. I do understand when you say that you will have to consult the other members of the team and I live in hopes that they will accept me as a friend. They do seem rather a jolly lot. I was a bit surprised to learn from you that the lady of the team, Wendy, was the South Cheshire Ladies All-in Free-Style Wrestling Champion – she looks so demure, but I should have known she was a bit feisty by the size of the shield she is carrying in the photograph. She is probably one of those Amazon women that fight a lot and visit book sales websites. Come to mention it, she looks a bit like that lady who sells books on Macclesfield Market. It can’t be her though because she cheated me once. I wanted to cheer myself up a bit and I asked her if she had any books that were, you know, ‘under the counter’. She put a book in a brown paper bag and told me to give her ten quid and say nothing to anybody. I asked her what it was about and she said it was the story of a tribe of gorgeous, rampant pygmy females in Africa. I said “What’s it called” and she said “Little Women”. I took it home and read it twice before I realised I’d been tricked.

I was relieved to find out that the gentleman in the shades is not a mysterious Russian spy, but a mysterious English spy. You say that there is another member of your team since the photograph was taken. Perhaps you could get him to write to me.

Just to show you what a nice regular guy I am, this is a letter I received from my 92 year-old Gran who has recently found religion. I am sure you will find it touching.

“Dear Ed

The other day I came out of a prayer meeting and went to the Christian bookshop in Park Green and saw a “honk if you love Jesus” sticker, which I bought.
What an uplifting experience it was! I stopped at the traffic lights and was lost in thought about the Lord and how good he is and didn’t notice that the lights had changed. It’s a good thing somebody else loves Jesus because if he hadn’t have honked I would never have noticed. I found that lots of people love Jesus! Why, I was just sitting there when the man behind started honking like mad, and then he leaned out of his window and shouted “For the love of God. Go! Go! Go! Jesus Christ Go!
What an exuberant cheerleader he was for Jesus!

Everyone started honking! I just leaned out of my window and started waving and smiling at all those loving people. I even honked my horn a few times to share in the love. There must have been a man from Blackpool in there because I heard him shout something about a “sunny beach” and I saw a woman waving in a funny way.. with only her middle finger stuck up in the air. Then I asked my friend in the back seat what that meant. She said it was probably an Irish good luck sign. Well, I’ve never met anyone from Ireland so I leaned out of the window and gave him the good luck sign back. My friend burst out laughing – even she was enjoying the religious experience! A couple of people were so caught up in the joy of the moment that they got out of their cars and started to walk towards me. I bet they wanted to pray or to ask what Church I attended. This is when I noticed that the lights had changed. So I waved at all my brothers and sisters and drove across the junction. I noticed that I was the only car that got through the junction before the lights changed again and I felt a bit sad that I had to leave them after all the love we shared. So I slowed the car down, leaned out of the window and gave them the Irish good luck sign as I drove away.

Praise the Lord for such wonderful people.

Your loving Grandma

I suppose I should tell you a little more about myself. My hobbies are walking backwards, and flagging down Volvo drivers to tell them that they have left their lights on.

By the way, don’t worry about your little problem. I looked it up in my copy of the “Reader’s Digest Book of Iffy Complaints”. What you suggested should do the trick but go easy on the olive oil. In the meantime your secret is safe with me (and My Auntie Joan).

Cheer up and remember it is always darkest just before dawn, so if you want to steal your neighbour’s newspaper, that’s the time to do it.

Kind Regards

Ed Banger

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Making Recruits

The blog has awakened some interest already - here is a mail I received:

"Dear Nick

I hope you don’t mind my writing to you. It’s just that the other night I was surfing the www and happened across your site quite by accident. I thought it said “Nick’s Quickie Site”, and was a little disappointed but decided to investigate further. I know that there is not much to read at yet but I was very taken by the photograph. You all seem a jolly lot and I wonder if I might make friends with you all as I do not have many friends. I tried to imagine which one on the photograph was you and I guess you are the good-looking one with the beard and glasses who is sat in front of the mysterious Russian spy. The lady on the picture looks very nice too, a bit like my Auntie Joan only without the straight-jacket.

I was wondering if you were in need of a Quiz League reporter for next season. This would brighten up your site over the long winter nights and my fee would not be too large. You see I recently lost my job and need to earn a few readies to pay for my treatment etc. The circumstances of my losing employment are, I am sure you will agree, very sad, and will cause you and your friends to consider my request with some sympathy. For some years up until last summer I worked as a thistle-cutter in a nudist camp. This was fine and well within my capacity but one day, being short staffed, the owners told me to devise and organise a sports day at the camp. I managed to get the men’s nude sack race going, using large clear polythene bags. This was a success, though it was a nightmare for me to hold the finishing tape – it looked like sacks of King Edward’s leaping towards me. Things went really wrong in the men’s nude 4x400 yard baton relay race. There was a terrible mix-up on the third lap and one man was dragged along for 150 yards before anyone realised what the problem was. So that was the end of that job. However, I know that I could be a really good reporter and friend for your quiz team so perhaps you will consider my request and let me know. I could also meet you all and play in reserve from time to time. Although people say I am not too bright I do know that the capital of Chile is Concarne.

Yours hopefully

Ed Banger."

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Initial Disappointment

One of my fellow team membrs was rather disappointed with the content on this the first day:

"I was a little disappointed - I saw the site, thought 'I'll have some of this!", brewed myself a cup of coffee, grabbed a Hob-Nob and sat down to read all about the creator of this work of art. Looked in 'Nick's profile' expecting to hear about your poor childhood when nobody wanted you and they used to send you to school with your lunch wrapped in road maps, and how you were the only baby in the area with shutters on his pram, and the time when you were a teenager and you wrote to a lonely hearts club, sending a photograph and they sent it back to you saying thanks very much but we're not that lonely. What did I find - nothing!"

Sorry Bob - I'll try harder

Champions 2003-4

Opening Page

This blog will be used to record fixtures, results and comments on the games relating to The Waters Green Tavern Wonderers on their first season in the A league for some years.