Wednesday, December 15, 2010

14th December–Whoops!!


I feel we owe the teams who played last night something of an apology. Owing to a catastrophic telecommunications failure our own questions were printed very late and not checked properly, and the Harrington B did not see the comments we made having vetted their questions. As a result there was one missing question and several answers that were quite wrong. Very sorry – won’t happen again!!

I have left the questions as presented on the night and not changed any of the answers so they are not to be taken as correct without checking if used again.

Nevertheless despite the above the questions were generally well received  - perhaps Christmas has kicked in early.

It was the last game before the Christmas break so to all who read this blog we wish you a very merry Christmas and all you hope for in 2011, in particular happiness and health.

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Away to the New Castle


The plight of the Castle was mentioned some time ago - it has been put up for sale and although an emergency landlord has been installed it seems the uncertainty has affected custom and the pub does not open. Except that the two quiz teams have made an arrangement with the landlord that he will open only on Tuesday nights so that the games can take place - a fine piece of diplomacy!

Nevertheless the occasional hours do leave their mark - there is no draught beer!!! - but the landlord had arranged to have some bottles of Marston’s Pedigree (made Nick’s head hurt) and Tomo was delighted with the quality of the bottles of red wine.

The New Castle are old friends and the Phoenix really look forward to meeting them in the League. This was no exception and it was a very close and good-humoured game, with the lead switching from one team to the other throughout the match. The Specialist questions we thought were particularly good and both sets were well balanced and “gettable”. The only disappointment was that the New Castle brought to an end the Phoenix’ run without losing a game!! We were particularly pleased with the question master from the Plough Horntails in what despite the rather gloomy surroundings turned out to be a very pleasant evening.

Tomo led the individual scores with a magnificent 36 closely followed by Bob with 30, a break up of the scores being:

Bob 9/21, Wendy 9/9, Nicki 9/12 and Tomo 12/24; conferred points were 9/10, passovers 8/7 whilst the New Castle pi8cked up 5/9 passovers.

Final score 143 to 139 to the New Castle – worthy winners.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

30th November–Away to The Cock, Henbury



The last day of November and the first day of heavy snow for the winter.

Bob had managed to tunnel out of the Rainow drifts and struggle down to town where he picked up the very grateful remainder of the team from the Tavern to set off to the far end of the town for the night’s clash with old adversaries The Cock at Henbury. It must be said that the Cock looked very welcoming indeed being brightly lit with Christmas decorations and lights - a very pretty sight with welcoming staff.

Part of the Robinson’s empire, the Cock follows that company’s odd tradition of offering a guest ale that is always brewed by Robinson’s but costs more. The evening’s offerings were Unicorn (the Battering Ram Pumpclipstandard bitter), Dizzy Blonde (a tasty lighter summer ale) and Battering Ram a rather heavy, stronger(4.5%) premium dark ale best avoided during a quiz.

The Phoenix got off to a very poor start and at the end of the  five mandatory rounds were pitifully trailing with just 22 pints to the Cock’s 40 although they had played in a disciplined manner – the questions just did not come their way (maybe we should have gone second!). The last three rounds however were kind to the Phoenix  and at the end of the Specialist the lead had dropped to 58 with 52 to the Phoenix. This despite Nick’s appalling error in identifying Charlie and Craig Reid as The Pretenders (a very pleasant and musical rock band) and not The Proclaimers (‘nuff said!).

During the drinks break before the General Knowledge questions Bob told the Cock a couple of jokes and this seems to have sapped their energy and dented the will to live as the Phoenix began to assert themselves.

The General Knowledge questions were well-balanced with some interesting twists (see for instance Q49).

The question master was John from The Albion who joined in the laughter but maintained control.

Except for Bob who played a storming game the scores were not particularly good and wild guesses to improve them had the opposite effect – individual scores were:

Bob 21/18, Wendy 6/9, Nick 3/12 and Tomo 6/6; conferred points were 10/20 with 6/10 passovers. The Cock picked up 4/7 passovers. Eventual score 121 to the Cock and 127 to The Phoenix – a really tough game that the Phoenix were very lucky to come away with!!

The evening ended with a large selection of heavily loaded sandwiches that nicely rounded off the Cock’s warm hospitality. A great game with the quiz team and top marks to the Cock for the welcoming atmosphere.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Cup Match against the Ox Fford


294_uploaded_pic1The Phoenix’ first appearance in this year’s knock-out competition – and they were drawn against the Ox Fford, currently two points behind the A League leaders – but with two games in hand!!

The Phoenix gathered in the Tavern for a tactics meeting but all they could come up with was to lock Mark in the boot of the car – and even that was denied them as Mark was out of town on business. So with the words Lambs and Slaughter drumming loudly in their ears they set off across town to the Ox Fford.

The Ox Fford (the name probably comes from a now-culverted stream that passes nearby) is a pleasant local pub with three Marston’s hand pumps – the EPA was in particularly good form.

The questions had been set by The Albion and the Plough Taverners and were very well received being well-balanced and challenging.

The game was very tight with very little difference between the two teams at the end of each of the six rounds:

13/16, 15/15, 13/10, 10/14, 18/15 and 12/17 (home team’s score shown first) – yes, the Phoenix had done it 81/87!!

It was a very pleasant evening with laughter and a fine selection of sandwiches afterwards. one regret – it has broken our run of Plate finals!!

Thanks to all!!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

16th November Away To The Plough Horntails

SONY DSCIn the winter months, The Plough is enveloped in a spectral green glow that belies the warm and friendly atmosphere within. Drawn as moths to a flame the Phoenix made their way across town to a contest with old friends the Horntails.
The Plough is a large pub with three handpumps including a Phoenix favourite Copper Dragon’s Golden Pippin; the staff are welcoming and friendly and the pub is a real local focus.
The Specialist questions had been set by the Prince of Wales and were rather quirky – geography took on a strangely historical aspect and the sport questions were certainly different as was the round on Latin words and phrases. However they were to the Phoenix’ taste and at the end of the Specialist they had edged to a 10 point lead.
The General Knowledge questions were set by The New Castle who now look forward to being question masters or playing away as the Castle pub seldom opens its doors. Again they played to the Phoenix’ interests and whilst there were no massive scores Wendy, Bob and Tomo who all appear in the League’s top 10 scorers put in solid performances.
Individual scores were Bob 9/18, Wendy 3/18, Nick 9/6 and Tomo 12/15; conferred points were 11/13 and passovers 6/14. Since the Phoenix kept their cards very close to their chest the Horntails collected 3/7 passovers. Final score was a 134 to 111 win for the Phoenix.
The question master had just the right mix of firmness and humour and it was a most enjoyable evening rounded off with a splendid chicken curry with rice and chips.
Thankyou the Horntails, Pete the question master and especially The Plough for their warm welcome.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Home to The Lamb

It was good to welcome The Lamb following their excellent season and promotion last year. Familiar faces that it is good to see again. and as ever the game was played with a light heart and much laughter. We were fortunate that Marshall was able to tear himself away from his new responsibilities as acting landlord at The Lamb and we hope all outstanding problems will soon be sorted out.
The night’s questions had all been set by The Dolphin and were of a very high standard indeed; however, the Phoenix have come to realise that their tactics must now take into consideration Nick’s cock-ups that take place every week and not his originally allocated one per season. The night’s gaffe came in the picture round that consisted of details of well-known paintings with the name of the artist required; despite Wendy’s desperate efforts to turn the picture the right way round, Nick insisted on looking at it upside-down thus transforming Turner’s Fighting Temeraire to Monet’s Impression Sunrise and gifting a point to The Lamb and reducing the Phoenix to silent incredulity. The evening had started badly anyway – the Phoenix were lucky to have Wendy playing as she had had an operation on her shoulder only a few days earlier and her arm was in a sling – Nick’s welcoming hug was not only painful but ran the risk of reopening the wound!
Each of the Specialist rounds was out of the ordinary and thus refreshing and challenging with the teams closely matched, and it was something of a surprise to find that the Phoenix had edged to a 10 point lead with 59 to 49. The Lamb came fighting back in the equally stimulating General Knowledge round and clawed back much of the lead with the result depending on the last couple of questions.
Individual scores were Bob 12/12, Wendy 15/21, Nick 12/18 and Tomo 9/12; conferred points were 8/13 and passovers very low at 3/7. The Lamb picked up 5/7 passovers and showed remarkable team work with 11/25 conferred points. Final score victory to The Phoenix with 142 to 137.
A great evening, a close contest rounded off with a huge selection of refreshments of which special mention must be made of the pork and pickle pies – thank you Brian and Tracey.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Home to Church House Bollington


The evening began with news that the Church House had recruited a new reserve – Ed’s wife had had a baby that day – congratulations to both.

Nine Banded Armadillo

The Church House are old adversaries and we have enjoyed many a tussle over the years. This was to be no exception.

The picture above may be a bit of a puzzle to some but it was provoked by questions 7 and 8 in the Sport specialist section: “Where are the World Bog-Snorkelling championships held?” was bad enough but to then go on to ask “Who is the current Bog Snorkelling world champion?” nudged Bob’s memory of what until then had been the worst question ever asked in the Macc Pub Quiz League: “What animal other than man can catch leprosy?” with the answer the nine-banded armadillo – no leeway!!!

Whilst the other sport questions were not as bad as these, nevertheless no-one from either team scored throughout the round.

At the end of the specialist the Phoenix had nosed ahead with 45 to 39 and finished with 120 to the visitors’ 102, no doubt distracted by the happy news and absence of the proud father.

The scores generally were low throughout the evening but the General Knowledge were marked higher than the specialist. Tomo had a particularly good evening despite some very severe marking that provoked sympathy from the Church House.

Nick has already overstepped his quota of cock-ups by thinking that the Merry Wives Of Windsor feature in Shakespeare’s yet-to-be written play The Sisters of Bath.

Individual scores were Bob 9/9, Wendy 9/9, Nick 6/9 and Tomo 12/21 with conferred points 4/19 and passovers 5/8. The Church House picked up 2/10 passovers.

Jackie from the Cock ruled with an iron hand and timekeeping was good.

A great game rounded off with a generous selection of sandwiches – thanks to all.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

26th October – Cup/Plate Questions


The Phoenix had a bye for the first round of the knock-out competitions earned by setting half of the questions, expertly drawn together by Wendy – the first half of the questions were set by the Sutton Church House who clearly had some difficulties but rose to the occasion and all questions were ready by Monday night.

There were some issues raised during the game at the Waters Green Tavern where Nick was acting as question master but it must be said that several questions where the answer was challenged were in fact correct: the River Bollin flows into the Mersey not the Weaver as was generally thought, and the three towers at the Palace of Westminster are correctly identified.

However it will be seen in the questions that Q33 was omitted and there were two Q100’s – the questions have been left as presented to the question masters.

Comments on the experiences of others are welcome below.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

19th October Home to The Nag’s Head

Another toughie!! We have played this team under several different guises as they have had to move several times over the past few years, having now settled at the Nag’s – they have rejoined us from the A League and after two games were running top of the League.

All the questions had been set by The British Flag and probed some hitherto untouched areas one being of particular interest (A&E Q7 see picture above). This has an odd background revealed by Simon Schama in his own inimitable style: “… the androgynous idol of English pop, Cliff Richard, on whose floppy pompadour Hockney desperately doted. The title of “We Two Boys Clinging Together was both an allusion to his literary hero Walt Whitman and a giggly reference to a newspaper headline about stranded hikers that proclaimed “TWO BOYS CLING TO CLIFF ALL NIGHT” (in Hang-Ups). Other questions were less oblique and very enjoyable.

Nick is allowed to make one complete cock-up per season and unfortunately it has come early this year – he forced Venetian citizenship onto Vasco Da Gama and added a couple of centuries to his age when trying to guess the name of Venice’s airport.

Notwithstanding it was a very close contest with the Phoenix trailing at the half-way stage with 42 points to the Nag’s 44. Playing safely the Phoenix managed to close the gap but the lead kept shifting from one to the other in the General Knowledge with the Phoenix eventually scraping home with 81 to 77.

Individual scores were Bob 6/9, Wendy 6/15, Nick 0/18 and Tomo 9/15; conferred points were 13/16 with 8/8 passovers. The Nag’s picked up 6/7. Final score 123 to 121.

It was great to have a question master who was firm on timing and the evening ended with a generous plate of sandwiches and pork pie – thank you Brian and Tracey.l

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Home to The Castle 12 October 2010

The Castle is a popular pub in the centre of town with a lot of activities: there are two quiz teams and it is known as a venue for folk music on a regular basis.
Sadly The Castle has not fared well in the economic crisis and has been up for sale for some time now; the popular landlord left the premises on Monday and the future of the pub looks uncertain.
The Castle quiz team has also had problems – this was only the second game of the season and already they have used seven (yes seven!) players. We very much hope that all difficulties will soon be sorted out.
This proved to be a very closely fought game and at the end of the specialist rounds the Phoenix had a slender lead of 7 but The Castle hit their stride with the General Knowledge and began to catch up.
Again Nick had trouble with the Specialist questions (no complaints – just not his kind of question) erring perhaps on the side of caution. There was some imbalance in the questions (frequent cries from the Phoenix of “”Wish we’d had that one!!”)  but by and large they were pretty good.
Neither team threw away points with wild guesses and the Phoenix worked together well scoring 18 points with conferrals – an odd statistic being that it is the same amount that the Castle got in passovers which is surprising since the Phoenix did their best to keep the questions on the table.
Individual scores were Bob 15/6, Wendy 9/18 (maintaining her high scoring rate), Nick 0/15 and Tomo 9/12; conferrals were 6/12 and passovers 5/5 showing much discipline by The Castle.
And the surprise of the night was a draw with 112 each!!
Questions were handled deftly by Ed from the Church House Bollington and a most enjoyable evening finished with a generous selection of sandwiches – thank you Brian and Tracey.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

5th October – A Double Celebration!!!

  Not only was this the first night of bob the Macclesfield Pub Quiz League starting at an earlier date than usual, but it also celebrated the long-awaited publication of Bob’s history of the Macclesfield workhouses – a fine work of scholarship – well done Bob!! And contrary to expectations the main workhouse was not as anticipated the old West Park hospital but coincidentally on the Waters Green the home of the quiz team!!

The season started with the loss of two teams to the A League – The Knot, a fine bunch of quizzers who rocketed through the C and B Leagues to the A League where we expect they will stay; and the British Flag who seem to have achieved the Phoenix’ ambition of bobbing up and down between the A and B Leagues.

The first game was away to The Albion, a venue previously not renowned for hospitality, but what a change!! Under new management the beer was in good condition, the staff were efficient and friendly (and attractive!!!) and we got butties. A good setting for a good quiz.

The question master for the night was from The Lamb and since he had not had this onerous task before, he was getting a crash course in the finer points in the Waters Green Tavern before the game;  fortunately the redoubtable Matt Eagles (a quizzer of considerable experience!) had turned up as his former team had dissipated over the summer and he thought he might be able to make himself useful. He very kindly agreed to work with the question master for the evening.

The game against the Albion had been viewed with some trepidation as they had done extremely well in the last season so it was with some mixed emotions that we learned that they only had three players for the night .

Both teams eased themselves slowly into the game with a set of questions that were thought to be very good indeed – even with two picture rounds!! All questions can be viewed here.

The Phoenix played a very steady game giving away very little as can be seen in the individual results:

Bob 18/18 (leading from the front). Wendy 18/15 (a very strong start to the season), Nick 3/15 (a weak start despite his whingeing that he knew all the other answers except his own) and Tomo 15/12 (another strong start); conferred points were 8/8 (mainly from Nick) whilst passed over points came to 6/9. Good team work is indicated by giving away only 4/6 passovers to the Albion. Final score was 155 to 114 to the Phoenix.

But there was more to come!! Matt ended the evening agreeing to join the Albion team making them a real test for the future, and there was a generous selection of butties to finish.

A most enjoyable evening with lots of laughter and fun and a great start to the season – and a very special thank you to the new management of The Albion.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

The Plate Final!!


P1020586 Rosie the missing mascot!!

Hello there.

DUNCAN DISORDERLEY here, making a guest appearance because Nick had swanned off on holiday leaving his Waters Green Phoenix team-mates to cope as best they could in the Plate final.

I can’t say I was happy when Nick rang me. I retired from this reporting game ages ago and he still hasn’t paid me for last time. I was not having a very good morning anyway. I’d just heard that my old friend Charlie, who had always said that he wanted to die under the wheels of a steam-train finally went and did it. We are all a bit sad but not Charlie – he was chuffed to bits. Then a man came to the door and asked if he could come in and talk about my carpets. I thought “Bloody Hell, that’s all I need – a Jehoover’s Witness!”

Anyway, I goes over to the Weaver’s to do my report and it turns out that the opposition was the Harrington Arms. Now I haven’t been in there since the days of the old lady – can’t remember her name but she had a part-time job push-starting jumbo jets at the airport. Face like a bulldog chewing a wasp and wanting to know what the hell you were doing in her pub. Never went there again, though I believed
things have improved. I hear that they’ve even changed the 15watt light bulbs for 40watt!

Then there was the question master, a guy called Rick Davies who did very well with his impersonation of that guy who used to do quizzes on telly who had an IQ of 300 and green pubic hair – Bamber Grassgroin.

The Tavern team looked a bit lost without their spiritual leader who was no doubt getting very spiritual in Norway at the time. There was “Tommo” Thompson who is a well-known magician I believe, but not so good at business. He was the one who founded a website called but it folded after a week. Steve Berwick was
telling me he was going to release a single soon which is bound to be a hit. Watch out for it, it’s called “I Used To Kiss Her On The Lips But It’s All Over Now.” Wendy Brown is still in denial about having been the 1972 All-Merseyside Ladies Freestyle Wrestling Champion, and was feeling some pressure as she had forgotten to bring the team mascot, her dog Rosie. Then there was Bob Langstaff, who, if I remembered rightly from the last quiz I saw him in, reckoned that Wat Tyler is a bathroom design magazine.

The quiz started OK but scores, I have to say, remained suspiciously close. This was still the case after three rounds and as I glanced round the room I could see the fear in the eyes of the Committee. Results fixing is all over the newspapers and everyone was fearing the worst. I listened carefully to some of the hushed comments from the audience – “It’s a bit bloody close”; “It’s your round”, “Give us a crisp” “What’s the football score”, etc. Then someone reported that there was a Bookmaker from Pakistan in the other Bar and he was immediately detained. It turned out that he wasn’t a bookmaker from Pakistan, he was a Book-keeper from Patricroft, so he had
to be placated with a double brandy and allowed to continue watching his football match.

That was about the end of the excitement. Things went a bit downhill for the Tavern – the “eternal bridesmaids” - and they eventually lost…

I thought the questions weren’t too bad, and the Tavern got the best of them anyway, so I have to congratulate the Harrington (bastards!). Forty watt light bulbs obviously concentrate the mind. The questions weren’t to everyone’s taste though. When I was
taking a farewell pee the guy next to me said “There’s nothing like a good quiz, and that was nothing like a good quiz.” But I am mentioning no names, so your little  secret is safe with me Robin.

Monday, July 19, 2010



Although the start of the quiz season is still some months away, the spirit is kept alive by the Waters Green Phoenix who hold a party every year. The origins go back to the team’s promotion to the A League some years ago, followed the subsequent year with a party to celebrate relegation back to where we belong. Mid table mediocrity has been the reason for subsequent parties.P1000588 copy

Nick’s home was the venue and refreshments were a wide selection of Indian dishes and a magnificent Thai starter kindly provided by Maliwan from her restaurant. Two barrels of beer kept the atmosphere lively for which we are indebted to Brian the owner of the Waters Green Tavern.

Steve (wearing stetson) brought along his guitar and entertained with a selection of songs soon to be joined by John with his squeeze box and Nathalie on guitar and even a mandolin played by neighbour Peter.

Bob the grand old man of the team (but by no means the oldest) read from his book Untold Tales of Rainow ending with the now forgotten BR slogan We’re Getting There:

P1000590 copy


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.

P1000593 copy

Tomo delved deep into the future with his tarot cards and all the food, all the beer and many bottles of wine were all finished by the end of the evening.

Many thanks to all who attended and a special thanks to Neela who worked very hard to produce the food, to Brian and Tracey for their support throughout the year, to Maliwan and to friends who came from London to attend. And perhaps most of all to Marion who had to put up with Nick’s stress-induced temper in the preparations for a hugely succesful event.

Monday, June 14, 2010

East Cheshire Hospice Quiz


Hospice Logo Registered Charity 515104

Whilst not a fixture of the Quiz League, some of the Phoenix took part in the annual East Cheshire Hospice quiz, where several familiar faces were spotted.

It was a very good quiz drawn up by two members of the League; teams were limited to 8 but as 10 people from the Tavern and their friends and family had volunteered, two teams of five were set up: Quiz Team Aguilera (gerrit?) and Nick Clegg’s Horse Trading Company. Whilst it was strictly for fun, there was naturally friendly rivalry between the two teams, with Quiz Team Aguilera keeping a slender lead until the last round, but the questions fell right for the horse traders and the two teams eventually ended up with a dead heat – but not the winners. From memory I think they were 7th out of 40.

There were the usual blunders – and as usual it was Nick who made them. He insisted that “I wandered lonely as a cloud” came from Intimations on Immortality and the team foolishly accepted this – at least the poet was right!; but revenge was sweet when the team refused to accept his answer of Nadia Comaneci but probably because they could not spell it.

It was a most enjoyable evening with supper thrown in (including chips!!!) and we look forward to next year’s quiz.

For the moment it is on to the 18th July

Saturday, April 17, 2010

The Other Cup Final


Brushing aside the offer of using Wembley’s impossible-to-stand-on pitch the Macclesfield Pub Quiz League opted to use the cavernous bar of The Weaver for the Cup Final. The last gasp of the 2009/10 season, this was the final of the knock-out competition for the two teams who had been victorious throughout the season (there is also a Plate competition for teams knocked out in the first round that might be expected to go further but had the misfortune to come up against one of the strongest teams).

For the second year running, the competing teams were the Dolphin and the Ox-Fford C. All teams in all Leagues had been asked to submit questions that had been selected by Graham of the Weaver and John of The Castle for the night.

There was a healthy turn-0ut for the event with most teams being represented and the quiz started in an expectant atmosphere. Once again Rick Davies was the question master showing his light touch and humourous asides ably assisted by Alan Sherratt keeping time.

Many questions had the competing teams and audience scratching their heads but they were fair and balanced and a good selection for the last game of the season.

The eventual result was Dolphins 106 to the Ox-Fford 97 after a closely fought contest.

The quiz was followed by the trophy awards for the season and an appeal to all present to try to engage other pubs in the area that have weekly quizzes but do not participate in the league.

A great end to a magnificent season due in no small part to the secretary Mark and the committee.

After a summer of padding the streets on Tuesday nights with nothing to do the League will start the next season with the Plate final (in which the Phoenix will be taking part) and the AGM.

Well done the Dolphins, well done Mark and the committee and we look forward to meeting old friends and adversaries next season.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Home to the Horntails


image The Phoenix were buoyant turning out for the last game of the season: playing at home, no distractions from other activities (darts etc), the best beer in town and sitting joint second behind the Knot. A win tonight with a good score against the Horntails who were facing relegation could mean promotion to the A League – a long-held ambition. We had lost when we played the Horntails on the first leg but we P1010794then had a soggy beer mat playing for Wendy; Wendy was now with us – BUT she had not brought the team mascot Rosie. Nevertheless we were hungry with ambition.

The Specialist questions had been set by the Horntails’ sister team the Plough Taverners and were quite original with a good spread for most topics. Scoring was a bit slow for the Phoenix and at the end of the Specialist they were trailing by just two points with 51 to 53.

The General Knowledge questions, sealed since January when the snow meant the games could not be played, had suffered with the passage of time and many of the original questions had since been asked, so wisely they were allowed to revise the questions. This held no problems for the Phoenix who usually pull up from behind on the General Knowledge questions – sadly this was not to be – at the end of this set of questions they were behind by another 10 points 56 to 66. This meant that they lost 119 points to 107.

No complaints – we marked the questions highly, there were no wild guesses and points wasted – just that on the night the Horntails were the better team. So no promotion this season but as Hemingway said “You know what makes a good loser? Practice”.

Individual scores were Bob 12/9, Wendy 6/12, Nick 9/3, Tomo 9/15 conferred points were 10/12 and passovers 5/5; the Horntails picked up 5/13 passovers.

A great game with lots of fun and laughter, a superb season and we’re looking forward to the Plate finals and another great season in the autumn.

The Knot will now go up to the A League and we wish them every success tinged with sadness – they’re a great team.

Well done the Horntails, and many thanks to Brian and Tracy for their support over the season and an excellent selection of sandwiches.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

17th March – Question Masters



This penultimate game of the season saw the Phoenix asking the question in the B League having set the General Knowledge set. The only game outstanding now is the postponed game from the snowy depths of winter when most teams were unable to tunnel out of their homes to get to the venues.

Positions in the League are very tight – at the start of the evening, the Phoenix were top of the League with 20 points but only ahead of the Church House Bollington because of total game points scored, and the CHB had a game in hand.


Also with a game in hand were the Knot on 19 points and the British Flag on 18 points; and still in the running were the New Castle and The Albion so the tussle for 4th place in the Premier league looks rather small beer compared with the mighty conflict in the B League of the Macclesfield Pub Quiz League.


The results of the evening’s games are awaited with bated breath and it will also be interesting to see how our peers viewed the questions on the night.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Home To The New Castle

Our opponents this week are old friends who were sorely missed last season when they sojourned in the A League – this season they have been tussling with the Phoenix to reach that coveted 1 or 2 position for promotion.
This was the last game of the season for the Phoenix (except for the postponed fixture) and much hung on the result. The Ladies’ Darts team were not playing  so the game took place in a comparatively monastic atmosphere.
This was to be a game with some firsts: the questions  had been set by The Nags Head and set off well, the first few rounds being well received but they then sagged into trivia mode; the Phoenix generally got less than their usual scores and Nick had a first – 0 in the Specialist and just 3 in the General Knowledge. A personal worst hopefully never to be repeated. In fact the fist question he answered was Q51 about Belle De Jour the high-class prostitute, which perhaps tells us something about him. Consequently the scores for the questions were very low – another first.
The question-master from The Knot also scored a first – he had not done it before! He coped very well.
At the end of the Specialist  the Phoenix had nudged ahead with 52 to 38, but the New Castle fought back hard in the General Knowledge that eventually finished  with equal points 62 to 62. Final score 114 to 100.
Individual scores were Bob 15/12, Wendy 12/15, Nick 0/3 Tomo 12/12, conferred 8/11 and passovers 5/9. The New Castle picked up 5/9 passovers too.
As always with the New Castle it was a very cheerful evening with much laughter rounded off with a huge tray of sausages with onions and bread and butter. Many thanks Brian and Tracey and to the New Castle for a pleasant evening despite the questions.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Home to The Pack Horse Bowling Club


This was the return leg of the League against a team that narrowly beat us when we last met. They are old friends and it was good to come up against them again.

Playing at home has benefits but also some drawbacks; being a very successful pub (and rightly so!!) the Tavern is very busy and this was no different.  A group of young people had gathered to celebrate something or other – no complaints, it is a pub! -  but much credit must be given to the question master Dave from the Plough Horntails who managed to make himself heard whilst at the same time controlling the timing for the questions. Not only that, he had also assumed responsibility for vetting and printing the questions – definitely the star of the evening!

The questions have been described as being a bit  “boys own” (in particular the Specialist) and (perhaps because I have no interest at all in this) I must admit that a round on WWII aeroplanes is a wing too far. But the rounds on musicals and Macclesfield’s history were different and were perhaps to the Phoenix’ advantage. At the end of the Specialist questions the Phoenix had a lead of 57 to 37, and took the General Knowledge rounds 86 to 77.

Individual scores were Bob 15/12, Wendy 6/21, Nick 6/15, Tomo 15/18 conferred points were 5/11 and passovers 7/9. The PHBC picked up 3/10 passovers.

The final score was 140 to 114 after a very pleasant game finished with a selection of fine sandwiches – thank you Brian and Tracey and the PHBC for a great evening.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Lashing By The Knot

This was always going to be tough one - despite some bad luck recently, the Knot were still top of the League and Art was top of the individual scores.
The Phoenix were in second place just one point behind, and with Bob and Tomo both in the top 10 individual scores. Our mascot Rosie (shamefully not credited last week!!) was unable to attend – a bad omen!!
The Harrington Academicals had set the questions that were fine and the questionmaster Graham from the New Castle was firm on timing which has been something of a problem this season.
The Phoenix played with great team discipline and there were no silly answers or points thrown away, but they were up against a very powerful team. Brian for instance scored a remarkable 45 with 18/27. Nevertheless there was much laughter and fun lubricated by the fine ales in the Tavern.
At the end of the Specialist questions the Knot had a lead of 61 to 52, and although the Phoenix fought back hard the Knot won the General Knowledge rounds with 89 to 78, the final score being 150 to 130.
Individual scores were Bob 12/18, Wendy 6/15, Nick 9/9 and Tomo 12/15; conferred points were 9/16 and passovers 4/5. The Knot picked up 6/9 passovers.
The Knot seem assured of promotion now having only failed last season because only one team went up – they are worthy of the A League and I don’t think they will come down at the end of the season.
Congratulations to the Knot and all the best next season. It was a great game!!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Thrills – Milan or Waters Green?

We sat down for this game with the knowledge that Manchester United were 1-0 down to AC Milan after only two minutes. But we knew the real excitement was to be in the Waters Green Tavern with the Phoenix playing the Plough Horntails in the semi finals of the Plate.
The questions are arranged in six groups of 20 and as all questions are conferred peer pressure halts any breakaway answers.The Phoenix took a small lead in the first two but scored very badly in the third spending the next two rounds trying to catch up. The penultimate round ended with the Horntails one point ahead and the last round was won by the Phoenix by just one point leaving the score a tie.
Scores for each round were as follows (Horntails score first):
13/17, 10/16, 14/5, 11/16, 18/11,17/18 making the scores 83/83.
As usual, the answer to the tie breaker was a finger in the air job and the Phoenix just managed to clinch it. A very exciting game and although one or two of the questions caused some discussion it was played in good spirits rounded off with a selection of sandwiches from Brian and Tracey.
Oh, and United won 3-2 with Rooney playing a blinder. David who???

Thursday, February 11, 2010



viagra The Plough Taverners are old friends with a long history in the League. This was the second leg playing away from home.

Sadly Wendy was ill with bronchitis and could not make it, but Steve was on one of his very rare Tuesdays off and was able to step in as substitute at short notice.

The questions by the Lamb and the Church House Bollington were fine and very much the sort the Phoenix like, although there were some raised eyebrows. When Nick was asked “What is the common name for acetylsalicylic acid?” had answered with a confidence bordering on manic “Viagra”!!! (Should be aspirin). This led to a theme for the rest of the evening of ribald jokes (“so that’s why it doesn’t work!! etc etc). Steve rose in everyone’s estimation by DC7T scraping “The High Chapparal” from the inside of his skull.

At the end of the Specialist rounds, the Phoenix led by 61 to 52 and found the General Knowledge also to suit their interests, with Tomo continuing his streak of scores over 30.

Individual scores were Bob 9/9, Steve 18/9, Nick 12/15 and Tomo 15/18; conferred points were 4/11 and passovers 3/11.  The Taverners picked up 5/14 passovers. Final score 134 to 101.

It was a most enjoyable game with lots of laughter and fun expertly handled by the questionmaster Ed from the Church House Bollington all rounded off with a very generous massive platter of chips with bread and butter.

Thank you The Plough and Wendy – get well soon.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Stonewalling at the Flag


stonewall-jackson1 Playing away this week at the British Flag, a well-established Robinson’s pub beloved of sports fans because of the large screen. Hull’s draw against Chelsea on the night did not intrude into the quiz but brought cheer to the Manchester United supporters. The sole ale, Unicorn, was in good condition.

The Phoenix were still licking their wounds following defeat last week largely due, as Tomo pointed out on Facebook, to not following “team rules” – a three-line whip tonight!!

Following last week’s defeat the Phoenix had slipped to 4th in the League and the Flag were just two points behind but with a game in hand – an important game.

The questions were pretty good but there were no big scores in the Specialist subjects except for Tomo whose orange juice fuelled brain clocked up 15 points. Nick on the other had had scored nothing at all by the last specialist round, and was so anxious to break his duccusterk that he broke ranks and gave a wrong answer – when a moment's thought would have given the correct one!! Custer’s first name, for chrissake!!!

At the half-way point the Phoenix were trailing 51 to 46.

The General Knowledge questions were more to the Phoenix’ liking and they slowly clawed back into the game with no further transgressions eventually finishing with a slight lead – 124 to 136.

individual scores were Bob 9/15, Wendy 6/21, Nick 0/15, Tomo 15/12; conferred points were 11/18 and passovers 5/9. The Flag picked up 5/7 passovers.

An enjoyable evening finished with a tasty selection of sandwiches.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Bad News from Happy Valley


  It was good to be back upstairs at The Church House in Bollington – the pub has gone through some difficulties but is now firmly back on course having returned to its former owners (the Robinson family) after the Enterprise pub chain allowed it to run down. It is quite an old building dating back to Bollington’s growth as a cotton town and is making a name for itself for excellent food and real ale – the specials board looked particularly attractive last night and the three ales were all on top form, especially the Bearskinfull brewed in nearby Congleton (known locally as Beartown).

This was the return leg of the competition and the Church House were keen to make up for losing the first leg played at the Tavern. The two teams were practically neck and neck at the start of the game sharing second place in the League.

We thought the questions were very good if rather hard and scores were lower than usual. Nevertheless it was a very pleasant atmosphere with lots of laughter and friendly banter.

Special mention must also be made for Jenny from the Albion who acted as questionmaster – in addition to joining in the merriment she was very good on tiimekeeping which comes as a welcome change - recently some teams have taken advantage of sloppiness on the part of the questionmaster to gain extra time to sort out the answer. Well done Jenny!!

At the end of the specialist round the Phoenix were struggling 10 points behind (38/48) but began to make up lost ground until at the end of the penultimate round they had a slight lead. But then their luck changed with the final round which just did not go their way. Although they won the general knowledge rounds by 70 to 67 the final score was 115 to 108 to the Church House. Congratulations and thank you for a most entertaining game.

Individual scores were Bob 6/15, Wendy 3/12, Nick 3/6 and Tomo 6/9; conferred points were 13/16 (good teamwork ) and passovers 7/12 – the Church house picked up 6/11 passovers.

A very pleasant evening ended with a generous selection of chinese chicken wings, meat pies, sausage rolls and well-filled sandwiches – thank you to the Robinsons and well done the Church House.

Thursday, January 21, 2010



This would be a tough one!! The Cock currently top of the C League, looking for promotion and Jackie heading the individual merits. Fortunately we were on our home turf with an outstanding selection of real ales to fortify the mind.

The selection of ales has made the Tavern a very popular venue and it is busy every night; but this time the numbers were swelled by football fans watching the Manchester derby (City playing United in the Carling Cup) and the Ladies’ darts team playing at home. It must be said this had its drawbacks as the visitors (in particular) had difficulty hearing the questions.

With a couple of exceptions the questions were very good (objections were raised to questions that required two answers) and it was a very close game. Before the last set of 20 questions the Cock were ahead by just 3 points with 74 to 71 and it all hung on the last round. Split up into the six groups of 20 questions the scores were (the Cock results first as the guests):

16/14, 11/18, 14/14, 12/15, 21/10 – the final round score was 12/19 and the Phoenix won by a whisker (86/90).

Sadly the tensions generated by the close competition and noise problems meant that the game lacked the fun and laughter we usually enjoy - challenges to the questionmaster’s scoring always create bad feeling.

But the beer was excellent and went down well with the fine selection of sandwiches offered by Brian and Tracey.

Hard luck the Cock – it was  a great contest!!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

"Albion rose from where he labour'd at the Mill " - Blake.

The Albion Hotel stands close to the deserted mill that was once Hewetsons, a major force in the town. Specialising mainly in embroidery the firm steadily grew from 1898 until it was employing some 1,000 workers at the end of the 'Fifties and was a great influence in the town's football club. It then steadily declined until it finished trading in 1993.
The Albion Hotel dates back to Victorian times and would have seen the fortunes of the mill change over the years. It is a Robinson's pub and the Unicorn bitter was well kept. It is now home to  a quiz team that has followed a similar trajectory over the years but has now settled down to a consistent and strong team that at the half-way point was one of the teams in joint second along with the Phoenix (see link to News & Views at right).
This should have been the second game in the second half but the previous week's games had to be postponed as half the teams were either snowed in or were inaccessible. It was bound to be a tough game - in the first leg The Albion had won by 15 points and John Hargreaves was standing top of the individual merits.
All questions had been drawn up by The Dolphin Dragons and were well received; the Phoenix gained the edge in the Specialist rounds finishing with a slight lead of 53 to 48. In the General Knowledge the Phoenix hung on to the lead with Tomo in particular playing a very strong game. All the questions can be seen here.
Individual scores were Bob 12/12, Wendy 9/18, Nick 15/9 and Tomo 12/18; conferred points were 3/10 and passovers 2/9 - both teams had played a very  close game and the Albion's passovers were remarkably similar at 2/10. Final score was victory for The Phoenix with 129 to 104.
A strong start to the second leg and we look forward to further challenges.