Thursday, December 15, 2016

13th December–half way


This game marked the half-way point in the season and brought together the two teams from the Waters Green Tavern. The Rams had again to draw on their rich pool of reserves to make up the team.

Interestingly the same evening saw a team from the Bull’s Head at Broken Cross defeat the Eggheads and the previous week (episode 28) a team from the Bollington Brass Band took them to a close run sudden death although they lost. And yet not one of either team looked the slightest bit familiar.

Image result for smart arseBoth teams felt that the Specialist questions relied more on trivia than knowledge and this is reflected in the individual scores. No questions however qualified for the Nine Banded Armadillo award. Nevertheless the Rams took the honours with 50 points to the Lemmings’ 38. Mike Vickerstaff patiently suffered as question master and deserves a special mention.

The general knowledge were more serious and the Rams thrashed the Lemmings with 108 to 87 leaving a final score of 158 to 124.

Individual scores were Bob 9/15, Matt 9/24, Nick 0/9 and Tomo 6/18; conferred points were 10/11 with 4/10 pass-overs while the Rams collected 6/10 pass-overs.

Brian then provided an excellent cheese board while the Lemmings licked their wounds – many thanks to Brian, to QM Dave, and to the Rams for a thrashing. On to the next half!!

Wednesday, December 07, 2016

6th December–Away to the Park Taverners


Always a pleasure to meet up with these old friends and this was no exception – moreover thImage result for 2 drunk mene occasion was heightened by it being Pete’s birthday (although it did bring back memories of his birthday five years ago when his team mates splashed out on champagne and left the Lemmings decidedly worse for wear).

The Park Tavern is a very friendly pub, with helpful staff and a wide selection of (mainly Bollington Brewery)  ales ranging from Long Hop at 3.9% to the very desirable (except on quiz night) Eastern Nights IPA at 5.6%.

As usual it was a joyous game- even the fact that the Sports questions round had been left off the pack for the question master was speedily resolved by using up supplementaries from earlier rounds. But then there were sufficient sports questions over the course of the game that more than made up for a dedicated round (at least 9 in the General Knowledge!).

A lot of thought had gone into the Specialist questions, the three “free” rounds being quite different – and they deserved extra points for the very attractive diagram of yoked oxen – but they yacht lionheartdidn’t get any! The General Knowledge let themselves down with too many sport questions but were otherwise OK. There were calls for Q53 (Phillip Green’s superyacht) to be entered into the Armadillo competition but in fact it was all over the papers having cost a modest £100,000,000 built to his wife’s designs.

At the end of the Specialist questions the Lemmings had managed a healthy lead thanks in no small part to Tomo – he always scores well but this week scored a full house in the Specialist; this helped give the Lemmings a lead of 72 to 56. The General Knowledge also played to the Lemmings’ interests as they maintained their lead with 88 to 55 giving a final score of 160 to 111.

Individual scores were Bob 15/9, Matt 12/18, Nick 12/12 and Tomo 24/21; conferred points were 5/8, pass-overs 4/3 while the home team collected 4/4 pass-overs.

The pub then presented us with a splendid selection of cheese and grapes supplemented by a delicious chocolate birthday cake for Pete created by Heather. Thank you Heather, the Park Tavern, Grenville for his easy-going control of the game as question master and as always the Park Taverners for a most enjoyable evening.

Friday, December 02, 2016

29th November–Home to the British Flag


In some respects the visitors are rather like the Lemmings, bobbing between the B League to the A League and back again the following season so we knew that to keep our hopes of promotion alive we would need to win this game.Image result for trappist monksTo ensure there would be no distractions the Flag asked that the radio/juke box be turned off so  the game started in an atmosphere of calm and serenity - almost monastic!!

After the first couple of specialist rounds, the Lemmings had built up a substantial lead of 11 points and began to feel confident – but then it all changed!!! Not only did the Flag have two very successful rounds but the peace and tranquillity vanished with waves of sound signalling the arrival of the ladies darts teams.

The question master Dave from the Nags Head managed to cope with the noise and valiantly persevered but at the end of the Specialist the Lemmings were trailing 67 to 55. There was nothing wrong with the questions (in fact only 2 were not answered by either side) and the balance was fine- interestingly Bob, Tomo and Nick all scored 9 whilst Matt broke the mould with a crushing 12.

After a beer break in which the Salopian and Newby Wyke took something of a bashing the Image result for strong womenLemmings returned to the fray, bravely overcoming the chilling war cries from the darts area and working with much discipline managed to win the general knowledge with 90 to 83. Unfortunately this still left a deficit of 5 and the visitors wore the victor’s crown.

Dave the question master did a valiant job but a separate timekeeper would have been able to keep a firmer grip on the game.

Individual scores were Bob 9/15, Matt 12/24, Nick 9/6 and Tomo 9/18; conferred points were 14/16 with 2/11 pass-overs – the visitors picked up 5/6 pass-overs.

Brian then appeared with a magnificent supper of burgers, onions, chips and bread for a spectacular finish – many thanks Brian, Dave and the Flag for a most enjoyable evening.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

22nd November – Home to the Park Taverners


Image result for home iconIn the latest of a remarkable run of home games the Lemmings welcomed old friends the Park Taverners although both teams were handicapped – Pete could not make it for the visitors and was covered by a substitute while Nick was on crutches following surgery to his foot. This was the second round in the Cup competition so everything was conferred which means that everyone’s strengths are called into play. This was perhaps bestImage result for sumo wrestler illustrated by Shauna’s in-depth knowledge of the Japanese word for a martial arts training area, but in general the questions were very good covering a wide range of subjects

It was a very friendly and close game with each team taking a close lead in each of the 20-question rounds:

Results (home team first) 19/19, 15/8, 15/16, 19/13, 17/19 and 18/20 the Lemmings just shaving it with 103 to 95.

The evening was rounded off with a splendid cheese board that complemented the Caskade ale that seemed to be the favourite of the night. Many thanks to Brian, to the Taverners and to the question master from the Pack Horse Bowling Club for a very pleasant evening.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

15 November – Question Masters


File:Male Eclectus Parrot.jpgIt was the Lemmings’ turn to be question masters this week meaning they would lose their perch at the top of the League. Moreover Bob had to be away but fortunately the Nags Head were able to provide a question master for their game and the day was saved.

Matt took the chair at the British Flag who were playing the Harrington Academicals and enjoyed a “predictably close fought but friendly game between the British Flag who led throughout and the Harrington Academicals who were never quite shaken off, but came in 7 short.  Scores were healthy and the questions received with reasonable enthusiasm.  Only 13 questions eluded both teams, although there were a glut of these at the start of the Generals.  One discovered a few things during the night including that there are several ways to size a lake, that the RSPB never was "the Avian society", but did start out as the "Plumage Society" and there are folk out there who know how many games a baseball team plays each year, whilst others have had the skill and privilege to negotiate the 21stC oblivious to the lyrics of "Angels".  There was little in the way of controversy, though my incorrect ordering of the question about the home ground of Kilmarnock and "1066 and all that" certainly didn't help the Accies' cause, whilst delighting the member of the Flag for whom one sport question per night is  more than enough”.

Nick was asking the questions at the ever-friendly Park Tavern, a long-standing team of good friends who were playing the Lemmings’ opponents the previous week, the Pack Horse BImage result for chef hat drawingowling Club. Here too things ran smoothly the only slight dissent being the measurement of a lake (volume, surface etc) and whether or not Phnom Penh was actually alliterative – both swiftly dispensed with. Whilst some questions were quite difficult they were well balanced despite Alsace putting in a surprising double appearance.The visitors put up a brave fight but the Park carried the day.  The evening ended with a very cheffy supper, presented in individual bowls (no queuing up!!) of spicy meat and rice – very impressive!!

Next week the Lemmings face the Park Tavern in the second round of the cup – a tough one!

Wednesday, November 09, 2016

8th November– A Night of Triumph and Tragedy


The Lemmings welcomed the Pack Horse Bowling Club, a team we had not met for probably five years with the our various promotions and relegations in the different leagues – it was good to see familiar faces.

In addition to our struggle, over in America was another battle for the presidency the result of Image result for trumpwhich was equally in doubt. Seldom has such a race been so filled with empty promises, lies and personal abuse – even more than the Brexit campaign.

Fortunately there was no such animosity in the Waters Green Tavern as the game started.

The whole team struggled with the Specialist Questions, not that there was anything wrong with them they just didn’t fall to our strengths and at the end we realised we had a fight on our hands with a slender lead of just 5 points – 50 to 45.

The Specialist however enabled to Lemmings to kick into gear and they started to pull gradually ahead finishing with 113 to 67, and a final score 163 to 112.

Special mention must be made of Graham from the Park Tavern who acted as question master; not only was he clearly suffering with a heavy cold there was the added distraction of noise fromImage result for noisy distractions the ladies darts competition, customers at the bar and perhaps worst of all irresponsible chatter by the Lemmings. Nevertheless he controlled the quiz with good humour and his voice held out until the supplementaries.

The atmosphere was friendly and jovial but the joke of the night must go to the landlord Brian – at the end of the game Nick paused at the bar to talk to a couple of friends and Brian interrupted to ask that we keep the noise down – there was a ladies darts game to consider!!!

Individual scores were Bob 6/21, Matt 6/30, Nick 6/15 and Tomo 12/21; conferred points 14/13 with 6/13 pass-overs whilst the visitors collected 2/3.

We woke the next morning to the sad news that Trump was the next president of America – what a tragedy!

The evening finished with an excellent cheese board with black pudding, grapes and French bread which all went well with the fine selection of real ale. Thank you Brian, the visitors and especially Graham for his perseverance.

Thursday, November 03, 2016

1 November Home to the Nags Head


We cropped out the horse head for all the squeamish folks out there. You're welcome.For the third consecutive week the Nags trudged across the car park to face the Lemmings – was this a final warning via Mario Puzo? Nick was back in place looking very sleepy after a long day’s travelling with the unenviable job of following Wendy’s success.

Whilst the teams have known each other for many years they were feeling almost family after the glut of home games for the Lemmings. The atmosphere was fine as both teams are still on excellent terms and the game proceeded with lots of humour and laughter.

The Specialist rounds we found to be difficult but gettable working as a team and the Lemmings built up what appeared to be an unassailable lead of 62 to 50.

General Knowledge were also a good set of questions but after two rounds the Lemmings found themselves in second place! However with a very disciplined approach the Lemmings made up the deficit eventually winning the General Knowledge 85 to 82 with a final score of 147 to 136.

Nick’s failudictatorsre to remember names is well documented and accounts for the large numbers of conferred questions,but this week he surpassed himself by giving three wrong answers: mistaking the capital of Korea (Pyongyang) as Panmunjom, going even further mistaking Pinochet for Galtieri, but as Matt has kindly pointed out our former PM similarly couldn’t differentiate “between one right wing South American dictator with a penchant for making thousands of their own civilians disappear and another”. Fortunately the rest of the team were able to carry the day.

Individual scores were Bob 12/18, Matt 15/18. Nick 6/6 and Tomo 12/9; conferred points were 7/20 with 10/12 pass-overs whilst the Nags picked up 6/6.

It was a most enjoyable evening rounded off with a tasty selection of sandwiches lubricated with the Tavern’s fine selection of real ales, not least the Plateau from Burning Sky brewery with amazing taste at only 3.5%. Many thanks to the question master, to the setters, to the Tavern’s hospitality and most of all to the visitors for a really enjoyable evening.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

25th October Cup/Plate home to the Nags Nead



Once again Matt has stepped in with a very thorough report – and well done the Lemmings with special thanks to Wendy

Half-term week meant a shift in attention to the Cup, although one factor that wasn't going to change much was the opposition.  The Nags Head were making the second of three consecutive visits to the Tavern (Rams last week, Lemmings in the league next) and may find their autopilot from the Waters Green car park awry when next at home.  With Nick still abroad, Wendy continued to deputise and we expected a close contest against a team that seems to have finally settled (after much traversing through all 3 divisions) into the upper half of the B League.

Questions came from the Weaver and the Royal Oak and the quiz progressed at sharp pace thanks to the efficiency of the Royal Oak QM and timekeeper (neither of whom play regularly in the league, so thanks to them for helping out) and the accessibility of the Weaver questions.  These could have probably been asked in a league match without too much pain and the opening two rounds went 17-18 (Nags first) and 19-21 with only one question getting past both sides.  The last bit of round 3 was much tougher, as if to set the scene for the Oak and the Lemmings edged that one 14-16.  After half time the Oak took the "Cup approach" to questions - remembering that only one person per team would ever "need" to know the answer and the Nags shaded round 4 11-10, with the Lemmings gaining the 5th 11-9 (in this section a run of 8 questions saw 7 stump both teams).  The final round was a "downhill finish", a little easier and this was 15-14 to the Lemmings.  So, 6 very tightly fought rounds, but the Lemmings shaded five of them to win out 91-84 and march onwards to, what will in all likelihood be, evisceration by an A league giant soon.  There were no complaints with questions, both setters had taken a legitimate, albeit different approach.  A couple of sandwiches later it was time for a swift journey back up the hill (or a not so swift journey for the back-to-fitness Andy Johnson) and we will all try again next week.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

18th October–Away to the Cock A 2


Very grateful to Matt for this excellent report in my absence:


“Rusty, pet? Rusty is too good for this lot!” (Pete Postlethwaite to Tara Fitzgerald, Brassed Off)

With Nick and Sunil sunning themselves in Turkey, the remaining Lemmings got to “enjoy” a typical autumn eve of heavy rain to make their second and last league journey beyond the bright new “welcome to Macclesfield” signs to Henbury and a set of opponents who seem to have settled comfortably into the B league pace of life after many years of hovering between this and the A league. With discussion stimulated by the potential of a Rick Davis award for hospitality, the opponents scored well on their cheerful and welcoming outlook but, through no fault of their own, would be handicapped by the single handpump dispensing a passable Robinson’s Unicorn. I did, at one point, experience a sharp citrus note, but only by virtue of switching to tonic water.

The absence of Nick led to the return from “retirement” of Wendy (a retirement that had, at least, lasted two games longer than Tomo’s) and the issue of whether possession trumped many years of service in the allocation of the coveted Number 2 spot. It did and Wendy found herself answering third, having protested that she felt decidedly rusty. The questions were provided by the British Flag and, with the good-humoured input of Neil the QM, we generally enjoyed them – racing ahead on the American States and Sport, before being hauled in by the opponents on a Geography round that we found tough, whilst Science was a bit too much for all of us. The overall impression was positive and healthy scores were posted by both teams and the Flag will, I suspect, bounce back well in the QSL after their somewhat brutal GK offerings last year. The second half, provided by the Sutton Club drew praise for variety and accessibility, although the more sad amongst us experienced a powerful sense of déjà vu in the last few rounds. The Lemmings fared well in general (though I was miffed with myself for forgetting that Dopey had no beard by virtue of looking several decades younger than the other dwarves and with my long since departed scoutmaster who had (heaven knows why?) taught us that a cutty sark was a short shirt which, in retrospect, seems near enough), Bob came to life in the latter stages after a difficult start, Tomo displayed impressive team discipline, sacrificing a few 3s for conferral when not quite sure, but the star of the show was undoubtedly our super-sub who answered 9 of her GK questions and finished with an all-time PB. The Cock battled hard but came up short, with a final score of 155-132. For those able to put Mock-Turtle Soup a long way from their minds, a pleasing array of well-filled sandwiches ensued, along with some liquid relief back at base camp, where we discovered that anything we (and our super-sub) could do, our sister team (and their very super-subs) could do better, but all went well.

Bob 3/21, Matt 15/15, Wendy 12/27, Tomo 9/15.

Conferred 11/13. Passed Over 9/13. Opponents collected 4/4 passed-overs.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

11th October Home to the Plough Taverners


Once again it was good to meet up with old friends we have played many times before in various venues – they have now returned to their old haunt the Plough.

Bob was away and Sunil took position 1 in his first game of the season.

The Chester Road Tavern had set the Specialist questions and made a very good job of it – unusual topics, well balanced questions and full of interest. Once again Matt and Tomo scored well contributing to the Lemmings nosing ahead with 59 to 57.

The General Knowledge set by our sister team the Rams were also very challenging and fair but the Lemmings slipped behind losing 72 to the Plough’s 78. Final score 131 to 135 – the Plough worthy winners.

Individual scores Sunil 6/9, Matt 15/12, Nick 3/9 and Tomo 21/12; conferred points were 10/15, pass-overs 14/15 while the visitors picked up 11/11.Final score the Plough Taverners won with 135 to the Lemmings 131. Matt and Tomo both scored very well while Sunil in his first game beat his father!!

The evening was rounded off with an interesting cheese board provided by Brian along with delicious Austrian air-dried ham, Many thanks to Brian, to the visitors and last but not least to Keith our patient and thorough question master.

Friday, October 07, 2016

4th October - Away to the Harrington Academicals


A New Beginning

Image result for harrington arms gawsworthThe first game of the new season – and with new member Matt whom we dragged away from the Robin Hood with the promise of a game every week and choice of the first butty if we win. We were away to the Harrington Academicals, old friends in a very welcoming pub that has changed considerably in the past few years having for many years been a part of a working farm business. The Cock-A-2 had a problem providing four question masters and the Harrington helped out by providing one.

The questions had been set by the Ox-Fford a pseudonym for a well known League secretary – they were very well received and scored highly by both teams. The Thar desert caused some scratched heads and there was general surprise that Dave Lee Travis was almost a local boy – born in Buxton; but As Seen In Press 27.09the one that generated much chat about supporting the team, and uplifting quizzes was Q42 in the General Knowledge.

It was a jovial and friendly evening and the Lemmings finished the Specialist with a nose in front with 70 points to 60 – no room for complacency. The General Knowledge was closer but the Lemmings still managed to hang on to their lead with 89 to 84.

Individual scores were Bob 15/9, Matt 21/15, Nick 9/12 and Tomo 12/27; conferred points were 9/17, pass-overs 4/9 whilst the Harrington picked up 2/5 pass-0vers. Final score 159 to 144 – a good start for the Lemmings, a great opening game by Matt and Tomo maintaining a high scoring rate.

The evening was rounded off with a fine selection of sandwiches that soaked up the new Robinson’s offering Hop Gun – a very palatable drink. Many thanks to the landlord and to the Academicals for a fine start to the new season.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Après Le Déluge, Nous


With apologies to Mme de Pompadour.

stormThe first steps of the 2016-17 season began with claps of thunder, sheet lightning and torrential rain in the worst storm the area has seen for many years with flooding and power cuts – City’s European game was cancelled as was Macc Town’s - even Manchester’s trams came to a standstill

The evening began with the Plate Final between the Wharfies and the Dolphin Dragons; the Dragons did very well in the first round of 20 but all subsequent rounds were very evenly matched in a thrilling game, although the Wharfies never managed to bite into that initial lead. The questions had been put together by the Pack Horse Bowling Club and the Sutton Mutton from those submitted by all teams last season and can be found here.

The AGM followed with its usual efficiency during which Haydn explained how he arrives at his placings in the Cars and Vans 4U Trophy that was met with warm applause. The accounts were not presented as the Treasurer has disappeared to some tax haven. Apart from the Bate Taverners returning to the Plough the League’s teams were much as before.

All looking forward to an interesting and thrilling season ahead.

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Cup Final 26 April


Unfortunately no-one from the Lemmings was able to attend the Plate Final, but if anyone would like to add comments please feel free to do so.

See you next season!!

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Two Sad Losses RIP


In short order the League has lost two of its most long-standing and prominent members. Not only is this a loss to the Quiz League, but as teachers both made a significant contribution to preparing youngsters and youth in the town to face the world,

Rick Davis will be known to all quiz players even if they never played against him – he was a exceptional question master in the Cup and Plate finals maintaining a firm hand enlightened with quips and comments and demonstrating  a remarkable breadth of knowledge. He was a teacher at Beech Hall school whose pupils thought very highly of him, as can be seen in this article in the local paper. The thoughts of all quiz members go out to his family and friends.



I am thrilled to reproduce the article beneath taken from the newspaper Chiang Mai Sixes – Rick had many strings to his bow!! Hope to include more soon.


The other sad loss was Alan Levitt who had played in the league for almost 30 years – I have been given permission to reproduce the address given by Tony Browne, the light touch I feel being just right.


“We have come here this afternoon to say goodbye to a brother, a good friend, ex-colleague and a quizzer.

Alan was born to Hilda and Fred Levitt on 10th July 1952 and lived in Buckingham Street, Hull. Two years later Alan’s brother Mike joined the very close-knit family. Alan attended the local infant and junior school in Crowle Street. During his time here he was a studious and gifted pupil who at the age of 8 joined the Science Club, looking for facts and the understanding of many things. He was the first in the group to know why a flame needs oxygen to burn and why liquid expands. He sat the 11+ and became the first pupil from Crowle Street school to pass and therefore go to Hull Grammar School in 1963.

As a youngster Alan was a very keen train spotter and spent many hours pursuing his hobby. When he started at Grammar school he was delighted to see they ran a train spotting club.He soon joined. A few weeks later he came home and announced that the club were running a trip to York. He didn’t tell the school that in fact he and a mate had travelled the length and breadth of the country train spotting visiting places such as Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Eastleigh, Cardiff, Swindon and Bristol to name just a few.He left the club as he didn’t think they had anything to offer him.

Alan had many interests throughout his life. His first love was of course Hull FC. He would often put people right about the fact that there is only one club called Hull in Hull and that is Hull FC rugby league, the football team is Hull City and the Robins the other side of the city are … well the less said about them the better!! Alan would attend all the home games with his Dad and Mike and go to many of the away games also. He continued his fanaticism throughout his left even recording the Australian rugby league matches and sending them over to Hull for Mike to watch.

Alan’s second love was that of music particularly Bob Dylan, although Bob Dylan and music seem a contradiction in terms to some of us but not to Alan. He had all his recordings and saw him in concert on many occasions. Although his favourites were Dylan, The Band, David Bowie and more recently Natalie Merchant he always had a very wide interest in music. From being a teenager through to his 30’s he amassed an amazing collection of albums. In fact if you had visited him in his flat in Chestergate you would have seen albums from floor to ceiling on all four walls. He had in excess of 30,000 albums!! Most of these he sold for a deposit on his house in Coronation St.,

Duri9nt this time Alan had left Hull Grammar School and gone to Bangor to study theology and trained to become a teacher. In 1975 he took up his first, and only, post at Ivy Bank School. It was a career which would put his love of learning and vast general knowledge, as well as his capacity to see humour in many situations to extremely good use. He was very much loved and respected by staff and pupils alike. During his 30+ years at the school Alan guided the football, tag rugby, cricket and netball teams through many successful seasons winning a number of trophies when sport was allowed to be competitive. He also ran the junior Macclesfield Town football team for a number of years.

During the 1990’s Alan had a spell of visiting many exciting and exotic countries such as China, America, Russia, South Africa and Australia. I think the latter was to watch a number of rugby league games rather than to see the sights.Later these solo trips became holidays with a number of the ladies from the staff of Ivy Bank. They visited various European destinations such as Paris, Nice, Barcelona, Rome and Lake Como. Although everyone looks back on these trips with great love and happy memories Alan would not always want to take it easy and take a trip on a beautiful lake, he would rather see another art gallery or museum.

As I have mentioned already Alan had a fantastic general knowledge and a great thirst for learning. This led him to an interest in quizzes. He had played in the Macclesfield Pub Quiz League for nearly 30 years and was well known for his ability. He was a member of teams that had won both the League and the Cup. He always featured in the top ten individual scores at the end of the season winning it outright on a number of occasions. Alongside the serious stuff of the League he attended many fun quizzes both as a competitor or question master.Here Alan would not only show his great knowledge but also his dry wit and dry sense of humour would come to the fore. He had run a very successful and popular quiz at the Flower Pot on Monday evenings for 25 years. Not an easy task to thin of two different marathon rounds, a picture round, a music round along with 60 general knowledge questions every week!! Monday nights just won’t be the same!!

Finally in recent years Alan had become increasingly absorbed in art and the art world. He attended an art class at Macclesfield Silk Museum for around 8 years during which he displayed exceptional talent. These art classes gave him immense satisfaction and he spent many happy hours perfecting different art techniques and experimenting with different materials. He taught himself digital art and regularly shared his work with fellow art students. He became a member of the Royal Academy of Art and presented work to the Academy for possible display.He regularly visited art galleries around the country to study the work of the great artists.

In July of this year at Macclesfield Sunday School there will be an exhibition of art work produced by “Have a Dabble”, the art group Alan attended and this will include some of his work.

Although Alan is no longer with us and will be sorely missed we will always remember him for different reasons but I am sure we will all remember him for his intellect, quick wit and dry sense of humour.”

They will both be greatly missed and always remembered. May they both rest in peace.

12th April – Home to the Royal Oak


The final game of the season was played under a heavy cloud – shortly after the sad loss of Rick Davies , another long-standing player passed away: Alan Levitt of The Weaver, although he had played for sever\al teams over the years. There was added poignancy in that Alan had set several of the questions being asked in this last game. See separate blog.

The Lemmings already knew that they were to be relegated whatever the result and the Royal Oak had an interest in how our sister team the Rams got on.

Throughout the specialist rounds the Lemmings felt they were steadily slipping behind, so much so that Wendy stopped keeping score – it therefore came as a great surprise to find that they were ahead by 52 to 47. They fared less well however with the General Knowledge losing with 74 to the visitors’ 75, but still won by the skin of their teeth with 126 to 122.

Individual scores were Bob 6/18, Wendy 9/15, Nick 6/6 and Tomo 15/15; conferred points 12/11, pass-overs 4/9 whilst the visitors collected 5/11 pass-overs.

Further bad news is that both Tomo and Wendy will not be able to play regularly next season – both have been strong assets in the Lemmings’ team and have regularly appeared in the list of top ten scorers. They will be sorely missed and we hope to keep in touch with them.

We have enjoyed the season and it is a pity that it should end on a sombre note

The evening ended with a magnificent supper of sausages, onions and chips – thank you Brian, and thank you to the Royal Oak team for a great game (whom we hope to see in the summer at Nick’s party) and to Graham Bailey who as question master must have been under emotional stress having lost his team member and friend so recently.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

22nd March Away to the Ox-Fford C


No jokes or humour this week out of respect for the terrible events in Brussels that morning and also the loss of long-time quizzer and outstanding question master Rick Davies who passed away on Monday.

Results were home team after the Specialist questions 74 to 63, after general knowledge 114 to 62 final score 188 to 125.

Individual scores Bob 12/15, Sunil 6/3, Nick 15/12 and Tomo 15/21 conferred 13/10, pass-overs 2/1 whilst the Ox Fford C picked up 3/12 – again the pass-overs telling a story.

Many thanks to the Ox Fford pub for the chip butties and to the team for  an excellent evening.

Comments still welcome

Thursday, March 17, 2016

15th March–Beached by the Dolphin Dragons


The Lemmings were at home this week to the Dolphin Dragons with none of the distractions of last week (Mark was more forthright than I was!!) as they settled down to a leisurely game with the friendly Dolphin Dragons. Sunil again stood in for Wendy and whilst expectations of winning were not high the Lemmings were determined to make a fight of it.

The Specialist rounds looked promising from the titles but the Lemmings got off to a worrying start in the first round, only Tomo managing to get a 3 in the Arts and Entertainment; but we thought that was just a glitch – we’d do well in subsequent rounds. But it was not to be – at the end of the Specialist rounds the Dragons had a commanding lead with 50 to 25 – but the Lemmings have made up deficits of that size before in the General Knowledge. But no, the Dragons increased their lead by another 23 points with 70 to 47, final score 120 to 72.

The Lemmings generally take a dim view of blaming a defeat on lack of balance in the questions but it must be said that there were many occasions where one or other of the Lemmings could answer questions put to the Dragons whilst really struggling with their own. This is reflected in the pass-overs .

Nevertheless spirits remained high during the evening and a question about the Grand National gave Bob the opportunity to tell of the couple who were found having sex under Beechers Brook – they asked for 27 other fences to be taken into account.

Individual scores were Bob 6/6, Sunil 0/6, Nick 0/6 and Tomo 6/12; conferred points were 7/10 and 6/7 pass-overs. The Dragons collected 12/13 pass-overs.

The evening was rounded off with very tasty sandwiches including Brian’s remarkable roast beef, many thanks to Brian, to Haydn for his patient question asking and the Dragons for the usual good-spirited game.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

8th March Submerged by the Ox-Fford


The Lemmings were at home to the Ox-Fford refreshed after being the previous week’s question masters. They were back to full strength Wendy having returned for a short visit before jetting off again next day – there must be something in this retirement lark!! As usual there were other sporting events as a distraction – not ladies’ darts this time, but Arsenal facing mighty Hull and the scandal of Sharapova’s banned substance that she had been taking for a decade with no apparent damage whatever its effect on her stamina. There was however a considerable challenge to the question master from a discussion at the bar which made listening very difficult at times.

The questions had been set by the Dolphin and the Lemmings were very happy to begin with as we thought the first three or four rounds were very good indeed; after that however, they seemed to get much harder and the visitors began to pull away – this is not to say the questions were worse, just harder. The Ox-Fford eventually finished 31 points clear with 81 to the Lemmings’ 50.

The General Knowledge were more consistent and whilst the Lemmings still lost they put up a creditable performance with 82 points to the Ox-Fford’s 98

Individual scores were Bob 9/18, Wendy 12/9, Nick 9/21 and Tomo 12/18; conferred points were 7/11 with 1/5 pass-overs while the visitors collected 8/11 pass-overs – figures that tell their own story. Final score 179 to 132

Hull shared the same fate as the Lemmings but they were only stuffed by 5 the Lemmings by 47; and Maria Sharapova still looks fantastic. But it was a very pleasant and jovial evening rounded off with a fine selection of cheese and biscuits. Many thanks to Brian, the Ox-Fford and the put-upon question master.

Wednesday, March 02, 2016

1st March– Question Masters


Once again the Lemmings were not playing but asking the questions this time. For some weeks this blog has been an excellent forum for the exchange of ideas about balance, obscurity etc. and I feel it proper to say something about the Park Taverners’  questions. To guard against imbalance and so on, they had drawn up a spreadsheet identifying for each question where the player would be sitting  (so they don’t get questions on the same subject twice), whether the questions would be classified as history or whatever (for subject balance) and a rating as to how difficult the questions were. I think this was a remarkable effort and is to be applauded – it certainly showed at the Ox-Fford where the scores were very close. Against this however, they should bear in mind the advanced years of some of the question masters and print the questions in a larger font than last night.

Nick was at the Ox-Fford where there was a battle at the top of the League with the Weaver; the specialist did not suit the Weaver at all but the GK was a much closer battle; the pub has greatly improved with a wider selection of ales and a much brighter ambience – and they make excellent sandwiches.

Wendy was saved a long drive to the Royal Oak which was closed for maintenance, and her battle was held at the Old Millstone – once the centre of the league.

Any reports of something interesting in the other two games will be added later.

Friday, February 26, 2016

23rd Feb Home to The Weaver


Refreshed after having the previous week off, the Lemmings bounced into their home venue looking forward to a clash with The Weaver. Sunil was standing in for Wendy and looking forward to a PB whilst the Weaver looked pretty secure in second place in the League. The game clashed with the Arsenal Barcelona football but even the remarkable two goals of Messi failed to inject any excitement into the quiz battle; however one question (GK 71) did initiate a lively discussion about how much tolerance, if any, should be given – in this case, the Weaver answered with gorgon but the given answer was (correctly) Medusa – see Duncan’s comment below. I must stress this in no way detracted from the high standard of the questions.

At the end of the Specialist questions the Lemmings despite their energy and confidence were trailing by 23 points!! They had 45 to the Weavers’ 68 but have been known to make up a deficit in the General Knowledge.

As someone once said “We shall fight with growing confidence” – so, after drinks of Brian’s fortifying ales the Lemmings confidently sat down to make up the deficit. Sadly this was more of the Dardanelles than most other battles and the Lemmings lost the General Knowledge with 65 points to the Weaver’s 114 making the final score 182 to 110. The worst ever defeat for the Lemmings in all their incarnations.

Individual scores were Bob 12/9, Sunil 0/6, Nick 12/9 and Tomo 9/18; conferred points were 8/17 with 4/6 pass-overs whilst the Weavers collected 9/11 pass-overs.

Arsenal lost too

However, the beer was of its usual exceptional standard and was soaked up with a magnificent selection of sandwiches and a superb pork pie – many thanks to Brian, to the Weaver and to the Dolphin who supplied the questions and question master

Thursday, February 18, 2016

16th February Cup/Plate Semi Finals

The Lemmings were not involved in either competition having been defeated earlier, the questions are however published - a good variety of questions and it will be interesting to see the results

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

9th February–Away to the Robin Hood

It was such a pleasant surprise to arrive at the Robin Hood – the car park was full, inside all the tables were full with people dining, drinking, talking  etc. There were three hand-pumps with a good selection of wines, draft cider and a comprehensive menu. It is so pleasing to see how the pub has been turned around – and a great relief that tables had been reserved for the quiz.

The team are old friends and adversaries and it is always a pleasure to play against them. Unfortunately the Lemmings were without Bob who had suffered a loss in the family; of the two usual substitutes Sunil was giving a talk to a gathering of web designers and Tony was sick but Wendy’s husband Ken kindly cancelled a previous arrangement and made up the team.

The questions were out of the ordinary and this seems to be a recurring theme recently – a very welcome turn away from quiz books etc. and some proper thought put into the questions. Unfortunately this did not work to the Lemmings’ advantage and they were trailing by 11 points at the end of the Specialist with 63 to 74; they did much better in the General Knowledge but still lost by 1 point (60 to 61) with a final score of 135 to 123 to the Robin Hood. There was just one question that both teams thought was wrong and a substitute was used.

Individual scores were Wendy 18/12, Ken 9/3, Nick 15/3 and Tomo 12/15; conferred points were 8/21 with 1/6 pass-overs while the Robin took 3/6 pass-overs.

A very tasty selection of sandwiches (including excellent roast beef with horseradish!!) rounded off a very pleasant evening – many thanks to the Robin Hood, to the team and the question master who sometimes plays for the Robin and who covered for the Rams who were unable to provide one,

Wednesday, February 03, 2016

2nd February–Local Derby

The Lemmings were playing the Rams who had the home advantage but the Lemmings got there early and grabbed the favoured home team table in an attempt to psychologically distract the Rams; this failed very badly as at one stage it looked as though both teams would be sitting at the same table!! Eventually the Lemmings slunk to the fireside table with their tails between their legs. But there was more to come!! The start of the quiz was then delayed because there was no sign of Bob – the Lambs and question Master Andrew graciously agreed to a delay (second moral victory) and after 10 minutes Nick received a phone call from Bob who was looking for us in the Robin Hood high in the hills above Macclesfield; further time was allowed but eventually the Lemmings offered to start conferring Bob’s questions until he arrived (fortunately he only missed one, didn’t know it, the others didn’t either and nor did the Rams so nothing was lost).

The questions themselves were certainly different (a marked lack of soccer questions except for a picture of a lady footballer) and quite testing, particularly the Specialist reflected in the individual scores below – even so at the end of the Specialist the Lemmings had a lead of 16 with 48 to 32.

The General Knowledge however showed a marked turn in the Lemmings’ fortunes but only one was disputed (Nick on the Ho Chi Min question – he was wrong but the question should have stipulated North Vietnam) and the Rams clawed back 10 points with 76 to the Lemmings’ 66. Even so, the Lemmings took the game with a narrow victory of 6 – 114 to 108.

Individual scores were Bob 9/21, Wendy 6/3, Nick 6/3, Tomo 9/18 conferred 12/10 pass-overs 6/10; the Rams collected 6/11 pass-overs

The evening finished with an excellent soup from Brian with fresh crusty baguette slices - much appreciated by all - thank you Brian, Andrew and the Rams for a good hujoured game.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

26 January–Home to the Dolphin.

The Lemmings started the second half of the season with a home game against the Dolphins – on the previous occasion the Lemmings had lost by over 20 points and were hoping to do much better this time, lifting themselves from the bottom of the table.
The questions had been well vetted, only one being challenged: “Which county cricket team plays its home games at New Road” with the given answer Leicestershire (Q2 in Sport) – in fact the answer New Road Worcester - 2 - aerial - geograph-1609995.jpgshould be Worcestershire and the setters became the bête noir of the evening. But in fact, the error crept in at the vetting stage when a question already asked recently was removed and replaced with this one.
The evening was not without humour, in particular in relation to the refining of pig iron (Q33 General Knowledge) – the Dolphins helpfully explained that it entailed extracting slag from the pig iron; Bob replied “Keep tarts and cops out of this” to general merriment.
The Lemmings got off to a good start winning the Specialist rounds with 65 points to the Dolphin’s 58 – things were looking up!!
But things then returned to normal and the slender lead was eaten into until it gradually disappeared into the the Dolphin’s maw as they took the General Knowledge rounds with 96 to the Lemmings’ 75. Final score 154 to 140 to the Dolphin – a smaller gulf than our previous meeting but enough!!
Individual scores were Bob 15/18, Wendy 15/21, Nick 9/3 and Tomo 12/15 – conferred points were 8/15 and 6/3 pass-overs. The Dolphin picked up- 4/7 pass-overs.

Brian provided a fine selection of filled bread rolls to round off a very pleasant evening with special thanks to him, to the visitors and to Mark who as question master kept a light hand on proceedings with humour.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

19th January–Away to the Royal Oak

This was the Lemmings’ first visit and we’d be very happy to return. Following a recent refurbishment it is now a community-owned pub with warm and welcoming staff and four hand pumps including two beers from microbreweries that we’d never heard of –  Bridestones from
Hebden Brtdge, an excellent brew at only 3.9%: and a superb pale ale Man Up  from the nearby village of Timbersbrook where the cause of the dreadful fire is still under investigation.
The game was the half-way point in the competition and it was good Co-op pub buyout underway in Staffordshireto be playing old friends. The questions were different in various ways: the Specialist set by the Plough Horntails broke new ground in many ways, sport in particular, and were very well received; and the General Knowledge had a spectacular history – the Sutton Club were unable to set them for various reasons and the problem was passed to Mark as secretary – but as he was playing on the night he could not do them and asked for help from his former colleagues who produced an excellent set of well-balanced probing questions.
At the end of the Specialist the Lemmings were behind by 14 points (66/52) Nick in particular having had a difficult run; the Lemmings fared rather better in the General Knowledge winning by 83 to 79 but insufficient to take the game losing 145 to 135.
Individual scores were Bob 15/15, Wendy 9/12, Nick 3/21 and Tomo 12/15 conferred points were 12/11 with 1/9 pass-overs. The home team collected 6/9 pass-overs.

The evening closed with an excellent selection of very tasty sandwiches – many thanks to the the landlords whom we wish the very best of luck, to the home team who are always a pleasure and particularly to the non-League question setters who did a remarkable job.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

12th Jan Cup/Plate Quarter Finals

“Tradition is a guide and not a jailer.” 
― W. Somerset Maugham
The Lemmings had been knocked out of both competitions and only had to supply one question master for the quarter finals so they took the opportunity to ask at the Waters Green Tavern and combine it with a social evening; this meant breaking with tradition and  rotating the question master, probably something of a first.
A further break with tradition came with Manchester United scoring three goals (against Newcastle United - thanks are due to Sunil for following the game and keeping us informed); unfortunately they returned to form and only managed a draw despite being ahead most of the game.
But these unusual happenings were cast into the shade by a much more unusual event in the game between the Park Taverners and the Wharfies: towards the end of the game some chancer (neither a quizzer nor a regular) tried to rob the till!! the barman stopped him despite being threatened with a knife threw him out, then phoned the police. One would think that was enough excitement for one night, but when the police arrived they closed down the pub as a crime scene and both teams along with other customers were thrown out!! Showing much ingenuity the teams and question master decamped about 30 yards to Last Orders, a very different establishment, and finished the quiz in considerable discomfort. The first time a quiz has been held in two venues!!

Being the question masters I’ve not commented on the questions other than to say they were varied and interesting with little dissent from the two teams.

A very pleasant evening finished with an excellent cheese board – many thanks to both teams and to Brian for the supper.

Friday, January 08, 2016

5th January home to the Ox-fford C

After the excitement of Christmas the Lemmings gathered for the first time in some weeks to face the Ox-fford C. For some it had been more exciting than others – Nick had booked a hotel in the Trough of Bowland  to avoid cooking and stress; unfortunately the hotel was surrounded by flood water by Boxing Day and several roads closed.It was a pleasure to welcome the Ox-fford C team whose questions we had enjoyed in our last game; it was an evening with no 
distractions from the ladies’ darts, football or anything else (except for Nick’s sudden attack of sneezing brought on by the hops) so the question master Rosalie from the Royal Oak had a relatively easy ride which she conducted with good humour.
The questions the Lemmings liked very much as they had clearly been given a lot of thought and introduced some new ideas into the format; in particular it was interesting to learn that The Fisher King is more than a Robin Williams film; even so, the Lemmings still struggled, losing the Specialist rounds with 60 to the visitors’ 77.
Often the Lemmings have made up a deficit in the General Knowledge but the visitors maintained their superiority (with the same proportion actually 0.78) taking the rounds with 109 to 84. Final score 186 to 144 for the Ox-fford C.
Individual scores were Bob 12/6, Wendy 6/21, Nick 12/21, Tomo 18/21 conferred 9/12, pass-overs 3/3; the visitors picked up 5/5 pass-overs.

Another enjoyable evening rounded off with a splendid cheese board with baguettes and salami. Many thanks to Brian, to the visitors for an entertaining evening and to Rosalie for her patience.