Cammell Laird Social Club cover

Cammell Laird Social Club

Cammell Laird Social Club back cover

Cammell Laird have existed in the Wirral for over 175 years, and have been one of the area's main employers over that time. The company was founded in 1824 as a boiler and ironworks in Birkenhead. At the beginning of the last century the company merged with Sheffield firm Charles Cammell to create the now-famous name. Read more here...

The title is obviously a parody of the Buena Vista Social Club CD, an LP of Cuban music put together in 1996 by Ry Cooder and the must-have disc for every upwardly-aspiring middle-class coffee table everywhere.

The photo on the cover has also appeared before - in the Sunday Times' Book of the Countryside, page 73...

Cammell Laird Social Club inner sleeve Cammell Laird Social Club inner sleeve Cammell Laird Social Club inner sleeve Cammell Laird Social Club inner sleeve

The Light At The End Of The Tunnel (Is The Light Of An Oncoming Train)

The Light At The End Of The Tunnel supposedly appears when crossing the threshold from life to death. The title of the song is a variation on a quote from American poet Robert Lowell.
Notting Hill is in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, London, between Shepherd's Bush and Paddington, famous for the Carnival and the Hugh Grant/Julia Roberts film. Dwellings are a bit out of my price range.
Buena Vista Social Club see above.
Peaks Peak District, roughly between Manchester and Sheffield.
Ashram A religious/spiritual retreat, derived from the Sanskrit word 'asrama'.
Matlock Bath on the south edge of the Peak District, where HMHB played a gig in 2000 and again the following year.
Sylvia Plath American writer born of German immigrant parents in 1932, whose best-known poems are noted for their personal imagery and intense focus. Tried to kill herself with sleeping pills after a mental breakdown in 1953, and later documented this period of her life in The Bell Jar. After recovery, she won a Fulbright scholarship to study at Cambridge (England) in 1955; the following year she married Ted Hughes, with whom she had two children. Her first book of poems, The Colossus (1960), demonstrated her precocious talent, but was far more conventional than the work that followed. Her marriage to Ted Hughes fell apart, and by 1963, she was living in a London flat, ill with flu and low on money. The hardness of her life seemed to increase her need to write, sometimes finishing a poem a day, the theme of death and psychic pain prevalent. On February 11, she killed herself with cooking gas. Only after her death was her reputation as a major poet formed, on the publishing of these last works (Ariel, Crossing the Water, and Winter Trees).
Runnel A small stream.
Capri The Blue Island, to the South of the Bay of Naples in Italy. Hotels not cheap.
Swain literally a country lad, these days more the male lover.
Eyam is the famous 'plague village', which went into voluntary quarantine when the plague was imported from London in 1665.
Beak cocaine.
Leek busy little market town in Staffordshire.
Eva Cassidy American singer who died of skin cancer in 1996, and has since found posthumous international fame, initially from her rendition of Over The Rainbow.
Aphids in Picardy is merely a dig at middle-class liberal food snobs, rather than anything to do with Justine/Ruth Picardie. "Picardy is a vista of peaceful open spaces, reaching to the Belgian border in the north, the Paris basin in the south, turning west towards England and Normandy in the Baie de Somme and adjoining Champagne and the Ardennes in the east. Its landscape gently unfolds, offering an amazing diversity: vast plains, sand and dune beaches, green valleys, bocage and large expanses of forest". Guess the insects love it. Just as a coincidence, the aphid's favourite food is the rose... 'Roses of Picardy' was a famous WWI tune, up there with 'Long way to Tipperary', etc., but has passed into obscurity...
No Frills is the low cost home brand of Kwik Save - possible the only product range that has a branding identity resembling prison supplies. Whether this is relevant or not is another matter...
New Mills is in Derbyshire, close to the Peak District but not actually in it. The Plain English Campaign is based there...
"No frills, handy for the hills..." a play on Dillinger's Cokane in my Brain - 'A knife, a fork, a bottle and a cork, that's the way you spell New York', which in itself is a play on the catchphrase used by a 1980's advertising campaign trying to encourage people and businesses to relocate to New Mills in Derbyshire when it was becoming a "commuter belt" town for Manchester (similar campaigns happened in other small towns at this time, such as "What's It Called? Cumbernauld!"). Suffice to say it failed (mainly because people got confused: there are five New Mills in the UK). Luckily for New Mills, Derbyshire, their major industry is the recession-proof manufacture of sweeties and hillwalking - both of which do brilliantly when the economy goes tits up, thank you very much, as two of the pleasures that can still be afforded when money is tight (thanks Mark Boyle).
"Gimme that old time religion, it's good enough for me" is from a traditional folk song, adopted by Woody Guthrie. It also appears on Captain Beefheart's Mooonlight on Vermont, on Trout Mask Replica.

When The Evening Sun Goes Down

Bootleg Beatles Beatles tribute band.
Mark Chapman shot John Lennon in 1980.
Pat Boone popular singer of the 50's, with 'clean-cut' versions of rock-n-roll songs, etc.
County Bassoon the Boone County Bassoon band really exist - from Boone County, Kentucky, but have absolutely nothing to do with Pat.
Judy Tzuke UK rock singer/songwriter, greatest popularity in the late 70's-early 80's..

San Antonio Foam Party

San Antonio in Ibiza, Eden being the home to the Friday night Foam Party.
LTA Lawn Tennis Association.
Tim & Greg Henman & Rusedski.
"Reservoirs Are Colder and Deeper Than You Think" one of the many public information campaigns of the 1970s, and a complete failure; having neither the cult status of Joe & Petunia, didn't scare the living daylights out of you like the Rabies ones did, and only served to advertise the fact most reservoirs were unattended, much to the delight of kids & teenagers too mean to pay to enter the public swimming baths. (Thanks Mark Boyle)
"stop, wait a minute Mr. Spokesman..." as in, "Stop, wait a minute Mr Postman" from Please Mr Postman recorded by The Carpenters.
Goole is in the East Riding of Yorkshire, north of Doncaster and Scunthorpe.

Them's The Vagaries

Five day Tests international cricket matches which these days finish on the fourth afternoon (especially when Australia are one of the participants).

If I Had Possession Over Pancake Day

The title is inspired by Robert Johnson's If I Had Possession Over Judgement Day.
Goldsmith's "the UK's leading creative university".
Turner Prize Britain's best-known but controversial annual award to young artists, e.g. Tracy Emin, Damien Hirst.
Stuckist the anti-Tracy Emin, Damien Hirst brigade, who want a return to brush strokes on canvas and recognisable objects.
YBA Young British Artists, the contemporary ones.
"So I could squeeze my lemon 'til my blues went away..." ref. Robert Johnson's Travelling Riverside Blues - "You can squeeze my lemon 'til the juice run down my leg", which Led Zeppelin also did a version of.

The Referee's Alphabet

Technical Area is where the manager, coaches etc. are supposed to stay inside during the game.
Pleat not David, but simply the fold or crease.
Walter Pidgeon Canadian actor, MGM's resident "perfect gentleman". Played Mr. Gruffydd, the preacher, in...
How Green Was My Valley John Ford melodrama, which beat Citizen Kane for the Best Picture Academy award in 1941. Spanning 50 years, the film revolves on the life of a Welsh mining family, told through the eyes of its youngest child, Huw Morgan, played by...
Roddy McDowall also famous for his Planet of the Apes movies. Died in 1998. Not to be confused with A Clockwork Orange's Malcolm.
Yate town in south Gloucestershire, north-east of Bristol. There's also a Yate not far from Zeal Monachorum, by coincidence...
Zidane Zinedine, French midfielder now at Real Madrid after five years at Juventus.
Zico Arthur Antunes Coimbra, Brazilian forward from the 70's to the early 90's. Had a spell at Udinese in the 80's in between his two terms at Flamengo. 67 goals in 94 games for Brazil, a record second only to Pele. Took over as coach of Japan after the 2002 World Cup.
Zola Gianfranco, Italian forward now at Chelsea after spells at Napoli and Parma.
Zubizaretta Spanish keeper in the 80's and 90's, 126 caps for his country, which I believe is a record.
Zoff Dino, Italian keeper from '68-'82 (112 appearances), played for Udinese, Mantova, Napoli and most famously for Juventus ('72-'83). Since coached at Juve and Lazio, with a spell in the Italian hotseat for Euro 2000.
Zondervan Midfielder, played for West Brom ('82-'84) and Ipswich ('84-'92). Born in Surinam, made a handful of appearances for Holland. Think he's still on the staff as a scout at Ipswich.
Zatopek Emil, Czech long-distance runner, set 20 world records, and won the 5,000m, 10,000m and marathon in the 1952 Olympic Games in Helsinki.
Zeus the god in whose honour the Ancient Olympic games were held, and whose statue at Olympia is one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.
Zeal Monachorum a small village on the western edge of mid-Devon.

She's In Broadstairs

A remarkable resemblance to the way in which Squeeze's 'Slap and Tickle' is constructed, complete with inane rhyming. 'I get my A to Z out' is possibly a reference to Difford & Tilbrook's habit of dropping London place names into their lyrics...
She's In Parties was a hit for Bauhaus in 1983.
Broadstairs on the Kent coast between Margate and Ramsgate.
Filey North Yorkshire coastal town between Scarborough and Bridlington.
"I'm on another planet" Another Girl, Another Planet by The Only Ones, 1978, spings to mind.
Isle of Thanet is the area of Kent where Broadstairs is located.

Tyrolean Knockabout

Tyrol Region of Austria, Innsbruck, skiing and the like.
"keeping my feet above the mulch of the barton" First sentence of Phase the Third, Chapter 2 of Tess of the d'Urbervilles (Thomas Hardy) reads, "The dairymaids and men had flocked down from their cottages and out of the dairy-house with the arrival of the cows from the meads; the maids walking in pattens, not on account of the weather, but to keep their shoes above the mulch of the barton.".
Four-handed reel Morris dance.
Brakeman Jimmie Rodgers was "The Singing Brakeman" - he'd obviously put a few words in with the yodelling as well.
Paul Ross Jonathon's brother, seems to present a variety of inane quiz shows on the telly as well as the Talk Radio Weekend Breakfast show.
Old Fridge freezers, doors all removed like we're told... Yes, it's public information film time again. Probably one of the most famous of the old public information films, and one of the most puzzling. By the 1970s, when these adverts first ran, fridges with locks on them were very much a thing of the past anyway. They also missed out the fact that to a child, they were more like a Tardis than a castle or a caravan or even a bed. Grace Jones was apparantly so traumatised by the advert, she leapt out of her limosine when it was passing through the Bronx and ripped the door off an abandoned one, much to the locals' amusement. They also thought twice about nicking the tyres at the same time. (Mark Boyle again)

Breaking News

Aga cooker, developed by Dr. Gustaf Dalen, world renowned Swedish physicist and Nobel Prize Winner after he was blinded by one of his experiments in 1922. Also (possibly) a reference to the 'Aga saga' novels from the likes of Joanna Trollope, the sort of story set in middle England, populated by the middle classes of the type that typically own Aga cookers.
Bridget Jones, 32, single, who I believe kept a diary and liked the odd glass of Chardonnay.
Ally McBeal, about 32, single, lawyer.
Sex In The City Carrie Bradshaw and co, around 32, single, gossip columnist. Think you're getting the idea.
William Hill Bookies.
Newton Abbot Racecourse in Devon.
Lisa Riley Mandy Dingle in Emmerdale, now annoying host of You've Been Framed.
Three Times A Lady was a hit for the Commodores in 1978.

27 Yards Of Dental Floss

Plymouth not Argyle, but the American automobile .
Barbary Corsairs Middle Age pirates (the Barbarossa brothers being arguably the most famous) from the Barbary coast of Muslim north Africa. Instead of going for the loot, they attacked Christian ships and ransomed off the captured crew, or sold them into slavery.
Winchester is in Hampshire, and used to be the capital of England, until King Edward the Confessor decided London was better, probably so he could keep a better eye on the Godwin family (a sort of medieval version of Emmerdale's Dingles - one of whom, Harold, nicked the crown in 1066 and got an arrow in his eye for his trouble). (MB)
Bangalore capital of Karnataka, India.
Serpentine Christmas day lake swimming in Hyde Park.
"Will she ever shine her light on me?" almost certainly a reference to the The Midnight Special by Johnny Rivers, the chorus of which goes "let the midnight special shine her light on me".

Paradise Lost (You're The Reason Why)

Paradise Lost poem about Adam and Eve by John Milton - basically a long-winded version of Genesis (the first book of the Old Testament, rather than the band, who were long-winded enough as they were).
Laboratoire Garnier Laurent Garnier's beauty product empire.
Barry Venison ex-Sunderland, Liverpool, Newcastle and Southampton left back, now an ITV soccer pundit.
Davina McCall stated off as an MTV presenter, now seems to on the box even when it's switched off (Big Brother, Don't Try This At Home, The Vault, Streetmate, Sam's Game and now bloody Popstars).
"Regain it for me, Rodney" a reference to Milton's bestselling sequel, Paradise Regained.

Thy Damnation Slumbereth Not

More from Hardy's Tess of the d'Urbervilles - Phase the Second, Chapter 1:

"As he [Alec] had her basket she could not well do otherwise; and she waited, observing him. He set down her basket and the tin pot, and stirring the paint with the brush that was in it began painting large square letters on the middle board of the three composing the stile, placing a comma after each word, as if to give pause while that word was driven well home to the reader's heart--

   Thy, Damnation, Slumbereth, Not.
             2 Pet. ii. 3."

Nairobi capital of Kenya.
Comic Relief a relief from the 'comedy' would be most welcome in most cases. All for a good cause though, so mustn't grumble.
Farm Foods "The frozen food specialists".
galoot was originally the term for a novice seaman.
A Counterblast To Agnosticism another Tess of the d'Urbervilles reference - Phase the First, Chapter 2:

"...Come along, or it will be dark before we get to Stourcastle, and there's no place we can sleep at nearer than that; besides, we must get through another chapter of A COUNTERBLAST TO AGNOSTICISM before we turn in, now I have taken the trouble to bring the book."

Howard Marks Mr. Nice, celebrated ex-dope dealer.
Four different wristbands reference to the various colours you get at festivals these areas. "Pink bands only to get into this toilet, mate."
"follow me oh follow, down to the hollow..." is a slight rewording of The Hippopotamus Song by Flanders and Swann.
Britpop Blur et al from the early 90's. The refugee in question isn't Mr Albran though. Oh no.
"Chatto & Windus sitting in a tree..." from the rhyme "A and B sitting in a tree, K-I-S-S-I-N-G. First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes A with a baby carriage." where A and B seem to be just about anyone..
Chatto & Windus publishers. Not Chettle and Windass.
Keith Allen Actor, Damien Hirst's best mate, chum to the Blur boys and thus one-third of Fat Les. Famous for his "short fuse", Allen walked off BBC2's self-important live arts programme "The Late Show" after a heated row with the other panel members over his view that comedy was being hamstrung to appease political correctness. Just before exiting, Allen informed the panel, "It's not a chip you've got on your shoulder, it's a f**king vindaloo!" Allen later explained to press reporters that a vindaloo is as faux ethnic (this famous piece of "Indian cuisine" was actually invented by Portuguese sailors) as those who masquerade as self-appointed spokespeople for ethnic minority communities in order to censor arts and culture according to their own pet prejudices. And now you know why the Fat Les song was called "Vindaloo"...(MB)
Polydor Record label.
Mammon Wealth regarded as a God or an evil influence.
Ian Broudie Lightning Seeds mainman (only man), stalwart of the Liverpool scene (Big in Japan, Original Mirrors etc).
Ken Livingstone leader of the Greater London Council from 1981-86 (when Margaret Thatcher abolished the GLC), Labour MP for Brent East 1987-2000, was on Labour's National Executive Committee 1987-89, and again 1997-98, defeating Peter Mandelson to gain (re-)election. Elected Mayor of London in May 2000.
"Come saddle my milk-white steed" is from The Gypsy Laddie and Lady Maisry (amongst others), traditional English folk songs and ballads of Francis J. Child. There are umpteen other variations of the song, e.g. Georgie, as performed by Sandy Denny, Martin Carthy, Joan Baez, Ewan McColl, and The Raggle Taggle Gypsy", played to death by The Waterboys during the days they were pretending to be Irish.

Stavanger Töestub

Bending of the stubs of anodes in aluminium smelters is known as the "toe-in" effect. There's a few smelters in Norway, around Stavanger. Interesting, but nowt to do with clobbering your toe.

Thanks for help with this page to: Nigel Blackwell, Stuart Fairbrother, Pete Fenelon, Paul Grayson, Tom Wootton, Richard Wood, Martin Abbott, David Griliopoulos, John Bankier, Joseph Hutcheon and unnamed others.

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