Category Archives: Cher

Walking in Wembley

Its funny how things play out, isnt it? Oh, I know I say I’ve never seen an NFL game live, but strictly, thats not quite true. What I should say is that I’ve never seen a regular season game live. Thats because, just over 28 years ago, in those deluded days when I was trying to be a guy, and failing miserably, I went to one of those pre-season games, that neither side takes seriously, at Wembley. I dont actually remember much about the game itself, only that it took forever to get out of the stadium parking afterwards.

But the connection between that, and today, is one team. Then the Los Angeles Raiders, now the Oakland Raiders, and soon (presumably?) to be the Las Vegas Raiders played that day, and today is the first time they’ve been back since. Yes, I know, its a different stadium now, but besides all that…they’ve returned.

Looking back, I have no idea why I went to that game that year, but didnt go and see Buffalo (my team) the following year, but I suspect cost, and probably time were the big issues for that? Regardless, I wouldnt rush to see the current Bills team, for sure!

I wonder if anyone who was there, just over 28 years ago, is there today? Maybe a few, but not many, I’m sure? The funny thing is, I’ve been to their stadium in Oakland, though for a baseball game (now only NFL/MLB cross sports stadium), and I’ve seen the Coliseum in Los Angeles, though never (as yet) been inside it. So maybe, after the move, I really will have to visit Las Vegas, and take in a game? Wouldnt it be funny if my first real NFL game also involved the Raiders, in their new home?

So yes, in terms of NFL, me and the Raiders go back a long way. Further than that, in fact, as before I left home in 1983, one night, I was playing around with my radio, and found US Forces radio station, and they were covering an NFL game. Yes, no prizes for working out who one of the teams were, it was the Oakland Raiders!

Right, video time. Couldnt think of anything really apt, other than ‘Walk of Life’, which I’ve used a couple of times, so not using again. Then I thought of this…

If I could turn back time

Yes, I know, 2 in one night, shocking isnt it? Make the most of it though, it could well be the last for a week though, due to work and things.

As someone who travels a lot by train, there is an anniversary today that I’d rather forget. This isnt because of anything more than my love of esoteric little branch lines, a handful of which survive today, but the vast majority of which were doomed from this date in 1963.

Yes, the Beeching report, ghastly thing that it was. Alright, dont get me wrong, some of those lines were so financially unviable that it was a miracle they lasted that long, but even so…In all honesty, the one I would most loved to have travelled, the branch line across Dartmoor, to Princetown didnt even last that long, it had closed in 1956! But this was the date that so many wonderful little branch lines were sent to their doom. Thankfully, not all the closures he wanted happened, a look at the map of lines that Beeching wanted left would look shorn, even against todays network, the highlands of Scotland for example would be barren, but thankfully they arent.

Yes, I regret that I will never get to travel some of these lines, and enjoy the scenery, but time travel is not yet a feasible prospect, even if it doesnt stop us fiction writers using it as a medium. I know, I did recently, though I went back further than the 60’s when I did! Lets just say it was a fun way to set a story in 1920’s New York, and leave it at that.

Thankfully Beeching is long gone, but sadly, so are lots of wonderful local railways, and a few main lines too. Maybe you can look back on a few in your area after reading this.

The video, more modern, though with an apt title