Thursday, August 03, 2017


When Brigg had 10+ local football teams, not including Brigg Town FC, and six or seven hockey teams, early August was an exciting time of year.
For fixture lists were issued by club secretaries for the new season starting in September.
Pre-internet and email, the details of who you were going to be playing, and when, came in the post.
From Brigg Men's Hockey Club,  all members received a neatly printed fixture card with a green cover - this being the club's colours.
Back in the 1980s you bought your own shirt and green socks before team shirts with numbers, bought by the club, arrived on the scene.
You went to either Shaw's or Wallheads, we think. And it was quality kit that lasted for years.
Later, we recall buying a green New York Jets American football shirt, with number, and wearing it for a Brigg hockey match in the mid-80s but it did not go down well with the skipper.
When Black Bull FC folded around the same period, we acquired many of their green shirts which we handed out to hockey newcomers while vice-captain and skipper of one of the Brigg hockey teams.
A couple have survived to this day but have not seen active service for many years.
By the time we retired from league hockey circa 2003/4 the teams had proper numbered shirts - green and white - and squad numbers.
We took a shine to 16 - the number of the Woodbine Grove prefab occupied by the Fisher family in the mid-50s and early 60s.
So many happy memories of 30 years in club sport for Brigg teams involving about 1,200 games of cricket, hockey and football in that order...
Not a record total by any means. And we must have lost far more games than we won.
But we enjoyed taking part in them all and celebrating or drowning our sorrows in Brigg hostelries later in the day!
Games for Brocklesby Park Cricket Club, which had a number of players with Brigg connections,  over some seasons from the mid-1980s, have not been included.
Plus some more for South Kelsey on Sundays when village team regulars who worked on farms were busy doing what veteran club secretary Walt Blackburn, in Lincolnshire dialect, called 'arvistin, pee-a vinin' and bee-a-tin.
That's harvesting cereals crops, vining the peas and bush-beating for the shooting fraternity.
Lincs dialect seemed to enjoy a stronghold in the Kelsey area after dying out in many other areas, which was a shame.
When Walt asked you to play for his beloved Kelsey club as a guest you nivver turned him down!
Gerry Holmes, from Grasby, who played cricket for Brigg Town and Brock Park in the 1970s and 1980s, was another who employed a bit of county dialect.
A spin bowler having tried unsuccessfully to entice him to try a rash stroke with a very slow and flighted delivery, he famously responded by saying: "You don't catch an owd bod wi' chaff."
Amiable all-rounder Gerry had to be picked up by car for Brocklesby games and dropped off afterwards at his favourite watering hole - the Cross Keys on Grasby Top, where he had his own tankard and place reserved in the bar.

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