Grand Ma was always right.

July 11th, 2014

During tne 1940s, it appeared that my grand mama was always giving me advice, quite a lot I must admit I have forgotten.

“Chew your food Son.”
But the one she seemed adamant was
“Never go back to the same restaurant that you complained about previously”

When I was courting my wife, I befriended a great chief working at the Midland Hotel.Birmingham as soon as I arrived he had given instructions to inform the head waiter I was there.

I found the food to be exquisite, but if I ever ordered something that he advised against, it was
obviously not his cooking skills that were out but the quality of the Food. that particular day..

The Chef was in love with my girl friends sister, one period a Yiddish professional gambler came to the
Midlands to carry out his cheating skill. in the towns casinos, It appeared that he was very good at his chicanery
Flash Arrogant, and Ostentatious, he loved nothing better than to pull a wad (Money) out of his pocket
before leaving the waiter a shilling tip.with the comment tell the Chef to try a little better next time I come.

By chance he met my future sister in law, at the city centre Hairdressers Raymonds, and she was swayed by the amount of cash he had. as well as the fact he had a Merc Sports drop head
When invited out the girl accepted.

The Chef was distraught and threatened one day he would gain revenge.

It was months before he had the opportunity,
Obviously the card sharp didn’t have a Gran. as worldly as I did.

“Steak Diane with brandy and mustard sauce for two. I hope it is as good as I have been told it will be if not I will not be paying”

“I will inform the Chef of your request Sir” counterd the waiter.

A few months later I was in the company of the Chef who explained, that he remembered the incident. and explained the sauce differed in content, from what he had been taught by Albert Roux his French teacher.

Only after we both got drunk did he divulge what the Manchester Spiv had devoured, not to mention the sister in law.which I will refrain from comment, not wishing to spoil the day for you.

71 year later to be precise, my wife who is not well, asked me to fetch a take out meal from Morrison’s, my local super market. for she could not pull herself to get ready, to go out for a meal. at our usual Pub.

“Two Lasagne with Sallad. to take out please my Dear.”
“Sorry we have no containers for a take out meal”

You would have thought that I would have known better, and just gone to one of the other willing super markets of which there are a dozen.

As I arrived at the Morrison complaint desk a lovely young girl was in charge who knew the amount of money we spent in the shop. during a normal week, and although I didn’t expect preferential treatment.I wanted answers,

After a while she returned with one large container, where the manageress of the restaurant had indicated that it wasn’t big enough for two Lasagne and salad.
It was obvious that the extra work contained in a take out was not for the Manageress,s liking that morning,

When I went back I complained that it was bad management to allow the stock to fall that time in the morning, which meant they could no longer offer a take away anyone.

It was clear that I was getting sucked into a difference of opinion than the one offered by my grand mothers during WW2,

When I went to pay, it was £9.50 for two Lasagne and Salad. not a great deal you may say.

“But I have no salad.” all I have been offered is two Lasagne. The difference of opinion was no longer with any human, it was against the Till that couldn’t differentiate between Just Lasagne and Lasagne and Salad.

After a wait of 35 minutes, two containers of Lasagne and two containers for Salad plus arrived. were she found the extra three containers I left un answered.

As I placed it on the plate at home I could hear some one speaking to me.

Ne pas manger de la merde it sounded very much like the Chef.

I called the Staffordshire Terrier and placed my dish in the dogs bowel Tiller (The Hun.) devoured the lot without fact I guess in her black country accent she would have stated,


Whilst the Wife thought that it was nice, I was content for a home made Banana Sandwich.

I then sat alone in my computer room, trying to remember all my gran,s (Charlotte) best advice, to jot them down for my grand Kids to remember.
At least I doubt the added content would have not done much harm.

The one were she told me to chew my food and not just swallow whole. was more serious.
The day that I swallowed a Pineapple Square whole. almost resulted in death by Choking.


P for Place.

July 5th, 2014

The ROA Gold Standard Award for racecourses was established in 2006 to recognise excellence in the raceday experience for owners, their horses and stable staff.

What about the Racecourse Punter. ? were is the excellence of there race day experience.

5 meetings today and not one worth while place bet, every race the place odds at the maximum against punters rights.
The Bet365 Old Newton Cup. one of the country’s great events. and has now been taken over by one of the country’s leading Bookmakers. what a pity.

In 1920s during the black days of racecourse skulduggery, the Racecourse Authority agreed that Bookmakers should run there own affairs on course a Bookmakers trade Association was formed, with Punters included,

The Racecourse Bookmakers and Punters, Association, however as expected the P was soon taken out, and to this day has never been reinstated,

It is about time it Was.

Don Butler.

Early Bird Catches the Worm

June 17th, 2014

If we could go back to the 1950s Bird would have been up since 4.30 getting his cheat (Each way) Bets on)
1/4 the odds a place, some of his business would have been on a commission basis, no wonder he became a Multi Millionaire.

The Bird I am describing is Alex Bird who made a considerable amount of money from betting after the war.
What Alex was if we exclude his Photo Finish Skulduggery. he was an Each-way Scammer, betting on races were if he didn’t win the selection would certainly be placed.

A little unknown to the vast majority even his Historians have never mentioned, when describing Alex in the many Books underestimate his relationship with the Knock Out experts, Max Parker (Ladbrokes) known as Snoutie for the massive size of his noes. no one was shrewder than Max. when it came to price manipulation, How the Starting Price assessors would see Max offering 6/4 an even money chance but refusing all requests. and still used the offer in there calculations. always surprised me.

When I woke this morning at 5.30 and fetched my Sporting Life (Now the Post) I had a shower and sat down to survey which Bookie was giving the most money away, in daily concessions, Ascot was always money for snout, Day, I was always told that bet before 9.0 and then allow the kind Bookie to make his own profit after 1.0
I will pop into Corals although I doubt they will be open at 8.45 more like 9.30 when the freebie have all be taken by the shop cleaners.

But today I don’t know were to start, all the best bonus,s are restricted to new telephone clients and
and then even further to minimal bets.
This of course alienates the High Street Cash Customers but that’s there problem and not mine,

A telephone call to my old clerk to see if he had an account with Paddy P, when he said no then I quickly arranged for a £10 Treble Brazil. Belgium and Russia. at 10/1 that will do for a start even if I will have to juggle the profit through my Betfair Account. I have also told him to place a £50 on Tornado at SP. I will play with the £100 bonus during the week.

Two great Bonus,s if I can convince Independent, Bookie to allow me a Money Back if 2nd, (Offerd by William Hill) Wilf Gilbert is obliged to offer all the same concession being offered by Paddy Power, Hills, Corals, Ladbrokes, all operating in the Redditch Town Centre. of he wishes to survive. however betting to terms being offered by a competitor never did work for me.

The money back if 2nd by Hills is great only if you select short priced favourites there are two today and you can have a free bet for nothing if it is 2nd. or if you wish to trade on Betfair you can guarantee 25% profit.

I will have to pop in to Morrisons, the supermarket struggling surviving, to see if there two for one Irish Butter is still on offer.

I may have a Breakfast, although I am fascinated by the SUN’s feature regarding how to lose weight and eat what ever you like..One Day on and one day off. any one could go 24 hours with only water, si you can eat anything the next day.Gorging yourself on as many burgers, chips and cakes as you like one day then eating fewer calories than you find in a cheese sandwich the next might sound like a worrying eating disorder.
But this regime of chomping away to your heart’s content one day, and virtually starving yourself the next is the latest diet craze. It’s known as ‘intermittent fasting’ or ‘alternate-day dieting’,and devotees insist the pounds just drop off.
The diet soared in popularity after featuring in a BBC2 Horizon documentary a few weeks ago by health journalist Dr Michael Mosley. After a month eating normally five days a week and eating just 600 calories the other two days — known as the 5/2 diet —(That will do for me)

This is great and on the day that you are restricted to Water only you walk 2 miles. in the morning and
2 in the afternoon. Power Walking.

Dont usually watch the racing at Ascot, I keep remembering the fun I used to have there for over 35 years.

The best fun I had was betting on the colour of the Queens Hat, as I was entertaining the vast amount of customers, I noticed an American and his wife dressed up as if there were straight off the My Fair Lady Set,
Her husband never took his eyes off me and my spiel.

“you seem to know every one her by name Sir”

I tell you what if I wanted to I could get every one on the course to respond to my request.
“I would like to see that” the Yank said.

Give me a £5 then and I will show you.
He pulled up a 5 Doller Bill that I placed in my Odd.

Out the corner of my eye I noticed the Queen and her guests were approaching the 2 furling Post.
in the Royal Coach,
As they moved to the 1 furlong
I climbed on top of my big stool. and shouted as loud as I could HIP HIP,
5 thousand people packed along the running rail all called out to a man (Mostly women)


I wish you all good luck and remember you dont have to lose when you bet.


The 2 F Words.

June 16th, 2014

When I google tales of interest, I like to understand if it is factual or fictional. take the 1913 Epsom Derby, were Abuyeur was given the race after the first past the post Craganour was placed 2nd.
I could make a case for a conspiracy, however that would be an opinion on my behalf,
Following the anniversary last year, a great deal of debate took place that used forensic equipment to decide an element of the race that has been debated many times over the century,

It was during a pub quiz, when a question was asked,

What was the year and name of the suffragette who brought the Kings Horse down when trying to place a suffragette scarf around its neck,
Answer Emily Davison. 1913.

What historians tended to do is copy what was written at the time without coming to there own decision. looking at all the facts. it was such a public interest matter, that common sense should have prevailed.prevail.

I have come to the conclusion that the writers at the time were just down right idol. ignoring the facts. consideration is a great deal of common thought. and examination. it was the truth of what occurred when a demented suffragette Emily Davison was killed after colliding with one of the stray horses The Kings Horse that was tailed off and well behind the leaders.
For over a century, opinions raged whether the suffragette was on the Hill of the famous racecourse in a position well known for a view of the horses approaching the straight, the ariaa known as Tattenham corner is part of the Free Course,

Wikipedia, (11 October 1872 – 8 June 1913) states, Emily Davison, was a militant activist who fought for women’s suffrage in Britain. She was jailed on nine occasions and force-fed 49 times.She is best known for stepping in front of King George V’s horse Anmer at the Epsom Derby on 4 June 1913, sustaining injuries that resulted in her death four days later. Emily Davison’s funeral on 14 June 1913 was organised by the Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU). Thousands of suffragettes accompanied the coffin and tens of thousands of people lined the streets of London. After a service in Bloomsbury her coffin was taken by train to the family grave in Morpeth, Northumberland.

Modern historians agree that Davison was trying to disturb the Derby in order to draw attention to her cause, rather than to commit suicide, and 2013 analysis of newsreel has supported the idea that Davison was reaching up to attach a scarf to the bridle of the King’s horse. Analysis of newsreel also indicated that her position before she stepped out onto the track would have given her a clear view of the oncoming race, further countering the belief that she ran out in a haphazard way to kill herself.

This statement is the most foolish I have ever read in the many books plus the pathie news images, I advise anyone who doubts my opinion, just test it yourself.

Imagin that you are a minute Scottish lassie Standing in the same position as Emily, behind her were thousands of punters, Bookmaker’s charabancs.many over 12 ft in height.
making it impossible to have seen the horses as they approached the straight, place cotton wool in your ears, for all she would have heard was the noise of the public, and it excitement as the horses approached.

For her to have stood on the rails, whist the vast amount of runners, passed her would suggest that she knew that the Kings Horse was not one of them. and was in the rear, this assumption is ridiculous. in the extream.

How could she have known that very important fact. there was no commentary or radio link she was looking straight ahead, across the course, until the majority of the runners passed.

She then began to walk across the course, and only with good fortune two runners sidestepped her, there is no possible way that she knew that the Kings Runner was one of the remaining three.

X Presenter Clare Balding and investigators Stephen Cole and Mike Dixon returned to the original nitrate film stocks taken on the day and transferred them to a digital format. This was done so that they could be cleaned and so that new software could cross-reference the three different camera angles.

“It has been such an extraordinary adventure to discover more about her, about what she stood for, about the suffragette movement,” said Balding this weekend on her work with the team making Secrets of a Suffragette.
“It is hugely significant as a moment in history, a moment that absolutely sums up the desperation of women in this country who wanted the vote.”

Historians have suggested that Davison was trying to attach a flag to King George V’s horse and police reports suggested two flags were found on her body. Some witnesses believed she was trying to cross the track, thinking the horses had passed by, others believed she had tried to pull down Anmer. The fact that she was carrying a return train ticket from Epsom and had holiday plans with her sister in the near future have also caused some historians to claim that she had no intention of killing herself.

What these so called forensic experts have forgotten by removing all the back ground and come ro a conclusion that E,ily could see the runners round the bend and therefore knew were the Kings Horse was. stupid. how could you remove

In 2011 the horse-racing historian Michael Tanner argued that as Davison was standing in crowds on the inside of the bend at Tattenham Corner it would have been impossible for her to see the king’s horse.
But new cross-referencing between the cameras has revealed, say the C4 programme makers, that Davison was closer to the start of Tattenham Corner than thought and so had a better line of sight. In this position she could have seen and singled out Anmer.

Historians have suggested that Davison and other suffragettes were seen “practising” at grabbing horses in the park near her mother’s house and that they then drew lots to determine who should go to the Derby.

XIn 2011 the horse-racing historian Michael Tanner argued that as Davison was standing in crowds on the inside of the bend at Tattenham Corner it would have been impossible for her to see the king’s horse.

But new cross-referencing between the cameras has revealed, say the C4 programme makers, that Davison was closer to the start of Tattenham Corner than thought and so had a better line of sight. In this position she could have seen and singled out Anmer.

Historians have suggested that Davison and other suffragettes were seen “practising” at grabbing horses in the park near her mother’s house and that they then drew lots to determine who should go to the Derby.

What should be stated is that Emily, was promoting her cause on the Hill and intended to do what many had done in previous Derbys, to wait until the runners passed Tatenham Corner and walk down to the grand stand, were they may get a glimpse of the King and Queen. in there Box. and the full result of the race displayed for all to see,

I find it deplorable when tales that are fact, are altered for a fictional interest, we all know how stories are told fir the general public to read, adding froth, to make a rale more exiting.

Once the writers of the time knew a suffragette had collided with a Derby Runner and fetched it down, it became a massive story when that horse was the Kings. The story was diluted if it was an accident, I hope that in future the Pub Quz, Master states clearly that it was in fact a pure accident, when Emily crossed the course missing two runners, by inches, and colliding with one of the remainders, who just happened to be the Kings runner.

Every day we read tales in the public interest, and daily we know it is pure bollox. Take the TV coverage of Mr Selfridge” the actor a very handsome man in his early 30s playing the part of a 60 year old. womaniser. when we see his wife die, in the final part three. (1918.) we also see a very young attractive actress playing the part of this 60 year old women, we also know factually that both husband a wife knocked years of there true age, having left it very late to move to England to take on the London department store trade.,

There is no doubt that Selfridge, becomes a sugar daddy in his latter years. but story tellers once again add a great deal of froth to making an interesting story much more exiting.
During the years of the Great Depression, Selfridge’s fortune rapidly declined and then disappeared — a situation not helped by his continuous free-spending ways. He gambled frequently and often lost. He also spent money on various showgirls.In 1941, As a 83 year old it will be far fetched, if the same actor play’s the part. he wont be the first old man to be a sugar daddy who craved attractive girls in his company, and Harry was prepared to pay for the attention.

During the time he had also become a compulsive gambler, taking on the Greek Consortium, of Nick Zographos well known as Nick the Greek, a brilliant professional gambler. operating in all the popular casinos at Baden Baden Monte Carlo. Deauville, The Dolly Sisters, gave Harry the publicity he a very large cost.

However when we discuss his final years, we must consider that when he moved into the Putney Flat, the statement, that had become impoverished, requires a little examination. also it is significant that in every feature it just mentions he moved into the flat with a daughter. making it sound like he had moved into a slum district, in a council flat.

Closer examination invites readers to discuss who was the Daughter, and Son in Law he lived a rented Putney Flat. for Rosalea was in fact the daughter who married Serge de Bolotoff, later Wiasemsky,

Consider that Harry was being chased by the inland revenue, and as a wonderful loving father would have taken a great deal of advice on getting his affairs into control.
The Selfridge board voted him off with a £6,000 a year fund, but dont forget that his wife when she died was a very very wealthy women in her own rights, owning a massive amount of property in Chicago.

Harry had plenty of time to safeguard the interests of his children, I would imagine all sorts of Trust Funds having been considered if nit by Harry but certainly be Harrys Fathers in Law and the Buckingham Clan, (His wife’s Family)

On 8 May 1947, Harry Gordon Selfridge died of bronchial pneumonia at his home in Putney, south-west London, aged 89.At the time of his death, Selfridge was reported to have been destitute. His funeral was held on May 12 at St. Mark’s Church in Highcliffe after which he was buried in St Mark’s Churchyard next to his wife and his mother

When reading one historian he uses the word, Harry who had been a very rich man had become relatively (regarded in comparison with something else rather than absolutely) poor. to say that Harry was impoverished and destitute, would employ that both daughter and son in law were also skint, for the would not have allowed such an important man, in his time to lose all creditability. sorry I don not believe it.

Even the £6000 he was being paid a reduced pension, after he retired, dropped to £2000 a year, would in my opinion be advised. by the same firm of solicitors he had from the early days. he retired, at 83 and died at 89. May 1947. that 6 years is the opportunity to make the Selfridge Tale, Fiction as against Fact.

No doubt the public wished to hear that a man so stupid with his massive fortune got what he deserved when becoming destitute and impoverished, dressed like a tramp he was charged outside the store he made famous.

Destitute is a word that highlights the way writers in making a tale interesting, by adding a great deal of fiction.when fact would have been much better.

In 1943 Harry is filmed at Newmarket in his beautifully made cloths, silk socks Tweeds, only 6 years before he died, he was indeed living with his daughter Roselea, at the time alongside her husband a Russian aristocrat, I cant wait to see Harry in his destitute clothing, when the final takes appear.
The cloths that Harry wore all his life were made to last I will take the story of him being dressed like a tramp outside the main entrance of the massive store with a large pinch of salt. I will also be happy to see the police records were they charged him with vagrancy.

I have not seen a family trust fund made out to protect the future of the Selfridge Kids. but I will be surprised if they didn’t exist.

I know a little about life expectancy of top quality Cloths especially the ones made for Harry even if he had developed loss of memory, he didnt become shabby. in a few years. I doubt that his daughter, a Princess after her marriage to a Russian Prince. would allow the head of a very wealthy family. with massive land in Chicago, to bring shame on the name by becoming destitute, I will however wait to see the third and final phase on Harry Selfridge’s life, with a great deal of interest.

I wonder who they will get to play Harry in his final decade, of his life. after all he will be on his way to 90.(89) when he died.What must not be forgotten was Harrys love of his family. and although he lost the chairmanship of the firm, it was passed on to his son and the £6000 a year he was receiving was finally reduced to £2,000 he still made a will himself leaving money to his .daughter. Rosalea.

God bless you Harry I guess that you were cleverer than the majority take you for.
All his children attended his funeral. and flowers covered his grave until in the late 80s when like many graves they became neglected the same as his mother and wife’s, that life I am afraid.



The Good Old Day.s

June 15th, 2014

“You will have to clean out the loft one day, we cant leave it to the Kids. it may be of interest to you, but it certainly isn’t for the grand children. they don’t know who Dorothy Paget was.
The dreaded statement, has haunted me ever since I retired old books, racecourse equipment, that would be refused prior to any bonfire night. were once my pride and joy.

I had to make some effort so I cleaned out the Shed instead, that was bad enough.
However last Monday I decided to climb into the loft and start the dreaded function.
Having watched a program on TV Chanell 148 called “Hoarders,” I felt a little sad that racing books, and Vanity Fair Prints, would be in a skip. when they had given me years of enjoyment.

The first box I found hidden from the elements, was the old racecourse tools, generated after 7 decades, two Odds, (Bookies Bag) a mettle tripod, that was used when Airborne and Tom Lowery, won the 1946 Derby, to open the bag I had to scrape some nasty looking mushroom, away from the loch.
what ever it was it had a great deal of sentimental value if not monetary.

Underneath there were racecourse clerking books from the 80s the period when some foolish politician introduced a on course betting tax.I will not admit that these were duplicate, in an attempt to minimise expenses.but I was amazed with the amount of turnover taken from the firms pitches, after all they were Silver Ring not Tattersalls. .

I then looked into a hidden corner and found some of the firms Rule Books, this was before some greedy individual advertised the word NO LIMIT, How on earth punters survived in these days, I will never know, betting was as much as 2% per runner, profit.

When reading the rules I must admit I was amazed that we ever managed to take any bets,
Amongst the papers was an old betting slip from 1962 over 50 years was still readable. the first thing I noticed was that there was no receipt number just a name.

A small piece of paper from a used brown envelope, 4 horse names, at the bottom of the betting slip was the name Sailor Jim. a tear came to my eyes, when I remembered, the actual punter who owned the slip. no receipt just a personal non de plume.

I always knew him as Tommy and he was one of the first punters who entered our shop when we opened it in Selly Oak, when we moved to Northfield he moved with us, and for a while he was our board-man.

Underneath the horses the type of bet, still clear as a daisy. (Old Saying of unknown meaning)
A Yankee, 6 Double x Four Trebles and x 1 accumulator. 11 bets at the grand total of 55 Pence.
What was the reason for such a non de-script bet being kept for over 50 years.
In my personal writing was three prices 9/1 4/1 10/1 next to the selections, this indicated that I had been on duty working out any winning bets, and was on my toes making sure that any liability was under control. three winners and a cross for the last horse,
The cross, similar seen on a church, a crucifix, It indicated that selection was dead.

The cross had a significance that made my eyes blink again, and for a few seconds, tears once again streamed down my cheeks
I had to climb back down out of the loft and make myself a cup of tea, in fact if I remember ot would have been a Sherrie at the time.

“What’s happened,”
Nothing Dear, just an old memory that has come back from our old day’s..

“I just found this old betting slip from the 60s. we had a punter called Tom he was a loverly old man, I dont ever remember him backing any worthwhile winner, but could always tell you the losers he had backed.
He would hold the shop punters in awe telling them about his unlucky bets that he had encountered, never any lucky one’s.

He once told me that he was going off to his daughters wedding, and decided to leave the Grand National to the Queen Mother, who he idolised, having been a sailor in the WW2, he placed a £1 win Devon Loch and went off to the wedding.

Being poor, I very much doubt he had ever seen much more than a £5, in his life. renting a suit and hat, for the special day after the wedding they all went into a back room to listen to the 1956 race on radio. When Devon Lock, went clear the commentator said the Queen Mum has win the big race at last.

Tom shouted out “Hats OFF to the Queen Hip Hip he never reached Hooray, when the horse collapsed.
Well Tom would have every one in stitches when he came to the punch line. Tom would say I never minded the Horse falling over 10 yards from the post but some one nicked the Hat.and I had to pay for it.

“Well why would that make you cry.” my Wife questioned.

No it wasn’t that but in 1962 Tom had this bet a 5 Pence Yankee and the first three won,
He was dashing around the shop. like a two year old, showing his slip to every punter in the shop. and being Saturday we were busy.

The last horse to run was a Lester Piggott favourite at Evens, I thought it was odd that he had selected three big price winners, for I had never known him back anything other than favourites. Tom was going redder and redder as the last race approached, he always sat on a big stool. a few feet from the door, he once told me that this allowed him to see every one who entered the shop. he hated his only daughter, who he idolised, knowing that he spent all day in the betting shop.

With an hour to go before the last race, Tom had gone very quite
It was at this time that I noticed his cheeks had become puffed up. and he was looking a little agitated.

On the other hand at least a dozen punters mostly his friends were asking to look at the bet, after all it wouldn’t have been the first time, he had exaggerated a little. I had no problem with that, The conversation whilst we waited for the last race, seemed to revolve about how much he would win,
Every body loved Tom and they supported the favourite to a man, at 4.58 just 2 minutes before the off.there was a cry, then silence.

Tom had fallen off his stool and was dead before he hit the ground. I had never seen a corpse at the time but certainly knew one when I saw the old man’s face..

Every one was gathered round the old sailor more interested in his bet than his health.
I decided to take over procedure I lay him down, and placed a pillow under his head, and covered him with my best overcoat. a cream mohair,

The police arrived and even Sargent Dennis, seemed more interested in his wager, and the amount he had running in the last runner.

It was an old Birmingham meat market worker, who had arrived in the shop just before 5.0 who asked the question every one in the shop seemed interested in, what’s Tommies money running on, straingers followed up with who is under the coat,?

Meat market workers were always known as Hard, considering the amount of death they encounter every day even though it is animal and not human.

He was the first to say, well we all know Tom was unlucky, so why should his fortune change after he had died,
A conversation then commenced regarding if the last horse would win or lose based upon Toms history
The closer we got to the race I had noticed every one was pumping for the opinion that .having died and therefore he would not benefit financially, himself the horse would certainly WIN.,

At the off I estimated that of the 50 odd people in the shop every one had backed the Favourite. even Sargent Dennis. who had placed £2, Win, probably the first and last bet in his life. being a staunch Christian, and dead against a choir singer.

The noise when Lester riding number one the top weight. came on the outside, was deafening, if anything could have brought Tom back to life it was this.

No Television only a Tanie system, when the announcement “A Photo Finish” between No 1 and No 12. was announced it never concerned the mass of punters, for it was well known that the number given first in any photo would be the winner 90% of occasions. just be a matter of a few moments before Piggot would be announced as the Winner.
Even though Tom had died, every one was pleased for him.

After 5 minutes and no result, The Meat Worker grafter was starting to question Toms final punt.

Here is the result of the 5.0 Windsor,

Winner number 12. SP 20/1.
If silence could have been bottled, this was it.

The next day Toms Daughter arrived in the shop to claim his winnings, she had been told that he had three big price winners.
I had held a meetng with my brother the night before and we had decided to round his winnings with a collection that we had in Toms memory, making it over £150.

When I gave it to his daughter, and received a wonderful letter from his widow Anne.
I was invited to the funeral. and asked to make a speech about Tom, but found it daunting following on from his friends in the navy.

When my name was called to contribute, I was speechless. however never short of a word or two I told the tale of when we held a whip round for Tom 12 months before his death.he had being taken to hospital and thought to have gone then,

Every one knew that he was a massive Bock, in gambling, never having won, anything before his final wager,

My brother and I decided to give Tom a win/win opportunity, so placed two betting slips in my trilby.

One was for £20 and the other for £40. The Hat was held high above the Sailors head and he reached for his winnings,

He passed the bit of paper, to me to make the fortunate announcement.

Medium 7. 1/8

I am not sure if the tale was understood but I am sure To, would have laughed a little.

D.Day With William. today.

June 7th, 2014

During the 65 years that I have spent gambling, I have never seen so many mind blowing opportunities, for the British punter.

What I ask myself, is if Bookmakers can now virtually give there money away, what chance had the poor punters who lived during the 40s well of course they had no chance.

The only concession was money back if your horses didn’t run, the standard rule being all in run or not.

Well we must not exclude the wonderful Bonus of money back if your winner was disqualified. (Only once in the Derby since 1780)

So the question is how can Bookmakers give so many concessions away, today. when there fathers didnt, only Crockford, offered combination bets at the time.

Simple two changes, have occurred, that makes the saying (Licence to print money “John Banks” the greatest understatement, ever used,

The first development is change to recovery of Gambling Debts, by law, but the most significant change is the debate/credit card facility, that allows a punter to be tied in to a permanent account,

Making the vast amount of punters, only a tick away of Doom.

When a Bookmaker offers a Free bet, what he is doing is paying what will be coppers for a greater licence to Print fortunes.
What will start as a Free cant lose £10. into a £1000 a year losing account if the punter is lucky.

On the other hand, there are a minute amount of punters, many of them insider traders from old. who see that there old games in the stock market, are no different, than today’s, at Betfair.

It is William Hill. who in the 1960s told every one Betting Offices, were doomed at birth, how much that mistake cost William we will never know only the fact of how wrong he was allowed him to catch up. and become the Biggest Bookmaker in the world.

When I was trying to find an edge during the period, the great opportunity was Deposit Accounts, these were certainly a licence to print money, however the amount of punters willing to pay in advance did not exist,

Punters like the Farmer brothers from Lincoln, who had an account with there Bookie, were they could place bets at 6.0 in the evening after they came home from the Fields, and they could bet hours after time, when the results were already known,
Ine night as the Farmers arrived, the phone rung with his sister in law congratulating him for winning the Chester Vase that day.

When the two brothers phoned there Bookmaker to place there daily bets, they had withdrawn bets on the winner for it was unfair,to there Bookie.

Were are these type of punters, today, LOL. even Dorothy Paget, wasn’t that good.

Back to Concessions, it is just a matter of finding a gimmick that will convince a punter to open an account.a Bookmaker could afford to give a punter a winner start every day, just to lock him in as a Client.

Ladbrokes have been very poorly advised, in there chase of customer base, but like Hills in the 60s they will catch up. very quickly, I guess.
The money back if second, picked up by Hills (First used by a Wolverhampton Greyhound Bookie, and not followed until the 2000 by yours truly. in British racecourses.
I will always be a great customer base tool for every time a punter excluding Hillc clients . will be choked when there horse is 2nd. if they are not shrewd enough to have seen the loss then someone will remind them. for cert.

It is a wonder that there are not thousands of punters, who use the betfair trading platform, along side the many paddy power bonus,s or certainly the Hills Money back. it is just a fact that very few actually understand the Betting game mores the pity.
The 5/2 (3.5) Australia, money back.if second. will be seen as a shoe in, certainly when traded into the Betfair market,at 2.5 (6/4) leaving a win win for nothing.

What,s Happened to Ladbrokes.?

March 12th, 2014

The battle that commenced a decade ago. in the Betting Industry, was lead by Bet365, offering a FREE bet if 2/1 or bigger in all Channel 4 events, after a reappraisal of the cost the Stoke Bookmaker changed to 4/1 but still gained a great edge,
FredDone (Betfred) remained the Bonus King, until Paddy Power publicity Gimmicks of Shock and Or. was launched,

Many of the Bookmakers failed to realize the art of Customer base theft, with the change of Gambling Debt laws, to lock a customer in with an account will generate a profit over time, making the give away when a selection is second minuscule,
A new account holder worth its weight in gold. There is no doubt in my mind that this is the most successful Bonus scheme, of the lot.
So Entered the Freebys Ladbrokes, one time leaders of BB (British Bookmaking) never mind what Hills told us,
My confidence in the ability of the Irish Greats, to only back winners, by purchasing shares in Laddys, has me confused .
I can only assume that Ladds wont wory about being a coppy cat, after all it was Hills who follwed Corals and Ladbrokes in the 1960s Licence to Print Period.

One thing I will claim is to have been the very first racecourse Bookmaker to have offered a Money Back if Horse is second. of the 25 racecourse pitches that I had during the first quarter of the 21st Century.
It was in deed a licence to print money, before the Rails Shattered the in course industry for off meetings, other than festivals.

The History of Money Back if second commenced in the 50s at Wolverhampton and other Midland Greyhound tracks. it became so popular Hall Green refused the Bookmaker to offer the concession.following complaints from the Bookmakers Track Maffia of Green,and Jack Woolf,

What made it such a winner for the Bookmaker was the fact that the bigger priced dogs, looked attractive were the short priced runners were ignored, by the public, ince the bookie had layed the 3 dogs that were ussually the non triers,

When I started offering the service at Bangor and Worcester, and Wolverhampton for starters, it was a massive, advantage, What had to be done was make sure that the professional traders, were curtailed the same as William Hill. do si by minimising stakes

Betting next to a Betting Without the Favourite Service, outstripped him, at once, the outsiders that were sure to drift, were offered the same price as the straight Bookmakers,
Gobbling up what little amount there was for these rags.

However Hills have a greater advantage than I ever had, that they are creating a massive customer base worth a fortune for what is a very minor bonus. even though it looks attractive.

It is my opinion that all UK Bookmakers will be offering the same service (Money Back if 2nd) for phone clients. by Derby Day, however they may find it two late for William Hill has jumped the gun.

Bonus if Horses fall etc are a waist of time, only a firm like Boyle and Corals, would be so out of touch with the game.

As for Corals with there over the odds, bonus,s with silly limits causes animosity with there regular minimum stake customers. A £25 bonus fe a even money chance offered at 4/1 that returns evens would have made surprised the Cincinnati Kid.

Ladbrokes have been left behind, and I am shocked. and requires a re think. or a new leader.

Watch this space, or better still watch, Daily Politics It will be interesting to see how the Bookmaking industry get them selves out of the changes about to be created in legislation. (Gambling)

The Self exclusion policies being discussed in Parliament if passed will make Great Britain the Illegal Gambling centre of the universe.

All it will require is one notification by a client, to the Licencing Authority, and the majority of Big Players, like footballers will lelf exclude until the change wives, and then bet trough there AGENT on a commission basis.

Unless of course the Betting shops start increasing there cash limits, the danger to this is the thieves that will be drawn to the shops,

Any Adivce required, just ask, like Hills did but unfortunately. they have failed to pay a fee for the advice.

Perhaps Judge Judy will clear the matter up.

Don Butler

Peaky Blinder Three.

January 5th, 2014

Now that the drama is all over. I would like to congratulate the team who produced the tale.

It was a little unfair for me to slag the attempt off, after all it was pure fiction,
The Fact that I know a little of the times and characters, having been given a tosheroon, ( 2 Shillings ans Sixpence ) when my parents, took me ro Ludlow a few months after my birth. and the leader of men,did what he always did when seeing a racing mans children. for the first time.

Just in case the producers wish to produce a new series for it appears that is there intention. they should at least sho the viewers a sight of what a Bookmakers operation was like.

The best advice I can offer is for them to purchase the book written by McDonald “Gangs of London”
In the book Kimber is given leading role, but the writer fails to confirm the death of the man,
He was given a role on the Greyhound Racing Association. I assume it would have been in the security division.
His success may I add was less than convincing, for during his watch there was more dog doping than at any time in the games history.

I would like to add a little annotate.

On the way back from uttoxeter a Bookmaker living at Lapworth Warwickshire, stopped off at a local pub were the Landlord struck up a conversation with the racing team,

“I hope you do not mind my intrusion in your conversation, but I have always been interested in the Racing Game, for during the 2 World Wars for my Grandmother used to tell tales of here brother Billy Kimber,”
In the company was a workman from the period. who stated yes I knew him well.

The owner bought every one a drink, hoping that the conversation would offer his family a greater insight. into what they had been told.that Billy was a very successful Land Owner, and Businessman.

The 72 year old clerk as sharp as the pencil he used for his occupation. joined in.

“Well he was as good looking as

“And as smart as Clark Gable in fact I was told that Gamble shaped many of his maffia type roles, with Bill Kimber.

I don’t doubt Mr Mcdonald’s reference to Solomon, shooting Bill in the Buttok, for the family admit at least ome thimg that was true for he died with the bullet still just under the skin. never removed.

If anyone wishes to tell the story of BILLY, I can assure them that there would be no need for fiction.
And could be a best seller.



December 8th, 2013

In a recent article in the Betting Business Magazine “December Edition,” written by John Samuals for IBAS, “If you cant win you cant lose”
Fascinated me only because the writer seemed at a loss to understand gambling rights fully.

The 2005 Gambling Act states
A bet can be a wager on an event that has already taken place and were one party of the bet knows the result,
Many bets taken in running are not first past the post, doctrine, so a wager were a horse pulls up. still requires, a stewards interpretation of the weigh in, before all bets can be concluded.
So even if a horse does pull up. odds can still be offered, there are many other happenings were the race or event, is still active take for instance football were a team could have been relegated, and yet betting still occurs. for days, offering relegated teams, until it is clear that non of the teams safe from relegation, have not done some thing during the season that will not cause any FA enquiry and a point deduction. altering the original result.

Betting in running is a very technical transaction, certainly in many events too many to explain in this short, feature.

In the case of “The Great British Bake Off” the Bookmaker obviously knew the result along with 90% of his new customers created by leaving the betting up. on offer even though the result was known.

This in my opinion comes into a category known as “Punter Theft” a specialty being a well known Irish Bookmaker.prepared tp pay heavily shorty term to build long term customer base.

As every one must be aware during the past decade, internet and mobile technology has revolutionised off course betting the main reason is the removal of bad debts, owing to change of the Gambling Act for Debt Recovery. this and the fact that it is convenient, to bet using a debit or credit is also compulsive.

These changes created a Diamond and Gold Rush, expedition, in creating as massive a customer base as possible once again William Hill was left behind, firms like Bet365.

The start of the period I call, The Bonus or Conscien War’s between Bookmakers, began in 2005 and has never eased. only a betting turnover tax, of 15% Point of Consumer being contemplated by foolish politicians, will alter the whole structure. but this will cost punters so much and will create the largest Illegal Gambling Industry since the American Roaring 20s that they will soon see the error of parliaments ways.
And the following poem will become popular once again.

Mother’s in the kitchen
Washing out the jugs;
Sister’s in the pantry
Bottling the suds;
Father’s in the cellar
Mixing up the hops;
Johnny’s on the front porch
Watching for the cops.

I am no poet so to alter the concept to Bookmaker and bets, Dope and Hope as against Hops and Cops. may be easy for some but not me.

Until this happens, It is continuous to see free bets, money back, so attractive that it is possible to be in a no lose only win state, but like smoke and mirrors, ot is only short term I am afraid. it is clearly a policy of enticement to bet.

Of course the paragraph “Some would argue that the Bookmaker offering bets after the result was known would make many say that they deserved to have there fingers burnt.”

Requires a response.

The Bookmaker in question certainly did not have his finger burnt, simply because he had created a large customer interest many of which would become hooked into a account , with the firm. the cost to the Bookmaker minimal. and no more than a Free Bet, concession. however as for those 10% who did not back the known winner will certainly get there losing wagers refunded, already I am sure of that.
I assume that of the bets taken and all refunded would place this Bookmaker in a short list of very clever operators.

I will explain the history of Money Back, is 2nd for I am the only racecourse Bookmaker who offered this concession during 2000 to 2004. and was better than Without the Favourite betting that made John Gillibrand a multi million£ before he died tragically in the early 2000s

In the 50s a Wolverhampton Greyhound Bookmaker offers this money back concession at the Dogs, so successfully that no Bookmaker has ever been allowed to do so since.

By way of offering an historic story, of why Bookmakers, would bet on an event were the result is known, is very simple,
The question is how many people know the result. ?

On 1960s I was betting at Royal Ascot, in the silver ring on the colour of Her Majesty the Queen.s Hat

I only had 12 different colours, on my list happy to use my own judgment if there were differing shades of opinion.

I had calculated that there was a window of opportunity for my offer, between the the Queens Hat becoming public knowledge, as she stepped out of the front door of Windsor Castle and when many race goers using large binoculars, as the Royal Cavalcade entered the course.
I guessed that a few insiders, like the Queen Mom, would have been told of the opportunity, to back a winner for after all everyone knew that the Old Dear loved a bet.

At 12.0 I started betting and at one time I had a crowd of over 500 people congregating, all of them being entertained like only a few racecourse Bookmakers know how to.

From time to time someone would request a wager so large that it would have placed the profitability that I demanded, for my work at jeopardy. His wager of £200 at 3/1 was quickly reduced to £10 at Evens. fortunately other did not follow his lead, even though he ranted and raved for 15 minutes, telling every one who were in the crowd that he had seen the Hat and it was Blue, before driving from Windsor, by fast motor bike.

I was entertaining the public so effectively that he was ignored when I called him a white mans Prince Monolulu.
When I commenced the betting it was obvious that no one knew the result. other than this man who just happened to be a fellow Bookmaker. from Tattersalls. I was happy to bet all wagers, maximum of £5, after all it was a wager known in the trade as a Fun Bet. more for entertainment than gambling,

In no time I had taken £200 and was a £30 over round meaning that I could not lose anything, but could win £30, minimum.

At approx, 1.30 a very well dressed man, with a members badge into the Royal Enclosure

I cant say that I was enlightened by the gents manner’s, after all the sign on the top of my joint (Board) clearly indicated my full christian name. as Donald.

I looked in to his pale blue eyes they were as cold as stone. he must have been 6ft 4 inch, I guessed a Guardsman working at Windsor or Buck House, I then noticed his wonderfully manicured nails I also was drawn to the size of the “Wad” he was waving about contained a minimum of £1,000

What colour ? do you want Sir. I questioned.

Blue had been shortened so much in 2 hours that it was now 4/6. from the ealey 3/1

Although I guessed an Eton Education,
He was out of his depth, in all gambling was then that he over played hiis hand. not by the way his hand shook, but the fact that instead of requesting Blue he asked for a £1000 on Cerulean.

i assumed that it was a shade of blue.
Having been educated not very well in a Small Heath Slum, Birmingham, I can assure you Cerulean had never been mentioned, during my spell there.

“If Cerulean is one of the many shades of Blue then you can have an even £10. I stated.

Standing next to the man was a punter who was indicating he required a £10 on Red. at 3/1. obviously
no royalist.
The Toff, was not amused by my indication that
“Its only a Fun Bet Mate”, but you can have £1000 on White of you wish.

I will not say report the Gentleman said next, although I understood what it meant. but not the particular phrase. I also remembered that if I had ever used the phrase in school. as a child I would have received minor capital punishment to my rear. on short sharp doses.

To conclude, The statement “If you cant lose you cant win.” may well apply and yet it is not factual.

For by opening an account you may well lose £1,000 at the end of the year.for the bet even if alreday known as a winner, was just a sprat to catch mackerel.

The Bookmaker has purchased for £5, a possible customer for life. with all that it entails. giving the lost stake back to the 10% would certainly created a nice customer base of guaranteed losers.

The Bookmaker will know the % of those who will draw there £5 winnings without ever placing a further wager, 0but thosr will be bettered over the next 12 months by those who have just found themselves a nice honest Bookmaker. to bet with.

This is just a further, part of the many Concessions and Free bets offered in the internet market.
Some just good value, others a guaranteed earner by the new gang of internet traders.

Paddy Power one of the leaders in what I now call no longer Fun bets but Daft bets. is happy to give quite a large Sprat, to catch even larger Mackerels. however if I see the customer base, of the many internet, firms. I will confirm that the period has been the greatest successful Trade War in History. and one of the most successful policies ever conducted in British Bookmaking.
What? you may say should IBAS do about this anomaly.

Take another quite that exists in Bookmaking parlance,

“Let the Buyer Beware”

That is fine as long as IBAS are satisfied that all markets being promoted, are honest and truthful.
IBAS should look at all markets on there merit, if it is clear that there is definitely no chance that the backer could have every drawn his winnings then they have a duty of care to the british public to have the stakes refunded.

There is nothing wrong with a Bookmaker offering odds in a market already known but what about the punters, who did not know that the result was known. are they entitled to there money back.

YES They ARE. and at Once.

The final problem with IBAS is that they are Bookmaker funded but that should give them an opportunity, to explain to the Bookmakers, that Enticement to bet abused will only result in a tightening of old enticement rules. 1961. not understood by politicians. now but were then.

Any further opinion, on punters rights,just ask

I would like to end by making a statement that should be understood, by all but I am afraid it is not.

Every betting coup. gambling con, Ringer, etc, through the ages, aimed at Bookmakers, in fact, steal the Bookmakers take not necessarily his own money, the money being held by the Bookmaker in the main will have been honest punter wagers filling the Bookmakers odd, by backing the other horses in the race, these are not always returned when in fact if the punters that organised the coup failed to get paid, the losing punters should certainly have done so.


a Slithering Snake.

November 15th, 2013

From 1945 Young Phillip and I would be taken to the city centre week ends, if there was no racing on and see all the sites of the Birmingham Bull Ring. were every thing would be sold we would then go to the Old Bull for lunch, I remeber having Fagotts and Pea’s ar a venue called Redferns people would que outside for a table although my father seems to have had a permanent one when required.
It was as early as this when he warned me that every thing was possible if you bunged (Payed)

Some nights we would stay up so late that the famous characters from the Birmingham Hippodrome would join the festivities, the Prince of Wales another famous venue would be full of the stars appearing that week
Tommy Trinder, Max Miller, would mix with the traders, were my Dad once told me that there were better comedians seen late at night, and probably the stars got there jokes.
and script from listening to the street grafters.

One particular, character would just get up in stage and the audience would go deadly silent,
What with the many Bookmakers and there staff who would also arrive back from the dogs at Perry Bar,
From tea time until 2 in the morning ir was a sea of laughter and back chat.
Even as a young Kid It was sad if I fell asleep and missed something.
On a few occasions my pal and I would wake up, and see every one having breakfast, for it was the next day. Sunday
Eggs, Bacon, Sausage, Fried bread and of course Black Pudding. Mushrooms, followed by toast. with many people in the midlands starving it was not possible to feel sorry,for them, it was clear that Dad was a great giver as well as taker, there seemed to be a knock on our door, on many occasions, and he would walk up stairs and come down followed by a great deal of thanks you’s,

At the end of 1940s Phil was 15 and I was 12. we were playing a great deal of football. for a team opersire Yardley Wood playing park called Westcroft FC It wasn’t long before I was being selected, over my brother I was sure that if he hadn’t been in the racing game, were he could earn £2 a day even at these ages, were a newspaper round would be the same for a week.

Both of us were in the Boys Brigade at Warstock. but we were facing disaster, for our fathers business had encountered massive change Ernest Fletcher, the Guardsman, who had been a Heo all through WW1, had Died, and although an application to the Bookmakers trade association required a change of ownership. because Dad had been working for the firm for so long he was allowed to take over the rights to trade, in the Fletcher pitches.

At first Dad seemed to manage the change although to be a wonderful tick tac was not actually Bookmaking, the change although subtle it was a disaster,
Dad was already a known hard drinker, but the stress of having to run the business was out of his comfort zone.
Firstly Bookmakers on course have to offer a certain amount of credit, Philip senior, offered to much credit, not only losing some great clients, but a great deal of cash in the process.

Phil left school and our mother had insisted that we had a trade as well as Bookmaking, and Phil became a apprentice Toolmaker and Die setter, of which must be stated he was good, when I left school there had been massive change as explained with the sale of our house at Warstock. sale of the Kings Heath grocers followed by a short period no more than 2 years in Shirley.

I was to young to understand but kniw it was clear that we were sliding down the snakes with no chance of connecting a ladder.

It was this period when I was offered the chance of being a stable Lad at Walter Millers training establishment, between Shirley and Solihull Miller was owner of Shirley Poneys a few miles down the Stratford road.

The only experience I had every had was when on holiday at Weston Super Mare and my favourite donkey Stella.

He had over 20 ponies in his table being got ready for the 1948/9 season.

“The day I turned up. it was January, and I was 13. and was offered the job as trainee stable hand, evenings and week ends.

As soon as I arrived I knew that this was no normal job. I was told to clear out the horse muck, or in this case Pony shit, and was told just keep the pony’s head nearest to you, don’t ever allow the Pony to get his back legs next to you.

With a great big broom in my freezing hands, I forgt the golden rule.

There was all of a sudden a great crash, and the Wooden Door, half open and closed, was sent flying off its hinges, I had allowed the Pony to get me the wrong side and he attempted to break every bony in my legs, with a serious amount of bucking and kicking, fortunately every one missed me by inches but showed what damage they could achieve.

This moment I lost the full ,love of the animal and although I never told Phillip who I am sure had dreams of me becoming a Gordon Richards, or perhaps Lester Piggott,

The next week, I was still carrying on the function of stable cleaner, the Trainers a old Irishman, I have forgotten his name was about to shave the surplus coat off the one particular Pony who was well thought of by both trainer and owner.

I was off school. and it was late february, spending the time at the stable, I was certainly no expert but this Pony had become a right bitch, with increased meanness, she certainly didn’t like me, the duty this day was to saddle up the pony, (Called Wizard not sure why.) and walk it to the racetrack a mile from the track.

At first it seemed fine but with traffic on the road the trainer advised me to walk it the rest of the way,
When we arrived at the stadium. there were many Pony,s, being trained on the course, ,

Standing at the Winning Post was Walter Miller, Trainer and I assume an owner, the way that Miller was promoting the ability of Wizard it was pretty obvious it was being sold.

I was told to get up on its back and trot out to the end away to the left, and follow Michael a Boy a little older than me, and he would show me what to do.

We both cantered our ponies to what I now realise was the 5 furlong post,

Mick told me to keep a hold of Wizard, and we would just canter past the winning post so that the owner and trainer could see Wizard’s action.

I had been taught to keep the reins, behind the Ponys neck so that if he pulled hard he was ony pulling against his own neck, and would be kept under control

The reins not new were badly worn, and the rubber on the reins that should have been similar to the back of a table tennis bat, was flat with was did I have any control if the pony bolted.
As we began to canter Wizard gave a buck pulling the reins out of my hands and bolted like a maniac. .

At first I thought I was out of the side but managed to keep my position, the Pony was dashing to the grandstand and the winning post were the visitors were watching .

As I passed the post instead of Wizard showing his paces he was showing Miller and the would be owner two things one that it was a nut case and twi I was no would be Richards.
Straight past the visitors, I vaguely remember the trainer attempting to stand in the way detracting the pony however it was clear that the pony not only hated me for he crashed into the old Irishman sending him head over heals.

All I could do was sit and pray, The only thing that I feel saved my life for the pony was approaching a 10 ft Hedge, that even Golden Miller a 5 times Gold Cup winner would have rejected.

Wizard had no such shrewdness, he was flying towards the hedge as if he was about to take it on.

My legs had always been over developed in the thigh area having played football. three times most week ends, so sitting like a clam, it may well have looked as If I was as crackers as the Pony, I had not moved. so although I was out of control with the Poy I was firmly in power in the saddle.

I had to make a quick decision, to fly though the hedge onto the busy A34. or jump off.
I decided on the later,
The Pony decided to jump the fence, running straight into the hedge as if it didnt exist. doing a somersault. I landed on my well honed back side, and slide for 25 yards on my back as for the Pony I never did quite find out.

As I got to my feet a red faced Walter Miller, was poking mr with his stick. as if he was testing the going.

“Dont bother to come back to the stable, I don’t know what your furure holds but it will not be anything to do with Horses, or even Ponies”.

When Philip found out what had happened he was as angry as Miller. for I am sure he had dreams of me being a jockey riding some odds on favourite,
And about to carry out his instructions to jump off during the race.

There was one chance and that was Phils obvious ability, to make a book. he was certainly shrewd and had befriended many of Das old pals, some of them successful Bookmakers, themselves and were happy to explain what Dad was doing wrong.

In a short time the last resemblance of a happy life for Mom and Gran.disintegrated when the house at Shirley was taken off us.

We were now potless homeless and chance less.

Half the time we never saw Dad, although he appeared from time to time with some cash, ussually after a festival meeting, so he was still hanging in there.our mother however made a move that I must give her all my respect,
“Well I lived there one before so whats wrong with moving there again” she said.

She took what little furniture she had and moved into a cousens back room and one bedroom, flat, In William Henry Street, only 100 yards from the house in Angelina Street, that she was born. talk about snakes and ladders,

We were now rock bottom.
Phil junior was working the two jobs, as Tool maker and part time Bookie one of the youngest at 17.
I had a job in Balsall Heath, making runner boards for cats a firm that had been doing so for 25 years but running boards were about to become outdated.

All of a sudden things began to change Philip Junior was making the game pay even Dad was pulling himself together, do the job he was expert at Tick Tak.

All though Mom and Diane a young sister and I were still living in a slum, things could never get any worse.

That was until a letter arrived with an official stamp on the envelope, (Conscript)
Conscription is the compulsory enlistment of people in some sort of national service, most often military service.

The only bread winner of note was now to be enlisted in the Army. at £3.50 a week. living accommodation, in a nissen hut, a uniform that gave you no chance of ever pulling a bird, and the chance of getting a crack on the chin if you ever spoke out if tern. this would make it inevitable that all we had was mothers, wages from working in a local factory.

Men were exempt from National Service if they worked in one of the three “essential services”: coal mining, farming and the merchant navy for a period of eight years.
So the letter to the Home Office that my mother sent, asking for lenience owing to the family’s plight and Phillip being the only bread winner. must have created a laugh in Parliament, when in the column What do you do for a living, “Bookmaker”

There was only one thing he could do and that was similat to murder in the Russell household,
When Mother was told she had a fit,

No the only way Phil was going top escape from 2 years in a make believe Army was to use the age old plan of Bunging.
But who would you Bung, after all the head of British forces is the Queen, I doubt a £50 in her back pocket,
For several months Phillip ignored the demand and carried on making a book all over the country.
Just before christmas when less expected the Military Police stepped in and took Phil to Caterisk.

After a few weeks in a Glass House, he was interviewed by the Provo Sargent, who seemed fasinated by the Kids job. for he loved a bet and went racing when ever he could.

This was the chance for Phil taking £50 out of his back pocket he placed it in the sarg’s had and squeezed it tight.

“What this for” can a very surprised NCO.
” I want you to find the best way for me to get out of this waste of time and quickly”

I will not divulge any more of the plan, but suffice to say that Phillip was back in civvy street within 2 months.

In 1952 a miracle took place, Dad in one of his Drinking Spree’s he found himself in the company of a Birmingham Council leader. who not only had been one of our customers he also had failked to pay and still owed £150.
I can only assume that Dad was in a story telling mood.
And all he had to do was tell the truth.
He was to repeat what took place to me many years later.

“When I got to the time that we lost every thing and Mother and the two my oungest Kids had to move to Balsall Heath”

The Council worker began to cry. not only did he pay the £150 he told Dad how he could guarantee a council house at a new over flow at West Heath.
All she had to do was get the police to give her a letter saying that she was homeless,

On monday my mother and I sat on an dingy old settee in the road opposite the flat.
When the Police arrived they were compassionate when we told them we were homeless,
Within 3 hours we had a pink slip that we took to the council offices and Mom was given a set of Keys, for a brand new Maisonette in West Heath
It was as if she had won the Football Pools.

With Philip junior making money it was not very long before the firm was having success. again.
In 1954 It was my turn to play for queen and country I say play because that is all I did during my 3 years in the RAF, One person who was happy was Edith, my Mother it had been seen as a criminal act, when Phill battled against doing his conscription, when I told her that I was going in the RAF. she was over joyed.
Arriving at West Kirby RAF.was strange loke a gang if kids at Boot Camp.
1954 was the time when we all had a Ducks Arse Haircut called a Tony Curtis. when I arrived for my sqaure bashing (Drill)
The CO (Commanding Officer) noticed my hair and placed me on report.

That night all the lad’s in my hut were getting me at it, telling me that I would get at least 14 days CB (confined to barracks) for having long hair.

I thought I would bet on it
Get away with it .evens
3 days evens
7 days 4/1
others 16/1

All the Airman who had been in the camp more than a week knew that it was a certainty that cialis comparison I would get 3 days for a first offence. and get my hair sheared. afterwards .

Within 1/2 hour I had taken over 40£ with people coming in from other huts to clean up. every bet 3 days.

As I walked in with the RS (Regimental Sargent) the CO gave me a right bollocking about my DA. before saying

“3 Day Confined to barracks.Take him out.Sargent.”

I never budged “What do you want? ” cried the CO.

” I don’t think its fair I only had it cut on Wednesday”

The CO had a fit, he had never been spoken to by a newbie since the war. “Sargent Take the fool out in quick time and make it 14 Days.”

You should have seen my comrades eyes when they found out. and a nice £40 Earner.

All through the my conscription I did nothing but play shove halfpenny and Football.
The RAF Stafford, MU15. had a great team. full of pro,s who were allowed to play for the Professional team saturday,
On wednesday they just messed about, passing great pass’s for me to score. after all we were only playing local kids,

I was the star scoring 2/3 goals a game.
However the best touch I had was when on Fire Duty and shine my torch on a women’s back side, followed by the scot gaurd in charge of camp discipline.

I was clever enough to know that I would have to ignore what I had seen,
This I did and for the remainder of my time I did what I wanted to do.

With 12 months to go I paid one of my visits back home were my mother was so proud of me, you would have thought I was a VC.

As I opened the door to the Maisonette, there was no one there but a great big piece of white paper..

“Your Mothers in Selly Oak Hospital me and Phil will see you Ward 18.”

She had suffered a few minor problems but never nothing serious.

I ran 1/2 a mile just in time to catch a bud to Selly Oak.
As I walked onto the car park I could see the Hospital entrance 200 yards away.

Standing by the door was Dad and Phil.
I whistled recognition. and they responded with a wave

It was then that my Dad, raised his hands in the very familiar stance when Tick Tacking at the races.

As he showed a not very well known sign.
Not well known because the odds of 1000/1 were never reached in bookmakers terms.

I only guessed it because it was shown as 2 x 500s, in fact two circles.

I gulped once then twice, what was he indicating .

All it could mean was My Mom was 1000/1

That meant Death or close to It.

My poor mother had passed away from a brain Hemorrhage. God Bless her.

At the very time when things were looking up. she had lost the fight,

Page 3. Rock and Roll.