My Son Saved Cliff Richard’s Life!

They have a very droll sense of humour in Worksop, Nottinghamshire. It isn’t the brash humour of Yorksire, even though on the border, but a certain dry wit delivered deadpan and leaving a beat for you to get the point. 

Lee Westwood the champion golfer has it, though I daresay his PR team has tried to tone it down. My Wee Pal Barrie (as Dad called him) has it. At first I took offence. Worksopians don’t do endearments. They ‘take the Mick’ instead. You are supposed to feel loved and special. Humph! It only works if you didn’t grow up elsewhere. 

I grew up in Scotland. Our humour is Billy Connolly (not necessarily with the swearing). As for Aussie humour, it may be laconic but the TV humourusually seems to be second hand; sending people up, not often kindly. Ive been here 34 years. Judge for yourself.

Now my sons were both born in Worksop but left at a very young age when we emigrated to Australia. Their father was a Yorkshireman with a dour disposition, so we will discount him. But they seem to have absorbed that unique Worksop style of humour at birth.

My eldest, who prefers to remain anonymous (don’t you Richard?), comes out with some classics, usually at my expense. 

     “We’ve got a new big tv Mum. We can watch the videos you send on it…Oh no, we will need an extra wide screen!” 

To which I replied:

    “I can still have you adopted.” (No I cant, he is in his forties).

His best though, was a few years back when he took me to see Cliff Richard live at the Entertainment Centre here in Newcastle, which he informed me he would suffer through because he got free tickets. I am an extra large fan of ‘Cliffy).

Now you younger readers may not remember that many women used to throw their panties at ‘Ciffy’ on stage, as a sign of their adoration.

He must have cupboards full of scanty panties.

We were just settling comfortably in our rather good seats for the start of the concert when Eldest Son muttered to me:

     “Mum, don’t throw your knickers at him – he would suffocate!

Very funny – not.

Watch Cliff Richard in Concert on Youtube

Very early photo of Cliff Richard
Photo courtesy of Click here for web page.

Top photo fromMore interesting information on Cliff Richard (unofficial)



Tim Wells blog reminded me of when the Worksop Burns and Caledoniam Club held one of their dances in the Lady Margaret Hall, the underground  ballroom at Welbeck Hall on Welbeck Estate.

This would be around the 1960’s when both the ballroom and the Caledonians were in their prime. Nearly all the members are gone and the Club has folded since us younger ones have other interests. Sad really, because the expat Scots and locals had such a good time at the Scottish-themed socials. It also kept the local pipe band busy!

On this occasion the Committee, with Dad as President and Mum as Secretary,  was putting up their beloved tartans and decorating tables, which they always enjoyed, and no doubt they had some of Dad’s mixed tapes playing on the portable tape player.

A rather shabby groundsman came in , wandering about in his worn tweed jacket and green wellies. Dad went over and being a chatty, friendly type they got into conversation.

After a bit the old man asked Dad if he liked the ballroom. Dad said it was great and they had a good discussion about how good the sprung floor, accoustics etc were.

“I am glad you like it. I built it for my late wife, Margaret”, the old man said, and the Duke of Portland walked away happy!

For the latest on Welbeck Estate, which is one of my favourite places go to :


Thinking out loud, you will gather, imagining you all huddled round an old fashioned wireless set waiting for my next episode of The Archers. Eeeh you ‘ave to larf (sobs hysterically). Could have been Julie McIntyre once said mynlife would make a sitcom. No it was Helen, another lecturer

at Uni who reckoned her daughter was using my life to write one, and that was 15 years ago. I dont know what I do that is any different but dont tell me!  Right, coffee kicking in, tablets taken, gas man been and still in my dressing gown = overalls. Onward and upward.



 Well I never thought I would be selling up, packing up, and moving to the other end of the world, again, but here I go!

We first emigrated to Australia from England as a very young family when I was 25. I never thought I would see Britain again in those days, because I was such a poor traveller. The discovery of ginger tablets to settle my stomach really freed me to fly, and I have been back and forth five times now.

So I am not saying I wont be back, but the 23 hours of flying (including a two-hour stop) has not improved in all these years. It really knocks me about, especially since it can be a bumpy journey and the ageing bones dont like being shaken about.


I shall miss the lush green grass of England, and the trees that are lovely in all four seasons. I will miss the distinct differences of each season; bare and stark in winter, with brown furrows in the fields and trees etched bare against the sky, especially now the days are less grey; the vibrance of spring and the new shoots, the snowdrops followed by yellow daffodils full of sunshine then on to the waxy leaves and trumpets of bluebells.






So here I am in an empty house .My Scottish father said I would “start an argument in an empty hoose!” but Im too tired. I will get excited when the Airbus is safely settled on Sydney tarmac around 10pm their time.


Licorice plants


I am bringing licorice back to Worksop!

Plus taking it on trust that this is a true licorice plant as formerly grown  in the area in Medieval times until the 1700’s. . Licorice was big business for its medicinal qualities, as I have mentioned elsewhere. My fifty seeds are en route from Europe, so here goes.

There may be some plants still growing wild in the area, but no one can lead me to one.  If these grow I may start a new gardening fashion!

Here is the historical reference to licorice, courtesy of :

Worksop was formerly very famous for the growth of Liquorice. In the time of Elizabeth, Camden in his “Britannia” notices the fame of the town for this plant. Speed says “In the west, near Worksop, groweth plenty of Liquorice, very delicious and good: “and Harrison thus alludes to it; “I cannot here omit that thing wherein the towne of Workesoppe excelleth all others within the Realme and most noted for, I meane the store of Licoras that groweth therein, and that of the best.” Sundry entries occur in his survey of the rent of a “licoras garden.” These gardens were principally situated on the eastern margin of the park, near the present “Slack Walk.”

About fifty years ago the last garden of this plant was dug up, which had been planted by the person after whom the “Brompton stock” is named.


There is already an excellent and long-running writers’ group in Bassetlaw that meets at the Station Hotel on aTuesday evening, but at the time of writing I believe membership is full. They are a great and talented group of writers, several having been published.

My group is going to meet once a month in the new dining room at the rear of the Olive Grove Bistro, in Worksop.

We will start with a soup and sandwich lunch then get into some writing and reading.

I am keeping the format flexible so we can adapt to suit the needs of the group. The room holds fourteen comfortably.

We are holding a trial run on the 30th January from 1-3 pm. If many non-U3A (University of the Third Age) prospective writers want to join we will work with that.

The idea is to write for pleasure, no pressure! Lunch is included in the £5.00 cost. You can book by ringing the Olive Grove on (01909) 500 059.

This may just motivate me to finish 'the Door Slams'!

olive Grove Web Site
Retford Writers PageWeb