Auntie Doris in the 21st Century #10: The British Way Of Life Is Under Threat!

Back in my day, I used to enjoy my Saturday afternoons. I always used to get the dinner done, eaten, cleared away and all the pots done in time for the wrestling. Saturday afternoons weren’t complete without a good session of grunting and groaning. Them wrestlers were fine specimens of manhood. It gave a woman goose flesh just to look at them. Heroes like Les Kellet, Johnny Two Rivers and Big Daddy, and villains like Giant Haystacks, Mick MacManus and Jackie Pallo. There was that Adrian Street an’all, he was a funny looking bugger, and no mistake.
But it was all good honest fun. Like an old fashioned pantomime. Yes, we used to get excited, and shout at the bad lads, but it was all very reserved and British. How could it not be, with Kent Walton’s calm voice talking us through every clinch, every squeeze, and every forearm smash leading up to two falls or a submission?
But where were the defenders of British tradition when they took it off the telly, and the whole idea of normal wrestling was replaced by some horrible version of wrestling that had been developed in that foreign country, America. A new version of wrestling where everyone has to shout at each other whilst holding microphones, and dress in superhero type costumes, and the audience has to be whipped into a screaming frenzy. There is no room for the likes of Kent Walton now, or ordinary looking blokes, wrestling in their swimming trunks. It’s awful. It’s just not British.
It’s the same with the talent shows. I used to like Hughie Green on “Opportunity Knocks,” and even “New Faces” was alright. They discovered some real quality acts between them, Les Dawson, Lena Zavaroni, Millican and Nesbitt. The list seemed endless. Hughie used to judge people with what he called a “clapometer” ( I think he must have got the idea when he was visiting a gentleman’s clinic) the louder people clapped for an act, the higher their score. These days with that X factor thing, the audience would bust the ruddy clapometer with all their whooping and shrieking and carrying on. And the judges and everyone have to shout at each other with microphones in their hands like American Wrestlers. Whatever it is, it’s not Brittish, but do you hear the extreme right wing rabbiting on about that at their ruddy marches? Not on your Nelly. You don’t hear them complaining about ruddy Burger joints either, or sticking up for Dandelion and Burdock in a world of Coke versus Pepsi.
And after the wrestling came the football results. The English football results started with Division One, and finished with Division Four. None of this sponsored Premiership and Championship stuff, and people only being bothered about a half dozen teams at the top. It was a league! A joint effort. No one team was more important than any other. They all shared the profits out fair and square. Now it’s all names embroidered on the back of their kits, and fancy boots and sponsorship deals. It might as well be the ruddy NFL.
And then there’s that bloke in Hull who is after changing the name of the local football club to the ruddy Hull Tigers. It’s bad enough with all them Premierships and Championships that they have invented so they don’t have to share the money out with the all the other clubs like they did when it was a proper league. A proper League, like the League of Nations, where all members helped each other out. Now it’s all ruddy money nonsense, and if we end up with the Hull Tigers, the next thing we know, we’ll be suffering with the Manchester Marauders and the Newcastle Neutrons and the Chelsea ruddy Pensioners. And then they’d drop the home town and move the whole team somewhere else like they did with the Wimbledons. So the Hull Tigers would end up being just “The Tigers” and moving down south, where the money is. And Hull wouldn’t have a ruddy team in the League, never mind the ruddy Premiership.
Let’s make a stand for British values, Understatement, common sense, common decency, boiled beef and carrots, Quorn Tikka Masala, wrestling in swimming trunks, and not copying the behaviour of Americans, extreme right wingers, or anyone else who gets over excited and kicks up a fuss about hype!

The Auntie Doris Years: 1966

Ask anybody from my neck of the woods about 1966, and the first thing that they will think about is football. Me, I can take it or leave it really, but it’s not hard to see why that year captured everyone’s imagination. Two blokes who formed a bond on the field that resulted in goals that thrilled everyone who saw them, and goals that earned their team the ultimate achievement. Hull City were champions of the English Third Division!
Ken Wagstaffe and Chris Chilton weighed in with 52 goals between them, and Ken Houghton got another 20. When they finally clinched the champions spot with a 1-0 victory over Southend United, grown men were reduced to tears, the pubs ran out of beer, and they had to print twice as many green sports mails to meet the demand. If you didn’t go to the match in them days, you had to read about it in the paper, there was no sky television or anything like it, and local radio didn’t come to East Yorkshire for another five years.
I never went to any of the games. But my Raymond used to go with little Cyril now and again. Cyril had two kiddies now. My nephew Michael, and my niece Pam, I used to go around and help April May keep an eye on them whilst the men were out.
Cyril actually used to take a rattle an’all. A big wooden thing that twirled around and made a noise. Raymond wouldn’t be doing with anything like that, but he had a scarf and a rosette with the black and orange colours on them. “It’s not black and ruddy orange Doris” Raymond used to say “it’s black and AMBER!” I just used to smile at him and carry on saying black and orange, just to see him take the bait. They used to call them the tigers, but you look up “tiger” in any dictionary you like and show me one that says that they are black and amber. Orange, browny yellow, reddish brown, whatever. Amber is the colour of traffic lights and pittle in my book, but there you go. There’s no telling blokes when it comes to their teams.
‘Course, these days Hull City are in the top league and the FA Cup final, and the bloke who owns them wants to change their name to the ruddy Hull Tigers. That sounds alright for a basketball or ice hockey team, but not for an English football team. Even I can see that. Still. I wouldn’t like to see my local side go completely out of fashion and fail to keep up with modern trends. So when Liverpool become the Liverpool Redsox, I might entertain the idea.
Speaking about football, that summer, England won the World Cup. It was almost as exciting as Hull City winning division three, but not quite. I did write a piece about the England Captain, Bobby Moore, once though. You can find it here…
Auntie Doris’s top pop pick of 1966: “The Elusive Butterfly of Love” by Val Doonican. Our Cyril’s friend Herbert used to catch butterflies, suffocate them in a jam jar, and pin their dried little corpses to sheets of cardboard. He never married.
I don’t know if Val Doonican ever married, but his kids are still making music today. You can find them here…