AGM XX: Saltwell Towers (photos courtesy of Vivienne)

In this blogposting...
*Beastly Behaviour
*1912 Olympic Marathon
*Life Backwards
Now - cry Havoc! and let slip the dogs of war...

...took place as planned on 14 October at Saltwell Towers in Gateshead. A big Thankyou as usual to the hardy souls who braved the walk from the car park to attend: Hildie, Vivienne, Sid, Linda and - for the first time - her husband Keith.

It was good to see everybody again and I reckon we had a great time. Naturally, the conversation - and the coffee - flowed freely and once again we narrowly avoided being ejected from the tea garden for unseasonably boisterous behaviour. One day it’s going to happen though.

I should also thank everyone concerned for the small mountain of shortcake that made its way onto my plate. This happened because I mentioned my current cravings for the stuff and the fact that it’s unobtainable in France. (Their version of shortcake is a kind of thin, brittle biscuit that looks and tastes like burnt cardboard. How anyone can bear to live in France being thus nutritionally deprived is beyond me.)

The weather was kind, as it almost always is, and don’t worry - I made the pilgrimage to the ginkgo tree on all our behalfs (behalves?).

In France, ginkgos are known as ‘duck paddle trees’. There’s a prize of a round of particularly tasty French country cheese for the first truckshunter who can tell me why.

(I include this (unaltered) item, sent to me by mysterious truckshunter Simon, despite the fact that it may offend blogsters of a nervous disposition. If that’s you, look away now.)

Some people's sexual inclinations remain unfathomable. A pensioner found himself up before Teesside magistrates after he was spotted approaching and stroking ponies. This might appear harsh until you consider the man in question was under an order preventing him from approaching tethered animals after he admitted committing a lewd act with a horse last year.

The retired farm worker had been handed a 24-month community order in December after the owner of the horse saw him acting suspiciously in a field. The farmer was said to have seen the animal's head being pulled down towards the offender's groin. "Shocked and disgusted", the farmer hit the man with a stick. This caused the horse to run off, dragging its admirer across the field.

I love this story and would have thoroughly enjoyed featuring it on the Blue Bus programme, or on The Nightshift. It was sent to me by Peter in South Shields...

Shizo Kanakuri disappeared while running the marathon in the 1912 Summer Olympics in Stockholm. He was listed as a missing person in Sweden for 50 years - until a journalist found him living quietly in southern Japan.

Overcome with heat during the race, he had stopped at a garden party to drink orange juice, stayed for an hour, then took a train to a hotel and sailed home the next day, too ashamed to tell anyone he was leaving.

There’s a happy ending, though.

In 1966 Kanakuri accepted an invitation to return to Stockholm and complete his run. His final time was...

54 years, 8 months, 6 days, 8 hours, 32 minutes and 20.3 seconds...

Surely a record that will last forever.

"In my next life I want to live my life backwards.
You start out dead and get that out of the way.
Then you wake up in an old people's home feeling better every day.
You get kicked out for being too healthy, go collect your pension, and then when you start work, you get a gold watch and a party on your first day.
You work for 40 years until you're young enough to enjoy your retirement.
You party, drink alcohol, and are generally promiscuous, then you are ready for high school.
You then go to primary school, you become a kid, you play.
You have no responsibilities, you become a baby until you are born.
And then you spend your last 9 months floating in luxurious spa-like conditions with central heating and room service on tap, larger quarters every day and then...
Voila! You finish off as an orgasm!"

...will take place at 1100 on Thursday 11 November in Mowbray Park, Sunderland. We can share the Armistice Day Silence together.

...either by leaving a comment in the Comments box of the blog or by sending an email to


Hildie said...

I miss all the weird news stories from your radio days ... I really do .... so it was good to catch up.
My son regularly used to hear me giggling two in the morning ...
downstairs, on my own!
Anyway, I love that one about the Olympic Marathon Record!
So ... we Truckshunters, we next meet up at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. I shall look forward to that.
It's a long trek from Dipton but if I set out now .......

Keep going with the GRAND TOUR story, Ian ..... Day 15 is within your sights!

Sid said...

I was saddened to read of the death of Mary Malcolm. She was one of the first female announcers on BBC Television.
Mary died on the 13th October, aged 92.

Alison said...

Hello Iain
Hello Truckshunters
I am one of four selected artists for the National Big Draw event on North Tyneside. My drawing station will be at the Parks Leisure Centre (near Wet N Wild)where I will be attempting to encourage any passing person to do a self portrait, aided and abetted by a couple of young students from Tyne Met College. Love it if anyone from a Truckshunting background could join in.

My pictures also are about to go on sale on a brand new Gallery in the Eldon Gardens (next to Richard Sinton Jewellers) and apparently (I have been told) are getting a lot of favourable feedback. Perhaps this is the chance I have been looking forward since I was 'spotted' by the redoubtable artiste in his own right or (write)- the one - the only - Iain.
Kind regards to all - Alison (the artist)

Sid said...

Hildie, our Ian would have loved this snippet for his Truckshunter show.
Did you know you can purchase direct from the internet a 'Do it yourself Laser Eye Surgery Kit'.....
It comes with all the bits and bobs, including 4mgs of Diazepam, (I'd need more than that) and some 'no blink' eye drops.
I wonder if anyone has been brave/daft enough to try it..

Hildie said...

Incredible, Sid! I'm dumbfounded!
But ... just the job for the
Nightshift Newsreel! He couldn't have read that one out without a fit of the giggles.
I found some texts from Lawrence, on my old phone, the other day.
They were written after "Doorstep" sessions with Ian. I'll have to ask him if I can run them past you
on here. I think they had some laughs together, recording the programme.
The good, old days, Ian?!
Anyway, I keep wondering if we are ever going to have another Twilight AGM ..... as we did the very first time, at The Keelman.

Hildie said...

Vivienne .....
have just received your Halloween Card ..... awesome!!!

Hildie said...

Lawrence has given me permission to blog those old text messages, so here goes .... for posterity .... and in no particular order ...

So here are some messages I received from Lawrence after he had been recording items for The Nightshift:

"Hi, this morning was a hoot.Hope it sounded ok and, indeed, tomorrow's pre- record sounds good too."

"Hi, recorded the next doorstep this morning and it will go out on the Thursday morning show. It's a longer one, as there is a moment of very funny uncontrollable laughter, which required an extra music break to recover! Oh it was a hoot, my face still aches now with the laughing.Hope it comes over as funny on air."

"Ah, good! I can guarantee more smiles on Thursday morning! It got to the stage where we couldn't look at eachother or the hysterical laughter would kick off again. It was a scream."

"It was hilarious! His studio guest was in during that session too, and the crazy Nightshift carried through to that. Had me in stitches. Informative and very entertaining. Kept my brain in top gear for that one."

Hope you've enjoyed this trip down memory lane, Ian!

Sid said...

It made me smile just reading about it, and that's what it was all about. Thanks for sharing them Hildie.

Ian Robinson said...

Yes Vivienne, thanks for the Hallowe'en greeting; it was wonderful!

Alison...the very best of luck at the new Eldon Garden gallery. No-oner deserves it more than you do...

Hildie...yes, those texts from Lawrence brought back a lot of lovely memories. The chaos of 'On Your Doorstep' was truly one of the highlights of the Nightshift week...

Sid...yes, I too was saddened to hear of the death of Mary Malcolm. Did you know, though, that her family tree was worthy of 'Who Do You Think You Are?'?

Her grandmother was the daughter of Lillie Langtry, mistress of Edward VII. Her grandfather was Prince Louis of Battenberg, who was also the grandfather of the Duke of Edinburgh. Which means that Mary Malcolm was Prince Philip's cousin...

Ian Robinson said...

Message from Serge...'belles photos'.
(Serge has similar difficulties to many other truckshunters when he tries to leave his own comments.)