Saturday 14 October 2023

Post 487 - The Grambler on oddly parked cars

Welcome to The Grambler, the most ill-informed blog you are ever likely to see.

Stewart was an amazing person - A wonderful husband, a fantastic brother, a loving son and an adored uncle. He was also a brilliant friend and colleague and is missed by so many people. His family are determined that his death will never be in vain and are doing their part to beat bowel cancer for good. We are fundraising for the Bobby Moore Fund which is part of Cancer Research UK and specialises in research into bowel cancer. If you wish to donate to the fund, you can via The Grambler’s Kick Cancer’s Backside (

If you haven’t already done so, please read the article which appeared in the Daily Record and learn from Stewart’s story that you must never be complacent. It makes grim reading for us, his family, even though we were beside him throughout his ordeal, or battle; call it what you will.

Stewart began writing The Grambler when he was between procedures and hoping for some form of recovery. He loved all aspects of football and was a lifelong Motherwell supporter. His wish was that The Grambler should continue after his death and I have been happy to oblige. Read on and enjoy



Your letters...


I’ve heard it said that too many cooks spoil the broth. I don’t know about that, but they certainly spoil daytime television.


A. Worrall-Thompson.

Story Time...

You are probably wondering why there has been no edition of your favourite ill-informed blog for a few weeks. What do you mean, you hadn’t noticed? Charming!  Beardy Man's Wi-Fi coverage can be blamed, but that is only part of the reason.

It has been a busy time for Mrs G and me. A family wedding, another fundraising singalongabingo (See Post 477 - Do the gramble-motion for an explanation to that one.) and a couple of jaunts away.

One such jaunt was a bucket lister, no less. Yes indeed. I have always wanted to visit Orkney and Shetland, so those were the destinations for Mrs G and me.

The first night was spent in Thurso, the northernmost town on the British mainland [How very interesting. Yawn! - Ed.]. Mrs G and I travelled there by coach. [Well done you... What point are you struggling to make here? - Ed.] Well, I noticed a rather odd phenomenon while travelling up there. Old cars. [And? - Ed.] In fields. [I'm sorry? - Ed.] Dumped.

You are probably thinking that there is nothing unusual in seeing a car dumped. I'm sure many cars have been dumped in fields. The difference here was that these were abandoned in the middle of huge fields. A single car, slap, bang in the middle of a huge cultivated field. Then, a mile or two further on, another car similarly abandoned in the middle of a large field. Travel a bit further and, stone me, there's another one. The odd thing was that there was no evidence of how they got there.

Anyway, we also visited Orkney, as I have already stated. Lovely place with more history than you can shake a stick at. Here's something that caught my eye. There is a place on the main island called Harray and there is an artisan there who makes pottery. Can you guess what name he goes by? Yes, you at the back? That's right, Harray Potter. Oh how we laughed.

Anyway, back to the plot. After Orkney, the coach headed to Shetland and guess what we saw. Only another car dumped in the middle of a field. Will somebody please tell me what the blibbing flip is going on?

Were they driven into the middle of the field? Doubtful, as they were all fairly ordinary cars without the traction needed to negotiate a less than smooth field.

Were they lifted bodily into position? Unlikely. If that were the case, an awful lot of people would have been needed to do the lifting.

There seemed to be no indication of how they got there. The crops were growing evenly all around them or, as in one case, the cattle had munched their way through the grass all around the vehicle in question and there was no sign of any disturbance such as wheel tracks or footprints.

It was all very strange, but I think I know what has happened. Oh yes. I have the answer. [Of course you have. You always have. - Ed.] I have... honest.

The answer is... aliens [I'm sorry? What? - Ed.] Yes. Aliens. You remember those crop circles that appeared all over the place in the 80s and 90s? The ones that nobody could explain? Some folk were convinced they were the work of aliens.

Oddly, you don’t see crop circles any more. And do you know why that is? It is because the aliens are too busy teleporting cars into the middle of fields.

If you can come up with a more plausible explanation, let me know.




Birthday honours...

Let’s move on to the birthday honours, shall we? Were any famous or not so well-known individuals born on the 23rd of September? Of course there were. Here are some that even I have heard of.

Emma Orczy 1865 - Authoress. Who? Here’s a clue: They seek her here, they seek her there, etc. Yep, she wrote The Scarlet Pimpernel.

Wally Whyton 1929 - Musician and radio and TV presenter.

Colin Blakely 1930 - Actor. Played Stalin in the 1983 TV film, Red Monarch.

George Eastham 1936 - Footy bloke

Henry Blofeld 1939 - Ex-cricket comentator.

John Banks 1943 - Musician. He was drummer with The Merseybeats. How about a clip? Here’s the group’s biggest hit, I Think of You.

Tony Gubba 1943 - TV sports presenter.

Jim McCalliog 1946 - Fitba guy.

Floella ‘Baroness’ Benjamin 1949 - Actress, singer, presenter, author and politician.

Nicholas Witchall 1953 - Newsreader and ‘Royal correspondent’. Sounds like a cushy number.

Kenny Burns 1953 - Fitba guy.

Andrew Bodnar 1954 - Musician. Bass player with Graham Parker and The Rumour. Here’s the band’s biggest hit, their version of the Trammps’ Hold Back the Night.

Cherie Blair 1954 - Letterbox impressionist.

Lesley Fitz-Simons 1961 - Actress. Sheila Ramsay in Take the High Road.

Mark Stacey 1964 - Celebrity antiques expert.

Yvette Fielding 1958 - The youngest ever presenter of Blue Peter, joining the programme when she was 18.

Karl Pilkington 1972 - Celebrity idiot.

Robert James-Collier 1976 - Actor. Thomas Barrow in Downton Abbey.

Next, we have those born on the 30th of September...

Alfred Dunhill 1872 - Cigarette manufacturer. I wonder how many lives he cut short.

Michael Powell 1905 - Film-maker.

Deborah Kerr 1921 - Ectress, don’t cha know. Anna Leonowens in The King and I when she got to know Yul Brynner.

Donald Swann 1923 - Musician, composer and singer. One half of popular duo Flanders and Swann. [Which one was he? - Ed.] Ahem... Here’s The Wompom.

I seem to have dropped my hat.
(Only those of a certain age will understand that)

Barbara Knox 1932 - Actress. Rita (deep breath) Bates/Littlewood/Fairclough/Sullivan/Tanner in Coronation Street.

Janet Reger 1935 - Knicker maker.

Meg Johnson 1936 - Actress. Eunice Nuttall/Gee in Coronation Street.

Angela Pleasence 1941 - Actress. Winnie in Happy Valley. Donald’s lass.

Gus Dudgeon 1942 - Record producer.

Mike Harrison 1945 - Musician. Frontman of Spooky Tooth. Who? Have a clip. Here’s That Was Only Yesterday.

Ian Ogilvy 1943 - Actor. Simon Templar in The Return of the Saint.

Jimmy ‘Jinky’ Johnstone 1944 - Fitba guy.

Marc Bolan 1947 - Musician. Frontman of T-Rex. I think a clip is in order. Here’s Hot Love.

Rula Lenska 1947 - Actress. Claudia Colby in Coronation Street.

John Lloyd 1951 - Radio and TV producer.

Jack Wild 1952 - Actor. Most famously The Artful Dodger in Oliver!

Ian McCall 1964 - Fitba guy.

Omid Djalili 1965 - Comedian it says here.

Mark Smith 1969 - Rhino in Gladiators.

Alex Rae 1969 - Fitba guy.

Roy Carroll 1977 - Foody blook, so he is.

Richard Ashdown 1978 - You perhaps don’t know him by name, but if you watch darts you have probably heard him cry ONE HUNDRED AND AYYYTY!

Cyrus Christie 1992 - Footy bloke bejabers.

Now then, what about the 7th of October?

Francis Frith 1822 - Pioneer of photography.

Niels Bohr 1885 - Physicist and Nobel Prize winner.

Fred Yule 1893 - Actor, comedian and singer. A stalwart of the wartime radio show It’s That Man Again playing numerous characters including Johann Bull, Norman the Doorman, Andrew Geekie, George Gorge and Bigga Banga.

Richard Caldicott 1908 - Actor. Most famously Captain Povey in The Navy Lark.

Joseph Cooper 1912 - Pianist and broadcaster. Chairman of BBC’s Face the Music.

Christopher Booker 1937 - Journalist and author.

Ann Jones 1938 - Tennisy bloke.

Kevin Godley 1945 - Musician. Founder member of 10CC, he later teamed up with fellow 10CC member Lol Creme to produce music and music videos. A clip? I should think so. Here is the beautiful 5 O'Clock in the Morning. Try to ignore the scary man at the beginning.

Hugh Fraser 1950 - Actor. Hastings in Poirot.

Jane Torvill 1957 - Skatey bloke.

Simon Cowell 1959 - Entrepreneur.

Micky Flanagan 1962 - Comedian.

Paul Stewart 1964 - Footy bloke.

Sam Brown 1964 - Singer. Here’s her last biggish hit, Kissing Gate.Was that Nicky Campbell?

Thom Yorke 1968 - Musician. Frontman of Radiohead. Here, with a very odd video, is Man of War.

Michelle Mone 1971 - Another knicker maker.

Tim Minchin 1975 - Comedian.

Alesha Dixon 1978 - Singer, dancer, author, etc.. One time member if Mis-Teeq. A clip? Why, soitenly. Have a bit of Style.

Tony Way 1978 - Jobbing actor. Chestnut in Zapped.

Jermain Defoe 1982 - Footy bloke.

James McArthur 1987 - Fitba guy.

Trent Alexander-Arnold 1998 - Footy bloke.

Let’s not forget the 14th of October.

Charlie Cooper 1893 - Racing car manufacturer (with son, John).

Bud Flanagan 1896 - Comedian and singer. Here’s a bit of British cinematic corn from 1937 with Flanagan (and comedy partner Chesney Allen) singing Free. 

Roger Moore 1927 - Actor. James Bond in seven films about 007.

Alex Glasgow 1935 - Singer songwriter. Most famous for his version of the traditional song When the Boowat Comes In.

Christopher Timothy 1940 - Actor. Jaes Herriot in All Creatures Great and Small.

Cliff Richard 1940 - Singer. Shall we have a song by Cliff? Yeah, let’s. Here’s his last number one record when he was a mere lad of 78, Rise Up.

Roger Taylor 1941 - Tennisy bloke.

Lesley Joseph 1945 - Actress. Dorien Green in Birds of a Feather.

Katy Manning 1946 - Actress. Jo Grant in Doctor Who.

Justin Hayward 1946 - Musician. Frontman of The Moody Blues from 1966 until the band dissolution in 2018. Have another clip. Here is a recent rendition of Forever Autumn.

Dan McCafferty 1946 - Singer and songwriter. Frontman of Nazareth. I’m spoiling you, but here’s another clip - May the Sunshine.

David Murray 1951 - Businessman.

Steve Cram 1960 - Runny bloke.

Steve Coogan 1965 - Actor comedian.

Jason Plato 1967 - Racing driver turned TV presenter.

Matt Le Tissier 1968 - Footy bloke.

Michael Duberry 1975 - Footy bloke.

Shaznay Lewis 1975 - Singer, songwriter and All Saint. A clip? But, of course. I fancy a coffee, black, of course.

Paul Hunter 1978 - Snookery bloke.

Steven Thompson 1978 - Fitba guy.

Jonathan Ashworth 1978 - Politician.

Colin Furze 1979 - Youtube personality.

Ben Wishaw 1980 - Actor. Q in Skyfall.

Kevin Thomson 1984 - Fitba guy.

Jack Farthing 1985 - Actor. George Warleggan in Poldark.

Shona McGarty 1991 - Actress. Whitney Dean in Eastenders. You slag.

Daniel Roche 1999 - Actor. Ben Brockman in Outnumbered... The annoying kid.



I’ve received a letter...

Dear Kevin Grambley,

It was lovely to hear a song of yours from your post 10CC years; even though it was Lol Creme doing most of the work while you just lounged on the piano. Anyhoo, here’s a question for you: 10CC had a few number ones, but what was the first? Eh? Answer me that, smartyboots.

Yours sincerely,

Rob Erbulitz.






Gramble time...

How did our last bet with Drabkoles fare? I can’t remember. It was weeks ago. Let’s say we won... I’ve no idea if we did or not, but let’s be optimistic. Shall we have a little gramble, this week? Aye, go on.

Game Result - Odds

Cambridge vs Shrewsbury - Home win - Evens

Lincoln vs Burton - Home win - Evens

Crewe vs Tranmere - Home win - 4/5

Grimsby vs Accrington - Home win - 11/10

Swindon vs Newport - Home win - 7/10

The bets have been placed - Ten 20 pee doubles plus a single 20 pee accumulator. If the results go as predicted by The Grambler, the Bobby Moore Fund will be richer to the tune of a whopping


More whopping than usual, that’s for sure.




Teaser time...

Yay! How did you get on with the five teasers set last time? Here are the answers.

1. Who am I?

I was born in Stourbridge in the West Midlands in 2003. I joined Birmingham City as an under eight and made my senior debut there in 2019 aged just 16 years and 38 days. In 2020, I moved to Borussia Dortmund and this year have transferred to Real Madrid. I have been capped 26 times for England.

Answer - Jude Bellingham

2. Which Swedish player scored the most Premier League goals last season?

Answer - Alexander Isak

3. Which Croatian has scored the most international goals?

Answer - Davor Ĺ uker

4. A Champions League question - Which two clubs are in the Champions League Group Stage for the first time?

Answer - Antwerp and Union Berlin

5. An anagram...


Answer - Kyle Walker [Some would say that anagram was quite apt. - Ed.]

What about five to test your footy knowledge this week?

1. Who am I?

I was born in 1974 in Salford. A midfielder, I played my entire senior career for one club, Manchester United. In 2011 I retired to take up a coaching job with the club. However, I resumed my playing career in 2012 for one more year. I was capped for England 66 times.

2. It is well-known that Norwegian player, Erling Haaland was the most prolific Premier League scorer in the 2022/23 season, but which Norwegian was also in the top ten scorers?

3. Which Uruguayan has scored the most international goals?

4. Which English club plays its home games at the stadium known as The Valley?

5. let’s finish with another anagram...


There you have it; five teasers to test you. As always, try and answer them before shouting out Hey Googly, Syria or Alexis. Please feel free to pass on the link to your pals so that they can enjoy The Grambler’s footy teasers too.




Remember the serious message...

As usual (at the risk of repeating myself), I remind you of the main reason for continuing to publish this blog – to raise awareness about bowel cancer. If you have any bowel problems, don’t be fobbed off with the line that you are too young for bowel cancer to be a consideration. Just point your doctor in the direction of (the already mentioned) Never Too Young | Bowel Cancer UK




Please, take a few minutes to watch an informative little video from Mersh (a great friend of Stewart’s).

Click on this link: The amount raised is miles out of date. The total has jumped again, as over £100 went in after one of my ‘nostalgia’ presentations. My thanks go to the Linvale ladies’ group.





And Finally...

And finally, Cyril? And finally, Esther, I am indebted to a Mr. C. Furze who provides us with this week’s finishing link. If you have never heard of Colin Furze, and you are probably not alone, he is a YouTuber, I believe is the correct term, who posts films of his crazy engineering projects. There are so many online, it is difficult to choose one. I think this one is one of his wackiest and I can’t imagine what his neighbours thought of it... The guy's Mad!




That’s all for this week folks, but remember you can read the musings of The Grambler every week (well, most weeks) by going to the blog at where you can also catch up on any previous editions you may have missed.


Happy grambling.


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