Tuesday, January 6, 2009

A much coveted oolitic limestone trophy ...

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Dr Phillpotts's 1980 caption reads: "Julian Parker looks on as John Parry presents the piece of limestone to Mike Taylor as Personality of the Year".  Hmm... well I suppose it made sense to make trophies out of limestone, as it wasn't exactly in short supply.   

There are some details in this shot that bring back certain memories.  Not only do I still appear to have some hair to go with the beard in this photograph, but I am wearing evening dress: the wing collar and the bow-tie can just about be made out.  I now recall buying the dinner jacket, and other necessary items, at the Cheltenham Oxfam Shop.  I rather think I was accompanied by Jane Dineen or Ros Cleal, or both, on this particular shopping expedition. We swapped a pair of trousers, that were obviously far too big for me, from one hanger, which bore a jacket that fitted me, for the trousers belonging to an entirely different suit, which had a jacket that was far too small for me.  The resulting ensemble, plus dress shirt and bow-tie was acquired for £5.  I can only hope that a strangely-shaped customer with narrow shoulders, pigeon chest and an enormous waist came along and bought the curious combination dinner suit that was left behind after this feat of leger-de-main.

Mike Taylor, even indoors, is wearing his astonishingly long knitted scarf, a better view of which, on site, is to be found in the top photo here.  Mr Parry, meanwhile, is sporting a black shirt with extravagant cuffs and pearl buttons gleaming in the dim light.  I expect it was one of those evenings when John, with a broad grin, verging on a leer, had announced "I'm going to make myself pretty!".

Behind us is the ill-fated and long-suffering Ullenwood piano. Its debilitated state is hinted at by one or two keys that lie depressed unable to spring back into position.  The piano sustained ever greater damage down the years and, I see, from examining Dr Phillpotts's definitive history of the Below Average White Band, that it never featured as an instrument after the 1980 season.

But what I really want to know is why there are two bottles of GL cider, on top of the piano, conjoined by a pair of underpants or knickers, which bears what looks suspiciously like a representation of Donald Duck on the front ...

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