Monday, June 11, 2012

Proud to be English

Trimpley Reservoir.

What a very English scene! A steam engine hauling some coaches in Great Western Railway livery along a line running past a small lake.

Wait. There are some Lasers on that lake. There must be a sailing club there.

Indeed there is. Trimpley Sailing Club. According to their website, the main boats they sail are GP14s, Lasers, Toppers and Optimists. As far as I can see from Google Maps, the lake on which they sail, Trimpley Reservoir, is barely half a mile long.

How totally English! England is dotted all over with dinghy clubs like that. Six years ago, I wrote about a very similar club, my own first sailing club,  Taplow Lake Sailing Club.

A few years ago, a young girl called Alison learned to sail with her Dad in a GP14 at Trimpley. She then started sailing an Optimist and after a short stint in the Topper she switched to the Laser Radial when she was 15. Alison has been training hard and competing locally, nationally and internationally in the Radial for the last 10 years. All her hard work paid off a few weeks ago when Alison Young was selected to be the British sailor in the Laser Radial class at the Olympics this year. Then, last week, she went out and won the gold medal at Skandia Sail for Gold, sailed at Weymouth, where the Olympics will be held in a few weeks, and in the process beating all the top Olympic contenders from other nations. Now folks in the know are talking about Alison as having a real prospect at winning an Olympic medal, maybe even the gold.

Bravo Alison!

Bravo to Trimpley Sailing Club!

Forget the family Windsor. Forget "Sir" Elton John. Forget the English football team. They all leave me cold.

It's places like Trimpley Sailing Club and people like Alison Young that make me proud to be English.


O Docker said...

Wherever there's a turning wheel
A million hiking feet.

Tillerman said...

And Jimmy will go to sleep
In his own little room again

JP said...

Bravo Alison and bravo the Trimpley sailing club!!

And are there marmite sandwiches still for tea?

Tillerman said...

I was only familiar with the last two lines of The Old Vicarage, Grantchester before. I suspect I am not alone in that respect. I just Googled the whole poem and read it.

Wow! In praising Grantchester, Brooke really blasted the folk from pretty much every other town and village around Cambridge!

For Cambridge people rarely smile,
Being urban, squat, and packed with guile;
And Royston men in the far South
Are black and fierce and strange of mouth;
At Over they fling oaths at one,
And worse than oaths at Trumpington,
And Ditton girls are mean and dirty,
And there's none in Harston under thirty,
And folks in Shelford and those parts
Have twisted lips and twisted hearts,
And Barton men make Cockney rhymes,
And Coton's full of nameless crimes,
And things are done you'd not believe
At Madingley on Christmas Eve.
Strong men have run for miles and miles,
When one from Cherry Hinton smiles;
Strong men have blanched, and shot their wives,
Rather than send them to St. Ives;
Strong men have cried like babes, bydam,
To hear what happened at Babraham.

LOL. But Grantchester is special. Almost as special as Trimpley.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry there cannot possibly be a Trimpley Sailing Club. It's too twee for words. This whole post is like a episode of Trumpton.

Tillerman said...

Trimpley and its sailing club are real. Here is a slightly edited version of the Wikipedia entry. It's a whole list of delightfully English place names. Enjoy....

Trimpley is a hamlet in the parish of Kidderminster Foreign. It lies on the ridge of Shatterford Hill, north of Wribbenhall and east of Habberley. At the northern end of Trimpley is the ancient wooded area of Eymore Wood. South of Trimpley Green lies Wassell Wood. Hoarstone Lane and Trimpley Lane, through the hamlet are probably part of the Micclan strete (great made-road), mentioned in the Anglo-Saxon bounds of Wolverley.

Isn't that deliciously English? I couldn't make this up.

Now I'm getting all nostalgic and homesick. Where's the Marmite?

Anonymous said...

Ah Marmite. I love it. I always thought it was a cultural thing. YOu either had it as baby and loved it or you didn't and hated it. My son disproved this. He is a fussy bugger with food and spent his early here deprived of the black goo but he tried it when he was 7 and loved it.

Tillerman said...

My almost-2-year-old grandson is renowned for eating almost anything. We have already introduced him to Cornish Pasties and he loves them, although he doesn't like HP Sauce on them... yet. His two older siblings (3 and 6) enjoy Marmite on their toasted cheese. I think it's a genetic thing.

Tillerman said...

Oh, and I just ordered online three more 500g jars of the black goo. It would be terrible to run out.

BlueVark said...

Tilllerman, make sure you order the special edition 'XO' (Extra Old) marmite. Gotta love it!

Tillerman said...

Sorry BlueVark. I'm a traditional kind of guy. I don't think it could be possible to improve on the original recipe.

JP said...

There's not just XO but also Guinness & champagne marmites - none of which I've tried yet

Tillerman said...

And Ma'amite for the Jubilee. Although I think that's just a different label.

One either loves it or one hates it.

Doc Häagen-Dazs said...

Don't diss English football. Yesterday England tied France, 1-1! Brilliant! They might even go on to beat the Spain. They could even go all the way to the Gold! Then you're changing your tune....

Tillerman said...

Probably not Doc. I'm not much into team sports or watching sports in general.

Strangely enough the only team sport that I follow with any enthusiasm at all is that strange American sport called baseball. If the NY Yankees win the World Series I will be excited (and might even blog about it.)

If Alison Young comes anywhere near the top three in Radials in the Olympics I will be delirious and will probably blog about it several times.

If the England footballers win some gold medal in some competition or other (and I have no idea what tournament they are even in right now) I probably won't even notice.

Am I strange?

Tillerman said...

Talking of "dissing" English football, the following is for you Doc. I saw it on Twitter the other day...

The England team visited an orphanage in Poland today. "It's heartbreaking to see their sad little faces with no hope" said Igor, aged 6.

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