Dolly's Day

By dollydoug

BALMBRAS

Matchday today.  Newcastle v Wolves. 4pm kick off.  I don't like Sunday matches mainly due to the poor bus service round here on a Sunday.  Instead of 8 buses an hour we get 3. So I checked the timetable, chose a bus and arrived at the stop in good time.  The bus came - on time.  And sped past - the driver indicated that the bus was full.  It had come from Stanley so it was no surprise it was full as this bus only runs once an hour on Sundays. And its a single decker - all the buses round here are.  You would think on a matchday near  Christmas when there would be extra Christmas shoppers in town they would put on some double deckers or extra buses.

I was stumped for a bit as to what to do as the next bus was over 30 mins away. Luckily I had allowed plenty of time -  but I had intended going to the railway station before kick off to collect my train tickets for Friday.  I decided to walk down to the bus stop in the village and if possible catch a different bus.  The bus which came first didn't go to Newcastle but I got on it and got off in Lobley Hill.  Then I got on a bus to Newcastle.  Saved a bit of time doing this.  And it felt better actually being proactive.

Once in town I headed for the station and on the way took my blip shot in the Bigg Market.  Balmbras is in a terrible state at the moment as it was badly damaged in a fire in 2014 and nothing has been done to it since.

BALMBRAS used to be an old style music hall venue and in 1862 it was the first place Geordie Ridley performed his famous song The Blaydon Races.

First verse:~~~

Aw went to Blaydon Races, 'twas on the ninth of Joon
Eiteen hundred an' sixty-two, on a summer's efternoon
Aw tyuk the 'bus frae Balmbra's, an' she wis heavy laden
Away we went alang Collingwood Street, that's on the road to Blaydon.

In the 1960's and 1970's it still had musical variety shows in the large back room. In the 1980's there used to be Country and Western nights and Douglas and I used to go there after work as our office was nearby.

Its so sad that its derelict and unloved at the moment.  Its part of Newcastle folk lore and even has a blue plaque. The top part of the Bigg Market is undergoing a facelift at the moment and the bottom part (where Balmbras is) is next on the agenda.  Apparently exciting redevelopments are planned.  Hopefully the next time I blip Balmbras it will be looking very different.  I have tagged my blip for Derelict Sunday hosted by Marlieske

Once I had my train tickets I nipped into M & S in the station for some fruit and then headed for the football ground. 

Wolves got the first goal on the 17th minute.  Not the start I expected or wanted.  However 6 mins later Newcastle equalised.  So at half time it was 1 - 1.  All to play for in the second half.  Then it all went pear shaped.  Newcastle had a player sent off at 57 mins. Newcastle actually did  quite well considering they were down to 10 men and at full time the score was still 1 - 1.  BUT there was 5 mins extra time and Newcastle did what they often do --- they let in a goal. On the 94th minute.  Its amazing how often this happens.  Just when you think its a draw or Newcastle have won then the other team score in extra time and everything changes.  The crowd were furious.

So all the Newcastle fans left the ground feeling annoyed,dispirited, deflated etc.  When I got to my bus stop there was a huge queue.  I managed to get on the bus but there were no seats left.  However I was lucky that a young lad got up and gave me his seat.  Not his idea I might add - he was asked to give me his seat by a couple of old codgers who were sitting near him.  I'm glad they did.

Steps today - 11,434

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