Sunday, 23 March 2014

Geoff's London Marathon challenge - watch out Mo Farah

Birtley News is delighted to bring you news of THE sporting challenge of 2014.  Geoff Lowson (priest in charge at Holy Saviour's Church) is running the London Marathon.  He has been in training for months, secretly pounding the streets of Tynemouth.  Now he is preparing to go the full 26.2 miles on April 13th.  His son Richard is also running.  Geoff says he will be "happy to finish" and "doesn't expect to beat Richard".  But BN thinks Geoff is hiding his running light under a bushel.  Just the other day, Mo Farah was heard to remark: "Never mind the Kenyans, have you heard that Geoff is running?  I'm worried!". You read it here first.

Geoff is raising money for Diabetes UK and you can sponsor him on his Just Giving page.

Monday, 17 March 2014

Scotland lucky to come second

Supporting Scotland was a labour of love on Saturday.  They were always underdogs to beat Wales in Cardiff.  But when Stuart Hogg was sent off in the first half for a high late tackle, the underdog status took on heroic proportions.  Scotland duly shipped 7 tries to lose 51-3.  Ouch.

On the plus side, YC and Emma enjoyed a very convivial beer with John Rees and Hugh Morris before the game at the Cardiff Athletic Club - remember: only Cardiff gives you Brains.  And there was a highly entertaining train ride home with an English fan who was following the France v Ireland game on his iphone, and vainly cheering on France ( quote: "I can't believe I'm supporting France - don't tell anybody!")

YC worked off the beer from the weekend and some of the disappointment by climbing Cheviot today.  Readers will no doubt be rushing to identify the hills in the photo below (hint: it was taken on the Chevy Chase route).
with Hugh and John
pre-match hype

Wales start (still hope for Scotland!)
name those hills

Monday, 10 March 2014

Next time, Scotland...

YC was off on the rugby trail again at the weekend. France were the opponents.  After a stirring rendition of La Marseillaise, Scotland took the game to France with first half tries from Seymour and Hogg.  But despite leading with 2 minutes to go, Scotland conceded a last minute penalty in front of their posts.  France duly kicked it and Scotland had managed to lose 17-19 when it would have been easier to win. 

Rev T was suitably down, wishing that he had brought his boots along for a cameo appearance from the subs bench.  But after a reviving pint in The Last Drop and then another in The Half Way House, life took on a rosier hue.  By the end of the evening, Rev T was eagerly awaiting the call for next weekend's game against Wales at the Millennium Stadium.  YC and Emma will be there, cheering on Scotland and Rev T (if selected) from the stands.
France throw in at the lineout
Mr & Mrs Rev T and Lesley

Sunday, 2 March 2014

John Pearce retires as church organist

John Pearce has retired as Holy Saviour's church organist.  John has been involved in the life and music of the church for the last 43 years.  Latterly he has been an enthusiastic member of the music group, playing instruments including keyboards, double bass, and bass guitar.  His farewell to the music group was at last Sunday's all-age service, where songs included the Clap-hands Gloria and Seek Ye First.   John has left the church music in good hands, with Annette Butters taking over as organist and leader of the music group.

John will now be enjoying a few weekends off.  One of his first tasks will be to cheer on Scotland at Murrayfield next Saturday against France.  No doubt the singing of Flower of Scotland and La Marseillaise will go up a notch or two with John in the crowd.

Chris, Julian, John

the music group in full swing (photo by Chris)