Hasta la Vesta

Posted by on Sep 23, 2020 in Chairman Charley | 0 comments

The last Chairman Charley was way back at the Hull game in March. It seems like it was a century ago now. Back when we were able to enjoy an away day like normal civilised human beings, March 2020 BBF (before bat flu). So, this new season’s Chairman Charley comes from his seat at the Harrogate Arms, rather than Row 2 of the coach.  The musings last Saturday? Scott Parkers’ (lack of ) sartorial elegance and an update on the vesta dinners. It was hasta la vesta to both Scott’s rather disastrous choice of open, deep collar sweater and The Chairman’s supply of his favourite convenience food.

Fine Dining

Q: Guess what I did after the Liverpool game?

A: Had a load of cider, went to the chinese, got a special fried rice and beef chow mein, tripped up and threw it all over your car like you did last time.

Q: No, guess what I had instead?

A: What guess what else you threw all over your car instead of special fried rice?

Q: No, guess which Vesta delight I treated myself to?

A: I give up, just tell me

The Chairman: I had the beef curry. It was really nice. They are gaining popularity now you know, thanks to me. Can get them at Asda and Poundstretcher. Perfect post match food. The chow mein is very good and it cooks so easily, hardly any cooking involved.

A: Plus there’s the bonus that you won’t have the chance of throwing it all over your car on the way home.

Appropriate Pitchside Attire

Q: What the hell is Scott Parker wearing?

A: Eh?

Q: He looks like he’s just stepped out of a 50s clothing catalogue with that cardigan on

A: Eh?

Q: That thing he’s wearing on top. Look at the lapels on that! What’s the point of that?

A: Keeping him warm but allowing him freedom of movement?

Q: It’s pointless. That’s not doing anything. Better off just wearing a jumper. What’s the point of all those buttons?

A: To be honest, I’ve not really noticed

Q: It’s like what people used to wear in the 50s. Yes it was all the rage then, like smoking jackets and slacks

A: He’d look better if he turned up wearing a smoking jacket in the second half

Q: I bet he thinks he’s really stylish, but he just looks really stupid. You don’t wear that sort of stuff at football

A: Maybe he just wants to look smart for the cameras

Q: What looking clever in a cardigan?

A: Fashion forward 50’s football casual

Sunday morning 5 a side football

Q: These VAR decisions are about as much use as asking the bloke that was on the sidelines at 5 a side on Sunday mornings, who was too hung over to play because he’d been out all night, if it was a goal or not.

A: Eh?

Q: Remember? When we were at 5 a side and there was always one who couldn’t play and was just stood about? You used to ask him if it was a goal or not?

A: Really

Q: Yes! When you didn’t know if it was a goal, the one who was smoking always got asked it it had crossed the line?

A: Was there actually any point asking him, seeing as he was probably still pissed from the night before?

The Chairman: yeah, well. It would still be miles better than VAR now.

True True.

Men's shawl caridgan 50s | Shawl collar cardigan, Shawl collar cardigan  pattern, Mens shawl collar sweater

Scott Parker’s Guide To Pitchside Fashion Thanks to GoogleImages for the picture

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Doub-Hull Troub-Hull

Posted by on Mar 7, 2020 in Chairman Charley | 0 comments

The trip to Hull was full of reminiscence due to the presence of an old branch member Mr Reynard, seated far too near to The Chairman for comfort. This sparked various memories from trips of old, with the Vesta meal discussion making it’s second appearance.

For your own information, seeing as The Chairman’s audience has been waiting for his verdict…. yes the Vesta Paella was just as tasty as it was 30 years ago. Obviously, it isn’t paella from 30 years ago, as that would probably (like Kiko’s verdict) taste quite awful by now, but as a bonus, it may have sprouted it’s own strain of vacuum packed super penicillin antibiotic.

I digress, the verdict is in, and the modern day equivalent of Vesta paella- tastes as good as it did way back when The Chairman was much, much younger and hadn’t even heard of Just For Men. He will be having his Vesta Chow Mein soon.

Running Away In Rome

The Chairman: Remember that time when I thought we were being chased by that mob with knives and we all ran out and left Stella in the bar?

Q: There wasn’t actually a mob though, was there?

The Chairman: No, but I thought there was and I just ran out

Q: Had you been drinking?

The Chairman: We were buying bottles of wine for 40p

Q: It was possibly something else?

The Chairman: But I honestly thought there was a mob after us, I had to escape

Q: Had you been drinking all day?

The Chairman: I thought we were going to get stabbed, but when we realised we left Stella in the bar, we sent you back in for him

A: Really brave

The Chairman: It was the big escape from Rome

The Banterzone

The Chairman: This is the “Banterzone”

Q: Eh?

The Chairman: The Banterzone, where anything goes. We talk about everything here. This is where it’s at. These seats, the Banterzone

Q: Like what?

The Chairman: Anything. Anything goes. It’s the official Banterzone.

You know when you’ve made it

The Chairman: Remember when we were young, on a night, you used to go out to a club and order food in a basket.

Q: Food in a basket?

The Chairman: Chicken in a basket. You knew when you made it when you ordered chicken in a basket. Everybody would see you and think “yes, he’s made it, he’s ordering food in a basket”

Q: Eh?

The Chairman: Everything in a basket, even soup in a basket. Yes, nights at the Gallop Inn and chicken in a basket.

Q: You never had soup in a basket then

The Chairman: Didn’t need to, you know you’ve already made it already with chicken in a basket

Lucky Shoes

The Chairman: These are lucky shoes

Q: Eh?

The Chairman: These shoes. Very lucky. We haven’t lost in these shoes. 100% record

Q: Did you get them from the Lucky Shoe Shop?

The Chairman: I got them from Sports Direct

Q: Does that make them lucky?

The Chairman: They’ve been very lucky. I got them from Sports Direct £20. Very lucky shoes


……… Somewhere there is a clown with very cold feet… alternatively:

thanks to googleimages for the picture



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Cooking with Stella

Posted by on Jan 8, 2020 in Chairman Charley | 0 comments

We’ve all done it.

You’ve packed your football bag for the day. You’ve got on the train, stacked everything on the table and posted the obligatory photo of your efforts on social media along with your train and match tickets. Got your cards out and settled down with the two Stella four packs that you bought for a bargain 8 quid at Asda. These might see you through the long trip to Barnsley, along with that crate of Dark Fruit your mates’ mate brought along. You pull the first can off those genius plastic rings,which David Attenborough will kindly show you again six months later, decorating the neck of a baby dolphin, crack it open – job done.

The equivalent in Scotland, is you’ve packed your bag, drunk all you can on the train, got off the train, stashed your bag with the leftovers behind the big bins, in the usual spot to pick up after the game (austerity hurts) you know who you are Inverness One(!) ….. and the day begins.

Anyway, you get home 16 hours later, unpack your bag and in the bonus gift that just keeps giving, after that two -one win that day, you find two tins of Stella stuck to a Mars bar wrapper and covered in crumbs from that lonely packet of the multipack mini cheddars, that was attached to the inside of the pack, and burst when you opened it.

It’s happened to us all. Probably to everyone who has ever bought a multipack of mini cheddars, blasted glue gun sticking the top one to the packet, but a rare treat for someone to find two cans that got missed though.

So what to do with the two cans? The discussion on Saturday was not led by The Chairman. He was too busy trying to get comfortable on (and off) his seat whilst singing along to “Linger” by The Cranberries intermittently. He appeared at one point to be, what can only be described as, scaling the mountainous peaks of row 2 which he was sharing with Ex Secretary Dave Rowson. After all that effort, which was basically the equivalent of consecutively conquering Everest and K2, The Chairman finally got sorted and fell asleep. It was deemed too harsh to disturb him after that momentous feat.

The answer? Harrogate’s equivalent to The Jamie and Jimmy Friday Night Feast on the Pier –

Sunday Morning Leftovers Club with Mick and Johnathon.

Q: What would you do with two cans of warm Stella then?

A: Have ’em for breakfast.

Q: Probably make your cornflakes at bit soggy?

A: Try them with your Weetabix then

Q:  It’d make a right mess, fizzy Weetabix, bits floating everywhere.

A: No, put the Weetabix in a bowl, crack open a Stella, chuck the Weetabix, drink the Stella

Q: You could try and cook with the Stella?

A: It’d explode if you put it in the oven

A: No, cook with it, like in a recipe, with food. Bet Mary Berry could do it.

Q: Can you imagine, Mary Berry’s next cook book, Cooking with Stella? Best seller, that one. And then do it on Bake Off

A: Eh?

Q: Can you imagine? ……. and for your showstopper today, Mary and Paul would like you to create a masterpiece with a crate of Stella, a four pack of Dark Fruit, two bags of peanuts and a multipack of mini cheddars. You have four hours. Begin.

A: That would be one to watch. Plus the Dark Fruit would be part of your five-a-day.

A: Dark Fruit does NOT count as your five-a-day. It’s never been near a fruit. The nearest it’s been to fruit is the word “fruit” written on the outside of the tin.

Gourmet dining with Stella not Vesta

Q: What could you cook with it?

A: Anything

Q: Like what? Coq au Stella – doesn’t have the same ring to it. Beef and Stella pie?

A: Beef pie with a Stella

Q: No, like a beef and ale pie, but with Stella instead of ale

A: Can’t chuck a can of Stella in with stewing steak, it’d all go fizzy. Taste bloody awful as well.

Q: Surely, there must be something you could do with Stella?

A: Yeah, crack it open and drink it.


Q: Best thing to eat on Sunday morning?

A: Leftover kebab. Got to be cold, straight from the box, on the floor by the telly, where you left it

Q: What if the dog has been at it?

A: Must have been alright then, if the dog’s ate it

Q: Nothing worse than waking up on the sofa, covered in takeaway from the night before

A: Better than waking up and finding a full KFC untouched.

Q: Eh?

A: When you wake up and find a garlic pizza bread with cheese, 10 piece bargain bucket and a mega mix tikka naan kebab that you ordered but fell asleep before you ate any of it.

Q: How does that happen?

A: If only I knew. Must have been a good night

Q: What do you do then?

A: Crack open a Stella

thanks to the gruaniad for the picture, which was the only place I could find a picture of those plastic rings!


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Hasta La Vesta – baby

Posted by on Jan 3, 2020 in Chairman Charley | 0 comments

It’s been a while but The Chairman was back on form at West Brom – or should that be Vesta Brom?

I think the discussion started when we were talking about how tasty ready meals used to be until the horse meat scandal broke, and how Ex Branch Secretary Dave, now doesn’t eat ready meals, because they don’t taste as good as they used to do.

For further info –  also see Dave’s video

Gourmet food in your cupboard

The Chairman: They were a classic them Vesta meals in the 70s and the 80s.

Q: ?

The Chairman: Remember? You could experience all the different types of food in the world, in the comfort of your own home? Vesta meals. What more could you want?

Q: Literally – EVERY type of world cuisine?

The Chairman: Yeah, you needn’t waste time travelling the world to eat good food. Every type of food under the sun. Just get it in a Vesta meal.

Q: Like what?

The Chairman: All sorts of food you could want. Curries, chow mein, paella, risotto. They did beef and chicken curry. Gourmet food in your cupboard. That’s why I ate paella in Spain, because I’d tried it in a Vesta meal.

Q: Not because that’s what you get in a bar in Spain then?

The Chairman: No! I was shown the way by that Vesta paella. All these people who haven’t had a Vesta meal – don’t know you’ve lived until you’ve had a Vesta meal.

Q: Can you even still get Vesta meals nowadays?

A: Amazon have them at £15, just checked.

Q: Fifteen quid for a Vesta dinner? Jesus! Better be good for that

The Chairman: Told you – classic meals worth their weight in gold

A: Hang on, Vesta beef curry £1.99 at Poundstretcher, easy cook, add water and simmer. Have you got a Poundstretcher in Harrogate?

The Chairman: Gourmet dinner coming up then


Find us the Crispy pancakes

Q: My favourite was those Findus crispy pancakes

The Chairman: Another classic, minced beef Findus crispy pancakes

Q: Did you grill them or stick them in the chip pan?

Q: Deep fry them? Who deep fried crispy pancakes?

A: You were meant to deep fry them in the chip pan, everybody had a chip pan in them days. That’s how you did your noodles in the Vesta chow mein.

Q: Really?

A: Unless you were posh and grilled them.

Q: I wonder if they still do them? Need to find some of them for my tea

A: No, they stopped doing them ages ago

Mr Rowson: Probably because of that horse meat that was making them taste so good.

photo courtesy of poundstretcher website





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Bristol Bobbins: Bring Back Smog or How To Lose Your Tufty Club Badge….

Posted by on Aug 5, 2019 in Chairman Charley | 0 comments

1st away of the season, sees our intrepid Chairman triumph by exploring and solving the climate change conundrum and then fall mercilessly (literally – almost) from grace by ignoring all the advice from the 1970s public road safety campaigns in pursuit of a tenner.

Climate change: (this all stemmed from a discussion about how the ridiculous media were slating the “shoddy” workmanship of the Victorian builders of the dam which has been damaged, despite the fact they built the dam in 1835 with wheelbarrows, spades and forks, no heavy machinery at all… and it is/was still standing after 175+years, up until 3 days ago)

The Chairman: All this climate change crap, it’s all rubbish. These stupid scientists spouting on about the environment, just a bunch of clowns.

A: Eh?

Chairman: Well in the 70s we were all being told to expect another Ice Age. And if all this climate change is due to humans, what pollution did the cavemen do to cause the first Ice Age then?

A: Point taken

Chairman: Then scientists in the 80s told us the hole in the ozone layer was going to get bigger and we would be fried to a crisp by the year 2000 . What’s happened to that hole? Oh it’s gone now. We’ve cured it. Humans cured it.

A: Difficult to argue with that.

Chairman: And remember when all the cities had smog?

A: No! When were you born?

Chairman: No I do. I remember Smog. A thick layer of it, no one could breathe, you could just see it hanging there for ages, a cloud of it.

A: ?

Chairman: We cured it. There was no climate problems back in the olden days. Bring back Smog. Simple. I’m gonna get that on a T shirt – Bring Back Smog

The Lunch of Terror: Tufty Club badge holder? Hang your head in shame.

For some bizarre reason The Chairman chose to treat the first ex Knaresborough Branch Secretary, Dave Rowson to a romantic Chinese luncheon at our refreshment stop.

Why? Who knows? Maybe the traditional away day repast of ‘Spoons mixed grill or All Day Breakfast didn’t take The Chairman’s fancy yesterday? Who knows what goes on in the comms chair of The Chairmans brain?  Unfortunately, for reasons which don’t need to be expanded on, neither of them could tell us exactly what they ended up eating which kept us on tenterhooks for – oh at least 60 seconds. Eventually it transpired that whatever they did eat involved a lot of Tiger beer and rice. Special fried or just plain boiled, is anyone’s guess. However, on leaving the Chinese, The Chairman made a schoolboy error dealing with his change. The famous, normally infallible inside pocket, came a cropper and a gust of wind caught that tenner and whisked it out into the road. It was like a 70’s style public infomercial in slow mo. And, just like the very traffic unconscious children of the 70s, The Chairman just ran out into the road chasing after a fluttering tenner. (In the 70’s it wouldn’t have been a tenner, it would have been a ten shilling note. If a ten shilling note had fluttered into the road in the 70s the cars would have been run over by the crowd of people chasing it). A scene of astonishment, confusion and bewilderment ensued. With onlookers aghast, holding their breath at the impending carnage, perhaps the imminent demise of The Chairman. Oh No! What would his 4,000+ followers do? Reports were, that The Chairman weaved across the road in a completely rabid Benny Hill moment with the ghost of the now pensioner squirrel, Tufty, standing at the pavement’s edge screaming “Stop, Look and Listen – you fool, how hard is it to remember?”.

The Chairman is herewith no longer a member of the Tufty Club.

Thanks to the badge collectors uk for this picture





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Ipswich Ideations

Posted by on May 6, 2019 in Chairman Charley | 0 comments

Lots of interesting ideas on the way to Ipswich yesterday. The 2nd row newcomer, front of the bus virgin, Paul from Junction 41 party, fitted in perfectly well and is welcome back at anytime. As long as someone makes sure he gets off at the right stop next time and doesn’t get abandoned by the rest of them.

Play Off Final Superstitions

The Chairman: Have you got anything that you need to replay

for the play offs?

A: Eh?

The Chairman: Last time we got promoted I was… (not allowed to say what The Chairman was doing)

A: So I can’t write that?

The Chairman: Oh no – definitely not

Rowsey: Last time we won the play offs I was at the zoo with the kids and we were watching this monkey wipe his…….

And that is the end of that conversation!

Fine food

Steve The Pedant: If I had to pick my last meal ever, my starter would have to be duck and pancakes

The Chairman: My favourite food is bananas and custard

A: Just bananas and custard?

The Chairman: Yes, best dessert ever

A: Not even as a banana split with ice cream and sprinkles?

The Chairman: No no. Just bananas and custard. They should have that on the menu at proper restaurants.

A: Just a banana sliced up and a carton of ambrosia chucked over it?

The Chairman: Proper food that.

Yorkshire Master Chef

The Chairman: These restaurants, they should be doing proper food, not that poncey rubbish.

Steve The Pedant: Yes, made with lots of butter

The Chairman: Like that James Martin does…. I’ll just finish it with a bit of butter, chucks a whole pack in it

The Secretary: Can’t beat a bit of butter

The Chairman: Proper food, like bread with a bit of dripping on it. Mucky fat.

Rowsey: I once went into a shop and the woman said I’ve only got a bit of dripping on’t left, I said what’s on’t right?

Pies Are Us

Junction 41 Paul: Can’t beat a Fray Bentos Pie

MPO: Ah! You need to speak to Dave about a Fray Bentos pie

Dave P: Nothing wrong with a Fray Bentos pie, I’ve got a stack of them at home. Can’t knock it, dinner for a quid.

Junction 41 Paul: I love a Fray Bentos pie, done just so the gravy is tipping over the edge and the lid is all crispy, even those pudding ones, have to have chips done in beef fat though

Dave P: Can’t be doing with those ones – too doughy for me

Junction 41 Paul: Fray Bentos pies and Super Noodles – can live off that, only food you need

Harrogate Masterchef

The Chairman: Why is it when they do Masterchef, they just seem to do rubbish that you’re never gonna eat?

Junction 41 Paul: Served with a beef jus

The Chairman: Yeah jus or foam

Junction 41 Paul: They should do a proper food masterchef. Fish finger pie and beans

A: Eh?

Junction 41 Paul: Honestly, seen it done, fish fingers in the middle. Mash around the outside , topped with beans.

A: What in a pie?

Junction 41 Paul: Yeah, fish finger pie

The Chairman: Imagine that on Masterchef… they’ll have carved individual beans for that

Junction 41 Paul: And covered it in jus

MPO: Pudding of bananas and custard flavoured foam

Ultimate masterchef

The Chairman: Imagine if you had someone on that show who did it properly.

A: Eh?

The Chairman: Contestants, you have an hour and a half to make a main course and a pudding. What will you be doing? Well, for my main course I’ll be doing a Fray Bentos pie and chips finishing with bananas and custard as pudding.

A: Eh?

The Chairman: Can you imagine? So what are you going to do with the rest of the hour and a half? Well, I’m going to put my feet up and watch the rest of you idiots piss about with your jus.




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