White-knuckled Ride

For many years the only thing anyone knew about Hartlepool was the term Monkey Hangers… this allegedly goes back to the Napoleonic Wars when a French warship was wrecked off Hartlepool. The only survivor was, supposedly, a Monkey dressed in a Sailor’s uniform. The inhabitants of Hartlepool, not being that familiar with a Frenchman tried the Monkey as a spy. As it could not answer any questions, well would you when faced by an angry mob, it was hanged.

After that, Hartlepool hasn’t been in the news that much. Ok so Brian Clough and Peter Taylor started their managerial careers at Hartlepools United and Time Team did a dig to find a bit of old pottery at St Hilda’s Church.

St Hilda's

The church is dedicated to Saint Hilda Baker, who incidentally kept Monkeys as pets. Hilda’s miracle was getting people to believe she was funny for so long.

Hartlepool also has a historic quay which the good burghers of the town had the foresight to name the Historic Quay back in the 18th Century.

The Historic Quay

Well, for all Hartlepool’s history the 6 June 2011 will surely be remembered for a very long time when hordes of twitchers stormed the Doctor’s Garden. In scenes not seen in the UK since the Norman Invasion in 1066. Birders aremed with ladders and siege towers tried to score a glimpse of a rare White-throated Robin.

I was unable to go yesterday and I had in some kind of zen moment convinced myself the bird would not be there today… anyway, I had a full diary today. The bird was there so like any sensible birder, I fucked off straight from work for a two and half hour dash up North. Thankfully yesterday’s mediaeval scenes were not to be repeated as access was arranged to the Garden.

Despite a soaking that left me smelling like a wet dog, I enjoyed so crippling views of this total mega.

White-throated Robin

White-throated Robin

After having my fill of the bird I headed round to Verrill’s Chippy for tea before going to visit the Andy Capp monument.

Andy Capp

On my way home I even had to record a Conference Calls podcast live from Rotherham.


2 responses to “White-knuckled Ride

  1. Howard Broughton

    The legendary Hilda Baker; the first woman stand up; she knows you know; or she did; remember that classic parody with the dainty Arfur Mullard of that Classic Elton John, Kiki Dee No. 1, You’re the one that I want, oo hoo hoo!!

  2. thedrunkbirder

    I feel a bit guilty really Howard but I couldn’t think of another good Hilda to take the piss out of! I actually loved Hilda Baker’s work… and yes I do remember the Arfur Mullard duet!

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