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Norbury, Shepperton, Farnborough and Aldershot, 25 January 2014

February 4, 2014

Image‘Fisher went to work as a researcher for the BBC Education Department; Rented a flat in Norbury, South London’

The Ballad of Climie Fisher

‘It’s about an hour’s drive
To Shepperton from ours’

Soft Verges

Penned by the burly physio
Of non-league Farnborough Town’

Improv Workshop Mimeshow Gobshite

‘Sheepskin nose-band, kids in Aldershot’

Them’s the Vagaries

After a six-month hiatus, during which we’ve pursued a range of experimental side projects (moving house, changing jobs, skulking round seven inch import sections, goading Paul Ross, etc)  we’ve decided to get the biscuit tour back on the road.  Nothing serious, just enjoy it, see what happens, kind of thing.

Restored to the original 2012 line up of Harman-Dawes,  the first destination on our comeback tour is Norbury, South London, which is of course where Fisher of Climie Fisher rented a flat while he took a job as a researcher in the BBC education department following the duo’s turbulent demise.

Unless it’s let itself go since 1990, Fisher’s BBC years must have been tough – because this is no place for an author of sensitive sophisto-pop ballads, a point underlined by the sight of a man staggering down Fairview road, pausing every few yards to vomit onto the pavement.  However, there’s no gravel to be seen, which perhaps accounts for Fisher’s attraction to the place.

Exiting rapidly, we proceed southwestwards as far as Wimbledon, where the day’s first mishap Imageoccurs, Nick suffering a double whammy of flat tyre and broken pannier.  Fortunately, we’re close to the excellent Action Bikes, who deal with both problems effectively and courteously, and join with us in some hearty condemnation of their incompetent rivals – Evans Cycles.  They even decline to charge Nick for replacing the pannier part, although this may well be because they recognise that the massive PR exposure they’ll get from a glowing mention on this blog will outweigh any financial recompense.

Passing through well-heeled Kingston, we bag Shepperton, which has few features of interest save a well kept little roundabout island, where we take the requisite photographs.   Around Chertsey, we’re forced to change route due to flooding (perhaps if more of us were to follow Blackwell’s example and switch the kitchen light off with our chins,  we wouldn’t have climate change, and the biscuit tour wouldn’t have to contend with so many severe weather events).

After the day’s only real climb, we stop off for lunch at the White Hart in Chobham – another of those places that should be in a HMHB song, but isn’t.  On re-mounting we note that it’s a bit nippier out, and later discover that if we’d hung around too long, we might have fallen victim to a mini-tornado that later claims two cats.

ImageHoping to arrive in time for kick-off of their crucial mid-table clash with Tonbridge Angels, we press on towards Cherrywood Road, home of Farnborough FC, formerly non-league Farnborough Town (they’re still non-league, they just dropped the town).     On approach to the ground, Nick convinces me that the noise of the traffic from the nearby M3 is the roar of a particularly vocal Skrill Conference South crowd, but in fact the game’s been postponed due to water-logging.   There’s no-one around at the ground apart from a teenage couple snogging, or sniffing glue, or doing whatever disaffected youth do these days, so it’s on to the day’s fourth and final destination.

Musing on Aldershot on his excellent HMHB lyrics site, Chris Rand reaches the reasonable conclusion that the home of squaddies only makes it into ‘Them’s the Vagaries’ because it rhymes with “apricot”.    We come across no evidence to the contrary here. This is no place to end an odyssey, and so our voyage of self discovery must continue.

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One Comment
  1. Great stuff, as ever. I can’t claim ownership of the “apricot” claim, unfortunately – that was Charles Exford Esq.

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