Feb 06 2019


I took the clock to London strapped on the top of my Austin 1100, and true to his word, the advertiser, a Mr. Ronnie Moore, who resided in Fulham, gave me the £30.00 for it. He also paid my expenses. Although I knew little or nothing about grandfather clocks at that time, Ronnie , who owned a clock shop, asked me to be his agent in the North of England, stating that he would advise me where to go for clocks, and what to pay for them. I readily agreed

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Feb 04 2019

About John (Part two)

I had not long been married and in addition to a young wife and even younger baby son, I had a large mortgage around my neck and was struggling to make ends meet. I was searching through various columns in a national newspaper trying to find another job, when I came across an advertisement offering to pay a minimum of £30.00 for an Antique Grandfather Clock. This was entirely coincidental as earlier that day, I had been wandering around one of the local antique shops and there had been one for sale at £12.00.I rang the number , which was in London and described the clock to the person who had placed the advert. He said that If I bought the clock and took it to him in London, he would definitely give me £30.00 for it. Petrol was very cheap in those days and I worked out that for £3.00, I could get to London and back, giving me a profit of £15.00, half a week’s wages!


Jan 30 2019

About John (Part one)

I hope you enjoy reading my blog and find my clocks interesting. I hope you also enjoy my original monthly clock cartoons and poems. My grandfather clock cartoons have won awards within the clock industry and have been displayed in one of the leading trade magazines, ‘Clocks’. My poems have been broadcast on national radio.


Jan 23 2019

Chester Assizes 1838 Burglary


Robert Tomkinson was indicted for burglarious breaking and entering the dwelling house of Samuel Humphreys a grandfather clocks and watch maker of Northwich and stealing three silver watches and other aticles. Found guilty,he received a sentence of two years imprisonment with hard labour


Jan 18 2019

Added Ryder to Me, Cricket and Sconny Purcell

A Couple of weeks later we faced St Bedes again in the Baseball final.
Me and Sconny Purcell were once again captains. On this occasion
we absolutely slaughtered them.There was only one outstanding captain
on that day and it wasn’t Sconny Purcell. In fact, If I had scored a couple
more runs I would have beaten them on my own.

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Jan 16 2019

Me,Cricket and Sconny Purcell (Final Part)

After that I was totally inspired and me and the wonder kids from Simms Cross
could do no more wrong and it wasn’t long before The Bedes stood on the
brink of defeat at 48 for nine most of their runs being made up by this plucky kid
that we just coudn’t get out . 30 seconds later, thanks to another Woof Bower
special ( Maybe,just maybe, I was only the second best fielder on the team)
they were all out . We rejoiced like only eleven year olds can. We jumped up
and down up and ran round in circles and back again.We had done it Sammy Butterworth
had been right all the time,We had batted first and we had beaten the Bedes
fair and square. Top that Sconny Purcell.!
The following weekend,there was a report on the match in the local paper
I had been waiting for eagerly because I wanted to show it to everbody.
” In the junior cricket competiton, Simms Cross defeated St. Bedes in a hard fought
final. Both Captains had good games.John Shone for the victors Taking four wickets
and scoring 21 runs. John Purcell for the losers taking five wickets and scoring an undeteated 23 runs

Many years ago when I was in my glory years years at Simms Cross School, I wasn’t
just good at cricket I was bloody good and so was Sconny Purcell.. If he’d played
for us,we could have taken on the world !


Jan 14 2019

Me, Cricket and Sconny Purcell (Parf Eleven)

I was fielding in my usual suicide position of silly mid on, when one of our
bowlers (who shall be nameless at this time) let go a loose full toss.
The Bedes batsman( whose name I never knew) smashed it with all his strength
at me standing five yards away. I could neither jump, duck, run nor call for help
and though I threw my hands down in an effort to protect myself, I was too late
the ball hit me like a rocket about two inches about the nether regions
and I doubled over in pain. I stayed like that for what seemed an eternity
until I heard someone shout “Great catch Shonner”. I Iooked down to see
that when I had thrown my hands across, my arm had lodged the ball
nice and tidily in the pit of my stomach. I had no idea it was there. Ignoring
all my pain, I simply picked it out and held it up. There was a look of astonishment
on the batsman’s face as he walked past me on his way out, but he couldn’t have been half
as astonished as I was .Yes great catch Shonner.

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Jan 11 2019

Me,Cricket and Sconny Purcell (Part Ten)



I hurtled my first ball down the pitch quicker than any ball I had hurtled
before straight at the off stump. The next thing the ball was flying high in the air
towards the long on boundary and Sconny came charging up the pitch as
fast as his little legs would carry him with a wide grin on his face. I was horrified
until out of the corner of my eye running round the boundary edge and rapidly
closing in on in on the ball I saw Stan Waterhouse ” Catch it Stan, Catch it .” I shouted .I have to say that Stan did
indeed make a great effort but could only just get one hand to the ball and it
spilled to the ground. I remember I turned to Sammy Butterworth and without
thinking said, rather cruelly now I suppose” If that had been a rugby ball
he would have caught it with his eyes shut ” Stan being extremely good
at rugby, but the chance to remove Sconny Purcell first ball had gone.
The Bedes started to play well after that and the score moved along too
quickly for comfort. But then Lady Luck smiled on the game again and
this time she smiled on me. One of those things happened which either
wins or loses matches for you depending upon which side you are on.

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Jan 09 2019

Me,Cricket and Sconny Purcell (Part Nine)


I don’t recall much about the first few overs except to say that I was still not out
but struggling for a bit of form. Then a piece of good fortune, Pat Davenport
came on to bowl and any nerves I was struggling with disappeared on the
spot. I knew all about Pat, as we practiced together all the time. The last delivery
of his over was a full toss which came straight at my body. I moved out of the way
and instinctively swung my bat at the same time.The ball could have gone anywhere,
but it shot like lightning towards the boundary for four. Most of the kids on the benches
roared their approval except for one voice from the Bedes benches which said
” What a dastardly little fellow he is “. Now full of confidence, I was on my way.
In no time at all we were 38 for 2 and Sammy Butterworth said that we were playing
so well we might reach 100. When I had scored 21, I was clean bowled by a fluke
of a ball which must have gone through the middle of my bat before it hit the stumps.
It was delivered by a dead lucky kid called Purcell. In the end we finished on a total of 77,
which included a towering shot from Mucker Murray which landed only a few yards
from me on the pavillion steps. Although short of the 100 it was still an astronomical
score for junior cricket.
When the Bedes came into bat they didn’t start well and lost an early wicket or two.
I don’t know exactly when Sconny Purcell came to the crease or what the score was.
All I know is that all at once he was standing there bat in hand. and I had to bowl to him..
I knew that this kid had to go before he got started.


Jan 08 2019

Me,Cricket and Sconny Purcell (Part eight)

We had one more game to play after that against the National School and If we won we would
go to the championship play-off against St. Bedes at the Widnes Cricket club ground.
Win it we did and the stage was set Us and The Bedes, death or glory at Beaconsfield road.
On the great afternoon, me and my team marched proudly to Widnes Cricket Club and
half of Simms Cross School marched behind us. Sammy Butterworth kept telling us to remain
calm and not to get too carried away and this worked fine right up to the bottom of
Beaconsfield Road when he suddenly said to me ” This will be a good pitch today
Shone, If you win the toss, elect to Bat first. ” What was he saying, what was he
trying to do ? give them a fifty run start ?.” But Sir ” I said, ” Wouldn’t it be better if we
fielded first, all the team want to field first ? ” ” Just do as you are told lad, just do as
you are told ” That was all I needed, he was sending us in to face St.Bedes with our hands
tied behind our backs.
Half an hour later, me and Sconny Purcell confronted each other at the side
of the pavillion I tossed the coin and he called ” Tails ” and tails it was. ” We’ll field ”
he said “We’ll Field ” Yes I bet you will I thought, and we had lost the first round, but
at least my team didn’t have to hear me say ” We’ll Bat ”

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