Monday, August 31, 2009

Five Great Britons: Part One

This, dear blog reader, is the first in an - irregular - From The North series concerning those Britons who have, in the opinion of yer actual Keith Telly Topping, done considerable ... stuff. And that. All comments and suggestions for future inclusions, although welcome, will be completely ignored. Because, this one is personal!
1. Yer Actual Field Marshal Sir Arthur Wellesley, First Duke of Wellington, KG, KP, GCB, GCH, PC, FRS. Born - Dublin, Ireland c. 29 April 1769. Died - Walmer Castle, Kent 14 September 1852. Quite simply, the man responsible for more dead Frenchmen in history than anyone else. And, therefore, worthy on a place on anyone's list of Top Chaps.
2. Yer Actual Douglas Robert Jardine. Born - Bombay, India 23 October 1900. Died - Montreux, Switzerland 18 June 1958. A fine writer and a genuine twenty four carat war hero he may have been but his place on this list is for one solitary reason. He was the first man to prove conclusively that Australians are excellent sportsmen and generally decent blokes but they do not like it up 'em. And, if you give it up 'em they will, like as not, squeal like a bunch of girls and run a mile, whinging.
3. Yer Actual John Robert Parker Ravenscroft, OBE. Born - Heswell, Cheshire 30 August 1939. Died - Cuzco, Peru 25 October 2004. Because he was decent, caring family man who loved football and played Half Man Half Biscuit on the BBC and got paid for it. A legend of self-deprecation, honesty and integrity. Yer actual Keith Telly Topping's record collection would be a tenth of the size without him.
4. Yer Actual John Graham Mellor. Born - Ankara, Turkey 21 August 1952. Died - Broomfield, Somerset 22 December 2002. For writing 'Death Or Glory' and 'Complete Control' and '1977' and 'The Right Profile' and daring to be different. My guitar hero.
5. Yer Actual Thomas Topping. Born - Newcastle upon Tyne 4 December 1918. Died - Newcastle upon Tyne 27 April 1991. Yer actual Keith Telly Topping's dad his very self. Survived the Spanish 'flu, the Great Depression, Dunkirk, an ear infection which almost killed him in his thirties and a lifetime of supporting the (even then, unsellable) Magpies, and still managed to raise three sons properly, hold down a job and keep the garden tidy. That's what I call being a hero.

Next time, whenever that is, five further Great Britons ... and whom they pissed off to achieve that distinction.