From the Talking Bull archives…Glynis Wright recalls the time a Talking Bull co-editor truly risked life and limb to save the Meadow End from destruction.
I used to be a contender – sorry, fanzine editor. It was a broad CV. I’ve been summoned to a football manager’s Sanctum Sanctorum to explain why my sales team are shouting so loudly outside his window. I’ve been a local expert on pubs, cashpoints, phone boxes, availability of scissors – oh, and transformed myself into a mobile pharmacy for innumerable hung-over travelling comrades, too. A counsellor to distressed supporters, even, not to mention one on hypothermia – and all on the same ghastly night. I’ve taken defensive measures to avoid being hit. Consumed artery-clogging amounts of homemade cake to boost relations with the Police? Been there, done that; T-shirt available from the writer at a nominal price.
In fact, it’s fair to say that just about the only thing I haven’t done in the cause of supporter journalism, over the years, is rally the troops to the barricades to defend Edgar Street against invasion by ravening hordes emanating from the Planet Tharg. (But stick around….) But none of these oddities can even begin to compare with what happened to Peter Povall, a previous co-editor of this fine organ.
Let us now mentally rewind to a very windy Saturday in 2002, when the Bulls were scheduled to (hopefully) put Dagenham and Redbridge to the sword. Remember that word ‘windy’; it’s important. As we pulled into the Meadow End car park, I spotted Peter on his own outside the family section of the main stand. What he was doing wasn’t very clear; in fact, what he looked like was, erm, ‘contorted’. Curious, that; not Pete-like at all. What was going on? It was only once we’d parked and hastened over to him to exchange pleasantries that things became clearer. Much clearer. Yer man was hanging onto a long rope. As editors do.
“I’ve gotta hang onto this rope otherwise the Meadow End roof will blow off and take the electrics with it.”
He wasn’t wrong. For the first time, I could clearly see that the Meadow End resembled a bombsite with part of the roof already on the terraces and the rest trying to take off- restrained by the aforementioned heavy-looking rope. Despite the dangers of him doing a Mary Poppins and taking to the air without a parachute, Peter looked calm. Keeping a stand roof in place was presumably integral to Talking Bull. He was happy to chat, sharing his feeling that the game was sure to be postponed and suggesting we try the Blind Football event at Point4 instead.
We left him to it. The 70mph gale force winds was a strong incentive to get indoors quickly and I’m not sorry to say I put my personal safety first. Can our new co-editors top that?