fromevalleyvoice www.fromevalleyvoice.co.uk April, 2014 Australia Ashes 2013/14 – A Fram man who was there writes of his time with the Barmy Army T: 01454 800 120
As cricketers in the Frome Valley continue their preparations for the new season, one topic of conversation that might still be a bit painful for all concerned is the recent Ashes tour to Australia. For those blissfully ignorant of important cricketing matters, England got thrashed 5-0 by the old enemy. It was bad enough watching it on the telly in the wee small hours, imagine being there to watch the whole painful episode play out. That’s exactly what happened to Frampton Cricket Club’s Sam Coleman, who has just about recovered enough to put pen to paper...... Well, what can I say? I left my job and flew out to Adelaide in December to support our boys (already 1-0 down) in one of the most eagerly anticipated series of recent years. Ian Botham and Piers ‘Moron’ said we’d win 5-0, so I felt sure that we could turn it around and also that I would have a fantastic time travelling Australia as well. The less said about the former the better but the latter certainly turned out to be true! Adelaide, Perth and Melbourne. Churches, beaches and trams. Bars as opposed to pubs, and halves of midstrength lager as opposed to pints of proper beer but all still reassuringly Western. I suppose that it’s the little differences that one experiences whilst travelling that make the journey
so enjoyable, or not, as the case may be. White sandy beaches in glorious sunshine, blue skies with not a cloud in sight, national parks with stunning scenery and modern cities with high skylines. Australia is an outdoor life, and a maybe a better one, but it’s a different life that perhaps wouldn’t suit everyone. Which brings me to cricket’s fantastic travelling Barmy Army, who are perhaps as much of a hindrance as a blessing in their unwavering support of England no matter what the state of play. Whilst we may have taken a hiding on the cricket fields, no matter what the format and all over the vast country of Australia, there are still some areas in which we can justly claim to be victorious. The banter and the singing was first rate (even if our cricket was not) and it
would have been a very quiet and altogether different experience without the ‘army’. There is a song for almost every English and Australian player to encourage or cajole. The players and crowd as a whole almost always respond positively to the light-hearted and often very witty words, all accompanied by a classically trained trumpet player, Billy. Some of my best moments were towards the end of the test matches, when all hope was gone, standing and singing and drinking in the sun. The Aussie crowd certainly had no answer to this very British pathos. ‘We’ll win again, don’t know where, don’t know when, but I know we’ll win again some sunny day’ was a particular favourite of mine. Indeed, sometimes the Aussies would actually take the bait and start shouting ‘Mate,
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what’s the score? Look at the scoreboard mate!’ which only made our Mickey-taking even more fun of course! I have to say that the Aussies are not the most humble winners (who are really?) but that across the land, the constant stick that us Poms had to endure was generally good natured and certainly never unpleasant. However, in my opinion, the Aussies aren’t so different from us Brits really (though they would be loath to agree!). We both love the outdoors, sport, drinking and singing. On a sunny day we generally feel very happy about our lives and our country. Perhaps that’s why Aussies are much prouder of their nation – they simply have so many more nice days? It’s just a shame they don’t really have any songs to sing!
Published on Apr 3, 2014