Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Twitter For Gentlefolk : Postcard From Old Sodbury

Chairman Bill (aka Philip van Bergen) was one of the very first followers of my News From Nowhere Blog. By the summer of 2009, the Blog had been running for over two and a half years and the only followers were a couple of close friend and a far-flung relative. I knew no other bloggers and I had no experience of blogging as a two-way process. And then within a couple of months came my first real followers - Tony Zimnoch and Chairman Bill - and via them I was introduced to that world-wide circle of charming and talented people who, today, I am glad to call my friends.

Chairman Bill is a self-proclaimed "optimistic, heavy drinking, cantankerous, iconoclastic, foul-mouthed, devil worshipping misogynist". He is also one of the funniest people I have ever come across. His daily thoughts and reflections on life are contained in his Blog "The Thoughts of Chairman Bill", but his sparkling humour and intelligence can also be gauged from his frequent comments on my own blog over the last couple of years. His recent postcard was sent to prove to me that the unlikely sounding village of Old Sodbury (where he lives) actually exists. One day soon I intend to make my way there and buy him a pint in the Dog Inn. It is the least I can do for all the pleasure his posts have brought me over the years.

A number of postcards have landed through my postbox recently and therefore I am falling behind a little with my posting of them on my Blog. I will try and catch up by having a second "Twitter For Gentlefolk" feature later this week.


  1. Alan: Old Sodbury? Sounds fictitious to me. Something like Trumpton.

    I'd be wary of this Bill chap.

  2. CB : Trumpton, fictitous! Never. The BBC Radio 4 series "More Or Less" has frequent analyses of the economics of Trumptonshire.

  3. Well, now I have to check out Bill's blog. I love the postcard idea, it's so much fun.

  4. I just love Chairman Bill's sense of humor. I alway make sure and read his comments to you as they certainly add to the experience!

  5. Old Sodbury. I love it. You do have the best named towns across the pond. Now, I must pop over and pay this cantankerous friend of yours a visit.

  6. Old Sodbury; what a brilliant name for a village!

  7. I live quite near to Old Sodbury when I'm in Wiltshire - it is rather nice as cycling destination.

  8. It's near Chipping Sodbury in Gloucesteshire! Don't suppose there's a New Sodbury??

  9. Bee: There's a Little Sodbury.

    We have a joke about there being a Nether Sodbury, Sodbury Magna, Sodbury de la Zouche, Greater Sodbury, Sodbury on the Wold, etc.

  10. Reading your blog lets me believe that it is indeed a funny and friendly world..imagine that..
    By the way, no one I really know would never read my blog..I must count on the kindness of strangers!

  11. Alan, this post relates to your sepia photo of James Ickringill; I thought I would find out a little about him. Those guys from WW1 should not only exist as a sepia photo.
    I was on a regular visit to Kew today so I took a couple of minutes out. He is James Thomas Ickringill, an officer in the West Riding Regiment; also known as the Duke of Wellington Regt. His collar badges were the first thing that led me to him. The distinctive elephant.. If you enlarge the shot you can see the motif is also replicated on his tunic button.
    He went to France on 26 May 1915 as a 2nd Lieutenant, I did not have time to find out which battalion of the regiment. He survived the war and retired as a Lieutenant (seniority from 28 Sep 1918) on 3 Sep 1923. There is an address on his record of
    Oakworth Road House, Keighley, Yorks.

    Interestingly there was an Ellis Ickringill who was born in Saltaire; not far away and the same name - related? Ellis was a private in the 8th Battalion of the same regiment and was killed at Gallipoli 22 August 1915.

    Maybe there is a little project for you to follow up through the census returns for 1911 and see how they relate.

    I've pretty much dropped out of blogging, might pick it up again sometime, but I still follow a few.

  12. ol' bill sounds like quite a character and someone who be quite entertaining to share a pint with ...hope you get in a visit to old sodbury and hope they'll let amy in at the dog inn!

    will have to pop over to his little corner of cyberspace and check out some of that sparkling humour and intelligence.

  13. Chairman Bill is one of my favourite bloggers and commenters - such wit. So handsome too, judging by his profile pic!! I love the thought of the two of you chatting over a pint - oh, to be a fly on the wall then!

  14. Anonymous1:19 AM

    Gotta go see your friend's blog. Thanks for stopping by mine.


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