Sole People Profile
Cornwall Tour 1980
Date: 13-04-1980 00:00
Type: Tour
Section: Adults

For this tour we have found a small collection of photos courtesy Bill Strang, scores from the three fixtures, and the following memories from Andy Lydiatt.

“I also still dine out on tales from an Easter Tour to Cornwall where we stayed in a disposable hotel outside Newquay  which we shared with a touring football club. (Lyndon Foote recalls that the football club was Briton Ferry and 15 Ealing players defeated their 11 man team in a friendly match). Certain cultural differences arose as I remember. I fondly remember being thumped on a sloping cliff side pitch at St Austell, the rituals of ‘dead ant calls’ and ‘kit inspections’, and also the jovial schisms in our party which led to a Junta in possession of the Jack O’Halloran (sp?) Cup who insisted on playing with their shirt inside out as a badge of dissent against I know not what. The core loyalists arranged some sort of counter-coup which meant the ‘dissidents’ missed the coach back to the hotel after a game. Of course all was resolved.

And then on the way back to London (when all should have been done and dusted) we came across a broken down coach carrying Eccles RFC on tour – and of course we had to give them a lift to meet their KO time with Launceston. We duly dallied to support the visitors, and were grateful for complimentary eats from the home club. I particularly remember one of our party (name escapes me, played centre or full back, and was an upmarket dentist in Ealing - Ed that's Tom Bereznicki) stitching up the torn tongue of the Launceston fly-half on the touch line with a gaping audience of 20+ with many looking through fingers of hands clasped to foreheads. And then the tortuous negotiations to bribe our coach driver to fix his tachograph – and home to reality.”

Further memories from Andy Lydiatt His recollections seem to be pin sharp!

"No ideas on the hotel location – haven’t been back to Cornwall since that Tour. Further than you think  ! 

It was my impression that it specialised in entertaining parties like our own, and probably had a short ‘half-life’ with paper thin plaster board walls and shoddy, delicate construction that could be easily patched.  Hence my reference to a disposable venue.

Thanks also for reminding me of Lyndon Foote – would not have recovered his name from the dusty recesses of my memory without your earlier team sheet prompt. He was the kind of chap that you were v grateful to have on your side – both on the pitch and later in the bar.  I seem to remember he was as obdurate in possession of the ball as with his opinions – as he seems to be with his memory of playing Launceston.

Deffo as I told it – at the end of our tour on our way back home, we rescued a team from Eccles on the road side by their broken down coach and took them to Launceston for their fixture, and then hung around to watch the game, and of course support them. The young Launceston fly-half (a tidy player I seem to remember) bit his tongue in a severe tackle impact (for those days anyway) and then needed Tom Bereznicki’s medical intervention.  Our coach driver, who I believe had driven down from London to collect us, was initially rather grumpy about out distraction, but I think he joined the touch-line support for a while. We got home late – and he was generously charmed by a cash collection. I don’t think taco-graphs existed then, but I am sure he had time sheets to massage and another thankless, early job the next day.

I kind of assume we used a local coach company for our transport around games on tour ? I seem to recall that Lyndon was one of the ring-leaders of the Tour  ‘junta’ (doctrine comprising bloody-mindedness, match shirts inside out and possession of Jacko’s cup), and that the ‘loyalists’ formulated and executed (with the help of the driver) a plan to slip away from one post-match venue leaving the rebels behind.

I am sure there was an incident where one of our party was suspected of having sex on tour and required to display his member for inspection in the bar by his accusers for any evidence of recent congress. Negative, but nobody believed him.

Also an incident back at the hotel where one of the football party was suspected of having brought a woman back from a night out, which required the judge and jury to  obtain a pass key from a malleable staff member, and for a drunken ‘spoil-sport’ mob  tip-toe (!) up the stairs (with much audible shushing) to confront the couple in yer mans room. Not something to be particularly proud of perhaps given the panicky reaction of the bed occupants ?

Same goes for an after match do (in a club I know what where) where our hosts entertained us with the renowned harmony singing of Cornish folk, while the best we could come up with in return was some bawdy songs and one of our party urinating in the bar. Of course once started he was unable to cease (as you are in full flow), even when one of our party made amends by removing the miscreants cap and pushing it between his legs to catch his effusion from behind. Brought the house down – and made some amends for our boorish behaviour perhaps ?

I also recall another party member (stalwart of the Evergreens of the time I think) devouring a raffia place mat and a daffodil from a table decoration while waiting impatiently for a late arriving meal in the hotel ‘restaurant’.

Tell me none of this happened ? – beyond perhaps tiny crystals of truth around which all  good stories develop. By all means consult Lyndon and others for their take on all this."

We need more details as we have not located any tour report. The tour party names are bound to me missing a few tourists. Please use the Comment option to add additional details.

Event Photos 20
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