Footie's Other Giggs; ANSWERS TO CORRESPONDENTS
Byline: Compiled by Charles Legge
QUESTION How many places in the football pyramid separate Manchester United's Ryan Giggs and his brother, Salford City's Rhodri Giggs?
RYAN GIGGS'S younger brother Rhodri is no mean footballer. He was born in Cardiff in 1977, but his family soon moved to Swinton in Greater Manchester after his father Danny Wilson, one-time Cardiff RFC fly-half, switched codes and went to play rugby league for Swinton Lions.
Rhodri first played football for Salford Boys before joining Torquay United as a YTS trainee, going by the surname Jones to avoid comparisons with his famous brother. His time as a trainee wasn't happy and he left halfway through the scheme.
Three years later, aged 19, he attempted to resurrect his footballing career, having trials in Scotland with Hearts and ending up playing with Livingston, though this lasted only six months. Rhodri returned to Manchester where he worked for a time as an estate agent.
In 1999, he was arrested, having been accused by the News of the World of supplying cocaine to its investigative reporter Mazher 'Fake Sheikh' Mahmood. He lost his job, but was found not guilty.
In 2001, Rhodri was imprisoned for assault for nine months, along with his friend Christopher Doyle, who received 15 months, after an altercation between them and a group of Manchester City fans outside a nightclub.
Since then he has turned his life around. He is raising a son, Louis, and has become a stalwart of the lower football divisions, plying his trade at several clubs including Salford, Mossley, Bangor and Curzon Ashton before returning to Salford, operating as a flying right-winger.
Salford City lie 17th in the Evo-Stik League Division One North. There are eight divisions separating the brothers, the Premier League (20 teams), Championship (24), Football League One (24), Football League Two (24), Football Conference (24), Conference North (21), Evo-Stick Northern Premier league (22) and Division One North (23).
With Manchester United third in the Premier League, there are 173 places separating the two brothers' teams.
John Collins, Wolverhampton.
QUESTION I collect the wonderful flower paintings of Vernon Ward. What is known of this artist?
VERNON de BEAUVOIR WARD (1905-1985) was born in Hampstead, North London. Son of artist and publisher Albert Ward, Vernon was encouraged to explore his talent for art from an early age.
He entered the famous Slade School of Fine Art in London, where he was fortunate to study under the innovative Henry Tonks, the most renowned and formidable teacher of his generation. Other pupils of Tonks at the Slade included William Lionel Clause, Harold Gilman, Spencer Gore, Augustus John, Mukul Dey, Gwen John, Percy Wyndham Lewis, Stanley Spencer, Rex Whistler, Mark Gertler, David Bomberg and Isaac Rosenberg.
A member of the New Society of Artists, Vernon was elected an associate of the Royal Society of British Artists in 1926 (a rival organisation to the Royal Academy) and exhibited at the Royal Society and the Royal Institute of Oil Painters.
His great success was in the commercial sector and his works, depicting landscapes and still life studies as well as sporting, figure and portrait painting, were nearly always taken into print.
Though his name is not well known, his work certainly is and is frequently used on jigsaw puzzles, greeting cards, chocolate boxes and place-mats.
Jean Murray, Boston, Lincs.
QUESTION Thirties, I often stood on Gravesend prom watching Fyffe's banana boat steaming up and down the Thames to and from London. Did these small vessels actually traverse the Atlantic? How long did the journey take?
ELDERS & Fyffes Ltd was formed in May 1901 to transport and distribute West Indian bananas to the UK. Bananas were first imported into the UK in about 1880 when London tea importers E. W. Fyffe & Co began importing Canary Island bananas. At the same time the shipping company Elder Dempster began loading them as deck cargo on their northbound bunkering call at Las Palmas.
Elder Dempster formed the Imperial Direct West India Mail Service in 1901 and the first imports of Jamaican bananas arrived in March.
Two months later the companies combined as Elders & Fyffes, which purchased its four first banana boats from the West Hartlepool shipbuilder Furness, Withy & Co. Three of these had been intended for a U.S. railroad company and bore the Virginian names Appomatox, Chickahominy and Greenbriar, the fourth had been operated by Furness Withy as the Carlisle City and she was renamed Oracabessa -- a Jamaican name.
They were all refitted in Newcastle and a special cooling system was installed to keep the fruit firm during 12 to 14-day Atlantic crossing.
An American company, United Fruit, acquired Elders & Fyffes in 1910, establishing itself as the UK's leading banana importer.
Elders & Fyffes continued to operate under its own name, and in 1929 scored a marketing coup when it became the first company to place its own label on its fruit, the famed Blue Label. By the start of World War I, the Fyffes fleet had grown to 18 ships transporting bananas and passengers to the West Indies.
During World War I, ten were sunk by torpedoes or mines. After the war, the company went from strength to strength and by 1932 the Fyffes Fleet operated 36 ships of between 3,000 and 7,000 tons delivering bananas to London, Avonmouth, Southampton, Portsmouth, Garston, Manchester, Liverpool, Glasgow and Cardiff.
During the Thirties the terminal at Garston was the major port, it developed special discharging elevators and railway trucks, and was capable of handling 12,000 bunches of bananas a day, discharging as many as 72 shiploads in a year.
London bananas were discharged at Victoria Dock where large storage sheds and berths were constructed, including special orange, banana and tobacco berths.
CompiledbyCharlesLegge In World War II, Elders & Fyffes ships were once again requisitioned as armed merchant cruisers. After the war Elders & Fyffes made the world's newsreels with its resumption of banana deliveries in 1945.
Mike Aitken, Liverpool.
QUESTION Am I the last man alive to serve on a coal-burning Navy ship?
FURTHER to earlier answers, I was a stoker on HMS Nightingale in 1947, a minelayer recovery vessel along with her sister ship HMS Vesuvius. We took the boffins out to sea with experimental mines and CompiledbyCharlesLegge also worked with biplanes which dropped torpedoes. Our base was HMS Vernon.
As I remember it, the bridge structure was over the coal bunker lids. The coal was dropped on the foredeck and then had to be shovelled aft. The ship had to be washed down as dust got everywhere: messdeck, galley, wheelhouse.
The crew had no bathroom or shower, only a bucket each, and washed down on the boiler room plates having first warmed the water on the galley stove.
Happy days for a hardworking teenager.
G.R. Wilkinson ('Bob Wilkie'), Bristol.
I JOINED the RN in 1947 when I was 171/2 and left in 1969. In May 1964, I was drafted to HMS Barrington, a coal-burning boom defence vessel stationed at Greenock on the Clyde.
Our job was to check buoys and cables and to take any which needed repairs to Greenock RN shipyard. We operated up the Scottish west coast from the Clyde to the Shetlands and down to Rosyth.
Coaling was done at Greenock, Stornaway and Rosyth. At Greenock the Navy asked the labour exchange to provide workers to empty the coal trucks so the stokers could shovel the coal into the holds.
The Navy gave the men a day's pay for the work. At Stornaway wagons tipped the coal onto the jetty and it was transferred from there on to the ship, but at Rosyth cranes did the hard work.
When I left the Barrington in 1965 she was still doing the same job.
R. Kenworthy, Newcastle upon Tyne.
Q:Are there any British watchmakers?
Oliver Saunders, Haverfordwest, Pembs.
Q: How many different species of plankton have been identified?
D. Roman, Flint.
Q:In 2002, science correspondent James Chapman warned us that Asteroid 2002 NT7 could have devastating consequences if it struck Earth in the year 2019. Eight years on, what is the latest knowledge on this subject?
Dave Barnes, Welling, Kent.
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Leagues apart: Rhodri Giggs and (inset) brother Ryan
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Publication information: Article title: Footie's Other Giggs; ANSWERS TO CORRESPONDENTS. Contributors: Not available. Newspaper title: Daily Mail (London). Publication date: September 22, 2010. Page number: 75. © 2007 Daily Mail. COPYRIGHT 2010 Gale Group.
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