Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Cow Pats, Sir Tom and Green, Green Grass

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Cow Pats, Sir Tom and Green, Green Grass

Article excerpt


"FANCY spending the night in a field with me and a 75-year-old Welshman?" I'd been offered press tickets to see Sir Thomas Jones Woodward OBE at my old stomping ground, Alnwick. So to mark 23 years of wedded bliss, I was offering my dear wife a night under the stars with two sex symbols - for free.

Seven days previously, as you may have read last week, we went to my old stomping ground, Alnwick, for my birthday. One spot we visited was The Pastures - the undulating green fields opposite the castle which, on Saturday, hosted the Welsh silver fox.

The week before, those fields were full of cows. On Saturday night, the bovines had gone but hundreds of their pats remained. Some were sloppy, some crusty, but all were potential hazards to our footwear once the concert ended because there was no lighting and it would be pitch black by then.

Joining the big queue to get in, a man behind us, dressed like Paddington Bear and with a son called Basil, wasn't happy. "I've been to Glastonbury AND the O2 and this is a shambles," he said. No my friend, The Shambles are in the Market Place - THIS is the Pastures," I chuckled to myself. A perfect fusion of local knowledge and observational comedy there.

Entering the site, it looked like a Go Outdoors convention, all camping chairs and people in outdoor garb. It was a curious mix of concertgoers - from the girl in the "Fox Hunting Filly" hoodie and rough Northumbrian leek growers to what looked like a Young Tories' gathering and the Geordie lasses with a washing line full of pants which spelled out "TOM".

A woman got up and started blowing bubbles from a 10p pot at some people sitting on the ground. "I'm a bubble machine," she said dreamily. "Is no one paying attention?" No you're not, love. And no, they aren't.

I was then accosted by Daisy, the bear mascot of Norton-based autism charity Daisy Chain. We hugged, naturally, before I whispered: "I'm from Teesside too!" Perhaps unnerved, Daisy moved away sharpish. I next saw her, 20 minutes later, bundled up in a bag. Serves her right.

With Tom time approaching, and not having telescopic vision, we moved from the back of the crowd - which by now was nearly in the next county - to "stage front, right" and somehow fluked a good view. …

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