The Motley Trio - Mike Colledge, John Milroy & John Faulkner (1942-)


Know How

On October the 23rd 1965 for the 1st and last time john p became intoxicated with happenings other than beer drinking. This experience proved to be far more efficacious and enduring than a 4.5% bevvy.  

This couplet was not devoid of beer but quite rightly never secured any foothold in our 'Autobiography of Beer Drinking' ... although we stressed it did possess the familiar characteristics of inebriation and fun ... an English rose, shining with 'know how', smiling in her eyes, straight down the middle with an honest heart and complete with genetic diversity uncontaminated by alien memes ... bore no resemblance to a convivial pint which was a very different kettle of fish!

Best Man on the LooseMike Colledge

In 2015 Mike Colledge explained with remarkable coherence the thorny question of how on earth one choses a reliable best man?

Writing those notes got Mike reminiscing. Nice to hear more about the 'good old days'.  I do remember Colin Bell, (who was inadvertently described as a 'randy Welshman'!) and also recollections of a longish walk and a night camping and a hangover sometime, somewhere in North Wales.

Come to think of it, once we were camping at Abersoch, as usual you were short of cash and you were on a diet of beer and oranges …

We also remember a gallon and a church at Betws y Coed? The human brain is a strange thing.

Then ... found at the bottom of an old tea chest of rubbish which was spared from the tip and recently recovered after 50 years of undisturbed decay was a letter written on a Nigerian Airways 707 in 1963 ... which told of more than we remembered ... and more than we cared to remember ...

Cleverly we sent Mike to Enugu around 1963 as a scout to recce that remarkable country, and that was long before we ventured to Lagos in 1972. Mike also recommended Kilimanjaro and The Nile on the way back but we never found enough time for such extravagance.

Mike ColledgeMike and Gill tied the knot just nine months after our own irrevocable happening. The journey to Peterborough to witness this happening was in the back of Hedley's blue Austin A35 van ... as expected we remembered a fun time ... but little else.

With amazing perspicacity, Mike and his new bride immediately started saving for a family, and honeymoon expenditure was minimised by an expeditious free loan of john p's tent. The deal was not as lucrative as expected as the tent was stolen in the middle of all the fun. We suspected that tent had, in fact, been eaten by Gill's dog, which forced alternative accommodation in cheap but cheerful B&B?

Much later on our 50th birthday in 1989 we called at 5 Glan Aber Park to see Mrs Colledge senior. The last time we graced that fine abode was after our splendid 'stag night' at The Customs House ... black coffee, bed & breakfast had been dutifully supplied ... we think? This time we enquired after Mike who by that time had completely disappeared from the radar. Mum updated us and insisted that he was waxing, as mothers do, and was now in statistics in Canada.

MJC also reappeared briefly at a January CAOKS dinner before vanishing again into the good life in the OECD in Paris ...

And then reconnection in 2015 -

'Glad you're still having fun 50 years on and a great photo of the family you must be very proud of them all'!

As expected Mike also contributed well to the future after he married Gill in 1965. Mathew finished Uni and first worked in Toronto as a Management Consultant. Justine did Uni in Quantity Surveying. Eleanor and David were with Mum & Dad on a two year secondment to Oz from Government Statistic in Canada (1975). Brother Julian was a Chartered Surveyor.

We caught up with Mike again in 2017 and backtracked over 52 years ... in a couple of hours we went from Manweb, to Canada, to London teaching, back to Canada, to Oz, seconded to OECD in Paris, back to Oz and consultancy ... still spritely, still working, still rowing ... and still on beer in 2017 ... good effort!

Picking up conversations where you left them 52 years ago was easy and fun, memories were just about up to it.

Good fun ... and we were on Hydes Original at The Goshawk.

In 2018 Roger Vincent, our old mate from Remove A (1950 vintage), who was always full of fun & yarns even in the absence of beer, reminded us of an auspicious event from 1957 ... the Curzon Park Cricket Club Dance ... everybody who was anyone was there. All with ambitious intents of infiltrating The Queen School social scene. Roger uncovered a photo of Mike tripping the light fantastic at the do in the Sarl Williams Hall in 1957. This goes a long way to explaining our choice of a reliable best man ... Mike had the extraordinary ability to dance coherently with the girls after a pint ... we remember attending the same dance but missed the photo opportunity & the girls as we were in the bar ... or may be still in the pub ...


John 'Max' Faulkner

John FaulknerIn 1963 to celebrate his 21st birthday John Faulkner organised a thrash at The Stafford Hotel in City Road with his buddy Chris Roberts. It was supposed to be their celebration but it turned out to be a wheeze to inveigle the star of the show, a smiling Miss Jackson, into a lifelong commitment.

With hindsight this was probably the beginning of the end of the interlude between university, beer drinking in Chester and sober, responsible family life? Although at the time it was just an excuse for yet another bash, blowout, shindig, riot, spree & splurge ... a post mortem revealed that it was JPM who Miss Jackson remembered for his athletic dance floor rugby tackle on a defenseless john p, who was desperately trying to sober up and impress.

We were there when Max discovered an opera singer ... after that there were no more stops at the Kelsall Post Office which was used as a staging house half way from Northwich to the Riverside Bar at The Boathouse? No more necessity for sobering up before driving home on my scooter with a pillion passenger. No more black coffee at the only place open in Chester at 11pm; The General Station? Fish & chips at Hignetts closed by 9pm, the last bus to Northwich was at 8.15 pm from Delamere Street and the last train 7.35 pm from Northgate Station. No more bachelor life ...

Nevertheless our conversations continued, if less frequently, over convivial pints and the gossip started to evolve & develop as attentions turned to survival. The seemingly inexhaustible supply of crumbs for the table from doting mothers were no longer an alternative to hard graft ... we had to get 'a trade' ... but maturity ... responsibility ... ?

We were still mavericks but how do we concoct a beer drinking story around the Kewill Systems brochures which were made available for Nigerian agents?

John P Milroy

John P MilroySoccer at school as fellow full backs ...

Wrexham Road Farm to sober up with coffee before a scooter drive to Northwich ... 

Many alcoholic Saturdays in Bollands ... 

In 1959/60 there was a vet conference in Glasgow, which we can't remember!

And a joyous reunion in London with Vijay ...

Camping out west with JPM driving his dad's posh car, Sidmouth was welcoming, we were banned from drinking scrumpy in Newton Poppleford, but allowed to play pub bowling.

One dark night in the early hours JPM's drunkenly parked car slipped slowly tent wards creating much consternation and much mirth, we can still hear JPM in the middle of the night, 'Hey up Johnny it's here ... the bleedin' car'!

 We headed to the Metropolis but London traffic was too much for JPM's nerves and the car was abandoned in Holborn for a few days as we explored the capital with my mate Vijay ... where did we stay?

In 1962 there was a blind date with one of JPM girlfriends at Liverpool Uni hop ... exciting but why didn't happenings happen?

There were also many memorable foursomes supping and chewing the cud at The Golden Lion, Ashton. John M acquired a lovely girl friend at this time and john p was besotted with a lady from Hatchmere.

This was all long before JPM settled in Ireland -  ‘John Milroy Veterinary Practice’, Castlebar, County Mayo? - we received an email from JPM at Christmas 2015 -

'On your head Johnnie. Keep 'em out. Can I borrow your canoe? Fancy a trip to Newton Poppleford for a pint of scrumpy in a Fiesta. All this due to Graeme Guthrie the dashing forward. He has turned up after 57 years living just 12 miles from me'!

On December 24th 2017 we enjoyed an exchange of Chrimbo Greetings -

From: John Milroy []
Sent: 24 December 2017 16:44
To: jpb
Subject: Re: Greetings from rural Mouldsworth !
Hello Johnny
seasons greetings to you and yours. Great to hear from you.
I assume oz is cricket. Ashes seem to be a bit hot for the cook. He may have to be rooted out.
A bit of Irish cricket history. In the early 1800 there were over 30 cricket teams in Tipperary alone all centered around the west brit estates. In the 1880's the Gaelic Athletic League was formed and shortly afterwards the Bishop of Limerick announced a ban on patriotic Irishmen from participating in cricket, croquet, polo and lawn tennis for fear of hell and damnation as they were foreign sports. This led to a cricket decline in all but a few protestant enclaves. Hurling filled the gap.
At last cricket in Ireland is on the up. They are now in the top flight of world cricket. I wonder was this inspired by the great o.d.i. innings of O’brien (2 runs a ball and defeat for the auld enemy) and captain Morgan (not the pirate). Or was it Guinness?
Or perhaps Graeme Guthrie? Have you an email address for Graeme Gutherie?
Have a good un
regards John

From: jpb []
Sent: 25 December 2017 11:10
To: 'John Milroy'
Subject: RE: Greetings from rural Mouldsworth !
thanks muchly for your message,
It’s easy to pick up conversations we left 60 years ago, the only thing missing is a pint.
I never understood why a star footballer like you didn’t play cricket,
probably the late finishes would clash with your start time in Bollands on a Saturday?
We’re still just about in one piece with the inevitable parts failures,
and living within crawling distance of The Golden Lion, Ashton ... remember that tavern?
(closed and under threat at the moment)
We’re on ‘Hydes’ at The Goshawk after saxophone practice!
Although nowadays time is dominated by grandkids so beer and cricket take a back seat.
I shall include your summary of Irish cricket in my ‘Autobiography of Beer Drinking’ (if I ever finish it).
An up to date photo of Milroy with a Guinness would go down well?
Grog Guthrie, your neighbour, was on my greetings circulation list at 'gmail'
... which seems to work.
I think I told you we lost Hedley Simms last year and Morton Hodgson ...
We still see John Faulkner regularly
and we had a beer with Mike Colledge last summer!
Good luck with the liver and enjoy 2018.
Now for turkey ...
cheers & beers
john p
Bush sax player from Chester.


50 years on ...

Golden Wedding









john p


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