Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category


Alastair Cook provides evidence of link between run scoring & facial hair growth

In Uncategorized on August 19, 2017 by kmflett

Beard Liberation Front press release

Contact Keith Flett 07803 167266

19th August

Alastair Cook provides evidence of link between run scoring & facial hair growth

The Beard Liberation Front, the informal network of beard wearers, has said that clear evidence has emerged of a link between facial hair growth and scoring runs in a cricket match.

On Friday former England captain Alastair Cook scored 243 runs before losing his wicket to an lbw decision.

While England captain Cook never moved beyond the proto-beard stage, unlike current captain Joe Root who has sported a genuine beard at times this summer.

However as Cook occupied the crease at Edgbaston for the best part of two days his facial hair developed significantly.

The campaigners say that exposure to the elements for a prolonged period may have stimulated Cook’s follicles as a protective mechanism and promoted the growth of facial hair

BLF organiser Keith Flett said, the evidence from Birmingham is that the longer a batsman occupies the crease the more likely it is that they will grow a beard.








Tiny Rebel Brewery Tap: the future of beer drinking

In Uncategorized on August 18, 2017 by kmflett

Tiny Rebel Brewery Tap: the future of beer drinking

I can well remember the days when what went on in a brewery was a mysterious process to most drinkers. The odd brewery tour confirmed that breweries were industrial premises but even then the question about how precisely the beer appeared was often a bit hazy.

Then came the craft beer revolution. Many, many Saturdays sitting in the Beavertown Brewery in Tottenham, which is also its tap, have left me in absolutely no doubt at all as to precisely what goes in a brewery and how.

The idea of the brewery tap is not in itself a new one, a pub associated with a brewery often held the name, but a bar actually based in the brewery is. The model is from the US where the new wave of breweries operate large tap rooms. There is a logic. More profit is to be made by selling beer made directly on site, and good news for the drinker too, the beer is fresher.

Constructing a tap room that is not just alongside the FVs in the brewery has been so far no easy matter. ABInBev have constructed a dedicated taproom for Camden in Ponders End. Magic Rock have an impressive one in Huddersfield and on Friday I visited the newly opened Tiny Rebel taproom alongside its new brewery near Newport in South Wales.

It’s a large brewery with a canning line and a barrel ageing project (possibly they only one in South Wales in that respect) and it also has an impressive taproom and eating area alongside the brewery, very much like a comfortable pub, but with a view of the brewery through large glass panels.

If Tiny Rebel were in Hackney or Tottenham there would be lots of men with beards drinking there. As it was Friday lunchtime saw a decent number in, a few with beards.

Anyone who was at the Great British Beer Festival and saw the perpetual crowd at the Tiny Rebel bar will have realised what a name the cask beers now have and rightly so. Cwtch is a former Champion Beer and won an award again this year. But Tiny Rebel also make excellent IPAs, sours and so on, on keg as well as cask which are prized in the beard and beer bars of NE London I often frequent. In addition they also made the only known drinkable UK version of a Kvass recently.

The brewery tap really is an impressive place. Spacious and comfortable with good food and a decent range of Tiny Rebel beer on cask and keg.

It’s the future without question

Details here:



Day-Night Tests in England: do they work?

In Uncategorized on August 18, 2017 by kmflett

Its too early to say obviously but as someone who has an abiding interests in crowds, when and why they appear and when they dont (quite important if you organise meetings and protests as I’m sometimes charged with doing, and vitally important to people who promote events commercially) there is still interest even after just one day as to whether day-night Tests work in terms of people attending.

Geoffrey Boycott, who may not have invented the idea, but was obviously one of the first to think of it.. told Test Match Special in 2015 that cricket is a product that has to be sold to people. If Tests (outside of London anyway) suffer in terms of attendance when people are working during the day, why not have them on later?

The Guardian report of the first day at Edgbaston is here:

I’m not sure why drinking at a Test Match is worthy of so much comment, though I no longer do it myself (except at Lords where you can take drink in) as the kind of beard friendly beers I like are not sold at matches.

More interesting is the view that the ground was emptier at the last hour (up to around 9.30pm) than it was at 2pm in the first hour.

During a day Test Match the ground would often not be as full as all that at 2pm because many people would still be having their lunch and, er, drinking. With the traditional 11am start, mostly you’d expect the ground to be full by midday (if it was going to be).

What to make of the declining numbers in the evening?

People often travel a distance to a Test so perhaps it was just transport logistics and after all unlike a T20 no result was going to occur on Thursday night. Perhaps also it being a Thursday some had to be up early for work the following day.

We shall see further as the Test Match goes on, but the crowd and when it appears is perhaps as interesting here as the cricket itself


Statues are for heroes & heroines, not zeroes

In Uncategorized on August 17, 2017 by kmflett

Statues are for heroes & heroines not zeroes

Kick Over the Statues for those unaware is the title of a song by the Redskins:

They had in mind the struggles of the time, the fall of Stalinism in Eastern Europe and the end of apartheid in South Africa.

The wider point was clear however. Statues of the rich and powerful are swept away as popular movements arise to change the state of things.

The felling of Confederate statues in America has some feel of this. A final settling of scores with a racist past that unsurprisingly the current President Trump would like to maintain.

In general kicking over the statues is a good idea, even from an historical angle. A US Democrat tweeted on 17th August that Confederate statues could be replaced with figures from the underground railroad that helped free slaves. Why not?

Does that mean that Confederates, the US South and racism should be white-washed from history as it were? Certainly not. Those times need to be remembered and understood historically. That is the role of museums and sometimes of plaques. Statues are for heroes not zeros.


Campaigners say Day-Night Test will lead to an increase in beards

In Uncategorized on August 17, 2017 by kmflett

Beard Liberation Front
Media Release
17th August
Contact Keith Flett 07803 167266

Campaigners say Day-Night Test will lead to an increase in beards

The Beard Liberation Front, the informal network of beard wearers, has said that the first day-night Test Match in the UK between England and the West Indies will lead to an increase in beard wearing amongst the players.

Numbers of the two teams are already hirsute including on occasion England captain Joe Root.

However the specific context of the day-night game is certain to lead to more beards:

1 With matches not finishing until at least 9pm as opposed to the traditional 6pm players will have more time to grow facial hair

2 In the twilight zone of the dusk period of play the beards of batsmen may be able to deceive bowlers as to where best to place a ball

3 By contrast with the pink Duke ball carrying on grease bowlers rubbing the ball in their beards will be essential to obtain movement.

BLF Organiser Keith Flett said, we welcome the day-night Test and expect the format to see an increase in hirsute cricketers.


Day-Night Test Matches: did Geoffrey Boycott think of it first?

In Uncategorized on August 16, 2017 by kmflett

England play the UK’s first ever Day/Night Test Match at Edgbaston against the West Indies starting on Thursday at 2pm.

A pink coloured Duke ball will be used (Financial Times 16th August).

Its not the first Day/Night Test worldwide but who thought of the idea.

According to an interview given to the BBC on 25th November 2015 it was of course Geoffrey Boycott

Former England batsman Boycott, who mooted day-night Tests 10 years ago, says change is needed to prevent the game from “dying”.

“Cricket is a product and you have to sell it to people,” he told Test Match Special.

“Play it at night when people aren’t working and the kids have finished school. Sell it as a family cricket.”


Some further notes on London cask beer: on price & range

In Uncategorized on August 16, 2017 by kmflett

Some further notes on London cask beer

For my earlier brief comment on London cask beer see here:

Ordinarily I might have done just one post but as a union officer I’m consumed with work (yes, even in August).

So, a little more time permitting, a couple more thoughts on the state of London cask.

The first is price. This is covered in the Editorial in the August/September issue of the CAMRA London magazine London Drinker. You can find a copy in many pubs, free, or on-line. The point being made is that cask ale of average strength at £4-4.40 a pint in many pubs is beyond the pocket of many on the minimum or London Living Wage except perhaps for the occasional pint.

Indeed beer in supermarkets is cheaper. 4 cans of Brewdog Punk IPA are readily available for £6 or often less for example.

Of course the narrative goes that cask is under-priced and brewers struggle to make a profit from it. Indeed but on the other side of the bar drinkers struggle to afford the price in many cases (not mine btw I’m decently paid in a unionised workplace).

It’s a conundrum to which I don’t have a ready answer (beyond Wetherspoons which is not really an answer) but it remains a big issue.

The other point is what now appears on cask as opposed to ‘craft’ keg ranges in pubs. Often the cask beer selection is of lower strength beers that can be drunk by the pint. Understandbly so because the beer needs to be shifted in a few days. On the keg side are the stronger and perhaps to many more interesting and unusual beers. They cost more, they are often consumed in halves and they can stay on the bar a bit longer (tho not for ever, they are deteriorating too just not as quickly as cask does).

So here is the challenge for pubs; How about a cask beer range that is as interesting and as varied in style and strength as your keg range? Few if any pubs are currently meeting that challenge.