Well, of course, this week’s post has to document my One Way or another event that took place on the 4th June. The big news is that we have currently raised over £10,150 from the event! In the now accepted media structure of having a second show, here is what I call – One way or another – one more time!
I sent our Royal Correspondent, Nicholas Bragg, out to the event to record this landmark day. He brings you this fly on the wall story documenting the events of June 4th, that will now be etched on our lives forever. Here is an excerpt from his soon to be available article…
It all started at 4pm, with the arrival, by chauffeured limousine, of the MNDA Balloons. Delicately packed in bags so as to prevent the gentle June winds picking them up and discarding them into the sky. Colourful language ensued when one realised that said balloons, strings and weights were tangled, and were, as Lee’s lovely wife Jean said, “f*****!” A meditative state followed, with the bar staff assisting and making a potential stormy start to the proceedings dissolve away.
Once ballooned up, Lee and Jean returned to the onein400 household to prepare for the night. At 7pm, they returned to find a group of lunatics setting up guitars, drums etc.It was the Sid James Experience hot from their successful tour of “Welcome Break” motorway service stations…………………………..
ENOUGH! Back to reality!
It was all go from the night before, making last minute preparations and it went as well as we could have hoped for. I am going to start with the obligatory “thank you’s”.
Firstly, to Jon Coles for really getting my arse in gear to do something about 2 months ago. Jon, I think you would agree it took on a life of its own on as time went on. You really inspired me to just call, hassle, blag etc.
Jon is seen here, discussing ideas for my entrance at the start of the gig.
As you can tell, he was amused, thoughtful and then his body language says it all! All I said was that I wanted dancing girls and I would like to enter to Rod Stewart’s “Do ya think I’m sexy?”
What I actually got was an entrance to Elvis Costello’s “I can’t stand up for falling down”! Absolute cheek of it! Mind you, that’s what you get for not paying the band!
Secondly thank you to our amazing band, the Sid James Experience. Readers, you must hire these guys someday. Excitement, and a set that just didn’t disappoint. However, please note Lord Lee Bragg has them committed on a 99 year contract.
Then to Karen, the manager of the Robin Hood Inn. Thank you. What a great location and you were a delightful host along with your team.
As we built the event, it was originally going to be simply a band and a raffle for a pork pie! I joke, but we had this idea of raising a bit of cash from those who might attend. As the weeks went by we managed to obtain quite a bit of loot from celebrities, influential people and our friends. Well, we soon had some real good s**t, as Lord Lee says. We were facing a challenge, how could we realise the real value of what we were given! After much review, we decided upon two auctions; one live and one silent. But then we faced the biggest challenge……
There are 3 rules to an auction (I read about these in a book!)
1) Unique prizes – tick!
2) Good people willing to buy – tick!!
3) A charismatic auctioneer! bugger!!
I think Jon would agree, we were both nervous for a short while.
With 2 weeks to go, we had no auctioneer. After Jon and spoke, I thought about my mate BigSteveShaw. Well, he was amazing.
Thanks Steve, a masterclass in cajoling and persuasion! You whipped them into a frenzy.
And did you hire this Lady to hassle one of the bidders? Certainly worked, boosted the bid! What you can’t tell from the photo is what she is saying to my friend Russ! Any suggestions, drop me a comment!
A few others I would like to thank, including Dave Pullinger for the amazing photos and our son, Howard, for helping at the live auction. Many thanks to Richard Scales and Jo Clark for printing the great posters, and thanks to all my sponsors (donors) without whom, we would have had a pretty dull night and a raffle for a bag of nuts!
Then finally my wife, Jean. Thanks, babe. No more needs to be said!
There has been an unfortunate leak of the event photos. Lord Lee Bragg’s son, Eggy Bragg, has got a copy of the unedited set, or for you older folk, the negatives! I believe he is going to go on a rampage of bribery! Lord Lee apologises, and he is ashamed. He told me that he tried to educate Eggy on good old “honest deceit” during his upbringing, but he had failed.
My advice, is if you do get a demand, with perhaps revealing photos, that you simply pay the bribe to my justgiving account, and I’ll make sure the money is sent to a good cause. Preferably avoid the whole situation by donating an excessive amount now!
Thanks to the MNDA for supplying t-shirts, balloons, collection buckets and wrist bands.
There was a small incident with the wrist bands, when Lord Lee Bragg was seen trying to sell them as “neck bands” to several ladies. Fortunately, the paramedics arrived in time, and although in shock, one of the ladies managed to start breathing again before the auction began, although she had to use hand signals. At least I think they were auction signals. She never went higher than the £200 that she kept indicating with her 2 fingers.
Some other auction highlights
Our secret prize was introduced with the phrase “Come on who is going to bid for your chance to straddle a bomb!!” For those of you who don’t know what this prize was, take a look at Secret Prize.
There is also unfortunately a serious health and safety investigation going on after Dave, a Man Utd fan, successfully bid to win a signed Arsenal shirt after drinking just half a pint of Bragg’s bitter!
The after auction shenanigans
As I don’t drink much now, watching completely bladdered folk is quite amusing. Especially when the conversation starts “I remember yoouuuu leee!”, grope, grope. Who was she!?
I managed to stay on my feet, with only one close shave when another drunken maiden suddenly pulled me towards the dance floor, or as I like to call it now an ice ring!
I did manage a Dad Dance, that’s the best I can do these days, to the delicate, perfumed version of “Can’t take my eyes off of you” by the Sid James Experience.
The night was rounded off by an encore of “One way or another”, and the chorus will stay with me forever, with Poj, the lead guitarist screaming “ONE WAY OR ANNNNNNNNNNNNNNOTHER”
Poj has actually auditioned for “Game of Thrones”, but he was rejected because he was just too scary for a 9pm program!
What a night, and Jean and I were some of the last to leave at 2am. A late night! That is more like the old me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Don’t let stupid disease stop yah.
A real quote from the evening (not made up honest). I was delighted to meet my best mate at school, John’s, mother. I hadn’t seen her for about 35 years. She made the lovely comment that of all of John’s friends I had weathered the best over the years, despite MND! How kind! It is kinda odd being offered a chair by an 80 year old!
All that was left was to make sure we had all the names of the buyers and to hound and pursue them over the next few days for their dosh. Most of it is in now, and I thank you all.
And that was that, the new week started. We had a BBQ on Monday to celebrate. I love real BBQs, not those gas things. I love the lighting, and in particular, the singeing of your face when blowing to get the heat up!
Same time next week viewers.