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Driver on the Wing’s Weather for Derby v Chelsea

Derby County Away FA Cup Third Round Sunday 5 January 2013

Weather_RainDerby is a curious place of many contradictions.

A suburb of Nottingham separated from the city centre only by the thin sliver of the M1, it seeks, against the odds, to retain its own identity. A decidedly northern town, yet its inhabitants, who speak with those amusing comedy club accents that we came to love from appalling sexist and racist television in the 1970s, cling on to a claim of being Midlanders.

Clearly they are not. They are a long way from Birmingham and Birmingham is, in any event, northern itself.

As a northern town, however, Derby is an anomaly. Instead of post-industrial decay, the 250,000 people who live there still have industry.

Rolls Royce are based there and Toyota have a large plant in the town. They also make railway trains in Derby although perhaps not as many as they once did. Those no longer involved in making things, work at Sky television’s call centre.

If you have ever had a problem with Sky (and I cannot imagine anyone who has Sky has not had a problem) you will have spent a few evenings on the phone to Derby supporters being shunted from operative to supervisor, from supervisor to dropped call and starting the process all over again.

If you have enjoyed the experience, you will have realised one of two truths about Derby supporters: despite all their industry, they are either not very bright or are very mean spirited.

The other truth is based upon empirical evidence that I have gathered over the years. Derby supporters don’t grow beyond 5’6”.

Derby supporters are the shortest football supporters in the league.

Quite why this is the case, I cannot be sure. It could be the reason why industry still exists in Derby. The locals are small enough to crawl into the machinery and do things that others would be unwilling or unable to do.

As I have said, this observation is based on empirical evidence. I have sized up every Derby supporter I know and all three of them are noticeably shorter than my daughters.

Pride Park is a plastic stadium built to replace the atmospheric Baseball Ground. Atmospheric, because it was a toxic dump of a football ground. The abiding memory I have of it is the green slime growing on the wall that passed for a urinal and the stench that emanated from it. Pity the tiny Derby supporters whose noses were closer to the trough.

Derby has, however, given greatly to the culture of our nation. The inimitable Kevin Coyne was born and raised there and although he left and went to live in Germany for many years before his untimely death, one imagines that Marjorie Razorblade may still live there, perhaps working for Sky.

Wikipedia tells us “One of Derby’s most successful bands is Anti-Pasti, whose debut 1981 album The Last Call reached the top 40 in the UK album charts.” With success like that to compete against, it is little wonder that Kevin Coyne emigrated.

Derby’s achievements in football are not all in the past. This season they were runners up in the Brian Clough Trophy.

A ghastly journey to the grim north awaits those travelling on Sunday. The current cycle of storms will once again bring Bexleyheath weather to the nation on Sunday. “Bexleyheath” because, like the Man United supporting trolls of the internet who sit in their bedrooms in their mum’s semi detached homes in Bexleyheath in soiled underwear spewing out their bile against civilised humanity, it will be mild, wet and full of wind.

Highs of 8 degrees, lows around the same. Winds gusting up to 40 mph and rain. Lots of rain. Watch out for spray on the motorway particularly when driving home. There will be fairly heavy lorry traffic and also a danger of aquaplaning. Allow a little extra time and take it easy.

Good waterproof clothing and footwear. Minute Derby supporters could consider snorkels.

Remember, you are Chelsea and Chelsea is style.

Posted by Driver on the Wing

You can see all Driver’s ‘Weather’ reports here


Comments are disallowed for this post.

  1. Oi, we’re not that short, all three of us are 5’8″ you twerp. As for the rest of this guff, it’s a good job you’re plastic these days so turned down my offer of a lift to the game. You could have found yourself stranded in what you paint as a grim northern town full of midgets with nothing to comfort you other than your red trousers and gingerbread latte.

    Remember, we are Derby and we know where you live.

    Posted by Tags | January 3, 2014, 10:05 am
    • Red trousers??? How very North London – anyone wearing red trousers will receive a three year banning order from Stamford Bridge

      Posted by Trizia | January 4, 2014, 3:57 pm
  2. Unfortunately, I believe Maureenyio’s distinct style of anti-football may hinder the free flowing passing game of the short-arsed northerners.

    Posted by Maggie Thatcher | January 3, 2014, 1:51 pm
  3. Awww diddums, is someone a bit angry against Derby? I have been Stamford Bridge 7 times in the last 10 years and the only place i have worst atmosphere is Emirates. ‘Plastic fans’ i think applies to Chelsea, boring football, boring team!

    Posted by Steve | January 4, 2014, 1:11 pm
  4. The reason we are so short is because when going to school our teachers would pat us on the head for getting there hence stunned growth.

    The Sky call center maybe in Derby but is manned mostly by people from Nottingham as work in that city is null and void.

    Rolls Royce and Toyota make 2 of the most reliable engines for you soft southerners to fly or run around in.

    The Baseball ground toilets were a little wiffy pretty much like those in the Shed end at your old terracing.

    Last time I checked Derby has not moved with all this vile weather and is still based in the middle of England.

    16th century – 18th century

    During the Civil War of 1642–1646, Derby was garrisoned by Parliamentary troops commanded by Sir John Gell, 1st Baronet, who was appointed Governor of Derby in 1643. These troops took part in the defence of nearby Nottingham, the Siege of Lichfield, the Battle of Hopton Heath and many other engagements in Nottinghamshire, Staffordshire and Cheshire, as well as successfully defending Derbyshire against Royalist armies.

    A hundred years later, Bonnie Prince Charlie set up camp at Derby on 4 December 1745, whilst on his way south to seize the British crown. The prince called at The George Inn on Irongate, where the Duke of Devonshire had set up his headquarters, and demanded billets for his 9,000 troops.
    Statue of Bonnie Prince Charlie on Cathedral Green

    He stayed at Exeter House, Exeter Street where he held his “council of war”. A replica of the room is on display at Derby Museum in the city centre. He had received misleading information about an army coming to meet him south of Derby. Although he wished to continue with his quest, he was over-ruled by his fellow officers. He abandoned his invasion at Swarkestone Bridge on the River Trent just a few miles south of Derby. As a testament to his belief in his cause, the prince – who on the march from Scotland had walked at the front of the column – made the return journey on horseback at the rear of the bedraggled and tired army.
    Industrial Revolution

    Derby and Derbyshire were centres of Britain’s Industrial Revolution. In 1717, Derby was the site of the first water powered silk mill in Britain, built by John Lombe and George Sorocold, after Lombe had reputedly stolen the secrets of silk-throwing from Piedmont in Italy (he is alleged to have been poisoned by the Piedmontese as revenge in 1722).

    In 1759, Jedediah Strutt patented and built a machine called the Derby Rib Attachment that revolutionised the manufacture of hose. This attachment was used on the Rev. Lee’s Framework Knitting Machine; it was placed in front of – and worked in unison with – Lee’s Frame, to produce ribbed hose (stockings). The partners were Jedediah Strutt, William Woollatt (who had been joined in 1758 by John Bloodworth and Thomas Stafford, all leading hosiers in Derby). The patent was obtained in January 1759. After three years, Bloodworth and Stafford were paid off, and Samuel Need – a hosier of Nottingham – joined the partnership. The firm was known as Need, Strutt and Woollatt. The patent expired in 1773, though the partnership continued until 1781 when Need died.
    Historical population
    Year Pop. ±%
    1801 14,695 —
    1851 48,506 +230.1%
    1901 118,469 +144.2%
    1921 142,824 +20.6%
    1941 167,321 +17.2%
    1951 181,423 +8.4%
    1961 199,578 +10.0%
    1971 219,558 +10.0%
    1981 214,424 −2.3%
    1991 225,296 +5.1%
    2001 221,716 −1.6%
    2011 248,700 +12.2%

    Messrs Wright, the bankers of Nottingham, recommended that Richard Arkwright apply to Strutt and Need for finance for his cotton spinning mill. The first mill opened in Nottingham in 1770 and was driven by horses. In 1771 Richard Arkwright, Samuel Need and Jedediah Strutt built the world’s first commercially successful water-powered cotton spinning mill at Cromford, Derbyshire, developing a form of power that was to be a catalyst for the Industrial Revolution.[6][7][8]

    This was followed in Derbyshire by Jedediah Strutt’s cotton spinning mills at Belper. They were: South Mill, the first, 1775; North Mill, 1784, which was destroyed by fire on 12 January 1803 and then rebuilt; it started work again at the end of 1804; West Mill, 1792, commenced working 1796; Reeling Mill, 1897; Round Mill, which took 10 years to build, from 1803 to 1813, and commenced working in 1816; and Milford Mills, 1778. The Belper and Milford mills were not built in partnership with Arkwright. These mills were all Strutt owned and financed.

    Other famous 18th-century figures with connections to Derby include the painter Joseph Wright, known as Wright of Derby, who was famous for his revolutionary use of light in his paintings and was an associate of the Royal Academy; and John Whitehurst, a famous clockmaker and philosopher. Erasmus Darwin, doctor, scientist, philosopher and grandfather of Charles Darwin, whose practice was based in Lichfield, Staffordshire was a frequent visitor to Derby, having founded the Derby Philosophical Society.

    The beginning of the next century saw Derby emerging as an engineering centre with manufacturers such as James Fox, who exported machine tools to Russia.

    In 1840, the North Midland Railway set up its works in Derby and, when it merged with the Midland Counties Railway and the Birmingham and Derby Junction Railway, to form the Midland Railway, Derby became its headquarters.

    The connection with the railway encouraged others, notably Andrew Handyside, Charles Fox and his son Francis Fox.

    Derby was one of the boroughs reformed by the Municipal Corporations Act 1835, and it became a county borough with the Local Government Act 1888. The borough expanded in 1877 to include Little Chester and Litchurch, and then in 1890 to include New Normanton and Rowditch. The borough did not increase substantially again until 1968, when under a recommendation of the Local Government Boundary Commission it was expanded into large parts of the rural district of Belper, Repton and South East Derbyshire. This vastly increased Derby’s population from 132,408 in the 1961 census to 219,578 in the 1971 census.[9]
    Derby Industrial Museum/Silk Mill World Heritage Site

    Despite being one of the areas of Britain furthest from the sea, Derby holds a special place in the history of marine safety – it was as MP for Derby that Samuel Plimsoll introduced his bills for a ‘Plimsoll line’ (and other marine safety measures). This failed on first introduction, but was successful in 1876 and contributed to Plimsoll’s re-election as an MP

    What is Chelsea famous for…..FLOWERS.

    Posted by Ronnie Corbet | January 4, 2014, 1:25 pm
  5. Clearly you can’t see further than the end of your nose , factually this blog is embarrassing to yourself and all Chelsea supporters . I suggest you look a bit harder on Google for more factual statements before you write your next laughable embarrassing blog !!
    I really thought Londoners was more educated than us thick northerners , but clearly you must be an exception .
    Tally Ho

    Posted by Thick cockney | January 4, 2014, 1:43 pm
  6. Yes, we still make stuff in Derby, whereas the only things made in Chelsea are the kind of dribbling posh twat that the French had the common sense to guillotine more than 200 years ago.

    Posted by Frodo | January 4, 2014, 2:02 pm
  7. Derby is a City not a town!

    Remember, you are Chelsea and Chelsea is style without any substance.

    Posted by james | January 4, 2014, 2:38 pm
  8. A big welcome to London’s third team.

    Posted by Tom | January 4, 2014, 4:42 pm
  9. You TWAT

    Posted by Andrew | January 4, 2014, 4:47 pm
  10. Is this supposed to be amusing?


    Posted by John | January 4, 2014, 11:11 pm
  11. I feel so sorry for all humourless people reading this fine piece drenched in sarcasm (not really true obviously!) and taking the effort to comment while completely mission the point…..which in itself is hilarious!

    Right, time to batter the sh*t out of these midgets now! C’mon Chels!

    Posted by seb | January 5, 2014, 12:28 pm
  12. Absolutely brilliant. Great read there, southerner

    Posted by Forest_Fan | January 6, 2014, 2:12 pm
  13. Nice one Ed. We have a similar report on away teams on the JA606 forum. Some of us northerners have a sense of humor. Well played, by the way – enjoyed the game. Hope to be playing you again soon.

    Posted by A Derby Fan | January 6, 2014, 11:44 pm

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