Withington Pub Quiz League

QUIZBIZ - 21st May 2014



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INBTO romp to another WIST Champions title

WIST Champions Cup Final - The Result

I've Never Been to One beat Chunky from the Stockport league by a clear 20 points to ensure that all 3 WIST trophies end up north of the Mersey this season.

This delayed final was played at the Albert Club with myself asking the questions in the first half (Rounds 1 and 2 la Stockport) and Dave Barras doing the QM honours in the second half (Rounds 3 to 6 la WithQuiz).  The first half was played 'al fresco' next to the bowling green since the main Club lounge was occupied by earnest looking young science fans enjoying the latest in the series of summer 'Pint of Science' lectures that the Club has been hosting all this week.  When the 'al' got a little too 'fresco' later on, the quizzers repaired to the Snooker room for a bit of warmth though not much more more light.

Chunky were not quite the force on the night we've come to expect.  They drifted further and further behind INBTO as the evening progressed.  I think it's fair to say they got the rough end of a few uneven pairs in Round 1 - and also that the WithQuiz style of questions in the second half was some way from the normal fare served up in Stockport on a Thursday evening.  By and large WithQuiz teams have become 'theme addicts' and are well versed in spotting Dave Barras's thematic twists and turns.  Stockport-set quiz rounds rarely have a theme to be hunted down.  Having said all this the final gap in scores was significant and INBTO were convincing as well as worthy victors.

We have been playing the WIST Champions Cup for 7 seasons now; INBTO/SPW have won 3 times - Chunky have won 3 times and The Bards once.  So all to play for next year!

The atmosphere in which the match was played was first rate.  I have got to know Chunky over the years and they have always provided pleasing company displaying modesty in victory and humility in defeat.  Perhaps this is the key to happiness since - as we all found out from the papers today - Stockport is the fourth happiest place to live in the country (behind Harrogate, Inverness and Taunton - seeing as you ask).  Withington (or even Manchester) doesn't appear in the 'happiness' ratings that I read but is rumoured to be well down the list.  Something to do with an unhealthy preponderance of United supporters, I believe.

The Paper  

This week the paper was compiled by Dave Barras and myself on behalf of WithQuiz.  This was a 'toughie' and the average aggregate score of 77.0 (across the A-Trophy final a fortnight ago and tonight's match) was well down on the previous WIST matches this season.  Despite this I do think the teams enjoyed the challenges and appreciated the 'content-heavy' nature of the questions.

As stated above there were a couple of uneven pairs in Round One (Stannary Courts are far better known than Barmote Courts - and the rhyme in the Beeching Axe questions made the answer to one of the pair quite easy to guess but was no real help in getting the other).  Both of the easier questions in these pairs fell to INBTO.

As is usual the subject matter dealt with in the paper spoke volumes about the respective interests and hobbies of the two setters - so planes, boats and trains (but no tanks this time round) from Dave and plenty of football, TV, Scotland and geography generally from me.

The Question of the Week

My selection this week.  I've chosen one of Dave's thematic question - Round 6 Question 7:

Who, according to her human companion, was “At Madagascar, and Malabar, and Surinam, and Providence, and Portobello ...and she was at the boarding of the Viceroy of the Indies out of Goa”?  But then again he may have been lying.

For the answer to this and all the week's questions click here.


When Kieran arrived at the Club for the WIST Champion's Cup Final he brought with him the WithQuiz League Shield which had failed to materialise last week.  Dave Barras was quickly installed as temporary 'special one' and (as the only Opsimath present) I took the role of presentee.  With shield firmly grasped I raised it aloft to the deafening silence of an empty Bowling Green.  Job done.

Kieran has also kindly provided me with quite a bit more material to add to the story of the league - especially the league as it was before the turn of the century (details of which have largely been absent from the website).  You can view his reminiscences here.  Kieran's memory has also enabled me to stretch the list of League winners back as far as 1993 though he is not so sure of some of his recollections.  I have adjusted the Honours table according to his information and you will note that he believes both the Albert and the Charas (then known as Swan Vestals - I think) won the League during the 1990s before the Griffing Braggarts started their long run of success.  Those who've been around the quiz league for a while please let me have your own recollections to add to Kieran's.

In addition I have started a register of names of anyone who has played for any of the teams listed on the Teams Archive page (under any of the names that a team has used over the years).  Please help me out by adding names or completing the names I have listed.  I think the qualification criterion for this list should be anyone who has played at least 5 matches for the team concerned.  I await your emails over the coming weeks.

This concludes the season's Quizbiz publications.  During the summer - now I'm fully retired and have a bit more time on my hands - I aim to update the appearance and organisation of the site.

I hope you all enjoy the break from our weekly pursuit and will return refreshed in late September/early October to 'pursue' once more.

In the meantime - inspired by one of the questions from this week's paper - I thought you might appreciate the thoughtful reflection shown below which was published in The Observer a couple of years back when the last Up programme was broadcast.  The Up series of documentary programmes was started in 1964 by Granada TV with the explicit assumption that each child's social class predetermines their future and that this could be reflected by tracking a child's development over time.  The 14 children chosen for the series were 7 years old in 1964 and most of them have been featured in a catch up programme every 7 years since.  The '7 year theme' is based on St Francis Xavier's words: "Give me a child until he is seven and I will give you the man."  The beauty of the programme lies in the fact that its dogmatic premise has not been proved by the evidence of the lives of its subjects over the past 60 years.  Far from everything being predetermined by social origins the programme has shown a glorious tapestry of diversity resulting from the accidents of life.  Perhaps a slice of such serendipity might equally apply to next season's WithQuiz......Come on you Men!!

The Observer 20/05/12


There were stirring tales in the first slice of 56 Up (ITV1) - the latest in Michael Apted’s brilliant, long-running documentary - but none cut to the heart more than that of Neil Hughes.  Here he was in 1964 an animated, lovely boy in his duffel coat, skipping along a tidy suburban street in Liverpool, or in 1968 on his bike, satchel on his back, the wind in his hair.

He dreamed of going to Oxford, but at the age of 21 he was working on a building site and living in a squat. At 28, homeless and gaunt, hoicking up his trousers as he shuffled along in the rain, he seemed already defeated by life, his clear intelligence seemingly of no use to him. What on earth had happened, you wondered. We never really found out.  He had suffered from ‘a nervous complaint’ he said.  These days, at 56, he retains his hunched intensity, his thinning lock of hair, the same crooked tooth of adolescence.  He spoke in tentative bursts, watchful, holding back more than he revealed. He’s a local councillor in Cumbria.  He has little money but has found a place here and the company of good friends.

We saw him, collar and tie, cycling on a sunlit hillside, sheep scattering at his approach, and just for a moment we caught a glimpse of the boy he once was, with the world at his feet and his whole life in front of him.

Neil Hughes - 'Up' there with the best

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