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      ATAC Travel Guide   10/17/2016

      ATAC produced a guide to Bratislava and Trnava prior to our recent visit. If you saw this, did you use it? Was it of any help?
      ATAC would like your feed back. Go to the website and contact them http://www.associationoftartanarmyclubs.com/


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About CraigieBrown

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    Loony Alba
  1. SFA/SSC marketing and distribution is so appalling that it is almost laughable. I used to buy Scotland tops for every campaign but decided in the end that if they cant sort themselves out efficiently that I will not be funding more SFA/SSC greed whenever possible. Not had a new Scotland shirt in 6 or 7 years now. Had one every year for 20+ years before that. The bugger is that half of them dont fit me any more ;-)
  2. I was at Wembley 1999 when we humped them 1-0. My burd at the time was French and came to the game. We got to the the stairs (lots of them) at the twin towers in the Scotland section. Suddenly a group of maybe 200+ hoolies charged towards us. I told my lass to stand behind a policeman and asked him to keep her safe. He agreed so I just stood there and shouted "who are you" at the wonkers that were attacking us. I hope they sort it out more efficiently in November.
  3. Anyone based down London way of visiting London during the weekend of 14th May might be interested in attending this event - plauqe unveilling to commemorate the Walk For Wallace. This will take place at Saint Bartholomew the Great church by Smithfield market in London from 2pm on Satuday 14th May 2016. Many TA attended the original march in 2005 - a several will already be attaending this event. Theres a formal unveiling of the plaque followed an informal social function at a local pub (The Rising Sun). Full details below in this posting. All welcome, kilts welcome and feel free to pass details on to anyone you know that might be interested to come along on the day. Walk for Wallace 10 Year anniversary commemoration, 14th May 2016, Smithfield, London The Society of William Wallace (SOWW) will be unveiling a plaque to commemorate the Walk for Wallace undertaken by writer and historian the late David R. Ross (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_R._Ross) in 2005. Davie walked from Robroyston in Glasgow on the 3rd August, the day Wallace was captured, and arrived in London on the 22nd August which is the exact time Wallace arrived where his execution was to be the main attraction on the 23rd August at the St Bartholomew Fair at Smithfield Market in London. In 2005, more than 1500 Scots gathered at Westminster Hall in London and stood on the same ground Wallace would have in 1305 and then marched 6 miles through the centre of London along the route that Wallace would have been dragged along. The March arrived at St Bart’s church where David Ross made a speech and Clann a Drumma played some stirring music. St Bartholomew the Great church then hosted a funeral service (which had been denied to Wallace at the time of his execution). There were speeches by Dr Fiona Watson (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fiona_Watson_(historian)), Alex Salmond and David Ross spoke at the event which was very emotional with a Gaelic choir attending as well. Ronnie Brown of the Corries sang Flower of Scotland and Ted Christopher played the song he had written for the day “I’m Coming Home”. The commemoration and unveiling of a plaque commissioned by the SOWW will take place starting at 14h00 on Saturday 14th May 2016. There is an area at the church where the crowd can gather towards the back of the church and everyone will have a chance to view the plaque at the church once it is unveiled. The introduction and first speech will be made by Gary Stewart, Convenor of the Society of William Wallace a second speaker will be confirmed shortly and the unveiling of the plaque will be made by Mhairi Calvey (the actress and who played the young Murron in the film Braveheart – Mhairi attended the Walk for Wallace in 2005). Following the proceedings a piper will play the pipes and there will be an informal social function at the nearby Rising Sun public house. The Rising Sun pub (http://www.risingsunbarbican.co.uk/) is only a few metres from the rear entrance St Bartholomew the Great church and just a few metres away from Smithfield market and the Wallace plaque at the site of his murder in 1305. The function at the Rising Sun is an informal one – it is a typical London pub and will have the full menu available on the day (see the menu in the link for the pub). There is a separate dining area and the food is reasonably priced for Central London and the usual range of drinks including a choice of Real Ales (Timothy Taylor). It would be useful to have some idea of numbers attending this function in order that we can advise the landlord and ensure he can have sufficient staff on duty on the day to cope with the demand. Nearest underground transport would be Barbican tube (also St Pauls or Chancery Lane area in the general area). Farringdon railway station is also close by. The Society of William Wallace is a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation dedicated to historical projects celebrating Wallace and other famous Scottish figures. Charity registration number SC045959.www.soww.scot. Twitter: @soww1297. Please feel free to share this information with any other Scottish organisations or clubs or London based clubs, organizations and individuals with Scottish interest. All welcome. Kilts welcome.
  4. Bizzarely, the going rate on EBAY for a shirt seems to be about £12 plus postage costs. A kind of roundabout route for people who wont or cant wear the SFA cheap Chinese tat to reduce their membership fee slightly. Shame it comes to that and should not have been forced upon 30,000 SSC members in the first place and should never have been described as a "free gift". If they were going to force things on you then they should at least have supplied shirts that fit. I dont know anyone in our gang whose shirt fits them!!!!
  5. Surely though to have a clearly labelled size L shirt laid flat on top of a clearly labelled size XL shirt and they are exactly the same size is a cock up...
  6. I wonder if people are having issues with their "Free Gift" from the SSC? I left my size as L on the SSC members site. Sometimes an L fits me well but sometimes I need an XL. The L did not fit me well but a friend of mine gave me his XL shirt as he did not like it. I was surprised to find that it was also a tight fit. I laid both of them flat and was surprised to find that both the L and the XL measure 22" from armpit to armpit - no great surprise really. I wonder if there are a lot of people that will never wear the shirt because it just doesn't fit them! I know there are a few. I'm going to give up and sell the shirts I have! At least it will reduce the price of the SSC membership. Strictly speaking, they should not have been advertised as a free gift as we are paying for them anyway! The SFA/SSC never stop having little cute approaches to squeeze more cash out of us. The merchandise 'gift' should have been offered as an option when renewing your membership!
  7. Sorry, it took me a while. +94772957171. Guy was brilliant. Decent vehicle as well and good prices. On time every time I used him (which was several times!). Had to ask him to stop calling me "Sir" but he got the hang of that as well.
  8. Was there back in February... I managed to find a cracking lad with decent car to be my driver whilst out there. Day out Colombo to Galle was about 70 quid round trip all in which i thought was quite good for a 500Km day out including entries to touristy things as well!!! I will try to look out the fellas number... Cheers Craigie
  9. Sorry to hear the big man has passed. I was the one that published 36 translations of the Jimmy Hill song on what was the first ever tartan army web page away back in the 90s. Given the press hassle and countless articles in virtually every Scottish and UK national daily paper that occurred around the time (mid 1990s), not one member of the press has even called for a quote from me!!! ;-( At the time, it was written up in some papers as a court case by Jimmy Hill against the tartan army although the reality was this was typical misleading UK mainstream journalism and it was actually a court case against Scottish Courage breweries - who ended up paying Jimmy Hill £30K to shake hands and kiss and make up over their rather inept press release about their sponsorship of the tartan army (which again was not quite correct)!!!
  10. With the best will in the world, these should NOT be described as "freebies" as we ARE actually being forced to pay for these items whether we want them or not. It is a forced sale to a captive audience. This is the sort of complete tosh that David Cameron would come out with!!!
  11. Had a great time in Shanghai, Beijing and Hong Kong. I was there during Chinese New Year period and despite some things being closed, I would highly recommend a visit during that period (you often need to book places at Hogamanay... same thing). The fireworks are amazing - and go on all night for over a week. Might have to keep your head down from time to time as the health and safety aspects are not very safe!!! Shanghai to Beijing is 1500Km - connected very well by train - 5 hours trip. Go for the first class though IMO. It is not that expensive - hot water available in every carriage so they can fill up their pot noodles - not joking! Beijing is very polluted... lots to see, plenty of rip off scams. Trip to the Great Wall and Ming Tombs for the day with a cab should be under $100 including driver and guide - make sure they dont take you to shit places where people just want to sell you stuff. However, seriously lots to see in Beijing - Forbidden City, changing of the guard at Tian'namen Square (prepare to be scanned to be able to see that), Birds Nest visit, countless temples and parks, etc, etc etc. Taxis and driving is a waste of time as the roads dont really work - take the tube and it costs buttons. Be careful what you eat - I had quite a few "that is NOT chicken" moments. A sea cucumber is quite an experience - like a spikey jobbie on a plate. Looks dreadful but quite tasty. Summer is roasting and winter is very cold. Beijing was a lot minus in February time when I was there. This is not an issue if you bring the right clothes i.e. kilt, heavy sweater and other woollies!! Actually, wearing a kilt in China anywhere is a huge head turner for the Chinese. Seriously a laugh - you could even start charging people to take pictures of you and they will pay!!! If you are looking at other visits, I would certainly say that you should spend the time IN China and not piss about in other places. It is going to cost you £100 for the visa and it is a right rigmarole. I ended up after the documents being returned twice (having paid for the additional special delivery costs just for the sodding things to come back) with very very minor issues raised about how I filled in the forms or the background of the pictures just saying sod it and going personally (at an additional cost!) to the rather unfriendly embassy in London (near Bank) and just sitting and waiting until they granted the visas. It cost more for a double entry visa (Hong Kong) which was also a sting in the tail as i should have spent more time in real China and not some fake place full of arrogant overpaid bankers! If you have business class or lounge access (yes they stupidly upgraded us to first on one of the flights!!!!) the lounges before the flights are quite immense and honestly worth turning up early for... Talk about posh... got so much cracking stuff cooked right before me before various flights that couldn't eat or drink anything during the flights themselves. China is certainly worth visiting. My only regret was spending 5 days in Hong Kong where I can go any time without the visa issues. I should have spent more time exploring places inside real China which would have been much more of a once in a lifetime experience. Hope that helps. Craigie
  12. Forget it... it is nice to think the SFA would consider anything in favour of the fans but that is not going to happen. Have a think about their questionnaire a while back which was designed so that you could only give answers that suited what they wanted to hear you say. That was an utter disgrace and it set the tone for their approach. The STC used to be very much for the fans but in the last ten years or so, the SFA/SSC has become a commercial machine with one single aim to milk every single penny of cash they think they can get out of the TA. Nothing else just cash cash cash - just like the SPL. They have a few specific parasites among the staff that should be utterly ashamed of themselves having brushed off the good and constructive relationship the SFA once had with ATAC - Jules McGeever being one - what a disgrace she has been and that commercial fella who is her puppeteer. The TA - SSC relationaship is now entirely gone - swotted away like an annoying fly. The minutes are online if you are interested to read them. The SFA/SSC once provided excellent support to fans on away games - remember that people can get into bother or get hurt on tour. Then they realised that they didn't make money from away games and all of this pretty much went out the window! Regarding the commercial strategy, they will devise some scheme to rip the piss for ticket prices just as they did for this recent campaign. I wouldn't be surprised if they made some modifications to the away points system to try and sell out the home tickets for all the qualifiers. This could be based around season ticket holders getting a ballot for England tickets for example. I would not put any sneaky tricks or schemes past the SFA if they can make money out of it. The set up is all wrong with them being a commercial organisation like they are. I have been actively considering giving up home games for a while but since I would still want to go to away games would have to join the SSC.
  13. All of these South and Central American countries seems to have several top flight sides that play in the main city (Asuncion in Paraguay has about 7 or 8 for example!!) although many of them are really quite small clubs with relatively low fan bases and quite small grounds too. This means there are a lot of 'derby' games. They mostly have their own stadia which are often very small and very poor but for derby games, which can often take place at a neutral venue or even the national stadium. There could be matches on in the city almost every evening depending on TV, etc. San Jose has a few teams including Deportivo Saprissa who at the time were one of the bigger more successful clubs with a bigger support. My pal was living there for a wile and took me to see Saprissa home and away which was pretty mental both times. I am not sure they are quite such a top side at the moment though with fortunes dropping away a bit recently. Hope that helps Craigie
  14. I was sitting in a cafe near gate 8 or 9 at Kiev Airport prior to the Saturday evening Ukrainian International Airlines flight to London Gatwick. On the floor under the table was a black leather sporran tassle. Someone probably lost it earlier in the day... I thought it would be a shame to leave it there - so if you have lost a tassle and want it back, drop me a line... Cheers, Craigie
  15. I'll be there but with ma saltire. Only yellow flag I would take would be an SNP one.