Déjà vu?

Barry believes in Déjà vu and here’s a Port Vale related story involving that very phenomenon. 

Barry Edge writes…

It’s the 3rd September, 2018 and waiting in my inbox is an email saying Carol Parton nee Jones has changed her Facebook profile picture. When I checked FB there she is large as life in the Railway Stand of Vale Park – the day Newport County came to town.

You will remember Carol from The Vale Vaults Exhibition. She is the lady who came up to you holding a photograph and begging the question…”Do you know who this is?”…the answer to which is found here

Déjà vu?

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, coincidence can be a chance event where some unexpected connection is made. Amazingly, the coincidence on this occasion connects two people across fifty eight years.

On the other hand, if we accept Mark Twain’s… “the past does not repeat itself, but it rhymes”… then we surrender to the belief that time moves in a forward direction only and that the past is gone forever.

Personally I don’t subscribe to Mark Twain’s maxim – never have, never will. For me “Déjà Vu” constantly alerts me of places I’ve been, things I’ve seen, people I’ve met, or something I’ve done i.e. the past cannot be forgotten whilst present day events continue to remind me of times gone by – or the need to complete an unfinished task.

Given the above this memoir is, without a shadow of doubt, an especial “Déjà vu” alert.

According to Carol Parton nee Jones she had been persuaded by son and grandson to spend the day watching the ‘Vale. So there she was with kith and kin and spoiling her grandson with a veritable feast of Wright’s sausage rolls, crisps, sweets and cool drink.

The only downside was the score – Port Vale 1 : 2 Newport County.

When Carol mentioned to those around her it was the second time in fifty eight years she had been to Vale Park and both times ‘Vale had lost it was jokingly suggested she not go again.

Déjà vu! March, 1960.

In truth Port Vale won 2-1 the first time Carol saw them at Vale Park, and I know this to be true because I was there too. You see, Carol is the first and only girl to go to a football game with me. What’s more, I remember it all as though it was yesterday.

It was early March 1960 and I was off duty the Saturday Newport County were coming to town. That’s right, Newport County.

Two games seen at Vale Park fifty eight years apart against the same opposition but with a reverse score-line is, I think you will agree, a most remarkable coincidence indeed.

I remember Carol saying ‘yes’ without hesitation when asking if she would like to go to the game with me. We stood in the Hamil Road end, there was a crowd around 10,000, and it was raining – all day in fact.

PMT put on extra buses and Carol was the only female on our crowded bus back to Hanley where, for the second time in our courtship, we shared tea and cakes in Lyons Café next to the Palace Theatre.

The first time we went to Lyons Café was after we walked out early from the Odeon Cinema featuring Drum Beat starring Alan Ladd.

My second eldest brother, Alan, recommended Drum Beat and from memory it was about the US Cavalry v the Indians with double cross and counter double cross. We didn’t stay until the end with the last action seen being the Cavalry moving in single file through a canyon flanked on either side by the Indians. Crikey! I can still see that scene in my mind’s eye. Anyway, we didn’t stay because I was keen to impress Carol by suggesting we go to Lyons Café for afternoon tea.

Now that’s what I call Déjà vu.

See you later…

Barry Edge
Western Australia
September 3, 2018


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