I was invited to a Nationwide TalkBack event at St Mary’s stadium on Thursday, which turned out to be pretty good. The evening started with a buffet before Matthew Wyles kicked of the main Q&A session with a short talk. It was a lively presentation and I got the impression that there was a genuine desire to keep members informed and answer questions candidly. I was almost tempted to ask their views on security problems in the banking industry, or why the same rules for windfalls don’t apply to all members, but there were plenty of other questions, and Jo was keen not to delay the second part of the evening: a tour of the stadium.
Before even getting to the tour itself, the name of the room where the main part of the TalkBack event was held will be familiar to anyone who has flown from the Matt Le Tissier International Airport:
Next stop, after more food that is, was the players area of the stadium, starting with the corridor leading to the dressing rooms and of course the pitch:
There have been some big visitors to St Mary’s recently, like the Bees, oh and some team from Manchester, who get a decent enough dressing room:
While, unsurprisingly, Saints players get something a little more flash:
Outside was slightly quieter than the last time we were there, but Jo looked quite at home on the bench:
Past Saints players get to sit a little further from the pitch in their executive box, where we got a good view of the groundsman’s attempts to trick the grass in to growing (the lights weren’t for our benefit):
Apparently Stephen Fry’s grandfather used to play for Southampton but the, slightly more impressive, claim that he was offered the Albanian throne may not actually be true. Good story for the tours though! Finally, after an excellent evening, we passed a rather large paint pot and headed home:
So if you’re a Nationwide member I would recommend going to a TalkBack event if you get the opportunity, especially if you have any questions, or have had any problems; there were plenty of people on hand for one to one discussions before and after the main session. Plus a tour of St Mary’s is definitely worth it if you get the chance; it is a nice stadium… maybe a bit big, but very nice!
Update: there’s now a short article about the Southampton TalkBack on the Nationwide Members’ Zone. (18 February 2011)