Nationwide TalkBack

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)


1-0 weekend

Only a year since our last trip to Wembley but it couldn’t have been more different!

Here’s Jo‘s match report:

A year ago it was all very depressing – Millwall had just lost the League One play-off final against Scunthorpe, after having dominated much of the match. One hideous miss was all it took for Millwall’s dreams to come crashing down. This year the boot was well and truly on the other foot. Charlie Austin’s foot to be exact. The Swindon miss-of-the-century, coupled with some outstanding play by old boys Robinson and Harris and new boy Morison, meant Millwall’s Championship future was secured this time around. Look at/listen to this footage to experience the relief from the 37,000 Millwall fans in attendance at Wembley! Up the Lions!

3-in-1 weekend

Nothing interesting happens for months, then three days out come along at the same time! On Saturday we swam against the tide, driving past all the traffic jams heading for the coast, for Jo’s birthday present: an evening at the Old Vic theatre watching The Cherry Orchard (some famous director and Hollywood stars on stage all lost on me, but much appreciated by Jo).

Conveniently timed the day after was the league one play off final at Wembley.


Really great day out, although from Jo’s point of view, the less said the better.

Last, but not least, a chance to look round what is probably the reason for Eastleigh’s existence at the Eastleigh 100. I mostly wanted to go out of curiosity after years of passing by on the way to Winchester, but there were quite a collection of trains to have a look at as a bonus. She’ll probably deny it but Jo seemed to enjoy herself as well, although mostly for the low flying planes coming in to land at Southampton Airport rather than the trains. (More about the event from the BBC.)


And next weekend? That’ll be the Southampton beer festival!