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Numbers 301/84: Stanley Cup ... and how the Oilers fare ....

Bad hair day! Just to share … somehow or other the first crafting of this blog skipped back in time to 1898 and then evaporated. My nerdic chums searched lo and hi then ordained I should recraft it … so here goes. First it had nothing to do with my taking a kipper for lunch! Today is a celebration of the original gifting of The Stanley Cup. But that can't be allowed to overshadow today's news that the Edmonton Oilers won again this evening - beating Winnipeg Jets 2-1. The Oilers have a valid claim to Dynasty Team Status dating back to the 1980s when they took the Stanley Cup 5 times before Wayne Gretzky headed to the US for the bigger US$. The team's names are on the base of that Cup pictured here which stands next to the Monument in Ottawa that marks [roughly] the spot where on March 18th it was agreed there should be a Cup to win, gifted by Canada's Governor-General no less, one Lord Stanley of Preston [without any Pans] - later 16th Earl of Derby.

The Cup began life in 1892 as the Dominion Hockey Challenge Cup. It was to be awarded to Canada's top-ranking amateur ice hockey club [the same as Rugby Union's Calcutta Cup - Leviticus 261/84.] The entire Stanley family supported the sport with the sons and daughters all playing and promoting the game. Professional teams first became eligible in 1906 and over the years the several regions of Canada and the US merged and it became what it is today - the National Hockey League's NHL Championship Prize in 1947.
Lord Stanley was a man of some considerable political distinction. He served as Colonial Secretary and President of the Board of Trade before being translated to the role in Canada at a turbulent time in its Dominion/ Provincial developments. His success gives him a statue today and Vancouver's major park is named after him.
Edmonton, one time Alberta, Oilers. The history of the Oilers dates back to 1972 when they were established as a professional team based in Edmonton not joining the NHL until 1979. The team played its first season in 1972–73 when there were supposed to two teams in Alberta, the other one being the Calgary Broncos. However the Broncos folded before the first season began and the Oilers took the entire provincial name as 'Alberta' Oilers just for that season. After joining the NHL itself in 1979 the Oilers went on to win The Stanley Cup on five glorious occasions: 1984, 1985, 1987, 1988 and 1990. Our family from the UK only attended their first match at Christmas time 2017 suitably clad in the Oilers kit courtesy of Christopher; and we brought them Victory that day too at the new Rogers Stadium shown. The keys to the Milton Dovecote where I pen this blog includes the Oilers key tag!

Prestonpans Town Hall falls to The Prince. True is wasn't built in 1745 although there was seemingly a Burgh of Barony from 1509. It was opened by Haddingtonshire MP, now East Lothian, Robert Haldane, later the 1st and only Viscount Haldane after serving in Liberal and Labour Governments as Secretary of State for War and as Lord Chancellor. When we say 'falls to The Prince' we mean that the Battle Trust is taking the 5 Year Lease on it as it traverses the Interregnum to 2027 by when we have those ambitious plans to open the Big Centre at Blindwells. There's restoration to be done on the main doorway shown here which uses the same red stone as The Gothenburg built a decade later.
At 5pm sunset we beheld Tescos then dined on Moussaka. It was Click and Collect at Hunsbury once more and amongst th purchases was the very fine moussaka. But that was not the end … The Prince had further plans as the Spring Webinars were launched by Dr Lucy Wood's analysis of Sir Walter Scott's romanticisation of the Jacobite Cause starting with Waverley. We expect to hear a great deal more about him because this year is the 250th Anniversary of his birth. And of course he visited Prestonpans as a young lad for his health as a polio sufferer. The fact he died bankrupt is never overlooked - he made it almost respectable.


Published Date: March 18th 2021


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