Friday, 30 November 2012

Random Ad - Persil Washing Powder (1940's)

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Never understood why adding Oxygen to a washing powder should make it more effective, and after consulting that font of all knowledge, Wikipedia, I still don't.

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Random Cutting - TV Programmes (1937)

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1 channel, the BBC, and 2 hours a day broadcasting. No fighting over the remote control in that household. 15 minutes of ‘Masks through the Ages’ looks like a highlight not to be missed. As it was all ‘live’ and a bit hit and miss, I assume ‘app.’ stands for approximate start and end times.

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Steve McQueen dies

The Sun dated Saturday November 8th 1980
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Even if he had never made another film Steve McQueen would still be remembered as the eponymous start of ‘Bullitt’ (1968) one of the most enjoyable films of the 60’s. The car chase scene is a classic and can be watched here. As it was, from 1958 until 1980, he made film after film with hardly a dud among them.

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In this Labour Party Leadership contest Denis Healey won the first round ballot but on November 10th the Left-wing Michael Foot got 51.9 of the MP’s votes. He lasted as leader until Neil Kinnock took over in October 1983. As with Harold Wilson there were rumours of KGB involvement but nothing was ever proved one way or another.

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The Ford Cortina started with the Mark I in 1962 and by 1980 was up to the final version, the Mark 5. Production ended in 1982.

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Gabriella Brum won but resigned 18 hours later. Gaum’s Kimberley Santos took over. Miss UK came 17th and Jamaica came 18th despite being the bookies favourites.

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Who is this strange person? Answer at the end of the post.

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Only included because as a child I was taken by my father for a meal at Veeraswamy, a very posh Indian Restaurant in Regents Street, which opened in 1926 and was frequented by the likes of Winston Churchill, Charlie Chaplin, Gandhi, Nerhu and British and Foreign Royalty. And us.

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Kate O’Mara lasted for 1 season of ‘Triangle’ (and the first episode of season 2) but Larry Lamb was in all 78 episodes over 3 seasons. Kate went on to appear in ‘Dynasty’ and Larry in ‘Eastenders’.

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20 million for a sit-com! 12.7 million for ‘Strangers’ (cop show starring Don Henderson) at number 20!
These days even the hugely (and unaccountably) popular ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ only gets 10.5 million viewers, ‘Downton Abbey’ 10.1 million and ‘Eastenders’ average 8.1 million. (figures - week ending Oct 28th 2012).

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‘Hagar the Horrible’ was created by American cartoonist Dik Browne in 1973 and drawn by him until his death in 1988 when his son, Chris, took over.

Answer to the mystery picture -
‘Tis non other than Reg Dwight aka Elton John dressed as Minnie Mouse!

Friday, 23 November 2012

Random Ad - Shell petrol (1930's)

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"By Gad, Sir! The bounder has pinched me catch phrase! Pass the ethanol!"

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Random Cutting - Wireless from America (1924)

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I have an reasonably old radio that has Short Wave as well as the usual MW and LW and have 'listened in' to American broadcasts. 
The idea that wireless was causing a down turn in the number of people going to the theatre was repeated later with TV and the decline of cinema attendances.

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Mother of 2 Swims Channel

Sunday Pictorial dated Sunday August 29th 1926
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Clemington ‘Millie’ O. Corson swam from France to England in 15 hrs 23 mins. Richard Davey who swam it in 8 hrs 5 mins in 1988 holds the record for a crossing in that direction. The slowest time was 22 hrs 42 mins in 1979.
Comedian David Walliams swam from England to France in 10 hrs 29 mins.
All info from the Channel Swimming Association website.

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Slight personal interest here – I used to cross that pavement outside Stepney Green Station once a week for 5 years to catch the train to Fairlop where our school had its playing fields. Unlike the unfortunate George Holmes and A Everett I was never run over.

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Sadly that’s what comes of taking up with these new fangled American ideas.

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I am fairly sure this is the woman who came to be known as Anna Anderson who always claimed to be the daughter, Anastasia, of the murdered Russian Tsar Nicholas II. She didn’t come to England but did go to the USA in 1928. She died in 1984.

Her claim was finally refuted when DNA comparison with her tissue and the DNA of the Tsar and his family and surviving relatives, including the Duke of Edinburgh, found no matches.

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A coach doing 43 mph! I wonder what the motorist who clocked this ‘juggernaut’ would think if he could spend a few minutes on the M20 heading towards Dover and being overtaken on the inside by a 16 wheel artic doing 90.

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Adverts as postmarks! Whatever next? Is this the thin end of the wedge? Soon it will be whole envelopes covered in advertising bumph with ‘For the Attention of the Occupier’ as the address. The GPO would never let that happen. Would they?

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Gaston Guyot was a Frenchman who strangled his wife with one hand while driving and then stopped and put the body in a haystack, which he set on fire. Unfortunately for him 2 gendarmes happened by, tried to put out the fire and found the body. Guyot was tried and convicted of the murder and sentenced to death by guillotine, but due to a public outcry the French President reduced this to life imprisonment.
His previous 2 wives had committed suicide and he had a diary in which he recorded 737 previous lovers.

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Ivor Novello was a very successful singer and stage and film actor who died in 1951.
Sage advice from Mr Novello but some of it soon to be made redundant by the coming of the Talkies. His final sentiment, ‘… they must remember that nobody has ever got out of film acting more than they put into it’ – shows that he obviously he didn’t live to see any Steven Seagal films.

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This is the earliest use of the word ‘kinky’ that I have come across and, if it had the same meaning then as it has more recently, the mind boggles. I, for one, have never thought of short white socks, culottes and a Robin Hood hat as kinky.
Polly Ward went on to a fairly successful film and stage career that included co-starring in 2 George Formby films. She died in 1987.

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Note the picture top right from ‘That’s My Baby’ – the 'baby' is actually 24 year old Harry Earls who went on to play a Munchkin in  ‘The Wizard of OZ’, appear in Tod Browning’s controversial film ‘Freaks’ and the sound version of Lon Chaney’s ‘The Unholy Three’ having also appeared in the silent version in 1925.
Matt Moore (in the picture lower right) has 220 film appearances in the IMDb starting in 1912 through to 1958. Oddly the last 54, from 1941 to 1958, are listed as ‘uncredited’.
Mae Allison to Ian Keith – “I have to wear it or those CIA satellites will read my mind.”

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Both Miss Ivy Cummings and Hugo Urban-Emmerich crashed after 4 laps, George Eyston won in his Bugatti and a certain Englishman called Malcolm Campbell failed to start.

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Jack Hobbs played cricket for England 157 times between 1908 and 1930 and scored 61,760 runs for Surrey. No stats are available for the sparrow.

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To my untrained eye it looks like Parker, Millwall, is about to give Hannah, Norwich City, a bloody good kicking.
Chelsea seems to have a player that has a huge football for a head. Is this allowed? Must be, because an Arsenal player has one too.

Friday, 16 November 2012

Random Ad - Self-Filling Pen (1910's)

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"I'm sure that when I left my Fono Self-filling fountain pen on my desk to go home yesterday it had run out of ink, but this morning on arrival at work I find it full!"

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Plotted to Split Britain and Russia

Daily Mirror dated Tuesday June 19th 1945

This edition of the Daily Mirror was printed only 6 weeks after the end of the War in Europe and it obvious from the layout that paper was still in very short supply. There are no less than 6 news stories on the front-page alone.
As it contains only 8 pages I thought I would post the whole paper.

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Front Page - 
The trial of 16 ex-members of the Polish Resistance, who throughout WWII had fought against the occupation of Poland, first by the Nazis and then by the Soviet Union, was just one of many of Stalin’s show trials. The accused had been tricked into visiting Russia by the promise of a ‘safe passage’ but were arrested by the Soviet Secret police. They were tortured for several months until all but one of the 16 confessed to trumped-up charges. The trial lasted 4 days. Leopold Okulicki was sentenced to 10 years, Jankowski to 8 years and the other sentences ranged from 5 years to 4 months. Three were actually acquitted.

For more information about William ‘Lord Haw-Haw’ Joyce see this post.

At the end of WWII King Leopold III of Belgium was under house arrest in Germany but when freed he didn’t return home but spent the next few years in Geneva. He finally abdicated in 1951.

Conservative MP for Oxford, Quintin Hogg (later Lord Hailsham) had written his book ‘The Left was Never Right’ in answer to the 1940 book ‘Guilty Men’ which, using modern parlance named and shamed public figures who were pro-appeasement in the years leading up to WWII.

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Page 2 -
This first post-War election turned out to be a victory for Clement Attlee’s Labour Party and a surprise defeat for the ‘war hero’ Winston Churchill and his Conservatives.

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Another example of the space saving layout is the use of the gutter between pages 2 and 7, which is used for the Radio programmes and part of the crossword. After the War the General Forces Network became the Light Programme, which in turn became Radio 2 in 1967.

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Page 3 -
Baby Marie Osborne appeared in 20 or so silent films between 1914 and 1919 then ‘retired’. She started a film career again in 1934 but only as an extra and a stand-in, making her last screen appearance in 1950. Between 1956 and 1976 she worked in the wardrobe department on several well-known films including ‘The Godfather Part II’. She died at the age of 99 in 2010.

The story lower left about Mr Claude Baker appears to be an early case of identity theft – literally.

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Page 4 -
General Noel MacFarlane won the Labour seat for Paddington North at the General Election but resigned in 1946.
That’s the way sport should be reported –less than a third of an inside page, in fact if I'd been in charge it would have been relegated to the page 2/7 gutter and the Radio promoted.

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Page 5 -
It isn’t until near the end of the piece headed ‘Took Pupils for a Lesson in LAW’ that you realise that the pupils are all 15 or older. Why is the word ‘LAW’ in capitals?

If the mosquitoes are that big in Oxfordshire I’m staying away. There’s not even a barrier across the road – were the Health and Safety people on holiday?

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Page 6 -
Surprisingly ‘Buck Ryan’ was British comic strip and ran from 1937 until 1962. 
‘Beelzebub Jones’ was another British strip that looked like a US import. It died in December 1945.
‘Popeye’ was a US import that started in 1929 and is still running, although the artist has changed several times over the years.
‘Garth’ began in the Daily Mirror in 1943 and lasted for another 54 years.

From 1935 until 1990 ‘Live Letters’ replies and comments were by the ‘Old Codgers’ who were actually journalists Brian McConnell and possibly Peter Reed.

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Page 7 -
By today’s standards the Agony Aunt column is very tame.

The ‘Just Jake’ comic strip was odd in that the title character rarely appeared having been eclipsed by the villain Captain A.R.P. Reilly-Ffoull.
‘Jane’ was the Daily Mirror’s most famous strip and was published from 1932 until 1959. It spawned book, TV and film versions.

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Back Page -
The only news in this edition from the war in the Far East and it’s looking like the beginning of the end for the Japanese, but it was another 2 months and 2 atomic bombs before they finally surrendered.

Labour won the Election and the coal industry, which had been taken over by the Government during the War, became officially Nationalised on January 1st 1947.

Tom Driberg was, among other things, an MP, a poet, a communist, a homosexual, an author, a friend of Evelyn Waugh, black magician Aleister Crowley and the Kray Twins, the original ‘William Hickey’ columnist, a CND campaigner, a Baron and possibly an MI5 spy and/or a KGB agent. 

Friday, 9 November 2012

Random Ad - Breathing (1950's)

"By Gad, Sir! I think this Knowles wallah is onto something here. Let's see - in... out... in... out... No far too much effort. Pass the Brandy!"

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Random Cutting - US Space walk (1965)

Soviet cosmonaut Aleksei Leonov made the World’s first space walk during the Voskhod II mission on March 18th 1965.
34 year-old Texan Ed White II made the United States’ first space walk on June 3rd 1965 during the Gemini 4 space mission. It lasted 23 minutes. He was killed during training for the Apollo I mission in January 1967.

Sunday, 4 November 2012

Louis Mountbatten murdered

Daily Mail dated Tuesday August 28th 1979
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 Louis Mountbatten, 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma, was the Duke of Edinburgh’s uncle and second cousin once removed to Elizabeth II.

He joined the Royal Navy in 1913 and during a long career was, at one time or another, Chief of Combined Operations, Supreme Allied Commander, South East Asia Command, Commander, cruiser squadron, Mediterranean Fleet, Fourth Sea Lord, Commander-in-Chief, Mediterranean Fleet, First Sea Lord,Chief of the Defence Staff and Admiral of the Fleet.
He was the last Viceroy of India (1947) and the first Governor-General of the Union of India.

He had a summer retreat in County Sligo, Ireland and was holidaying there in August 1979. On the 27th he went fishing with his daughter, her husband and their twin sons and her mother-in-law on his 30’ boat. The IRA had planted a bomb aboard and detonated it by wireless during the trip. Louis Mountbatten, one of his grandsons and a crew member were killed. His daughter’s mother-in-law died later in hospital.  

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On the same day a roadside bomb killed 6 British soldiers who were in a lorry in a convoy passing Narrow Water Castle in Northern Island. When more soldiers arrived to set up an incident command point in a nearby gatehouse, a second bomb exploded and killed 12 more soldiers.

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The Italian built car and passenger ferry ‘Winston Churchill’ was on the twice-weekly Newcastle/Gothenburg run when it ran aground in Gothenburg Harbour. For once it was a ferry disaster that ended comparatively happily with only 1 person injured and no fatalities. The ship was in service on this route until 1995. 

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Stansted Airport was originally a WWII RAF base. In 1966 it became a civilian airport and a passenger terminal opened in 1969. Plans were drawn up to turn it into a relief for Heathrow and Gatwick but major expansion didn’t happen until the late 1980’s and early 90’s.

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Very much an album based artist, Judy Tzuke is still performing.

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Charles M. Schulz produced the Peanuts comic strip from 1950 until 2000 with, according to Wikipedia, 17,897 strips published in 2,600 papers in 75 countries, in 21 languages. 
The Peanuts characters, like Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Schroeder, Linus, Pig-Pen, Lucy van Pelt and Woodstock, have also appeared in 4 feature films, 2 musicals, numerous animated TV shows, video games, books and memorabilia.

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This is not the Bjorn Borg who was the Swedish backstroke and freestyle swimmer who competed in the 1936 Summer Olympics. It is some tennis player bloke.