Nostalgia


The Brig Diomede of Salem

Brig Diomede of Salem, by Roy Cross

On Monday, I went to an auction in town specifically to buy this. It’s a signed print of a painting by Roy Cross, and I bought it because of the artist, rather than the subject matter.

Don’t worry if you don’t know who Ry Cross is. I didn’t either until a couple of years ago, but he played an important part in my youth. Roy Cross painted much of the box art for classic Airfix kits- action packed shots of planes, tanks and ships in battle. Every so often some of his original art comes up for sale on eBay, and my long term plan is to have one of those original paintings on the wall. If it can be from something I’ve built, that’ll be even better.

I got the print for £10 (plus fees), a total bargain. The I foolishly went and bid on another lot, thinking it was a few prints of old Manchester and some bits and pieces. Now I have two dozen framed pictures, of various sizes and subjects, that I don’t know what to do with.


BBC News – How Danger Mouse became king of the TV ratings

Thirty years ago children’s cartoon Danger Mouse topped the TV ratings, beating even Coronation Street. But what happened to the legendary Manchester animation house Cosgrove Hall Films, which created the rodent secret agent?

Voiced by Only Fools And Horses star David Jason, Danger Mouse was the flagship of Cosgrove Hall Films, based in a quirky studio in the Manchester suburb of Chorlton-cum-Hardy.

via BBC News – How Danger Mouse became king of the TV ratings.


The Professionals 2

I’m currently working my way through The Professionals on dvd, courtesy of Lovefilm. I’m surprised how many of the episodes I’ve already seen, I’m almost at the end of the second series and there’s only been one episode I’d never seen any part of before. This was the Klansmen episode, which never aired in the UK, supposedly because of some fairly racist language (as the story was about racism).

But the question that bugs me in every episode is- what’s that clip in the title sequence of the car smashing through a window from? So far it’s definitely not from any of the episodes. I have the weirdest feeling it’s from something Sweeney related.


Puch GTI turbo

Puch GTI turbo vintage BMX

How eighties is this? It’s a bike from my youth. I never had what I’d consider a proper BMX, but I’m sure I had a Raleigh Grifter for a while.

Harry turned up with this on Sunday. The first thing I did was get on it and try to pull some wheelies.

As far as I can tell all the components are original. There’s a little surface rust, particularly on the chromework, but it’s in really good condition considering what it is and its age. The only things missing are the padding on the top tube and handlebars. If you’d like it, it’s for sale.

Puch GTI turbo vintage BMX Puch GTI turbo vintage BMX Puch GTI turbo vintage BMX Puch GTI turbo vintage BMX Puch GTI turbo vintage BMX Puch GTI turbo vintage BMX


Where have all the tea crates gone?

That was my thought just before going to bed last night. An odd one, I know, but somehow my brain had worked its way around to packaging.

I seem to remember that wooden crates of a standardised size, generically or accurately- my memory’s a little fuzzy- described as “tea crates”, used to be the default packaging medium for moves. Nowadays there are any number of plastic boxes or origami cardboard constructions available and it seems the old fashioned tea crate has been consigned to history. They have been relegated to collectors’ items and subjects of nostalgia tinged blog posts.

(A little digging revealed that you can still buy “tea crates“, but these are not the old fashioned, recycled kind. Rather, they are modern plywood boxes with a similar construction to their namesakes.)


Dougal and the Blue Cat on DVD

I used to have this on video, years ago, a feature length tale full of the Magic Roundabout’s surreal goodness. According to Bleeding Cool the special edition DVD will include-

Serge Danot’s original French language version

Eric Thompson’s incredible English language version

Interview with Eric’s family, Emma Thompson, Sophie Thompson and Phyllida Law

Interview with co-star Fenella Fielding

Interview with be-quiffed, famous fan Mark Kermode

Lobby card and stills gallery

Dammit, I’m supposed to be getting rid of stuff!


Banger racing nostalgia 1

Figure of eight banger racing from World of Sport, back in the days when Grandstand on the BBC had all the dull stuff like football and ITV tried to compete with stuff which was cheaper and generally more fun. Things like this and wrestling with Giant Haystacks and Big Daddy (“Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom was said to be a fan of Big Daddy, as was then Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, who is said to have quoted him several times during union negotiations in 1983 regarding the long-term unemployed.”???!!!!)

Pre-’68 banger racing from last year.

Heavy Metal Classic from earlier this year at Standlake Arena. The banger racing and stock cars at Belle Vue are fun, but it looks like we’ll have to go further afield for the really spectacular stuff.

Thunderpix has banger racing pictures. I think I’m going to turn a Base-Toys Rover 100 into a banger. Where’s my Dremel?


Rage Against The X-Factor

I’m coming to this quite late, as there are already 600,000+ people in the Facebook group to get Killing In The Name Of to number 1 for Christmas. I’m just going to add my support to the cause.

This was one of the tunes I’d stick on the car stereo and play really loud whilst driving around the Lake District in tourist season. It was also on an album that I kept losing, so I ended up buying it at least three times.

Perhaps this could be the beginning of a trend. There are enough of us with access to iTunes that we could start getting better music into the charts. Next time someone should try it with a band not tied to one of the major record labels though.


Days of the Corn Exchange

Whilst in the Corn Exchange earlier my sister and I checked out a mini exhibition on the history of the “Triangle” (as it now wants to be called) and reminisced about its shabbier glory days. I thought I’d go looking for remnants of the Exchange online. Didn’t find mny links.

A few pictures of Fennel Corner bookshop, which I almost certainly visited.

Exhibition of model planes, Manchester Corn Exchange, March 1956.

The Bead shop’s history. I don’t remember it in the Corn Exchange but I’m certain I’ve visited its Afflecks incarnation.


There’s a lot more people better off than you

I saw you sitting on the pavement
Watching the goose-step of the crowd
You were a picture of rebellion
A kleptomaniac and proud

Well I should’ve seen it coming
from miles away
kiss the pavement goodbye
and say hello to the ice age

Queen Jane
You’ve got everything to fight for
Queen Jane
You’ve got everything to lose
Queen Jane
You’ve got everything to live for
And there’s a lot more people worse off than you

Well let’s just pretend we’re human beings
for a while
Chronic Shyness
Can drive us to a smile

Queen Jane
You’ve got everything to cry for
Queen Jane
You’ve got everything to win
Queen Jane
You’ve got everything to die for
And there’s a lot more people better off than you

The say your vacant face
Helps the tourist trade
If they could see you in your leisure time… well

A funny thing happened on the way to here
The headlines read like the end was near
For Queen Jane

The say your vacant face
Helps the tourist trade
If they could see you in your leisure time…

Queen Jane
You’ve got everything to fight for
Queen Jane
You’ve got everything to lose
Queen Jane
You’ve got everything to die for
And there’s a lot more people worse off than you

Queen Jane

It wouldn’t happen in another world
It couldn’t have happened to a nicer planet
It would’ve happened in another world
So don’t pretend to care when you don’t care

Ten years asleep
In the queue for the late night bus
With all of us

Breakfast television
Is the biggest decision I’ve made
In the last decade

It wouldn’t happen in another world
It couldn’t have happened to a nicer planet
It would’ve happened in another world
So don’t pretend to care when you don’t care

Ten years asleep
It’ll be far too late
To call 0898

Ten years asleep
Every mind is UXB
So don’t pretend that…

It wouldn’t happen in another world
It couldn’t have happened to a nicer planet
It would’ve happened in another world
So don’t pretend to care when you don’t care

All the punks are pushing thrity years
And are hardly feared
All the young dudes
Work for all the old brutes
In expensive suits

Ten years asleep
’cause your grave is empty
But already dug

Ten years of sleeping knees
Instead of news
So don’t complain that…

It wouldn’t happen in another world
It couldn’t have happened to a nicer planet
It would’ve happened in another world
So don’t pretend to care when you don’t care

There, there, there


The comic adventures of one of Britain’s great heroes- translated from French

I just read Biggles Vol.1: Spitfire Parade, a comic adaptation of one of W.E. Johns’ tales of his pilot hero, adapted and drawn by a leading proponent of aviation comics.

This is the first of Cinebook’s reprints of Bergèse’s Biggles comics. Their next release will be 666 Fighter Squadron, but there are also some copies still available on Amazon of earlier Red Fox translations- Biggles and the Battle of Britain and Biggles: Flying Detective. Biggles and the Pirates of the South Pole is currently unavailable as are Biggles: Le cygne jaune, Biggles: Le dernier Zeppelin and Biggles De Vlucht Van De Wallenstein. This page gives a list of some of the other comic book incarnations of James Bigglesworth. None of which I knew of before now.

The comic is large format and printed on quality paper with highly detailed ligne claire artwork complemented by fine colouring. I did find, as you can with this style, the figures occasionally lack animation- appearing to be holding uncomfortable “running” poses rather than expressing the motion- but there is no such problem with the machinery. It helps that Biggles and his squadron are flying one of the most beautiful machines ever built, but it’s not just the Spitfires that swoop around the panels.

Thankfully the translation is good, or Cinebook went back to the original novel for the dialogue. Either way, this comic is lacking the poor English that afflicts some other translated strips. It still reads as slightly stiff, but in the way you’d expect lines from a different era to.

I want to dig out my old Biggles books (handed down from my father), but I think I may have finally said goodbye to them a couple of years ago and sent them off to a charity shop. I want to read the Red Fox editions of the comics, but I also know that Cinebook should be supported in bringing them back to market so I should wait for their version. Blimey, I’m just a little frustrated chaps.