Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Random Cuttings - James Stewart obituaries (1997)

3rd July 1997
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3rd July 1997
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James Stewart was not just a great film and theatre actor, he also flew Liberators and B24s in combat missions from Britain in World War II and was awarded the Air Force Distinguished Service Medal, the Distinguished Flying Cross and the French Croix de Guerre among others.
I saw him close-up and personal once in 1975. He was signing autographs and chatting to fans outside the stage door of  the Prince of Wales Theatre in London's West End where he was starring in the play 'Harvey'.

Sunday, 27 April 2014

Prospect of Peace at Easter (1919)

Evening Standard dated Wednesday March 12th 1919
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Fighting in the Great War or World War I ended with the Armistice on November 11th 1918 but didn't officially end until the Treaty of Versailles was signed on June 28th 1919, missing Easter by just over 2 months. Some say it didn't end until the Treaty of Sèvres was signed on August 10th 1920. The Paris Peace Conference began on January 18th 1919 and came to an end on January 21st 1920 with the inaugural General Assembly of the League of Nations

Friday, 25 April 2014

Random Ad - Hanimex and Olympus (1974)

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Click to Enlarge

Photography 1970's style. The horrible 110 Instamatic Hanimex cameras. Cheap but with inferior 16mm negative size. Luckily you could still get proper 35mm SLRs like the Olympus.

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Big Game Hunters in London (1910)

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Click to Read

If murdering wildlife is your thing then Frederick Courteney Selous is your man, or he was until, rather ironically, a German sniper shot him in 1917.

Sunday, 20 April 2014

6 Minute War (1979)

Sunday Mirror dated Sunday November 11th 1979
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Click to Read

Those were the days my friends when total annihilation of the human race was just a button push away, or at least some-idiot-not-checking-that-a–training-exercise-could-be-mistaken-for-the-real-thing away. This was just one of at least 4 false alarms during the Cold War.

Friday, 18 April 2014

Random Ad - Player's Please (1940's)

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Player's Navy Cut cigarettes had been advertised using the sailor image since 1883 and the 'Player's Please' slogan used since 1924. This is a WWII version. Note the request to leave the empty packet with the shop to be recycled.

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Random Cutting - Myra Hindley O-Level (1969)

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Hindley went on to get a Humanities Degree from the Open University. She died in 2002 while still in prison.

Sunday, 13 April 2014

Mystery of Amundsen in the Artic (1925)

Sunday Express dated Sunday May 24th 1925
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On the January 25th 1912 Roald Amundsen had been the first man to reach the South Pole and by the mid-1920’s, when Frederick Cook’s 1908 and Robert Peary’s 1909 claims to have reached the North Pole were being discredited, he had set his sights on the Arctic.
In 1925 a 6 man team led by Amundsen took two Dornier flying boats to 87° 44′ north. It was the most northerly latitude reached by plane up to that time. The aircraft landed a few miles apart without radio contact, but the crews managed to reunite. One of the planes was damaged, so Amundsen and his crew worked for over three weeks to create an airstrip from the ice. During this time the outside World feared the worst. Finally all six crew members were packed into the undamaged plane and they flew back to their base and civilisation.
Amundsen survived that time but the Arctic would eventually claim his life. While flying on a rescue mission in 1928, he was killed when his plane crashed into the Arctic Ocean.

Friday, 11 April 2014

Random Ad - B.O.A.C. travel (1950's)

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Click to Enlarge

Get into debt the 1950's way! 'Only 21 monthly payements of £8 5s 7d' - that was more than a week's wage for most workers in Britain at the time. In 1955, as a child, I flew on my own with B.O.A.C to Burma where my father was working. It took 3 days and nights with a breakdown in Beruit for several hours and another in Karachi that meant an overnight stay in a hotel. 

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Random Cuttings - Teenagers, Rock'n'Roll and Violence (1956/1958)

13th Spetember 1958
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September 1956
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18th September 1956
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27th May 1958
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The song 'Rock Around the Clock' by Bill Haley and the Comets was featured in the 1955 film 'The Blackboard Jungle' and was the trigger for some incidents of teenage violence in cinemas, so when the success of the song spawned a whole film, local councils, which had the right to ban film showing, got their collective knickers in a twist. Two years later 1958 teenage violence and lack of morals had become tabloid bread and butter. 
See this post for more on the Jerry Lee Lewis scandal.

Sunday, 6 April 2014

Major the Meteoric (1990)

Daily Mail dated Wednesday November 28th 1990
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Click to Read
Click to Read

John Major was born in 1943, the son of an ex-Music Hall performer who had gone into the garden ornaments business. He was brought up in Brixton and didn’t attend university after leaving school at 16.
He entered politics as a Young Conservative and stood as a candidate for Lambeth Council when he was 21, winning the seat and becoming chairman of the Housing Committee. He stood for Parliament winning Huntingdonshire in 1979 on the third attempt.
In 1981 he became a ministerial aide, a minister in 1985 and a member of the Cabinet in 1987 as Chief Secretary to the Treasury. He was promoted to Foreign Secretary in 1989 and Chancellor of the Exchequer in October of that year.
When Margaret Thatcher resigned in November 1990, John Major became Prime Minister. He was 47 years old.
He went on to win the 1992 General Election and was PM until 1997 when the Conservatives lost to Tony Blair’s Labour Party.

Friday, 4 April 2014

Random Ad - Autograph Cigarettes (1925)

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We're not saying good old Abe actually smoked Autograph cigarettes but here's a picture of President Lincoln and his Autograph. Make up your own minds. Published in 1925 when Abe was 60 years dead and unable to sue.

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Random Cutting - This was their Finest Hour (1940)

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On the 18th June 1940, just over a month after the evacuation of British tropps at Dunkirk, Prime Minister Winston Churchill gave one of his great speeches to the House of Commons. He spoke at length about the fall of France and Britain's determination to continue to fight the Nazis. In the part of the speech shown in this cutting from The Times, he used the memorable phrase 'This was their finest hour'.