Monday, August 31, 2009

A man of our times

Simon Dee, who died on August 30 aged 74, was arguably British television's first superstar; he invented the persona of the trendy talk show host and became a cultural icon in the 1960s, watched weekly by up to 18 million viewers. R.I.P.

Sunday, August 30, 2009


Well, I've now read through many of the past blogs and I can contribute to seven of them.
Normally, of course, I'd just post a comment, but you might miss these "late" ones. Therefore, just this time, I'm listing those I'm commenting on to enable you to read what I've written - that is, if you want to!

24 August 2009 - Roger Hall - HM Ambassador - helicopter
24 August 2009 - Paul/Squirrel - fagging
14 August 2009 - Helga - cherry trees
1 August 2009 - Helga - chapel bells
30 July 2009 - Peter Duncan - chapel photo
10 July 2009 - Helga - bunkers
23 May 2009 - Helga - Fliegerdeich views

Back to the trains!

Here is link to journey times on Train B
Here is link to Train A

Hopefully I now know how to post links correctly!

Alex, not sure which house or year you were but if you had been at Howe when Chris Halliwell was a prefect you may well have seen a different side of his character, he owned a piece of rubber hose which many a junior felt on various parts of their bodies. I believe his brother, Andy,never forgave him for his attitude!
The "junior" world was a very different place at school but we did survive!
Sorry, being a bit negative today.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Return from Deepest Dorset

As per earlier post I was whisked away when we won The URN.- TOLD YOU SO.
Next up is watching the ASHES WINNERS play the Aussies in the one day series at 'Ampshires ground - Early Sept.
Next worry (BIG) is sorting out POMPEY in the Footie world.
Other claim to fame "I TOLD YOU SO "Brown was a waster and so daily it is proved.

Whilst away I see Chris Halliwell mentioned,he was a good footie man and cricketer in the First teams whilst I was at PRS.Can't beleive he was a disagreeable type.
Derek Morley was the star horse rider and he and I returned via Hook Holland to UK when we left PRS he was going to Ashford Kent but no contact since then.

Fred interested in the French town names.When working in east France lived next town from POMPEY which was impressive for me in my my shallow world.The Eiffel tower steel came from POMPEY-not a lot of people know or probably care but tis true.

Diane,Names in Newfoundland - went to Mosquito Bay and it was suitably named .Also rmember the name of Jean Nichol and her mates you may recall Patsy Kelly ,Julia Armstrong, Sandra Snip.I saw Sandra at the last Fleet reunion

Friday, August 28, 2009

Hello Everyone

Thanks, Paul, for your invitation to join this excellent Blog.
I look forward to making some useful contributions, especially when something regarding the history of PRS crops up. For example, I have some interesting information about the cherry trees and the bells of the Chapel. I will write something about these soon.
Best wishes, John

Insert a "live" link into a new post.

I am no expert but to insert a "live" link to another web page i.e. you need to:

1) Sign in to your Blogger Dashboard and click on NEW POST.
2) I have put a red line around the "insert link" icon in the picture above.
3) A pop-up will appear asking you to "Allow Scripted Windows" which you click on to accept.
4) Type the full URL of the website you wish to link to in the new dialogue box that shows at the top end of the page e.g.
5) Publish your post and then click on View Blog to see if it has worked.

Male or Female


Due to the sex test being carried out on certain atheletes to determine sex. I have just read the best solution so far. A man will always remove his sweater by getting hold of the neck at the back and haul it off! A woman will fold her arms in front and holding opposite corners will pull up and back! Simple! Tsk! :)

Thursday, August 27, 2009


I rear-ended a car this morning. So, there we were alongside the road
and slowly the other driver got out of his car You know how sometimes
you just get soooo stressed and little things just seem funny? Yeah,
well I couldn't believe it.... He was a DWARF!!!

He stormed over to my car, looked up at me, and shouted, "I AM NOT HAPPY!!!"

So, I looked down at him and said, "Well, then which one are you?"

This will let people see the aforementioned train timetable (hopefully!)

Just hanging around ...

this place is in the Savoie about half way up the "col de la Madeleine" of course.

First woman to lean (not land) on Mars

I put the anchors on when we drove into this village in the Auvergne and as you see  got Ingrid to lean on the sign. I'm not sure what one calls the people living in Mars but probably martians although the woman in the house to the right must have thought we were the weirdos.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

speaking of Bob Stevens

June 1945

In the midst of all the destruction going on at the site, I thought you might want to see the Bonteheim as it was. This is U 149 on the way to Scotland to be scuttled. June 1949!

School train

Off to Germany for a long weekend (Lake Constance area) to see little grandaughter Mia and her Mum and Dad.

Got me thinking about this photo - probably taken Winter 1964/5. I don't recognise many - except for Alan Gibson in the sheepskin jacket and possibly Bob Stevens leaning out of the window - just above chap standing at the left of the group on platform.

The white streakiness is actually steam on the original photo - it must have been a real old-style 'puffer' train.

Enjoy the Bank Holiday folks!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

the last two...

Cause for celebration...

Just received my New Cavalier!! Thanks Sue, a great job. Thanks all round. Now be quiet whilst I peruse once again:-)))

Two more for Jimmy

Jimmy rehearsing before he had a Stratocaster. The other member of the duo has requested anonymity so I must respect his wishes.

Apologies to those of you who have seen this before, but as Jimmy has now joined us I thought he might like to see it. Drake senior boys in the prep room around winter 59/60.Jimmy is fourth from the front in the middle row. He and David Gilbert are the only ones who appear to be doing any work.! Other suspects include Charlie Arthur, Ian Stewart, Pete Rees, Peter Bearman , Johnny Brooks & Bill Johnson. The Prefect/monitor in the backround,I think, is Jim Forlow.

For those short of sun

You English and your sense of humour

All this about German humour etc reminded me of this

Monday, August 24, 2009

Just been reading the latest newsletter and saddened to hear of the death of Mr Edwards.
The best of the best and admired and respected by all Howe boys of the mid-fifties.
Here he is with some of the prefects that all "us juniors" were quick to avoid!
Taken in 1955 or 56

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Hurricane Bill was a bust,,,,,,,,

For us anyway. We had torrential rain for several hours and high winds, lost power for about 3 hours when there was a big bang in the neighbourhood - suspect a transformer blew, but the power crews were really on the ball and got it back in good time. However Nova Scotia and Cape Breton got the worst of it, and its now on its way to Newfoundland where it still has significant power to make their lives a misery for a while. Thanks to those who sent stay safe thoughts.

the ashes...



YES!!!...comes the call from the sittingroom! ...

A message from an old Friend

"Since my return from Texas, things have been fairly quiet on the musical front. Not, however, that quiet so that things have dried up and died! Far from it in fact, for I am working on some new songs and may well find myself heading for David's FFG studio in Bredon later on this year. At the moment I have no radio gigs lined up, but I have had my first TV interview. And that has been brought about, I believe, by my connection to Ken's two published books on the British Soldier's viewpoint of the Northern Ireland experience.

Povprod are an independant TV production company based in Plymouth, a pure coincidence of course! But that is also the home base of my former Military unit, 29 Commando Regiment, Royal Artillery. I was interviewed by them at my home for four hours on June the 9th, although when their film is completed, I'm quite sure that my part will only be a small one! The film in question has been commissioned for Sky, The History Channel, and is to be aired sometime this Autumn. As details emerge I shall post them on my website. But they did film me performing one of my new 'Northern Ireland' related songs that didn't make it onto my 'The Ulster Songbook' charity CD. I found the whole experience most worthwhile and highly rewarding, despite the awakening of old ghosts from a highly intense period of my life that might, perhaps, had been better left undisturbed! But one cannot deny ones past, and I certainly do not intend to deny mine!

And for those of you that follow these things, my album 'Red Sky Descending' has not made the Mercury prize short list. Not that I ever thought that it would. But I did see the whole exercise as a PR opportunity that was not to be missed. And besides, I at least managed to get a distribution deal with Code 7 through this little idea of mine, and that was most definitely worth doing!

And that is all for now from myself, except for one more thing! All of you out there hoping for the release of the new Stonefield Tramp album 'Full Circle.' At this moment in time I have no idea if, or when, this event may occur! June was nice, July was awful. Better not put those umbrellas away just yet!

And there is a new on/off member of the household. She is rather adorable, or she is when she isn't sinking her teeth into me! And her name is Poppy."

Terry Friend


Terry in Belfast (1970)

Yet another Drake boy who caught the strumming bug at PRS

With lovely daughters, Fiona and Sarah.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Winner of the most pointless family photograph of the year!

Finally, medical advice to live by

I received this from Ian McNeill - hope it isn't a repeat.

Q: Doctor, I've heard that cardiovascular exercise can prolong life. Is this true?
A: Your heart is only good for so many beats, and that's it... don't waste them on exercise. Everything wears out eventually. Speeding up your heart will not make you live longer; that's like saying you can extend the life of your car by driving it faster. Want to live longer? Take a nap.

Q: Should I cut down on meat and eat more fruits and vegetables?
A: You must grasp logistical efficiencies. What does a cow eat? Hay and corn. And what are these? Vegetables. So a steak is nothing more than an efficient mechanism of delivering vegetables to your system. Need grain? Eat chicken. Beef is also a good source of field grass (green leafy vegetable). And a pork chop can give you 100% of your recommended daily allowance of vegetable products.

Q: Should I reduce my alcohol intake?
A: No, not at all. Wine is made from fruit. Brandy is distilled wine, that means they take the water out of the fruity bit so you get even more of the goodness that way. Beer is also made out of grain. Bottoms up!

Q: How can I calculate my body/fat ratio?
A: Well, if you have a body and you have fat, your ratio is one to one. If you have two bodies, your ratio is two to one, etc.

Q: What are some of the advantages of participating in a regular exercise program?
A: Can't think of a single one, sorry. My philosophy is: No Pain...Good!

Q: Aren't fried foods bad for you?
A: YOU'RE NOT LISTENING!!! ..... Foods are fried these days in vegetable oil. In fact, they're permeated in it. How could getting more vegetables be bad for you?

Q: Will sit-ups help prevent me from getting a little soft around the middle?
A: Definitely not! When you exercise a muscle, it gets bigger. You should only be doing sit-ups if you want a bigger stomach.

Q: Is chocolate bad for me?
A: Are you crazy? HELLO Cocoa beans ! Another vegetable!!! It's the best feel-good food around!

Q: Is swimming good for your figure?
A: If swimming is good for your figure, explain whales to me.

Q: Is getting in-shape important for my lifestyle?
A: Hey! 'Round' is a shape!

Well, I hope this has cleared up any misconceptions you may have had about food and diets.
For those of you who watch what you eat, here's the final word on nutrition and health. It's a relief to know the truth after all those conflicting nutritional studies.

1. The Japanese eat very little fat
and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.

2. The Mexicans eat a lot of fat
and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.

3. The Chinese drink very little red wine
and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.

4. The Italians drink a lot of red wine
and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.

5. The Germans drink a lot of beers and eat lots of sausages and fats and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.


Eat and drink what you like.
Speaking English is apparently what kills you.

'Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways - Chardonnay in one hand - chocolate in the other - body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming 'WOO HOO, What a Ride'

Friday, August 21, 2009

Look out for Sunday....

Its that time of year again - this is a monster that will affect us some time over the weekend. The weather people arent quite sure just where or how much, but it will be significant with heavy rain and high winds. 185km an hour was mentioned. We are battening down everything that can be battened!!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Just one

Only one guitar in my home Paul, although my son does have a Gibson but he now lives in London. Will be at the KC tomorrow with both shirts on.

Guitar man

Drake's Jimmy 'Paige' Mellor with a few of his acquisitions.

Monday, August 17, 2009

So good I did it twice.....................................No not last night!!


Joke of the day

This is a quick story about the bond formed between a little girl and a group of building workers. It’s allegedly true and might help to confirm your belief in the goodness of people and that there is hope for the human race.
A young family moved into a house next door to an empty plot. One day, a gang of building workers turned up to start building on the plot. The young family’s 5-year-old daughter naturally took an interest in all the activity going on next door and started talking with the workers. She hung around and eventually the builders, all with hearts of gold, more or less adopted the little girl as a sort of project mascot. They chatted with her, let her sit with them while they had tea and lunch breaks, and gave her little jobs to do here and there to make her feel important. They even gave the child her very own hard hat and gloves, which thrilled her immensely. At the end of the first week, the smiling builders presented her with a pay envelope containing £2 in 10p coins. The little girl took her ‘pay’ home to her mother who suggested that they take the money to the bank the next day to open a savings account. At the bank, the female cashier was tickled pink listening to the little girl telling her about her ‘work’ on the building site and the fact she had a ‘pay packet’. “You must have worked very hard to earn all this”, said the cashier. The little girl proudly replied, “Yes, I worked every day with Steve and Wayne and Mike. We’re building a big house.” “My goodness gracious,” said the cashier, “And will you be working on the house again next week? The child thought for a moment. Then she said seriously: “I think so. Provided those w*nkers at Jewsons deliver the f*cking bricks.”

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Slight error

Paul,Web site is Or phone 0845 458 7005

Apologies for typo but staff don't work Sundays and I snapped a nail typing- "Thats what they usually say when error occurs. "

Camera Watch 'Ampshire

No knowledge of the Camera business but recalling the big discussion earlier the following is in the Sunday Mags,might help you snappers who paint with light -(Hancock quote) for value for money etc a SonyA330 -10>2 MEGAPIXELS DIGITAL slr WITH 2:7 " LCDmonitor comes with Sony DT18-55mm f3:5-5:6 Lens.Thiis babe is small,light and packed with features.
That is the recommendation from your newest Camera/Photo expert.Based in darkest 'Ampshire where the curtains are drawn since 5 oclock yesterday
Hey up Paul hope to see photos soon on a blog near US.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Hi Cyril

Underneath all the fur....

Hi all
Thanks for the welcome and comments but I looked even cuter at Howe!

Friday, August 14, 2009

" How High the Moon" Les Paul and Mary Ford

Les Paul passed away yesterday - gosh the memories from the '50s! He was a fantastic guitarist and their harmonies are unbeatable. He was the inventor of the electric solid body guitar and the innovator of many studio techniques. Including multi track recording.

the last falls on the east side...

...this was Hood Junior Girls when I arrived summer of '63 but became Mountbatten Junior Boys when my brother joined PRS in the autumn term of '64...

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Raleigh bids farewell...

...after such a long hibernation, seems ye olde stomping grounde is now being eaten with haste as the days pass...

The way we were -1959

Two shots including our newest member which he may find interesting. Welcome aboard Jim , I can't really believe that it's 50 years since these shots were taken, where did the time go? Jim, can you identify the four others in these shots. For those who don't remember Jim, he's on the right in the first shot and in the middle in the second.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Friday, August 07, 2009

another falls...

...this was Rodney in my time...

Last Post - tribute to Harry Patch and Henry Allingham

In all my dreams, before my helpless sight,
He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.
If poetry could tell it backwards, true, begin
that moment shrapnel scythed you to the stinking mud ...
but you get up, amazed, watch bled bad blood
run upwards from the slime into its wounds;
see lines and lines of British boys rewind
back to their trenches, kiss the photographs from home -
mothers, sweethearts, sisters, younger brothers
not entering the story now
to die and die and die.
Dulce - No - Decorum - No - Pro patria mori.
You walk away.
You walk away; drop your gun (fixed bayonet)
like all your mates do too -
Harry, Tommy, Wilfred, Edward, Bert -
and light a cigarette.
There's coffee in the square,
warm French bread
and all those thousands dead
are shaking dried mud from their hair
and queuing up for home. Freshly alive,
a lad plays Tipperary to the crowd, released
from History; the glistening, healthy horses fit for heroes, kings.
You lean against a wall,
your several million lives still possible
and crammed with love, work, children, talent, English beer, good food.
You see the poet tuck away his pocket-book and smile.
If poetry could truly tell it backwards,
then it would.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

two more begin to fall...

...the guardroom...

...the main block of Raleigh...

Saw this........

and thought of Carol!

Batley Babe goes South

I believe today is the LADY of Yorks birthday .The 4th being her official birthday.
Like the Queen she has by way of the blog been given 2 or 3 Xtra Birthdays.
Also understand our YORKIE has chosen to travel South to Royal Berkshire to celebrate.the trains are ok but I have to say today you still need your Brolly.
By pass Batley and have a good one in (Royal) Berkshire
Cheers and easy on the ice.

Monday, August 03, 2009

another one fer Alex! :)...

...and so it seems haggis is really English!...
...The scenario: it is 1615 and King James is on the throne and looking fer something different fer 'is tea, grubwise!...and so he calls fer chefs far and wide to create a dish 'fit fer a king'...
...and lo, the haggis was England!...And, strangely enough, it's actually a Scot who has just discovered this historical snippet and spoken out in order to set the record straight! :)

Re: Youngest Round The World Solo Sailor

Anyone following this young chap's progress around the world?


Sunday, August 02, 2009

Another Birthday girl (yesterday)

Granddaughter Kaci about to dive nose first into her birthday cake

early birthday greetings..... Eileen, on account of the fact she will be away 'darn sarf 'on the day!...

Saturday, August 01, 2009

this one's fer Alex! :)

...At last Gordon Brown decided to throw the towel in and resign. His cabinet colleagues decided it would be a worthy gesture to name a railway locomotive after him. To this end Harriet Harman, the leader of the house, was dispatched to the National Rail Museum at York to investigate the possibilities.
"We have a number of locomotives at the NRM without names." Harriet was told by museum staff."
"Mostly freight locomotives though." one staff member added .
"Oh dear, that's not very fitting for a Prime Minister." said Harriet. "How about that big green one over there." she said pointing to engine no. 4472 .
"That's already got a name." said the staff member. "It's called The Flying Scotsman."
Not to be outdone, Harriet exclaimed, " You could always rename it, after all this is a national museum funded by the taxpayer!"
"I suppose it might be considered." said the staff member. "After all, the LNER renamed a number of locomotives after directors of the company, and even named one Dwight D. Eisenhower."
"That's excellent!" said Harriet. "So that's settled then.....let's look at renaming 4472. But how much will it cost? We can't spend too much, given the MP's expenses scandal."
The staff member thought hard and long, and then replied.................

"Well, we could always just paint over the F!"...

twin towers stand firm yet!...

...the belltower remains perched upon the roof of Churchill, but no sign of the bell...

...and the tower of St. Nicholas still stands proud too...