Friday, December 29, 2006

PRS memorial

For the benefit of non-TWA members (who do not receive The New Cavalier newsletter), an appeal has been launched to fund a permanent memorial on the school main site. The WHV town council has agreed to a proposal to site a sculpture (a column made made from recycled rubble from demolished buildings) in landscaped grounds alongside Ems Strasse near the entrance to what was formerly the site of the Nelson dining room and Rodney Girls. The high brick wall along Ems Strasse has been demolished and the land on the other side of the hedge has been planted in readiness for the monument, which is expected to be unveiled next Summer. Please contact Carol if you would like to make a donation.

‘Old’ Churches back in the USSR.

Thank you for the photos Bob. In the ex-Soyuz Sovyetskikh Sotsialisticheskikh Respublik we also have a nice line in old churches.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Has NASA gone crazy? Is this the long promised Mars shot? Where's the milky way? This was snapped in Dallas, Texas when we were there for the wedding of a friend last year.

Bob Posted by Picasa

State of the art

These are full sized replicas of the three ships in which the English settlers first arrived in Virginia in 1607. They are berthed in Jamestown, near a reconstruction of the original settlement. If you can accept that these ships were state of the art technology for the day and that one of them is only marginally larger than a bath tub, the prospect of five months at sea with your fresh food 'on the hoof' in the hold is, to me at least, utterly daunting! 100 or so people in VERY close proximity on the largest ship, the animals and poultry in the hold beneath, the associated stench. That alone have me heaving, never mind the bobbing about on the ocean wave! Posted by Picasa

Virginia or Suffolk?

Here's a fine example of the early colonial architecture here in USA. This could have been moved lock, stock and barrel from Wickhambrook, Suffolk! Posted by Picasa

'Old' churches in USA

This little gem is reputedly the oldest church in USA, dating from 1725 and in Williamsburg, Virginia. The town itself is known as Colonial Williamsburg and is a collection of early buildings by early (English) settlers, some native to the town, othrs salvaged and moved there. Eerie thing is itlooks like may 17th/18th century towns in East Anglia. Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Sunset in Norfolk, Virginia

I think I've cracked it! Here's a contribution from the other side of the Atlantic, captured early evening in Norfolk. Sorry it contains no blithe spirits or ethereal oiseaux - although there may be the odd seagull lurking!


Bob Posted by Picasa

Oiseaux rebelles XV

Some it seems are born boring, others have it thrust upon them; most manage it simply by getting older. Fortunately, a select few retain the vital spark of youth. These wild birds clearly form part of the later group. Many of you will have seen the film Calendar Girls. For me, it is not only a reminder of my Skipton days, but the need to try and remain forever young. This is a page from the original calendar, given to my wife by Angela Baker the catalyst for the idea, who coincidently also registered the birth of my son. The photographer Terry Logan is someone who inspired me to take up watercolours many years ago.

Those lady Bloggers who rightly view my contributions with suspicion, please be assured that it is not my intention to inspire you to get the pearls out for the sequel PRS Girls, although I do savour the distinction of being the first to introduce nudity to our humble Blog.

Please note that the calendar holds good for the remainder of this month.

and another...

Gerald Ford: 1913-2006…
Gerald R. Ford, the oldest living U.S. president and the only unelected president in his nation's history, died today, Wednesday 27th December, at the age of 93.
Ford, shown meeting in the Oval Office in 1975 with his Secretary of Defence Donald Rumsfeld and Chief of Staff Dick Cheney, fought pneumonia during the past year and underwent a couple of cardiac procedures including an angioplasty.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

another man of our times...James Brown: 1933-2006

...Pompadoured R&B legend James Brown died early this Christmas Day, after being admitted to a hospital in Atlanta, Georgia over the weekend with pneumonia, his agent announced...Brown, widely considered the "Godfather of Soul" and a founder of rap, funk and disco, was 73...He had 116 charted hits during his 51-year musical career...Cause of death was not immediately known...

Friday, December 22, 2006

Un oiseau rebelle XII

One last one before Christmas: A plain Jane perhaps, but a woman from the days when politicians had conviction and commitment. This lady had true grit and stuck to her guns when her mother and sister were willing to pander to the middle classes.

Another woman marginalised by history. In Lisa Meitner’s case men wrote the history and took the credit, but you wouldn’t have thought it would have happened here. Photo taken in 1909 [skin cream unknown]

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Sad site or sight - both appropriate

Received this from Jenny Savery (Howe) from recent trip to Wilhelmshaven - sad how the place has been left to become overgrown Posted by Picasa

Un oiseau rebelle XI

One more for the Christmas quiz that should prove much easier than the last question.

This wonderful lady really was one of a kind and in managing to be famous in her area of expertise makes her a rarity. A truly lovely woman, with an elegant mind and a bit of a raver to boot. Some claim her as an icon for their own cause, but she was always much more than that. She even had a bridge named after her….. if only I hadn’t been too young for her.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Un oiseau rebelle X

So far, our Christmas quiz has proved insufficient of a challenge, particularly for our younger readers. So folks try this one:

The only clue you get is: This woman made an enormous impact on the history of the twentieth century and changed our lives, but a man took credit for her work and was later awarded the Nobel Prize. The photograph was taken ca.1900. Who is she? What was she famous for?

Un oiseau rebelle IX

Joan was born to a Quaker family of Mexican, English and Scottish descent. Her father, a physicist (co-inventor of the x-ray microscope and author of one of the most widely used physics textbooks in the U.S.), distinguished himself by refusing to work on the Manhattan Project.
After a childhood spent in places like Iraq, Joan became deeply influenced by poverty and inequality and by the Sixties was one of the most well-known faces in the Civil Rights and anti Vietnam War movements.
Initially influenced musically (and politically) by the likes of Pete Seeger she has a very distinctive voice with a full three octave range.
Joan remains ‘forever young’ and looks as good today as she did forty years ago when there were few left-wing students who didn’t fancy her . Her sometimes warbling style can be an irritation, but Diamonds and Rust (a song so evocative of the anguish and irony of love) has to be up there with the great songs of our generation.

Friday, December 15, 2006

...and a Cosmopolitan Chrimble to one and all... add to the Yuletide greetings from distant shores and in honour of past German connections and Russian references, here be these two cards which arrived on m'doorstep this day...I send them together with my warm wishes to everyone for a simply fabby festive time and may 2007 bring you all good things...cheers :)

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Dawn this morning in England

Dawn had a particular significance for our grandfathers in the trenches during the Great War, as it was a favourite time for launching an attack. The day began an hour before first light, which in the summer was as early as 4.30. After dressing, they were ‘stood-to’ ready and armed on the fire step. Peering into the mist they strained their eyes for the first signs of the grey clad enemy. When it was clear that there was to be no attack, they were stood down and allowed to make breakfast. As well as the most dangerous time of the day, dawn was also ironically a re-affirmation of life, a reminder that they had survived another day.

Not surprisingly the sky was a major feature of trench life – as it was the only scenery available and the only confirmation that the soldier was not in an early grave. Flanders and Picardy enjoyed spectacular sunsets and sun rises and not surprisingly, they became part of the symbolism of the war. Wilfred Owen’s poem ‘Anthem for Doomed Youth’ includes the line:

‘And each slow dusk a drawing down of blinds.’

Similarly Laurence Binyon’s ‘For the Fallen’:

‘At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.’

Rosenberg’s ‘Break of Day in the Trenches’:

‘The darkness crumbles away -
It is the same old druid Time as ever...’

And Sassoon’s ‘Attack.’

'At dawn the ridge emerges massed and dun
In wild purple of the glow’ring sun, '

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Siegfried’s Rhine Journey II

Photos of the Dom in Köln requested by those marooned in Oz. I recall sitting on the very same steps [photo 2] as a callow, fifteen years old youth, after one Dom Pils too many (which was probably two small glasses in total) and saying to my friend ‘the great thing about Germany is you can swear your head off and nobody understands what you are saying.’ Seconds later an American woman hit me over the head with an umbrella.

During the war it is said that the RAF used the twin spires as a bombsight when aiming at the Hohenzollernbrücke [photo3], which was one of the main railway bridges bringing supplies to the western front. The Dom’s survival must have been very close to a miracle. The railway station lay right under the Dom and it was always the last thing we saw when we headed off for PRS.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Siegfried’s Rhine Journey

After Monschau, another example of what 15 years old males were honing their photographic skills on in 1959. In this case the Rosamontag Parade in Köln. It took some 5½hours to pass and the theme music was what we subsequently borrowed for roll out the barrel. I hope I haven’t unnecessarily whetted your appetite Paul, but these did pass for short skirts in 1959 – little did we know then what was waiting for us around the corner in 1965!

In Dmitri’s footsteps!

Surprised you didn’t see my name indelibly scratched on the bridge Paul. This view c.1959. There’s a story behind every photo and in this case I was with a posh young lady whose father worked in the embassy in Bonn. ‘If this is the Eifel,’ I said, ‘where’s the tower?’ She said ‘that’s it there on the hill you oaf.’ I said 'you’re taking the **** because you think working class boys are stupid.' She responded by calling me a pig (in German!) Apparently these days young people don’t bother with verbal foreplay! It’s all very sad……

So this was Christmas!

Nineteen-fifty nine to be precise. Each drawing is inscribed EF which I assume is Mr. E. Follows.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Here you are Norm. King Tut,taken on my recent holiday in Egypt.

Nottingham meeting

Carol Goronwy and Lois Hammond. Two of our hard working committee.

Nottingham meeting

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Band of brothers II

Herewith the last page of the Henry V programme. Once again, my apologies for my inability to post more than three concurrent images. Clearly I lack the dexterity and will-power so ably demonstrated by Helga in this respect. As Storminnorm indicated in the last post, the producer was in fact Kevin Callan; a man he rightly notes not to be trifled with. Readers may also note a man of property and close friend of Kevin Callan who also had a leading role in the epic production of Ulrike, Kaiser Bill and the Politzei.

Monday, December 04, 2006

We few, we happy few, we band of brothers

Some will recall that PRS’s contribution to the world of dramatic art in 1960 was Hank Cinq as it irreverently became known.

Bob Walker as Henry was the undoubted star of the show. The school’s number one sportsman, Bob was a man of considerable talent. As well as a substantial presence, great charm and a way with words he had an incredible memory. Sitting with him one afternoon helping him learn his lines I was stunned that anyone could commit such a huge part to memory. Particularly as my sixty four lines contribution of the combined parts of the Duke of Orleans and the Grandpré was already proving a mammoth task for my limited concentration.

The costume, including real swords, armour and chain mail added the final gloss to an already highly polished production. We were counselled to take particular care with the swords, however the temptation proved too great and an epic swordfight at the rear of the gymnasium only narrowly missed having tragic consequences.

While the rest of the curriculum was destined to have little impact on my future life, like Carmen, Henry V was to prove formative and not simply by engendering a love of Shakespeare which English Literature ‘O’ level had singularly failed to achieve.

I remained indelibly impressed by the incredibly evocative words that began the play:

Oh for a muse of fire, that would ascend
The brightest heaven of invention………..

Which perhaps explains why in the late Sixties, sat in a riverside pub in Stratford, I allowed a young lady from Texas to believe I was a great Shakespearean actor. But there again, I suppose it’s inevitable that education is occasionally misused

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Lady Drivers

Quarter full size Burrell single cylinder traction engine, built over a 2 year period in the garage converted to a worksop. Notice it's number plate, it was licenced and insured for use on the public roads. The little girl in the middle and bottom photos is my daughter Victoria with my "friend" Helen.

What to do with a Mk. 1 Ford Escort

Started life as a Mk. 1 Ford Escort with the body stripped off and the chassis converted to steam power. The propane fired boiler is behind the driver with the twin cylinder double acting steam engine located under the curved front, and connected directly to the existing ford gearbox. Was capable of speeds in excess of 40 mph on the road from Selsey to Chichester.
The first photo is of Richard the owner and builder with his french wife Everlyn. The young lady in the second is a "friend" of mine that loved driving my Burrell traction engine I built.