Welcome one and all to my beach hut

Grab a deck chair, Tea or coffee and help yourself to a buiscuit but you'd better mind the seaguls or they'll grab them first. Just look at that view and doesn't the sea look inviting.

Thursday, 31 March 2011

The Western Movie

What has endeared us over the years to the Western Movie, was it the idea of man going unto the unknown, forging a trail through the new frontier or maybe the clear definition that this genre of movie portrayed of good and evil. I suppose it started in our father days when Buffalo Bill and his Wild west show toured the country to packed houses and recreated the Wagon train being attacked by Indians. In The 1950s when I was a boy the Western was in it’s Heyday our cinema’s showed continues westerns and us kids turned up every Saturday morning to watch Hopalong Cassiday  http://www.hopalong.com/home.asp and Roy Rogers with is horse trigger http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hkg2C_EIea0  riding the range. The first full length feature film I saw at the cinema was Davey Crockett and not long after I was to turn my Grandma’s fox stole into a Davey Crockett hat just like hundreds of other kids. One of the most popular Christmas toys of the day was to get either a Cowboy or Indian outfit. It seemed like nearly every kid I knew owned a replica colt pistol and we always saved our penny’s up to buy rolls of caps that generated a realistic bang when we fired our guns, strange that it was not sinister in those days to own a toy gun, because we all new they were just toys. Into the sixties and we were watching those great TV western Shows like the Lone Ranger and The Cisco Kid and Champion The Wonder horse and Wells Fargo. On the Cinema there were some great Western Movies with the all American Hero John Wayne leading the way with a string of hits, There was The Magnificent Severn,  Butch Cassiday And The Sundance Kid and the Wild Bunch, even the musicals were getting in on the act with Calamity Jayne, Paint Your Wagon and Oklahoma. The western was even to spill over into our pop culture of the day with Buddy holly singing That’ll Be the Day associated with the words of John Wayne in the film The Searchers and over in England one of our Liverpool groups the Searchers took their name from that same John Wayne film. Today I am still a great fan of the Western Movie and own quite a few on DVD. My all time favourite is John Wayne’s the Searchers because of its great locations, I Have a long list of John Wayne Films and perhaps another favourite is They Wore A Yellow Ribbon and The Alamo, all the Hollywood greats have starred in Westerns like James Stewart, Clarke Gable Errol Flynn, Burt Lancaster, Clint Eastwood and who could forget Gary Cooper in High Noon. Today we can still enjoy some of those great Western Movies on TCM channel and on the Web we can still see clips from the great TV shows and relive the Themes. I’ll leave you with a few links to wonderful days of the Westerns





Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Having the right balance

Lovely sunny day today in Skegness and I was able to spend a couple of hours on Lagoon walk just watching the sea and listening to some music and letting my thoughts wonder. The sea and the tides are a mystery to me, I still can't really grasp how our tides are controlled by the moon thousands of miles above us in space and in the stillness I can’t understand how the earth is rotating so fast and yet we don't fall off its surface. I suppose that most of the time we are so busy we don't really think about it we just accept it. Our earth is very fragile we only have to look at what has happened recently in Japan to understand this and at times we have to be prepared for things to happen, just like in Japan where even though many lives were lost it could have been much worse if they hadn't of built many of their buildings with the capacity to withstand earthquakes and If they hadn't have built shelters for people to go to in the event of a tsunami. It is good for Japan that whilst many were concerned with its financial development and growth they did not ignore the preparation of safeguards to the physical affects of a catastrophic earthquake like we have just seen. Skegness as a town is just as fragile just like many other seaside towns along our coast, since the day that the railway came to the town thousands of people have been drawn here year after year. Skegness has suffered like many other resorts over the last 20 years due to the advent of the cheap package holidays abroad but I believe we are now on the threshold of a new dawn of prosperity, but there is a danger to heed. What draws people to the coast? Some amongst us would say it’s the attractions along the foreshore, the Funfair, the bright lights, the arcades and bingo a chance to have a bit of fun and a laugh away from work and the worries of home. Others are drawn here by the sea and the sand and a bit of a time to have a bit of piece and quiet. Both are just as important, without the sea and sand how many would stop coming and without the prosperity that our attractions give the town that would pay to keep our sand nice and clean and so it is very important that we care for each area in equal amounts. I love every aspect of our town, the fun of the fair, the illuminations and neon lights, the shows and the bars and nightlife. But people of my age don’t spend much time in the arcades or on going on the fun fair rides so it could be said that there is not so much profit in the older generation who just come to Skegness for the beach and the gardens and doze on the seats along the prom or on the pier, But I think back to the time when I was 10 years old and my Grandparents brought me to Skegness on holiday and so started a love affair with the place that as lasted all these years. So it would be good for the Skegness Business fraternity to remember that the senior visitors of today hold the key to there future success because if they see a clean beach and a tidy resort they will return with younger family members who will guarantee success for many years ahead.

Monday, 28 March 2011

Book and Music reviews

Just the day today in Skegness to outsidethe beach hut in the spring sunshine and read a book or listen to some music. So for today’s blog I thought I would review the book I’ve just finished reading and two Albums I’ve just downloaded to my Ipod

The book is Philip Pullman’s Northern Lights. I was handed the book in the Hildreds shopping centre as part of The World Book Night’s scheme to circulate freely a million books by 24 chosen authors. I had never read any of Philips books before so I had no idea of what to expect. The story starts in Jordon College, Oxford, but you soon realise that it is not the oxford we know but a similar place in another universe. The main character in the book is a girl called Lyra who as a companion called Pantalaimon who is what she calls her Daemon. All humans in the story have their own daemons. Soon you start out on a Journey to the frozen north to the land of the Northern Lights in search of other children who have been captured by the evil Mrs Coulter. On the way you meet many characters including an armoured bear. You will have gathered by now that this book falls into the category of Fantasy. When I first started it I was comparing it to the Harry Potter stories of which I am a great fan, but as the story unfolds it becomes much darker than the Harry Potter tales. All the while you are intrigued by strange dust and another world beyond the northern lights.  I wasn’t aware that the book had been made into the Film Golden Compass, In my view the book is much deeper than the film and much more enjoyable. The book is part of 'His Dark Materials' trilogy and I am looking forward to reading the second part which explores this other universe. The Idea of handing out these free copies of books is that after they are read they are passed on, so if anyone reading this would like my copy of Northern lights just contact I and I will gladly pass it on.

Music

My taste in music is varied, anything from the Beatles to Take That but I do like the big sound of an orchestra or a brass band, so the two albums I’ve recently purchased are very similar in style.

The first one is Great Movie Themes by Carl Davies conducting the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Carl is an American composer who resides in Britain, and he has composed over 100 themes for Television and most known for his film scores for The French Lieutenants Woman and The Champions. What drew me to this album was the splendid collection of top movie themes such as The Raiders of The lost Ark, The Main title Theme from the Gladiator, The James Bond Theme, Theme from Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s stone and Forest Gump as well as the haunting themes from Out of Africa and Dances with Wolves. The rich sound of the Liverpool Philharmonic is superb which makes this Album a must for anyone who loves Movie themes.

My Second choice I only downloaded this weekend it’s called The Pride of the Nation by the Band of the Coldstream Guards. This Album is a collection of great music to stir the hearts of any true Brits it includes such pieces as the theme from A Bridge too far, Jerusalem with guest singer Alfie Boe and Land of Hope and Glory with the voices of The Fron Male Voice Choir, there are also some excellent Medley’s on the Album including The Pride of British Lions, the tunes associated with the four home nations of the rugby world, Ireland’s call, swing low, pride of Scotland and Cwm Rhonda. There’s also a British classic Radio medley plus Nimrod and the British grenadiers make this a wonderful collection for those that love stirring British music and perhaps idea for background music for any Royal Wedding Street Party.

Sunday, 27 March 2011

Cencus Day 2011

27th March 2011 is the designated day that all householders in Britain are required to fill in their Census Return forms. A census has been carried out in Britain every 10 years since 1801. This came about after a book was published in 1800 which predicted because of the population explosion that within 10 years there would not be enough food to go round and people would starve to death. So it was decided that to meet the needs of a growing population a census would be conducted. The Idea that the census will enable the country to build a better life for everyone are debatable, It can certainly provide the data needed but it will depend on the Government of the day whether the facts are heeded I suppose. The main argument against the Census from the start is that it encroaches on people’s privacy. In the past people were employed has census takers and there job was to call on each household and record the details of all who were residing therein on a given census day, it is reported that one man who was determined not to be interviewed for the census got into a rowing boat and rowed out into the middle of a lake so that no one could get to him on census day.

Some interesting changes can be recorded in the Census for example in 1911 there was around a 100 people living in Britain over the age of a 100yrs old but today there are over 12,000 and in the 2001 census over 390,000 people declared there religion as Jedi Knights.

I have found census return information both fascination and helpful in my research in my family history. Family history is much more than just a set of dates recording birth, Marriage and Death details it is a means of finding out where they live and what they do for a living throughout there lives. For instance in the 1881 census I found my great great Grandfather whose profession was a lace Maker and his wife was listed as a grocer, they ran a small shop in the front room of there house. In another Census I find my great grandmother also in the same house in LE while my great grandfather who was a railwayman is lodging across the street from her. Sometimes it is useful to note who is visiting at the time of a census, for example on one census I notice that the brother of the wife of the householder was staying overnight and that gave me the maiden name of the householder’s wife. I am also doing my wife’s family tree and we were surprised to discover her grandfather at the age of 12 residing in a workhouse. So the information these census returns holds may be as useful to ordinary individuals as much as they are for governments. As you complete your form today just think for a moment that just maybe in 100 years times some future member of your family might be looking at the information you have just given.

http://www.theartsdesk.com/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=3364:this-is-britain-bbc-2-tv-review&Itemid=27

Saturday, 26 March 2011

Time For Change - Daylight Savings Bill

In the early hours of the morning the clocks will go forward once more to give us the annual British Summer Time and then in 6 months time we will this time move the clocks back again. Apparently this practice was introduced during WW2 to help the war effort but like many other people I can’t understand why on earth we are still continuing the practice. Statistics show that more accidents happen during the late afternoon and evening, so why are we not increasing daylight hours in winter. In 1968-71 an experiment was carried out and the clocks were not changed for three years, statistics revealed that the was a considerable improvement to the accident rate, but complaints from industry and farmers and other workers like the Postal Service meant the experiment was dropped. With modern farming methods and the fact that the post is delivered much later now surely would mean that there wouldn't be as many objections The Royal Society for the prevention of Accidents has been campaigning for years to get the change implemented. Fuel consumption is another big concern, with rising fuel bills surely it makes more sense to increase daylight hours and not decrease them. This would have a most definite improvement especially to the elderly. Living in a town that relies on its tourists it make sense to have as many daylight hours as possible which is why I have been supporting the Daylight Savings Bill which is being debated in Parliament at the moment.

Recently I sent a prepared letter from the group supporting the debate to my local MP Mark Simmons I received an acknowledgement from his department that he had received the letter as well as another 147 similar letters from constituents on the same subject. Ten days ago I received a reply from Mark acknowledging the arguments for a change to the present practice but stating that there can be no change without agreement from all parts of the country especially Scotland, which made me laugh because normally parliament takes no heed of what Scotland does, in particularly I’m thinking of the no university fees and free prescriptions that the Scottish party favour and yet we in England have implemented. The rest of Europe does not have this out of date system of timing and I read that this Year even Russia are dropping the practice. Isn’t it about time for change? Please support the Daylight Savings Bill.


http://www.facebook.com/home.php?ref=home#!/lighterlater

Friday, 25 March 2011

Liz Taylor 1932-2011

It’s been quoted that with the passing of Liz Taylor we have lost the last remaining Hollywood Goddess. She was adored by men and admired by women. Twice Academy Award winner see leaves behind a long list of Hollywood blockbusters to remember her by. She was a child star at twelve first appearing with Roddy Mcdowall in Lassie Come Home and then the film that shot her to stardom National Velvet which is about the horse race the Grand National. It’s ironic that the film that led to her stardom was also responsible for a lifetime of poor health after a fall from a horse whilst filming led to serious back problems.

Anyone living through the 1960s will testify that Liz was one of the most iconic figures of the decade. She was married 8 times and husbands included Michael Wilding, Michael Todd, Eddie Fisher and Richard Burton twice. She met Richard on the set of one of her most memorable films Cleopatra and so started what some have termed the greatest of Hollywood romances, the papers covered every aspect of it and it’s no exaggeration to say that it would rival any of today’s soap opera scripts all rolled into one. Liz also brought us glamour and she adored jewellery.  In 1969 Burton shelled out more than $1m for a 69-carat diamond ring, known as the Burton-Cartier and later the Burton-Taylor Diamond. Some of the great films I remember her for include; Giant co-starring James Dean, Room at the top, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, The Sandpiper, Taming of the shrew, Agatha Christie’s The Mirror Cracked and who’s Afraid of Virginia Wolf. Liz was much more than a Hollywood star. What I admire about Liz was her courage to stand by her convictions. She championed the HIV (AIDS) at a time when it was not a popular thing to do and she has through her Aids Foundation raised as much funds as anyone over a thirty year period. She also stood by Michael Jackson when again it was not popular to do so. Her whit, courage and drive have all been well record and I think I would have to agree with the opinion that the world was a better place for Liz’s living in it.

And finally it is reported that the Funeral ceremony was delayed 15 minutes because Liz left instructions that she wanted to be late for her own funeral. Goodnight Liz RIP

Thursday, 24 March 2011

Temporary Tech Problems Close beach Hut, But Now I'm Back

On Monday a file on my Windows Vistra was corrupted and consequently stopped me from starting windows, unfortunately my Windows disc that came with my PC doesn’t have a repair function; it will only allow me to re install windows. So until a remedy could be found and executed I was left without my window to the World Wide Web. It is often said that we only really appreciate something once we have lost it and this is so true, like many people I rely on my PC so much, It’s a means to receiving information through email, I use it to request repeat prescriptions from my doctors, I check what’s happening around me on forums and social networking sites, it literarily is my window to the world.

I have been asked many times what practical use is there with these various social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter, some call them a time wasting exercise but I have recently read of examples of there use that have shown just how much good they can do. During the recent Japan earthquake disaster personal networking sites directed rescuers to sites where people were trapped, they help re-unite  people when phones were down and they helped in notifying people in flood areas where essential items like food and water could be found. In places like Libya where dictatorships have suppressed people for years and only release the news that they want people to see the Social networking sites have enabled the oppressed to be able comprehend how life in a democracy can be so much better and it has enabled people to talk to each other and prepare a plan for change. Only last week I read how the actor Stephen Fry was able to use twitter when he was trapped in a lift to get help. So it is quite clear to me that these forms of what can be classed as non essential distractions on our daily life are fast becoming essential tools in times of need.

I am so glad that I have the means once again of sharing my views from the beach hut because I have really missed it over the last few days. I have attached to my blog a statcouter which gives me information on how many people read the blog and where in the world they live, I was astonished that since I started the blog in the beginning of this month over 600 people have looked at it and not all of them are from Skegness. My blog has been viewed in America, Canada, Tunisia, Iran, Denmark, Germany, Austria and Russia. So I do hope I haven’t lost all of my readers whilst I’ve been away and I hope now to resume normal service once again from my sea front beach hut.

Sunday, 20 March 2011

March 20th 2011 Officially the first day of spring

Stepping out into Skegness this morning there were still reminders that winter had not yet completely left our shores. I still donned my coat and woolly hat and gloves even though the sun was shining but on the ground there were definite signs that spring had arrived with Daffodils along the grass verges and Snow drops around the clock tower. But there was another even stronger feeling about the place, a feeling that here in Skegness the holiday season had started, only at weekends for some but full time for others. There was a curtain buzz about the place this morning that said to me ‘hey its here! It’s started again!  Only people living in coastal areas depending on tourists really notice the change. A kind of awakening from the winter close down, though it’s not nearly as bad as it used to be.

It wasn’t the birds though that disturbed me through breakfast this morning, it was the sound of dogs barking and not just a couple of dogs, no it was much more that that. All was revealed when I stepped onto North parade it was Keith’s Rescue Dogs annual sponsored walk and it seemed like an army of dog lovers and there dogs had gathered outside of the Skegness Nature land seal sanctuary ready for the off on there sponsored walk up the coast.  http://www.keithsrescuedogs.org/. I hope they raise a lot of money for a very popular cause.

By the time we reached the coast it had warmed up considerably and I could see the Skegness Lifeboat just setting off out to sea on its usual Sunday morning practice session.  http://www.skegnesslifeboat.org/  it’s always a privilege to see the Lincolnshire ‘Poacher’ boat out at sea. It was good to note that the Lagoon walk was clear of sand enabling a group to gather and watch the launching of the lifeboat. I travelled along the coast to Sea view walk where a team from the Community Payback people were clearing the walkway of wind blown sand; I stopped to chat to the supervisor for a few moments about future activity along our coast. Our coast looks so much better from a couple of years ago before the Coastal Access For All group stared  I returned along our coast later in the day and by this time things were really looking good. Folks were walking along the pier enjoying the spring sunshine, a family group on the beach were preparing for a game of cricket and the Fair is open.

Despite my age I still can’t resist the pull of the fun fair, the sound of the music playing, not like it used to be when I was a kid with the sound of Jerry Lee Lewis belting great balls of fire or my favourite the Ventures ‘Rocking Goose’, today I caught an oldie from the Bee Gees as I rode through the funfair, of course I had to stop at my favourite food stall and sample for the first time this year a portion of Mushy peas and mince sauce, yummy. The smell of food the music and the sound of the Rockin Roller coaster cars being cranked up to the top of the ride are magical to me.  http://www.pleasurebeachskegness.com/

I have a feeling that this year will be a very good year for the tourist side of Skegness which is the life blood of the town, of course it won’t please all, nothing gets my back up more than when I hear a resident saying that it will be good when they all go back home and we can have our town back, to those few I say, bad news folks its gonna be busier than ever this year, all the shops will be full, buses will be packed and traffic will be slow and my advice for you is move to the country while you have the chance. I make no secret of the fact that I love Skegness for what it is a coastal holiday resort.
Sorry if I have no sympathy with those who love to jet off to the sun to get there fix, but I believe we could be on the brink of a return to stay at home holidays that will  once again temp developers to bring some cash to the town and encourage a new boom period for our much loved seaside resorts  

Saturday, 19 March 2011

10/10 My Fair Lady at the Embassy Skegness

One of the dangers of putting on an armature production of one of the most popular musicals of the last century that contained great actors and actresses and very lavish sets is that your audience will make a comparison that will come far short of expectation. But when a production meets all requirements and at times exceeds what is expected then the rewards can be very great which is what happened last night with the Skegness Musical Theatre Company’s production of My Fair lady. Right from the opening curtain and the familiar scene of Covent Garden market which included the wonderful song ‘wouldn’t it be loverly you were left in no doubt that the production was going to be something special the Song and dance scenes were very well choreographed and full praise must go to both Lisa Jay and Lynsey Reeves for a highly professional job. All numbers were very ably accompanied by the orchestra and the whole cast worked as one and really looked as though they were enjoying themselves. Lauren Garrill was perfect as Eliza Doolittle and Doug Smith ( Professor Higgins) and Grahame Payne (Colonel Pickering) were truly amazing, There are quite a few tricky musical numbers in this show between Higgins and Pickering where good timing is essential and I thought they carried them off perfectly. The sets and costumes were excellent; it really was a production that could not be faulted. It was good to see an excellent turn out and at £12 for adults with concessions at £10 it was great value.
When you look down the endless list of previous productions performed by the Company it’s easy to see how their standards are so high, Skegness should be very proud of its Musical Theatre Company in my opinion last nights performance could match any that you could expect to see at any of our top Theatres in the West End its just a pity the run only lasts for three days.

My advice to anyone reading this blog who hasn’t seen The Skegness Musical Theatre’s production of My Fair Lady at the Skegness Embassy is get down to the theatre tonight for the final performance at 7.30, better still ring up and secure your seat because you do not want to be disappointed. Well done everyone involved in it we were thoroughly entertained

Friday, 18 March 2011

My Top Three Nostolgia Websites

Using the web can be fun; it just depends on the web pages that you hit upon. I have chosen three of my favourite nostalgia web sites that are really worth looking at. If you were around during the 50s and 60s these pages bring a lot of memories flooding back but even if you’re much younger they are very good to see how people lived in those days, there also good for research purposes.

Greasy Spoon Café.

Grab a Bacon sandwich and a mug of tea and settle down in this delightful web site laid out in the fashion of a typical transport café or as we called them a greasy spoon Café. Click on the mugs and you will open up all kinds of stuff from the 50s, you can take a trip to the pictures and remember the stars of the big screen and those western hero’s that we loved, or you can recall the golden age of television or check out the fashion and what it was like to be a woman in the 50s or maybe check out how we got about. There is plenty to see and you can get about the site pretty well.


Whirligig

My next choice is Whirligig which is a site dedicated to British TV and Radio in the 50-60s era. The site is split into Adults and children’s viewing with a separate area for the Radio. You’ll find lots of Clips and sound bites on this site to relive all those great shows you enjoyed. Check out the message Board area where people log on to discuss there favourite programme or ask a question on who starred in what was that programme called. You’ll get hours of fun from this site.


PastReunited

My last choice and my particular favourite is PastReunited. You’ll not find a more comprehensive site coving the whole of the 20th century any where else on the web. Ideal for students and great fun if you just enjoy nostalgia. Just scroll down the left hand side of the opening page the list is never ending. Each subject is covered very comprehensively and you’ll find loads of clips to watch I used the site all the while when I need to do any research. The site is very easy to navigate and every subject is well covered.


I hope you enjoy these sites, I certainly do


Thursday, 17 March 2011

Roy Hudd

Seen in Skegness this week was the comedian Roy Hudd. He’s been at the Yours Live at Butlins. Roy has been in the comedy business now for 51 years and its fitting he’s at Butlins this week has he started is career as a red coat. Roy has worked with all the comedy greats and for 26 years starred in the News Huddlines on the radio. More recently he’s worked on Coronation Street and appeared with Pauline Quirke on the afternoon TV programme ‘Missing’. I would have loved to have met up with him in Skegness because then I could have asked him to sign one of my most treasured books. Roy besides is comedy career writes a lot about the old time music hall days and the top Variety Acts that used to perform at the time. The book I have is called Roy Hudd’s Cavalcade of Variety Acts. Many of these people went on to appear on TV in the 50s and 60s at a time when variety was king on the box. So I thought I’d have a bit of fun and give you a quiz on some of the people in the book. You could if you wish put the answers in the comments section or just join in for fun. So here goes 10 questions from the age of variety.

  1. What was the name of Ray Allen’s ventriloquist doll

  1. What Musical instrument do you associate with Morton Frazer

  1. What was the name of Hilda Bakers side kick to whom see would always say “Be Soon I say”.

  1. Who was 'Richard  Hearne' Better known as

  1. Who played 'Old' Mother Riley

  1. She had a hit in 1955 with ‘ Softly Softly’.

  1. She was known has Two Ton Tessie.

  1. He would always say’ Have a go Joe and give her the money Mable.

  1. His catchphrase was “ You Lucky People”

  1. He would always shout at is band “ Wakey Wakey!

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

History repeating itself : Dr Beeching

We are all aware of all the proposed severe cuts that the coalition government is about to inflict on us but I want to take you back 50 to an appointment that led to a situation very similar to today.

In Fact it was 50 year ago this week on March 15th that Dr Robert Beeching was made the head of British Rail and it was not long after that he produced is famous Beeching  report. This report was to decimate our railways system; it was responsible for closing over 4,000 miles of track and nearly 3000 stations and it lead to the loss of 67,000 railway jobs. Everyone accepted that the railway network needed to be trimmed but it was the speed and severity of the cuts that appalled everyone. The name Beeching was hated everywhere and he became known as the mad axe man. Many people have questioned the need and the reasons for the cuts that were made during the 60s, it left many growing towns without any adequate transport links not only did it cost the lively hood of the railwaymen but many businesses failed as well. Questions have been asked about the reasoning for the cuts especially when it came to light that many of the government of the time had business interested linked to road haulage. Ernest Marples Transport Minister in Harold Macmillan’s Conservative government owned two thirds shareholding in a road construction company, much of the money spent on the railways was to go over to road haulage. Many people have said that the real damage that was done by the speed and severity of the cuts was the fact that thousands of miles of track bed was not retained for a later use, something that his very much regretted in this present time of our expanding rail network.

Luckily not all of the lines that Beeching earmarked for closer actually went through. I found an interesting site that highlight this fact http://www.mikesowden.org/feveredmutterings/doctor-beeching for me the saddest part of all this was to see thousands of much loved Steam Locomotives being sent the scrap yards, many of these ending up at Barry in South Wales. Barry was to have been the last resting place of some of our greatest examples of British Engineering but a stroke of luck was to save a vast majority of them. The owners of Barry scrap yard found that breaking up railway wagons was more profitable and less complicated and so many of these giants of steam were left to rust until 10 years later saw the start of the railway preservation society’s.

Just a few years ago Corby re-opened their station and more stations are to follow. Our preservation lines are running economically and it seems with the cost of rising fuel the need for a growing rail network is back on course, its just a shame that with the speed of the cuts 50 years ago no one thought to put in moth balls the track beds that could have been used in the expansion,

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Dionne Warwick new CD Only Trust Your Heart

Dionne Warwick has just released today a new CD ‘Only Trust Your Heart’ just downloaded it and its definitely Dionne at her very best. It’s hard to believe that Dionne has just celebrated 50 years in the music business she sounds just as good as when I fell in love with her songs way back in the 1960’s when she was having hits by Burt Bacharach like Walk on By, Anyone who had a heart and Alfie. It was a great thrill for me when to be able to see her in concert at the Embassy in Skegness.

Her new Album is a collection of Jazz songs by Sammy Cahn. Sammy was reportedly Frank Sinatra favourite lyricist and had a string of hit by him. Perhaps the best well known of Sammy’s songs on the Album are The Second Time Around and A Pocket Full of Miracles but after just the first hearing I haven’t found a bad song on the Album. Ideal to put on in the evening and relax to. Superb whether you’re a jazz fan or not.

Scrapbooking

There are many ways to save your memories. Creating you own blog or Website is perhaps the most popular form at the moment, but its not always simple and straightforward and requires some IT knowledge. Another much older method but just as satisfying is using a scrap book. Scrapbooking used to be very popular in the early part of the 20th Century. I have a scrap book that a brother of my grandmother who was born in 1905 and probably started making when he was perhaps only 6 years old. It contains postcards of King George V and Queen Mary at the time of their Coronation as well as cigarette cards and items cut from greetings cards of the time as well as lots ladies wearing some very elegant gowns of the time, it is something I’ve always treasured.
I started keeping scrapbooks in the 1970 of items from the Radio Times and ITV times, Football stars and news items. These are just simple books with items of interest cut out and pasted into them and they are always good to look back at. There are many commercial company’s offering items that can be used when making your own scrap books these days and scrapbooking has started be fashionable again.

If you want a very simple way of building up a selection of scrap books of the past may I recommend a set of books produced by Robert Opie   http://www.robertopiecollection.com/Application/Products/Opie/books1GB.asp   There are around 12 of these scrap books available of which I have 6 and are very reasonably priced at £12.95. They are excellently illustrated and you will be amazed at how much of the way we lived is covered in these books. It ranges from the interior designs of our homes to food and drinks available at the time, what we watched in films and TV to the type of magazines and comics we read and the many cars that were around to what made the news and who were the celebrities of the day. Each book will cover a time period in the last century. They make excellent reference books and an ideal way to show the grandchildren how you used to live

Monday, 14 March 2011

The popularity of the Musical

 The place is London; the time, 1912. It is a blustery March evening outside Covent Garden, where a flower girl is selling bouquets. Amongst the busy market that night is Professor Henry Higgins. The flower girls name is Eliza Doolittle. Nearly everyone will know the rest of the story because, based on the play Pygmalion, music and lyrics by Lerner and Loewe, My Fair Lady is one of the all time greats of the Musical Theatre. The Stage version played 2717 performances on Broadway when it was released, The Film starred Rex Harrison, Audrey Hepburn and Stanley Holloway with such great songs like Wouldn’t it be loverly, with a little bit of luck, I could have danced all night, On the street where you live and Get Me To The Church on time. Later this week My Fair Lady will be performed on the Stage of The Embassy Theatre Skegness from the 17th-19th of March and I can’t wait to take my seat on Friday night.

What has made the Musicals so popular through the years, even in times of recession Musical Theatres have played to packed houses, in many cases they have been sold out a year in advance. For me my love of musicals started in the 50s when I was taken by an aunt of mine to see the first showings of all the great Rogers and Hammerstein Musicals at our local cinema, starting in 55 with Oklahoma, 56 The King and I and in 58 my favourite of them all South Pacific. To celebrate wife Kath’s 40th Birthday in 1984 favourite we travelled to Salzburg, Austria to visit many of the locations featured in The Sound of Music which has always been her favourite musical. One of our greatest thrills was to go and see Tommy Steele and the late great Roy Castle in Singing In The Rain at The London Palladian.

So what has made the musical theatre so popular for so long? We can go back to ancient history and Song and dance were a major part of the way we lived whether it was a ceremony of preparation for war or has a part of a seasonal festival. We all at some time love to either sing or dance and they offer joy and glamour to our lives. Over the last 2 decades the musical has been more popular than ever first with lavish productions of Andrew Lloyd Webbers Phantom of the Opera, Evita and Cats and then the rock musicals like Joseph, We Will Rock You, Hairspray and Mamma Mia.
I suppose one of the main reasons for their continued popularity is they offer a means for people to find fame, many of today’s stars got there first brake in a chorus line. I shall not be dancing on Friday night but you try stopping me from singing along to all those great songs (very quietly of course lol)

Sunday, 13 March 2011

Party on the Pier and Community Awards night

Yesterday was a very busy day for me. I spent a good part of the day mixing with the crowds and enjoying the Party on the Pier. To Kick off British Tourist Week all of Britain’s seaside piers were to hold a party to celebrate what is essentially a British sea side tradition. The Skegness Partnership working with the Pier Management to create what was a fun day for all. The kids got to use the Lazar Quest, Bowling and Captain Kids play area FREE all day. There were stalls selling gifts from Gibraltar Point, Natureland seal sanctuary and The Coast Watch group. There was also an exhibition put together by The Skegness Partnership that showing what the pier used to look like and also some ideas of what it could look like in the future if ever the funding was made available. The exhibition was very well designed and created a lot of interest with visitors who all expressed the hope that one day the pier would stretch out into the sea again. The afternoon’s entertainment was provided by the ever popular Skegness Silver Band.

My night was spent in the Embassy Theatre Skegness at the East Lindsey Community Awards presentation night. I was there because I had been short listed for the Volunteer category of the awards for my involvement in the Seas and SO festivals and for my involvement with Coastal Access For All the volunteer group set up to clear sand from our coastal walkways. The Community Awards were sponsored by the East Lindsey District Council and the Target Newspaper group and special guest for the evening was Clare Connor, OBE who had captained England’s World Cup winning women’s cricket team. It was a very uplifting experience for me to be surrounded by so many people both young and old who had achieved so much in there own particular field, from young sportsmen to successful business people. There was 12 categories for awards and each group sat around there own table. I spent a most enjoyable evening with Linda Wilson-Hall who finds time to help run a crafts club and to supporting young people in a Warhammer club as well as being the treasurer of a Residents Association, and the ultimate winner of the category Darren Hobson who is a flood warden and a teacher in Louth and had actively recruited people for the flood warning service, something that is very important for our particular region.

One thing became clear as the winners received their awards and the runners up went on stage to collect there certificates that we were all present in that room winners because all had made a difference to the lives of others in there community. It was good to know that there were  so many working and achieving so much for both themselves and others in the East Lindsey area.

Friday, 11 March 2011

Our Coastline

Stepping out of my (virtual) beach hut this morning in Skegness I noticed quite a bit of activity going on along the sea front. Quite a number of vans with Environment Agency markings and other contractor vehicles were parked near to the Lifeboat station. All along Lagoon walk new railings are being installed to replace the damaged and worn railings that have been battered by the sea over the years. Also the railings leading from Lagoon walk have been dug out of the sand and replaced with brand new shiny barriers. Further up the coast at Sea View pullover a section of the Walkway that had become damaged and cracked on top of the sea defence wall was being relayed and similar areas like it along the coast towards Ingoldmells were due to get the same treatment. It is good to see this work being carried out on our sea defences because for those of us living along our coast rely on them for protection from the sea. But let us not forget that it’s because of our coast that thousands of people visit the area each year. Many of our visitors want nothing more than the opportunity to stroll along our coastal walkways breathing in the fresh sea air, even though it is somewhat bracing at times.

It’s been over two years now since I set out on my campaign to make our coastal strip accessible to all. I started it out of frustration that I was unable to travel along our coastal walkways on my mobility scooter and I was not the only one, anyone one who was disabled whether young or old in a wheelchair or mobility scooter were denied access due to the amount of sand lying on the promenade, Family’s with pushchairs struggled to get through the mounds of sand, cyclists lost control of there bikes, in fact there was one particular stretch of the coast from North Shore road to the start of Prince Edwards Walk that was not even accessible even to  walkers who’s only option remaining to them was to trudge through the loose sand on the beach, which is fine if your young and fit but not so good for others. I tried getting help from both the council and from EA but both was unable to help because of the cost and the lack of recourses they had available.

Much as changed over the past 2 years. I have been fortunate to in getting the help of the Hope Volunteers at the Salvation Army’s Witham Lodge Homeless centre that at the time were looking for a long term project that would benefit the community and without a doubt over the last two years the volunteers have been invaluable to me and my cause. This year we have also secured the aid of the Community payback service which has made our task much easier. All of this was made possible with the help of the Skegness Partnership and the support of Stefan Krause (TCM) who provided the volunteers with tools and protective clothing and much more.

 It is now at this present time possible for everyone access at least 90%  our stretch of coast for Skegness to Ingoldmells, last week I surveyed our coast from Butlins to Skegness Pier and found no area I could not access ( not counting the area on Golf Course private land) and its only the beginning of March. When I told folks that I was going to open up Sea View walk which was overgrown and inaccessible for the last 8 years I was told it couldn’t be done, now each week hundreds of people use it to get from the North of Skegness into its main centre facilities.

But the work goes on, we are now forming a group to undertake the work and we hope to gain funding to get equipment that will enable us to do the work more efficiently, besides the work to create access to our coastal areas we wish to ensure all beaches are kept clean and safe for all to use and ensure that there are more much needed seating and dog bins along our coast two.
We recognise that the beach nourishment process that ensures the safety of both property and people needs to go ahead, but this should not be an excuse to allow our coastal paths to vanish below the sand and to those who consider our work a wasted effort may I just point out that I have recently been shortlisted for my 2nd Community award since setting out on my campaign, When I started Coastal access for All awards were never in my mind, but I am glad of the recognition and publicity it brings to the group and our hard working team.

So please, next time you use the coastal walkways between Skegness and Ingoldmells spare a thought for the Coastal Access for All group that have made it possible and if you would wish to support us further in any way or wish to become a volunteer then you can contact Stefan at the Town hall or by email to stefan.krause@e-lindsey.gov.uk or paulmarshallske@gmail.com

Coastal Access for All will have a display stand at the Party on The Pier on Saturday 12th March, come and look us up from 9 am onwards.

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Guy Martin

I've been following 'The Boat that Guy Built' on BBC2 on Wednesday night at 7.30. In it Guy (Lincolnshire born TT racing star) is renovating a canal narrow boat called Reckless and in the process makes items for the boat using traditional technologies and crafts. Guy Martin comes from North Lincolnshire and is known for is Motorcycle racing especially on the Isle of Man TT circuit.
Watching Guy it immediately stuck me that he is a natural for this type of TV presenting is warm personality and is Lincolnshire dialect (hey by heck) plus is real enfusiasm for mechanical engineering reminded me very much of the Late Fred Dibnah.
Fred Dibnah Steeplejack by trade shot to fame through is love of anything mechanical especially steam engines, He became a cult TV Personality through is many TV series he made about is work, great British engineering feats, Great British Buildings or just about is travels around on his beloved Steam Traction Engine. Even after Fred’s Death is DVD box sets are top sellers and unfortunately no one has taken his place until now. Guy if he had a mind to can secure himself a very lucrative career in television, but don't take my word for it watch ' The Boat That Guy Built on BBC2 on Wednesday at 7.30 and if you missed any you can catch them on the BBC I Player now

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Our Libraries and their future

Despite the government cuts to public services and the warning of closer for many libraries up and down our country I believe our library service has a vital role to play in the future. Our public libraries have seen much change in my lifetime. When I was young they seemed very much like a room full to the ceiling with just books, they were a very silent place and often run by very stern Librarians. Today’s library serve so many purposes, a place to connect to the Internet an early learning centre with special activities for young children, a means to get a photocopy or to send a fax, a comfortable place to study, research local history and family history, local maps or bylaws or just sit and read with a cup of coffee from the vending machine.

I have just returned from a local history research session at my local library in Skegness. This weeks opening session looked at life in Skegness during the 1880 when tourism was just establishing itself. The librarian provided us with a vast array of books, pictures and other dater for us to use in our research and provided us with an excellent overview of the subject area. This is the type of service our libraries should be providing and well done to the staff at Skegness library for putting the session on.

David Cameron should not overlook the pivotal role that our  library’s could play in establishing his big society, the library in many areas is the heart of the community and could provide an ideal setting for many community groups to meet up in. Many of our community volunteers are people who are of a mature age, exactly the group who relies on the services of the library and so it should be seen that our libraries could be a spring board for many of his ideas, but not if they are already closed.

Despite all the modern gadgets and forms of electronic entertainment books are still very much loved by the masses, more books are read now than at any other time in history. Has an avid reader myself I do have a few problems with ordering books from the library. If I was to order a new popular novel I would expect to have to wait between 4 and 6 months to get hold of a copy, the last book I ordered I was 46th on the waiting list before it would reach me and so I have to make a choice on what books to buy and what to borrow.  I think some thought should be given to displaying new books to buy alongside books to borrow and I would love to see areas for people to meet up for discussions and book clubs alongside modern coffee bar facilities making our libraries more of a social hub of society.

Who knows in which direction our libraries will go in the future with the growing use of hand held tablet PCs like the I pad, Will they become a place to download you book of choice for a limited period for instance, for thing I am sure of those is that despite present trends our public Libraries will still fulfil a vital role for both young and old. 

For those who would be interested in Joining the local history taster sessions at Skegness Library, they will run once a month on a tuesday morning. Next session will be on April 12th, more info from Skegness Library.

Monday, 7 March 2011

Church Bulletin Boards

If I'n out about town I always read church bulletin boards to see if there are any interesting meetings of performances going on in the Church or church all. Church bulletin boards occasionally can be quiet ammusing, for instance some time ago I came accross a board with the words blazened accross it 'The Church is Always Open' and someone had pinned a note below it reading that ' The church will be closed next Thursday and Friday.

I fould this list of bloopers from Church Bullrtin boards that made me laugh. Hope you enjoy them.
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The Fasting & Prayer Conference includes meals.
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The sermon this morning: 'Jesus Walks
on the Water.' The sermon tonight: '
Searching for Jesus.'
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Ladies, don't forget the rummage sale...
It's a chance to get rid of those things
not worth keeping around the house.
Bring your husbands.
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Remember in prayer the many who are sick of our community.
Smile at someone who is hard to love.
Say 'Hell' to someone who doesn't care much about you.
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Don't let worry kill you off - let the Church help..
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Miss Charlene Mason sang 'I will not pass this way again,'
giving obvious pleasure to the congregation.
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For those of you who have children and don't know it,
we have a nursery downstairs.
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Next Thursday there will be tryouts for the choir.
They need all the help they can get.
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Irving Benson and Jessie Carter were married on October 24 in the church.
So ends a friendship that began in their school days.
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A bean supper will be held on Tuesday evening in the church hall.
Music will follow.
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At the evening service tonight, the sermon topic will be 'What Is Hell?'
Come early and listen to our choir practice

Sunday, 6 March 2011

Party On The Pier

To Kick off British Tourism Week on March 12 Skegness pier along with other piers around our coast will be celebrating with a 'Party on The Pier. All of the Pier will be open from 9 am and there will be a full days programme of events. Skegness Silver Prize Band will be playing along with other musical groups, There will also be an Exhibition showing the history of the pier. I hope to be there with an exhibition showing the work of the Coastal Access for All group. All children will play free in the Bowling, Lazer Quest and Captain Kids play area. It promises to be a really fun day for all who attend.

The Pier has played a pivotal role in the success of Skegness right from its opening on 4th June 1881 up until this present day. In its early days it was over 1800 ft long with a theatre at the end and Steamboats took visitors on a trip to Hunstanton, over the years many disasters have reduced its length considerably but even so it has still kept its popularity with the people of the town and its visitors. Before we moved to Skegness no visit would have been complete until we had been to the Pier which usually included a game on the Arabian knights and a visit to the bowling ally.

It should be noted that whilst Skegness will be holding its Party on the Pier, Hastings will be holding a very special Party on the Prom. For Despite Hastings Pier being virtually destroyed in a fire last October the Community of Hastings and St Leonards on Sea are determined to see the pier rebuilt to its former glory. I’m watching very closely to what Hastings are hoping to achieve because I know there are many more like myself who dream of seeing Skegness pier restored to its former glory, so if Hastings can do it then why not Skegness also.

Saturday, 5 March 2011

World Book Night -- Books in my life.

I was delighted whilst in the Hildreds Shopping centre Skegness today to be handed a free Paperback novel as part of the World Book Day celebrations. Up and down the country 40,000 books by 25 authors will be hand out freely to people with only one suggestion that you pass the book on after you read it. The book I received was Northern Lights by Phillip Pullman. Has part of the celebrations BBC2 has been running a season of programmes called Book in my Life, where famous people have been invited to reveal the books that have influenced them during their lives, so has books have had a major influence in my life I thought I would try and use the same formula as the TV programme in my blog.
Due to an unsettled childhood I was a very late developer when it came to reading skills, in fact I remember at eleven I was put in a special group at school to help boost my reading. But once I had mastered the skills I very quickly caught up and reading became one of my favourite pastimes and has remained that way all my life. Two books that really influenced me in my childhood the first was the Tales of Robin hood. I've always gone for the dashing hero tale of robbing the rich to feed the poor and throughout my life my heroes have been those standing for truth and fighting for the good of ordinary people.
The Second book and perhaps the one I got the most enjoyment from in those early years was Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson. I think this must be every boy’s dream of sailing off to find buried treasure. I particularly remember the start of the book where Black Dog and Blind Pew hand the old captain the black spot and later when Jim the cabin boy meets up with the one legged Long John Silver. I have re read that tale a few times and it still gives enjoyment. By the time I was in my mid teens I had read most of the popular works by Charles Dickens I loved the colourful way he portrayed the characters in his books, Like Pip and Mrs Havisham in Great expectations and Mr Mcawber in David Copperfield who explained that "Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen six, result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery". But the book I have chosen as having the most influence on me is Oliver Twist. Having suffered at the hands of bullies at school for being different mainly because I would rather have my head stuck in a book rather than the other pursuits open to schoolboys I could associate myself with Oliver. I've never liked bullies so it was good to see both Fabian and Bill Sykes get there come up pence at the end of the story.
Another thing my school days gave me was a love of Poetry and comic verse, so the next book I'm going to choose is The Collins Book of Best Loved Verse which I have often dipped into over the years. My favourite Poem from my school days was ' The Highwayman' by Alfred Noyes. It is the story of how the redcoats soldiers set a trap for the highwayman by binding is love the Landlords Daughter in her bedroom and waiting for him to call and it ends as a ghost story.. Here’s an exert from the end.

And Still of a winter's night they say, when the wind is in the trees, When the moon is a ghostly galleon tossed upon cloudy seas, When the road is a ribbon of moonlight over the gentle moor, A highwayman comes riding, riding riding A highway man comes riding, up to the old inn door. Over the cobbles he clatters and clangs in the dark inn-yard, And he taps with is whip on the shutters, but all is locked and barred; He whistles a tune to the window, and who should be waiting there but the Landlords Black-eyed daughter, Bess, the landlord’s daughter, Plaiting a dark red love-knot into her long black hair.

My next book is A History of Modern Britain by Andrew Marr, I like Andrews’s impartial commentary on our history from the end of the II World War until 2006 he talks of our triumph's as well as the mistakes that have been made. It’s not all about politics he also covers everyday things and is both stimulating and witty throughout. He said of Billy Butlin, A tough little man, who had carried a cut throat razor in his top pocket whilst building is Fairground exhibition Business before the war, and who boasted to friends that is aims were 'money, power and women'. Butlin had a shrewd understanding of what war weary people wanted. He offered in his camps colour, fun, warm cabins, surprisingly good food and almost constant activities, from dancing to the famous’ Knobbly Knees' and 'Glamorous granny' competitions.
My Next book is by a local Author from Skegness Margaret Dickenson. I was late in reading any of her books because I wrongly thought of them as women’s books. What I like about Margaret’s work is the use of Lincolnshire people in Lincolnshire settings. She has written many good books about Grimsby and the fishermen and their women in the Fisher Lasses and the tale of the Millers girl but I started with her trilogy set in the Skegness Area from 1910 to the 1960s. It’s the story about a hamlet that was situated where the present day Gibraltar point is just a few farm houses and an Inn and covers the historical events of the Second World War and the floods of 1953. The three books are Plough the Furrow, Sow the seed and Reap the Harvest.
My last book here is a Historical Novel, I've read many books in this category by authors like Bernard Cornwall and Alexander Kent but the one I've chosen is The Pillars of The Earth by Ken Follet. The story is about the building of a cathedral in the town of Kingsbridge. It is set in the middle of the 12th Century. The story is very dramatic and starts and ends with a hanging. The story is set about the life of the people building the cathedral that took almost a hundred years to build and in which the grandfather often started the work and the grandson ended it. The story is interdispersed with the events of the day. One part of the story is set in a siege in Lincoln where one side resides in the Cathedral and the other is sieged up in the Castle. This is truly an epic tale and very well told.

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Cash Railway

Sitting here in the Beach hut reading my morning paper and recalling how the shop assistant who took the money for the paper struggled with working out what change to give me took me back to a time when in certain shops the assistant had no control over the cash and so didnt need to do any counting of change, It was all dealt with by the cashier situated in a small office often in the center of the department store. Has a small boy in the 1950s I was never keen about having to go shopping and yet I never refused the opportunity to visit our COOP store on a Saturday morning. The reason for this was my fascination into what was sometimes called the 'Cash Railway'. When customers took there item of purchase to the shop assistant to pay for it, a bill was made out, this bill along with the payment was placed in a small tube like container and the screwed to a disc on runners attached to a wire above the shop assistants head who then pulled a cord and the tube shot off along the wire and through a hole in the wall to the cashiers office. The cashier would then place the correct amount of chainge in the tube along with a reciept before returning it along the same wire back to the cashier. Like many young boys at this time I was fascinated by this proceedure. the cord that the assistant pulled was like a catapult and once detached the tube would be shot forward at a fast pace suspended on rollers attached to the wire. These wires were suspended from the shops ceiling and depending on how big the the shop was determind how many of these wires there were and they all converged onto a central spot. Our Co-op was quite large and there were many dividing walls to go through before the cash reached the Cashiers office and as such it was like watching a model railway with tubes zooming about in all directions sometimes emerging through walls like minature trains coming out of tunnels and yet there never seemed to be any collisions and the money always reached its destination. It was a great dissappointment to me when eventually the wire system was replaced by a new Pneumatic systems because with the new system there was nothing to see, the container was placed in a tube and with the pressed of a button along with a wooshing sound the container was wisked off towards the cashier office out of site. I often wonder if any of these cash railway system were ever preserved in a museum anywhere because I am sure they would still be entertaining to watch as they were back when I was a lad

John Barry 3/11/1933 - 30/1/2011

On 30th January we lost one of the top British composers of the 20th Century. John Barry's father was a projectionist in a cinama at the time of the silent movies and it was here that he realised how important music was to creating mood changes, he noted how the pianist could by changing the tempo of the music build tension or create the perfect setting for a love scene.

I first came in contact with his music in the early 60s, in 1957 he formed a group called the John Barry Seven and used to back pop singers at the time on a tv programme called Drumbeat. It was at this time that he met Adam Faith who had a number top ten hits, John later went on the compose the title music for a film Adam Faith starred in called 'Beat Girl'. He also had a hit with the theme tune of a TV show called Juke Box Jury and the tune was called 'Hit and Miss. But it was the James Bond Theme that was to set him on the road to success. All of the Bond films would start with John Barry's origional theme and I believe was one of reasons for the success of the Bond Film series. He went on to compose many of the hit songs that have accompanied the films, songs like Borm Free, Gold Finger, Diamonds are forever and Thunderball. He also wrote the themes for Zulu, Out of Africa, Dances with Wolves and my particular favourite the theme from Midnight Cowbow with its destinctive and very haunting melody played on the Harmonica. His music will live on for has long has these hit movies are shown on television which I believe will be for many many years to come

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Beach Huts

 Beach huts are very much a part of the traditional Sea-side holiday and can be traced back for 250 years

Queen Victoria made sea bathing fashionable with her "hut" on wheels which was trundled down the beach at Osbourne Bay on the Isle of Wight off the south coast of England. These bathing machines afforded maximum privacy for the ladies who could thus enter the water with only their heads being seen. In the 1920s and 30s beach huts started appearing around open air Lydos but it was the 1950s when the huts really became popular. Local Authorities started building them and hiring them out to visitors on a weekly or daily basis. In recent years owning a beach hut as become very expensive some beach huts sell for over £100,000 each even though there are no facilities to stay in them overnight.

 A typical hut would have a sink with running water a power point for a kettle to heat up the water and would contain deck chairs and a few utencils. The advantages for when renting a beach hut include a base to enjoy whole of the sea front from, a constant availability to brew cups of tea, somewhere to lock up your possessions if you wish to explore and a shelter in the event of rain. Skegness only have a few beach huts but unfortunately they do not have a sea view being set back a short distance behind the sand dunes, we prefure to use the ones situated a few miles up the east coast at Mablethorpe. I really enjoy our days spent at the beach huts, I always take a book and a few magazines to read and take also a pair of binoculars to view any passing boats out at sea. The front of the huts are situated on the promanade with direct access to the beach the back leads on to a stretch of grass that leads down to Queens park which has bowling greens, putting and crazy golf, a minature railway, boating lake and a large sized paddling pool, some of the beach huts overlook the paddling pool and are ideal if you have young children in the party, the park has a small cafe and there are public toilets situated close at hand. The huts can be hired for £65 a week and around £25 a day and to my mind are well worth it. Ideal if you have family visiting.

Some beach Hut Facts



Bournemouth the south coast resort that claims to have "invented" the beach hut has 1,800 of them lined up along a seven-mile stretch of East Dorset seafront. Some are offered for summer-season rentals (this year's release attracted nearly 80,000 applicants while others are privately-owned huts on council-managed land (there is a 15-year waiting list of around 1,000 people)

But buyers are still happy to shell out more than £200,000 for a hut at West Bexington in West Dorset, where a row of 14 vintage chalets on Chesil Beach probably hit a record when one sold at the height of the boom for £290,000.