THE FLATLEY DRYER

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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Stanley » 15 Apr 2018, 03:48

These days explosives are seen by the general public as bad news, they are immediately equated with terrorism, death and destruction. One of the things I learned in the army was that explosives are a tool, just the same as a pick and shovel. The quickest way to dig a gun pit for the 17pdr was five tiny charges of 808, our standard plastic explosive. A properly shaped ring charge round the base of a tree sheared it off at ground level and the funny thing was all the leaves fell in the crater! More adventurous souls lit the coke fired Tortoise stoves we had in the spiders at Colchester with a small knob of 808 as a fire lighter. If lit with a match it burned like a super fire-lighter. Amazing what working for Her Maj taught you! They were our stock in trade. If the police are reading this, don't worry lads! I'm just one of the thousands of little blokes who had to learn all this while serving......
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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Stanley » 16 Apr 2018, 03:15

One of the great advantages of my life was all the hours I spent in solitary confinement in the cab. I had the best film in the world playing all the time, the scenery unrolling around me. There was never a dull moment and everything I saw got me to thinking. Years later David Moore said that the thing he couldn't understand was why the top hadn't blown off my head in those years. It was what triggered me off into history. There were so many questions about what I was seeing, who built that bridge, why is that there and most of all, who built all those roads? I think that's why I asked so many questions......
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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Stanley » 17 Apr 2018, 04:07

Another advantage about life on the tramp was that I was going to different places and factories every day. Scrap yards to steel works and everything in between. I was always asking questions and people are usually quite happy when someone shows an interest in their life and work. Last week one of my grandchildren apologised for asking so many questions about the contents of my house. I told her not to apologise, she was doing exactly the right thing. If you see a puzzle, ask about it. That way you slowly build up a body of information that makes life interesting and can also come in useful at times!
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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Stanley » 18 Apr 2018, 03:11

By 1970 I had a head full of questions and shortly afterwards I had the big accident when I wrote Richard's new BMW off at 2AM one morning. That put me in the house for over six weeks with a wing down and I had heard about a set of books, 'Lives of the Engineers' by Samuel Smiles. I ordered it on inter-library loan and spent six weeks soaking up Smiles. At that time he was regarded as a fuddy-duddy Victorian writer and many academics sneered at his work. I didn't agree, it all made sense to me and I'm happy to say that opinions have changed as other evidence has come in and showed that Smiles was accurate and got it right. In fact I'm re-reading him now and still finding new facts. That was what kicked me off into history again after twenty years of being too busy supporting the family to have time to read. Every cloud has a silver lining!
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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Stanley » 19 Apr 2018, 03:54

Looking back, I have never had a life-plan that worked. The farming was scuppered by getting called up for National Service and then father going blind. Everything after that happened by chance until I started reading again and finished up at Lancaster. I have been lucky in that all my choices turned out to be good ones and I wouldn't change any of it. I think the trick is not to arse about if you see an opportunity, grab it and go along for the ride!
There's an old Jewish joke, 'If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans!' I think they have that right, my experience is that we live in a chaotic system and it's no good trying to control it. You've got to swim with the current and live with where it takes you. I have no complaints...... Just be nice to everyone you come across, it doesn't always work, some people aren't nice but on the whole it's the best way to deal with life. It seems to pay off in the end.
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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Stanley » 20 Apr 2018, 04:39

I saw a report this morning of a large area of Berlin being evacuated and a railway station closed while a 1000lbs UXB is defused and made safe. (One in ten of all bombs dropped were duds, there are thousands of them and that applies to this country as well.) I remembered that during the war as we huddled in the Anderson Shelter we heard the whistle of some incoming mail followed by a big thud which shook the shelter. My dad immediately suspected an unexploded bomb and in his capacity as an air raid warden alerted the authorities. The army turned up the following morning and dug down to it. I remember that us kids stood there watching them! Elfin Safety wasn't a big deal then..... They had to go down about ten feet before they came to it and it wasn't a bomb, it was a length of railway line (about 40ft long usually) with some sleepers still attached. It will still be there behind the house, I wonder if they know about it. It had been chucked up into the air by a direct hit on the nearby railway sidings.
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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Stanley » 21 Apr 2018, 04:17

One thing that has always puzzled me is that any reference to a monarch is usually qualified by the name of the country, King of England for example. There has always been one exception, 'Leopold, King of the Belgians'. Why was this? As far as I can remember this was the only instance where the people were used rather than the country. Can anyone enlighten me?
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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by deebee » 21 Apr 2018, 16:36

A couple of examples spring to mind; Mary Queen of Scots (although I'm not certain she was called that during her lifetime) and Louis Philippe the last king of France. He was styled King of the French to differentiate him from his Bourbon ancestors and because he was a constitutional monarch. Much good it did him, he was overthrown by Louis Napoleon who later made himself Emperor Napoleon III.

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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Stanley » 22 Apr 2018, 03:01

Thanks for that. I shall continue to puzzle about Leopold.....
I can't remember my Sister being born, I was only 13 months old but I can remember that she and I were very puzzled when one night in 1944 we were taken round to a neighbours to sleep and were treated to all sorts of goodies. She took us back home the following morning and we got another surprise, mother was in bed in the front room and had a baby with very fair hair. It was our brother Leslie. Mother told me many years later that he was a big surprise to her and father and the reason why he had fair hair was that she had drunk that much lemon juice as she had been told it could cause a miscarriage.... He survived and is still alive.

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Leslie with Mrs Thompson next door at no. 36.
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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Stanley » 23 Apr 2018, 05:23

It's funny how things stick in your mind. I can remember being taken for a pram ride regularly by a neighbour's daughter. Looking back it would be when my mother was heavily pregnant so I would be about 10 months old. I can remember her giving me Farley's Rusks to suck on or chew, my teeth would be coming through. I can still clearly remember the taste of those rusks! How does a trivial memory like that survive for over 80 years?
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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Tizer » 23 Apr 2018, 09:25

Stanley wrote:
21 Apr 2018, 04:17
One thing that has always puzzled me is that any reference to a monarch is usually qualified by the name of the country, King of England for example. There has always been one exception, 'Leopold, King of the Belgians'. Why was this? As far as I can remember this was the only instance where the people were used rather than the country. Can anyone enlighten me?
Wikipedia explains: The proper title of the Belgian monarch is King of the Belgians rather than King of Belgium. The title indicates a popular monarchy linked to the people of Belgium (i.e., a hereditary head of state; yet ratified by popular will), whereas King of Belgium would indicate standard constitutional or absolute monarchy linked to territory or state. For example, in 1830, King Louis Philippe was proclaimed King of the French rather than King of France. The Greek monarch was titled King of the Hellenes, indicating a personal link with the people, not just the state. Moreover, the Latin translation of King of Belgium would have been Rex Belgii, which, from 1815, was the name for the King of the Netherlands. Therefore, the Belgian separatists (i.e. the founders of Belgium) chose Rex Belgarum. LINK

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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Stanley » 24 Apr 2018, 02:16

Nice! Thanks for that Tiz.
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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Stanley » 25 Apr 2018, 05:54

See THIS for a BBC report on the news that teachers are recommending the use of digital clocks in exam rooms because pupils are so used to digital read outs on phones that they cannot read an analogue dial. The clock in Victoria Tower on the Houses of Parliament is therefore redundant.
I can't help going back to my early days at school. I was 4 years old and my mother had already taught me to tell the time, basic numbers and even some reading using advertisements when we were out and about. As soon as we got into school the same skills were taught and there was heavy reliance on counting rhymes (1,2, buckle my shoe.....), learning times tables up to ten by rote, telling the time from the clock and even sweeping the floor! It would appear that this is no longer being done. Perhaps teaching today is no longer aimed at producing useful workers as it was then. Could this be one of the roots of our chronic lack of progress in productivity?
We were also taught mental arithmetic and it has never left me. I used to constantly calculate average speeds and arrival times when I was wagon driving, not to pass the time, it was just second nature.
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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by plaques » 25 Apr 2018, 07:37

Stanley wrote:
25 Apr 2018, 05:54
....so used to digital read outs on phones that they cannot read an analogue dial.
I can see some logic in this but I'm not totally convinced. Nearly all the wrist watches have reverted to analogue dials and anything that has some dynamic movement to it is shown to better advantage in analogue form, high speed digital is just a blur. We may have forgotten how to read sun dials but the 'clockwise' direction was transferred to mechanical clocks along with the 12 hour system which gets us into all manner of problems if you don't use the 24 clock. Getting back to the classroom, do they use a 24 hour display? I doubt it. Teach them to read analogue so that they can understand the real world.

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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by PanBiker » 25 Apr 2018, 08:25

Stanley wrote:
25 Apr 2018, 05:54
See THIS for a BBC report on the news that teachers are recommending the use of digital clocks in exam rooms because pupils are so used to digital read outs on phones that they cannot read an analogue dial.
As an exams invigilator I have seen no evidence of this. Apart from that the time keeping regulations are recommended by the exams board and are not dictated by teachers.

Practically, an analogue display is preferred for the display timing, either a large wall clock or a projected image. It is a lot easier to visualise overall duration and time remaining on an analogue display. Countdown timers are not allowed.

Start and end times and duration of each exam along with the exam centre number and the name of the paper being taken have also to be clearly displayed. Here it is more practical to display these times in either 12 or 24 hour digital form. So an exam that starts at 13.00 and ends at 14.30 may be written as such or 1.00pm and 2.30pm, that really depend on which invigilator writes up the board. Students invariably do not have a problem with either notation. We do have odd students who may ask how much time is remaining, whether this is laziness, nervousness or the inability to work it out is not determined, this is the exception rather than the rule. Not required by the rule book but at the discretion of each centre, we do announce time remaining at 5 minutes before the end of each exam.
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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Tizer » 25 Apr 2018, 10:39

Wouldn't the best solution for exam rooms be to have a display like that on a computer when you're waiting for a download or an installation - the bar of colour creeping across from left to right. It could have some time divisions marked on it but even they aren't really necessary. Any youngster would be familiar with that sort of display and you can read it in a blink of an eye. Anyone should be able to understand it.

As for personal time reading and estimation of time spans, I find analogue much easier than digital. It's probably partly because that's what I learnt as a child but it's also to do with how my brain works. I think it prefers the geometric to the arithmetic - I see time in segments of a circle much more easily than as numbers. I agree with Plaques about relationship to astronomy, clockwise etc. Seeing the fingers on a clock turning says it all - time is about movement in space. If nothing moves then time doesn't exist.

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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by PanBiker » 25 Apr 2018, 11:01

Tizer wrote:
25 Apr 2018, 10:39
Wouldn't the best solution for exam rooms be to have a display like that on a computer when you're waiting for a download or an installation - the bar of colour creeping across from left to right. It could have some time divisions marked on it but even they aren't really necessary. Any youngster would be familiar with that sort of display and you can read it in a blink of an eye. Anyone should be able to understand it.
No solution required, as in my post above what is in general use works very well. I think some are promoting looking for a solution to a problem that doesn't exist.

What you describe is the equivalent of a countdown timer. In tests the controlling examination bodies have found that countdown timers introduce a feeling of jeopardy in students and become too much of a focus of attention. You have to be careful with coloured displays as they would not be viable for dyslexic students who, depending on colour combinations may have difficulty seeing them.

An analogue dial black fingers on white background with a verbal "5 minutes remaining" is all that is required, this complies with all relevant regulations and suits the students.
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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Stanley » 26 Apr 2018, 02:55

Do you remember the early digital clocks with the flaps that were numbered?
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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Tizer » 26 Apr 2018, 08:55

PanBiker wrote:
25 Apr 2018, 11:01
In tests the controlling examination bodies have found that countdown timers introduce a feeling of jeopardy in students and become too much of a focus of attention.
As an ex-schoolteacher, Mrs Tiz's reaction to that was `Ahh, poor little dears!' What are they going to be like when they have to get a job and come under pressure of time? :smile:

Don't they wear wristwatches during the exams? Yes, I know they can read the time from their phones outside exams but wristwatches still sell well even to children. Look at the number of kids watches for sale at Argos.

Mrs Tiz raised another reason for teaching the analogue clock. Anyone involved with flying aeroplanes needs to know what's meant by a sighting at 2 o' clock...and on a more mundane level naturalists, wildlife enthusiasts and, most of all, birdwatchers use the same communication method as fighter pilots: `Peregrine falcon at 2 o' clock!'.

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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by PanBiker » 26 Apr 2018, 09:49

Tizer wrote:
26 Apr 2018, 08:55
As an ex-schoolteacher, Mrs Tiz's reaction to that was `Ahh, poor little dears!' What are they going to be like when they have to get a job and come under pressure of time? :smile:

Don't they wear wristwatches during the exams? Yes, I know they can read the time from their phones outside exams but wristwatches still sell well even to children. Look at the number of kids watches for sale at Argos.
Indeed, but it is deemed that it is an additional pressure that they can do without.

Regarding wristwatches, no they don't, there are so many devices now including electronic smart watches, fitbits, iPods, et al, some are even internet enabled.

Examination rules now require that all electronic type devices are not allowed in the room and any wrist watch worn has to be removed, standard wrist watches can be placed on the desk though for the duration of the exam. This is more for what the strap may be hiding than anything else. Same reason that labels have to be removed from water bottles brought into the exam room.
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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Stanley » 27 Apr 2018, 02:55

They'll be having drug tests soon to detect brain enhancing chemicals...... How times change!
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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Stanley » 28 Apr 2018, 04:16

I sit here every morning typing into the FM3 and never give a thought to the miracle of word processing. I can remember the first time I saw an early Apple computer at work at UCLA Berkeley where they were transcribing the Nixon Tapes and realised immediately what the ability to edit and correct text meant. Think of all those scribes and clerks over the years scraping mistakes off the parchment and inserting corrections. Remember the 20th century improvement, Tippex? I looked on the web and am surprised to see it is still in production.
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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Stanley » 29 Apr 2018, 05:55

I was listening to an R4 programme on the rising popularity of veganism and reflected on the fact that there were no food fads during the war. On the contrary, we found ourselves eating some unfamiliar foods. Does anyone remember tinned Snoek and whale meat? Neither of them very good! We schoolkids gathered Hips and Haws from the hedgerows in Autumn and they went into Rose Hip Syrup which was distributed free at Clinics. I remember having Gull's Eggs with a salad in a department store restaurant in Liverpool and I regularly had horse meat steaks from Bert Slack's in Stockport.
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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by PanBiker » 29 Apr 2018, 09:25

I don't think you can call veganism a fad, it's not usually a passing fancy more of a conviction for many. There is nothing wrong with rejecting factory farming methods and ditching dairy if that is what you want to do.
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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by chinatyke » 29 Apr 2018, 11:04

PanBiker wrote:
29 Apr 2018, 09:25
I don't think you can call veganism a fad, it's not usually a passing fancy more of a conviction for many. There is nothing wrong with rejecting factory farming methods and ditching dairy if that is what you want to do.
You know when you are watching a steak sizzling on the BBQ and your mouth begins to water? Is it the same for vegans when they mow the lawn?

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