OBITUARIES

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Re: OBITUARIES

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Sue wrote: 11 Jul 2020, 20:32
Big Kev wrote: 11 Jul 2020, 18:20 I was still at primary school...
There's always one :laugh5:
:biggrin2:
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Re: OBITUARIES

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A chap called Sir Alan Parker died a few days ago. Must confess I'd never heard of him. Then I learned that he directed the film Bugsy Malone, amongst others. That got me interested as I liked it a lot. Now I find that he was originally in the TV commercial advertisng business. I never thought I'd enjoy looking at a lot of ads - but I did. How life has changed. :smile:

Sir Alan Parker.
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Re: OBITUARIES

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Dame Diana Rigg, 82. Passed away peacefully at home.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-54106509
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Re: OBITUARIES

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Mrs Peel.... The only Bond girl that ever got him to the altar...
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Re: OBITUARIES

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Sir Terence Conran. Haven't shopped at Habitat for many years but my taste in home furnishings is stuck back there in shabitat 70s style.
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They call it 'shabby chic' now Wendy so you are bang on trend!
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Re: OBITUARIES

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See THIS BBC obituary for Harold Evans who has died aged 92. Often described as the best editor of all time he steered The Times through its glory days. He was also recognised as a brilliant picture editor and wrote a book on the subject which has become the standard work on the subject. A giant in his field.
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Re: OBITUARIES

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Having read one of his biographies I have mentioned him before. I'll look out his description of his dad's training on the railways.Added poignancy in the fact that he lived when young about a mile from where I lived.
I think on this occasion it's worth going again. . .

From “My paper Chase” by Harold Evans. b.1928. Editor Sunday Times 1967 - 1981
The job my father had when I was born, Engine Cleaner, was a bigger deal than it sounds. It was the first rung on a very long but well coveted ladder to becoming a locomotive driver.
Train drivers were an aristocracy among the working classes. They had a job for life, the social esteem which came with security, and better-than-average pay. The downside was that the job was brutally hard in its physical and mental demands.The hours of work were horrible – 2 a.m. one week, 3 p.m. the next, then 5 a.m. another. It was a matter of pride to my father that he never needed the knocker-up to rap on the window with his long pole (a long gone profession from the days when alarm clocks were uncommon). But the shifts meant that week to week we were asleep when he was up and he was asleep when we were up.

The railway historian Frank Mckenna observed that 'the eyes of a footplate man appear to be a decade younger than the rest of his physique'. Dad's were striking deep in his sockets. Perfect eyesight and physical fitness were demanded of an Engine Cleaner as of the driver. A slight fall-off in the eyesight test, a hint of colour blindness or physical limitation, and a drive would be demoted to sweeping the sheds, or shunting wagons in the freight yard or cleaning lavatories, or dismissed altogether. Dad was so sensitive about his fine vision that he would not hear of it when as a teenager I thought I was becoming short sighted. I was, but he was in a state of denial I didn't understand at the time. Now I see that the eye rolling exercises I picked up from a book by an Indian doctor would have alarmed anyone.

Every schoolboy then might have wanted to become an engine driver, but there was no glamour in the first step. On his night shift, among other dirty jobs, Dad as an Engine Cleaner had to go under the engine and climb into the dark belly of the beast to oil the big ends of te pistons, fearfully trusting that nobody would move the engine (as occasionally some lunatic did). It was several years of this before he was tested for work on the footplate (that is in the open cab), first qualifying as a Passed Cleaner, which carried the prospect of some turns as a fireman. What back breaking work! I have a mental picture of my father coming home, exhausted from an all night firing job on a goods train, keeping a foothold on the rocking engine while hour after hour shovelling coal from the tender, maybe six tons of it, and hurling it through the small firehole into the right places in the firebox to raise the necessary steam pressure. 'Where's my steam?' was the yell no fireman wanted to hear from his driver.
In time the Passed Cleaner could hope to become a Red Ink Fireman, on the footplate for a few months, then all being well, a Black Ink Fireman, on the rosters for regular firing; and finally Passed Fireman, tested to drive any train in his depot. As a Red Ink Driver he would be on the roster for driving in holiday periods, and the eventually a Black Ink Driver, the top of the ladder. No other craft or profession exacted such a lengthy 'apprenticeship'. Dad carefully annotated the details of every driving turn he acquired. It typically took twenty years to get there. 'Dead man's Shoes,' said Dad.

A driver could not take a train on a route until he knew its every particularity – the siting of every , the sounds and shadows that might guide him in fog or snowstorm when visibility was near zero, the shape of every curve in the track, the length and darkness of every tunnel, the trickiness of every ascent where extra steam and sand might be needed, the location of every set of points where they might be switched to a different line. They called this familiarisation 'learning the road' and Dad learned many roads, rattling most happily along the North Wales coast where many years later at Bluebell wood cemetery at Coed Bell in Prestatyn he was to find his final resting place.

Drivers and fireman were subject to strict military discipline and it was easy to see why. A railwayman who did not read, memorize and follow the hundreds of regulations in the precious Rule Book risked his own life, his workmates' and the lives of several hundred passengers. Dad knew the Rule Book back to front. In the kitchen, testing himself, he'd ask questions rhetorically: What do you do with a runaway train on a hill or a train slipping back? How in an emergency do you signal to the guard at the back of the train? If you pass through facing points onto a curve, what is the safe speed? What of you have to run backwards?
What's the right thing to do if there's an obstruction on the line, an uprooted sleeper, a snowdrift? If you run out of steam, what lights do you lay down on the track and where?

The work ethic was puritanical – clean overalls, no drink, no swearing, no smoking on duty, and no tolerance of misdemeanours. If he as ten minutes late at the shed, he risked being sent home with the warning thatnext time he would be fired. I remember a railway inspector coming round to our house to see if Dad had taken home one of the high qualityhand rags issued to footplate crews for oiling work. He hadn't – he knew better.

We worried about my father's daily risks. Usually he came home chuckling over some incident It was ominous when he didn't:
'What's the matter Dad?'
'Something terrible'
'But what?'
'Bad accident'
'What kind of accident'
'Finish your tea'

We'd eventually discover that a platelayer had lost a leg, a shunter had been crushed between wagons. A fireman had been scalded, a driver had been killed walking across a track to check a frozen signal. His own most common affliction was grit in the eye, looking out of his open cabat speed: there was no protective eye shield for footplatemen.

He tried to educate his union – the Associated Society of Locomotive Engineers and Firemen, not always to campaign for wage increases but to aim for medical benefits and for decent pensions, pointing out that an extra shilling or two now would be better invested for retirement. But he never could persuade them, so when he did retire, his pension after fifty years was seven shillings a week,(about £3 at today's values).

In the early 1930's the composition of the manpower at LMS Newton Heath sheds way across the other side of Manchester offered a better prospect of graduating from Passed Cleaner to Red Ink Fireman. Newton Heath was a very big depot with over 200 locomotives.
Also of some relevance was Dad's passion for football: he never saw a ball he didn't want to dribble around an imaginary fullback, and scorning players who could not shoot with both feet, drilled us hard on that. Naturally he liked the idea that Newton Heath loco sheds
Were the birthplace of a football team- not any old team but The Heathens, a bunch of railwaymen who managed to get into the Football League, nearly went bankrupt, then did rather better after 1902 when they changed their name to Manchester United.

Born to be mild. . .
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Re: OBITUARIES

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Wonderful David.... Look at the link I put up for his book, 'Pictures on a Page'. A giant of a man and he did so much good. (He also fell out with Murdoch and resigned, a good recommendation in my opinion!)
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From an obituary for Andrew Hartley an auctioneer from Ilkley.

He was described as always larger than life, often on the verge of self-parody. His college friends have written fondly of him in recent weeks: resplendent in straw boater and Mr Toad Jacket punting up and down the Cam exhorting anyone within earshot to buy a ticket for the next CULES Show: “ This is an unrepeatable offer! Let me repeat that: This is an unrepeatable offer !” To the consternation of his Cambridge tutor who declared his disappointment “you are just going home to sell furniture with your father”.
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Re: OBITUARIES

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He came to do a valuation of my cousin's better bits and pieces when the solicitor and I were clearing her house a number of years ago. He put a very low valuation on her Moorcroft collection!
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Re: OBITUARIES

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Wendyf wrote: 26 Sep 2020, 13:41 He put a very low valuation on her Moorcroft collection!
Philistine - I love it. . . . :smile:
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Re: OBITUARIES

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Tripps wrote: 27 Sep 2020, 11:00
Wendyf wrote: 26 Sep 2020, 13:41 He put a very low valuation on her Moorcroft collection!
Philistine - I love it. . . . :smile:
He obviously hadn't been watching Bargain Hunt. :laugh5:
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Re: OBITUARIES

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In my experience valuers always estimate low so as not to increase expectations. Nobody ever complained about getting more than the estimate!
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Re: OBITUARIES

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Helen Reddy. Grammy Winner Age 78
Australian Singer - I Am Woman. Delta Dawn.
RIP
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Re: OBITUARIES

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Johnny Nash has died. "I can see clearly now".
Obituary
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Re: OBITUARIES

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One of those people with a very eventful life yet you rarely hear about them...
Colonel John Waddy OBE, 1920-2020 LINK
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Nice to see he survived Market Garden.... Not many did.
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Re: OBITUARIES

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Vale Spencer Davis Aged 81
Spencer Davis Group -
Gimme Some Lovin, Keep on Running
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Re: OBITUARIES

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:sad:
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Re: OBITUARIES

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Sean Connery, the definitive James Bond

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-54761824
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Re: OBITUARIES

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:sad:
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Re: OBITUARIES

Post by PanBiker »

Good actor and the best 007 in mine and a lot of others books. At the same time he was starring in the first Bond film Dr No in 1962 he was also playing a hapless private in the D-Day blockbuster of the time "The Longest Day"

RIP Sir Sean.
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