Pete’s the Champion!!

I’ve received the on-line Annual Report on the Blog for 2014 – have a look at


and you will find that Pete White posted 216 Comments, just ahead of Phil, followed by ‘Oscar’, JR and Keith.

Many thanks guys and to everyone who takes the time to support this Blog which after almost five years continues to be great fun

Happy New Year!


All Night Long

Marc Tuddenham – a quarter of the Academy – sent this poster of a gig he, Rod, Graham H and Graham B did at the Birdcage in the all-nighter days. He wondered which month and year it was:

Birdcage Academy

The answer is March 1967 – in the last six months of the legendary club

Incidentally, while the current amended list of Birdcage gigs is now pretty accurate there are still a couple of queries from that month about the Drifters and I wonder whether anyone knows the answers? Did they play on Weds 22 March and/or Wednesday 29 March? I think it’s unlikely they did both, but it may be they did neither. Two lesser known acts, Hamilton Movement and Eyes of Blue were advertised but failed to appear in March 1967.

All of which signals the start of a fairly regular history of the club as the 50th anniversary of its opening night appraoches.


This is the Captain speaking

An alert for tomorrow night at 7pm on EXPRESS FM

The latest in our monthly arts/entertainment/culture show “Towards the Point” with the theme of winter. Music, pictures, poems and the Captain making a rare appearance on UK radio

Which Captain? Well I don’t mean Alistair Cook …

(Although a few of you may be dismayed to learn that, entirely by chance, on Christmas Day I met the captain of that football team from just along the coast before he departed for Selhurst Park. But it’s not him either.)

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Brighton’s ‘other’ Pier

Pete asked about the pic below “is it Brighton Pier?” Well Pete, it is what remains of the West Pier (towards Hove), shot at sunset on Christmas Day. But the other (Palace) Pier to the south of the Regency Pavilion is still fully functioning. This shot – from the same position as below – shows it at sunrise the next morning. The red sky was a ‘warning’ too as the stormy weather arrived in mid-afternoon on its way from Pompey.

This Palace Pier is the one featured in the (original) film of Brighton Rock

Palace Pier


(this one taken on our pre-Christmas lunch walk along the prom/beach)


All Aboard!


Here it is then, my Train Set in a Tin which I have of course named “Countryline Special”

Below, the £2 coin shows the scale. The tin is in the background in the pic above.

It’s a laugh! MRA bought it in Wells. It reminds me of Lee Marvin playing with a train set on Christmas Day in the John Ford movie Donovan’s Reef (with John Wayne).



Holiday Snaps

MRA and I have just driven back from Brighton, having spent a couple of days there over Christmas

Brighton Big balls

(I couldn’t possibly comment)

West Pier sunset 2

There are many more  but I won’t bore you – any great Christmas presents out there? I got a train set in a tin and the new Nick Hornby novel (“Funny Girl”) about television comedy in the 1960s. It’s nicely amusing …

(incidentally Phil F, I don’t know why your last Comment needed moderation but I’ve done it now)


Merry Christmas Bloggers

No more new posts for the next three days but I’ll be checking Comments (maybe even adding one or two)

I wish you all a Very Merry Christmas whatever you choose to do. A reminder that in the first two years in December (2010 and 2011) the Blog had day-by-day stuff about Pompey Christmases past and less usual Christmas music, which you can still see/hear

I’ve read Christmas Carol as usual but new to me this year was Mystery in White: a Christmas Crime Story by J Jefferson Farjeon – a ‘thriller’ set and published in the late 1930s and re-published this year.

MRA and I have just watched It’s a Wonderful Life (again) which includes this great shot

It's a Wonderful Life

On the wall under the portrait of George’s late father, the saying reads

“All You Can Take With You, Is That Which You’ve Given Away”

And finally my favourite Christmas music this year (MRA and I have gone a bit choral) is “Bethlehem Down” – written by Englishman Peter Warlock in 1927. He took on that pseudonym because he was interested in the occult but I have no evidence that the Warlocks took his name before becoming the Grateful Dead. Maybe?




I’m cruising down the gears in preparation for a brief break over the Festivities. Rather sombre stories yesterday so just before a final signing off message later today, here’s the barmiest rock & roll Christmas story provided by Spider Man. Don’t miss the interesting link to valuable social research on the third pic! These are the decorations of the man who is evidently preparing a Frank Sinatra tribute album.

Can the world wait? Read on and (laugh/smile/weep/spit/choke)