Monday, 30 April 2012

driving in 1963

My dad got his first car in about 1965, a Standard Eight. It was a tiny thing but we once got about 6 kids in it to go to Saturday morning pictures!

This video is great, compressing a drive from London to Bath in 1963. The thing that strikes me most is how empty the roads are, the saddest thing is that even in 1963 there were idiots who didn't use their indicators!

All this will be gone completely soon, as the oil dries up and the roads vanish or are converted into railways. Car design is already gone to pieces, driving today is a nightmare and I  doubt many of us will really miss the car.

This is probably the closest I'll ever come to  nostalgia on this site!

Sunday, 29 April 2012

littlehampton 2.4.1987

A few more random shots of Littlehampton, this time taken on 2 April 1987. These views will all have changed to a greater or lesser extent. The bottom one for example shows the old Palladium cinema, which used to be our regular Sunday nigfht venue, watching any old crap they were showing. It was never as good as the Odeon/Classic in the High Street, which amazingly closed before this fleapit did! I even played a gig at the Classic in the early 70s! In the fifties LA had a third cinema, the Regent opposite the railway station.

And today? LA just has a convertible 'cinema' at the old Windmill Theatre, a bit of a disgrace really.

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

bosham - waterproofed

(All 30.9.2006)

This is where I lived before moving Bristol way - Bosham, in West Sussex. I'd left in about 1998 and this was I think my first trip back, with Wulfric.

An interesting feature of Bosham is the way that the villagers are already prepared for Global Warming and have bricked up part of their front doorways. Even now in high tides the water can start washing up the main street and this has to be the most effective way of keeping the sea out.

Rumour is, appropriately, that Bosham is where King Canute pretended to hold back the waves, in a futile attempt to prove the mortality of kings. Bosham is also the only place mentioned by name on the Bayeaux Tapestry.

Sunday, 15 April 2012

switzerland 1977

(Both 17.2.1977)

This is Chur in Switzerland, on a cold evening in February 1977. Yes, that is a train running down the road, and this is a sight you can still see today, although the track has been doubled in the town itself.

I'd been Interrailing and this was one of those iconic locations I'd planned to visit. The branch line up to Arosa is very spectacular and soon after leaving Chur runs into deep snow. But this was my favourite stretch of the line, the incongruity of long trains running down the road still a novelty.

This was very different from home back in Littlehampton, I was just twenty and couldn't speak a word of German, so it all seemed very foreign. It's very familiar to me now of course, having visited (and lived) in Switzerland many times since!

Friday, 13 April 2012


Model railways, the world's finest hobby. Even in the 60s Hornby-Dublo were producing excellent models and back in those sexist days almost all boys were lucky enough to have a set or a loco or two. Hornby still exists of course and if anything model railways are more popular than ever. They captured all the promise and excitement of a technological and mobile society. And now of course, as the roads die through lack of fuel, railways are the future.

And of course railway modelling needs so many skills, from electrics, carpentry, electronics, scenery etc etc

Saturday, 7 April 2012

littlehampton 1987

(All 5.4.1987)

 A few of my random shots taken around Littlehampton back in 1987. I suspect a lot of these views have changed enormously in the last few decades. I spent a lot of time wandering around with my old film camera capturing everyday views.

Monday, 2 April 2012


This was Howards End, Littlehampton, the morning after the 'hurricane' of 15 October 1987. I'd been at the pub the night before and remembered phoning Leysin at around eleven and there was no sign of anything unusual happening. But just an hour or so later the wind woke me up and I spent the rest of the night terrified downstairs with the cat listening to slates crashing and watching trees bend over by about 70 degrees in the garden.

The next morning I walked round town to survey the damage. Being on the Sussex coast we were right in the firing line and places along the seafront suffered the worst damage. This entire row of houses was destroyed - they were of the old mews style with large front windows. The windows blew in and the wind then just took the roofs off.

The 'hurricane' led to me joining the Green Party and probably doing loads of stuff I wouldn't have done otherwise, good and bad.