Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Insipid Inspiration

Estate pubs can be scary places.

The Shout (1978)

Jerzy Skolimowski's 1978 film, to be shown at this event in September is noteworthy for a number of reasons. It features a three-pronged central cast of John Hurt, Alan Bates and Susannah York. It utilises the North Devon coastline to remarkably eerie effect. It features a couple of extended scenes depicting experimental music composition in action. And... it features a soundtrack by none other than Tony Banks and Mike Rutherford of Genesis, with electronics by Rupert Hine. Imagine, as they say, my delight.

Grasmere Dream Machine

Discovered in a Lake District guest house last week, this handy little bedside version of Brion Gysin’s famous hallucination device - note all the up-to-date features for today’s fast-paced consumer lifestyle. Thank you, Sony!

St Nick

The Skull and Crossbones of St. Nicholas Church, Deptford, London.
This church is a short walk down from the ship yards on the Thames. The sailors would come here to pray before embarking on a new voyage. Some of their voyages were to plunder from any ship they found on the high seas. Since they could not fly the flag of their nationality they chose to fly the Skull and Crossbones flag of St. Nicholas, that way other Deptford ships would not attack them.

The Witch of the Low Tide and other stories

Owing to the huge backlog of mildewed paperback books in my lodgings, I haven't managed to read these two yet. 'The Witch of the Low Tide' looks like some lost John Christopher / Algernon Blackwood crossover, but from what I can ascertain by skimming, it's an Edwardian locked-room murder mystery (although there is a dash of Satanism and the Moulin Rouge involved). These Penguin crime covers managed to give their books a wonderfully contemporary feel, covering up the Edwardian smog and fustiness with a smooth, modernist front.

A New Age of Electronic Skiffle

A young Peter Gabriel shares his work methodology and gives a demonstration of new technology, the Fairlight CMI.

Spectres of Olde Britain

Mr. Horatio flipping Knibbles.

Bobbing in the North Sea

A cathartic celebration of the British climate from my favourite record, Thomas Dolby's The Golden Age Of Wireless. I have a good old ramble about that album and its follow-up, The Flat Earth, here.

Monday, 30 August 2010

The Stately Ghosts Of England

"I think the murder took place here," he said, pausing at the end of the corridor where it leads to the Bishop Ken Library. "It's worst just here."
By now, I was prepared to accept every word he said. The tension and cold had become almost unbearable..."
He was a psychic, a ghost-hunter. She was a journalist on a fascinating assignment.

The 'Other Side' Of Brighton

Preston Manor. The most haunted house in Brighton.

"Wouldn't it be nice/To get on with me neighbours?"

Compact modern Witch House available for viewing now.

The sleep of reason

Next stop, Royston Vasey

Revenge of the Lawn (Picador 1974)

A belated rejoinder to last week's post

(Revenge is a dish best served cold)


pitch for a new TV show: famous people read books to the camera

Aircrash bureau

Its the second world war and the germans are slowly haunting the british isles in their aircraft.. RAF Danby Beacon situated on the north yorkshire moors was an early warning radar station that formed part of the Chain Home network of radar (or Radio Direction Finding (RDF)) stations built by the Royal Air Force immediately prior to the Second World War.

During the first part of the war the station was under the control of 13 Group of Fighter Command. On 3 February 1940 it was a plot from Danby that led Hawker Hurricane aircraft from Blue section, 43 Squadron stationed at RAF Acklington to shoot down a Heinkel 111 bomber over Whitby. This was the first German aircraft shot down over England during the war, the British aircraft being under the command of (then) Flight Lieutenant Peter Townsend.

The King's Dragon (1976)

From the BBC school's Look and Read series which included stories such as 'The Boy from Space' and 'Dark Towers'.
Probably responsible for my boyhood obsessions with dragons and detectives. Theme by radiophonic god Roger Limb. (Titles in a similar vein to 'Watch'.)

The Time: Now. The Place: King's Road, Chelsea. The Killer: Count Dracula

Palace Discotheque, Blackpool

I 'found' this gigantic object a few years ago on a visit to Blackpool. It looks like something from a Jack Kirby comic strip. The outer stairwell alone blows my mind, maaaaan

It's 'world famous', apparently.

Sunday, 29 August 2010

Current Affairs Brutality

Inspired by the World In Action titles, I'm posting a couple of other favourite news programmes. Readers who lived in the London area in the 1980s may recall 'The London Programme':

Surely Weekend World need no introduction, but the theme (Mountain's 'Nantucket Sleighride') further illustrates LWT programmers' belief that current affairs meant ROCK!

Touch Me With That Smurf and It'll Be Assault!

Concerning infanticide

Amelia Elizabeth Dyer
achieved notoriety as probably the most prolific baby-farm murderer of Victorian England.

These photographs were taken at Caversham in Reading, Berkshire, where a Thames bargeman hauled a brown paper parcel containing the body of a baby out of the river. The child had been strangled with a bootlace that was still around its neck, and the parcel was weighted with a brick.


World In Action

With thanks to Bob Cluness for the suggestion.

Ghost Hardware

I originally posted these pics on my old blog 3 years ago, but I reckon the Washford Radio Museum definitely deserves it's own post here. For gear-geeks, this is possibly one of the most hauntological places on earth.

Saturday, 28 August 2010

Mersea Island Beach, twinned with The Moon

My favourite place.

Generation X

Generation X, published in 1964, was written by Jane Deverson and Charles Hamblett. The book is based on a series of interviews Deverson conducted with teenagers, originally commissioned by Women's Own magazine. Her findings were considered unsuitable for the Women's Own readership, and the piece was rejected. Enlisting the help of Hamblett, Deverson subsequently turned her research into a book.

The Lock-Up, Wheatley, Oxon

Used in the 18th and 19th centuries for temporary detainment, usually of drunks.

Watching and listening

Bawdsey, Suffolk, 2007

Distant temples, cobra mist

Test pagodas, Orford Ness, Suffolk, 2007

Ship burials

Woodbridge, Suffolk, 2007

Bank Holiday

Photochrom print, 1890, Lowestoft, Suffolk


Via Bubblegum Cards.Com. American culture bleeding into British. I still have my Planet Of The Apes cards, but the fate of the Star Wars and Black Hole sets remain a mystery. I have more of this type of stuff in an old biscuit tin. Must get scanning....