History in Harmony UPDATE #65

Compiled by Boz Oram  


Welcome to the Update; Issue Number 65 – a happy and exciting new year and a hearty welcome to members new and existing on the History in Harmony Update. Please feel free to contact me at the usual address and if others would like to join, then let them know and I’ll gladly send a copy out to them.


Just a few helpful tips for new readers on your way to understanding the Update...

To those who are new to the History in Harmony Update, the concept of this email is to connect the many different types of preservation, collections and history sections together in the UK as well as letting people know what might be happening in the rest of the world. Over the years, people have diversified and have somehow become unaware of other people’s interests and passions. I hope to try and at least give information that might just kindle a small interest in another pastime. As the old saying goes “United we stand.”


If you change your email address, just let me know, as I do not change them automatically if you write from another address. I’ve found out that the Update is going to a few defunct addresses and I’m now asked why the Update doesn’t get to some people. Now you know the answer!



For some weird and bonkers reason, a few have asked for an index for the contents of the History in Harmony Update. So I went through the items and they come to well over more than my fingers can count (or even my brain)! I’ve put a few headings in for you to look at, and hopefully you'll have a good read!


General Housekeeping – tours etc

Drive it day


Age Old Question?

Ole Bill

E Numbers

Live Music

Fuel Costs

Laconia Incident

Telling the Time Underwater


Romanian Witches!

SS Shieldhall

City of Adelaide

Calshot Spit

Rubik’s Cube

Civil Disobedience


Income Tax



Vitruvian Man

UK Earthquakes

Clara Bow

Ethno Spot

Fun Time

I hope that’ll do for those who want it – for the others who don’t care – sorry!



From Mark Jefford

Hinzen Mechanical Organ Collection

The Hinzen family in Swalmen, near Roermond is once again planning an extravaganza for mechanical music enthusiasts from Friday 11 March to Sunday 13 March 2011. The excellent collection of over 25 mainly German fairground Organs plus other visiting Organs will be on show from 11:00 to 18:00. This will be a chance to see and hear some rare instruments that are normally never seen by the public. History in Harmony is organising a short tour to the event departing on Thursday 10 and returning Sunday 13. Half Board accommodation will be at a hotel near Eindhoven. On Saturday 12 an optional excursion to Gouda is planned for those wanting to see and hear some typical Dutch Street Organs instead. In Gouda you'll get the opportunity to hear a street organ in its natural environment, visit a collection of Mechanical Music which includes De Lekkerkerker (90 key Carl Frei) and De Pansfluiter (57 key van Steenput), as well as explore the Cheese Market. On the way back to Eindhoven another stop is planned so you can see and hear De Cello, which is famous for providing the organ music in the film 'Operation Amsterdam'. If you would like further information about this coach tour, please contact History in Harmony with an email to or by telephone on 01980 621418.



We have arranged for the 2011 MOOS AGM to be held on Saturday 9 April 2011 at 'The Scarborough Fair Collection' of Mechanical Music, Steam Engines and Theatre Organs owned by Graham Atkinson.


            The address is Flower of May Holiday Park

                        Lebberston Cliff


                        North Yorkshire

                        YO11 3NU

                        Tel 01723 586698


Various rooms have been reserved at the 4* Hotel in Scarborough and the membership will be informed of the hotel’s name. MOOS has been allocated 1 x Double room, 6 x Single rooms and 11 x Twin rooms at a rate of  £50.00 per person per night that includes accommodation, 3-course dinner and full English breakfast for 2 nights. Date of arrival: Friday 8 April 2011 x 2 nights Date of Departure: Sunday 10 April 2011. In fact that’s a good rate anywhere in a four star hotel overlooking the sea, especially seeing what some hotels are charging at this moment.


If any one wants to book any of the reserved rooms then please contact the hotel and also advise Mark Jefford by the end of January so that any unused rooms can be released without incurring a charge.


With regard to the 'Scarborough Fair' collection there will be an admission charge for non-MOOS members though each valid MOOS membership card presented will allow 2 people entry free of charge.


Waldkirch 2011 May 27-29th

For Waldkirch Mechanical Organ Festival this year we have the popular 4-day tour by rail staying at the Gasthof Rebstock, a ten-day tour to Germany and Switzerland. Waldkirch Organ Festival brings so many different cultures together from all over the world. South America, the US, most of Europe, parts of Asia. I’m guessing that this is possibly the only festival where this actually happens! The instruments are quite exceptional and come many miles/kilometres from all over Europe and some from elsewhere. The tour centers around the festival but drops into seeing many other collections on the way down and has a mooch about Germany and Switzerland’s collections. More information? Contact and details will be sent to you.


Drive it Day 2011 – 17 April

Possibly one of the most important dates in the preservation world’s calendar as this is the opportunity for people to show the rest of the population that they have a heritage. Its been going now for a number of years and a few hardy souls take to the roads and promote our hobby. Its not really enough though, so hopefully this’ll jog a memory. Its encouraged by the Federation of British Historic Vehicles (FBHVC and the National Traction Engine Trust (NTET and backed by a number of clubs, societies and independents throughout the world with some magazines also promoting it, however it is of course down to you to get up on the 17th April and take a jolly around the countryside.


Just to get you into the mood, here are a few clips of Genevieve, the rather famous film of the London to Brighton road run filmed in 1956, showing the lack of traffic in those days around the big cities! Genevieve Genevieve Arriving in Brighton Genevieve


Postscript to the film

The virtuoso harmonica player, Larry Adler composed and made the film score for this caper and this Internet goody tells the story of the big business putting its oar into a person’s career. Interesting reading it is too.  

The story about Genevieve


Age Old Question – paleontologist joke

Who came first – the chicken or the egg? Well as all paleontologists know, the answer can only be the egg. Reason why is because the reptiles that were on the Earth at the time were laying eggs and the chicken came from the reptiles so therefore the egg had to come first, however a little story to prove it, was that the chicken and the egg were in bed together and after a bit of pre marital nuptials, the chicken said “Well that answers the age old question” or the other answer is of course to the question of Who came first, well it has to be Roger Daltrey or maybe Pete Townshend of the Who. Not a particularly subtle answer, but at least you’ll have a different one to give back when that question comes up yet again.


Karlsruhe 2011.

See separate article.  As promised, all steam traction engines were given free rein to go anywhere they wanted at the Exhibition – The general consensus of opinion was that the place is far better than the old Sinsheim exhibition halls, mainly as the halls do not fill up with smoke and toxic fumes and therefore, the Saturday night party is truly enjoyable right till the end without watering eyes. Of course there were other excursions during the rather warm tour (yes it was 15 degrees! – can you believe it?), but wait till another edition for that one. The next year is from 13th January 2012. If you are interested, let us know now and we can plan another trip for you. It’s just good to have the numbers and be able to tailor the trip around you.



For some reason, many hotels at this moment are charging high room night usage. I guess the reason is that people aren’t going to the hotels as regularly as they used to, so the hotels seem to be charging more to get the same amount of money into their bank accounts. Its not working, as the hotels seem to be rather empty, but they are continuing on with this odd practice.


The future of preservation?

Unfortunately, its been some thirty years since a proper TV or film has been made, with the last being Fred Dibnah, but prior to that John Crawley with the Iron Maiden and in between them, John Carter and John Arnott-Brown doing national radio broadcasts. Thirty years is a long time to not promote the hobby on a regular basis (yes I know Colin rebuilt a ploughing engine in a week, but I’m talking regular slots and Howard Goodall found out from someone once, that slow music doesn’t go well on a mechanical organ) so its pretty important that you just toddle out somewhere on the 17th April, even if its just to the end of the road and show off something to the Public and keep their interest going. It is after all, those people who pay at the gate of a show that encourage us to continue on with our hobby. Good Luck and have a great Drive It Day!


Talking of Preservation

Just sent to me via Shane Seagrave about our ancient forests here in the UK. Basically the government wants to sell of the family silver (yet again) to private owners. However there seems to be little thought as to how they will then be able to manage the forests.


Ancient woods must be treated as a special case
Ancient woods are the UK's equivalent of the rainforest: unique, irreplaceable and our richest wildlife habitat. The proposals do not treat all ancient woods as a special case: only some are included in the proposed category of heritage woods.

Stronger protection is needed for ancient woods
In the last decade we have fought to protect 850 cases of ancient woods threatened by development. This shows that much stronger protection is needed for these precious places before any sales can be considered.

Planted ancient woods must be restored
The Forestry Commission owns over 20,000 hectares of ancient woods that have been damaged by the planting of conifers. Their restoration to broadleaved woodland would be one of the most significant contributions to wildlife conservation in a generation. We have lobbied passionately for their cause in the media. We have also persuaded government to halt their current back door sales until the consultation is complete. Replanting conifers will smother the life out of these fragile habitats so we need government to guarantee their urgent restoration. Public access must be maintained. The passionate outcry about the future of public forests underlines how important access to woods and their beautiful surroundings is to millions of people each year. The Government's proposals to include agreements to maintain existing levels of access to bind future owners are crucial to maintaining this public benefit and we must hold them to account on this. You can click on the petition above if you feel strongly about this move. Your choice, but I do know that once a forest is cleared or used for something else (normally a housing development), it will not return back to its original state until all of humanity has become extinct, however it also stands to reason that all forests need someone to look after them and if the government won’t, and didn’t do the job properly in the first place, then who will? 


From Mike Lewendon

Hi Boz

Thanks for the latest History in Harmony

The information about Ole Bill/Old Bill was very interesting. Our 1890 Aveling & Porter Roller (2760) is Called Ole Bill by us, but Old Bill by everyone else including the traction engine register. Originally the Aveling was named by Dick Wooley who also owned the sentinel timber tractor (8777 of 1933 now living in Dorset) that you mentioned, also known as Old Bill.

Cheers Mike


Just to let you know that Mike has also gone freelance in engineering and him having had a background with the World Grand Prix circuit, then I think you’ll find that he’s got a lot of excellent skills, not found inside every engineer, including making engines last whilst being thrashed to within a micron of their lives on the racetrack! Mike is also the last person who properly drove a Showman’s Engine on the fairground. No he’s not 150 years old, but he drove King George VI a few years ago for a whole season – that included the load from one venue to the next, then powered the engine and riding machine all weekend and then drove to the next place. There might be a few who have done a journey with a heavy load behind a steamer, but you can count on one hand, those who have actually driven commercially. He is one of those rare brand of traction engine drivers. He also wrote a book on the journey. Further information from Mike


Musical Snippet

Why are harps like elderly parents?

Both are unforgiving and hard to get into and out of cars.


Now its time to try and dispel the myths about keeping food fresh and on our shelves longer. Truly fresh food is difficult to get hold of, as it has to be picked or harvested, taken to a place to be cleaned, packed and then the whole lot then has to be packaged in some form or other, then sent to a central hub and then out to the distributors, to then be bought by us to then sit in the fridge for days to then be eaten. We demand fresh food, and quite rightly, however in order to have the flavour of fresh food a lot of science takes place, otherwise by the time the food reached you, it would be moldy, (I always thought it was spelt mouldy), soft and totally inedible.

E Numbers

On the TV recently was a programme by Stephan Gates, a food writer trying to understand the phobia about E numbers. He has stuck his head above the parapet and I will try and paraphrase what he said, found out and passed on to the rest of us


All of us in Europe will have heard of these things – E Numbers, which defy understanding already (that is until you actually put a number there behind the E). E actually stands for Europe and is a standard that has evolved to make sure that all edible products can firstly be identified and then what they actually are. Basically, processed and ordinary food products got out of hand in the way that they were being produced and a standard had to be brought in to combat the truly unscrupulous amongst us.


One of the ways was by use of E numbers and another was by date stamping.


I have to point out that ½ of all supermarket products are full of E numbers and those are taken from about 300 available. The idea of having cheap food has to come at a cost somewhere along the line. Unfortunately, we do not all have access to fresh food each and every day, with some living in towns, others in cities and of course others who live in villages, but don’t support the local shop, so the shop goes and with it fresh food. There had to be a way around preserving food for a longer time such as months or even years to accommodate the fancy of humans.


The first way of preserving meat was to either kill it and eat it straight away or to smother it in salt. Now this helped to preserve the meat, however firstly you need a lot of salt, but more importantly, it doesn’t last forever, however this was the first preserving number on the list. Good old-fashioned Table Salt, that has been used from Medieval times and basically what the salt does is removes and absorbs the water from the carcass and stops the bacteria by osmosis. A test was done comparing half of a pig kept for ten days in a heated shed, unprotected and the other half after being salted in a similarly heated shed. The results were bacteria 610,000,000 as opposed to 68,000 to the salted meat. I.e. the unprotected carcass had 10,000 times more bacteria than the unsalted meat, plus the smell was truly putrid. Now in certain cases, Botulism occurs which is basically blurred vision, paralysis and ultimately death. Botulism was also used/considered during WW2, however I believe that the Geneva Convention banned the use of all forms of germ warfare.


One teaspoon would kill the population of the UK and a pint would destroy the world’s population. Clostridium Botulinium sits in the soil and gets into the food whether we like it or not, hence the use of nitrates in the soil to neutralize it and make food production safe.


Now in order to halt this process in meat, Potassium Nitrate E252 is the main ingredient of making food last. Nitrates react and become nitrites and push the OFF switch, but at the same time enhance the flavour of the food. A natural way of also doing this is to use Saltpeter E252 and a natural way of producing this is to use horse manure, urine and water. This product, along with a couple of other elements helps make gunpowder. Now many products also have naturally in their composition E250 and half your intake of Sodium Nitrite comes in the form of naturally grown vegetables.


Fresh food goes off due to one of the main ingredients in our atmosphere – that being oxygen and creates rotting. Just cut an apple in half and see how long it takes to start going brown. The same thing happens with salads and crisp greens, so the only way to remove the oxygen is to replace it with nitrogen E941. We of course inhale it all of the time and its part of our life force, however by putting just nitrogen into a bag of salad, the food goes into a form of suspended animation. When next you go and buy a bag of salad, try this experiment. Get hold of a lighted splint and open the bag at the corner and see how long the splint stays alight. There is no oxygen in the bag and therefore will not support combustion, therefore the flame will go out. Once the bag is opened, the salad will start going off. Now if your bag has neat Oxygen in it, then the result will be quite explosive, but you’ll notice that the food has already gone off (with a bang!).


Ascorbic Acids E300 are the primate’s nemesis. Without them, you’ll die and in fact if we didn’t have then, the whole of the worlds population would die out, most likely within just 4 – 6 weeks! Remember sailors who traveled the world’s seas suffered from scurvy and this was totally due to lack of ascorbic acid and supposedly, during those early times of sailing, over half of the sailors who died due to this situation rather than dying in battle. What changed it? Well those oranges, lemons, limes and citrus fruits, which are full to ram jammed, with ascorbic acid. In fact, cut an orange in half and see how long it takes to rot – ages! For humans, scurvy destroys the collagen in your skin; the blood vessel walls get thin and then leak. You die! Animals don’t need it as they produce it from the glucose in their liver, but a genetic mutation many years ago meant that we are no longer able to produce it.


Antioxidants E220 Sulphur Dioxide protects grape juice to make wine preservation as well as beer by stopping the tryosinase enzyme. In fact, children used to drink beer rather than drink water, as the water was far too dangerous and would kill in the towns and cities. Water was cleaned up and then laws were implemented to stop children drinking booze, but they still sent them up the chimneys and down the mines. It took a few more years to stop that practice.


Even by avoiding E numbers, you will still eat many naturally sourced ones. Remember that the human body will also produce natural E numbers, such as L Cysteine E920 and you have these proteins in your hair. This is used as a flour improving agent; E 1105 Lysozyme comes from your tears and E 1105 is used in wine and cheese; E280 propionic acid is sweat and is used in stopping mould on bread; E422 Glycerol is the fatty deposits of your body, normally removed by liposuction (yuk!) and keeps the icing on cakes moist and E507 Hydrochloric Acid is vomit and used in the production of Golden Syrup.             Not a bad idea to use other sources other than human bodily samples!


Synthetic Colours are some of the most important things too. We don’t realize it, but without these colours, you’d most likely not eat your food. Colour is a brain thing and in the library of your mind, it recognizes that certain colours mean fresh and safe to eat. Tests have proved that colour enhances the flavour even though the taste has not changed, because we think with our brains, if the colour is not correct, then the flavour isn’t either! This of course changes from each country to another as everyone is brought up differently.  Tests have been done on blind people and they couldn’t taste the difference at all.


In olden days, unscrupulous people would alter food such as milk by watering it down, but to make it look rich and creamy would then put yellow lead into it and this would bring the colour back! Copper would be put into gin and in the 1800’s red lead was put as a coating over sweets, even though it had been known previously for 200 years that it was highly toxic! Modern colouring is from the textile industry such as E110 sunset yellow or even coal, which will produce the whole spectrum of colours by heating it gently.


Flavour is important too. Try using a colouring unusual for what you are going to eat and see what happens. Even if you know what has happened to the food, it is difficult to try and separate your knowledge from the memory banks to the actual taste. Now with flavour, we expect what we’ve been accustomed to, however back in 1907 Monosodium Glutamate MSG was discovered in Japan made from seaweed, however nowadays it is made from fermentation of sugar beet or molasses and is the most widely used flavouring in the world. Tests prove yet again that you can make the most excellent meal, but put a bit of MSG into the meal whilst cooking and it gives a much more rounded flavour. You’ll find glutamate in parmesan cheese, tomatoes, broccoli, mushrooms and carrots, however it appears that some people have a glutamate intolerance, rather than an MSG intolerance and will give headaches, gas/wind, stomach upset, hence gluten free food. Above all though, and I return back to the pig at the beginning of the piece, smell is possibly the most important sense that we have and as it helps us to make sure that food is ok to eat, it also gives us the opportunity of taste as well.  People who have lost the sense of smell also loose their flavour taste too.


So there you have it. Are E numbers bad? Who knows the answer to that as only time will tell, but I would hazard a guess that something more to the point is not necessarily the E numbers, but the manufactured fat, salt and sugar that is in so much food nowadays. Now depending upon who you are and how you use you body depends upon how much of this stuff your body can actually use and how much then goes into the rest of you and clogs you up.


E numbers it seems are actually not too bad and like everything if it is used in moderation, then there will be no side effects, but with our lifestyles and need for fresh food, it seems that in order to preserve our food for as long as we can, preservatives have to be used.


Snippety Snip

The first couple to be seen on the TV screen together sharing a bed after Mary Kay and Johnny was Fred and Wilma Flintstone. Mary Kay and Johnny used to do their show live and as TV was still in its infancy, there were no objections to reality, especially as they were actually married. It seems that this was acceptable for quite a while until someone decided to raise an objection and the idea of a couple actually sharing a bed on TV was removed. Being pregnant was a definite no-no and as for bedrooms themselves, they were erased from the scenario as TV companies didn’t want to loose their sponsors.


Green Arrow

Talking of fun, here’s Green Arrow doing a bit of steamy stuff on the Nene Valley Railway and for a change, it’s also enjoyable to watch. The film has been taken with a decent recorder, different shots and angles, times of the day and interesting, unlike so many of the plentiful organ videos that make a triangle sound like a cracked china clay broken cowbell full of cotton. One I heard recently sounded as though the bass drum was hitting a 56lb bag of potatoes – the instrument in question is superb in the flesh but the recording is not. Off my soapbox – here’s the Green Arrow


Here’s a German train with a nice whistle sound in the wintertime


East Kirkby Aviation Centre

Mark Jefford joined up with the MBSGB (Music Box Society Great Britain ) members visiting the East Kirkby Aviation centre at the beginning of September where Lancaster Bomber NX611 was giving taxi runs to some lucky people. There was a mock airfield attack by a Messerschmitt followed by a Spitfire taking off in hot pursuit. But more relevant to mechanical music was the discovery of a Link Trainer and plotting table. This distinctive blue and yellow miniature plane was designed and developed by Edwin A Link Jr. in the late 1920's using pneumatic player piano technology he'd learnt of during his days at the Link Piano & Organ factory in Binghampton, NY. Link Trainers were the first flight simulators but proved more popular with amusement parks until flying instruments and a hood were added to make instrument flying training possible. I wonder how many people realise how big a part mechanical music has played in helping them take to the skies?


Pre Recorded Music

Now I have fond memories of Michael Parkinson and various other interviewers having live bands on their shows, (Diana Krall, Michael Buble, Stephane Grapelli, Yehudi Mehenuin), but it was only recently that I found out that even on the quality mainstream TV shows, it is rare that a band is actually allowed to play live on it. I am very pleased to see that Graham Norton on his TV show actively pushes for live music – recently for Imelda May, the splendid Irish singer and her band thanked him for sticking his neck out so that they could actually play their own music rather than mime to it. Recently, the quality of the good singers and musicians has improved no end and many are actually able to play their instruments. If you want live music, contact your own media network. It hopefully means more work for them, but of course far better quality for you as a viewer. Radio stations however positively encourage live performances so there seems to be a bit of a gap along the way.



Yes they’ve come back – well in fact they never ever went away as many have not been filled except with crayon dust (or something similar), but they are now making headlines where one hole sent a vehicle off into a couple of people and killed them; other ones have hit the traffic news on the radio where they have become so bad and dangerous and caused injury, that some roads have now had to be closed during the rush hour. It’s all well and good to have potholes due to poor maintenance, but why are they still here? Now here in the UK we have a lacklustre transport system and fuel prices have gone up with precious little to show for it. Any ideas?

To start you off



How fast does Spring Travel?

It seems that spring travels up the UK at a speed of about one-third of a mile per hour and takes 8 weeks to complete it. Known as Pheontype analysis of spring plants such as daffodils, crocus etc.  ie as you travel northwards, you see the daffodils coming into bloom as you walk at 1/3 mph! Phenological observations show this, but also state that for every 100ft of elevation, spring still travels, but two days later.


I’m guessing that it is most likely the same in New Zealand, but of course the opposite way round to us here in Blighty.


Fuel Prices

This old chestnut returns. No money says the Government to the people. The people say no money left as we’ve been raped and screwed for too many years. So what happens, the government taxes everyone even more. A saying once told to me was     “why not chuck a stone into the tax office and shout “there, now try and get blood out of that.” As we all know, the government is really out for its own ends ands we the people carry on regardless and still trust them. Now what was sent to me was the usual don’t go to the fuel companies and they’ll stop putting up the prices. Thanks to Richard Pocock for the reminder.


It doesn’t work because we spite ourselves, however choose just two of the biggest companies, and fill your vehicle up elsewhere. No hardship to you and finally the oil companies will have to negotiate with government about continually raising tax to pay for decades of excess by poor policies.


That’s all you have to do, and you don’t suffer yourself. Its been proven that if you go to the Government and ask, you’ll get nowhere, but put pressure on another area and they’ll work for you. Why do I agree? The answer is that I went up to Norfolk the other day and the difference in the cost of fuel is phenomenal. If oil companies can play with figures so easily, then so can we.


Alternative to Conventional Fuel

The other option of course is for the fuel companies and governments to develop Hydrogen to power our existing vehicles (instead of electricity and batteries) and then we won’t contaminate our spaceship called Earth. We vote in people to work for us to give a better place for our children and ourselves to live in. It still isn’t happening.


PS Shell fuel seems to be giving me about 25 to 50 miles more fuel economy on a tank of diesel, depending upon the temperature outside. The warmer it is, the better the fuel usage (cold oil, poor combustion etc for the first few miles), but after the engine, tyres etc get to working temperature, the economy evens itself out and I’m getting about 50+ miles to the gallon on a VW Touran 2 litre with turbo boost.


Mark Jefford seemed to have gotten around a bit last year.

Tinkers Park

Having learnt about a September Open Day at Tinkers Park, Hadlow Down in time to plan a trip down to enjoy an Organ Museum I'd never visited before, I was delighted to discover the variety of organs, vehicles and trains on show. Outside in a trailer there was an 87 key Gavioli that could be heard from the entrance to the rally field. In a smaller trailer by the railway crossing there was a 48 key Limonaire with recently repainted front. Then inside the museum I enjoyed listening to a 52 keyless Ruth, an 84 key Mortier and an 88 keyless Arburo that all had in-formation boards nearby. And then there was the only 60 key Richter in this country - a loud, compact organ that at present gives an insight into the pipe work through a perspex front. Kevin Meayers helps look after the instruments and was on hand during the day but left organ operations to Jeremy Brice and others when he could. However, I was as intrigued as others to see Kevin attach a moving picture screen to the Canon Wintle Barrel Organ and watch the pictures move sideways as the music played. Back outside there was a train to ride on which was pulled one way by a steam engine and back by a diesel engine or vice versa. Other road or off-road vehicles were either on display or running around the fields making the most of the sunshine. A day out that was well worth the effort.


The Laconia Incident

Back in September 1942, Captain Hartenstein, a U boat commander of U-156 torpedoed the ship Laconia, however it had been listed as a troop carrier and was therefore fair game in the joys of war as it would be carrying British Troops, however Hartenstein stayed around to capture the Captain and crew and see if they had any vital information on the enemy movements. What he found was a passenger ship carrying Italian Prisoners of War, women and children and many civilians – 3,000 in total and not what the British ship had been intended for on this particular journey. With the unwritten maritime code of conduct, Hartenstein helped to rescue as many of the survivors as possible and sent messages to German High Command via Admiral Karl Dönitz for help in the rescue. The message was also sent in English so that other vessels nearby could pick up survivors. Unfortunately, it is possible that a mis-communication sent after being picked up by the Allies wasn’t intercepted by the American air force base, or maybe told that a U-boat was picking up survivors and a B-24 bomber was dispatched on a vague search and rescue mission. The U-boat U-156 was a sitting duck and unfortunately the crew of the B-24 decided to bomb the U-boats in the area even though a message had been sent that no attack would happen from the German submarines and with a red cross emblazoned over the vessel, it was thought that the military would have shown a bit of common sense. Admiral Karl Dönitz, after this awful incident made order that no attempt would ever be made to help pick up survivors in future torpedo raids, and at the end of WWII, due to this order was sent to Spandau Prison, spending 11 ½ years as an inmate. No British or American personnel were charged with stupidity or even brought to task over the incident. Werner Hartenstein wasn’t quite so lucky with his life and was depth charged by another American bomber on the 8th March 1943 and U-156 was sunk with all hands.


The incident created many difficult situations to solve during and aftermath of WWII as to the rights and wrongs of war and helping survivors from a sinking vessel – still not solved to this day. One thing is for sure, it was a total act of heroism that many people didn’t ever want to surface, but fortunately Alan Bleasdale, one of the UK’s greatest writers has spent five years bringing to the surface the details of this cover-up and is now a major TV film. Oddly enough, the first ship that Werner Hartenstein served on (who was awarded the Knight’s Cross for his deeds) was the Karlsruhe, a place I’m just going to visit in a few days time. The film is called “The Sinking of the Laconia” and is sponsored by Talkback Thames, Teamworx, Media, ARD Degeto, SWR, EOS and the BBC.


Telling the Time

PS: Just to remind you that as a submarine can be under water for more than 12 hours or even days, they have special clocks that work to 24 hours so that the crew and commander can work out what time of day it actually is – ie night or day.


Here’s something from Joss

Nudemen Clock (Web) Just click on it and you’ll be amazed


From Mark Jefford (yes he’s back again!)

PRS (Performing Rights Society) for Music has advised that Tariff ML for 'Amateur mobile mechanical organ owners' playing copyright music to or for the public is £25.50 + VAT from 1 November 2010. This rate is per owner, per year and restricted to amateur enthusiasts. Further details can be found at or by writing to Performing Right Society Ltd, Copyright House, 29-33 Berners Street, London. W1T 3AB


Witches in Romania?

The EU has finally awarded Romania a substantial amount of money after being granted it some five years ago, however the Romanian government has decided that the figure granted is not enough and therefore told the witches of Romania that they are going to be burdened with an extra tax to pay for the shortfall. The witches have quite rightly told the Government to go and shove it where the sun don’t shine and that it was the Government’s fault that the country got into such a terrible mess in the first place. The witches told the members of Parliament, that they should pay the figure out of their own pockets instead of continually passing the burden onto other people who have done nothing but be “shafted” by a “load of fools.” The witches have also told the people who are running their country that if they continue with their persecution, they will cast a spell over all the perpetrators of this rather odd and seemingly juvenile tax!


Linda heard a bit of news on Euronews about the plight of the SS Shieldhall, so I contacted Graham Mackenzie, the managing director and he kindly sent me this Press Release.

SS Shieldhall

From Graham Mackenzie

News travels fast! We gave interviews to the BBC on Saturday and ITV on Monday after sending a press release last Friday. BBC Radio Solent has featured it and I have just given an interview to Wave 105. As you may appreciate, fuel costs combined with people spending less due to the current economic climate have forced our hand. It was felt that this time, we had to go outside of our members and try pleading to the average person. Hope that you are both well and keeping out of the poor house! Best wishes for 2011,




Historic steamship SS Shieldhall needs £80,000 to keep sailing


One of the country’s most important historic steam ships has launched and appeal for survival, amid ongoing concerns that Britain’s maritime heritage is in decline. Registered charity The Solent Steam Packet today launched an emergency appeal for £80,000 to secure the future of SS Shieldhall, a unique and historic steam-driven cargo and passenger ship based at the port of Southampton UK.  SS Shieldhall is one of a small number of vessels forming the UK’s National Historic Ships Fleet and was named ‘Flagship of the National Historic Ships Fleet’ in 2009 by the National Historic Ships Unit, making her officially recognised as being of pre-eminent national or regional importance.


In spring 2011, the hugely popular heritage steamship Shieldhall, owned by charity preservation group The Solent Steam Packet Ltd, must undertake dry-docking at an estimated cost of  £80,000 to £100,000.  Without this she cannot continue to sail and would be at risk of being scrapped in the near future. SS Shieldhall is operated entirely by unpaid volunteers who are now looking for help funding this essential work which will allow the vessel to keep a valid passenger certificate and continue to delight the thousands of people who visit and travel on her each year.


Budget cuts mean that grants are no longer routinely available to pay for maintenance work on heritage ships and historians say that our seafaring nation now risks losing many of its most significant vessels.


Captain Peter Roberts, Master, SS Shieldhall, commented: “In order to continue to present SS Shieldhall to the public and make the trips we do each year we must dry-dock every two years.  Unfortunately, over the past few years our financial reserve has been hit by the huge rise in fuel costs, as well as a loss of income caused indirectly by the current financial climate and we are now looking to the public to help us continue operating this lovely old steamship.”


Since restoration to full working order in 1991, SS Shieldhall has provided the public with unparalleled heritage maritime experience through sea-going cruises in the Solent and along the south coast of England. The ship is operated by a fully qualified crew together with a shore-based support staff, all of whom are unpaid volunteers.

All UK passenger ships are subject to stringent certification by the Maritime & Coastguard Agency (MCA) to ensure the safety of passengers and crew.  An essential part of this is a rigorous inspection of a ship’s hull in dry-dock on a regular basis. This is the maritime equivalent of an MOT on a family car.


 SS Shieldhall is due an MCA inspection in May 2011 just prior to the start of public sailings. However, due to unprecedented rises in fuel costs and continued reduction in leisure spending, The Solent Steam Packet is unable to fund this dry-dock inspection of the ship alone.  The consequence would be the loss of MCA passenger certification.  The cost of steaming between Southampton and a UK dry-dock, together with usage charges and costs of work arising, amounts to around £20,000 per day; significant expenditure for a charity relying solely on fare income and donations. Unlike historic buildings, the UK’s heritage ships are not eligible for grant-aid towards sustainability and running costs.


By way of comparison, English Heritage is planning to spend over £11 million on property maintenance this year and the National Trust spent over £166 million on routine property costs, according to the last available figures. The Solent Steam Packet is seeking donations and support from individuals and businesses that are not prepared to allow a unique part of Britain’s maritime heritage to be sent to the breaker’s yard.   Without emergency funding, MCA certification will lapse in early 2011 thus depriving the general public of the opportunity of experiencing a true steamship at sea.


For further information, photographs or to arrange a visit or interview, please contact:

Managing Director

Graham Mackenzie (Telephone: 07751 603190. E-mail: or Peter Roberts E-mail:


Background on the SS Shieldhall

SS Shieldhall is the largest remaining sea-going steamship in the UK and, as one of the UK National Historic Ships Fleet, is of significant historical importance. She was built in 1955 for Glasgow Corporation as a coastal tanker with, unusually, day-excursion passenger accommodation. She is a twin-screw sea-going vessel of 1,972 gross tons with a length overall of 268 feet (82 m) powered by two 800 HP (596 kW) triple-expansion steam engines.

The Solent Steam Packet Limited, Exempt Charity No 26065R, saved SS Shieldhall in 1988 and, following restoration, obtained MCA UK Class VI Certification permitting carriage of up to 200 passengers on coastal sea-going excursions. The Society was set up in 1988 as a result of an initiative by Southampton City Council and the Southampton University Industrial Archaeology Society, who recognised the maritime heritage value of SS Shieldhall.


As a result of that initiative, a group of enthusiasts purchased SS Shieldhall from Southern Water for £20,000 and since 1988 the membership has steadily increased, with over 800 current members worldwide.


The ship is crewed by fully qualified but unpaid volunteers and relies solely upon revenue from fares and donations for survival. Over the past 18 years, approximately 25,000 passengers have enjoyed not only the smooth and peaceful nature of steam propulsion but also the opportunity for supervised access to SS Shieldhall’s bridge, engine and boiler rooms thus providing a unique maritime heritage experience.

SS Shieldhall not only provides a unique opportunity for the general public of all ages to visit her and see her in action, she also supports the community of Hampshire in many different ways by providing:

·         A realistic training platform for Hampshire Fire and Rescue service.

·         An opportunity for air/sea rescue exercises with the RNLI and HM Coastguard.

·         A training facility for members of the Sea Cadet Corps and Sea Scouts aged between 12 and 25 years from all different backgrounds.

·         A working example of 19th and 20th century industrial technology to school children and youth organisations, historical societies and local groups aged from 9 to 90 years.

·         A very valuable focus for community involvement for locals of all ages that may have or may wished to have had a seafaring background.


Operating an historic steamship as a heritage attraction is a costly exercise and in addition to fuel costs, there are also costs of essential inspection and maintenance regimes required to maintain exceptional levels of passenger and crew safety via continued MCA certification.      

To donate, please make cheques out to “The Solent Steam Packet Ltd” and send to Mrs Jill Tulip, Shieldhall Dry Dock Appeal, 15 Foxhayes Lane, Blackfield, Hampshire. SO45 1XX, United Kingdom. So far £8,952 has been raised – only another 90% to find


City of Adelaide

The hull of the clipper, after recently being taken over by the Australians, City of Adelaide has been having specialist treatment (already!), ready for its journey over to Australia in the middle of the year of 2011. Amazingly, the Australians have taken to this ship instantly, especially as this is one of only two left in the world, but we here in the UK treat our heritage in a different way, especially those who are there supposedly to protect our heritage.


Calshot Spit

When I was a mere babe in arms and a little bit older too of course, I remember seeing the famous lightship Calshot Spit moored in Southampton Water looking from the Isle of Wight Ferry, making sure that all shipping would be safe to travel the very busy waters into and out of Southampton. Years passed by and the need for such a vessel wasn’t required anymore and after spending time at various locations, it ended up at Ocean Village in 1989, which started off as being a shopping centre and chandlers emporium, however it was found that more money could be earned by making the place into a large housing development overlooking the water. Calshot Spit’s location is needed to make more room, so the owners funded the removal of the vessel. It now can be seen in the distance looking across the water from the Hythe Ferry Terminal. The boat was built by J I Thornycroft in Woolston at the beginning of WW1 and blows out some 140 tonnes displacement. It is hoped to form part of the Aeronautica display near the Trafalgar Dock Area, which I do hope goes ahead as the original development at the Thornycroft Works talked about some 10 years ago, already built was pulled down to make way for even more houses overlooking the water.

For lighthouses throughout the world


Oops I

In the last edition of the Update, I managed to confuse Warfarin with Wolfram! Two totally different subjects to discuss and thank goodness Chris Finn came to my rescue. As an engineer, I would have remembered Wolfram. Thanks to Chris for pointing this out


“...I think you will find that the blood unclotting drug is actually Warfarin (also sold as a rat poison - it kills them when they bleed to death after they cut themselves).


'Wolfram' is another name for Tungsten ("Wolframium"). That's why its chemical symbol is W. (Did you know that, to a chemist, WC = Tungsten Carbide, one of the hardest things known to man?) 


Chris Finn


Oops II

The trip to the Hinzen Collection is a four-day tour and three-night accommodation. Thanks for everyone who pointed that one out, far too numerous to mention, but its good to see that you check my words.



“Don’t worry about tomorrow, when you already have enough happening today.” Allegedly from a first laying of Lady Chatterley, said whilst pruning her bush.


Rubik’s Cube Part II

Thanks to Rudy Nijs who sent me a link to the machine that can do the Rubik’s Cube, however I thought that those around the world might like to hear how our British media reports things. Oh and by the way, I’ve yet to see a five sided cube, (that the reporter goes on about) but I’m open to suggestions.

Just to show you what a cube is - There are variants, but it seems only in dice but they are not cubes.



“Propaganda is for those who give out hope where there is absolutely none available.” Baron Manfred von Richthofen


News Blackout

Today, (30 September 2010) the banks are reeling again – well actually not the banks, but the people whose countries they park themselves in. The Anglo/Irish Bank, the largest in the country is having a further bail out of £30 billion from the government, which is the country’s total GDP. This means that while no investment will now be able to be put back into the country to sort out a mess caused by the banks in the first place, the banks are yet again able to give their people a massive bonus again. A further £15 billion is estimated to sort out the loose ends. (1 October 2010, there is a news blackout – we are now January 2011, and still it’s under the carpet). We all learn by example don’t we?



Yes we had some snow, some pretty awful temperatures, water supplies frozen, traffic chaos, crap weather and goodness only knows what ever else. The UK has a temperate climate – it doesn’t get too cold and not too hot which means that when we have extremes, then we grind to a halt. I was particularly impressed with the Police message which was “only drive if its essential” What does that mean? To me paying for a mortgage, keeping your family fed and earning a living is essential.


I have a question

Here in the UK it gets cold, elsewhere it gets colder, but it still feels colder here in the UK even though the temperature is less here than anywhere else. –7 degrees Centilude is the same throughout the world –7 is –7, so why does it seem colder here than say in the middle of Germany?


I wasn’t going to put this into the Update as I thought it a bit contentious, however I see that the man in question has now resigned his position and therefore feel that in the interests of Glasnost etc, we the people of the world can see what goes on. I will have to remind you a bit as this took place a while ago, but the French Nation went on strike about the raising of their pension age. I remember it well as I was on a Hotel fact finding mission to the east of France and had to travel down through Germany instead. The French do not mess about – if they have a grievance, they let the country rulers know about it. Here in the UK, we roll back and stick our legs in the air and say “Health and Safety wouldn’t allow it”

Words and Phrases – Sylvie Legrand

From the cradle to the grave, we are led to believe so many words and phrases – you know the things that we learn as children and then take them on to our adult life and still think that people understand what we are talking about. Just imagine one word for example such as Jaguar. Now that has a number of meanings. A wild and large meat eating cat, or a fast, sleek military aircraft, or even a car that was once the envy of everyone who cast eyes upon it. Now, the initial thought was one word, but has created some 36 words to describe it and goodness only knows how many to follow it up. I heard Alan Johnson, who is now in political opposition (now resigned) using the words ”Civil Disobedience” with regard to the French people having a strike about their opposition to raising the retiring age by 2 years.


So what is civil disobedience?Split the words into two words and I can show you. Let’s start with CIVIL.

v     Of the ordinary life of citizens, other than military, legal or ecclesiastical

v     Of or relating to the citizen as an individual

v     Of or occurring within the state or between citizens

v     Polite and courteous

v     Of or in accordance with Roman Law

Now that’s just the word civil and there are five meanings (most likely more) to that one word, so lets take


v     Not obedient,

v     refusing to obey

v     refusing to obey an order whether right or not


v     Indicating reversal

v     Indicating negation

v     Lack of deprivation


v     To Comply with outside instructions

v     Agree with one’s feelings


Now just two words have been used here, but can also create many meanings, and for anyone to assume that he or she has the right to tell anyone else what they can and cannot do is almost treason to the people of the country. The politicians and civil servants ARE the servants of the country – in other words, they are paid by the people to do a job of work for the people.


I was rather taken by what Sylvie has written, hence the reason why it is here in the Update, however I took it a bit further and found out that this term Civil Disobedience has been shouted down by many people who realise that this term is totally unacceptable in modern society, however we owe some of our liberties to

Henry David Thoreau 1817 –1862 delivered a paper in 1849 that started a revolution against the people to whom we employ as the servants of the people.


It makes interesting reading, especially as our government has now put out a scam about so-called terrorist cyber attacks and have decided that they can take away our liberties and tap our phones, tap into our internet systems and basically have free rein to do what they want to do without any reasons. Just letting you know! Strange that when the boys and girls were in opposition, that said they would oppose anything like this. I guess this is called freedom and democracy – maybe I missed something here but as a wise person once said “a can of worms can’t open itself” Take heed.


Thanks to Sylvie for taking the time to explain and also remind me that the government has just lost an advisor whose previous employers allegedly did some phone tapping on government and celebrity people. Not acceptable to them, but we the people, seem to be fair game?



Interesting country this one; its language is totally different to most of the European countries and is difficult to learn and bears a similarity to the Finnish and Estonian language. As a consequence, many important discoveries were passed onto, but never taken too seriously by the rest of the world; one being that germs and virus’s could be passed on to other patients by not washing your hands. Ignaz Semmeweis realised that the mid-wives were getting a better mortality rate than the surgeons and putting two and two together, set about getting all of his surgeons to wash their hands before and after surgery to remove the germs. The mortality rate changed overnight, and as a consequence, he wrote a paper to say this, but unfortunately the other surgeons didn’t like the fact that they were doing it all wrong and dismissed his theses, so much so that in the end, he was committed to a mental institution. Sadly, his way of surgery was never taken up in his lifetime and he also suffered the irony by dying of septicaemia, due to unclean surgery. It took a Frenchman Louis Pasteur to rekindle the process and he as we all know came up with Pasteurisation. The famous Rubik Cube was designed and built here (see last History in Harmony Update). Laslo Biro made the first ballpoint pen, however his real claim to fame was the automatic gearbox that was eventually sold to the Ford Motor Company. Now this is a weird one; the stew known as Goulash actually means Cowboy and “Hello”, normally used to greet someone on the end of a telephone allegedly comes from Halloum, a Hungarian greeting with the earliest example recorded from about 1833. It is also credited to Alexander Graham Bell and the switchboard operators were originally called “Hello Girls.” Want to say Hello in over 800 languages?



In this case it was to have a power cut at one of the coldest points of the winter. Now under normal situations, this is a pain in the backside, but in this case with a house full of pianos, a few musical boxes and a living wagon outside with a solid fuel fire, what more could you ask for. It was quite unusual too, as there was no power for some 14 hours, so the house was cold – in fact damn cold, but with a gas heater in one room, this little annoyance was alleviated, but you then come to realise how much we rely upon electricity to make everything work. Plenty of oil outside in the fuel tank to run the boiler, but unfortunately, no electricity to start the motor to run it. Light was supplied by candles and oil lamps and entertainment was cranking up my music box and having a little jig to the music was fantastic; I began to understand why the music box was such a great piece of machinery and how it livened up so many people’s lives (for those of course, who could afford one in the first place), not just to dance to, but to marvel at it as a piece of talking point equipment. The Piano came into its own by not having any restriction at all, so a bit of music arranging took place under naked light – an interesting piece of music that we all know, but in its original time signature. Finally it got too cold for me and it was out to the living carriage and a leisurely warm up with a glass or two of suitable beverage. Later that night, the power came back on and all reverted back to what I had become used to, but it certainly gave me a bit more of an understanding of why music became so important to our ancestors.


Temporary Taxes

The Chancellor of the Exchequer has decided to put up our VAT (Value added tax, vodka and tonic), which is all well and good and supposedly this is to be a short measure to get in a few billion pounds, but it hits everyone in the UK and not the people who caused the problem in the first place; they already claim back the VAT, so it costs them nothing! Now temporary in my book means for a short period, so can we remove the temporary con also known as Income Tax that was started for the War in Europe, no not the second world war, nor even the first world war, but the Napoleonic War. Yes folks, Income Tax in the UK was used to fund the war against Napoleon – nothing else, but of course, being such a good wheeze and a great way of screwing money out of the people who pay, it continued.


World’s Most Expensive Christmas Tree?

Abu Dhabi’s Emirates Palace hotel has created what is believed to be the world’s most expensively decorated evergreen Christmas tree. Bejeweled with precious gems valued at more than US$11milllion, the hotel’s showpiece tree stretches 13 metres high. In a bid to create a new Guinness World Record, Hans Olbertz, the hotel’s general manager, added, “This is another unique event for Emirates Palace and will ensure that the many international guests and visitors we welcome to the hotel and Abu Dhabi at this time of year will be able to be part of this world’s first. It is history in the making.” Emirates Palace, one of the world's most luxurious hotels has a long history of making the headlines.




I managed to get gout in my jaw after having some tooth work done. Yes its one of the most painful things to have, but in your jaw, two days before Christmas – you know the day where the previous month of fasting finishes and you go out with great gusto and gorge yourself on fantastic food. Christmas Eve and I could hardly open my mouth and as for my throat, it was like pushing a bastard file down my neck. Linda came to my aid and suggested that I try drinking some Irish Cream that was supposed to go onto the pudding. Amazingly, I was able to get something into my tummy – “way to go!” The next day was a Saturday morning coffee – well a couple of them with a hearty dollop of Brandy to then be followed by a couple of hearty Gin and tonics, to be followed by a couple of bottles of wine (red and white) to then follow them up with a few beers. Amazingly my jaw started to work without too much pain and I have to say that this was one of the best Christmases ever! Painkillers are now the order of the day, but my thoughts do go out to those people who really just can’t get food down their throats and then get stigmatised.


Tourist boards - take note

The number of German group visits to Kent and Medway in 2009 has leaped by 516% following successful targeting of the country’s travel trade industry. For the past four years Visit Kent has attended the German RDA-Workshop, which attracts more than 11,200 group leisure and coach tour companies. For the past three years Kent has been the only UK destination represented at the major European travel trade fair in Cologne. (Köln)

The Kent and Medway German trade fair team included representatives from seven Visit Kent business partners Canterbury Cathedral, English Heritage, Hever Castle, Eurotunnel, P&O Ferries, Medway Council and the University of Kent.

Therese Heslop, Head of Visitor Services at Canterbury Cathedral, said: A typical German wholesale coach operator brings 1,100 groups to the UK each year. One wholesale operator alone has doubled its volume of group visits to Canterbury Cathedral in the past three years directly as a result of the relationships we have built by attending the German trade fair. Christina Ott, of JAC Travel, a regular visitor to the German trade fair, said: Visit Kent and partners attend RDA each year which provides valuable help to JAC Travel as an incoming agent into the UK.

Visit Kent is raising awareness of the region and supports us by providing a wide range of information for our German clients. With no other UK Tourist organisation present at RDA, Visit Kent and partners do an outstanding job representing the Kent area.”


Returning back to the Museums in the UK

I would have to point out yet again, rather than look at the bleak side of things, many of the museums being funded have already had their buildings renovated and rather than say that there’s no funding, the best way is to get off of those comfy chairs and promote your collection. Speilklok tot Pierement in Utrecht continually markets throughout Europe as well as the US; it promotes itself and makes sure that it gets a minimum of 70,000 people through the doors. It is an interactive place that continually changes and breathes life and invests back into itself. Oh and the management are continually out there working and out there promoting their brilliant collection. But then it’s all about leadership that makes things work. They have a Chinese Exhibition of mechanical music at this moment.

What others think of them.


Student Fees

Before the price of the fees went up here in the UK, it turns out that over 50% of all females interviewed by Cosmopolitan magazine who were students, wished that they had never gone to University in the first place, as they are now so ridiculously in debt and just can’t find a job to pay off the fees – they are getting into further debt and unable to see a way out.


They also have shown disappointment at the quality of the lecturers teaching abilities and the very small amount of time that was spent actually teaching, and the end result of the degree that was achieved in the UK, is worth very little in the job market.


Beware! Since then, the fees have gone up threefold; the people who said that they’d remove the fees altogether have actually raised them three times higher than they originally were. Really, we have to invest in our younger population to get out of the ridiculous mess that we have right now.


The perfect or Vitruvian Man

So where did we come from? Well the question isn’t as easy as first though as we humans (the present mob that inhabit the Earth) are classed as Homo Sapiens, but on this Planet, there were also Homo Erectus, Homo Ergaster, Homo Rudolfensis, Homo Habilis which have all died out and that’s not including Neanderthal Man either. In fact 1 to 4% of our DNA is Neanderthal, so that means that somewhere along the line, Sapiens propagated with the other race. Neanderthal is also named after a valley in Germany near to Dusseldorf, and they actually lived some four times longer (in span) than Homo Sapiens have, and supposedly, they were much stronger in physical strength than we humans, so why they died out is still a mystery. It could have of course been evolution, but even then, why didn’t they also evolve at the same time, especially as they were predominantly (supposedly) vegetarians and it’s much easier to find that kind of food rather than hunt animals, or did Sapiens do what it continues to do so well and kill others?


The Homo Sapiens survived, where other varieties of Human didn’t, so guessing that evolution was the reason, but what were the saving qualities of the present human? Many scientists are looking at that situation right at this moment, as no one really knows how long we humans will actually survive, especially when you realize that over half of all the humans that have lived on this planet have died from, malaria.

Unfortunately, we can’t remove mosquitoes either as they are terribly important in pollinating plants and the food chain, and as we all know, without pollination, the planet and everything on it dies.


On wonders what the opposite of evolution actually is – could it be devolution? Some countries in the UK have already gone that way!


Returning back to Humans, it appears that the fastest human runner (bearing in mind that we will have the Olympics soon here in the UK) is actually a fossilized footprint found in Australia and by the stride and angle of the impression, the person doing it was doing 23 mph, but in MUD! Now that’s the only impression that we have, so trying to run through mud, should he/she have a flat surface, decent running shoes etc, would certainly out run Usain Bolt, who has achieved 27mph. As a point of interest, fossils are big business and as a consequence, many are being made to supply the need. Want to know whether you have a fake? Go to a nightclub and bring out your fossil under the ultra violet light, and like dentures, they’ll show up. You don’t actually have to go to a nightclub, but it’s a bit more fun to do it that way and you’ll strike up plenty of conversations along the way!


It also seems that the only thing that seems to be evolving in humans at this time is the nose and no one knows why.


So, Vitruvian Man is that supposedly perfect human that is put into a square and a circle all at the same time. On the circle, the centre point is the navel and on the square, it is the genitalia. Carl Linnaeus (1707 – 1778) is the person who actually named Humans Homo Sapiens, however he was also quite an amazing person in his own right, trying to make sure that his native Sweden was as self sufficient as it could possibly be. That ethos still runs true today and is possibly why that part of the world is not affected by the cock-up that the rest of the world is suffering at this moment.


Vatican Man

Now it appears that the smallest country (or is it Principality) has the lowest age of consent – that being the age of 12. Whether this is ever used is down to speculation but it could be used, should the need ever arise if some naughty misgivings took place. It also has the highest crime rate in the whole of the world per capita. Yes folks, where 500 people practice Love and Forgiveness, the crime rate is about 600 offences every year.



The third commonest cause of death at work in the US is murder. In 2007, 677 people were murdered at work, including 50 policemen and 205 salespeople


A man who is being delivered from the danger of a fierce lion does not object whether an unknown, or an illustrious individual performs this service. Why therefore do people seek knowledge from celebrities whose normal claim to fame is by someone else’s work? El-Ghazali


Earthquakes in the UK

Yes we had one up in the North West of the UK just before Christmas of 3.1 magnitude on the 21st December 2010. (We’ve had another in Yorkshire of a similar scale of 3.2 with little damage at all). No it not the Richter scale that the media continue to use, but then a quick Richter, sounds better than Magnitude I guess. Anyway the last big one that the UK had was in 1931 up there in the Lincolnshire area at a magnitude of 6.1 where one lady died of a heart attack and the waxworks head of Dr Crippen fell off.

Now the difference between 3.1 and 6.2 is not double; 1 is 1, 2 is 10, 3 is 100, 4 is 1,000, 5 is 10,000 etc right up the scale. So when you hear terms like 7.2, the force is really phenomenal on what is actually around the EPICENTRE. Yes finally got to use that word correctly for once!


Now in the UK, due to restrictions from the government, instead of training all the forces, or at least having one person from all the forces who had some idea, it was thought to train three police areas instead – those being Hampshire (I’m OK), Hertfordshire and Merseyside, however these places are not where the earthquakes would possibly take place, but then who am I to argue – as I said, I’m OK and as we all know, police forces do not venture outside of their jurisdiction as the next force might not pay from their funds.


Elsewhere. Earthquakes have hit the world and are a lot more powerful than here in the UK, there are floods in Australia and many other tragedies taking place where people are dying. Our thoughts go to all involved and hope that you can get through it all.


The “IT” Girl?

Yes we’ve all seen that expression, but for the life of me I never knew what it really meant as over the years the expression has been banded about willy-nilly by the media, so you end up with a total bastardisation of a meaning. So with a bit of luck and divine intervention I might be able to sort it out so that you can understand a bit better.


Back in Hollywood-world in the 1920’s, times were-a-changing over to more modern films and beginning to realise that films could change fashions, trends and politics too, the Movie Moguls were quick to jump on the bandwagon. But more to the point, fashion was a phenomenal by-product of the glamour world of films and if you look at photographs pre 1920, most regular people (Male & Female) wore a hat of some sort, however with the silver screen showing people that there were things such as hair perms, styling etc, then all changed and hair stylists started up. You have to remember at the same time, our leaders decided to have a punch up in Europe (WWI) and due to the fact that most of the men were away being killed, women had the opportunity of doing the man’s work. Amazingly, this gave women the chance of being able to show all that they were just as capable of doing the same things as men, much to the chagrin of the Establishment and the pompous.


After the hostilities though, women got shoved back into their place of being downtrodden and being servants to the male population, even though they were severely depleted, however the Cinema started taking over many areas of the UK and in order to get away from the drudgery of living, they were able to go out to the Flicks and it was an accepted pastime for all to go there and watch a comedy or short.


Now over in the US, there was a talent competition, much like the recent “X” Factor here in the UK and a certain Clara Bow won it, to star in a film called IT made in 1927, directed by Clarence Badger. In fact it turned Clara Bow into an overnight star and the general storyline is that there’s a young girl working in a department store and sets her sights on the dashing owner on the store, however the girl is also interested in having a good time rather than behaving correctly or modestly, or how others wanted her to behave in their eyes. She focuses on her desires with total glamour and sex appeal.


After the film was released, it was a box office hit, which then of course got all the Establishment up in arms as they thought that they were the only ones who could act in this way! Little did they know that starting another War just a few years later, would change it all again more in favour towards women. Images for Clara Bow


What does IT mean? “It a quality possessed by someone which draws all others with its magnetic force; with IT, you win all men if you are a woman and all women if you are a man. It can be a quality of the mind as well as a physical attraction”


Oddly enough, the IT factor is now solely attributed to women, so ladies out there in Update World, you have Clara Bow to partly thank for some of the shackles being removed from your person, oh and by the way, the word Glamour was first used by Sir Walter Scott in 1805 as a magical power to make someone look better than they really are.


Ethno Spot

We expect children to be able to do things before they're ready. Yes, as parents we’ve all done it. For some reason we expect the genes to somehow know what to do, even though the child is still trying to just understand and learn.
We ask an infant to keep quiet, when all it’s trying to do is ask questions to get itself out of being a child.  We ask a two-year-old to sit still, even though we all know that the body is trying to do new movements and without the movement, there’s no chance of learning.  We ask a four-year-old to clean his room, when most adults have never even achieved that incredible task of keeping a room clean, let alone a house. 

In all of these situations, the adult is being totally unrealistic.  They're setting themselves up for disappointment and setting up the child for repeated failures to please their parents. Many parents ask their young children to do things that even an older child would find difficult - even themselves. 

In short, we ask children to stop acting their age, make them loose their ingenuity, their skills for later life and totally dependant and gullible on listening to other damaged people.

Every mammal has to have playtime to understand about life; for some reason, humans have been told and pressurised into thinking that this isn’t necessary, but remember that it isn’t too late. Just because your body might be old, your spirit never changes. Find your spirit and recover your childhood and then you can finally become an adult and NOT keep blaming your parents (and anyone else for that matter) for all the wrongs in your life – remember they were brought up the same way, by their parents.


Science and God

Listening, as you do to the radio during the Christmas build-up, there was someone who has redone a play about the birth of the Baby Jesus. Now I have to admit that I can’t remember what his name was, but I was intrigued as to why he would do such a thing, especially as his normal forte is doing stories about policemen who suddenly go back in time to the 70’s or 80’s or maybe something equally wacky and quirky.


I was totally fascinated too, as he has absolutely no time for the church in all of their denominations as he felt that if he wanted to feel the warmth of God, he certainly didn’t need to go to some building that only had the right to a bag of God’s goodness - something that only the minister could give out. He did make a very good and valid point that the majority of wars have been done supposedly in the name of religion and as religion is Love, then obviously they were preaching about someone else.



Now this was the intrigue that came across to me. After he had done the recording, research etc for this play, he happened to meet up with a Scientist and they were generally just chit-chatting, when the subject of the play came up, to which the Scientist said something like “of course there’s no proof that there is a God” to which our hero said “ There’s a thing called Dark Matter isn’t there and it supposedly makes up 90% of the Universe, but you as a scientist, don’t actually know what it is.”


“It has to exist though, even though you can’t see it or scientifically prove it, you know its there because it determines the path of all the planets and everything in their orbit. Now maybe if you substitute the word God instead of Dark Matter, is there a similarity?”


Now I have no idea, one way or the other, but if that something keeps us from completely blowing ourselves to total smithereens then I’d like to believe that that thing is actually God and if that is so, then I can, if I wish, be with that person anywhere and anytime I want to.


Fun Time!

Finally its time to hopefully have a giggle! Yes this is the place where you might have a joke, a story etc to pass on to the rest of us – in fact this is for many, the only part that can be understood, me included.


Politics and Politicians!

The commission might find an appropriate solution but as that well-known political analyst Groucho Marx said regarding politics and politicians

"Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and then applying the wrong remedies and then making the people believe that you know what you’re doing.”


Computer Terms made easy

Log on – Makin’ the stove hotter

Log Off – Making the stove cooler

Monitor – Keeping an eye on it whilst drinking a beer

Download – Loosing the logs from the pick-up for the fire

Mega Hertz – when getting your fingers trapped in the wrong place

Floppy Disc – lifting too many logs hurts your back

Ram – the thing that splits the firewood

Hard Drive – getting home in snow, ice and total oblivion

Windows – what to shut when it’s cold outside

Screen – what to shut when it’s black fly season

Byte – what those damn flies do

Chip – what to eat when settling down for an evenings TV viewing

Micro-Chip – what’s in the bottom of your underwear after eating bigger chips

Modem – what you do when you cut the hay fields

Dot Matrix – Dot Coms name after she got hitched to Dan Matrix

Lap Top – the place where the cat sleeps

Key Board – where you hang the car keys

Software – bendy knives and forks

Mouse – the thing that eats what’s in the barn

Mouse Pad – a groovy way to call the pest’s house something nice

Mainframe – the thing that holds up the barn roof

Port – Stuff you really shouldn’t drink if you’ve got gout

Enter – How do you get into this house?

Click – what you hear when you hear a gun being cocked

Double Click – What you hear when they really mean business

Reboot  - what you have to do if you have to go to the outhouse after going to bed


Hope that makes the computer terms easier to understand.


Was I dreaming or was this actually happening? He grasped me firmly, but gently, just above my elbow and guided me into a room, his room. Then he quietly shut the door and we were alone. He approached me soundlessly, from behind, and spoke in a low, reassuring voice, close to my ear.

"Just relax. . . "

Without warning, he reached down and I felt his strong, calloused hands start at my ankles, gently probing and moving upward along my calves, slowly, but steadily. My breath caught in my throat.  

I knew I should be afraid, but somehow I didn't care. His touch was so experienced, so sure. When his hands moved up onto my thighs, I gave a slight shudder, and I partly closed my eyes. My pulse was pounding. I felt his knowing fingers caress my abdomen, my ribcage; and then, surely as he caressed my slim neck in his hands, I could feel his breath on my skin, I inhaled sharply.

Probing, searching, knowing what he wanted, he brought his hands to my shoulders, slid them down my tingling spine and down my waist and onto my hips.  Although I knew nothing about this man, I felt oddly trusting and expectant. This is a man, I thought. A man used to taking charge. A man not used to taking "no" for an answer. A man who would tell me what he wanted. A man who would look into my soul and say, "Okay, ma'am, you can board your flight now."


And talking of terms that help you with the Lessons of Life

1                    Never, and I mean never under any circumstances, take a sleeping pill and a laxative on the same night. *

2                    Please don’t bother to worry about what people think – people don’t do that sort of thing very often.

3                    Going to church doesn’t make you into a believer, any more than standing in a Garage, will make you into a motorcar.

4                    Artificial Intelligence is no match for natural and complete stupidity from humans.

5                    If you must choose between two evils, pick the one you’ve never tried before – it’s more likely to be the most fun.

6                    My idea of housework is to sweep the room at a glance.

7                    Not one shred of information, evidence or scientific discovery, supports the notion that life is at all serious. Its humans that make it that way.

8                    It’s much easier to get forgiveness than permission.

9                    For every, very positive action from the Human Race, there is an equal and totally opposite, unnecessary government action.

10                If you really look like your passport photograph, then it’s about time for you to toddle off on holiday.

11                A conscience is what hurts when all of your other parts feel so good.

12                Finally: No man has ever been shot while doing the dishes.

* Actually that one doesn’t work, as the bowel will override the brain every time, but it looked funny to me.

Haydn's Chopin Liszt at Vivaldi's:

  1. Rossini and cheese

  2. Schumann polish

  3. Bern-n-stein remover

  4. Satie mushrooms

  5. batteries (Purcell)

  6. BeethOVEN cleaner

  7. Hummel microwave meals

  8. orange Schubert

  9. TchaiCOUGHsky drops

  10. marshMahlers

  11. Honey-nut Berlioz

  12. Cui-tips

  13. Chef Boyardee Raveli

  14. sour cream and Ives

  15. Strauss (straws)

  16. chocolate Webers (wafers)

  17. Del Monteverdi corn

  18. Mozart-rella cheese

  19. I Can't Believe it's not Rutter

  20. Bach of serial (opera)

  21. chicken Balakirev

  22. new door Handel

  23. Golden Brahms

  24. Clemen-TEA

  25. Little Debussy snack cakes

  26. Oscar Meyerbeer bologna

Musical Fun

What's the difference between a seamstress and a violist?

The seamstress tucks up the frills. (sorry, but if that can be put into a national magazine, so can I).


Continued from Alan Smith - Kulula Airlines

In a previous edition of the Update. Alan Smith gave a whole load of sayings from the South African Airline Kulula, due to massive interest in the airline, further sayings have come forth via Alan’s mighty pen (well his fingers really, via the power of the internet and email etc, etc…. Moving on…).

Ø      Overheard on a Kulula flight into Cape Town, on a particularly windy and bumpy day: During the final approach, the Captain really had to fight it. After an extremely hard landing, the Flight Attendant said, "Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to The Mother City. Please remain in your seats with your seat belts fastened while the Captain taxis what's left of our airplane to the gate!"

Ø      Another flight attendant's comment on a less than perfect landing: "We ask you to please remain seated as Captain Kangaroo bounces us to the terminal."

Ø      An airline pilot wrote that on this particular flight he had hammered his ship into the runway really hard. The airline had a policy which required the first officer to stand at the door while the passengers exited, smile, and give them a "Thanks for flying our airline. He said that, in light of his bad landing, he had a hard time looking the passengers in the eye, thinking that someone would have a smart comment.  Finally everyone had gotten off except for a little old lady walking with a cane. She said, "Sir, do you mind if I ask you a question? Did we land, or were we shot down?"

Ø      After a real crusher of a landing in Johannesburg, the attendant came on with, "Ladies and Gentlemen, please remain in your seats until Captain Crash and the Crew have brought the aircraft to a screeching halt against the gate. And, once the tire smoke has cleared and the warning bells are silenced, we will open the door and you can pick your way through the wreckage to the terminal."

Ø      Part of a flight attendant's arrival announcement: "We'd like to thank you folks for flying with us today.  And, the next time you get the insane urge to go blasting through the skies in a pressurized metal tube, we hope you'll think of Kulula Airways."

Ø      Heard on a Kulula flight. "Ladies and gentlemen, if you wish to smoke, the smoking section on this airplane is on the wing. If you can light 'em, you can smoke 'em."

Ø      A plane was taking off from Durban Airport.  After it reached a comfortable cruising altitude, the captain made an announcement over the intercom, "Ladies and gentlemen, this is your captain speaking. Welcome to Flight Number 293, non-stop from Durban to Cape Town, The weather ahead is good and, therefore, we should have a smooth and uneventful flight. Now sit back and relax... OH, MY GOODNESS!" Silence followed, and after a few minutes, the captain came back on the intercom and said, "Ladies and Gentlemen, I am so sorry if I scared you earlier. While I was talking to you, the flight attendant accidentally spilled a cup of hot coffee in my lap. You should see the front of my pants!" A passenger then yelled, "That's nothing. You should see the back of mine!”


The Other One

A few minutes before the church services started, the congregation were sitting in their pews and talking. Suddenly, Satan appeared at the front of the church. Everyone started screaming and running for the front entrance, trampling each other in a frantic effort to get away from evil incarnate.
Soon the church was empty except for one elderly gentleman who sat calmly in his pew without moving, seemingly oblivious to the fact that God's ultimate enemy was in his presence.
So Satan walked up to the man and said, 'Do you know who I am?'
The man replied, 'Yep, sure do.'
'Aren't you afraid of me?' Satan asked.
'Nope, sure ain’t.' said the man.
'Don't you realize I can kill you with one word?' asked Satan.
'Don't doubt it for a minute,' returned the old man, in an even tone.
'Did you know that I can cause you profound, horrifying AGONY for all eternity?' persisted Satan.
'Yep,' was the calm reply.
'And you are still not afraid?' asked Satan.
' Nope,' said the old man
More than a little perturbed, Satan asked, 'Why aren't you afraid of me?'

The man calmly replied
‘been married to your sister for 48 years.’ Thanks to Peter Griffiths.

Plod asking a man a few questions said, “tell me, how many brothers do you have? To which the youth replied “Only one” to which Plod replied “don’t lie to me, your sister said that she’s got two.”


Heard at the Palais “Listen beautiful, I’m not the big fool I used to be” to which the slim and rather beautiful lady said “Ah, so you’ve lost weight then?” Thanks to Sylvie Legrand for that one.


A Prayer for 2011                                                                                   

Dear God,

My prayer for 2011 is for a fat bank account & a thin body.

Please don't mix these up like you did last year.


Thanks to Rudy Nijs for that one


And what better way to finish the History in Harmony Update! 

Again, thank you for your continued support and encouragement. Please keep passing this update around – New people are welcome and all you have to do is email me at and I’ll do the rest

Previous Updates? – Then look no further

Go to and click onto Boz’s Box or go to and now 

Thanks to the three websites above for putting the Update up onto your websites. The joining of different groups of people and hobbies has always been the objective of this E-newsletter. For previous Updates go to the above addresses – all three are very good interactive websites that are looked after by our present generation of enthusiastic people. I used to say "young", but we've all got a bit older!


If you have any interesting news, can you please supply me with it - all subjects are welcome to be discussed. If you feel that your subject isn’t being covered fully, then please let me know and/or please send in an article to cover it. Apologies if I have missed out your special event, but if you don’t let me know, then I can’t rectify the situation.


If you want to use the general material please do, but also could you mention History in Harmony as the source and give the web address please contact me on article use to ask permission from author.

As ever, should you wish to not be included on this update, then please let me know at with your email address and I’ll remove you forthwith from the address on my list. Conversely, if you know of any other people who would enjoy this email, then please get them to contact me at the same address.


Views expressed are not necessarily those of the Update Compiler. It may be on occasions, necessary to edit material. In such cases utmost care will be taken to ensure that alterations or omissions do not alter the context of the subject or create a misleading or false representation. As a matter of courtesy, the author(s) will be consulted about major alterations.


Kind wishes to all 

Boz Oram

See also Boz 63 and Boz 64