By Boz Oram

History in Harmony


Compiled by Boz  


Welcome to the History in Harmony Update; Issue Number 79  

More feedback is that some of you print out the History in Harmony Update - if this is the case and I send your edition to your place of work, then please let me know your regular address where I can send it directly and then there’ll be more fun opening the weblinks as it just doesn’t work on paper - they just look blue and no amount of pressing the blue hyperlink with your finger will make it work!


Just a few helpful tips for new readers on your way to understanding the reasons for 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 hobbies, preserved collections and history sections together in the world and let you know what’s going on all at the same time.

There are no divisions here and all is equal.


Yes a cracking summer takes place here in the UK. I am writing this as we have a heatwave and Andy Murray has become the singles champion for the first time in 77 years. The Centre Court reached temperatures of up to 400 C, whilst I was in the Old Ale House’s back garden trying to cool down! Well done that man.


Enough of that… in this packed instalment of the History in Harmony Update, here’s a taster of what you can read and play with…


Waldkirch 2014

Karlsruhe 2014

Beach Bar in Wales

Shipping Forecast

Weather Watch

Whistle Blowers Break Silence

Olympics – One Year On




Jools Holland


Utube Moments

Black Water


Nalder & Nalder


Bayeux Tapestry

Stonehenge Henge


Lest We Forget

Fun Time


Waldkirch 2014

It is definitely on a first come first served basis and after Update 78a was sent out, the tour has been filling up rather fast. If you are interested in travelling down to Waldkirch, then please find the enclosed itinerary and booking form (ATTACHED to the History in Harmony Update email).

A deposit sent with the booking form will secure your place on the tour.



Waldkirch Mechanical Organ Festival 2014

Tour dates June 26th (Thursday) – 30th June (Monday) 2014.


Dear All

Waldkirch 2014 is coming up next year. For those who don’t know of this festival, it is held in a small, picturesque town in the foothills of the Black Forest and was the place where many of the older generation of mechanical organ builders had German workshops such as the Black Forest Gavioli, Limonaire as well as home grown Ruth and Bruder, plus a whole host of other builders, but you’ll find out about them when you are there! Nowadays there is the well-known mechanical organ builders Jaeger & Brommer, Fleck workshop, so the mechanical organ tradition continues, plus the most famous Eltzal museum that houses excellent organs and some very unique instruments donated to the collection over many years; the amazing Gustav Bruder music arranging drum with its many gear sequences is also here, but to tell you about all of the show would take up many pages, but there are jazz bands, south American music, in fact so much that most will only dream about!


The show hosts many instruments from the smaller hand turned instruments from all over Europe and the Americas, as well as many of the larger instruments from around Germany and Northern Europe and again some rare and unusual instruments will be seen. The town itself is a Mecca for mechanical organ enthusiasts who come from all over the world, and it is the opportunity of meeting up with old friends and of course making many new ones.


The show spreads out throughout the whole town and even into the park and zoological gardens. This town, so well-known throughout the world literally comes alive to the sound of music with all shop keepers working with the festival, for you to relish the whole experience with plenty of beer gardens and food halls and of course at this time of year, the fruit is ripe so some of the loveliest cakes are here too!


Linda and I have been in touch with Eurostar and have a provisional booking for the journey down to Waldkirch 2014. We therefore need to know how many people will be going on the trip so that the rail company can give us the best rate for the journey.


I order for this to happen we will need a deposit of £100 and a completed booking form so that the payments can be made to secure the places needed.


The cost is £399 in a twin and £450 in a single, less the deposit of £100.


The departure will be from St. Pancras International (12.29pm) arriving at Paris Nord. It then departs from Paris Est arriving in Strasbourg where you will be met by coach who will take you to Oberwinden. Here you will have your accommodation and food can be supplied by the hotel owner if you wish. A rail ticket is supplied free of charge to get you to the Waldkirch festival, or alternatively, you can go on your own trip around the area on the same ticket. The scenery is quite stunning as you would expect in this area of Germany.


For those who are interested, I have attached a booking form to the History in Harmony Update email, which you will be able to download.


We have also been asked about two other places: Dordt in Stoom is 23rd - 26th May, 2014 and Karlsruhe Model Engineering Exhibition 2014 is 10th –12th January. Again if you are interested, please let us know as soon as possible as we need to know numbers early due to far too many variable factors to list here!


If you know of others who might be interested in this tour, could you please pass it on. Thanks.


We also keep being asked whether we will do Karlsruhe – so depending upon confirmed numbers, which needs you to reply quickly due to transportation, hotels and collections.

Karlsruhe and German Museums Tour - 2014

The 2014 German Museums and Model Engineering Tour, goes to the famous Karlsruhe Echtdamph-Hallentreffen, formerly at Sinsheim as well as various excursions to other collections in the area. In order to make the tour suitable for partners to enjoy the whole experience, Linda and I have come up with a few different places that may give a balance to the whole tour.

To start off with, the tour centres around the excellent Model Engineering Exhibition at Karlsruhe where some 5 kilometres of 5 inch gauge track is laid for plenty of steam, electric and internal combustion engines are taken around this highly interesting track and around the outside is a 7¼ inch railway that is used by the general public to see the whole lot without having to walk! There are also many road going machines as well as boats and more modern model engineering that brings younger budding engineers into the show. It also has plenty of eating establishments as well as various bars scattered around the whole place and is situated in a light, airy purpose built exhibition hall. This will be our first port of call and we will spend a whole day here for those who want to enjoy the show. Others who would prefer to enjoy Karlsruhe, the 4 star hotel is but a stone’s from the centre of town and you can either walk, catch a tram or bus.

Heilbronn is about one hour’s drive and here is a fantastic collection of mainline steam and diesel engines situated around a turntable and it’s almost as if the whole place could go straight back into operating on the main line should the need arise. A brilliant collection here, but if the weather is cold, you’ll need overcoats as it isn’t heated, but on reflection, the weather, even though cold, is dry so not like the English winters. (provisional – still awaiting reply from them)

The Cité du Train (National Railway Museum) at Mulhouse has over 100 locomotives and the Museé EDF Electropolis (Electrical Museum) sports the largest of Sultzer steam engine within its walls. France has centred many of its exceptional collected works in this area with another, the incredible Cité de l’Automobile, Collection Schlumpf with some 520 cars mainly Bugatti, Rolls-Royce and anything and everything exceptionally expensive. After travelling with one of our passengers who was 98 at the time, I asked what the old cars were like, to which his answer was “damn cold and far too much brass to clean!”

Auto and Technik Museum Sinsheim & Technik Museum Speyer are the exceptional world-renowned National German collections featuring a real Space Shuttle, a Submarine, Concorde and Russian Concordski, plus really so much else just not seen at regular collections.

The trip will visit the tranquil Spa town of Baden-Baden as well as the eclectic Fahrzeug Museum at Marxzell full of virtually everything - truly remarkable!

This year the tour will leave on Wednesday 8th January from the south of England and spend one night half board in Bonn before travelling to one of the above museums on Thursday and moving onto Karlsruhe the next day for three nights returning to Bonn on Sunday for a further night half board.  The hotel in Karlsruhe will be B&B only.

The trip will be priced at £499 in a twin and £599 in a single, with coach transfer, shuttle, five nights’ accommodation and four entrances included in the package.  For the full itinerary and booking form please contact me.

Web addresses for readers further interest.,,,, , ,

Now getting into other important things in life…

Third Best Beach Bar in the World - 2013

Yes just behind Jamaica and Germany, this pub in North Wales has been voted the third best beach bar in the world! Yes, called Ty Coch or Red House, the building was built originally as a vicarage using old bricks and rubble left behind by Dutch sailors, but shortly afterwards it was made into a public house and the most recent owner has been there for 44 years, with her son taking over and continuing the family tradition, The staff are taken on at the age of 13 who go and collect glasses and then as they improve are then promoted up the ladder until they finally leave, normally after finishing university. The only way to get to the pub by the way is to walk either along the beach or through the golf club and looking at the webcam, it looks quite divine.


Staying on a wet and watery theme

Weather Watch

There is no part of the UK that is more than 70 miles away from the sea, which is why the country was classed as a seafaring nation since the time of the swashbuckling Tudors, and of course a great maritime industry sprung up with ships being built all over the place, one being Buckler’s Hard in the New Forest, just a stone’s throw from the National Motor Museum at Beaulieu, however when the wireless came onto the scene, along came the shipping forecast; a map that shows you what kind of weather the sea will bring up and this is broadcast by the Met Office every six hours at midnight, 6am, midday and 6 in the evening; this reports the weather for 31 different sea areas around the UK, for Northern France, Spain right up to Scandinavia, over to South East Iceland and down the left hand side of the British Isles.


It is different to the weather forecast that you see on the TV – this is a forecast to save lives and help sailors on the sea, not to see whether you can top up your suntan and see whether you have to go out and water the lawn.

A standard format occurs each broadcast and at the start any gales or dangerous weather will be heard of and where it is, any pressure systems giving you a rough idea if you are going into or coming out of rough sea, how fast it’s moving and if the wind is getting stronger or weaker. It also gives the predicted wind speeds using the Beaufort Scale and will of course tell you the direction the wind is blowing – essential if you are in a sailing boat.


Words are used to indicate time – when the forecast is read out, you’ll be told at what speed things will happen such as “imminent” means within the next six hours, “soon” is within the next 12 hours, and “later” means after 12 hours.


Visibility is also terribly important too as a mid-sea collision is catastrophic so this is measured too such as 5 nautical miles, visibility is classed as “good,” up to 2.5 nautical miles then the visibility is classed as “moderate” and from 1,000 metres to 2 nautical miles, the term used is “poor” and anything less than 1,000 metres is referred to as “fog”


Wave height is also taken into account and note how different measurements are used here in the whole of the shipping forecast

2.5 – 4 metres, sea state “Rough”

4 – 6m “Very Rough”

6 – 9m “High”

9 – 14m “Very High”

and over 14 “Phenomenal”


I notice these measurements and words were commissioned during a time when the frenzy writers were kept in Pandora’s Box, which is why people can understand them and they actually mean something in today’s day and age!


Now for the sections down the left hand side of the country

South East Iceland,

Faeroes, Bailey, Hebrides, Rockall, Malin, Shannon, Fastnet, Sole, Finisterre


Then between Ireland and then France

Irish Sea, Lundy, Plymouth, Biscay, Portland, Wight, Dover, Thames.


Then coming down the east of the country from the north starting at Norway

Viking, Cromarty, Forties, Fisher, Dogger, Tyne, German Bight, Humber.


There are a further 11, but if you are on a boat, these will at least help you, not that the History in Harmony Update should ever be used to navigate around the British Isles! You are best to go out and buy a map and go and get some lessons in how to survive on (or in) the sea.


Weather Watch II

In the last Edition of the History in Harmony I reported that there were some very clever people discussing why we were having so much rain and why the year was so cold, awful and bad and of course what they could do about it. It was reported in the scare mags and media as a terrible situation and food was down, we were all going to starve and floods everywhere and Armageddon was just around the corner.


Within a week of them having their meeting, the UK went into meltdown and we had a heatwave into the 30’s (C) then having the opportunity of then being able to say that the UK could now go into drought conditions if we weren’t good with water and of course the usual heatwave warnings about death and destruction and goodness only knows what else to bring doom and gloom onto the country.


We were to have rain, thunderstorms and massive floods (according the scaremonger newspaper’s massive headlines), but next day we had a bit of rain in the south which just about laid the dust and in the north of the country, thunderstorms which put out the railway signalling network (so a normal day on Britain’s Railways) and some heavy rain, which car drivers couldn’t handle, but other than that, normal weather conditions that we’d been experiencing just four weeks previously.


Obviously the answer to global warming (or cooling) is to have these people meet throughout the world, talk loads of hot air and all will change for the better.


From Des Lang

Now talking of the weather, here in the Northern Hemisphere it is summer and down the other end of the world it’s winter – all to do with loads of clever things that make this world of ours exist, and fortunately it is totally out of human’s control which is why it still works.


Anyway, thanks to Des Lang, who went through hot riveting during their heatwave (that sounds weird now as I write it again), he has sent me some great footage of a steam day on 22nd July of some steamers in Melbourne at 10 o’clock at night and it’s called “Whistleblowers Break City Silence” – this time in a different way without having to stay in an airport lounge or an embassy.


Some more footage was taken during the day 761 & 707 and 14 cars on the snowmobile yesterday (Sat 20 Jul) 560 passengers, 350 metres long, 4000 - 4400 HP, if the crews were any good. Note that the Franks are not open and the engines are doing the job they were intended for. The night time shots are just great.  also 
plus a written news report on the day’s events…


The Olympics

Yes its official! The government of the UK has put out today (19th July 2013) that the Olympics made mega billions of dosh for everyone (the figure by the way changes in every news bulletin)! In someone’s dreams maybe, but let’s also hope it comes true. The take-up on sport though hasn’t been as enthusiastic as it was predicted, but it’s still early days.



Yes a survey (June 2013) has been done here in the UK to see what is the worst thing to makes children feel uncomfortable in front of their parent(s)? Well it turns out that it’s their ma and (or) pa trying to dance at some family gathering such as a wedding or whatever goes on within normal family circles. Fortunately it just isn’t just the father that comes of badly but the mother too, which is great as finally a bit of equality.


Years ago I took up Jive Dancing quite by accident – or really more too the truth, I opened my big fat mouth. It wasn’t me but my old pal Rob who’d restored his Mortier Dance organ when I asked whether he ever danced in front of it, to which his reply was a resounding “NO”. I said “what’s the point of having an instrument that you can dance to, and you can’t – seems a waste of money.” And his reply was “that’s for other people to do” After a few beers and a whole load of verbal diahorrea later, we decided to leave that for another day.


Well all things considered, shortly afterwards Rob found out about dancing classes from some ladies in his workplace (and here was me thinking a few foxtrots, or maybe a couple of waltzes, a tango or two – it’s only a few steps after all and once you’ve mastered them, then you can muddle through). Fortunately, Rob went totally the opposite way and went for Jive Dancing, which is a far better situation as the chances of doing a waltz or a foxtrot is minimal nowadays (especially finding a partner), but every wedding, dance or gathering with music means that you can look to be a really good dancer, but because few people can or will ever get up and dance as they might look stupid. Well I have to say you look even more stupid sitting like a beached whale on the sidelines looking miserable at others enjoying themselves.


Rob said something like “you started this, you can come along too” so both Rob and I duly signed up – it cost £1 to be a member and a further £5 each dancing session which for three hours dancing, is mighty cheap in anyone’s language.


What happens is that you turn up and there’s a beginner’s class where all of the better dancers also turn up; they in turn want dancers to dance with too so it’s in their interest to get you up and running as soon as possible. You then improve with about 12 basic steps for a few weeks and then without any pressure at all, go into the intermediate class where the majority of the dancers are. There are many moves, but all stem from these 12 basic moves, a bit like all readable signwriting, it mainly stems from Times New Roman, and in no time, you’ll be doing all sorts of fun moves, look brilliant, but above all, you’ll be fitter, you’ll feel a lot healthier, you’ll come away believing that every muscle has been used and you’ll be a bit of a dancer.


It also becomes a bit addictive as you’ll meet plenty of people where you can have a conversation (yes really – people actually talk to each other!!!), on one occasion for me a great conversation about electronic guidance systems from a lady based locally, oh and another thing, you’ll get hot – maybe from the many dance partners you’ll be with, but dancing is also a strenuous exercise and if you look at most of the dancers of the world, they last until a great age and keep their marbles, so all of that crap about eating the right things and “my body is a temple” guff can go straight out of the window!


These are the people I danced with…

In their own words, “Ceroc is an abbreviation of the French phrase c'est Rock.
We have been introducing complete beginners to the world of partner dancing for over 28 years and today we are the biggest dance club in the world with hundreds of classes across the globe.

“Our stylish dance, sometimes referred to as 'Modern Jive', is a fusion of Salsa, Ballroom, Hip Hop, Tango and Jive. We make learning to dance fun, easy and relaxed. Going to a Ceroc evening is a great way to meet people, have fun and keep fit all whilst learning to dance.” All you have to do is put your postcode into the finder and it’ll do the rest, finding you the nearest one. Mine was in Salisbury cattle market, to then move onto Wilton, once the capital of Wessex.


It’s all fun you know… and maybe you’ll have proud kids when they get married and you certainly won’t be embarrassed when you get onto the dance floor and neither will anyone else.


Rob by the way, became a trainer for quite a while and in this time many other people who had mechanical organs took up dancing and it’s amazing how many ended up with their long time partners from this great place to go and dance and meet people. Oh and you can be mechanical or you can also be fluid, but it really is a grrreat evening’s entertainment.


Garry Heron sends us all a nice engineering problem to solve – take your time too…

Backhoe Stress Test

A backhoe weighing 22 tons is on top of a lowboy trailer and heading east on Interstate 70 near Hays, Kansas. (that’s a digger on a low-loader to me). The extended shovel arm is made of hardened refined steel and the approaching overpass is made of commercial-grade concrete, reinforced with 1 inch steel rebar spaced at 6 inch intervals in a criss-cross pattern layered at 1 foot vertical spacing. 
When the shovel arm hits the overpass, how fast do you have to be going to slice the bridge in half? (Assume no effect for headwind and no braking by the driver.)
Extra Credit:

Solve for the time and distance required for the entire rig to come to a complete stop after hitting the overpass at the speed calculated above. 

Yes, you can ignore friction.


Yes and sadly this is a true story – the fellah driving was supposedly texting someone – I hope he was wearing his seatbelt.

And as Garry says “I couldn't solve it either......but who cares; the pictures are great and at least they had the machine already there to dismantle the bridge, which would have saved a few dollars in haulage.” also gives a great background on the whole situation


New Patron - Jools Holland for PPG (Player Piano Group)

The new patron for the Player Piano Group, succeeding the late Sir Charles McKerras is the hugely active and well respected musician and broadcaster Jools Holland.

The breadth of his musical interests span the full range of music rolls and he, with his mother June, have been past PPG members. His reply is as follows:

"... I have indeed been given great pleasure and have had many hours of joy and escape with pianolas. In fact, I wouldn't be where I am today if there hadn't been one in the family home. They are musical instruments, a piece of furniture, a scientific wonder, a friend in the corner and a life changing item. Bearing all this in mind I was most honored to be invited to be Patron of The Player Piano Group..."


Tours with History in Harmony

Many thanks to all who wrote to me about the tour for AMICA covered in the last History in Harmony Update editions; such nice comments from so many of you. Thanks!


Now for a bit of Fun Yes its Utube time. This one’s with parking wardens trying to book a very small car. Whether it’s a set-up I don’t know, but it’s always possible.

And now the oddest drag racing vehicle which seems to defy all logic.

Now another that defies logic is the Alpine (European) Ibex that climbs an almost vertical wall to lick the salt out of the mortar and eat the lichen and moss off the Del de Cingino Dam. and the music is rather dramatic, but it shows these creatures just doing what comes naturally.


Extinction of the Pyrenean Ibex happened in the year 2000, however in 2009 DNA taken from the animal that died in 2000 was brought back to life in a baby Pyrenean Ibex, however it lasted only for 7 minutes, but there is hope the as science improves in the genetic field, then other extinct species will hopefully be returned back into nature, from the liquid nitrogen gene pool. One can only hope. It seems amazing the humans can destroy so easily, but can also give life too – bizarre.


Black Water

Ah the topics that get covered in the History in Harmony Update sometimes defy all logic, but this is one of those important ones that rarely get covered – sewage!

Water quality is never that far from our minds – our water supply system demands that we have pure water to drink straight from the tap and of course it’s mined (or pumped) from the earth to be purified and sent down the pipes to our homes, however on a boat it is a different thing altogether. Now I don’t know how many of you have been to a regatta and found that it has been called off due to the competitors who have been taken ill due to sewage overflows?


You also have to remember that many people will discharge their sewage or black water into the sea without any thought for their fellow sailors and windsurfers. A common belief is that a small amount of black water discharge will not do any harm, which may be the case far enough offshore, but in poor flushing areas, it causes a number of problems, especially when you have maybe 8,500 sailors and up to 100,000 visitors, so maybe there are one or two reasons why you might think before you flush.


Remember that the seafood that you will be eating after a glorious day of sailing might give you a dose of gastroenteritis if untreated sewage ends up contaminating shellfish beds, fish shoals and mussel ropes. Decomposing organic matter reduces oxygen levels in the water and the nitrogen and phosphorus in human waste can cause algae blooms, blankets of algae that kill anything trying to survive below the surface of the water. Furthermore, chemicals used in toilets to breakdown and deodorise waste tend to contain formaldehyde, chlorine and ammonia, which when released into the water are toxic to marine life.


Here in the UK since 2006 a holding tank space is required by law, but doesn’t need fitting (why is that?), however on the continent of Europe the holding tank is a required part of the vessel and has to emptied at a recognised dumping place.


Remember that when Admiral Lord Nelson was based at Port Royal where the discharge was jettisoned into the bay of water, it never really got taken out to sea with the result of many sailors dying of fever caused totally by that and the drink that was brewed on land used the same water, but in lead lined tanks. A sobering thought maybe, and remember the previous issue of the History in Harmony Update about Dubai’s lack of sewage network and the disaster that is happening there, but I do believe that at all of the shows I go to, there is a tank for human waste and the majority of people do actually use them when clearing out their waste, but even then the lazy and moronic do just empty it onto the ground and the same people still demand clean, fresh healthy food.



Well done to all of you who went to Devizes ; I bet you had a brilliant day at the world’s best brewery, the most amazing flight of locks, the brilliant Wiltshire market town, the Titanic salerooms and the railway walk and of course the castle and of course, nearby the most amazing 4,500 year-old Avebury and of course West Kennett Longbarrow which is being excavated as we speak for the first time since 1937.


Anyway, the final resting day for Brown & May took place 100 years after the event and with a yard in Devizes the greatest collection of Brown & May steamers were on display for everyone to see most likely - ever.


The story of the company is a fascinating one – quality products, but a need to forge into the future with all sorts of new modifications which were absorbed into the company profits, rendering it so short of finances that they sadly had to close their doors to the world in 1913.

There has been speculation as to whether they had survived another year would they have been involved in the manufacture during WW1; who knows the answer to that, but knowing how standardisation is the key to fighting a war, I leave that to your imagination.


Much of Brown & May’s products were exported overseas, with many portable engines going to pump water and irrigate land, or general harvesting of wheat or wood sawing, but like all engineers they did plenty of machinery for the home market too branching out making a few oil engines of differing sizes, self-moving steamers such as the small steam tractor as well as the only example of a B&M showman’s engine General Buller that had come down from Lincolnshire from owner Alan Rundle. In fact Alan supports this area quite regularly, so grateful thanks to him for making such an effort. With a dozen or so large engines from all sizes of maybe 2nhp right up the scale, plus a few other exhibits including motorcycles (no not Brown & May ones as I don’t think they did those) and a few old cars also not from the B&M works.


It was a once in a lifetime moment that all grateful thanks must go to Michele Goddard for organising such a great day with so many examples on view – a lot of writing and coercing people to come takes a lot of skill and dedication to the cause. Yes the weather was HOT and the engines HOT too, but with a few ice creams and a cup of tea, everyone was well catered for. for pictures of the day and a local write-up


Interestingly as a side issue, many of the townsfolk really didn’t know of the industrial past of Devizes, but I also remember Brian Wells taking the brilliant American Gavioli to the place where it was built – Paris. Few people knew of the Gavioli factory’s existence, let alone its importance to the mechanical organ world, but more to the point, how this Paris manufacturer has been forgotten in its own home city, but revered throughout the rest of the world seems quite odd. It was Brian telling the locals of what they used to have, rather than the local city council who allowed the last remaining part of the Gavioli factory to be demolished some 12 or so years ago to make way for some other modern buildings – sadly the beautiful stone façade of the old works was lost forever to be made into concrete and glass instead.


Returning back to the storyline; there was a Nalder & Nalder threshing drum, one of two that I know of; Nalder & Nalder were based in East Challow, just a few miles down the road and rather than go into competition, they sold these machines in conjunction with Brown & May, which I didn’t know, especially as Robinson & Auden (later the Wantage Engineering Co) were also in nearby Wantage, so it would have been easier to go locally I would have thought – maybe they didn’t get on, however if you read the book then you’ll find out.



A little snippet from Michele Goddard is to say that the main building of Nalder and Nalder still exists and the site is currently being redeveloped. I also remember when I was looking for a house that one on offer 2½ decades ago was Nalder Cottage in East Challow – now I’m guessing that that would still exist as it was a well-built property, but haven’t seen it since 1987.  With regard to Brown and May premises, the factory was taken over by Chivers of Devizes to then be taken over by the supermarket Morrisons who re-developed the whole site; there are however a couple of terraced Brown & May houses that face onto the main road from the supermarket that still exist.


Michele continues by saying that the Brown & May Trust has been formed to look after the portable engine that was at the Lackham Museum (now closed) and keep it in the vicinity. There are now, along with her own B&M portable and about 5 others in the area and until fairly recently there were actually none, so well done to all who have brought back the industrial core of the town back to Devizes.


In due course there will be a B&M Trust web page to inform what the plan will be and where the Trust owned items will be on display. I would guess that this will take a bit of time as we all have other things to do besides play with chuffer puffs!


Anyway, here’s a story about the other thrasher that wasn’t there in Devizes…

Nalder and Nalder Threshing Drum

Many years ago in about 1961, my Pop bought a steam traction engine renamed Black Diana and with that he then bought an E & H Hora showman’s living wagon (pre 1886) from a local dealer in Andover, (now at Holycombe sinking into the soil), but to make the whole entourage more complete he found, a couple of years later a thrashing drum up in local Oxenwood on a farm.


He decided to buy it and bring it home to the family roost. I remember him taking the old steamer off up to the farm about 13 miles away. Now with a range of about 7 miles on a tender full of water, the water cart was filled up and coupled to the engine to get them there without having to stop. I remember my mum taking me in the car to see it at the Box Farm as I’d gotten the steam bug by then, being about 4 or five years old at the time and full with wide eyes and the innocence of just being a child full of anticipation.


What a sight – the steamer all coupled up to the thrasher and a goodly head of steam with the engine waiting to get back onto the road. The engine started to move with the sound of the iron wheels crunching the gravel on the concrete road and the sound of the gearing meshing with itself and a mighty puff out of the chimney, meant that it was on its way to a new home; my mum sensibly took a hasty retreat back home to await the arrival of the new piece of equipment, rather than follow behind and pick up the bits and pieces that may have fallen off.


A few hours later the sound of the whistle told me that the engine was nearby to the village. It was just great to see all of the stuff arriving in town, but for some inexplicable reason, the engine broke down right outside the Coronation Arms public house – it was amazing how many engines did that naughty little trick in those early years; steam everywhere and a whole load of people milling around trying to fix the said problem (that may or may not have existed!).


Shortly afterwards the engine, water tender and thrashing drum ended up on the family home, to then be taken later on in the year to the local steam rally at Finkley Farm near to Andover. The whole lot was coupled up together and a demonstration took place at the show. It all worked and a day of fun happened with many engines and their stuff returning back to the family home to then eventually go onto the next show. It was always a hive of activity with engines popping in to stay for a while and then move off later on in the year, it was however the last time that the thrasher worked with us as the engine was sold to John Antell and now given its original name of Dreadnought; we had no way of driving it, so the thrasher stayed on the land with me going up to it and turning over the various pulley wheels and making sure that it was lubricated, but time marches on and it wasn’t being used and needed to go to a new home where it could be cared for.


Locally in 1971, there was a sale organised by the Hirst family of WJ King’s engines from Bishop’s Lydeard, so the thrasher was towed up there behind our ex Stokes’s Foden Diesel of 1933/4, also put into the sale. I lost track of the thrasher from that point until I saw a letter from Bill Evans saying the 2185 still lives, most likely due to it being sold for quite a high price at the sale and not worth scrapping. It has since been with Frank Lythgoe until 12 years ago and it now needs some restoration done to it, but more to the point, the green and red nameplate shown in the photograph was painted by my fair hand in about 1970 and hasn’t rusted.


So somehow, the 14th July was a pretty important day for me too, even though I didn’t realise it until I’d arrived at the event in Devizes. Thanks to Michele (and the band of merry helpers and exhibitors) for putting the show on and also thanks for the input for this small article that doesn’t do justice for what actually happened on the build-up or the day itself.


Oh the Foden? Yes that got sold at the sale and someone decided to rebuild the engine and took it all apart and rip stuff off it. I then heard of it some 15 or so years ago down in Crawley so went to see it, but the owner wanted such a high price for it with a destroyed engine and all of the body wrecked. I then heard that someone else had bought it and that’s as far as I know at the moment, but it still exists.


Why do we do it?


Many people who read the History in Harmony Update and go to shows up and down the countryside, do not necessarily have a specific interest in someone else’s chosen hobby, so what might be seen at a show to the unsuspecting person who wanders by, actually sees something else that has always been the same; well-painted, works a treat and was only ever used to be (certainly in the traction engine world) played with and cosseted and always parked in a line.


We as a group seem to be getting further and further away from what actually happened and the public isn’t being helped especially by those who know better, the organisers and the exhibitors.


For an example…

To those who don’t realise, but take the Ford Cortina – now many thousands of those vehicles were made, but being a bit of a rust bucket, corroded through the sub-frame and the bodywork disintegrated, however you see precious few of them now, but as they were part of the scenery for so many years, people love to see them around and they bring back memories; if it’s steamers and memories, the only memories that the Public will have is your exhibit and how you display it because they’ve never seen one earning its living and if sitting on a tent peg is the idea of what they originally did and then maybe slowly going around a parade ring with the drivers looking miserable and frightened, then God help us!


The railway boys and girls do much for the preservation of their side of things; getting people interested and aren’t rude to the public - they need people to come to their railway to make it pay otherwise it doesn’t survive; courses in firing techniques, boiler maintenance, how to deal with the Public and how to get the most from the rails are paramount. When a new built railway locomotive is made, it doesn’t sit on a tent peg with its crew sitting at or inside their caravan hiding away from the public, but it’s out there being used, earning money and giving excitement and thrills to the people who have paid good money to see this excellent piece of engineering working for its living.


I return back to those people who spend literally thousands of hours renewing, fabricating, finding out, doing it normally into the wee hours of the morning and then finally taking it to a show where the next stage is the armchair critics who try and pull holes in your hard work. is the Last Days of Steam


I would say to all who do their best in restoring an item; you’ve managed to do something that others can only dream about, but what you’ll do is give so much pleasure to so many people, especially the children who just love to see these things around and moving. Long may the restorer continue with all of the hard work and remember you are the ones who do the history, not the critics.


Talking of writing things and people…

Myth Time

The Bayeux Tapestry

Most will have heard of the Bayeux Tapestry illustrating the Battle of Hastings in 1066 and the change of the English monarchy to a foreign one. Well I have to point out that the tapestry never came from Bayeux and worse still, it isn’t a tapestry either but an embroidered linen cloth about 70 metres or 230 feet long!


The famous depiction showing the Battle of Hastings and William the Conqueror’s journey to England and the subsequent Battle at Hastings was made by the women of either Canterbury in Kent or possibly Winchester in Hampshire and commissioned by William’s half-brother Bishop Odo. Sadly for us and historians, it was never signed by any of them, so again the female part of our history was never recorded leaving such a large, gaping hole as to what they really did during those times. You can almost imagine at the end of making this incredible series of depictions that ladies saying “Sire, your embroidery made with the finest woven thread from the best sewing skills and of the best people in the land is finished” with the male saying something like “Thanks Luv for the tapestry thingy, now be a doll and go put the kettle on for a nice cuppa tea”


It was found in Bayeux Cathedral in the 18th century and later it was going to be used by the army during the French Revolution to cover one of the military wagons and fortunately for the world, it was hidden by a local lawyer so preserved this unique piece of history.


In 1885, Embroidery of the same scenes took 30 seamstresses to complete the job and is on view in Reading Museum free of charge during opening hours.


The scene has been studied for many years now and those who know are sure that those people with moustaches are the English. As for Harold being shot in the eye by an arrow – sadly this has become folklore and the arrow in the eye was most certainly a later addition to the embroidery so it may be true, or just another person who died from such a mortal wound.


It is an amazing relic from a time that has so little written about it, but if you happen to be either at Bayeux or Reading, do go and have a look at these remarkable depictions of a time long ago.


Myth Two

Another myth is that the famous Stonehenge is actually a henge. Sadly it isn’t! You would have thought that with the name henge incorporated into its title it would have been, but not so. A henge is actually a specific type of construction and the name Henge actually derives from this monument, but I guess a bit like Brontosaurus, the clever people who named these things changed everything to suit our language and I guess originally an error crept in.


Yes a henge actually means a roughly circular or oval-shaped flat area enclosed and delimited by a boundary earthwork - usually a ditch with an external bank.  And now in English - henge monuments are its bank and ditch. Most henges have either a single ditch or a pair of concentric ditches surrounding the area. These were normally hewn out of the ground using antlers or shoulder blades of the cattle and examples have been found at the earthworks, especially at the fantastic Avebury site.


Sadly, during the 1700’s many people went in search of building materials and destroyed many of the stones to just make walls, and maybe we can scoff at these people, but it is only in recent years that the people of this country have seen the significance of our heritage and certainly nowadays if it isn’t profitable, then much would be ploughed back into the land as has been seen by so many museums and sites of interest.


At Avebury is the Barber’s Stone, where it is said that someone was trying to break up this particular relic and the stone decided to get its own back on the offender and promptly fell on top of him! No one knew of this until a century or so later when excavations found the skeleton of this person – I guess like a mosquito being flattened onto your windscreen. Just deserts maybe, but a pretty poor ending.


Europe is literally heaving with so many Neolithic structures


Andy Murray

On the 7th July 2013, Andy Murray became the first person to win the men’s single title at Wimbledon Tennis for 77 years by wearing short pants. The previous winner, Fred Perry won in long trousers which of course means that all forms of clothing have now been tried and tested to see if any of the attire can give any advantage to the men and women but they have have shown it is not to be the case.


Here at Mayhem Central we have come to the conclusion that clothing is no advantage, but sheer guts, determination and devotion to the cause that makes a champion, especially as the quality of the players at this moment is at an all-time high.


First Minister Alex Salmon of Scotland was beaming from ear to ear, the British prime minister wore a grimace for some reason, especially as the Olympic stadiums are still not being used fully, which is rather odd with all of the hype of last year. The next day Cameron told the Press that he should be made a Sir or something just like Sir Jimmy Saville OBE etc. Well that worked didn’t it. Since that time, the boys have won the Ashes (cricket), we’ve had a win in the tour de France and done really well at everything where the competitors have to actually work. Football came bottom of the list.


National Talking Newspapers and Magazines

NTNM is a registered charity and is a subsidiary of the RNIB and brings the printed word to those with blindness or visual impairment. It received no Government funding and relies upon voluntary donations as well as a regular team who read sections of magazines at special recording studios. Editor Colin Tyson of Old Glory has been reading his own words on air for the visually impaired now and I am pleased to see that he has also given them a bit of an airing in the magazine. Those of us who have our senses sometimes don’t understand people who don’t – I found out more about what was going on around me and saw far more than I ever would had it not been for Harold Jennings, a man who had lost his sight when he was just a baby. So thanks Colin for what you are doing and here’s the website. Please pass it on and it costs as little as £11 per month, which is far cheaper than buying all of those magazines!


Bendy Drill

Talking of Old Glory, I sent Colin Tyson a photograph of a drill that I’d been using to drill our various holes for the chassis of the new organ truck, however this one had been made out of lead or maybe plasticine and it decided not to stay its original shape. Colin put the picture onto the Old Glory Facebook page and within just a few hours it had had quite a high number of hits. It seems that this isn’t an unusual occurrence either as many other people are buying “HSS” (!?) – that’s High Speed Steel drills and they are doing the same thing and it appears that the oriental part of the world makes this stuff, but forgets to actually harden it, or uses the wrong material in the first place. Now stupidly, it costs to make the drills, it costs the same amount to distribute, it costs the same amount to ship it over the water and it costs the same amount to distribute, but it costs more to sell as the name for this oriental rubbish is also giving such a bad name for other high-quality oriental products. That’s why Europe has a thing called quality control and it all has to come up to a certain standard of quality – if not, it is scrapped.


Black Country Pumping Station

Sandfields Pumping Station at Lichfield is at risk as the land is wanted to be used for other things, however David Moore is pointing out to the Lichfield District Council that this monument to clean water and its support to the Industrial Revolution with its 150hp Cornish beam engine built by Jonah and George Davies of Tipton had pumped 2 million gallons of water every day from 1873 – 1927 is unique and is the only survivor of its type and condition in the world and to contact David email



Carter’s Fair is not in Weston Super Mare this year, but the nearest is Bath on the 2nd 3rd 4th August - you’ve had your chance and you blew it as they’ve been there for a few years now! The fair then goes to Hayes in Middlesex and then – and this had to be the most smashing gig of all time – Wormwood Scrubbs! Yes the place of the infamous prison; all that’s needed is Johnny Cash to do a bit of singing, or Elvis to sing Jailhouse Rock, or maybe someone to do the Great Escape classic.


On other things, Joby is refurbishing the Billy Smart’s No 2 living wagon and it’s coming on really well, but a lot of effort is going into the iconic home, but it couldn’t have gone to a better home for restoration. I think I saw this living wagon back in the early 60’s, but I can’t be sure in London somewhere and of course to a kid, it was HUGE and I was so small.



Salvador Dali

The temperatures in the UK went from about 120 to 310 C for a short while and the transport system of a pre stressed railway system started buckling and the roadway network started melting – it was almost as if Salvador Dali had come back to make our transport system look beautiful (but pointless), once again.


Ice Cream Vans

Here in the UK we have ice cream vans that go around various housing estates and have a jingle that get played every now and then to let the kids know what is going on. Well it turns out that the jingle was by law limited to just 4 seconds – I’m guessing that it was for the nuisance value of the jangly music, however the law has extended that time from 4 to 12 seconds and we are wondering why that has happened? The only possible reason is that children have now become so obese that they need a further 8 seconds to waddle to the ice cream van before it moves on again to its next place.



A recent trip overseas with the National Carousel Association of America (NCA) dropped us into a couple of places that house mechanical automata, one of them being Francois Junot. Now I’ve seen these marvels on a number of occasions through the many tours, but firstly, I never really understood the mechanics of these incredible masterpieces, but what a social change they also managed to do to the world at large… it’s an incredible story.


“Back in years gone by, horology or clock making was a new art and with these machines a form of order came to the world, where you, or should I say the masters controlled the people by letting people know how much time had elapsed from when people woke up and how much time there was before going to sleep. In order to make sure that the people knew who was boss, these magnificent pieces of mechanical time were placed in buildings that really said that time was of the essence, so large clock towers were constructed in prominent places and after a while some gained mechanical mannequins that waltzed or marched around when the clock struck a particular time of the day. Life-sized models were used and their actions were to imitate real life human beings as well as livestock, however a few years passed and a more modern generation of people wanted to create lifelike humans, but in miniature.


One certain person, Jacques de Vaucanson was so dedicated to his craft, that he went to various hospitals and got bodies so that he could cut them up and see how the body functioned and as a consequence managed to build a flute player that was able to blow through its mouth and with its fingers on the flute, stop off the holes to actually play a tune! The player went all over Europe and was the talk of the town – well not really – it was the talk of the hierarchy who didn’t want the lowlife of humanity to see or hear it. Amazing when you realise that it was the artisans who were building these incredible machines, but weren’t allowed to enjoy them. Sadly the figure was lost to all of humanity, but what a fantastic automaton; maybe someone will make another one day, or maybe not – there’s not enough money in the world to make one so intricate.


Later, along came Pierre Jacquet Droz, who became the ancestor of the programmable computer. Pierre Jaquet-Droz a Swiss clockmaker who created around 1770-1772 a little mechanical family: a writer, a draftsman and a player of an organ: Between 1770 and 1773, after the disappearance of his young daughter and wife, Pierre Jaquet-Droz, clockmaker by trade built a "small mechanical family".

A worthy successor to the famous Vaucanson, he created with his son Henry-Louis, and Jean-Frédéric Leschot, androids whose size, faces and movements closely imitated real life.

The birth of the automaton writer, draftsman and musician illustrate an important step forward in medical research that led to the fabrication of artificial organs and prosthesis's, resulting in the favorable replacement of missing limbs. Similar to Vaucanson, Jaquet-Droz´s goal wasn't merely to entertain but also to educate the public and advance science.

The end of the 18th century a time of "android fever" and it was at this moment that these and other extraordinary creatures were created. Including the famous chess player Baron von Kempelen, the talking head by the Abbey Mical and, later the Maillardet brothers' famous magicians and psychics, were a few of these mechanic curiosities.


For all time, when these automatons were all the rage with the wealthy, there was an upsurge from the lower ranks of society who realised that the royal families were not that dissimilar to automatons and were “without souls” and it is said that “craftsmen were nobler than Royalty and as nobility were crowned automatons, they were therefore able to be destroyed!”

Oddly enough, the automatons managed to help start a revolution – in fact the French one, but also started a free trade with other countries and much of the power of many countries went to the traders and the old world gave way to international trade and networks.


One of the biggest exporters was China with their tea, porcelain and silks and really didn’t need much else to be imported back, except automata and it was an entrepreneur from London, James Cox who used Joseph Merlin (the inventor of roller skates) who designed exotic machines, one being the Silver Swan. The swan which is life-sized is clockwork driven and includes a music box. The swan sits in a spectacularly life-like glass rod stream and is surrounded by silver leaves. Small silver fish can be seen "swimming" in the water. When the clockwork mechanism is wound, the music box plays and the glass rods rotate giving the illusion of free flowing water. The swan turns its head from side to side and also preens itself. After a few moments the swan notices the swimming fish and bends down to catch and eat one. The swan's head then returns to the upright position and the performance, which has lasted about 40 seconds, is over. The mechanism was designed by John Joseph Merlin (1735-1803) and the first recorded owner of the swan was James Cox. The swan was actually described in 1773 as being 3 feet (0.91 m) in diameter and 18 feet (5.49 m) high. This would seem to indicate that at one time there was more to the swan than remains today as it is no longer that high. It is said that there was originally a waterfall behind the swan, which was stolen while it was on tour. It is known that the swan was sold several times and was shown at the World’s Fair in Paris 1869. The American novelist Mark Twain observed the swan and recorded his observation in a chapter of the Innocents Abroad. The swan was purchased by John Bowes in 1872 for the museum where it currently resides.


Wolfgang von Kempelew in 1784 designed the Oriental Turk with the chessboard and it is said that this amazing piece of mechanical brilliance could anticipate the other chess-player’s moves and very rarely was beaten! It was shown at the Maelzel’s Exhibition at 29 St James St, where some businessmen were enjoying the show when one said “if this machine can do this sort of thing, then we ought to be able to make a machine that can weave?” It sowed the seeds and the weaving looms came onto the scene and promptly reduced the cost of cloth and made those people in the forefront of weaving, but this of course created a shortage of jobs and ultimately rioting. What of the Oriental Turk? Well it was sitting on a rather large box where someone who could play chess sat and operated the Turk’s hand from within the box; fully operated by a human, pretending to be a machine that is pretending to be human! The fascination though started the first real automaton that could take over from a human, and be more accurate.

Up to the present day and Honda have built a mechanical automaton that can walk, but can also run! Yes the amount of energy and computing technology to make Honda ASIMO work is phenomenal and many millions of bucks have been invested

Fluid Dynamics.

A pretty important branch of engineering, but sometimes it gives help to the rest of us mere mortals.  It appears that the average human step means that if you are carrying a pint of beer, it’ll take 7 to 10 steps before you spill the expensive fluid as the oscillations between the steps and the frequency of the beer, causing it to spill. Now there are ways of stopping this – one is to take a sip out of the glass so that it doesn’t go over the rim of the glass, another is to hold the glass at the rim and let the vessel swing freely, however the engineers will obviously not want to do that, as a far more complicated way can be used! An annular baffling container will balance out the oscillations thereby stopping the waves inside the glass and you’ll be able to deliver the beer intact to the person who you’ve bought it for.  

Oscillations of course are quite a dangerous phenomenon in engineering and a fine example will be seen on the Albert Bridge in London where there is a sign to tell troops who are marching, to break step so that the marching regularity is removed and in turn will save the bridge from collapse.

Lest We Forget

Colin Slade

Most of you will remember the days of Jim Sarney and Sladey driving that beautiful Burrell Road Locomotive Lord Roberts all around the Home Counties and down into Wessex and heaven knows wherever else. Always in immaculate condition and never a drop of dust on it and that was even at the Dust Bowl called Stourpaine!

Now Colin was also a mentor of mine and taught me plenty of ways of doing things; you see he had been a steam train driver in those latter days of steam on the line, toddling on the rails here and there! For an example, he taught me how to clinker out and clean a steam engine’s fire whilst under load without having to stop, without having to relay the fire and without losing any steam pressure at all. Yes a very skilled man, but what’s more a person who would pass on information to others who were happy to listen. Those people sadly are getting less and less, so thanks Sladey for a great time and a very large whiskey when we meet up again. To all friends and family, our wishes


Mel Smith

One of our great comedians who was on the Not the Nine O’clock News and Alas, Smith and Jones, but what I remember amongst so many other things was the skit on them speaking with a Swedish accent and one going into a store and asking for some deodorant. The owner says “would that be ball or aerosol?” to which the answer came back “No, for the armpits” and then looking at the camera in that look of “we got away with that one”. Ah yes I found it

He formed Talkback Productions and this gave a platform to many up and-coming comedians launching many fabulous careers.

The world is just a bit sadder today, but thanks for the fun you gave to so many. To the friends and family, our wishes.

Now talking of what we do with our lives especially drinking…

Eat Drink and be Merry

I always believed that it was William Shakespeare who originally wrote these words. It seems not and just by putting eat drink and be merry into a search engine, this came out, so the words are ~ “Eat, Drink and be Merry”~ from Luke 12-19.

Shakespeare’s version, plus a few others  - Plus a few more sayings attributed to Shakespeare and some not

Fun Time

I went to the local A.A. meeting earlier. After sitting there for a couple of hours, I thought to myself "I wish these people would stop crying about alcohol so I can get around to my cracked fuel manifold gasket."

(For those who don’t know AA is also the Automobile Association).


I was having a lovely sleep earlier until some inconsiderate sod decided to bounce off my windscreen.  


The wife asked me what was I looking at on the laptop.
''Cheap flights'' I said.
She let out an ecstatic scream.
I didn't even know she liked Darts.


Some confusion in Tottenham tonight regarding the clocks going back; some people are asking if the flat screen TVs have to be returned as well... (remember the riots a couple of years ago?).


My wife rang me earlier.
"Guess what I'm wearing?" she whispered, seductively.
"Nothing?" I replied.
"Yes," she breathed. "How did you guess?"
"I spotted you when I walked in," I replied. "So turned around and went the pub."


Four out of five dentists agree that lying through your teeth does not count as flossing.


Tectonic Relationships

“There’s just too much friction between us”

“It’s not my fault!”


The correct way to spell Potato

P - GH as in Hiccough

O - OUGH  as in dough

T - PHTH as in phthisis – yes I had to look that one up as well!

A - EIGH as in Neighbour

T - TTE as in Gazette

O - EAU as in Plateau

Then you’ve got the correct spelling of potato which is Ghoughphtheightteeau, which just show you that anyone who speaks, let along spells the English language, needs a medal or a title like Lord, Sir Crudwold Scrungefuttock Smythe (inbred) IV.


Too True

An ambitious solicitor ends up at the Pearly Gates and starts to protest to St Peter saying that he was only 32 and far too young to be there at the gates, dead. St Peter consults his notes and is totally unfazed by all of the barracking from the man and says “We’ve tallied up all of the hours that you’ve billed your clients and according to our figures, your age is actually 473!


One Liners! 
01. I'm a nobody, nobody is perfect, and therefore I'm perfect. 

02. I've got to sit down and work out where I stand. 

03. If I save time, when do I get it back? 

04. Where there's a will, I want to be in it. 

05. I am free of all prejudices. I hate everyone equally. 

06. Take my advice, I never use it anyway. 

07. The statement below is true. The statement above is false. 

08. As I said before, I never repeat myself. 

09. Sometimes I need what only you can provide: your absence. 

10. I wish there was a knob on the TV to turn up the intelligence. There's a knob called brightness, but it doesn't work. 

11. A conscience does not prevent sin. It only prevents you from enjoying it. 

12. If at first you don't succeed, skydiving is not for you. 

13. War doesn't determine who's right. War determines who's left. 

14. Best way to prevent hangover is to stay drunk. 

15. Doesn't expecting the unexpected make the unexpected become the expected? 

16. If your father is a poor man, it is your fate but, if your father-in-law is a poor man, it's your own stupidity. 

17. I was born intelligent - education ruined me. 

18. A bus station is where a bus stops. A train station is where train stops. On my desk, I have a work station... What more can I say 

19. If it's true that we are here to help others, then, what exactly are the others here for? In fact what on earth are they actually here for!? 

20. Since light travels faster than sound, people appear bright until you hear them speak. 

21. How come "abbreviated" is such a long word? 

22. Don't frown. You never know who is falling in love with your smile. 

23. The Best of Proverbs “Should women have children after 35?” No, 35 children are enough 

24.Living on Earth may be expensive... but it includes an annual free trip around the Sun. 

25.Your future depends on your dreams - so go to sleep! 

26. ALCOHOL KILLS SLOWLY So what? Who's in a hurry? 

27. Love is photogenic; it needs darkness to develop 

28. A good discussion is like a miniskirt; Short enough to pertain interest and long enough to cover the subject 

29. A drunk was hauled into court. Mister, the judge began, you've been brought here for drinking.... Great, the drunk exclaimed. When do we get started? 

30. Can you do anything that other people can't? Sure, I can read my handwriting. 


31 Crime doesn’t pay – does that mean that my job is a crime?


You should be ashamed,' the father told his son, Andy, 'When Abraham Lincoln was your age, he used to walk ten miles every day to get to school.'
'Really?' Andy responded. 'Well, when he was your age, he was president.'

Joe and Dave are hunting when Dave keels over. Frantic, Joe dials 911 on his cell phone and blurts, "My friend just dropped dead! What should I do?"
A soothing voice at the other end says, "Don't worry, I can help. First, let's make sure he's really dead."
After a brief silence, the operator hears a shot. Then Joe comes back to the phone. "Okay," he says nervously to the operator. "What do I do next?"


Dress Code.
It is advised that you come to work dressed according to your salary. If we see you wearing Prada shoes and carrying a Gucci bag, we assume you are doing well financially and therefore do not need a raise. If you dress poorly, you need to learn to manage your money better, so that you buy nicer clothes, and therefore you do not need a raise. If you dress just right, you are right where you need to be and therefore you do not need a raise.

The prospective son-in-law was asked by his girlfriend's father, 'Son, are you able to support a family?'
'Well, no, sir,' he replied. 'I was just planning to support your daughter. The rest of you will have to fend for yourselves.'

What do you call a woman in heaven?
John: An angel!
A crowd of women in heaven?
John: A host of angels!
All the women in heaven?

This is just too clever !!!
Not to be quickly read through – read slowly, digest, and then you can really appreciate this and have a giggle,.

The Washington Post's Mensa Invitational once again invited readers to take any word from the dictionary, alter it by adding, subtracting, or changing one letter, and thus supply a new definition.

Here are the winners:

1. Cashtration (n.): The act of buying a house, which renders the subject financially impotent for an indefinite period of time.

2. Ignoranus: A person who's both stupid and an asshole.

3. Intaxicaton: Euphoria at getting a tax refund, which lasts until you realise it was your money to start with.

4. Reintarnation: Coming back to life as a hillbilly.

5. Bozone (n): The substance surrounding a stupid person that stops bright ideas from penetrating. The bozone layer, unfortunately, shows little sign of breaking down in the near future. (thank goodness for that – where would we get all of these ridiculous ideas from for the History in Harmony Update)?

6. Foreploy: Any misrepresentation about yourself for the purpose of getting laid.

7. Giraffiti: Vandalism spray-painted very, very high

8. Sarchasm: The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the person who doesn't get it.

9. Inoculatte: To take coffee intravenously when you are running late.

10. Osteopornosis: A degenerate disease. (This one got extra credit.)

11. Karmageddon: It's like, when everybody is sending off all these really bad vibes, right? And then, like, the Earth explodes and it's like, a serious bummer.

12. Decafalon (n.): The gruelling event of getting through the day consuming only things that are good for you.

13. Glibido: All talk and no action.

14. Dopeler Effect: The tendency of stupid ideas to seem smarter when they come at you rapidly.

15. Arachnoleptic Fit (n.): The frantic dance performed just after you've accidentally walked through a spider web.

16. Beelzebug (n.): Satan in the form of a mosquito, that gets into your bedroom at three in the morning and cannot be cast out.

17. Caterpallor ( n.): The colour you turn after finding half a worm in the fruit you're eating.


From Peter Griffiths (and thanks for the others – far too unsuitable to print, but loads of fun!)

I'll be waiting on the porch!
 On the first day, God created the dog and said, "Sit all day by the door of your house and bark at anyone who comes in or walks past.  For this, I will give you a life span of twenty years."
The dog said, "That's a long time to be barking.  How about only ten years and I'll give you back the other ten?"
And God saw that it was good.
On the second day, God created the monkey and said, "Entertain people, do tricks, and make them laugh. For this, I'll give you a twenty-year life span."
The monkey said, "Monkey tricks for twenty years?  That's a pretty long time to perform.  How about I give you back ten like the dog did?"
And God, again saw that it was good.
On the third day, God created the cow and said, “You must go into the field with the farmer all day long and suffer under the sun, have calves and give milk to support the farmer's family.  For this, I will give you a life span of sixty years."
The cow said, "That's kind of a tough life you want me to live for sixty years.  How about twenty and I'll give back the other forty?"
And God agreed that it was good.
On the fourth day, God created humans and said, "Eat, sleep, play, marry and enjoy your life.  For this, I'll give you twenty years."
But the human said, "Only twenty years?  Could you possibly give me my twenty, the forty the cow gave  back, the ten the monkey gave back and the ten the dog gave back; that makes eighty, okay?"
"Okay," said God, "You asked for it."
So that is why for our first twenty years, we eat, sleep, play, and enjoy ourselves.  For the next forty years, we slave in the sun to support our family.  For the next ten years, we do monkey tricks to entertain the grandchildren.  And for the last ten years, we sit on the front porch and bark at everyone.

Life has now been explained to you. 

There is no need to thank me for this valuable information.  I'm doing it as a public service.  If you are looking for me, I will be on the front porch!

Again, thank you for your continued support and encouragement. 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 (which is vibrant) or of course the excellent plus our own in-house website


Thanks to the 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.


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 – I just don’t know everything; apologies if I have missed out your special event, but if you don’t let me know, I can’t rectify the situation after the event has taken place.


Translation service This is a translation service that seems pretty good as well as it will speak to you as well with the word. I still have to say that it’s been great fun trying to understand a mechanical voice saying the oddest words. 


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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.