By Boz Oram

History in Harmony


Compiled by Boz  


Welcome to the History in Harmony Update; Issue Number 80 – here’s a taster of what you can read and play with…


MOOS Tour 2012

Waldkirch 2013

Karlsruhe 2013


Peter Ustinov




James Reid

Oktoberfest Knaphill

Milton Keynes

Judges Lodgings Museum

Harrods Finishes


Driving Licenses





Age Relations

Green World

Reflection and Reply


Tidal Wave Power

Statues and Paint

Cranes and Lifting

English Heritage

Col. R E B Crompton

Making Shows Interesting

The Stonehenge Stones

Points of Sail

Boating Terms

Fun Time Ethno Spot


Mechanical Organ Owner’s Society European Tour 7th November 2013


The annual tour to the Low Countries of Europe has again been put together by Peter Craig and of course Linda. Between the two of them, another great series of locations along with some new ones! I really don’t know how Peter manages to find, and make a tour that is always exciting and how Linda can just bring it all together – a bit like a great song-writing team where one does the music and the other does the words. Unlike a general tour that maybe pops into a few places where anyone can go on a regular basis, these places are always one-off situations as many of the places are there for just a moment, such as a speigeltent at a particular venue, or maybe a joining up of another group of people with like-minded interests, or finding a new workshop or whatever else is rare and difficult to find. Looking back on the previous tours that have taken place, we will be seeing instruments that have been seen many years ago and gone to new owners and maybe hidden from view or to an old traditional rental company. They might be around now, but maybe next time they won’t. I remember so many places that don’t exist anymore – where did all of those fantastic instruments go? Do you remember the Continental Superstar in Brussels – what a brilliant exhibition that one was, most likely never to be seen again for a long, long time.


Mechanical music is one of the genre’s that changes all of the time with collections either being made and others being split up due to circumstances, but it is always changing and unlike any other form of preservation, the instrument can stay the same, but its music will continually change and stay contemporary. A car or locomotive can only be painted in a different colour and have different signwriting or be converted to something it never was – a mechanical organ can have the latest melody or it can have the most ancient of tunes, but above all, it still remains exactly the same original, that came out of the factory. That of course will be exactly the same sound that was heard maybe 100 years ago by our ancestors and the only other forms are music boxes, polyphones and maybe reproducing pianos – everything else is recorded music be it LP or CD or download and therefore not live.


Even more interesting than that, you can go to an instrument that maybe you heard 40 years ago and hear a tune that got you interested in going to shows and you might get an instant concert if you ask nicely and bring back many memories instantly. They are truly amazing and the most exciting of scientific instruments.


Synopsis of the MOOS 2013 Tour

Dinner with musical accompaniment at L’Odeon. This new establishment features a variety of mechanical instruments that are spread about it for the entertainment of diners. We then continue to Antwerp and the famous Café Beveren with its Decap organ.

Earlier this year MeMU, our sister society in Belgium, embarked on a project to renovate the grave of Theophil Mortier. Today we attend a short re-dedication ceremony at the grave at which an appropriate Mortier organ will be present to continue with a visit to the amazing Klessens dance tent, where the resident dance organ will be in play.

Next is another new location; the new NBC organ building workshop in Tilburg of Toon Heesbeen. We also hope to visit the organ building workshop of his father, Theo Heesbeen.

At the time of going to press it is not yet confirmed whether the De Voer family at Ulvenhout will be holding an open day on this date. Should the open day take place we will include an option to visit it within our itinerary.

After a break for dinner and check in at our hotel, we will continue to the Kunkelsstichting in Haarlem. Taking its name from the imposing Kunkelsorgel Marenghi that stands at one end of the hall, this is an outstanding collection of street and dance organs, including the street organs “De Jupiter” and “De Grote Blauwe”. We will enjoy a full evening of music from all the organs at this at this renowned collection.

We start the day with a scenic journey into the heart of one of the best preserved districts of Amsterdam to visit the Perlee Draaiorgelmuseum. From an old and established organ building business, we then go to a more modern one. Martin Conrads has very kindly allowed us our first ever visit to his organ building workshop. Martin has recently celebrated 40 years of involvement with organs and has been made a member of the Order of Orange Nassau, in honour of his many years of presenting organs on the streets of nearby Zaltbommel. The afternoon sees us travel to the Gaviolizaal in Helmond. This magnificent collection of dance organs, including instruments by Mortier and Gaudin, that were formerly owned by the Bocken family is owned today by the city of Helmond. In recent months there has been much debate within the city council as to the future of the collection and its future is currently far from assured. In visiting we will provide visible evidence of the interest in and support for a secure future for the instruments – remember how Haarlem nearly finished, but so much support from overseas helped enormously. As evening falls, we will head back towards Belgium on a minor country road that before the building of motorways was a trunk route into Holland. Here we will find the Café-Dancing Kaasboerin, complete with its 105 key Decap organ which is one of the last great café-dancings to survive in the area. Dinner will be served here to the musical accompaniment of the organ. Those who venture across the road at this location may be able to see yet another 105 key Decap organ in the adjacent Dancing Heidelicht. We continue to the hotel as before, in Antwerp for our overnight stay.

The city of Antwerp was the heart of the Belgian organ building industry. We will visit the Gebr Decap organ works which is the last great remaining organ building workshop in the city. Roger Mostmans will lead our tour around these extensive premises and play the organs which are present for us which are expected to include, the 92 key instruments “Jan de Koffie” and “De Retro” and the magnificent 121 key organ “De Metro”.

That looks to me to be a minimum of at least 40 different quality instruments! It fills up so quickly, so be quick.


Further details from the society’s website It is of course good to be a member, as the MOOS members get first refusal and then people outside of the Society after a few weeks then get a crack at securing a place on the tour, but missing out is awful.

Good luck and hopefully we’ll see you there.


Stop Press!

There are booking forms out there for Waldkirch which have not been sent back to Linda. Until the completed booking forms are with us, there are no secure places for you, which means please send them back. I’ve said it before, this tour is limited on space and should your booking form not be with us, then the seat(s) will have to go elsewhere.

Waldkirch 2013

Some of you will have visited Waldkirch in the past to hear German Fair Organs in their home town. Once again the three yearly festival is taking place in the Black Forest town from 27 to 29 June 2014 and History in Harmony has sent details of a train tour to this outstanding event. In order to get the best rate for travelling by Eurostar they need a deposit, on a first come first served basis, of £100 towards the £399 cost of sharing a twin room or £450 cost of a single room for the 5 day trip with free local train travel from the hotel in Oberwinden to Waldkirch. The trip departs from St Pancras International Station on Thursday 26 June 2014 and returns there on Monday 30 June 2014. If you are interested please contact Linda by email:

Karlsruhe Model Engineering Tour

Wednesday 8th January 2014

With pickups in the south of England, around the M25 and Dover we take the late morning shuttle to France.  Once on the continent we settle back into the coach for the afternoon journey to Bonn where we will arrive in time for dinner.  Refreshment stops will be taken en route.

Thursday 9th January 2014

Today we will visit the Technik Museum Speyer, a big German collection featuring a submarine, Concorde and Russian Concordski. Entrance is included. There is a simple self-service café and restaurant for lunch and late in the afternoon we will transfer you to the Renaissance Hotel in Karlsruhe, where we will stay on a bed and breakfast basis for the next three nights.  This gives you the choice to eat in the bar or visit the town at your leisure.

Friday 10th January 2014

Situated in a light, airy purpose built exhibition hall we visit the Model Engineering Exhibition at Karlsruhe where some 5 kilometres of 5 inch gauge track is laid for steam, electric and internal combustion engines running 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 modern model engineering that brings younger budding engineers into the show. There are all sorts of places to eat as well as various bars scattered around the show.

Saturday 11th January 2014

There will be a transfer to the Model Engineering Exhibition for those who want to see more. For others Heilbronn is about one hour’s drive and we will visit a railway museum with a fantastic collection of mainline steam and diesel engines situated around a turntable, almost as if the whole place could operate on the main line again. A brilliant collection here, but if the weather is cold, you’ll need overcoats as it isn’t heated.

Sunday 12th January

Model Engineering for those who want it and for others an excursion to the Museum at Marxzell full of virtually anything you can think of, in the beautiful Black Forest with a refreshment stop at the lovely spa town of Baden Baden, before returning to collect the modellers for the return journey to the Hotel Mercure at Bonn, where we will arrive in time for dinner.

Monday 13th January 2014

We return to the shuttle early afternoon and say our farewells as we drop you off sometime during the evening.

Price per person: £499 in a twin and £599 in a single.  Price includes: all coach travel with shuttle crossing. This also includes 5 night’s accommodation with breakfast, two half board, One entrance charge each day. 

Lunches and drinks are not included along with dinner in Karlsruhe as stated above.

For further information please contact Boz or Linda at History in harmony. or  Telephone: 01980 621418

To reserve a place on the tour please complete the booking form below and sent to the address at the top of the form.    


Subject: FW: The Hairy Bikers: Restoration Road Trip

Date: 07 August 2013 13:23


Dear Boz

You may be aware of the filming we have done with the Hairy Bikers, details of transmission dates for the series is shown below.



Arrow Media would like you to know that 'The Hairy Bikers: Restoration Road

Trip' will TX on BBC2 this week, on Sunday 11th August at 9pm. These are the

subjects covered in each programme:


Episode 1 - Sunday 11th Aug @ 9pm

Pleasley Pit/Steam Winder, Hollycombe Working Steam Museum/Barn Engine,

London Transport Museum/Met 1


Episode 2 - Sunday 18th Aug @ 9pm

Masson Mills/Spinning mule, Hatch & Heritage/Traction Engine, The Waterways

Museum/Box Boat, Hook Farm/Steam Ploughing


Episode 3 - Sunday 25th Aug @ 9pm

Elsecar Heritage Centre/Newcomen Engine, Night Owl, Houghton Mill.


From Nick Lerescu

I believe that Mayhem Central has published this footage in the History in Harmony Update on a previous occasion, but it’s so good that it needs to be seen again, so thanks Nick for the reminder! It’s called Animusic – resonant chamber.


This time though I have found the skills to find out a bit more on how it all works so here goes….

A bit of background

What is MIDI Driver? (No, no not Mini Driver the acclaimed actress


MIDI Driver is an extension of Blender environment which aim is to help the animator in creation of complex music-driven animations.


So what are those music-driven animations?

Music-driven animations consist of actions which are strictly dependent on the selected notes. The time of their occurrence resembles the timing of the respective notes. The most intuitive case of such animation simply depicts a play on the instrument. Probably the most famous example of music-driven animation is Animusic.


How does it work?

Creating a music-driven animation by hand with accuracy is virtually impossible. The need to precisely key the animation with simultaneous repetitive listening to the same soundtrack may discourage even the most patient of animators. However, one can automate this process by incorporating music stored as a sequence of events (ex. MIDI). Each event can have one elementary animation assigned (ex. Character is pressing a key when note C#1 starts). The synchronization is to playback this animation each time the respective event occurs. Instead of playback, it can store the set of animations and their playback times in the form acceptable by a given animation environment.


What can MIDI Driver do?

MIDI Driver can load and select notes from any MIDI sequence. When selecting notes one can set from which time interval they have to come, what is their pitch, channel and program. Selection criteria can be combined. A simple sequence viewer allows one to manually select the notes.

Selected notes can be related with any animation datablock for Object, Camera, Material, Texture, Light (IPOs) or Armature (Action). The synchronization resolves overlapping notes. It can also correct misshapen IPO profiles in longer pauses.

Additionally, the user can set the animation to be affected with notes velocities and their duration or automate the pause animation insertion.


Looking back on this, I find it quite amazing that we are able to do something so complex, but still have the ability of seeing it work so effortlessly and so incredibly beautiful at the same time.


Peter Ustinov

One of the greatest raconteurs I have even had the opportunity of seeing is Peter Ustinov and in this clip “An Audience With” he relates some of types of people that I seem to have met on my journeys through life. I had to put this in as I ended up with tears flowing down my face, while having a particularly bad day. part 1 part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Part 5

I hope you enjoy them as much as I did.


He spoke fluent French, Italian, Spanish, Germany as well as English with all of the accents around the countries, plus other languages! He was also a man to whom we owe a debt of gratitude too with his humanitarian work with many bodies including UNICEF.



For those who don’t know, but “to corpse” is when someone who is being very serious, or is at a serious event, hears or does something to make themselves laugh uncontrollably and in this case it is hearing the scratching sound waves onto sooted paper from back in 1860, some 17 years before Edison’s machine. The ability to play it back has only just happened but this might just give you a giggle.


From MOOS via Mark Jefford



Alan Smith confirms that the Cotton Fair Organ Enthusiasts Day will be held on Sunday 6 October. This fun day is well attended with twenty plus visiting organs adding to the museum's fine collection, refreshments, a Wurlitzer recital and Pauline's stall. All proceeds go to the museum’s funds to keep it going.



According to the home page of Rundle’s website at, the date for ‘Rundles and Epton’s End of Season Steam Up’ is Sunday 13 October from 10.00 when everyone is welcome to have a look round. Founded in 1913 by John H Rundle with steam haulage and contracting work the company turned to making and repairing agricultural machinery. From the early days the company has been involved with repairs in the fairground and amusement industry and has not only become recognised as the leading repair or renovation people for the traditional Gallopers but has also built several new sets. This annual event gives you the opportunity to catch up with friends, instruments and machinery so why not visit the 100 year old company during its centenary year?



James Reid is organising the 7th Annual Mechanical Organ Day for Sunday 20 October. There will be a selection of Mechanical Organs, mostly indoors, including the unique 89 key Pierre Eich as well as a few vintage vehicles and stationary engines. All members are welcome to enjoy this free entry event at Willow Garth, Thorne Road, Hatfield, Doncaster DN7 6EN only 1.5 miles from the M180 Junction 1.



Paul Kirrage has advised that the 2013 Steam Trains & Fair Organs Oktoberfest is on Sunday 20 October from 12.00 to 17.00 at Mizens Railway, Barrs Lane, Knaphill, nr Woking, Surrey GU21 2JW. As overseas guest organ it will feature the 1908 built Model 38 Ruth & Sohn concert organ brought over to the UK by Ruud Vader to fulfil the wishes of his father, Bram who owned this organ when he visited the event in 2009 with his smaller Model 33 Ruth. Bram wished to bring his Model 38 over from North Holland another year but died of cancer in 2010 so this will be a first time UK visit for the organ. There will also be Paul Kirrage’s Model 36 Ruth & Söhne fairground concert organ, the two Wilhelm Bruder instruments of Andrew Leach and Colin Thorp and possibly an additional ‘surprise’ organ playing at various locations around the eight acre site. The admission charge of £2 per adult, £1 per child or £5 for a family ticket will include a colour programme and free Parking. Other family orientated attractions will include steam train rides on the 7 1/4" gauge miniature railway, an old time children's funfair, a Model tent and a Craft tent.


Milton Keynes

Bob West has advised that the Milton Keynes Organ Festival is being held on Saturday 12 and Sunday 13 October at Milton Keynes Museum, McConnell Drive, Wolverton MK12 5EL. This museum itself includes dioramas complete with pianola, polyphon etc that can be played whilst the Organ festival is due to have Keith Emmett’s Black Forest Gavioli, Ken Slow’s Mortier and/or Keith Pinner’s Decap, as well as many smaller Organs.



If you are looking for an outing elsewhere, in Lancaster there is a John Langshaw barrel organ on display at The Judges’ Lodgings Museum on Church Street, Lancaster LA1 1YS. This chamber barrel organ was built in the late 1780’s with 4 ranks of pipes, 3 barrels and a cabinet probably made by the furniture makers, Gillow. This is included in the museum’s collection of Gillow furniture displayed in fabulous Regency period room settings. There is also the enchanting Museum of Childhood which explores toys and games from the 18th century to the present.


Driving Licenses:

As from 19 January 2013 UK drivers applying for or renewing a Driving Licence will receive one that conforms to the European Union Third Directive on driving licenses. A table of all vehicle categories will show either the dates of entitlement to drive or a line to show no entitlement to drive and all dates will be in the format. If you are taking a Lorry or Towing test on or after 30 September 2013 you will need to present a ‘Laden Vehicle’ for your test. The ‘load’ is a set minimum amount of aggregate or water filled IBC not in excess of the combined MAM or GVW.


Harrods Finishes after 118 years!

Harrods announced in February that it would be closing its Music Department to make way for more furniture. The Pianoforte and Musical Instrument department was opened in 1895 and over the years included mechanical music instruments, a Duo-Art and standard Roll Lending Library and presumably would have influenced the decision to install a Welte Philharmonic Organ in about 1912. The Harrods Catalogue of 1904 included a Polyphon Disc musical box while the last reproducing piano was sold before 1946. Last year, on my one and only visit to Harrods I came across a high specification Reuge Cylinder Musical box, which was demonstrated but barely audible over the hubbub, and a musical tin of All Butter Shortbread Biscuits with Sankyo musical movement playing ‘London Bridge is Falling Down’. Ironically, the musical Biscuit tin may now be the only remaining link to the 118 year old music department but can anyone else advise which mechanical music instruments/brands Harrods sold? Please let Mark know at


Finally from Mark

There is an online catalogue of Mechanical Music Publications at the website so if you are looking for particular items you’ve vaguely heard about then this resource may help you identify them. “It is the mission of the Mechanical Music Library International, Inc. to collect, preserve, and make available for reference or dissemination the following items pertaining to mechanical music and mechanical musical instruments: books, pamphlets, journals, audio tapes, video tapes, CDs, DVDs, posters, catalogs, photographs, patents, postcards, correspondence, and other ephemera.” MBSI members can borrow books from the MBSI Lending Library for a nominal fee ( and I believe the FOPS tried to run something similar a few years ago. The MBSGB also has an online catalogue of the society archive of publications etc that can be viewed at but even though these various schemes may not be hugely popular, perhaps the main thing is to have the items catalogued so that anyone interested can make further enquiries.


From Rudy Nijs

For your information: I am sponsoring an organ at Haarlem Organ Museum on Sunday, October 13th.  It will be the 89key Gavioli, owned by the Lions Club from Tiel, and aptly called “De Leeuw”(the Lion).

This is to celebrate both my 60th birthday and my early retirement!

So if you are around, come and join us that day!


That was sent to me, but I’m sure that Rudy will welcome a beer bought by you to ensure that his kidneys get a good flushing through the night! Well done Rudy for making it though to 60 and see you in November.


You're invited to help us celebrate our 5oth Birthday!

This family event will also include a presentation of an Engineering Heritage Plaque from Engineers Australia to recognise the special collection that MSTEC has collected over their 50 years of existence.

The Melbourne Steam Traction Engine Club was established for the preservation, restoration and exhibition of Australia's industrial and agricultural heritage in 1963. The Melbourne Steam Traction Engine Club have many state, national and internationally significant engines, plenty of which are the only examples known to exist or operate.

When: Sunday 9 September, l0 am to 4pm

Where National Steam Centre

Ferntree Cully Road,

Scoresby, Victoria

RSVP: September 5th

Bob Ayris (Secretary)

Ph. (03) 9713 2571, email

We welcome any displays or engines from clubs, enthusiasts, members and families to help us celebrate this important occasion

Melbourne Steam Traction Engine Club's 50th Birthday Celebration

Thanks to Des Lang for passing this on.



Ever heard of this? Nor me either, but your credit or debit card has one of these; now the idea is so that they are more easily read when you come to pay for something making it quicker for you and the vendor. Well that is also the same for other unscrupulous people who might try and clone your card.


There are a couple of ways of helping yourself to stop the radio waves from being tracked. Firstly, if you are male, then you won’t normally have a handy bag so you’ll put your wallet or purse into a pocket. Firstly make sure that you stow it in your trouser front pocket rather than your rear one. Anyone who brushes up to you from the front is likely to get a bunch of fives in the mug – from the rear you most likely wouldn’t notice being “bumped”.


Now another way is to just get some baking foil and where you normally keep your cards in your wallet, make sure that you make your storage of this thin metal. It disturbs the radio waves and no-one can get your details easily – yes it can be done, but whoever has bumped you, will have to have highly sophisticated equipment to read their information.

You have been guided here – don’t thank me, just protect yourself a bit, and this website is worth reading…



Fowler Road Locomotive Foremost had once been in France and about half a decade ago it was returned back to the UK and shown in its original paintwork from Openshaw, based in Reading in Berkshire. Now for those who don’t know, Openshaw took engines and converted them into the famous Showman’s Engine and were renowned for their excellent workmanship, but also their paintjobs that were done to the requirements of the new owner. Even though this engine is actually a road locomotive without any showman’s fittings, it was painted rather flamboyantly and as a consequence, the new owner has got ace signwriter Tomo to recreate the original paintwork. I’ve not yet seen the engine, but from all accounts it is fantastic and is the talk of the town.



Gigantic, the McLaren Showman’s engine – never heard of it? Normally it is Boadicea, but the Searle family is trying to recreate its life with Corrigans and its next incarnation is when it was used as a gun haulage engine in WW1 – does anyone have a 14/18 war gun anywhere. If you know of one  Seeing this engine at the Great Dorset Steam Fair, it is quite huge and the amount of power that it produces is quite remarkable.


The Dorset Fair had a few innovations too. The earth removing display was exceptional. Removing the top soil first, to then use all plant to dig massive holes, giving a brilliant display to then replace all the earth and leave it as though no one had actually been there was brilliant! A revolving Carousel bar that was packed throughout the whole show, plus the greatest collection of steam and motor rollers ever together with some really unusual examples, plus the show itself had to be changed to accommodate the machines so the whole layout was much better with plenty of space and variety to enjoy the exhibits. Still too much dust, but it will either be that or mud to contend with. What I did notice was that where the rollers were, there were no flints at all as they’d been flattened into the soil. That could be a good one to remember for the future.



Harold Jay

Boz., Possibly not words about preserving machinery, but nevertheless important in making sure that one part of the past survives to continue the other part; read on and you’ll understand…


“Understanding Fifty Somethings” was a survey taken out in 2004 with 1,700 people who had ages ranging from 45 to 89 and were questioned about their lifestyles and invited to send in something that defined their lifestyles. On the cover of the final report was a wheelchair and Zimmer frame with these words. “Among 700 snaps taken by older Britons, we found just one like this, so why is it that this is the first image that springs to mind when someone mentions old age?” Pictures submitted included a pair of cowboy boots, a computer, a bottle of wine, a pair of high heels but nowhere did anyone mention old age. Oh and the final one was love for a partner or even better than that, love for oneself with acceptance of their own faults.


The stereotypical image brought about by governments, media and now ignorance depicts a knitting granny and a doting, doddery grandfather – I somehow don’t think that these images ever existed if my own parents are anything to go by. Old, or should I say “experienced people” dress up, surf the net, send texts, have sex (yes youngsters, older people enjoy the delights of life too). Yet ageism is rife here in the UK and perpetuated by so many forms of storytelling. The age of a person has to be discussed as though it’s the most important thing ever “Harry Smith, 45, and his daughter Sally, 9, were merrily chasing a bunny rabbit, 2, tripped over the root of a tree, 173, and had to be taken to nearby hospital, 58, etc”


One of the markers to show how civilised a country is, is how the older generation is looked after they have reached this point. Remember too that the Scottish chancellor removed the basis of the UK pension system that was working so perfectly to a point of annihilation – he has a gold plated pension, unlike the majority of people who were screwed and are coming up to retirement.


Yes this game of ageism has been going on for decades – or centuries in the UK and working on the principle of anyone who is connected to our way of life here, then I’m guessing that this also takes place elsewhere. Now in Japan, the reverence for the old is ingrained in their culture and when Japanese mend broken objects they glorify the damage by filling the cracks with gold because they believe that when something’s suffered damage, it has a history and becomes more beautiful.


Advances in preventative medicine and of course improved nutrition mean we are staying healthy and living longer which means that by the year 2030, one third of the entire population will most likely be over 60!


You pointed out Boz that Germany has realised that this is a huge situation to overcome and are trying to get young people from all over Europe to go to Germany and become apprentices – this year alone there are 130,000 places with a guaranteed job at the end of it all. Here in the UK, there is a half-hearted attempt to try and regenerate apprenticeships, but since the removal of full apprenticeships, 40 years have passed and the skilled people are getting fewer and fewer.


Getting older is NOT a crime, as much as the media and the educationalists would have us believe – taxes have been paid by so many millions of people to be squandered by the few over the decades, but the older people want something back, and it’s not just about giving a good lifestyle financially, it’s also about living. There are only one or two things where it is important to know the age of something - that being a good cheese or a fine quality wine.


Ed note: Thanks Harold for this – certainly something to ponder over and I’ve included some witticisms to help us along…


“How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you were?” Satchel Paige


 “I’m 42 around the chest, 52 around the waist, 92 around the golf course and a nuisance around the house” Groucho Marx.


“When I turned two, I had doubled my age in a year – I thought that if this keeps up, by the time I get to six, I’ll be 90” Stephen Wright


 “When I was your age… what a load of claptrap - no one person is anyone else’s age, except maybe physically.” Faith Baldwin


“At the end of this year, I shall be 63 – if alive – and about the same if dead.” Mark Twain


“You don’t realise what fine fighting material there is in age. You show me anyone who has lived to 70 and you show me a fighter – someone who has the will to live.” Agatha Christie


Now one for the Boys:

“There are three stages of man: he believes in Santa Claus; he does not believe in Santa Claus; he is Santa Claus” Bob Phillips


And one for the Girls:

“There are three ages for women in Hollywood: Babe, District Attorney and Driving Miss Daisy.” Goldie Hawn


And for this time of fun the incredible Victor Borge.

Two weeks ago we celebrated my uncles 103rd birthday. 103 – isn’t that something? Unfortunately he wasn’t present – how could he be? He died when he was 29.”


“There are no romantic feelings about age – either you are interesting or you aren’t interesting. To be perfectly honest, there is nothing particularly interesting about being old – or in fact about being young either.” Katherine Hepburn


“People want you to be the same as you were in 1969. They want you to be, because otherwise their youth goes with you.” Mick Jagger


Just reading this again, it seems that within the music scene, people who are in their latter years, such as David Bowie, Tom Jones, Mick Jagger, plus Lulu, and popular stars from the 60’s and 70’s are being asked to return back into the music scene. The stage acts are still as vibrant as they ever were and are being filled up to the brim with paying public – new and old.


Reflection from Charles Hamilton

Thanks for bringing up the subject of preservation shows in the UK. I thought I was the only one who noticed and yes it’s up to the organisers working with the exhibitors to make a great show worthwhile for the public to go to. Just getting an exhibitor to turn up to then be put in some awkward place doesn’t do anyone any favours.


I would say that the preserved railways give something special that is uncommon with so many traction engine rallies – an atmosphere. Most stations are rebuilt to a time such as the 1930’s or 1950’s with some right up to date, the staff dress accordingly, there are plants and trees, wagons being rebuilt and the people who go to the railway buy not just a ticket on a train, but a whole experience for all of the family, who then come back again and again.


I’ve seen some traction engine shows where someone has made the effort to show off the exhibits in a farmyard setting, or old cars in a garage being mended, or barn engines in a barn, wood sawing with plenty of other stuff going on or maybe threshing with plenty of Jack Russell dogs flushing out the rodents! Everything is possible – it is whether the organiser and exhibitors want to make it special or not - costume would be a great start instead of a modern tee shirt and shorts and learning how to talk to the public is always good.


I’ve heard it said before that we have the most amazing mobile working museum that goes to all corners of the country – what an accolade for all of those people who put body and soul into making these magnificent machines work for the rest of us. The amount of work that must go into restoring anything is amazing – a pile of scrap or a few bits that are repaired, restored and new bits made, become this beautiful swan and maybe that’s what it’s all about.


Learning new skills, reliving old ones and making it all come together for the benefit of so many other people who have little or no knowledge of what our wonderful heritage has to offer.


Youngsters of today are the future and those few precious moments of seeing or even sitting on a tractor or maybe a steam engine or listening to a fairground organ, having a bit of candy floss mixed in with a hot dog and a coconut makes a day thrilling for them – not to mention a bad stomach the next day! To realise that the mobile museum has now been going for over 60 years, it really is time to look up and be proud of such an achievement. Well done to all and so pleasing for someone like me who is just an outsider who enjoys seeing people’s hard work being shown off.


I am also one if the fortunate ones that remember steam still being used back in the 60’s, but there are many others who haven’t had that experience and until organisers realise that the work that goes into restoring any exhibit is wasted by lack of atmosphere, then the downhill slope will heighten.


Thanks for the History in Harmony Update Boz – always makes a great read, although I don’t always understand the wit straight away!

Charles Hamilton.


Thanks Charles for the input – much appreciated and I’m sure that a few people who own preserved items will enjoy your words of encouragement and maybe soon the organisers will make the effort to show these priceless items off in their best setting. With regard to the wit, I guess it’s like an old cheese – just needs to mature one day, but hopefully not too soon!


Fuel Prices

We were told here in the UK to cut back on our hydrocarbon and electricity use, but unfortunately the administrators now realise that their tax is dwindling so the spins are now trying ways of getting tax from those who are trying to cut back on usage.

The (foreign owned) electricity companies are shutting down power stations because it’s not viable to use them because we have now cut back on the use of the power.

We are also told that we will have an electrical shortage in 3 years’ time and still houses are being built without any thought to zero insulation and zero carbon footprint and all that seems to happening is a whole load of unreliable wind generators are being given the go-ahead to power the country.


Tidal Power

However all is not lost! I have just heard on the radio that a bill is soon to be passed in Parliament to de-restrict zero carbon, biomass, zero footprint, but above all water power, which includes river production, but my favourite – tidal power, with the possibility of one being built in Swansea. That particular project has so far cost £12 million to get through the planning laws and red tape and will need a further £750 million to construct it, but someone along the line has put some sense through the parliamentary system and hopefully we will see some sensible electricity power production – maybe in my lifetime too!


Why are all of our classical statues in white stone or marble?

Well it all boils down to eminent eighteenth century archaeologist and art historian Johann Joachim Winckelmann  was of the strong opinion that “the colour should have a minor part in the consideration of beauty, because it is not colour, but the structure that constitutes its essence” Since then, no one has dared to suggest that classical statues could be improved by slapping on a bit of paint. Go back in time though and the ancient chroniclers Plutarch, Virgil (no not of Thunderbirds fame, even though Virgil was named after Virgil) and Plato all made references to the paint on the statues and in the 1800’s, excavations on the Acropolis unearthed statues with traces of coloured paint on them


Images of ancient statues as they were originally intended is at the address I have to say, some of the eyes and skin seem are so excruciatingly badly painted that it spoils the rest of the sculpture. But at least it has been done. I will point out though that so much time has passed that by painting the sculptures, physically changes the whole ethos and style and we are used to that character, but it also happens to be cheaper and certainly easer to clean without paint.


Green World?

I hate paying for excesses, bills that shouldn’t be there at all and I actually care for the world that supports my life and many others and I hate my tax being used to fund things like another spaceship or a military coup for another country where the people are starving or maybe another government study where the quote “we will learn from this” never comes to fruition. One of the best run countries for a while was Belgium when it didn’t have a government for a few years – it now has one and all goes back to the same as before.


People believe that they can’t actually help at all and shy away from the situation of our planet, but with a big voice talking together, things can move on. Remember that we are still squandering out minerals and then wasting them on frivolity such as the rather precious inert gas Helium for party balloons, rather than saving it for MRI scanners that work at -271 degrees Centigrade - this being the only product that will stay liquid at that temperature – the gas by the way is expected to run out on Earth by 2035 so “somebody else’s problem” I guess.


Just a small change can make an enormous difference:

I’ve had a few ideas and you’ve heard me write about straw houses and how efficient they actually are, but I recently went to see a newly built house that uses newspaper as its insulation instead. I was completely taken by the whole concept of using a waste product, making it inert, getting the product into the walls and building the house around it all – it was truly fascinating!


The passiv haus standard design requires that all thermal bridges are eliminated which requires insulation to be continuous throughout the building and requires special attention around the openings such as doors, windows etc. It encourages solar heating as well as solar electricity and the property that I looked at has both and during the unseasonably cold start to the year, they found that without any heating at all, the house stayed at a constant 20 degrees! Now anyone who has a house and has to heat it, then the bills can be astronomical, but go to this type of house and they are the price of a few pints of beer per week! I think I can live with that.


The house also uses mechanical ventilation and a highly efficient heat recovery system to recover heat from the house and air is constantly being replenished to give high air quality with no chance of moisture or mildew. The heat recovery usage is equivalent to using a 40watt light bulb.


Further information? Best place to go to in the first instance is and speak to Lisa Jackson who is also a town planner who understands how councils work and how to get planning permission for your property, but also as she has also overseen the building of this house, is the ideal person to guide you through the whole process.


The end process is for all new houses to be built with this fantastic energy saving and for the owner, virtually free energy, but councils have to learn how to be educated and I repeat, it is up to us, the people who can do it.


By the way, the house quoted was at a lovely cool temperature throughout the heatwave – no need for air-conditioning either. Mmm, just what I like an efficient house to run and remember you can also build your shed the same way and save yourself most likely about £1,000 per day in heating costs – that is the figure from the horse’s mouth for a collection in the east of England, used for Xmas Shows.


Nowadays we have cranes for lifting large indivisible loads…

Cranes and Lifting

Here’s a skit on lifting a car out of a harbour. I have learned since watching my mechanical organ being lifted off the old chassis onto the newer one, why a situation like this could arise in the first place as a car isn’t really that heavy, but it’s all down to geometry. You might have a 3 ton crane and can lift right up to the limit, but go beneath the horizontal line and the weight increases, so something that is maybe 2 tons, becomes significantly heavier. So there you have it which is also the reason why diggers that sit on top of a pile of muck and lift from below only have small buckets to dig the spoil out with.


English Heritage

Stonehenge is now one of the top tourist attractions in the UK and when I used to pass it (at least once a week), there were always people walking around it, in whatever weather. That might change though as the main A303 has become even more of a nightmare and drivers are clagging up all of the nearby villages instead, so it’s easier and far better to go to Avebury – another crop of stones, but to me a far more interesting monument to our ancestors, plus it also has a pub right in the middle of it and a great collection for you to view and country house to boot!


Stonehenge however is allegedly the first ancient structure that was bought specifically and then actually given to the nation free of charge, (all residents of Shrewton can go to the Stones, also free of charge) but it was also the start of the building programme of trying to save the heritage of the nation. There was nothing in place at all and with ivy and these building on the point of collapse through centuries of neglect; it was only in the nick of time that many places even survived. Country houses were low on the list and as for other works of architectural art – that didn’t exist at all, but at least a start had begun.


Of course with any Government department it needs a strong leader and that’s what it got; thank goodness that sort of thing didn’t have to happen today, otherwise the professionals would be creaming it off yet again! Yet in the days of intelligence and common sense, things got off to a good start, but what really kick started the process was WW2 where so many historic buildings in the UK were destroyed using the Baedeker Historic Guide, after the British and Allies had done severe damage in Germany (who had already got a plan in place to save buildings) that the people decided that the need for our heritage to survive was paramount. The romance of an historic ruin with greenery all over it to be painted by some artist or other who only saw it as a beautiful watercolour changed his mind with a different kind of ruin made by the random skills of a bomb blast.


The perception changed towards many of these places – but Edwardian and Victorian buildings were still just pulled down, the same as many Georgian buildings and many 14th century houses, but after WW2 so many had been destroyed that others were now becoming more important. I say that, but it is only 4 years that a 15th century building near to where I live was pulled down to make way for a modern house – and another one just two years ago, maybe a bit later in build, but nevertheless gone, but fortunately many others have been saved.


And now to a hero of mine…

Colonel Crompton

In a previous Update (#60) I spoke about the Standardisation on Electricity in America. Col REB Crompton from


Years ago as a kid, I went to the Science Museum in London’s South Kensington and came across a photograph of Bluebell, a steam carriage built by a REB Crompton and if I remember rightly, the museum still has the parts of the original engine, but so far have not restored it to working condition (which looking at the Press about the Wroughton Science Museum Store, will never happen), however I digress already within the first paragraph.


Later on in life I used to work for BREL (British Rail Engineering Limited) and the Type 3, Class 33 locomotives were always classed as a Crompton. Now this stirred up a few memories in me as to whom this man was and promptly bought an old book about the Colonel. He was quite an innovator, going out to India and instrumental in educating the military into using mechanical equipment, rather than just horses or bullocks to do all of the hard work. Of course the military moves slowly and it needed something to stir them out off their rear ends to do something, so his steam vehicle that he’d been building for a few years was transported to India and shortly, even the military had to concede that this was far more efficient to haul loads to and from various garrisons. He then started his own company, and when you read the text below, you’ll remember that “the rest is history”. Here we have another fascinating person who changed the face of the world to become a better place. Makes you wonder how many people can actually say that small statement and be truthful about it.


“Rookes Evelyn Bell Crompton (Colonel R. E. B. Crompton) was born at Sion Hill, near Thirsk in Yorkshire, England on 31 May 1845, one of five children. His passion for engineering began early. In his autobiography, Reminiscences, Crompton tells of a trip to London's 1851 Great Exhibition 

“For me, the unforgettable part and focus of the whole exhibition was the Machinery Hall...neither Koh-I-Noor diamond, nor Osler's ( ) crystal fountain...had any attractions for me to compare with those of the locomotives, with their brilliantly polished piston roads and brasses burnished like gold.” Col REB Crompton.


His schooling started at Sharow, near Ripon in Yorkshire, along with 19 other boys, aged between 7 and 15. One of his fellow pupils there was Charles Dodgson, better known as Lewis Carroll, author of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.

But Crompton's education was interrupted by the outbreak of the Crimean War in 1854 and he was keen to see action, despite his young age. He was taken on by the Royal Navy as a cadet on HMS Dragon, commanded by his mother's cousin Captain Houston Stewart and headed for the Crimea. While there he witnessed the horrors of trench warfare but developed a taste for life in the military.

Back in England, he resumed his studies, entering Harrow in 1858. While there, he dropped Greek in favour of extra mathematics. "I also made a static electrical machine having a large glass disc with which we had great fun charging Leyden jars and giving shocks to the boys," reminisced Crompton later.

His practical experiments were not confined to term-time. During the summer holidays, his pet project was Blue Bell, a steam-driven road locomotive he built from scratch.

On leaving school, Crompton returned to the military, joining the Rifle Brigade in India. While there, he continued to be fascinated by steam-driven transportation. He had his beloved Blue Bell sent over to him and soon his "road locomotives" were replacing the more traditional bullock-drawn carts.


He took time out from his posting to India to marry the daughter of George Clarke but went back to India for a further four years before returning to Britain – with a dose of malaria picked up in Peshawur. In total he spent twenty years in India.


Success in business then began Crompton's commercial career in engineering. He moved to Ipswich, going into partnership with the Chelmsford firm of T. H. P. Dennis, manufacturers of horticultural buildings and related heating plant. Here, he embarked on a project that first brought him into contact with the lighting systems that later defined his life.

Crompton's relatives owned a Derbyshire ironworks, for which he designed a mechanised foundry. To be economic, the plant had to run both day and night. As a solution, he imported generators and arc lamps that were being used to great effect by the Belgian engineer Zenobe Gramme in Paris. Crompton soon began to make his own lamps that improved on Gramme's designs and those of Serrin and worked with the Swiss firm of Bürgin to develop a new type of dynamo, which soon proved popular. By 1878, Crompton was able to take over T. H. P. Dennis and Co's Chelmsford premises to form Crompton and Co, ( which soon became the country's leading distributor and manufacturer of electricity generating and lighting systems.


Transportation held appeal for Crompton throughout his life and he was a keen cyclist. Naturally enough, he tinkered with the mechanisms of his own bicycle, increasing the wheel diameter, lengthening the pedal cranks and altering the gear ratios. With these modifications, he boasted of being able to "do as much as two hundred miles in the day without being overtired". The onset of the Boer War saw Crompton return to military service, as a colonel in the Royal Engineers. His own design of arc lamp, were to be used as military searchlights. This was not his only contribution to military technology. During the First World War, he was asked to submit designs for "landships" that could cross trenches. These became the blueprint for the modern military tank, later built at the Foster traction engine builders in Lincoln – hence the tank on all Foster engines’ smokebox door rings after that date.


After the Boer War ended, Crompton became involved in standardization. He had long been concerned about the lack of a common terminology to describe the electrical phenomena he was seeing and the huge number of different schemes in operation. Virtually each different electricity generating network ran at a different voltage and interoperability of equipment was a huge problem.


In August 1904, he was asked by J. K. Gray, then president of the Institution of Electrical Engineers, to accompany him to represent Britain at the Great International Exposition in St Louis, America. At the Exposition, Crompton presented a paper on standardization which was so well received that he was officially requested to look into the formation of a permanent International Electro-technical Commission, to deal with electrical standardization from an international standpoint. Crompton admitted afterwards that he foresaw "great difficulties" in the proposed scheme but these were eventually overcome and the IEC began to take shape. In 1906, Crompton and Charles le Maistre, whom Crompton had asked to act as permanent secretary, drew up a constitution for the fledgling organisation. The IEC's first plenary meeting was held that same year in London and was attended by representatives of 14 countries.


The First World War of course interrupted the work of the IEC and when it met again, Crompton reported that: "The meeting eventually took place at Geneva, and was attended by unofficial German representatives," says Crompton in his autobiography. "It was a matter of great satisfaction to me that our peace-making efforts were successful. No unpleasant incidents occurred at the public meetings, and at one of the dinners which followed, the French delegates consented at my personal request to shake hands with the German representatives."


But his interests in standardization were not restricted to electrical matters. A love of squash, picked up from Harrow, saw him involved in the "measuring and devising means of comparing the bounce of the various balls in circulation", according to the Tennis and Rackets Association.


In 1926, Crompton's role in the development of the electrical industry was recognised when he was awarded the IEE's Faraday Medal. The pace of change in the industry is highlighted by the fact that just two years later, work started on an electrical National Grid for Britain as a whole. Colonel Crompton left his London home for the last time in 1939 to take up residence in Yorkshire. Before leaving, he was visited by John Somerville Highfield, a member of the Dynamicables Lunch Club for Electrical Engineers of which Crompton was a founding member, whether he needed anything there for his comfort. His nurse said there was no electric light and they were afraid of fire from paraffin lamps. "I hear you want an electric light at home," said Highfield. "I will see this is provided NOT off the Grid." Highfield asked Frank Parkinson, Crompton's former rival, to help and he obliged in a few days with the provision of a small private plant, much to Crompton's pleasure.

Crompton died at his home, less than a year later, aged 95 with his place in the history of the practical development of electricity secure.


Life for the rest of us continued on with many innovations due to the skill of a grand engineer and pioneer and I was conversing with a reader of the Update the other day and we came to the conclusion, that being able to send a message around the world at the click of a button would have been thought unthinkable just a mere thirty years ago and who knows what the next 30 years will bring, but without people like Crompton, none of this would have happened at all and I am sure that his influence had he been around today, who knows what inventions and progress would be made, but then again there are some brilliant people around who can’t get through the red tape of officialdom, so maybe we need to learn how to sweep the dross out of the way as those grand pioneers did all of that long time ago.


I Stand Corrected

In the last edition of the History in Harmony Update I said that we need to get more involved with our traction engines and show what they were actually built for. Well thanks to Bill Webb, who has sent me a Utube bit of footage showing a really well painted Sentinel (note the DL registration number plate denoting the Isle of Wight) being used for a grand purpose of being filled with hardcore and then laying a road to then be rolled in by an Aveling roller. I take my hat off to anyone who has gone to the time and trouble of doing such a great restoration and then actually using it. Well done to all who did the demonstration – a good bit of levelling out before the roller got to rolling and well done to the team who did the work.


Stonehenge Stones.

Archaeologists have located the prehistoric quarry in the Preseli Hills in Wales from which the circle of bluestones was excavated. A team led by Tim Darvill, professor of archaeology at Bournemouth University identified a crag-edged enclosure on Cam Menynas as the bluestone source.

Theories also exist that as the area in Wales is and was well known for its sacred springs, then it could be that the mighty stones were taken from this area to another sacred area for healing properties. I have to say, that that sounds like a more possible theory especially as the previous archaeologists compared the ancients to themselves and expected sacrificial mayhem to take place at Stonehenge, rather than the more gentle way of life that could have taken place instead.


This is more in keeping with the working together that must have taken place to build places such as Avebury not too far away from Stonehenge. The idea of bringing massive stones from so far away by killing off your best people sounds quite ludicrous; that’s a modern concept.


Remember last year the Olympics came to the UK and mostly anything that had a seat in it or on it, the UK managed to get a medal! Well that’s finished now and the Olympic village is but once a memory and Weymouth, where the sailing took place is back to being a seaside town, however, at the time there were so many experts who knew so much in those two weeks, that I decided to see if I could enlighten the rest of us, so here’s a start…

Points of Sail

No silly, not points of sale, but sail, which refer to your boat’s course in relation to the wind, which of course any good sailor will be wind aware - working out where the wind will be coming from and how hard it is blowing (which of course is fickle and can change direction in a trice), however the more practice a sailor does, then more it becomes instinct.


Now if you can imagine a circle and an analogue clock face; the top (12 o’clock or north) where the wind is coming from north to the south, the vertical diameter N to S is your sailing ship.


That’s already confused you, but I’m continuing on…


12 o’clock. Wind right behind you = No Go Zone, or this is the bit that you can’t sail in. Your sails will flap and it won’t go anywhere.

11 0’clock. Close Hauled. This is as close to the wind as you can go and this is the time when you need the sails to be a tight as you can.

10 o’clock. Close Reach. No so tricky as close hauled, but still hard work and at this point you need to let out a bit more sail.

9 o’clock. Beam Reach. The fastest and easiest point of sail. The wind is on the side of your boat (beam) and you’ll sail with your sails half out.

8 o’clock. Broad Reach. On a broad reach you’ll be heading a bit further downwind, so the sail are let out more to compensate for the wind trying to stop you.

7 o’clock. Training Run. Here the wind will be slightly to one side of your stern (blunt end) making it a bit easier to steer than on a dead run.

6 o’clock or South. Run. With the wind in this position, this is the trickiest point of sail to steer as it can be quite unstable. On a run, your sails can be let out on the opposite side of the boat to catch the wind or sailing goose winged. A big sail on the front called a spinnaker can be set.


A few terms too

1. Bow and Stern

The front or pointy end of a boat is the bow. When you move toward the bow, it is called going forward. The rear of a boat is the stern. When you move toward the stern, you are going aft.


When a boat is moving, either by power or sail, it is called being underway. A boat moving forward is moving ahead. When the boat moves backwards, it is going astern. 


Port and Starboard

If you are standing in the rear of the boat looking forward, the entire right side of the boat is the starboard side; the entire left side is the port side. (Left for those dyslexic amongst us has the same amount of letters as Port)


The front right side of the boat is the starboard bow; the front left is the port bow. The right rear of the boat is the starboard quarter; the left rear is the port quarter.


3. Amidships

Amidships is the central part of the boat, while athwartships is an imaginary line running from one side of the boat, to the other. The right centre side of the boat is the starboard beam; the left centre side is the port beam.


Windward and Leeward

Windward is the direction from which the wind is blowing; leeward is the opposite direction from which the wind is blowing. Knowing the windward side and leeward side is particularly helpful when you are mooring, unmooring, and operating in heavy weather.


Possibly that was no help to you right now, but one day you might just be on a boat and something might click in your brain and it could help you..


Fun Time

Apologies for the last History in Harmony Update edition of Fun Time without the usual guest compilers, but I was also told that they were a bit high-brow. I’ve gone back to the usual low type of story that you seem to enjoy.


Compiled by guests Anne Teak, Reid Enright, Sue Flay, Shanda Lear and Alison Wanda-Land. Thanks guys – another great Fun Time for us all.


Why Russians have dashboard cameras:


This is why Russians use dash cams, (dashboard cameras) amazing and quite bonkers too!

What it does show is how lucky many are to just survive the day – it’s not just in Russia where the drivers and humans are odd either.


How to stop a Cough

A pharmacist walks into his shop to find a man leaning against the wall. He asks his assistant “what’s wrong with him?” to which he replies “He came in for some cough syrup, but we didn’t have any so I gave him a whole box of laxatives” “You total idiot” shouts the chemist, “You can’t treat a cough with laxatives.” “of course you can replied the assistant” glancing over to the customer “Look at him…. he daren’t cough now”


The Shoe Shop

“I work for a shop that repairs shoes – Its sole destroying” From the Edinburgh Fringe.


Now here’s another gem from Des Lang
 1 * Accept the fact that some days you're the pigeon, and some days you're the statue!

 2 * Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat them.

 3 * Always read stuff that will make you look good if you die in the middle of it.

 4 * Drive carefully... It’s not only cars that can be recalled by their Maker.

 5 * If you can’t be kind, at least have the decency to be vague.

 6 * If you lend someone $20 and never see that person again, it was probably worth it.

 7 * It may be that your sole purpose in life is simply to serve as a warning to others.

 8 * Never buy a car you can't push.

 9 * Never put both feet in your mouth at the same time, because then you won't have a leg to stand on.

 10 * Nobody cares if you can't dance well. Just get up and dance.

 11 * Since it's the early worm that gets eaten by the bird, sleep late.

 12 * The second mouse gets the cheese.

 13 * When everything's coming your way, you're in the wrong lane.

 14 * Birthdays are good for you. The more you have, the longer you live.

 16 * Some mistakes are too much fun to make only once.

 17 * We could learn a lot from crayons. Some are sharp, some are pretty
 and some are dull. Some have weird names and all are different colors,
 but they all have to live in the same box.

 18 * Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the floor each morning the devil says~~ "Oh Crap, She's up!"


 19 *Save the Earth..... It's the only planet with chocolate!*


Another Government Study 

200 dead crows were found on the highway between Maple Ridge and Hope and there was concern that they may have died from Avian Flu.

They had a bird pathologist examine the remains of all the crows and he confirmed the problem was definitely NOT Avian Flu, much to everyone’s relief. However, he determined that 98% of the crows had been killed by impact with trucks, and only 2% were killed by car impact. (Didn't know there was a difference!)

They hired an Ornithological Behaviourist to determine the disproportionate percentages for truck versus car kills. The Ornithological Behaviourist determined the cause when crows eat road kill, they always set-up a look-out crow in a nearby tree to warn of impending danger.

His conclusion was that the lookout crow could say “Cah”, but he could not say “Truck”.


……..And to go with that, I remember seeing some diner in the US that used to cook people’s roadkill in their kitchens whose sign read “From your Grille to our Grill”


Ok, Ok… that was a bad one – let’s move on.


From Rudy Nijs

Honda Hands

Now this one is just so clever

– the quality of making advertising movies, especially Honda is quite remarkable. The first one that I remember was all of the components is a car being show, but moving, much like the domino effect – ah just found it


Another from Des Lang

Just for the PUN of it

How does Moses make his tea? Hebrews it.
Venison for dinner again? Oh deer!
A cartoonist was found dead in his home. Details are sketchy.
I used to be a banker, but then I lost interest.
Haunted French pancakes give me the crêpes.
England has no kidney bank, but it does have a Liverpool.
I tried to catch some fog, but I mist.
They told me I had type-A blood, but it was a Type-O.
I changed my iPod's name to Titanic. It's syncing now.
Jokes about German sausage are the wurst.
I know a guy who's addicted to brake fluid, but he says he can stop any time.
I stayed up all night to see where the sun went, and then it dawned on me.
This girl said she recognized me from the vegetarian club, but I'd never met herbivore.
When chemists die, they barium.
I'm reading a book about anti-gravity. I just can't put it down.
I did a theatrical performance about puns. It was a play on words.
Why were the Indians here first? They had reservations.
We're going on a class trip to the Coca-Cola factory. I hope there's no pop quiz.
I didn't like my beard at first. Then it grew on me.
Did you hear about the cross-eyed teacher who lost her job because she couldn't control her pupils?
Broken pencils are pointless.
What do you call a dinosaur with an extensive vocabulary? A thesaurus.
I dropped out of communism class because of lousy Marx.
All the toilets in New York’s police stations have been stolen. The police have nothing to go on.
I got a job at a bakery because I kneaded dough.
Velcro - what a rip off!


From Joss Nieuwenhuys recently returmned to Holland. Nice to see you at the show!

"The way my friend told it, this guy pushed his motorcycle from the patio into the living room, where he began to clean the engine with some rags and a bowl of gasoline. When he finished he sat on the motorcycle and decided to start it to make sure everything was still ok.Unfortunately the bike started in gear and crashed through the glass patio doorwith him still clinging to the handelbars

His wife had been working in the kitchen. She came running at the noise and found him crumpled on the patio badly cut from the shards of broken glass. She called 911 and the paramedics transported the guy to the emergency room

So far the story is humorous----in that that's what you get for being a big lout for bringing your motorcycle into the house, but here is where I really split a gut

Later that afternoon after many stitches, had pulled her husband back together, the wife brought him home and put him to bed. she cleaned up the mess in the living room and dumped the bowl of gasoline in the toilet

Shortly thereafter her husband woke up, lit a cigarette, and went into the bathroom. he sat down and tossed the cigarette into the toilet which promptly exploded because his wife had not flushed the gas away. The explosion blew the man through the bathroom.

The wife heard the explosion and her husbands screams. she ran into the hall and found him lying on the floor with his trousers blown away and burns on his buttocks. The wife again ran to the phone and called the ambulance.

The same two paramedics were dispatched to the scene.They loaded the husband on the stretcher and carried him to the street.

One of them asked the wife how the injury had occurred. When she told them, they began laughing so hard that they dropped the stretcher and broke the guy's collarbone

Talk about instant carma."

I had to check this one out to see whether it was true so found Snopes website but what a great story!


Ethno Spot


“Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass, it’s about learning how to dance in the rain”.


This little gem is from Des Lang

This is one that all can read – it might just help you to live

  A young lady confidently walked around the room while leading and explaining stress management to an audience with a raised glass of water. Everyone knew she was going to ask the ultimate question, 'half empty or half full?'... She fooled them all.... "How heavy is this glass of water?" she inquired with a smile.

Answers called out ranged from 8oz to 20 oz.

She replied, "The absolute weight doesn't matter. It depends on how long I hold it. If I hold it for a minute, that's not a problem. If I hold it for an hour, I'll have an ache in my right arm. If I hold it for a day, you'll have to call an ambulance. In each case it's the same weight, but the longer I hold it, the heavier it becomes." She continued, "and that's the way it is with stress. If we carry our burdens all the time, sooner or later, as the burden becomes increasingly heavy, we won't be able to carry on."


 "As with the glass of water, you have to put it down for a while and rest before holding it again. When we're refreshed, we can carry on with the burden - holding stress longer and better each time practiced. So, as early in the evening as you can, put all your burdens down. Don't carry them through the evening and into the night...


Pick them up tomorrow, if you must, but give yourself time to put the stress down.


Just to let you know

Many of these words were gleaned from an interview from now famed Gillian Tett assistant editor of the Financial Times


The world debt is at this moment $70 trillion dollars; however the world actually owes $210 trillion for some reasons best known to themselves. The world banks issued gilts (no not guilt’s, although it could be) to overcome the massive speculation that continues to occur, which is called here in the UK - Quantitive Easing; basically a licence to print money to throw after the good money with further bad money following. This has then been followed by further QE to make the original deluge of virtual money look good with even more (invisible) money being thrown at it all again.


To put it into simple terms - it is much like an enormously huge obese person who is diagnosed by a doctor to eat further junk food to somehow make that person slim down and then on top of that eat loads more junk food to make the original diagnosis look correct. The end result doesn’t matter as the (original) obese person is dead, but he is kept alive by an enormous myth to say that it all worked well; the (quack) doctor then is regarded by others as the best thing since sliced bread and the whole lot continues – no one gets better until the whole scam is discovered and brought out into the open and the so-called remedies are removed for all time.


Continuing on… Now to include in that massive debt, we now have derivatives market (even more virtual) which amounts to $700 trillion dollars (or invisible money) which increases on the interest and no-one knows exactly what that actually means or how much it might even be – but as its virtual money, it doesn’t actually matter because it doesn’t exist.


Ed’s Note: Just to help you along to understand what a trillion seconds is… 1 trillion seconds of clock time will take 31,546 years just to give you a clue as to what figures are being used, so if you multiply 31546, by 700 trillion dollars, you won’t have enough paper to print the answer on.


If you can imagine a small amount of sugar which is the real part, to then be put into a candyfloss machine to then have the same amount of sugar spinning and making a web with everything hanging off it, then you have the derivatives market and no amount of spinning or putting more sugar into the machine will make it any smaller.


Now this has actually happened before in Mesopotamia in Babylon* where the debt bubble exploded. In order to make finance recovery, the only way out was to “wipe the slate clean” or remove all debt from everyone otherwise revolution was about to take place. Yes that’s where the expression came from as there was so much debt that in order for the country not to go to war, that was the only way forward. Babylon is nowadays a bit south of Bagdad and in a war zone!


No one in power wants this to happen, or do they? The few who are just coining it in and having so much fun and control over the population of the world - you’d have to ask who’d want to give this game up if you were having SUCH a grand time.


It’s basically the Emperor’s New Clothes and remember this fantastic song by Danny Kaye, the King’s New Clothes


For another example, there is one bank that has a debt of $90 trillion which is bigger than the whole of the world’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) - that’s what the whole world can actually produce and one bank’s debt is that! Remember that this is just one of the banks of the world; there are literally thousands of them and the Lehman Bros figure before collapse was tiny in comparison! Take from that what you will.


It appears that the only way out is either war (remember Syria) or debt cancellation as growth is not happening whatever the pundits say. Sadly the money never existed and if you actually look at the real money in circulation, it is only 3% - the rest is made up – that’s 97% of virtual money that doesn’t exist.


Just to let you know.


Editor’s Note…


Even NASA has comments about this subject… Actually this is a great website too for any budding physicists, or anyone just interested in what goes on around them, like the size of the Moon, Earth and the Sun in relationship to each other – the moon 1/8th inch, earth ¼” and the sun over 1 foot in diameter, but 120 feet away.


Jim Wallis

A new book - On God’s Side: What religion forgets and Politics hasn’t learned about serving the common good. This might be of interest…


Just a bit on Babylon

Ishtar Gate

The Ishtar Gate served as the ceremonial entrance to the inner wall of Babylon, a route that ultimately leads to the ziggurat and Esagil shrine. People passing by it in antiquity would see glazed blue and yellow bricks with alternating images of dragons and bulls carved in relief.  A reconstruction of it that incorporates surviving materials is currently in the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin Vorderasiatisches Museum in Germany.

Joachim Marzahn writes in a chapter of "Babylon" that the “amazing Ishtar Gate, composed of an ante-gate in the outer wall and the main gate in the larger inner wall of the city, with a 48 meter-long (158 feet) passage, was decorated with no fewer than 575 depictions of animals (according to calculations made by excavators),” noting that these “pictures, of bulls and dragons, representing the holy animals of the weather god Adad and the imperial god Marduk, were placed in alternating rows.”

In addition Marzahn writes that a processional way ran through the Ishtar Gate, and for about 590 feet (180 m) had images of lions carved in relief. The mouths of the lions are open, baring their teeth, and the manes of the creatures are finely detailed.  

Ishtar was the Belgian entry for the Eurovision Song Contest and we all met in Geraardsbergen a few years back with the organ playing their music.


And Finally…


Old Glory

Finally, well done to Old Glory magazine and its various editors for making 25 years of being out there informing everyone what is going on in the world of preservation; it has a goodly selection of reporters who supply regular reports that inform and educate, but above all are trying to keep the movement working together and that takes a good editor, so well done to Colin Tyson for that role.


A PS to this, is to restore an item of equipment is all well and good, but to keep it going at a standard that you originally set is a totally different prospect.


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.

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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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