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The BBC has received a mixed reaction to a spoof documentary broadcast this evening about spaghetti crops in Switzerland.  The hoax Panorama programme, narrated by distinguished broadcaster Richard Dimbleby, featured a family from Ticino in Switzerland carrying out their annual spaghetti harvest. It showed women carefully plucking strands of spaghetti from a tree and laying them in the sun to dry.

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But some viewers failed to see the funny side of the broadcast and criticised the BBC for airing the item on what is supposed to be a serious factual programme. Others, however, were so intrigued they wanted to find out where they could purchase their very own spaghetti bush.

Exotic delicacy

a121305_spaghetti1Spaghetti was not a widely-eaten food in the UK and was considered by many as an exotic delicacy. Mr Dimbleby explained how each year the end of March is a very anxious time for Spaghetti harvesters all over Europe as severe frost can impair the flavour of the spaghetti. He also explained how each strand of spaghetti always grows to the same length thanks to years of hard work by generations of growers.

This is believed to be one of the first times the medium of television has been used to stage an April Fools Day hoax.

In Context

The origins of April Fools Day are not clear but it is known that the tradition of practical joking and mischief-making dates back to Ancient Roman times.  It would appear that the festival is closely related to the coming of Spring.

Ancient Romans and Celts celebrated a festival of practical joking at about the time of the Vernal Equinox, as do millions of India’s Hindus. The French also mark 1 April but instead of April Fools they call it Poisson d’Avril (April Fish).

April Fool or “Aprilspøk” as we call it in Norway has a long tradition both in national radio and television. And they have pulled a few very good ones over the years – Ted

Tekst from BBC’s OnThisDay

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The fourth Anglia model, the 105E, was introduced in 1959. Its American-influenced styling included a sweeping nose line, and on deluxe versions, a full-width slanted chrome grille in between prominent "eye" headlamps. (Basic Anglias featured a narrower, painted grille.) Its smoothly sloped line there looked more like a 1950s Studebaker (or even early Ford Thunderbird) than the more aggressive-looking late-’50s American Fords, possibly because its British designers used wind-tunnel testing and streamlining. Like late-’50s Lincolns and Mercurys and the Citroën Ami of France, the car sported a backward-slanted rear window (so that it would remain clear in rain, according to contemporary marketing claims).

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In fact, this look was imported from the 1958 Lincoln Continental, where it had been the accidental result of a design specification for an electrically opening a121288_anglia_03(breezeway) rear window. As well as being used, by Ford, on the Consul Classic, this look was also copied by Bond, Reliant and Invacar, for their three wheelers. The resulting flat roofline gave it excellent rear headroom. It had muted tailfins, much toned-down from its American counterparts. An estate car joined the saloon in the line-up in September 1961. The instrument panel had a red light for the generator and a green one for the oil pressure.

The new styling was matched by a new engine, something that the smaller Fords had been needing for some time—a 997 cc overhead valve (OHV), straight-4 with an oversquare cylinder bore, that became known by its "Kent" code name. Acceleration from rest was still sluggish (by the standards of today), but it was much improved from earlier cars. Also new for British Fords was a four-speed (manual) gearbox with synchromesh on the top three forward ratios: this was replaced by an all-synchromesh box in September 1962 (on 1198 powered cars). The notoriously feeble vacuum-powered windscreen wiper set-up of earlier Anglias was replaced with (by now) more conventional windscreen wipers powered by their own electric motor. The Macpherson strut independent front suspension used on the 100E was retained.

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In October 1962, twenty-four-year-old Tony Brookes (see also Ford Corsair GT) and a group of friends took a private Anglia 105E fitted with the £13 Ford Performance Kit to Montlhèry Autodrome near Paris and captured six International Class G World Records averaging 83.47 mph (134.33 km/h). These a121288_anglia_05were 4,5,6 and 7 days and nights and 15,000, and 20,000 kilometres. The Anglia’s strength and durability meant that no repairs were required whatsoever other than tyre changes.

The car’s commercial success has subsequently been overshadowed by the even greater sales achieved by theCortina: in 1960, when 191,752 Anglias left Ford’s Dagenham plant in the 105E’s first full production year, it set a new production-volume record for the Ford Motor Company. From October 1963, production continued at Ford’s new Halewood plant at Merseyside alongside the newly introduced Corsair models. The Anglia Super introduced in September 1962 for the 1963 model year shared the longer stroke 1198 cc version of the Ford Kent 997 cc engine of the newly introduced Ford Cortina. The Anglia Super was distinguished by its painted contrasting-coloured side stripe.

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A new Anglia saloon tested by the British Motor magazine in 1959 had a top speed of 73.8 mph (118.8 km/h) and could accelerate from 0-60 mph (97 km/h) in 26.9 seconds. A fuel consumption of 41.2 miles per imperial gallon (6.86 L/100 km; 34.3 mpg-US) was recorded. The test car cost £610 including taxes of £180.

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The old 100E Anglia became the new 100E Popular and the four-door Prefect bodyshell remained available as the new Ford Prefect (107E) which had all 105E running gear, including engine and brakes, while the 100E Escort and Squire remained available, unchanged. In 1961 the Escort and Squire were replaced by the 105E Anglia estate. Both cars are popular with hot rodders to this day, helped by the interchangeability of parts and the car’s tuning potential. The 100E delivery van also gave way to a new vehicle based on the 105E. Identical to the Anglia 105E back to the B post, the rest of the vehicle was entirely new.

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EPSON scanner image

Visitors to Hampstead Heath in north London could have been forgiven for thinking they had somehow taken a wrong turn and ended up in Norway this afternoon. The unexpected sight of a nearly full-size ski jump, complete with real snow and skiers, on a sunny March day in southern England, was enough to make the most broad-minded of observers do a double-take.

The snow, and most of the skiers, were indeed from Norway, but the ski jump was the creation of the Central Council of Physical Recreation, alongside the Ski Club of Great Britain and the Oslo Ski Association.

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The team of 25 Norwegian skiers brought the snow with them – 45 tons of it, packed in wooden boxes insulated by dry ice.The jump itself was supported by a tower of scaffolding 60ft (18.29m) high, giving skiers a 100ft (30.48m) run-up to the jumping point, 12ft (3.66m) above the ground.

We are very much hoping it will become one of the country’s major sporting features

Event official

Modern ski jumps reach 200ft – 300ft (60m – 90m), but skiers on Hampstead Heath only had enough room to jump to about 90ft (27.43m).

The London ski jumping competition, as it is known, held a trial contest yesterday evening involving only the Norwegian skiers. The event the crowd was waiting for, however, was this afternoon’s contest between Oxford and Cambridge University. Tens of thousands of people gathered in the sunshine to watch the University Challenge Cup.

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It was the first time ski jumping had been seen by most of the crowd. A broadcast commentary on the competition kept everyone informed of the quality of each jump. Spectators, however, seemed to be more interested in how deep each skier disappeared into the straw laid at the bottom of the run.

In the end, the Oxford team, captained by C. Huitfeldt, won the competition, while the London challenge cup – open to all competitors – was won by Arne Hoel of Oslo. An official said of the event, "This exhibition has been such an unqualified success that we are very much hoping it will become one of the country’s major sporting features."

In Context

The ski-jump competition was never held again, despite several attempts to revive it.

The ski-jump on Hampstead Heath was among the last major events to use real snow to re-create ski conditions.

The first artificial snow was made two years later, in 1952, at Grossinger’s resort in New York, USA.

Text from BBC’s OnThisDay

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In this story from Mining Review 2nd Year No.12, we join Durham miner Tom McDonagh, his wife and their triplets on a family break to Butlin’s holiday camp in Filey, North Yorkshire. The very first Butlin’s opened 75 years ago in Skegness, with Filey following in 1945 after postponement during WWII. All the communal games and activities you would expect of this classic British holiday are here, introduced by a suitably jolly narrator, but as you may notice poor Mum hasn’t quite escaped the domestic drudgery.

Text and movie from British Film Institute BFI’s Youtube pages

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Sir Frank Brangwyn (1867-1956) is perhaps best remembered for his murals. He also did easel paintings and posters, many of the latter in support of Britain’s effort in the Great War.

But that was not all. For a while in the 1920s he created a few posters for what became the London and North Eastern Railway, a major line that ran trains from London into Scotland along a route near the eastern coast of the island. (The London, Midland and Scottish followed a more westerly path north, while the Great Western and Southern railroads served other locations.)

At the time Brangwyn created the designs shown below, a trend toward simplified images was getting underway. Perhaps because Brangwyn was probably incapable of delivering a simplified image, his career in railroad poster making was comparatively brief.

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Text and images from artcontrarian

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The popularity of the original Austin and Morris Minis spawned many models that targeted different markets. These are two of them:

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Built as more luxurious versions of the Mini, both the Wolseley Hornet and the Riley Elf had longer, slightly finned rear wings and larger boots that gave the cars a more traditional three-box design. Wheelbase of the Elf and Hornet remained at 2.036 m (6.68 ft), whereas the overall length was increased to 3.27 m (10.7 ft). This resulted in a dry weight of 638 kg (1,407 lb)/642.3 kg (1,416 lb) (rubber/hydrolastic suspension) for the Elf and 618 kg (1,362 lb)/636.4 kg (1,403 lb) for the Hornet respectively. Front-end treatment, which incorporated each marque’s traditional upright grille design (the Hornet’s grille with a lit "Wolseley" badge), also contributed to a less utilitarian appearance.

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The cars had larger-diameter chrome hubcaps than the Austin and Morris Minis, and additional chrome accents, bumper overriders and wood-veneer dashboards. The Riley was the more expensive of the two cars. The name "Wolseley Hornet" was first used on a 1930s sports car, while the name "Elf" recalled the Riley Sprite and Imp sports cars, also of the 1930s. The full-width dashboard was a differentiator between the Elf and Hornet. This dashboard was the idea of Christopher Milner the Sales Manager for Riley. Both the Riley Elf’s and Wolseley Hornet’s bodies were built at Fisher & Ludlow under their "Fisholow" brandname. Plates in the engine compartment on the right side fitch plate bear evidence of this speciality. Very early Mark I versions of both cars (e.g. press photo of 445MWL) had no overriders on the bumpers and a single piece front wing (A-panel and wing in one piece, no outside seam below scuttle panel) that was soon given up again, allegedly due to cost. The Elf’s and Hornet’s special bumper overriders first appeared in 1962. Early production Mark I’s also had a combination of leather and cloth seats (Elf R-A2S1-101 to FR2333, Hornet W-A2S1-101 to FW2105) whereas all later models had full leather seats. Mark I models were equipped with single leading shoe brakes on the front.

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Both the Elf and the Hornet went through three engine versions. Initially, they used the 848 cc (51.7 cu in) 34 bhp (25 kW) engine (engine type 8WR) with a single HS2 carburettor, changing to a single HS2 carburettor 38 bhp (28 kW) version of the Cooper’s 998 cc (60.9 cu in) power unit (engine type 9WR) in the Mark II in 1963. This increased the car’s top speed from 71 to 77 mph (114 to 124 km/h) . Therefore, Mark II cars also came with increased braking power in the form of front drum brakes with twin leading shoes to cope with the increased power output. Both Mark I and Mark II featured four-speed, gearboxes (three synchromesh gears) with rod gear change, a.k.a. "magic wand" type. Automatic gearboxes became available on the Mark II in 1965 as an option. The Mark III facelift of 1966 brought not only wind-up windows and fresh-air facia vents, but disc brakes replaced front drum brakes, too. Concealed door hinges were introduced two years before these were seen on the mainstream Mini. The gear selecting mechanism was updated to the rod type, as seen on all later Mini type cars. Automatic gearboxes were available to the Mark III in 1967 again. Full-four synchromesh gearing was eventually introduced during 1968. 30,912 Riley Elfs and 28,455 Wolseley Hornets were built. Production ceased in late 1969 when British Leyland discontinued the Riley and Wolseley brand names.

Text from Wikipedia

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Well, this is Ronnie Barker doing one of his single sketches and anyone who are familiar with The Two Ronnies (Ronnie Barker and Ronnie Corbett) knows how that can turn out.

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One of Britain’s most popular entertainers, George Formby, has died after suffering a heart attack.

Lancashire-born Formby, 56, was one of the UK’s best-paid stars during his heyday in the 1930s and 1940s. His nationwide fame was unusual in the era before ownership of television sets was widespread.

For six successive years during the 1940s he headed a popularity poll compiled by British cinema-goers who flocked to see him in films such as "Spare a Copper" and "George in Civvy Street".

His stage persona was that of a good-natured imbecile but he was a shrewd professional who amassed a fortune, earning up to £35,000 per film.

But Formby turned down many more lucrative offers, including one from Hollywood, so he could entertain British and American troops during the Second World War. His contribution to the war effort earned him an OBE in 1946.

Stage name

Born George Hoy Booth in Wigan in 1904, he was the son of Lancashire’s most famous music hall star who first adopted the name Formby for the stage.

At the age of seven Formby junior was apprenticed to a jockey but weight gain ruled racing out as a career. Instead he followed his father onto the music hall stage, making his debut as a 17-year-old.

The young Formby made his name with an act which featured a ukulele, the instrument which was to become his trademark along with his toothy grin. From that era stem some of his most famous songs including "When I’m Cleaning Windows" and his catchphrase "Turned out nice again".

Surprise fiancée

At the height of his career he topped the bill at several Royal Command performances at the London Palladium. But a weak heart led to his official retirement in 1952 although he had since occasionally appeared on the stage and in pantomimes.

His final heart attack occurred at the home of his fiancée, Patricia Howson, 36. The couple were due to marry in May. The announcement of their engagement in February was a surprise to many, coming as it did just two months after the death of Beryl, Formby’s wife of 36 years.

In Context

In a will made a few days before he died George Formby left most of his £140,000 fortune to his fiancée Patricia Howson.  He left nothing to his family.

After six years of legal wrangling an out-of-court settlement was reached which gave £5,000 to George Formby’s mother and £2,000 each to his three sisters.

In 1964 Patricia Howson auctioned some of the jewellery her fiancé had given her saying she needed the money to pay her legal bills. Ms Howson died in 1971 leaving £20,000 in her will.

Since his death George Formby has become a cult figure with hundreds of fan clubs around the world.

Text from BBC’s OnThisDay

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Baden Powell’s Rolls Royce and Caravan from 1929.

The year 1929 was a special year for Scouting as it was to celebrate it’s 21st Birthday, it was also the year of the 3rd World Jamboree, which was going to be held at Arrowe Park, just outside Liverpool.

At the Jamboree to mark 21 years of Scouting Baden Powell was honoured with a number of gifts including a Baronetcy by King George V, Baden Powell took the title of Lord Baden Powell of Gilwell, other gifts included a set of Braces and from the 50.000 Scouts of the World attending, a very special gift of a Rolls Royce Car and a touring Caravan.

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As a good scout master Baden Powell knew how to take care of things
so both the Rolls and the caravan is still around.

Text and image from The Scouting Pages

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The Monte Carlo rally has ended in uproar over the disqualification of the British cars expected to fill the first four places. The first four to cross the finishing line were Timo Makinen (Finland) driving a British Motor Corporation Mini-Cooper, followed by Roger Clark (Ford Lotus Cortina), and Rauno Aaltonen and Paddy Hopkirk, both also driving BMC Minis.

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But they were all ruled out of the prizes – with six other British cars for alleged infringements of complex regulations about the way their headlights dipped. The official winner was announced as Pauli Toivonen, a Finn who lives in Paris, driving a Citroen.

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BMC and Ford have lodged protests but even if they are upheld, the reputation of the rally has been severely dented. After the race, a British official said: "This will be the end of the Monte Carlo rally. Britain is certain to withdraw."

Timo Makinen said: "None of us dreamed that the stewards would turn the results upside down – and for such a stupid reason."

This will be the end of the Monte Carlo rally

British team spokesman

The British cars were disqualified because they used non-dipping single filament quartz iodine bulbs in their headlamps, in place of the standard double filament dipping glass bulbs, which are fitted to the series production version of each model sold to the public.

According to new rules introduced at the end of last year, any car entering the rally must come off a standard production line, with at least 5,000 cars being built to a similar specification. The British cars were equipped with standard headlamps – but the only way of dipping them was to switch to non-standard fog lamps.

Richard Shepherd, from the BMC, said: "There is nothing new about the lights at all. They have been used in our rallies, on rally cars, including the Monte for two years now and we’ve had no trouble at all in the past."

The confusion arose because the rally organisers initially said the race would be run under the old rules – and only announced the switch after entries had been accepted. The BMC says it spent £10,000 on preparing for the Monte Carlo rally – and is now considering withdrawing from next year’s race.

In Context
The British teams’ protest to the race organisers was rejected. They boycotted the official farewell dinner held at the International Sporting Club. Prince Rainier of Monaco showed his anger at the disqualifications by leaving the rally before attending the prize-giving which he had always done in previous years.

On 13 October 1966, the supreme motor racing and rally tribunal upheld the disqualifications. The Federation Internationale de l’Automobile in Paris said the iodine quartz headlights fitted on the British cars were not standard.

The Citroen declared the official winner, which had similar lamps, was approved because the bulbs were fitted as standard on some models.

Pauli Toivonen never drove for Citroen again. In 1986, his son Henri won the Monte Carlo rally.

Text from BBCs OnThisDay

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Donald Campbell has broken the world water speed record, becoming the first man to break the world land and water speed records in the same year.

He reached an average speed of 276.33mph (444.71km/h) in his speedboat, Bluebird, this afternoon on Lake Dumbleyung in Perth, Western Australia. The feat shatters his previous world record of 260.35mph (418.99km/h) at Lake Coniston, Cumbria, in 1959.

I never thought we had the chance of a snowball on the desert of cracking it today

Donald Campbell, record breaker

 

Mr Campbell has been trying to realise his record-breaking attempt for months at various locations in Australia. Each time he has been frustrated. The weather at his first choice of location, Lake Bonney in South Australia, proved too unpredictable.

Then, he moved to Lake Dumbleyung, near Perth, on 16 December, only to be delayed by wild ducks which could not fly away because they were moulting. The weather was the next setback, as persistent easterly winds raised waves up to 2ft (61cm) high, making any attempt impossible.

With time running out for him to achieve his goal of breaking both speed records in the same year, he began considering a move to a third lake just south of Perth.

‘Let’s go, skipper!’

Then suddenly, on the last possible day, the winds eased and the lake became flat calm. Conditions were rated 95% suitable, and the chief mechanic, Leo Villa, radioed to Mr Campbell, "I think it’s worth a try – let’s go, skipper!"

Several hundred people gathered on the shores of the lake to watch, among them Mr Campbell’s wife, Tonia Bern. When she heard that he had done it, she dived into the lake and swam out to embrace him as he brought Bluebird in.

As he stepped ashore, Mr Campbell told his supporters, "It’s amazing that we clinched it. I never thought we had the chance of a snowball on the desert of cracking it today."

Mr Campbell broke the land speed record in July on Lake Eyre salt flat in central Australia, with a speed of 403.1mph (648.72km/h). However, the record was short-lived: on 27 October an American, Art Arfon, drove his jet car across Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah at an average speed of 536.71mph (863.75km/h).

In Context

Donald Campbell attempted to break his own speed record a little over two years later, on 4 January 1967. A split second before his jet-powered boat, the Bluebird K7, broke the record, travelling at more than 300mph (483km/h) on Coniston Water, the boat’s nose lifted and it was catapulted 50ft (15m) into the air.

Mr Campbell was killed instantly as the boat hit the water and disintegrated. He was 46 years old. His body was not recovered for another 34 years, until 2001. His remains were buried near Coniston Water.

Donald Campbell is still the only person to break both land and water speed records in the same year. He remains the last British man to break the world water speed record. In 1978, it passed to Australia, when Ken Warby reached a speed of 317.6mph (511.1km/h).

Text from BBCs OnThisDay

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John Robert "Joe" Cocker OBE
(20 May 1944 – 22 December 2014)

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In 1946 George Orwell famously wrote an assay about how to make the perfect cup of tea. His essay contained very important rules about making tea, such as…

“One should drink out of a good breakfast cup — that is, the cylindrical type of cup, not the flat, shallow type. The breakfast cup holds more, and with the other kind one’s tea is always half cold before one has well started on it.”

The problem is that nearly 50 years later many people are still, still, getting tea wrong. Very wrong. Every time. Especially Americans. So to settle this once and for all, here is a guide of what you shouldn’t do when making tea.

Write these rules down. Immediately.


Rule No 1 – Do not leave the kettle alone when boiling tea.

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Leave the kitchen whilst boiling the kettle so you can do something else? No. You are making a British cup of tea. You are an ambassador for the tea. You are expected to wait next to the kettle at all times.

Why? You have to wait for the “ticking noise”, six seconds after the kettle has done that bubbling noise (the ticking is always much later than you ever intended). When it has gone off, wait a tiny bit so it is over-boiled. Then it is ready. You must be ready.

If you aren’t ready, you have failed.


Rule No 2 -  Do not brew the tea for fewer than 3 minutes.

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Some say 3 minutes. Some say 180 seconds. Please aim for somewhere around the middle. It is critical that you brew between these times and not a second less. Oh and warm the pot immediately.

And when you are brewing it, leave that teabag alone. Put it in and leave it. Do not squeeze it. Do not dip it. Do not stir it. Do not wring it. Abandon it. If you squeeze, dip, stir or wring it during the brewing period you have offended a British person.


Rule No 3 – Do not leave the teabag in the mug.

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People tend to have floating tea bags whilst drinking their tea for two reasons. The first reason? We have no time. We now live in a cash-strapped iPhone minimalist design society. The second reason? It is fun. Pressing the top of the teabag back into the mug after it has floated to the top, just so it can gobbbbbblooooobbbbbbblleee topsy turvy.

But there are logistical problems. How do you deal with that squelchy bag at the bottom of every mug after every cup? And how do you tip the tea down into your mouth without the tea bag falling into your face resulting in first-degree burns? Think about it.


Rule No 4 – Do not ever use any of these (unless life or death).

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If you ever give any of these to a British person by choice you deserve never to speak to one again.

Sure, the taste of real milk compared to this milk isn’t that different and yes, we all had to use these milk sachets when we were students because we were poor. We’ve all had that low period in our lives where we’ve gone to the local Wetherspoons pub and nicked 40 Millac Maids at 4 o’clock in the afternoon. Seriously. It’s fine.

But offering a British person now? In the sanctuary of their office or in the privacy of their own home? How dare you. How dare you! Hang your head in shame.


Rule No 5 – NEVER put the sugar teaspoon into the tea.

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Why? Because you will contaminate the sugar. Contaminate the sugar!

You must tip the spoonful of sugar you are intending to to use into the mug from the spoon. You then must return your spoon into the packet of sugar and repeat until you have the allocation of sugar you need in the mug. Once you have done this, it is then completely suitable to then stir the tea until all of the sugar has dissolved. And you must stir. Keep stirring!

If you haven’t done this, then you have failed.


Rule No 6 – Never use a different type of milk than anticipated.

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Using semi-skimmed milk even though you have been told to use skimmed milk?What are you? A criminal? Using skimmed milk instead of semi-skimmed milk? I can’t believe you are suggesting that. It’s just utterly insulting.

Using 1% milk because that was the only thing that was left in the shop? STOP. It is just hurting so much right now.

Also, never decide to use Earl Grey teabags instead of English breakfast if there aren’t any English breakfast left. This is an insult. Instead, you must leave the house and head to the nearest shop that sells the correct teabags posthaste — even if it is 3 o’clock in the morning and the store is in another country. British people don’t expect anything else.


Rule No 7 – Never ever EVER pour the milk in first. EVER.

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Why should you never put the milk in first? Because the tea will never get to a tea colour. It will just stay a milk colour. The milk colour! You’ve just poured your colleagues or your other loving half a pint. A pint of milk! Well done, you.

Oh so you will go back and rectify this in the kitchen will you? OK. How do we sort this out? Make the tea all over again? Nah. That will take a lot of time. Like all of three minutes. “I know,” you decide in your inspired wisdom “I’ll go and pour more hot water into the mug.” Nope wait…. hang on a minute, it’s just looking more and more like milk. OH GOD watery milk.


Rule No 8 – NEVER EVER use a microwave to reheat your tea.

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Seriously? You might as well cook a whole roast dinner in there from scratch.

You disgust me.


Rule No 9 – And clean the shit up afterwards.

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YOU HAVE DRUNK TEA. YOU HAVE ENJOYED TEA.
YOU WILL NOW CLEAN UP.

Only if you follow these rules then you can enjoy tea.

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Text and images from buzzfeed.com

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Jersey Airways was an airline that operated air services to and from the Channel Islands from 1933 until 1947, when it became part of British European Airways.

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Jersey Airways Limited was formed by W L Thurgood on 9 December 1933. The first commercial service took place on 18 December, with a passenger service from Jersey to Portsmouth. In the absence of a proper airport, the aircraft used St. Aubin’s beach at West Park, St. Helier, and the airline had its maintenance base at Portsmouth Airport, (moving to Southampton Airport in 1935). On Sunday, 28 January 1934, the first flights began from Heston (with a special bus connection from London) to Jersey, in March 1934 flights began from Southampton, and during summer 1934, a service was operated
to Paris. In its a1142_jersey airways_01first full year, Jersey Airways carried 20,000 passengers, using a fleet of eight DH.84 Dragons, each capable of carrying eight passengers.

On 1 December 1934, Channel Islands Airways was registered as a holding company for Jersey Airways Ltd. and its subsidiary Guernsey Airways Ltd. which had been formed a week earlier. Shares were bought by the Great Western Railway and the Southern Railway. This allowed expansion, and in 1935, six four-engined DH.86s and two DH.89 Dragon Rapides were introduced, to replace the Dragons. On 8 January 1935, a service began to Rennes, in France, although on 29 March 1935 it ceased. In April 1936, a Plymouth-Jersey service began, and in 1938 to Exeter, Dinard and Shoreham.

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Jersey Airport opened on 10 March 1937, and Jersey Airways was able to operate a fixed timetable that no longer depended on the state of the tides. This also meant the company obtained the mail-carrying contract, freight traffic increased, and night flights could begin.

a1142_jersey airways_02Meanwhile, in Guernsey, things were at a less advanced stage, and most air services were those by flying boats and amphibians. Guernsey Airways was very much smaller than its sister company in Jersey. Two Saro flying boats were used: Windhover (G-ABJP) and Saro Cloud (G-ABXW), named “Cloud of Iona”. In May 1939,Guernsey’s new airport was opened. On 8 May 1939, Guernsey Airways began a service to Southampton, using a DH.86A (G-ADVK) and a DH.86B (G-AENR), later joined by a DH.95 Flamingo (G-AFUF). In June 1939, the prototype Flamingo (G-AFUE) was evaluated by Jersey Airways, but further orders for the type were frustrated by world events.

At the outbreak of war on 3 September 1939, flights to the Channel Islands ceased. In a1142_jersey airways_04November 1939, services resumed from Shoreham, under the direction of National Air Communications. On 13 June 1940, all scheduled air services between the United Kingdom and the Channel Islands were suspended. The following day, Jersey Airways began flying its staff and equipment to the United Kingdom mainland, and on 18–19 June 1940, the DH.86 fleet was used to evacuate 320 islanders to the mainland, before German forces occupied the islands on 1 July 1940. One DH.86 (G-ADVK) was on overhaul at Jersey at the time, and was abandoned; the rest of the fleet was impressed into RAF service.

Following the liberation of the islands in 1945, Channel Islands Airways resumed scheduled services in June 1945, using ex-RAF DH.89A Dragon Rapides. Jersey Airways and Guernsey Airways flights then terminated at Southampton and at Croydon. In May 1946, a Bristol 170 Wayfarer (G-AGVB) was loaned to Channel Islands Airways.

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De Havilland DH.86 Express, G-ACZN, Channel Islands Airways – Jersey Airways

In 1947, the British government nationalised the UK airlines, including Jersey Airways, to form British European Airways (BEA). The Channel Islands authorities resisted this move, feeling that it was unacceptable to be dictated to by the British Government, who had no legal jurisdiction over the islands. However it was made plain that flights from the Channel Islands would not otherwise be allowed to land in England, and consequently on 1 April 1947, the airline staff, the eight Dragon Rapides and their routes all became parts of BEA.

Text from Wikipedia

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Ocean Terminal, Southampton Docks – brochure issued by the British Transport Commission, Docks and Inland Waterways Board, c1950

A wonderful view of the now sadly lost Ocean Terminal that gave a real touch of trans-Atlantic glamour in the years when liners were the way to travel. The terminal opened on 31 July 1950 and allowed easy transit between liners and direct trains to London Waterloo – in almost airport like facilities. The Terminal was demolished in 1988.

Seen here is one of the ‘regulars’ – the Cunard liner "Queen Elizabeth".

Image and text found on Adventures of the Blackgang

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Monty Python’s Flying Circus: Michael Palin, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Graham Chapman, and Terry Jones. New York, April 25, 1975.

"Before we knew it, Avedon somehow got us to take our clothes off. We did manage to say ‘we’re going to keep our hats, socks, and shoes on’. We had to maintain some dignity."

~ Terry Gilliam

Photo by by Richard Avedon found on ghastlydelights

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Did you ever wonder about what The Beatles were up to on a week-to-week basis?  Are you a Beatles trivia buff?  Test your knowledge at PlanetRetro’s “Beatles This Week” as you look at what happened to The Beatles in a specific week in time.

December 7, 1963 – “With The Beatles” topped the British charts and remained there for 21 weeks.

December 12, 1963 – The Beatles became the first ever act to knock themselves off the UK charts when “I Want To Hold Your Hand” replaced “She Loves You.”

December 9, 1964 – “Beatles For Sale” entered the LP charts at Number 1.

December 12, 1965 – The band played at the Capitol Centre in Cardiff.  It was the final show of their last British tour.

December 8, 1980 – John Lennon was killed outside his home in the Dakota building in New York City.  He was shot four times at close range by Mark David Chapman.

Taken from PlanetRetro’s “Beatles This Week”

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Movie found on BFI’s (British Film Industry) YouTube pages

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Sunshine has returned to the capital following four days of dense fog in which London transport was brought to a standstill. The atrocious conditions led to widespread disruption of rail, road and air services and affected shipping on the River Thames.

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As freshening winds and milder temperatures dissipated the fog today London buses and coaches ran normally but still with some delays on the Southern Region railway.

The fog, which began on 5 December, also affected other areas of the south-east, with icy roads causing several road accidents. Ambulance men and firemen had to walk ahead of their vehicles to reach those in need. It also spread as far as northern France, Belgium and the Netherlands.

A cross-channel ferry carrying 300 passengers from Folkestone to Calais was 15 hours late. The ship had to anchor off the French coast, unable to get into port due to poor visibility.

Virtual shutdown

Fog descended on London once again yesterday evening at the end of a relatively clear day.By 18:30 London Transport reported a virtual shutdown of its north-east London service and nearly all buses were out of action.

Only the London Underground was still running, but as buses stopped running once visibility was reduced to a few hundred yards this too became congested.  At Stratford, on the Central Line, 3,000 people queued for tickets.

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London Airport was also severely affected – BOAC reported just two departures and four arrivals yesterday. All other flights were diverted to Hurn, near Bournemouth and passengers were taken by train to Waterloo.

Crime spree

The severe weather conditions led to a rise in crime as robbers used the cover of fog to break into houses and shops and attack and steal from Londoners making their way home in the darkness.

The weather even affected cattle brought into Earls Court in preparation for the Smithfield Show. Farmers spent hours trying to reach the capital and when they finally arrived found many livestock had breathing difficulties. At least one animal died.

Opera and football cancelled

There was no escape from the fog inside either, as it seeped into buildings as well as filling the streets. Last night, the Sadler’s Wells theatre had to end a performance of La Traviata after the first act because the auditorium had filled with fog.

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The fog also took its toll on several sporting events. A University Association Football due to take place at Wembley was postponed. It is the first time any fixture has been cancelled at the stadium since it opened in 1923.

Most rugby matches were cancelled and no Association Football League matches took place in London

In Context

In the weeks following what became known as the Great Smog of 1952, it emerged that at least 4,000 people had died as a direct result of the weather.

They were mostly the elderly, the very young and those with respiratory or heart problems.

The main causes of the smog were by-products of coal-burning that had reached exceptionally high levels combined with high pressure, near-freezing temperatures and very light winds that meant the smog lingered for several days.

The authorities realised that drastic action was needed introduced the Clean Air Act in 1956.

It restricted the burning of domestic fuels in urban areas with the introduction of smokeless zones, but heavy fogs continued for some time after the Act while residents and operators switched to new sources of energy.

The Act was revised in 1968 when industries burning coal, gas or other fuels were ordered to use tall chimneys. In 1974 the first Control of Air Pollution Act introduced regulations on the composition of motor fuels.

By the 1980s and 1990s the increasing use of the motor vehicle led to a new kind of smog caused by the chemical reaction of car pollutants and sunshine.

The 1995 Environment Act introduced new regulations for air pollutants.

Text from BBC’s "OnThisDay"

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