Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘British’ Category

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.

a121305_spaghetti2

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

Read Full Post »

a121288_anglia_01

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).

a121288_anglia_02

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.

a121288_anglia_04

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.

a121288_anglia_06

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.

a121288_anglia_07

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.

a121288_anglia_08

Read Full Post »

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.

a121279_skijump_02

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.

a121279_skijump_03

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

Read Full Post »

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

Read Full Post »

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.

a12122_brangwyb_01a12122_brangwyb_02a12122_brangwyb_03a12122_brangwyb_04

Text and images from artcontrarian

Read Full Post »

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

a12121_mini spawns_01a12121_mini spawns_02

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.

 a12121_mini spawns_03
NCA001000905_004, 05-09-2007, 17:01,  8C, 8000x7970 (0+2186), 100%, NCA_08-08-07,  1/80 s, R56.7, G30.6, B32.5

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.

a12121_mini spawns_05a12121_mini spawns_06

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

Read Full Post »

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.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

%d bloggers like this: