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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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I’m not often proud of my countrymen, we’re a very rich country so as individuals we’re usually selfish and smug. But each autumn around now we arrange the world’s largest fundraising and this year the money goes The Norwegian Church Aid and their goal is to give 1.000.000 people in third world countries clean water close to their homes.

And when the 8 hour long TV broadcast closed tonight we had reached over NOK 234.000.000  that is about £22,320,000 and $35,800,2000. More will be added in the next two days as the fundraising telephone number will be kept open.

Not bad for a country with a population of slightly over 5 mill.

a1057_norwegian church aidSome people throw coins into a well to make a wish. For a small community in Ethiopia, their wish came true with the well itself.

For girls like Tigist, the difference has been remarkable: because now she can attend school instead of carrying water for hours each day along paths dangerous for young girls.

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No more hiking without Quick Lunch

Quick Lunch was almost born as outdoor chocolate. The reason why Quick Lunch was outdoor chocolate, is said to be that Johan Throne Holst, Freia founder, along with a business associate a few decades earlier got lost in the woods. His companion complained that the Throne Holst had brought chocolate on the trip and this was something Throne Holst apparently never forgot.

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“Health and strength”

The shape of the new chocolate was tailor-made for the ultra-modern sports garment in the 30s, namely the anorak. Besides, chocolate is easy to carry and easy to eat, and took the contemporary nutrition issues seriously. It was actually said that this chocolate had the same nutritional value as one egg and two slices of bread with butter.

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The chocolate that wishes you a good trip

Quick Lunch is the Norwegian outdoor chocolate. It has always encouraged consumers to embark on a trip and provided good advice. In the 60’s there were mountain codes printed on the packaging, and to this day the back of the Quick Lunch has been used to convey travel tips, information about attractions and where to find The Norwegian Trekking Association’s cabins all over the country.

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Did you know?

When Quick Lunch was launched in 1937,  chocolate was well established as nutrition during strenuous physical exertion. Chocolate was in fact an essential provisions as polar hero Amundsen reached the South Pole in 1911.

The very first batch of Quick Lunch was made with dark chocolate. It was anything but a success. Fortunately, there were some who insisted on trying again, now with light chocolate and the rest is chocolate history.

During and after the war, between 1941 and 1949, the production of Quick Lunch stopped partly because of the lack of sugar and the quality of the flour.

When Norway hosted the Winter Olympics in 1952, incredible 10 million Quick Lunch chocolates  was sold!

983_kvikk lunsj_10Ten pack that you can use as a lunch box when you’ve emptied it

Few if any Norwegians are without an out-door memory connected to Kvikk Lunsj. It is indeed the ultimate Norwegian hiking snack, I never head for the woodlands around Oslo without a few in my knapsack and neither did my dad when we went hiking when I was a kid. Kvikk Lunsj is one of the few things that follow most of us Norwegians from the cradle to the grave – Ted

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We used to have them in Norway too, until the government decided sometimes in the fifties that it was time to put an end to it. They ordered the police around the country to take their horses and slaughter them. This was normally done right there by the road side while the owners watched. It is a part of my country’s history I’m deeply ashamed about and I blame it on the old-school social democracy’s love of mediocrity and the principle of forced equality.

I saw an interview with a man of the travelling people who was a small kid back then and he told that the only time he ever saw his father cry was the day the police slaughtered his horse.

It is strange that so many of us find it so hard to accept people who chose to live their life on the outside of the mainstream – Ted

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This photo with the title as above was among the photos in a post called “These 60 Rare Photos Will Destroy Everything You Knew About The Past” posted on Distractify some 3 hours ago. But honestly, I know we are a small country with merely 5 million citizens and even fewer back when the photo was taken, still I think you would need more than 12 people to call an event a celebration.

On the other hand, a song from just after WWII called “Når det kommer en båt med bananer” (When there comes a boat with bananas) is still played on the radio from time to time, so yes, we do love bananas in Norway – Ted 😉

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586_trafic signMayor of Marker Municipality, Kjersti Nythe Nilsen, is not going to remove the unorthodox pedestrian crossing signs. (Photo: Kreativiteket).

Most people are having a good laugh when they see the pedestrian crossing signs in the village of Ørje in Eastern Norway. Unfortunately, the Norwegian Public Roads Administration does not share the same form of humor and say they are going to remove them.

– If the Mayor does not take them down, we will remove them, says Head of Department Ivar Anton Christiansen to Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation, NRK.

The Monty Phyton sketch “Ministry of Silly Walks” from 1970, where John Cleese plays a minister who is responsible for developing silly walks, is the inspiration behind the idea of a group who call themselves “Kreativiteket”. They say that there is no deeper meaning behind the pedestrian signs, it is just everyday humor.

– I think the signs should be allowed. They are not to any nuisance and are very similar to normal pedestrian crossing signs. In fact, no one has noticed that we have changed them, after all, they have been there a couple of months, says Mayor Kjersti Nythe Nilsen.

She has no plans to remove the signs and must therefore resort to civil disobedience.

– This is a storm in a teacup. I think that they should be allowed to be placed where they are right now, she says.

It remains to see whether the Norwegian Public Roads Administration actually will travel to Ørje and remove them.

Text, image and video found at ThorNews

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Michael Harding, a British comedian, writer, radio personality and song artist has a story on one of his records about a lot of families in his street going to Blackpool in a charabanc they had rented. As they drove off, kids from families who couldn’t afford to join ran alongside the bus calling: “I hope all them donkeys are dead.”

This became a standard between a very good friend and me back then and still is (we’re both big fans of Mr Harding). Every time one or the other mentioned something he was going to do or places he was going to, the other would immediately say: “I hope all them donkeys are dead.” And now more than 30 years later we still do.

Late last night he called me telling me he was going to a Dixie Chicks concert here in Oslo to day and without even thinking I said: “I hope all them donkeys are dead.” – Ted

Image found at Shorpy

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