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Not up to standard

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It all started 45 years ago, when Drummond Randall took his three-and-a-half-year-old son for a day out on the Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch Railway, on the South coast.

"I remember very clearly what happened when we got home," recalls Drummond. "My son turned to me and said, ‘Dad, are you going to build me a locomotive?’" The answer was yes. And while most fathers might have made do with buying their son a little electric train set and putting it in the loft, Drummond went one further and constructed an entire, working miniature railway, around the garden of the family home in Kent.

There’s a little station at which passengers can get on, an engine shed where the trains sleep overnight, and, rather than just chuffing around in a boring circle, the locomotives wind their way through holes in hedges, into long, dark tunnels, around the edges of attractive flower beds and across dramatic bridges that span ponds.

Plus, on each circuit of the garden, the train passes just a couple of feet in front of the spectacular half-timbered, 17th-century home in which the Randalls live. Step out with a cup of tea, and if you didn’t look where you were going you could find yourself being struck at kneecap level (it’s a miniature railway, remember) by one of Drummond’s immaculately polished trains. Maybe the gleamingly caramel-coloured locomotive Crowborough, or perhaps its elegant, powder-blue cousin Dunalistair. Or conceivably Toby the shunting diesel, powered by silent electricity, rather than roaring coal fires and wheezing steam.

In all there are seven trains running on Drummond’s network, which he still lovingly maintains, although his son left home some time ago. So is he fulfilling one of his own boyhood fantasies? "No question about it," he says with a laugh. "When I was a teenager, I built my own small version of this railway in my back garden. But my mother wasn’t very keen on it, and when I got called up to do National Service, she pulled all the track up."

Article from The Telegraph written by By Christopher Middleton – 21 Jan 2015

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In case your TV should suddenly simply call it a day and decide to hibernate and you’re left sitting staring at a dull grey soundless screen, here’s a little something to keep you occupied while you wait for the repair man to arrive. If you combine it with yesterday’s 30 shots it should turn out to be quite an entertaining evening after all – Ted

Image found at TurnOfTheCentury

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Image found at 1950sUnlimited

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Yes, I mean it. I’d go for a good board game over any computer game any day and I have a large collection of old and new board games at my week end place. And what’s more, computer games are banned there. There’s nothing better on a rainy day than to make a pot of Assam, light a fire in the fireplace and settle down for a good board game. Call me old fashioned, but playing a board game is a something people do together, most computer games you play alone.

Only one thing beats a good board game and that’s a dice game. Particularly medieval or Viking dice game and Cameron in particular – Ted 😉

Image found at Beveldrive

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When you were the most popular band in the world you could make money on just about any thing – Ted 😉

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And with no less than 4 active players eager to get started, two them even several years away from old age pension. It must have been a matter of life and death to get that courts build – Ted

Image found at Llyfrgell Genedlaethol Cymru/The National Library of Wales’ Flickr account

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A digital recreation of an article published in Popular Science, October 1937

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Oval sails fastened to rods that are held at shoulder level propel the wearer of new water skis. The novel marine footgear, worn during a recent California water carnival, are made of a buoyant framework, covered with canvas to form watertight compartments. Tied at front and back, they enable the wearer to skim along the surface. Changing the angle of the sails permits traveling across the wind.

Text and image found at modernmechanix.com

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From “Motoring – The Golden Years” compiled by Rupert Prior

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A Finnigan’s leather bound picnic trunk for six. The correct equipment if you wanted to be able to stand tall among the petrolheads on the racetracks in the thirties. Since I’m partial to both picnics and retro equipment I wouldn’t mind one myself to use just about anywhere even to day – Ted

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From my collection of books on practically every subjects retro & vintage

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The face’s and the body’s beauty is one of the
most important things for women, but excessive partaking in violent outdoor sports like cycling, running and ‘worst of all’ land hockey must have have an unwomanly effect on a young girls mind and looks.
Let the girls ride, dance, play tennis and go skating, but let them leave other sports to those they were intended for – men.
– Badminton Magazine

It was a common opinion that women should avoid taxing sports. Light exercises was best, as it would provide healthy and strong children and participation in traditionally male sports would ruin both their health and femininity. Still, in the first twenty years of the 20th century women would concur one male sport bastion after the other, croquet, tennis, golf, badminton and figure skating became fashionable in the middle classes. Cycling gave women a new-won physical independence and expressed an uproar against the corsets.

Land hockey, net ball, cricket, gymnastics and swimming were accepted as they could be performed in a “ladylike” fashion, but of course in clubs, at schools and universities for women separated from men. Even though their movements should be controlled and feminine, women exposed this femininity in an attractive manner and the stars became the “pin-ups” of their time. This lead to women entering more and more sports, and the working classes joining in.

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T gospel

There’s been some time since I’ve posted on Retrorambling now and there have been several reasons for that, but there’s no need to list them here. Regular posting will start again to day and as usual there will be some weekly serial posts. Some new and some well known ones and they are:

Monday: Victorian Inventions
The industrial revolution made people in the Victorian age believe that almost anything was possible which brought on a flow of patents on the most hilarious contraptions. Flying devices that any half-wit with just a glance would see could never leave the ground and so on. In this series we’ll take a closer look at some of these patents.

Tuesday: The Softdrink Project
A well known feature for regular visitors. There are still tons of softdrinks and sodas out there that deserves a presentation and I need your help in both commenting on the ones presented and in finding more to feature.

Wednesday: Around Britain By Railway Posters
We’ve all seen those marvellous posters but we seldom bother to find out anything about the places they tell us to go to. In this series we will. I have gathered 52 images of British railway posters and for the next 52 weeks we will take a virtual visit to those 52 places. Starting in Aberdeen and ending up in Windsor.

Tuesday: Retro Recipes
Another well known feature for regular visitors. We’ll keep on posting fattening, unhealthy and downright life-threatening recipes from a time when butter and sugar was regarded as wholesome and beer was considered a better drink for children than water.

Friday: Pre-War Classics Of The Road
Starting in 1897 and ending up in 1935 we’ll take a look at some of the early classics of the road. At first I planned to post one car each week, but found that that would take me between three and four years so I  ended up posting four cars at the time 😉

Saturday: Granddaddy’s Sauce / Popular Music History 1945 – 1980
A double feature no less. Granddaddy’s Sauce will feature pre-war and older naughtiness, tackiness  and other frivolities taken from Ronnie Barker’s marvellous books “Sauce” and “Gentleman’s Relish” from the seventies.
Popular Music History 1945 – 1980 will feature both a Music Genre Vocabulary and a look at the different styles that were dominant in the period.

Sunday: Moxie – Our Sunday Comics / Girliemag Articles
And another double feature. Moxie is my own comic strip translated from Norwegian and will give you a look into the life of patrons, maids and owner of a small café in the poshest part of town. Girliemag Articles is a well known feature to regular visitors, but will now come regularly on Sundays.


Apart from the regular features there will of course be posted stuff on retro and vintage subjects of a great variety – It’s good to be back  – Ted 🙂

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This post featuring the deluxe Nancy Pearl librarian action figure with the amazing push-button shushing action is particularly for my girlfriend who has recently finished her librarian studies. Not that she looks anything like Nancy Pearl nor dress like her nor is she the shushing kind.
On the other hand it’s nice to know that even a sedate occupation like being a librarian can end up as an action figure and that this might make children interested in books and in reading – Ted

Image found at “Library Fangirl

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Click the image for a larger view (you might find Wally)

This photo is worth studying for a few moments at the bigger sizes; it’s like those WHERE’S WALDO? (okay, WHERE’S WALLY?) books. I’m going to go out on a limb and venture that the "minerals and cakes" offered for sale are not geological samples or big layer cakes but rather mineral water bottles and little snacks. The sign "Free bathing is not permitted" refers to the practice of making visitors rent one of those bath houses for the day before they could actually go in the water. Maybe this was to reduce the number of possible accidents or just cut down on unsightly pale pudgy tourists, I don’t know. Image and text found at “Dr Hermes Retro-Scans

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ca. 1874, “Buffalo Heads Outside Taxidermist’s Office, Kansas Pacific Railway”, R. Benecke

By 1874, when railroads were in competition for business, iconic images like this one were used for advertising. Here the promotion is that riders could shoot buffalo for sport from the train. The Kansas Pacific Railroad even had its own taxidermy department. Needless to say, they provided transportation of the kill to riders’ final destination.

Text and image from “Historical Indulgences

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From NewsLite – It barely qualifies as news
You might expect your granny to knit you a woolly jumper, but one pensioner has been defying expectations by using her needles to craft amazing knitted BREASTS.
Coral Charles-Dunne, 91, from Birmingham, has knitted dozens of the unusual educational tools as part of a project to inform expectant and new mums about breastfeeding.

She says spends about two hours creating each of the woolly boobs and makes them in a range of sizes, knitting for up to six hours per day. The knitted breasts are then used by expectant moms to learn techniques for breast feeding… their partners probably use them to create an unusual game of football.

Coral first picked up her knitting needles when she was eight, and still knits a range of items in her spare time. "My fingers are busy from six o’clock until midnight every evening," she said. "I’ve knitted stacks of stuff for charity, like pull overs, scarves and hats for orphans in Romania, though this is definitely the most unusual thing I’ve done.

She says she was encouraged to knit the woolly boobs by breastfeeding network volunteer who she met at chapel. "Beverley was looking for someone to knit the breasts, and because I do a lot of knitting I said ‘yes, I’ll do it’. "First of all I thought it was a little strange but when she explained that a lot of young women have no idea about things like that I decided to help."

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10992_fb1Located at 32 rue Richer in the 9th Arrondissement, it was built as an opera house by the architect Plumeret. It was patterned after the Alhambra music hall in London. The closest métro stations are Cadet and Grands Boulevards.

It opened on 2 May 1869 as the Folies Trévise, with fare including operettas, comic opera, popular songs, and gymnastics. It became the Folies Bergère on 13 September 1872, named after a nearby street, the rue Bergère (the feminine form of "shepherd").

Édouard Manet‘s 1882 well-known painting A Bar at the Folies-Bergère depicts a bar-girl, one of the demimondaines, standing before a mirror.

10992_fb2The Folies Bergère catered to popular taste. Shows featured elaborate costumes; the women’s were frequently revealing, practically leaving them naked, and shows often contained a good deal of nudity. Shows also played up the "exoticness" of persons and objects from other cultures, obliging the Parisian fascination with the négritude of the 1920s.

In the early 1890s, the American dancer Loie Fuller starred at the Folies Bergère. Nearly thirty years later, in 1926, Joséphine Baker, an African-American expatriate singer, dancer, and entertainer, became an overnight sensation at the Folies Bergère with her suggestive "banana dance", in which she wore a skirt made of bananas and little else.

10992_fb3Notable performers
Loie Fuller
Josephine Baker
Cantinflas
Charlie Chaplin
Maurice Chevalier
Dalida
Norma Duval, Spanish actress and star
Fernandel
W. C. Fields, American comic actor
Ella Fitzgerald    Jean Gabin
Grock, clown
Benny Hill
Zizi Jeanmaire
Elton John
Margaret Kelly Leibovici,
founder of the Bluebell Girls
Valérie Lemercier
Lisette Malidor, singer
Marcel Marceau
Ginger Rogers    Mistinguett
10992_fb4Yves Montand
Édith Piaf
Liane de Pougy
Yvonne Printemps
Raimu
Régine
Frank Sinatra
Charles Trenet
Sherry (Queeny) Young
Text from Wikipedia 

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Knut (German pronunciation: [ˈknuːt]  (5 December 2006 – 19 March 2011) was a polar bear who was born in captivity at the Berlin Zoological Garden. Rejected by his mother at birth, he was raised by zookeepers. He was the first polar bear cub to survive past infancy at the Berlin Zoo in more than thirty years. At one time the subject of international controversy, he became a tourist attraction and commercial success. After the German tabloid newspaper Bild ran a quote from an animal rights activist that seemingly called for the death of the young cub, fans worldwide rallied in support of his being hand-raised by humans. Children protested outside the zoo, and e-mails and letters expressing sympathy for the cub’s life were sent from around the world. Wikipedia 

And now the show is over, Knut is no more, he has expired and gone to he’s maker, he is an x-polar bear to quote Monty Pyton’s parrot sketch. And if that tells us anything at all it is that polar bears and no other animal for that matter has anything to do in a zoo. They belong in their natural habitat and if you are too bone lazy to go and see them there, you can bloody well do with picture. Watching animals in a zoo has as much to do with a nature experience as wrestling has with real fighting. It is all about the money to quote Meja’s hit song. –Ted.

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Article from the American magazine LIFE, November 30th 1936
LIFE 30 nov 1936 2

On November 4th, the Belvoir Hunt (pronounced Beaver) met 120 strong at Croxton Park, near Melton Mowbray. The ninth Duke of Rutland’s pack gave them a 50-minutes brisk run from Bercaby Oaks to Stokes Common before the kill. Then and there the meet disband, for, heavily thrown when his horse stumbled in a rabbit-hole and summersaulted, Col. “Sam” Ashton lay dying.

You can say what you like about the British aristocracy, but they are brave. A mere 120 men and a pack of hounds against something as terrible and dangerous as a fox. And when the battle was over they had lost only one man. Status qua in other words. – Ted

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Article from the Norwegian movie magazine “Film Journalen” September 1947
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looking at the photos in this article on might easily be lead to believe that this is just another flimsily camouflaged pin-up spread. But you are wrong dear reader, We are not trying to tell you that the article may be of interest only to plumbers an masons, but by and large it is more about pools than girls.

Sonja Henie has combined her with a skating rink, Cliff Henderson has a slide straight from his bedroom window and Rex Harrison has a saltwater pool.

If you can tear your eyes away from Jeanne Crain’s streamlined body for just a moment, you will catch a glimpse of her pool. It is marble and classic in style.

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There are women behind everything, or so the French says. The publicity wizards in Hollywood, the birthplace of the pin-ups, has replaced "women" with "publicity". And they are not far wrong in saying that most of what happens in movie town is dictated by good advertising or good publicity.
98 % of all the movie stars’ so called funny, original, eccentric or fantastic sayings and doings have been carefully planned in a publishing bureau or an advertising studio.

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Betty Grable, the proud owner of one of Hollywood’s most exclusive swimming pools.

But don’t get me wrong. It might be possible that Greta Garbo would have walked around in flat heeled shoes and slacks even if it hadn’t given her agent a point or two when selling her.
The something goes for Adolph Menjou’s tails and John Hodiak and his shabby old car. I’m sure Menjou could have done very well without the stiff shirt and that Hodiak like any other young man would have liked a never and more fancy car. But unfortunately for them both, it does not fit into their publicity campaign
Menjou probably was out partying so late one night that he had to go to work in his tails and Hodiak hadn’t got the funds to by a bright yellow 12 cylinder Packard, and before they knew it legends were born.
Legends or no legends, there are one thing no Hollywood celebrity can do without, a swimming pool. Before the war a pool was just for the absolute top shelf celluloid royalties – but now the "swimming madness" has hit them all. It is impossible to make it as a pin-up without a pool to splash around in.

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It is a little cold after pin-up girl Jane Harker’s taste. When she is not crawling, she makes movies at the Warner Brothers’ studios.

The manager of "Braddock’s Swimming Pool Company", Ralph Ilsley, the oldest Hollywood company on the business, can tell that before the war they did dig a pool or two, but most of their work was repair and maintenance. The marked was filled up, all the "greats" had pools.
But to day, the story is a completely different one. In just a couple of years we have had more than 500 orders. we have even been forced to launch a cheap standard model.
This model is of course nothing compared with Cliff Henderson’s tropical Laguna or Rex Harrison’s double piped pool, one for fresh water and one for salt water, but it will do nicely for most common people.
ginger Rogers wanted a flag pole with a life buoy, one other Hollywood babe had an island build in the middle of her pool and Carl Laemmle had a complete south island paradise mad, complete with sandy shores, palms and a coral cave.

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One of movie towns many hopeful. She’s not in her own pool yet, but is taking a refreshing bath in the pool at the apartment building where she lives.

The "Braddock" firm can deliver pools to any taste fitting any surrounding. Marion Davies wanted a whole system of canals fitted with every sort of romantic arrangements. Jack Benny wanted a octopus with shining eyes painted on the tiles in the bottom of his pool.
just imagine being at a party at Ava Gardner or Betty Grable or some other sweet little thing’s place. Feeling a little hot you stumble out in the hall, grab you swimming gear and go for the pool. soon there will be cocktails on the diving board and dancing in the nearest coral cave.
Sonja Henie has fitted her pool with a cooling system under the tiles that changes the pool into a skating rink in a matter of hours.
The price for these extravaganzas is high, but what does that matter to the Hollywood celluloid royalties. And think of all the good publicity.


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Posted on BrandChannel by Barry Silverstein on February 16
01854_monoMonopoly purists will shake their heads at this one. Hasbro is promoting an updated version of the classic game, called Monopoly Live, at this week’s Toy Fair in New York, where toy and game manufacturers show off their latest products for 2011.

Monopoly Live, slated for release this fall, still has the familiar board, but along with it comes a decidedly unfamiliar new addition — a Big Brother-ish infrared tower that acts very much like an airport control tower, telling all the players what to do when. It even prevents them from cheating.

And what happened to Monopoly money in the new version? Well that’s gone too — now players slip electronic cards into little red devices, not unlike miniature ATMs, to find out how much money they have left. Sheesh.

Read the whole article here

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