Category Archives: Chat from the author

American TV series from 1951 (Part Two)

American TV series from 1951 (Part Two)

These are all American TV series which were either being filmed or screened during 1951 …

The Man who Saved the World

The Man who Saved the World

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Sunglow

Today’s post is a reblog of a poem called sunglow.
North Korea is currently launching missiles over Japan. It is also testing nuclear weapons which have a yield 17 times more powerful than the bomb that destroyed Hiroshima.

Russia and China are waging a war of words with the USA.
Acts of mindless terrorism are fast becoming a fact of everyday life. As I write this, the terror threat in Britain has been raised to the highest level – critical.

But all is not lost. Staff at the North Korean Embassy in London are apparently very partial to the odd McDonald’s fast-food takeaway, something banned by the authorities back home. Feel the love, guys. Feel the love. All is not lost.

PLEASE FEEL FREE TO REBLOG OR COPY THE POEM. NO COPYRIGHT.

1951 Club

SUNGLOW

When I was all of 20 years old I wrote a wee poem called sunglow just about some daft thoughts I had in my mind at the time. It was 1972. The war in Vietnam was still dragging on. Northern Ireland had witnessed the terrible events of Bloody Sunday. And in September a group of terrorists massacred members of the Israeli team at the Summer Olympic games in Munich.

Sun Glow - Sal Germano - H.M.-1

sunglow

sun glow on high
colours earth sky
the world is turning
and we’re turning too

same sun for you
same sun for me
but we still burn inside
when there’s no need

so we must learn to love
bring out the peaceful dove
or fade away
just fade away

onroc Sitting on rock in 1972 just minding my own business.

And now, over 40 years later there is a war in Syria. There are floods of refugees looking for a…

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DIDN’T HE DO WELL!

Sir Bruce Forsyth (1928-2017)

Remembering Passchendaele 1917 …

Remembering Passchendaele 1917

100 years ago today saw the beginning of one of the bloodiest and most deadly conflicts of WW1. The battle of Passchendaele began at 3:50 a.m. on 31 July 1917 and was to last until 10 November.

At the end of three months of fighting, over half a million soldiers from both sides had either been killed, wounded or posted missing in action. That averages out at five thousand men a day. They were fighting to control just a few square miles of land, most of it reduced to muddy vision of hell.

This last picture kind of says it all. Here are two soldiers sharing a cigarette at the end of the battle. One is Canadian and the other is German.

By Jupiter! It’s 1951 …

By Jupiter! It’s 1951 …

Jupiter is the fifth planet from the Sun and is a gas giant made mostly of hydrogen. It is about 484 million miles from the Sun and takes 12 years to make just one orbit. This amazing planet actually radiates more heat itself than it receives from the Sun.

On July 10, the Juno spacecraft flew just 5,600 miles above Jupiter’s most recognizable feature: the Great Red Spot. It’s a storm that’s raged for 350 years, and it’s so large it could swallow Earth whole.

Now, Jupiter has 69 known moons, four of which were discovered by Galileo in 1610. You haven’t heard me mention 1951 yet. Allow me to remedy this.

Ananke is a retrograde irregular moon of Jupiter. It was discovered by Seth Barnes Nicholson at Mount Wilson Observatory on 28 September 1951. Ananke did not receive its present name until 1975; before then, it was simply known as Jupiter XII. It is very small with a radius of just 8 miles. Our own Moon has a radius of 1079 miles. Ananke is 13 million miles away from Jupiter and takes 610 days to complete one orbit. The temperature on Ananke is minus 150 degrees centigrade.


OK. I have news. There is another Jupiter.

The Jowett Jupiter is a British sports car which was produced by Jowett Cars Ltd between 1950-1954.

A racing derivative of the Jupiter, the R1, was entered in the 1951 1500 cc sports car race at Watkins Glen, driven to first place by George Weaver.

Anyone fancy some Sugar Corn Pops ?

Anyone fancy some Sugar Corn Pops ?

Corn Pops is a puffed grain breakfast cereal made by Kellogg’s, described by the company as “crunchy sweetened popped-up corn cereal.” The cereal was introduced in 1950 as Corn Pops.

 In 1951, the name was changed to Sugar Corn Pops and later it was called Sugar Pops. It was the sponsor for “The Adventures of Wild Bill Hickock” radio and television show. Guy Madison, the star of the show, appeared on the box from 1951 to 1958. It also carried the tagline “Shot with sugar!” The name was changed to Sugar Corn Pops in 1978, and finally to Corn Pops in 1984, a time when many cereals dropped the word “Sugar” from their titles for marketing reasons. In January 2006, the name of the cereal was changed to Pops, but after a few months of poor reception, was changed back to Corn Pops.

Appointment with Venus (1951)

Appointment with Venus (1951)

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Appointment with Venus is a 1951 film starring David Niven and Glynis Johns. The film was based on the evacuation of Alderney cattle from the Channel Islands during World War II.

In 1940, after the fall of France, the fictitious Channel Island of Armorel is occupied by a small garrison of German troops under the benign command of Hauptmann Weiss (George Coulouris). He finds that the hereditary ruler, the Suzerain, is away in the British army, leaving the Provost in charge.

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Back in London, the Ministry of Agriculture realise that during the evacuation of the island, Venus, a prize pedigree cow, has been left behind. They petition the War Office to do something urgently due to the value of the cow’s bloodline, and Major Morland (David Niven), is assigned the task of rescuing Venus. When he realises that the Suzerain’s sister, Nicola Fallaize (Glynis Johns) is in Wales, serving as an Auxiliary Territorial Service army cook, she is quickly posted to the War Office and the two, with a radio operator sergeant and a Channel Islander naval officer who knows the local waters, are landed on the island.

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They contact the Provost and discover that the Hauptmann, a cattle breeder in civilian life, is about to have the cow shipped to Germany. In a race against the Germans discovering their presence, they spirit the cow onto a beach and via a special craft, onto a Royal Navy Motor Torpedo Boat which takes them to Britain, though they are pursued by a German E-boat.

Smoke Screens and Wild Women …

Smoke Screens and Wild Women …

I was never all that much of a smoker during my adolescence. Like most teenagers though, I was heavily influenced by pop culture and advertising. 

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I saw an advert for Gauloises cigarettes in a French magazine called Paris Match.

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It also frequently carried photographs of a beautiful French singer called Francoise Hardy.

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Logic dictated that if I smoked French cigarettes, Francoise would get to hear about it and seek me out. It was certainly worth a try. Anyway, to cut a long story short, she lost her chance after a couple of packets.

I went through a phase of trying to roll my own cigarettes …

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My friend Wilf could roll a cigarette with one hand. They were bloody works of art. He was a veritable magnet to wild women who liked to drink pints and beat you at arm-wrestling. On Wilfless days I had to resort to using a roll up machine. It wasn’t cool. I felt so ashamed.

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What I needed was something a bit classy. This came in the form of Passing Clouds. These were elegant and sophisticated oval-shaped cigarettes which came in a glorious pink packet.

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They cost 7/6 for 20. I was working weekends as a shelf stacker in Sainsburys at the time and only got paid £1 a day. So 7/6 was very expensive. But sophisticaltion came at a price and it came in the glorious form of  Marilyn who worked on the cheese counter. She could do things with cheddar that would make your eyes water. She smoked Capstan full strength and had tattoos and a decidedly dodgy boyfriend called Malcolm who worked at a sheet metal factory. Marilyn  and I were sitting at a table together in the staff canteen one day and I nonchalantly offered her a Passing Cloud. I remember her eyeing it suspiciously.
“Why’s it all squashed?”
I had to admit that I didn’t know. She stuck it behind her ear to smoke later and told me she was being promoted to the bacon counter. God, that girl had class.

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The 1951 Club over 60s Guide to Carbon Dating (Annual reboot)

The 1951 Club over 60s Guide to Carbon Dating (Annual reboot)

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