Monday, 17 June 2019

1970: Rebel Generation

More from The New Universal Library 1971 Yearbook.  It might be easier to read the text on Flickr (click the pic, then click again to see full size): The New Universal Library 1971 Yearbook

Sunday, 16 June 2019


Scans from The New Universal Library 1971 Yearbook, looking back at 1970.

Note heavy Times / Telegraph presence
Worth seeing the full spread
See bits from previous year's publication here: 1969

Monday, 10 June 2019

Ray's days

Quite a life, veteran broadcaster and writer Ray Gosling, whose specialty was reporting on the quirks and oddities of British life.

I knew him mostly as a radio voice - remembering in particular a short program for Radio 4 he did about Julie Burchill. Which featured a first-time-hearing for most everybody of her voice - unexpectedly soft, high, fluting and West Country accented, more like Sophie from Detectorists than the formidable and intimidating print persona as NME 's resident punk ideologue.

Quite an acute analysis There of a shift from the old class-struggle based system (ruling class, bourgeois, organised proud and stubborn working class) to have-a-lots, haves, and have-nothings (underclass that is plural, fractured, lacking solidarity or a positive self-identity)

The Ray Gosling Archive - and judging by the shots of him in his office, nearly buried in papers, clippings, folders, books, newspapers, and what not, he was quite an archivist in his own right.

Did not know that he was a gay rights activist, an anarchist (I don't know if literally, in the CRASS sense - by temperament most likely).

The alcohol intake seems par for the course for writers of that era and type.

Somehow I bracket him in my head with J.B. Priestley - both Northern, left-wing, insanely prolific (a book or more a year in Priestley's case, plus innumerable essays and articles) and with wide-ranging interests.

Thursday, 16 May 2019

A Midsummer Nights Happening

Was supposed to be going to this, but really cannot get to London that night...So a tad gutted.
A solstice celebration hosted by state51, Ghost Box and Trunk Records. Both record labels have invited a variety of artists and friends to perform at this very special party. There’ll be live music, artwork, film and merchandise spread across three specially designed and themed interiors: Pan’s Garden, The Youth Club and The TV Chamber.
The Midsummer Night’s Happening is a private party open to a limited number of invited guests and friends. To receive your exclusive invitation, pre-order the limited edition print of Julian House’s event poster from either the Ghost Box or the Trunk Records shops.
The state51 Factory, 8-10 Rhoda St., London, 21st June 2019, 6:30 until late.

Saturday, 9 March 2019

Blast - Off

Into Space with Waddington’s BLAST-OFF!  Described as “The Game of Modern Space Exploration and Technology for 1 to 4 Players. It also states in the introduction “It is not necessary to understand the rules for all three stages at the start” A friend of mine gave me Blast - Off for Christmas and I have been trying to fathom out how to play it since then. Blast Off comes with some rather superb dials to measure Fuel, Orbit and planets visited. The playing pieces are various coloured Space Capsules and Satellite docking stations. You first have to get your Satellite docking stations into orbit then have to get the Capsule docked into your Satellite. Next step is to land on the moon and then head off around the solar system ending up at Pluto. First to make it there is the winner. Along the way you could run out of fuel and have to return to earth or even the moon to re-fuel.
Blast - Off was released at a time of the Apollo 11 moon landing and the late 60s were a peak time for Space related toys and games (Major Matt Mason, Project Sword, Triangs SpaceX, Zeriods and even Action Man who had a Mercury Capsule) I was lucky enough to have Zeroids (here is my last one) and The Action Man Astronaut and Capsule, both long gone. Clarks shoes even got in on the space thing by creating their Wayfinder Moonshot Shoes (The Sole was a silver liner surface, that did not stay silver for long) also supplied for your space age fun with the shoes was a cardboard space/moon background that came with transfers and space capsule which with the aid of a magnet you could move around on your space background. At the time I thought it was all fantastic……I still do.

A very young me looking slightly confused at my Action Man Mercury Space Capsule.
(Think the shoes had seen better days)