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Swan, Hunter & Wigham Richardson, Wallsend Shipyard, ca 1955 – Bergensfjord



From a Transport Age article on Tyneside a fine colour shot of the passenger steamship Bergensfjord, built for the Den Norske Amerikalinje A/S by Swan, Hunter and Wigham Richardson and launched, by H R H Princess Astrid of Norway in July 1955.The ship was 577-feet long and was notable, the caption informs, for its all-welded aluminium-alloy superstructure.

Many fine and famous ships came out of the Swan Hunter Wallsend yard. The company, usually known just as Swan Hunter, was responsible for the construction of some of the world’s most famous ships including the Mauritania and Carpathia. Building finally ceased here in 2006.

Anyhow, it is a cracking view of a traditional shipyard on one of the world’s busiest shipbuilding rivers, the River Tyne.

Image ans text from Adventures of the Blackgang

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Filed under: Facts, Maritime history, Norwegian, Photography, The fifties, Transportation, Traveling Tagged: 1955, Hunter & Wigham Richardson, SS Bergensfjord, Swan, Wallsend Shipyard

It Happens In The Best Of Families

Round Britain By Railway – Knaresborough



Knaresborough /nɛərzb(ə)rə/ is an historic market town, spa town and civil parish in the Borough of Harrogate, North Yorkshire, England. Historically part of the West Riding of Yorkshire, it is located on the River Nidd, 4 miles (6.4 km) east from the centre of Harrogate.


730_knaresborough_03Knaresborough is mentioned in the Domesday Book as Chenaresburg, meaning ‘Cenheard’s fortress’.Knaresborough Castle dates from Norman times; around 1100, the town began to grow and provide a market and attract traders to service the castle. The present parish church, St John’s, was established around this time. The earliest name for a Lord of Knaresborough is from around 1115 when Serlo de Burgh held the ‘Honour of Knaresborough’ from the King.

Hugh de Morville was granted the Honour of Knaresborough in 1158. He was constable of Knaresborough and leader of the group of four knights who murdered Archbishop Thomas Becket at Canterbury Cathedral on 29 December 730_knaresborough_021170. The four knights fled to Knaresborough and hid at the castle. Hugh de Morville forfeited the lands in 1173, not for his implication in the murder of Thomas Becket, but for "complicity in the rebellion of young Henry", according to the Early Yorkshire Charters.

The Honour of Knaresborough then passed to the Stuteville family. When the Stuteville line was broken with the death of Robert de Stuteville the 4th in 1205, King John effectively took the Honour of Knaresborough for himself. The first Maundy Money was distributed in Knaresborough by King John on 15 April 730_knaresborough_011210. Knaresborough Forest, which extended far to the south of the town, is reputed to have been one of King John’s favourite hunting grounds.

Although a market was first mentioned in 1206, the town was not granted a Royal Charter to hold a market until 1310, by Edward II. A market is still held every Wednesday in the market square. During Edward II’s reign, the castle was occupied by rebels and the curtain walls were breached by a siege engine. Later, Scots invaders burned much of the town and the parish church. In 1328, as part of the marriage settlement, Queen Philippa was granted "the Castle, Town, Forest and Honour of Knaresborough" by Edward III and the parish church was restored. After her death in 1369, the Honour was granted by Edward to their younger son, John of Gaunt, the Duke of Lancaster 730_knaresborough_05and since then the castle has belonged to the Duchy of Lancaster. After the accession of Henry IV the castle lost much of its importance in national affairs, but remained a key site in regional administration for another century.

During the Civil War, following the Battle of Marston Moor in 1644, the castle was besieged by Parliamentary forces. The castle eventually fell and in 1646 an order was made by Parliament for its destruction (but not carried out till 1648). The destruction was mainly done by citizens looting the stone. Many town centre buildings are built of ‘castle stone’.

Text from Wikipedia 

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Filed under: Advertisments, Article, British, Holidays, Illustration, Transportation, Traveling Tagged: British Railways, Knaresborough

The Life & Times Of Aunt Mabel – Intro


Well, it just had to happen of course. Aunt Mabel got her of posting series. I’ve grown so fond of her and building a series around her is a lot easier on far less time consuming than most of my other posting series. Besides, it’ is so nice to work with something absolutely devoid of anything remotely like seriousness.

A series all about me.
Is it really true?
Will there be any
booze to get out of it.?


Regular visitors will all ready have made their acquaintance with the lady, but only in sporadically appearing posts. These posts will now appear every Wednesday. There will also be opportunities to meet members of her family, co-workers (from the few places she has managed to hold down a job for more than a few hours) and her many friends of course.

I will not make the least attempt to post these glimpses from Mabel’s life in any sort of chronological order just rummage through the net for fitting images and let my disorderly, whimsical mind do the rest of the work.

So, that should be about it, I don’t know for how long I’ll run the series, but that goes for the rest of them as well for that matter so enjoy it while it lasts – Ted

Filed under: Humour, Information, People, Tackieness Tagged: Aunt Mabel

The Life & Times Of Aunt Mabel – Part 1



As a fairly young woman aunt Mabel actually managed to hold down a job as a typist (heaven knows how) until her birthday. Unfortunately her breath caught fire when she tried to blow out the candles on the birthday cake and burnt off most of the varnish on the top of the desk – Ted ;-)

Filed under: Humour, People, Tackieness Tagged: Aunt Mabel, Bad breath, Booze breath

Marilyn Monroe And The Potato Sack Dress, 1951



There is more than one version of why and/or how Marilyn posed in a burlap potato sack. The story is that Marilyn was once chastised by a female newspaper columnist for wearing a low-cut red dress to a party at the Beverly Hills Hotel. According to Marilyn, the columnist called her cheap and vulgar. Not stopping there, the writer then suggested that the actress would look better in a potato sack. So, Twentieth Century Fox decided to capitalize on the story by shooting some publicity stills of Marilyn in a form fitting burlap potato sack just to prove she would look sexy in anything. The photos were published in newspapers throughout the country.

Another story was that someone just made an off-the-cuff statement that Marilyn could make a potato sack look sexy and Twentieth Century Fox took the publicity stills to prove him right.


Filed under: Actresses, Models & starlets, Pinups, The fifties Tagged: 1951, Marilyn Monroe, The potato sack dress

Achilles Scooters



The Achilles factory of Weikert & Company was located in Wilhelmshaven in northwestern  Germany. They produced scooter-like bikes with 147cc and 174cc Sachs two-stroke engines between 1953 ans 1957. These had a four speed gearbox with foot-change gear lever and a neutral selector switch on the handlebars. The chassis had 8 inch wheels, telescopic front forks and swing-arm rear suspension.


Text from Sheldon’s EMU and images from ManxNorton.com

Filed under: Motorcycles, The fifties Tagged: Achilles scooters, Scooters

This Week’s Retro DIY Project – Early American Step Table

This Week’s Retro Recipe – Chocolate Soufflé



In context:
Hersey Chocolate Corporation published this promotion booklet in 1937. You can see the cover page above, two kids stuffing themselves with chocolate cake. I find it hard to believe that kids were allowed to attack a cake like that back then, but I guess that’s beside the point ;-) Recipe HERE

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Filed under: Food & drinks Tagged: Chocolate Souffle, Hersey Chocolate Corporation, Souffles

On This Day In 1963 – Profumo Resigns Over Sex Scandal


Secretary of State for War, John Profumo, has resigned from government, admitting he lied to Parliament about his relationship with a call girl. Prime Minister Harold Macmillan accepted the resignation calling it a "great tragedy".


Profumo, 48, made a personal statement to the House of Commons on 22 March in which he admitted being misleading about his relationship with 21-year-old call girl Christine Keeler.

To my very deep regret I have to admit that this was not true, and that I misled you and my colleagues and the House

John Profumo

He had made the statement in response to allegations from fellow MPs that he was involved with Miss Keeler, who has also had relations with an attache at the Russian embassy.

It was also alleged that Profumo, who has been War Secretary since 1960, had assisted in the disappearance of Miss Keeler, who had not appeared at the Central Criminal Court where she was due to give evidence in the case against a West Indian accused of possessing a firearm. She was later discovered in Spain.


In his letter to the Prime Minister, Profumo, said: "You will recollect that on 22 March, following certain allegations made in Parliament, I made a personal statement.

"At that time the rumour had charged me with assisting in the disappearance of a witness and with being involved in some possible breach of security.

So serious were these charges that I allowed myself to think that my personal association with that witness, which had also been the subject of rumour, was by comparison of minor importance only.

"In my statement I said there had been no impropriety in this association. To my very deep regret I have to admit that this was not true, and that I misled you and my colleagues and the House."

The prime minister told Profumo that he had no option but to accept his resignation and said: "This is a great tragedy for you, you family and your friends. Profumo also sent a personal letter to the chairman of the Conservative party in his constituency of Stratford-upon-Avon where there will now be a by-election.Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State and Financial Secretary at the War Office, Mr James Ramsden, will take temporary charge of the department.

In Context

John Profumo was educated at Harrow and Brasenose College, Oxford. He entered Parliament in 1940 at the age of 25, representing Kettering. At the time he was the youngest member of the Commons.

Before being appointed at the War Office he held many positions including Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Civil Aviation, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies and Minister of State at the Foreign Office.

Following his resignation he devoted himself to philanthropy and in 1975 was named Commander of the British Empire for his charitable work. He died on 10 March 2006, aged 91.

Text from BBC’s OnThisDay

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Filed under: Article, British, People, The sixties Tagged: Christine Keeler, John Profumo, On this day, Prime Minister Harold Macmillan, Secretary of State for War

Amphibian Bicycle Can Travel On Land Or Water


An article from Popular Science published in 1932 found at modernmechanix.com733_amphibike

A hybrid among vehicles, an amphibian bicycle that can travel on land or water, was demonstrated by its French inventor at a recent Paris exposition. Its wheels are hollow, bulbous floats that, with the aid of four smaller globes on outriggers, sustain it in the water. All of the floats revolve freely like wheels, resulting in a minimum of drag. When the rider pedals across the water, fins on the rear wheel serve as paddles to drive the machine forward. For a ride on dry land, the outriggers supporting the outer floats may be folded up clear of the ground. Proof that the floats would be sufficiently buoyant to support the rider was given when the inventor navigated his device, without difficulty, across a large swimming pool.

Filed under: Retro technology, The thirties, Vintage Science Tagged: Amphibian bicycle, Modern Mechanix, Popular Science

Pre-War Classics Of The Road – Part 37


1930 Packard Seventh Series Model 740


A further stage in the development of the Packard was the Seventh Series Model 740 Custom Phaeton, which was built between August 1929 and August 1930. The stamina of this model was proved in 1931 when one of the marque’s many royal owners, Prince Eugene de Ligne of Belgium, took a brace of 740s from Brussels to the Belgian Congo across the Sahara Desert. Incidentally, American presidents from Taft to Truman rode in Packards.

1930 Talbot/ Darracq M75

Although they were produced by the same group, Talbots from Paris and Talbots from London had precious little in common (and in fact the French version was known as the Darracq in the British Commonwealth). This is the Talbot/ Darracq from Suresnes, Paris, a 14hp M75 two-seater avec spider (with dickey seat), one of the wide range of six-cylinder models offered by Talbot in 1930.

1931 Ford model A (German built)

Another ‘transitional’ design, the Model A Ford replaced the Model T at the end of 1927, and was produced until 1932. The coloured steel insert in the radiator header identifies this two-seater as a 1931 model. Its bodywork is slightly different from the standard Model A pattern, as this is a German-built car. probably from the newly opened Cologne Ford works.

1932 Rolls-Royce  20/25 Sportin Coupé

Current between 1929 and 1936, the 20/25hp Rolls-Royce was a 3699cc development of the original light-six Rolls-Royce, the 3127cc 20hp introduced in 1920, Top gear range of the 20/25 was 3mph to 75mph, at a fuel consumption of 15-17mpg, Total production of 20/25s was 3827, over twice as many as the contemporary 7668cc Phantom II. Shown here is an unusual sporting coupe built in 1932.

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Filed under: Automobiles, Retro technology, Transportation Tagged: 1930 Packard Seventh Series Model 740, 1930 Talbot/ Darracq M75, 1931 Ford model A, 1932 Rolls-Royce 20/25 Sportin Coupé

This Week’s Favourite Female Singer – Melissa Etheridge


Melissa Lou Etheridge (born May 29, 1961) is an American rock singer-songwriter, guitarist, and activist. Her self-titled debut album was released in 1988 and became an underground hit. The album peaked at #22 on the Billboard 200, and its lead single, Bring Me Some Water, garnered Etheridge her first Grammy nomination for Best Female Rock Vocal Performance. In 1993, Etheridge won her first Grammy award for her single, Ain’t It Heavy, from her 3rd album Never Enough. Later that year, she released what would become her breakthrough album, Yes I Am. The album featured the mainstream rock hits I’m the Only One (#8) and Come to My Window (#25), the latter which scored Etheridge her second Grammy award. Yes I Am peaked at #15 on the Billboard 200, and spent 138 weeks on the chart, earning a RIAA certification of 6x Platinum, her largest to date.

In October 2004, Etheridge was diagnosed with breast cancer, and underwent surgery and chemotherapy. At the 2005 Grammy Awards, she made a return to the stage and, although bald from chemotherapy, performed a tribute to Janis Joplin with the song "Piece of My Heart". Etheridge’s performance was widely lauded, with India.Arie writing "I Am Not My Hair" about Etheridge. Later that year, Etheridge released her first compilation album, Greatest Hits: The Road Less Traveled. The album was a huge success, peaking at #14 on the Billboard 200, and going Gold almost immediately. Her latest release is 4th Street Feeling.

Etheridge is known for her mixture of "confessional lyrics, pop-based folk-rock, and raspy, smoky vocals." She has also been an iconic gay and lesbian activist since her public coming out in January 1993. She has received fifteen Grammy Award nominations, winning two, and an Academy Award. In September 2011, Etheridge received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

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Filed under: Music, Rock Tagged: American rock artists, Melissa Etheridge, Singer-sonkwriters

Chester Nez, Last Of Original Navajo Code Talkers Of WWII Dies


This documentary film was researched, photographed, edited and produced by students of Winona State University (Winona, Minnesota) and Diné College (Tsaile, Arizona, Navajo Nation) during summer 2012

For more than two decades, Chester Nez kept silent about his role as one of the original Navajo code talkers responsible for developing an unbreakable code during World War II. His death Wednesday at his home in Albuquerque, New Mexico, at age 93 was lamented by the Marine Corps as the end of an era — for both the country and its armed forces.

"We mourn his passing but honor and celebrate the indomitable spirit and dedication of those Marines who became known as the Navajo code talkers," the Marines said in a statement.

Nez was the last remaining of the original 29 Navajos recruited by the Marine Corps to develop the legendary code that was used for vital communications during battle.

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Filed under: WW II Tagged: Chester Nez, Navajo Code Talkers

SS “Skibladner”– The Oldest Steam Paddler In The World Still In Regular Traffic


The lake is “Mjøsa”, Norway’s largest and one of the ships by the railway station is SS Skibladner. SS Skibladner runs Gjøvik / Lillehammer and Gjøvik / Eidsvoll return in the summer season. Nick name: Mjøsa’s White Swan


Take A Day Trip To 1856

The world’s oldest preserved paddle steamer in timetabled service, with live steam engines, paddle wheels and a speed of 12 knots. "Skibladner" is the pride of Norway’s inland, and one of Norway’s best-loved tourist attractions. You can easily make a day trip on her if you are staying in the Oslo area – or planning to visit Lillehammer. Not to be missed.

Filed under: Maritime history, Photography, Postcards, Vintage Tagged: Eidsvoll, Mjøsa, SS Skibladner

Grand-daddy’s Sauce – Part 39


All posts material: “Sauce” and “Gentleman’s Relish” by Ronnie Barker – Hodder & Stoughton in 1977

The Sauce-box


See that sauce-box on the sea-shore ;
in her scanty silk swimsuit and stockings.
She has split the side of her swimsuit, so she says,
and has sewn it up with strong thick string.
Strong thick string isn’t suitable for sewing up
the sides of split swimsuits as we can see,
because these sauce-boxes are showing
their skin through the sides.
Should any sailors sauntering on the sea-shore
spot these slits in the sides of their scanty silk swimsuits,
these two sauce-boxes might, in certain circumstances,
suddenly find themselves in a similar state to,
if not a sauce-box, then certainly a sauce-bottle
tipped upside down and shaken.


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Filed under: Entertainment, Ephemera, Humour, Vintage Tagged: Beachwear

The Lure Of The Mad Men – Part 16



The Mad Men realy pulled out all the stops on this one. Playing on a broad spectre of insecurities using scary words like dirt, mucus, germs and serum and adding an etc. for good measure in case those were not scary enough. And a real tearjerker of a story about poor Mary of course and don’t forget the punch line: Be sure that Mary’s heartbreak does not become yours.

I’ve lived with quite a few women during my 60 years, but none of those had such a collection of nastiness down under. And still none of them used Lysol or other germicides or disinfectants (what terrible words in this connection) but soap believe it or not –Ted

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Filed under: Advertising, The forties Tagged: 1940, Lysol, Mad Men

Time For A Little Retro Easy Chair Travelling – Arawak Hotel, Jamaica, 1950s

The Jet V2N



These cars were shown at the Paris Motor Show in 1959 and this brochure may have come from that show. Built in France by Vantung Ngo’s Union Industrielle. The red car was built after the auto show. There was some interest as a result of this showing, but financing for production was not secured, so the planned 5000 cars a year never got past one.





Text and images found on one of hugo90’s albums on Flickr

Filed under: Automobiles, The fifties, The sixties Tagged: French cars, Jet V2N, Microcars, mini cars

The Sunday Comic – A Reasonable Decision

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