One of Britain’s most popular entertainers, George Formby, has died after suffering a heart attack.
Lancashire-born Formby, 56, was one of the UK’s best-paid stars during his heyday in the 1930s and 1940s. His nationwide fame was unusual in the era before ownership of television sets was widespread.
For six successive years during the 1940s he headed a popularity poll compiled by British cinema-goers who flocked to see him in films such as "Spare a Copper" and "George in Civvy Street".
His stage persona was that of a good-natured imbecile but he was a shrewd professional who amassed a fortune, earning up to £35,000 per film.
But Formby turned down many more lucrative offers, including one from Hollywood, so he could entertain British and American troops during the Second World War. His contribution to the war effort earned him an OBE in 1946.
Born George Hoy Booth in Wigan in 1904, he was the son of Lancashire’s most famous music hall star who first adopted the name Formby for the stage.
At the age of seven Formby junior was apprenticed to a jockey but weight gain ruled racing out as a career. Instead he followed his father onto the music hall stage, making his debut as a 17-year-old.
The young Formby made his name with an act which featured a ukulele, the instrument which was to become his trademark along with his toothy grin. From that era stem some of his most famous songs including "When I’m Cleaning Windows" and his catchphrase "Turned out nice again".
At the height of his career he topped the bill at several Royal Command performances at the London Palladium. But a weak heart led to his official retirement in 1952 although he had since occasionally appeared on the stage and in pantomimes.
His final heart attack occurred at the home of his fiancée, Patricia Howson, 36. The couple were due to marry in May. The announcement of their engagement in February was a surprise to many, coming as it did just two months after the death of Beryl, Formby’s wife of 36 years.
In a will made a few days before he died George Formby left most of his £140,000 fortune to his fiancée Patricia Howson. He left nothing to his family.
After six years of legal wrangling an out-of-court settlement was reached which gave £5,000 to George Formby’s mother and £2,000 each to his three sisters.
In 1964 Patricia Howson auctioned some of the jewellery her fiancé had given her saying she needed the money to pay her legal bills. Ms Howson died in 1971 leaving £20,000 in her will.
Since his death George Formby has become a cult figure with hundreds of fan clubs around the world.
Text from BBC’s OnThisDay
Filed under: British, Entertainment, Music, The forties, The thirties Tagged: Fanlight Fanny, George Formby, Grandad's Flannelette Nightshirt, The Ukulele King, When I'm Cleaning Windows
Now we’re drinking POMMACK
In 1919, after his best efforts to keep his brewery running Anders Lindahl moved to Stockholm, Sweden as a failed businessman, and founded Fructus Fabriker and began to make Pommac. The recipe was made by a Finland-Swedish inventor. The drink was made for the upper classes as an alcohol-free substitute for wine.
Filed under: Soft drinks and sodas Tagged: Pommac, Swedish sodas, Swedish soft drinks
Imperial Airways was the early British commercial long range air transport company, operating from 1924 to 1939 and serving parts of Europe but principally the British Empire routes to South Africa, India and the Far East, including Malaya and Hong Kong. There were local partnership companies; Qantas (Queensland and Northern Territory Aerial Services Ltd) in Australia and TEAL (Tasman Empire Airways Ltd) in New Zealand.
The establishment of Imperial Airways occurred in the context of facilitating overseas settlement by making travel to and from the colonies quicker, and that flight would also speed up colonial government and trade that was until then dependent upon ships. The launch of the airline followed a burst of air route survey in the British Empire after the First World War, and after some experimental (and often dangerous) long-distance flying to the margins of Empire.
Between 16 November 1925 and 13 March 1926 Alan Cobham made an Imperial Airways’ route survey flight from the UK to Cape Town and back in the Armstrong Siddeley Jaguar–powered de Havilland DH.50J floatplane G-EBFO. The outward route was London– Paris– Marseille– Pisa– Taranto– Athens– Sollum– Cairo– Luxor– Assuan– Wadi- Halfa– Atbara– Khartoum– Malakal– Mongalla– Jinja– Kisumu– Tabora– Abercorn– Ndola– BrokenHill– Livingstone– Bulawayo– Pretoria– Johannesburg– Kimberley– Blomfontein– Cape Town. On his return Cobham was awarded the Air Force Cross for his services to aviation.
On 30 June 1926 Alan Cobham took off from the River Medway at Rochester in G-EBFO to make an Imperial Airways route survey for a service to Melbourne, arriving on 15 August. He left Melbourne on 29 August and, after completing 28,000 miles in 320 hours flying time over 78 days, he alighted on the Thames at Westminster on 1 October. Cobham was met by the Secretary of State for Air, Sir Samuel Hoare, and was subsequently knighted by HM King George V.
27 December 1926 Imperial Airways de Havilland DH.66 Hercules G-EBMX City of Delhi left Croydon for a survey flight to India. The flight reached Karachi on 6 January and Delhi on 8 January. The aircraft was named by Lady Irwin, wife of the Viceroy, on 10 January 1927. The return flight left on 1 February 1927 and arrived at Heliopolis, Cairo on 7 February. The flying time from Croydon to Delhi was 62 hours 27 minutes and Delhi to Heliopolis 32 hours 50 minutes.
Short Empire Flying Boats
In 1937 with the introduction of Short Empire flying boats built at Short Brothers, Imperial Airways could offer a through-service from Southampton to the Empire. The journey to the Cape was via Marseille, Rome, Brindisi, Athens, Alexandria, Khartoum, Port Bell, Kisumu and onwards by land-based craft to Nairobi, Mbeya and eventually Cape Town. Survey flights were also made across the Atlantic and to New Zealand. By mid-1937 Imperial had completed its thousandth service to the Empire. Starting in 1938 Empire flying boats also flew between Britain and Australia via India and the Middle East.
In March 1939 three Shorts a week left Southhampton for Australia, reaching Sydney after ten days of flying and nine overnight stops. Three more left for South Africa, taking six flying days to Durban.
Flown cover carried around the world on PAA Boeing 314 Clippers and Imperial Airways Short S23 flying boats 24 June-28 July 1939
In 1934 the Government began negotiations with Imperial Airways to establish a service (Empire Air Mail Scheme) to carry mail by air on routes served by the airline. Indirectly these negotiations led to the dismissal in 1936 of Sir Christopher Bullock, thePermanent Under-Secretary at the Air Ministry, who was found by a Board of Inquiry to have abused his position in seeking a position on the board of the company while these negotiations were in train. The Government, including the Prime Minister, regretted the decision to dismiss him, later finding that, in fact, no corruption was alleged and sought Bullock’s reinstatement which he declined.
The Empire Air Mail Programme began in July 1937, delivering anywhere for 1½ d./oz. By mid-1938 a hundred tons of mail had been delivered to India and a similar amount to Africa. In the same year, construction was started on the Empire Terminal in Victoria, London, designed by A. Lakeman and with a statue by Eric Broadbent, Speed Wings Over the World gracing the portal above the main entrance. From the terminal there were train connections to Imperial’s flying boats at Southampton and coaches to its landplane base at Croydon Airport. The terminal operated as recently as 1980.
To help promote use of the Air Mail service, in June and July 1939, Imperial Airways participated with Pan American Airways in providing a special “around the world” service; Imperial carried the souvenir mail from Foynes, Ireland, to Hong Kong, out of the eastbound New York to New York route.
Captain H.W.C. Alger and his wife
Pan American provided service from New York to Foynes (departing 24 June, via the first flight of Northern FAM 18) and Hong Kong to San Francisco (via FAM 14), and United Airlines carried it on the final leg from San Francisco to New York, arriving on 28 July.
Captain H.W.C. Alger was the pilot for the inaugural air mail flight carrying mail from England to Australia for the first time on the Short Empire flying boat Castor for Imperial Airways’ Empires Air Routes, in 1937.
Text from Wikipedia
Filed under: Aviation, Holidays, The thirties, The twenties, Transportation, Traveling Tagged: 1924 - 1939, British Airways, British European Airways Corporation, British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC), Imperial Airways
The ship was built in England in 1937–39, and when new she set a number of records for her size and power. She operated between Britain and New Zealand via Australia in civilian service 1938–40 and 1948–62 and was a troop ship 1940–47. She spent half of 1962 in the Port of Seattle as a floating hotel for the Century 21 Exposition and was then scrapped in Japan.
Dominion Monarch was the world’s most powerful motor liner. She was powered by four William Doxford & Sons five-cylinder two-stroke single-acting diesel engines, each of 28 9⁄16 inches (72.5 cm) bore by 88 9⁄16 inches (2.25 m) stroke. Two engines were built by Swan Hunter and two under licence by Sunderland Forge. The engines were the largest that Doxford’s had constructed. Together they gave her a rating of 5,056 NHP or 32,000 bhp, a top speed of 21.5 knots (39.8 km/h) and cruising speed of 19.2 knots (35.6 km/h) at an engine speed of 123 rpm.
The ship had four 100 lbf/in2 double-ended auxiliary boilers. Onboard electricity was supplied by five six-cylinder 900 bhp Allan diesel engines, each powering a 600 kW 220 volt generator. Much of her cargo space was refrigerated. Her navigation equipment included wireless direction finding, and echo sounding device and a gyrocompass.
Dominion Monarch was completed on 12 January 1939. On 28 January, she had her sea trials off St Abb’s Head, Berwickshire, Scotland. before sailing to London, where she was docked at the King George V Dock in the evening of 29 January. She was then handed over to her owners, who registered her in Southampton.
The new ship sailed from North East England to London to load cargo for her maiden voyage. Facilities there had been upgraded in preparation for her, with eight new three-ton capacity electric cranes having been installed on the north quay of the King George V Dock. She left London on 17 February 1939, and made her first call at Southampton where she embarked passengers for Australia and New Zealand. She then called at Tenerife in the Canary Islands for bunkers, Cape Town and Durban in South Africa; and Fremantle, Melbourne, and Sydney in Australia. On 24 April 1939 she reached Wellington in New Zealand, where she had a slight collision with the crane vessel Hikitia. Dominion Monarch also visited Napier, New Zealand. Her voyage set more records, including fastest passage from Britain to Australia via the Cape of Good Hope, largest ship to serve Australia, and largest ship to serve New Zealand. On the Durban to Fremantle leg, she averaged 19.97 knots (36.98 km/h).
After her maiden voyage, Dominion Monarch switched from Tenerife to Las Palmas for her regular refueling stop in the Canary Islands. Her regular journey time between Southampton and Wellington was 35 days. Shaw, Savill and Albion promoted the service as "The Clipper Route", and fares began at £58. With the break bulk cargo handling techniques of her era the ship was able to make three round trips a year, spending almost as much time unloading and loading in Britain and New Zealand as voyaging at sea.
Post-war civilian service
Dominion Monarch returned to the Tyne where Swan Hunter refitted her as a civilian liner again. This took 15 months, during which she was converted to carry 508 passengers, all First Class. The refit cost £1,500,000 – as much as she had cost to build. She resumed civilian service on 16 December 1948, leaving Britain with passengers and 10,000 tons of cargo for Australia and New Zealand. The crew was a motley collection, there were fights among them and the ship was nicknamed the "Dominion Maniac" or "The Bucket of Blood".
Of the 508 passenger berths, 100 were set aside for passengers between Britain and Cape Town. These were priced at £150 8s 0d, only slightly more than the fare on the competing Union-Castle Line service.
The New Zealand Cricket Team sailed from Wellington on Dominion Monarch on 26 February 1949 for their summer tour of England. They arrived at Southampton on 2 April. Following a tour of South Africa, the All Blacks rugby union team departed from Durban on 23 September 1949 for their return home. In 1950 the ship was fitted with a new set of propellers, which gave her quieter running. She spent 5–23 May 1953 at Wallsend slipway for an extensive overhaul. The South African cricket team arrived at Perth, Australia in Dominion Monarch on 14 October 1953 for a tour series.
In 1955 the 20,204 GRT Southern Cross was completed and joined the Shaw Savill fleet, displacing Dominion Monarch as flagship. The two ships inaugurated a round the World service in alternate directions, extending the London – Cape Town – Australia – Wellington route via Fiji, French Polynesia, Panama and Curaçao back to London.
On one occasion in the latter part of 1961 Dominion Monarch collided with the end of the pier in Sydney Harbour. The damage caused minor flooding in the crew quarters during a storm while crossing the Great Australian Bight.
On 27 June 1961 Vickers-Armstrongs on the Tyne launched Dominion Monarch ‘s replacement, the 24,731 GRT Northern Star. Dominion Monarch left London for the last time on 30 December 1961. In February 1962 she was sold to Mitsui for £400,000 and on 15 March she left Wellington for the last time. She arrived at Southampton on or about 22 April. After disembarking her passengers, she sailed to London to unload her cargo. On 10 July Northern Star entered service in her stead.
Century 21 Exposition and scrapping
From June to November 1961 Mitsui leased Dominion Monarch as a floating hotel and entertainment centre for Seattle’s Century 21 Exposition, along with the Mexican-owned Acapulco and Canadian-owned Catala. She arrived at Seattle on 29 May 1962. Accommodation demand was less than predicted, Dominion Monarch ‘s US charterer lost $200,000 and her charter was reduced by several weeks. The exhibition closed on 21 October and the ship arrived in Osaka, Japan on 25 November to be scrapped.
Text from Wikipedia
Filed under: Article, Maritime history, The fifties, The forties, The thirties, Transportation, Traveling Tagged: QSMV Dominion Monarch, Shaw Savill Line
I’,m afraid you’re going to have to wait a while for the midnight sun. I didn’t realise that this was a created playlist. Make yourself a cup of coffee, loosen your tie and prepare for a round trip of Europe ;-)
Movie found on travelfilmarchive on Youtube
Filed under: Holidays, Movies, The thirties, Traveling Tagged: 1933, Midnight sun, Norway, Travel movies
A golden eagle which escaped from Regent’s Park Zoo is still on the loose after outsmarting his keepers’ latest attempts to recapture him.
Goldie the Eagle escaped from the central London zoo eight days ago and has been dodging his captors ever since. He has spent most of the past week flying round the park – although he has also been spotted in Tottenham Court Road, Euston and Camden Town.
A crowd of about a thousand gathered in Regents Park today to watch the bird being chased by keepers, police, fire fighters and even a BBC reporter. The Navy has also been consulted about supplying a net and line-firing rifles.
Goldie, who has lived at the zoo for five years, escaped while his cage was being cleaned. He left behind his mate, Regina.
Joe McCorry, deputy head keeper of birds of prey at London Zoo, has predicted Goldie will be caught once he gets hungry.
The zoo has received hundreds of telephone calls and letters offering advice for his capture. Two teams of keepers have been tracking his progress using two way radio sets on loan from the Civil Defence.
The closest Goldie has so far come to being recaptured was yesterday while he was devouring a Muscovy duck in the grounds of the American Ambassador’s residence in Regent’s Park. But he was scared off at the last minute when a reporter tried to throw a coat over him and the bird abandoned his meal half-eaten.
BBC reporter John Timpson recently returned from covering the Queen’s trip to Ethiopia tried to charm Goldie back to earth using an Ethiopian bird pipe – perhaps not surprisingly this ploy also failed.
Goldie the eagle was recaptured, as predicted, once he became hungry.
An hour and a half later, Goldie swooped down for his last picnic in the park. The keeper quietly walked up and caught him with his bare hands, secured his legs and took him back to the zoo.
He was declared unhurt after his ordeal and returned to his cage with his mate. London Zoo subsequently reported a big increase in visitor numbers, up to 6,500 from 3,700 on the corresponding Sunday the previous year.
Goldie made a second bid for freedom in December 1965 – but was recaptured after four days.
John Timpson, who was best known as a presenter of BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, died in November 2005 at the age of 77.
Text from BBCs OnThisDay
Filed under: Article, Facts, The sixties Tagged: 1965, Escapees, Goldie The Eagle, London Zoo
One Saturday when aunt Mable held a neighbourhood garden party a lady turned up with an accordion. A bummer in itself, but said lady used the horrible instrument to accompany her own drab and dreary religious songs. It didn’t take long before some of the guests started crying with despair.
Aunt Mabel did the only sensible thing. She tore the dreaded instrument out of the woman’s hands ripped it in two, threw one part in the pool and slipped the other part over the woman’s head and said in her most restrained and polite voice: “One more sound out of you and you end up in the pool too.”
The woman choose to leave the party for some reason and aunt Mable to carry on partying now that the mood of her garden party had taken a turn for the better.
Filed under: Humour, Tackieness Tagged: Accordions, Aunt Mabel, Garden parties, Party moods
Frills, Freckles & Flesh
When Fran Ormand first aspired to a career as a professional model, some friends gloomily predicted her freckles would either eliminate her completely from consideration, or else limit her severely. The many appearances of Fran’s lovely features in commercial ads is proof of just how wrong everyone was.
Read the whole article an
see all the pictures HERE
Warning: Nudity do occur in this article. If you are under age or live in a country where watching images of nude women for some reason are against the law I take no responsibility if you click the link above. In other words you’re flying solo from here on – Ted ;-)
Filed under: Article, Models & starlets, Nudes, The sixties Tagged: Cocktail Magazine, Fran Ormand