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Thursday, 18 January 2018

Web Page No 2442

22nd January  2018

First Picture: The First Professor Quatermass Reginald Tate


Second Picture:The Second Professor Quatermass John Robinson



Third Picture: The Third Professor Quatermass Andre Morrel

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Forth Picture: Quatermass LP Cover

The Quatermass Experiment.

Were you like me? Scared stiff and watching from behind the safety of the sofa?
This page looks at the original three TV series and does not touch later revivals and films.
Professor Bernard Quatermass was a fictional scientist, originally created by Nigel Kneale for BBC Television. An intelligent and highly moral British scientist, Quatermass was a pioneer of the British space programme, heading the British Experimental Rocket Group. He continually found himself confronting sinister alien forces that threaten to destroy humanity.
The role of Quatermass was featured in three influential BBC serials of the 1950s and again in a final serial for Thames Television in 1979. A remake of the first serial appeared on BBC Four in 2005. The character also appeared in films, on the radio and in print over a fifty-year period. Nigel Kneale picked the character's unusual surname from a London telephone directory, while the christian name was in honour of the astronomer Bernard Lovell.
The character of Quatermass has been described by BBC News  as Britain's first television hero, and by The Independent newspaper as "A brilliantly conceived and finely crafted creation. 

Little is revealed of Quatermass's early life during the course of the films and television series in which he appears. In The Quatermass Experiment, he at one point despairs that he should have stuck to his original career as a surveyor. In Nigel Kneale's 1996 radio serial The Quatermass Memoirs, it is revealed that the Professor was first involved in rocketry experiments in the 1930s, and that his wife died young. The unmade prequel serial Quatermass in the Third Reich, an idea conceived by Nigel Kneale in the late 1990s, would have shown Quatermass travelling to Nazi Germany during the 1936 Berlin Olympics and becoming involved with Wernher von Braun and the German rocket programme, before helping a young Jewish refugee to escape from the country. According to The Quatermass Memoirs, during World War II Quatermass conducted top secret work for the British war effort, which he subsequently refused ever to discuss.

By 1953 Quatermass is the head of the British Experimental Rocket Group, which has a programme to launch a manned rocket into space from a base in Tarooma, Australia. Although Quatermass succeeds in launching a three-man crew, the rocket vastly overshoots its projected orbit and returns to Earth much later than planned, crash-landing in London. Only one of the crew, Victor Carroon, remains, and he has been taken over by an alien presence, eventually forcing Quatermass to destroy him and the other two crew members who have been absorbed into him in a climax set in Westminster Abbey.
Despite this trauma, Quatermass continues with his space programme, now called the British Rocket Group, and by Quatermass II (1955) is actively planning the establishment of Moon bases. In this serial we see his daughter, Paula Quatermass, who works as an assistant at the Rocket Group, but there is no sign of a wife or other children. In the fourth episode of the serial he mentions that he never reached his twenty-fifth wedding anniversary, tying in with The Quatermass Memoirs' later assertion of his wife's early death.

At the beginning of the third serial, Quatermass and the Pit (1958–59), Quatermass's funding is being cut back and the Rocket Group is being handed over to military control, much to his disgust. Command is to be handed over to Colonel Breen and Quatermass senses that he is being forced out: however, after the events of the serial, Breen is dead, Quatermass has helped to save the world and London is recovering from chaos.
It is not clear what happens to the Rocket Group immediately after this: the next time Quatermass is seen on screen he has long been retired, living in retreat in the Scottish Highlands. He has recently become the guardian of his teenaged granddaughter Hettie after her parents were killed in a road accident in Germany. After Hettie runs away from home, he travels to London in search of her. Quatermass and the scientist Joe Kapp establish that an alien probe is causing the collapse of society in London, by feeding on the world's youth and Quatermass forms a plan to drive the intruder away by the detonation of a nuclear bomb. He presses the button to detonate it himself, with Hettie's help, and they are killed in the blast as the planet is saved.

The first actor to play the Professor was Reginald Tate and he was succeeded, on his death, by John Robinson. The third and final actor to play the part in the 1950’s and 60’s was Andre Morrell. There were further TV roles in the 70’s and beyond as well as film versions of the stories.
The first series was a success, with the British Film Institute later describing it as "one of the most influential series of the 1950s." The following year the BBC's Controller of Programmes, Cecil McGivern—who had initially feared that viewers would not accept such an unusual name for the leading character—noted in reference to the impending launch of the rival ITV network that: "Had competitive television been in existence then, we would have killed it every Saturday night while [The Quatermass Experiment] lasted. We are going to need many more 'Quatermass Experiment' programmes."
A sequel, Quatermass II, was commissioned in 1955, but Reginald Tate died of a heart attack only a month before production was due to begin. With very little time to find a replacement, John Robinson was picked as the only suitable actor available. He was uncomfortable about taking over from Reginald Tate and with some of the technical dialogue he was required to deliver, and his performance has been criticised as "robotic", although others praised him for doing compelling work after the initial episode of the serial.
Of the TV serials, Quatermass II and Quatermass and the Pit have been preserved in full. Only the first two episodes of The Quatermass Experiment now exist.
Parodies and homages
In February 1959 The Goon Show broadcast a parody of Quatermass and the Pit, entitled "The Scarlet Capsule". Harry Secombe played his regular character Neddie Seagoon, in turn playing "Professor Ned Cratermess, OBE." This was followed later in the same year by a spoof on another BBC radio comedy show, That Man Chester, which launched a regular strand entitled "The Quite-a-Mess Three Saga", with Deryck Guyler as "Professor Quite-a-Mess". However, the "Quite-a-Mess" name and references were dropped after only three of the episodes under pressure from Nigel Kneale, who felt that a 13-week spoof would be to the detriment of the original character. In the early 1970s, a British progressive rock group named both themselves and their both themselves and their first album "Quatermass".
A television spoof appeared in a 1986 episode of The Two Ronnies, which featured a sketch entitled "It Came From Outer Hendon” and starred Ronnie Corbett as "Professor Martin Cratermouse".
But whatever the history of the programme all I know is that it scared the hell out of me!!!!!!!!!

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Peter

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ON THIS DAY 22nd JANUARY 1960-1965
On 22/01/1960 the number one single was Why - Anthony Newley and the number one album was South Pacific Soundtrack. The top rated TV show was not listed and the box office smash was North by Northwest. A pound of today's money was worth £13.68 and Burnley were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.
On 22/01/1961 the number one single was Poetry in Motion - Johnny Tillotson and the number one album was GI Blues - Elvis Presley. The top rated TV show was Sunday Night at the London Palladium (ATV) and the box office smash was One Hundred and One Dalmations. A pound of today's money was worth £13.25 and Tottenham Hotspur were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.
On 22/01/1962 the number one single was The Young Ones - Cliff Richard & the Shadows and the number one album was The Young Ones - Cliff Richard. The top rated TV show was Coronation Street (Granada) and the box office smash was Lawrence of Arabia. A pound of today's money was worth £12.89 and Ipswich Town were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.
On 22/01/1963 the number one single was The Next Time/Bachelor Boy - Cliff Richard & the Shadows and the number one album was Out of the Shadows - Shadows. The top rated TV show was Coronation Street (Granada) and the box office smash was The Great Escape. A pound of today's money was worth £12.64 and Everton were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.
On 22/01/1964 the number one single was Glad All Over - Dave Clark Five and the number one album was With the Beatles - The Beatles. The top rated TV show was Steptoe & Son (BBC) and the box office smash was Dr Strangelove. A pound of today's money was worth £12.24 and Liverpool were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.
On 22/01/1965 the number one single was Yeh Yeh - Georgie Fame and the number one album was Beatles For Sale - The Beatles. The top rated TV show was Coronation Street (Granada) and the box office smash was The Sound of Music. A pound of today's money was worth £11.69 and Manchester United were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.





Thursday, 11 January 2018

Web Page No 2440

15th January  2018

First Picture: Coco at the ringside
 Second Picture: Coco out of costume

 Third Picture: Coco on the Railway
Forth Picture:  Coco travelling




Fifth Picture: Coco’s daughter on her wedding Day

CoCo the Clown

Nicolai Poliakoff  was the creator of Coco the Clown, arguably the most famous clown in the UK during the middle decades of the 20th century. Technically, Coco is an Auguste, the foolish character who is always on the receiving end of buckets of water and custard pies. The auguste often works with the more clever white-faced clown, who always gets the better of him.

Nicolai Poliakoff had a remarkable life. He was born in 1900 to a Jewish family in Latvia which at that time was part of Russia. His parents worked in the theatre when Nicolai was born, but both lost their jobs a few years later and to survive, Nicolai started busking from the age of five. in 1908, he “ran away and joined the circus,”. He travelled 300 miles by train to Vitebsk, in Belorussia (today Belarus), where he persuaded a circus owner to give him a job, telling him that he was an orphan with no one to look after him. The director bought his story and placed him under the charge of Vitaly Lazarenko,a clown and acrobat who would become a major circus star in the Soviet Union after the Communist revolution.
Nicholai eventually persuaded his father to allow him to follow a circus career, and he was apprenticed for four years to Rudolfo Truzzi (1860-1936)—son of Massimiliano Truzzi, the founder of the great Russian circus dynasty of Italian descent. With Truzzi, Nicholai studied the fundamentals of acrobatics, trapeze, horse riding, and an array of circus disciplines. Russians are particularly fond of nicknames and Nicholai was called Kokishka by Truzzi, a diminutive of “koshka” (cat in Russian), which in time became abbreviated to Koko—and rendered as Coco when Nicholai arrived in the UK.

In 1915 he was enlisted into the Imperial Army. During the ensuing Civil War, he was conscripted by the Red Army, escaped—only to be conscripted again by the White Army and escape again, disguised as a girl in a troupe of Mongolian travelling entertainers. Finally, when the political situation began to settle down, he returned to work in the circus. By 1919 Nicholai was performing in Riga, when he met Valentina Novikova whom he married and with whom he would have six children. Come 1920 he was working for the newly created (in 1919) Soviet state circus and travelled in the Soviet Union from one circus building to another. By 1926 he had his own circus collective, a small but lively troupe of twenty based in Lithuania. Three years later Nicholai performed at Circus Busch (Before World War II, Soviet performers were still allowed to work in Western Europe.) in Berlin. Having arrived on these shores he served with the Auxiliary Military Pioneer Corps of the British Army in World War II. He appeared with the Bertram Mills Circus for many years. His clown persona had two distinctive visual features that endeared him to television audiences: his boots, described as being size 58, and his trick hair with hinges in the centre parting, which allowed it to lift when he was surprised.

21 December 1929 to 18 January 1930—Nicholai first appeared for Bertram Mills in Manchester.in 1933–34—Coco’s contract with Mills was extended, and following the Olympia Christmas season. And during the Second World War entertained troops as a member of ENSA 
.1946— Bertram Mills Circus reopened after the war and Coco returned. He appeared on tour for every summer season until the closure of the touring show in October 1964. On 21st October 1949—Nicholai and his wife Valentina eventually became naturalized British citizens.
Accidents happened to CoCo in April 1957— During a performance at Chelmsford, Nicholai was knocked over and injured by a vehicle driven by Kam, "the only motoring elephant in the world. In 1959 he was involved in a serious road accident prompting him to devote himself to the promotion of road safety awareness in children. He was appointed an Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (OBE) for this work one of the few foreigners ever to receive this honour. However, at the same time he continued to work in the circus in the mid-1960s, seated ringside while selling programmes dressed in his full  costume.
He was the subject of This Is Your Life in 1962 when he was surprised by Eamonn Andrews at Olympia (London).
1963— He was honoured with the OBE "for services to road safety among children."
He returned briefly to the circus world in 1974, when he toured with the Roberts Brothers Circus.
He died in Peterborough Hospital on 25th September 1974, after a short illness, and was buried in WoodnewtonNorthamptonshire. His eldest son, Michael, a longtime circus performer designed figure of  Ronald McDonald.As well as Michael, there were five other Valentina: Helen, Nadia, Sascha, Olga, and Tamara. Tamara was the founder, along with her husband Ali Hassani, of the first circus in the UK not to use performing animals.
Olga also became a successful trapeze artiste and owner of a private zoo. Olga was the last remaining offspring of the circus performer Coco the Clown. Her last performance was on 6th Nov 2015

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Peter

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ON THIS DAY 15th JANUARY 1960-1965
On 15/01/1960 the number one single was Why - Anthony Newley and the number one album was South Pacific Soundtrack. The top rated TV show was not listed and the box office smash was North by Northwest. A pound of today's money was worth £13.68 and Burnley were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.
The big news story of the day was the price of large eggs cut to 3/- a dozen.

On 15/01/1961 the number one single was Poetry in Motion - Johnny Tillotson and the number one album was GI Blues - Elvis Presley. The top rated TV show was Sunday Night at the London Palladium (ATV) and the box office smash was One Hundred and One Dalmations. A pound of today's money was worth £13.25 and Tottenham Hotspur were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.

On 15/01/1962 the number one single was The Young Ones - Cliff Richard & the Shadows and the number one album was The Young Ones - Cliff Richard. The top rated TV show was Coronation Street (Granada) and the box office smash was Lawrence of Arabia. A pound of today's money was worth £12.89 and Ipswich Town were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions. The big news story of the day was Van Doren guilty in US quiz show fix.

On 15/01/1963 the number one single was The Next Time/Bachelor Boy - Cliff Richard & the Shadows and the number one album was West Side Story Soundtrack. The top rated TV show was Coronation Street (Granada) and the box office smash was The Great Escape. A pound of today's money was worth £12.64 and Everton were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.

On 15/01/1964 the number one single was Glad All Over - Dave Clark Five and the number one album was With the Beatles - The Beatles. The top rated TV show was Steptoe & Son (BBC) and the box office smash was Dr Strangelove. A pound of today's money was worth £12.24 and Liverpool were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.

On 15/01/1965 the number one single was Yeh Yeh - Georgie Fame and the number one album was Beatles For Sale - The Beatles. The top rated TV show was Coronation Street (Granada) and the box office smash was The Sound of Music. A pound of today's money was worth £11.69 and Manchester United were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.



Thursday, 4 January 2018

Web Page No 2438

8th January  2018

First Picture: Fish Ready for Steaming

Second Picture: Wrights Coal Tar Vaporiser




Third Picture: Wind in the Willows





Forth Picture:  Camomile Lotion

I feel ill Mum!!!

Sickness as a child of the 1950s was fraught with worrying parents and fears of Polio, Scarlet Fever, Whooping Cough and Diphtheria, but these serious illnesses aside the usual childhood diseases were enough to cope with.

Having a mother who, before she was married (nurses were not allowed to be married), was an Assistant Matron in a Children’s Hospital she was permanently on the look out for Chicken Pox, Measles and Mumps. I remember she called Dr Cheyne in when I had Mumps, he put his head around my bedroom door took one look at my swollen glands and said “Eh lass he’s got Mumps” end of consultation. She was also always on the look out for spots and pimples, no spot in our house went unsqueezed!

The worst bit about being ill was the food. My mother insisted on feeding me with steamed fish. I could think of nothing worse than being faced with a piece of sloppy white fish which had been steamed, on a plate over a pan of boiling water, and then served up for my lunch! As I got better I was allowed a little mash potato with the fish and I really knew that I was getting better when this was followed by a small portion of rice pudding.
If I ever had a stomach upset off she would go into the village and come back with a bottle of Lucozade, only one flavour then and it left a sticky residue around the side of the bottle and on the lips.
  
Head colds were the bane of my life because this would mean that she would get out the Wrights Coal Tar Vaporiser which would be set up in my room to ‘clear my tubes’. A smallish tin piece of apparatus with a night light in the bottom and a pumice saucer on the top into which drops of Coal Tar liquid were dropped and in so doing pervading the air with the smell of the gas works. 

There were also other tortures for the head cold and stuffed up noses. The first being Vick liberally rubbed into the chest so that we could breathe in the clearing vapours but there was an even worse Vick torture and that was the Vick steam inhaler. This consisted of a Pyrex dish with hot water in it into which a liberal amount of Vick had been dropped. The cold sufferer was then made to sit over the bowl with a towel over their head to take in the clearing vapours. Not only did it have an effect on the nose it made the eyes run as well and anyone coming out of the inhaler looked as though they had been crying for a week. I was certainly glad when my mother went over to the individual nasal inhalers.
It is amazing what people associate with illness. When I had a particularly bad bout of something and I felt really ill our next-door neighbour bought me a copy of Wind in the Willows. I could not concentrate to read it and to this day whenever I pick it up memories of my sick room come flooding back. I still have not read the book.

One other thing I do remember and it still fills me with terror is the bread poultice. For some reason, I cannot remember what, my mother decided to apply a bread poultice to my arm. I cannot remember why all I know is that it terrified me!

The, of course, came the day of the inoculations where we all lined up, with our mothers, outside the nurses’ office so that the duty Medical Officer could give us our injections. This was in Junior school and I can still remember the lines of children threading their way through the coat racks through to the row of seats outside the office, all the children with their left sleeves rolled up ready for the doctor. Then the joy when it was over and we had been given a sweet for being good. During the summer months sunburn was always a problem but quickly solved by the application of Camomile Lotion making us all look white faced clowns and plastering us with a surface that was stiff and cracked.



We all remember cod liver oil and other such preparations which were supposed to keep us healthy. I suppose that they all must of worked because we are all still here to tell the tale.

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Peter

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Mary Writes:
I keep meaning to tell you that whenever I see that that photo of "Pop Wing" I smile because he was a lovely teacher. He was of the old school. I also liked Mr King and he was good. Mr White was strict but a good teacher too. Mrs Magee, and her dog weren`t rated too highly by me and I`m an animal lover. Needlework lessons with her, I seem to recall, weren`t exactly a pleasure. There was another needlework teacher but I can`t recall her name but she wasn`t much an improvement on Mrs Magee. Both Mr Hawkins and "Pop Wing" asked my father to do work for them. Dad said that Mr Hawkins wife was a very nice lady.

I had no idea that Paul Jones went to Solent Rd School but  knew he attended Portsmouth Grammer School. I loved Mannfred Mann. Many years later a cousin by marriage, met Ray Feast, an early member of Simon Depree and the Big Sound. They married and were very happy together. Sadly, Ray died a few years back of a brain tumour. He was a great person with his good looks and sweet, kind nature. I think that was the result of his mother, Carmen , from Malta. Ray`s father, a naval man, didn`t exactly approve of Ray`s pop career! I think most parents were a bit shocked by pop music in those days. I often heard my mother say to my father "Put them in the army, Bob, that`s what they should do. That would sort them out". Strangely enough, much later on , my mother played a few Beatles songs on her beloved piano. We`re never too old to learn!


Elaine Writes:
I remember going to a dance at Portsmouth Grammar school where Paul Jones and a group of others (I'm afraid I can't remember who) were playing.
Happy days.




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ON THIS DAY 8th JANUARY 1960-1965
On 08/01/1960 the number one single was Starry Eyed - Michael Holliday and the number one album was South Pacific Soundtrack. The top rated TV show was not listed but the box office smash was North by Northwest. A pound of today's money was worth £13.68 and Burnley were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.The big news story of the day was New French franc introduced.

On 08/01/1961 the number one single was I Love You - Cliff Richard & the Shadows and the number one album was South Pacific Soundtrack. The top rated TV show was The Russ Conway Show (ATV) and the box office smash was One Hundred and One Dalmations. A pound of today's money was worth £13.25 and Tottenham Hotspur were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.The big news story of the day was Decimal coinage introduced in Pakistan.

On 08/01/1962 the number one single was Moon River - Danny Williams and the number one album was Another Black & White Minstrell Show - George Mitchell Minstrels. The top rated TV show was Coronation Street (Granada) and the box office smash was Lawrence of Arabia. A pound of today's money was worth £12.89 and Ipswich Town were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.

On 08/01/1963 the number one single was Return to Sender - Elvis Presley and the number one album was Black & White Minstrel Show - George Mitchell Minstrels. The top rated TV show was Coronation Street (Granada) and the box office smash was The Great Escape. A pound of today's money was worth £12.64 and Everton were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.
On 08/01/1964 the number one single was I Want to Hold Your hand - The Beatles and the number one album was With the Beatles - The Beatles. The top rated TV show was Coronation Street (Granada) and the box office smash was Dr Strangelove. A pound of today's money was worth £12.24 and Liverpool were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.

 On 08/01/1965 the number one single was I Feel Fine - The Beatles and the number one album was Beatles For Sale - The Beatles. The top rated TV show was Coronation Street (Granada) and the box office smash was The Sound of Music. A pound of today's money was worth £11.69 and Manchester United were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.