Oct 27 2014

Southend Airport – Channel Air Bridge to Ostend

Here are three more photographs from my father’s collection of slides, taken during the late 1950s.

The first shows the departure area for Channel Air Bridge, which specialised in flying cars and their passengers from Southend airport to Rotterdam, Calais or as in my father’s case, Ostend.

Southend Airport, late 1950s. Channel Air Bridge DeparturesThe second is a photograph of the Bristol 170 Superfreighter 32, G-AOUV, that flew the Southend to Ostend route at this time. The cars were loaded on and off through the nose of the aircraft.

Aircraft G-AOUVThe final photograph is of my father’s Triumph TR2 being unloaded from the aircraft in Ostend, en-route to Italy.

Aircraft G-AOUV and TR2Flying in the 1950s seems to have been rather more civilised than it is today!


Oct 24 2014


Earlier on this year I was invited by my local GP practice to go for a free health check as I was about to reach the grand old age of 50. “What a great idea!”, I thought.

Life, work and extended birthday celebrations got in the way of me doing very much about it, so a second invitation arrived a few weeks later. This one was slightly more – persuasive – in its tone, but I still managed to do nothing about it.

About three weeks ago, a much more strongly worded letter arrived. I took the hint, went for my blood tests and reported to the surgery this morning for my results.

The good news is that I’m fine, apart from having lymphoma of course. I don’t have diabetes, I have a BMI that is just a shade over 26 (but my excuse is that I was fully clothed at the time I was weighed), my blood pressure and pulse are normal and my cholesterol levels are good too.

However, one result did have me scratching my head just a little. Apparently, I have a 6.47% risk of a heart attack or stroke during the next few years.

Somehow, I’m not convinced by the apparent accuracy of this prediction. Paradoxically, it’s quite often the case that the more precisely a value is stated, the less meaningful it really is. But I’m obviously very happy that I only have about a 1 in 20 chance of such a problem happening!


Oct 18 2014

Woomerang Boomerang – It’s Tingha and Tucker

I happened across my Tingha and Tucker membership pack while I was sorting through my parents’ house this afternoon. Here’s the signed picture it contained of Jean Morton with them and their friends.

Tingha and TuckerThe pack dates from 1967 according to the postmark on the envelope it was in. As well as the photograph and badge, it also contains a membership card – almost certainly the first one I ever had. However, I doubt that I had any say in whether I wanted to join, unlike when joining another organisation that had membership cards a few years later.

Membership card - front and backThe inside of the card details the club rules, which are, to say the least, interesting in their scope. The 1960s somehow don’t seem all that rock and roll when you read them. The show was cancelled in 1970, after having run for eight years.

Membership card - insideATV were, of course, the television station that brought us Tiswas just a few years later. Somehow, I don’t think Jean Morton would have been all that impressed.



Oct 16 2014

Brixham harbour, 1962

Another image from my father’s collection of slides – the fishing boats in Brixham harbour, Devon, 1962.

Brixham Harbour, Devon, 1962

Oct 11 2014

Via Pessina, Lugano, 1956

Via Pessina, Lugano, 1956


From my father’s collection of slides, taken in the summer of 1956. A quick search demonstrates that this shop is still there and looks much the same, even if dress standards have changed somewhat over the last 60 years.


Oct 03 2014

Definitely not the most convincing tweet from the Cabinet Office …

Malmaison Hotel, OxfordNot perhaps the best or most convincing illustration of the point the Cabinet Office wishes to make. This former prison has been a hotel since late 2005 – that’s a few years before 2010 ….


Oct 03 2014

Watch and wait

Some good news!

While I’ve been told that I will definitely need chemotherapy and a stem cell transplant to treat my lymphoma, for the time being the plan is to “watch and wait”. At the moment, only a small number of lymph nodes are affected and there’s no trace of the disease in my bone marrow. The hospital will keep seeing me every few weeks so that any change in status can be picked up and acted on quickly. This means that I will get treatment at the optimal time for prolonging any remission.

This grace period might only be for a few weeks, but it could last months or even for a few years. There’s no way of predicting the time that remains before treatment will need to start, but the further away that is the better I think.



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