Tuesday, 12 May 2015

was it or wasn't it?

Back in April, I posted an item about Diane Abbott and a racist election poster. At the time, it seemed so outrageous that it had to be a hoax. The first name that came into my head was my old mate Joshua Bonehill(ad nauseum) who I have written about before.

It had to be one of his hoaxes, it had all the hallmarks and yet - I couldn't find any reference to it except on legitimate news websites and my usual source of all things nonsense (Hoax Slayer) had nothing to say about it. They still don't by the way and all the news sites have taken down the story.

Now it looks like my first instinct was the right one and there are several references to this poster linking it to Bonehead himself. This is fairly typical of the genre.

What does surprise me though is that there doesn't seem to have been any official reaction from the Labour Party at the time. As the story was widely promoted on UKIP sites, you would think they would want to make some political capital out of it.

Anyway, on the assumption that the whole thing was a hoax created by Bonehead the Magnificent I suppose I will have to make a grovelling apology to everyone concerned and promise to trust my instincts from now on.

aerial maneuvers

In one of his recent posts, Bexley is Bonkers blogger Malcolm Knight made a passing mention of his street being the first to have cable TV installed. This brought back some fond, and not so fond memories of our family's attempts to get a TV picture back in the 1950 and 60s.

I grew up in the lower part of Wickham Lane and we were in the shadow of Shooters Hill which blocked all the TV transmissions from Crystal Palace. To try and get any sort of picture at all we had to perform all manner of gymnastics to get our aerial into a position where we could get a signal.

You have to remember that in those days, the old VHF TV aerials were nothing like the sleek and small UHF ones we have nowadays. Then, the BBC aerial was a single dipole about twelve feet long and the ITV one - think Jodrell Bank. Getting that into place was like trying to wrestle with a really stiff octopus.

We had aerials on the roof, half way down the garden and even one on the top of the wardrobe in my parents bedroom. My poor old Dad would be trying to position it in any way that would get us any reception while we stood downstairs shouting up to him when we got a picture. This would invariably be when he was standing in some impossible position and eventually he would throw the thing down in frustration. That usually worked and we would have a picture for a few weeks then the whole process had to start again.

Then Greenwich Cablevision came along. They would install an aerial on Plumstead Marshes, out of the shadow of Shooter's Hill and then pipe the signal back to their base which at the time was the old Bakery at the top of Camrose Street and Plumstead High Street.

I can't remember exactly when this happened but it must have been in the mid 1960s. We certainly had it installed before I joined the RAF in 1967.

They were not allowed to dig up the pavement so all the households in Wickham Lane had to agree to let them run the cable across their property.

What an amazing transformation. Ghost free TV pictures for the first time and we even had the bonus of Anglia and Southern ITV channels as well. In those days, there could be completely different programme schedules on these regional stations.

Later, they not only re-broadcast BBC and ITV channels but started making programmes of their own. I can remember being able to look through the shop window at their makeshift studio but I confess, I don't remember ever watching any of their programmes.

My Grandparents lived next door but one to us and my Granddad, who was becoming increasingly obstreperous in his old age decided he wasn't going to pay for the service any more. They tried to disconnect him but he wouldn't let them onto his property  so they couldn't. I suppose they could have tried to get a court order but must have decided it was more bother that it was worth just for one cantankerous old geezer.

In the event, they just waited until he and my Nan were out one day then turned up and cut the cable. He then had to wait till the Plumstead relay station came on stream before they could get a proper TV signal again.

There is a really interesting clip from a 1970s episode of Horizon taken from the BBC website. Unfortunately it isn't one that can be embedded into Blogger so I will just have to point you to the site here.

coalition blues

For anyone who used to think that the LibDems had no influence in the last coalition government, you only have to look at some of the proposals coming out of the Tory party now that are not accountable to anyone any more.

Blood Sports to be de-criminalised.

When I say blood sports, of course I don't mean all blood sports. All the ex-Etonian Hooray Henrys will be able to go fox hunting again but if you live in a caravan on Thistlebrook, don't think that applies to your dog fighting club. Deary me, no.

Millions to be made homeless.

Social housing secure tenancies to be abolished. This means that the millions of people who currently have council or housing association tenancies will become effectively homeless and living in temporary accommodation.

enough grumping

Here are some pictures from the Crossness Nature Reserve

Mister Pochard

Mrs Pochard

Mr & Mrs Pochard making more Pochards. This is really exciting, there are only a few hundred breeding pair in the whole of the UK and they are on the Amber list of species at risk. It would be quite something if they were to successfully breed  here in Thamesmead

Talking of happy families

Happy Canada Geese with their family

A pair of Greylag Geese with their family

A kestrel flies in with dinner for the missus

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