Showing posts from 2015

Famous Poem on Slough...

by John Betjeman (1906 - 1984)

John Betjeman published his poem about Slough in 1937 in the collected works Continual Dew. Slough was becoming increasingly industrial and some housing conditions were very cramped. In willing the destruction of Slough, Betjeman urges the bombs to pick out the vulgar profiteers but to spare the bald young clerks. He really was very fond of his fellow human beings. Slough is much improved nowadays and he might be pleasantly surprised by a stroll there.
Slough Come friendly bombs and fall on Slough!
It isn't fit for humans now,
There isn't grass to graze a cow.
Swarm over, Death!
Come, bombs and blow to smithereens
Those air -conditioned, bright canteens,
Tinned fruit, tinned meat, tinned milk, tinned beans,
Tinned minds, tinned breath. Mess up the mess they call a town-
A house for ninety-seven down
And once a week a half a crown
For twenty years. And get that man with double chin
Who'll always cheat and always win…

Two Friends Recorded For Posterity....

The following is a link from the BBC Listening Project of Robert Kennedy, sculpture, and artist, and Chris, a Polish man. It may be of interest, and was recorded at SHOC which is a homeless charity. The abbreviation means Slough Homeless Our Concern

Listening Project Conversation between friends, Robert and Chris, about their experiences of homelessness.Add a noteLog in to add a note at the bottom of this page. All notesMy notesHide notes

Conversation between friends, Robert and Chris, about their experiences of homelessness. 59:31 / 59:31 Click to make a note at 30:43. Add to playlistLog in to add this item to one of your personal lists. Add to favouritesLog in to add and display this item in your personal list of favourites on the right hand side of this page. The British Library Board acknowledges the intellectual property rights of those named as contributors to this recording and the rights of those not identified.

Sounds from the Past....

Since around 1970 I have had a fascination in Renaissance, and Medieval Music, or Early Music. I recall buying my first two records from the HMV Shop in Oxford Street, London. Strange to relate I did not think much of the recordings initially...but for some reason, or other I became attracted to them at a later stage of re-listening........

..... The first record was the famous Two Renaissance Dance Bands from David  Munrow, and his Early Music Consort of London. The other offering was Music from the Hundred Years War directed by John Beckett of Musica Reservata fame. The piece that impressed me most was the inspiring arrangement of the Agincourt Carol. In the case of the Renaissance Dance Bands it was Munrow's brilliant interpretation of La Bataille....

Also, I seem to recall having a small record of the TV series of Henry VIII, and His Six Wives which starred Keith Michel as the notorious Monarch. I bought a copy of it at an exhibition of the costumes used in the drama. They we…

Recalling Sir Michael Shersby

For many years, I used to know Sir Michael Shersby, Conservative MP for Uxbridge and his family. I used to work for him in a garden just off Park Road, Stoke Poges. Like so many other people who knew, or met him, I found him to be very charming, and courteous.

Among other things, he pointed out to me that it was my statutory right to have  a break in my gardening work. Often, the break occurred in the  conservatory where we had some interesting chit chat along with pure coffee, and biscuits. His wife Barbara was usually present. Sometimes, his son Julian was also around. On rare occasions, there was a visitor such as Dominic West, the actor.

Working for Michael was a most pleasant experience, and difficult to express......

Just after he managed to win back his seat after the General Election of 1997 he died suddenly, and unexpectedly at his London Flat....Like everyone else who knew him I was in shock...

The following is a reproduction entry on him from Wikipedia plus photo....

From Wik…

Eton College

Eton, and Eton College is very close to where I live.  The latter is famous for having had many pupils who have gone onto to having very successful high flying careers.. Anyhow, in order to get to Windsor (from Chalvey where I live) I have to go through Eton.....This is a pleasant trip. To get to Windsor just takes under three quarters of an hour on foot...depending on how fast one is travelling ofcourse. It was at Eton College back in the 1970s that I went to a lecture by David Fanshawe on his musical magnus opus of African Sanctus. He illustrated his presentation with relevant slides. It was intriguing. In the same decade  of the 70s I also heard  a talk  at the College about television sets and  the seeming fact that many of them were made using  plastic to very credibly imitate stonework, woodwork, certain furniture, et cetera..I was impressed. Towards the end of every year, the College has a Fair which can be very crowded, and interesting with an abundant supply of goods for s…

Windsor, and Windsor Castle

From around 1966 to 1977 I lived in Royal Windsor. The following are two links. One on the town, and the other on the famous Windsor Castle.


An aerial view of the castle: (l to r) the Lower Ward, the Middle Ward and Round Tower, the Upper Ward, with the Long Walk in the lower right hand corner......


From the year 1990 I have lived in Slough, and know its roads, and shops very well....The High Street has been my special haunt, and on occasion I have whistled many a tune!!

Looking out of a window with a cup of chocolate seeing a small part of Slough High Street.


Chalvey is part of Slough, and is the place I live in at the time of writing this note. Not much about it appears in the Wikipedia  article but I have done a copy of it pasted below plus some other stuff.

There are quite a lot of Bulgarians, Romanians, and Polish people living in Chalvey. As it is part of Slough it also has a high proportion of Indians.

I live in a council flat nearly opposite St Peter's Church. The latter sometimes hosts jumble sales, and second-hand book sales......


St Peter's Church

The Legacy of Brian, and Wilma Rittershausen

Brian, and Wilma Rittershausen were relatives on my father's side. Back in around 1980, I went to their orchid nursery. It was quite fascinating, and I was escorted around by Wilma whom I got on very well with. Later, I saw Brian (her brother) at home, and he seemed a pleasant enough chap. Sadly, both brother, and sister are no longer with us...They died quite recently, but their legacy to the world of orchids lives on thankfully. The following is a basic account about them, and their work. However, it is in the present tense...but it gives a good basic insight into their world......RS

Brian and Wilma Rittershausen are the professional landscape designers in UK. They are the brother and sister pair in the field of flowering Orchids. Brain and Wilma Rittershausen have orchids in the blood. It has been their family occupation, knowing everything about Orchids. Orchid fascination has been continuing since three generations.
The Brian and Wilma Rittershausen family runs Burnham Nurse…

Windsor Ghosts.....

A long time ago, I saw a ghost of a Victorian Vagrant in my bedroom as a child at my Windsor home. The following is from The Realization of the Psychic, and is followed by an article on Windsor Ghosts in general...

Ghosts have been reported all over the world. Evidence seems to suggest that most of them are probably replays of minor, or major happenings of the past.Usually, they are of a tragic nature. Strong negative emotions seem to impose themselves most easily onto the ether unlike positive uplifting ones.
My own personal experience occured in around 1968 in a house which had just been built in Windsor, Berkshire. I awoke one night, and felt an unnatural clammy coldness even though it was very still summer night. At the bottom of my bed I saw the form of a man dressed in Victorian garb (a "vagrant"). He looked perfectly solid. I froze with terror, and just stared at him. The "phantom" or whatever it was merely stood totally stationary for a short while. He was…

Anatomy of Thoughts

Ref Wikipedia

Back in the early 1980s I used to attend the Slough Writers Group. I would on occasion read out some of my manuscripts which notably included a historical novel called Hearts in Thorns (formerly entitled The Devils Dance), and a comedy about psychic research...which caused some merriment. The former was about a power struggle saga between rich nobles in late 14th Century England. It was purely fictional but with accurate period detail based on research which I had been undertaking. This novel opened with a dramatic duel which held my small audience in thrall.

The SWG attracted a small range of interesting people which included Chris Webb the poet postman who published his stuff in the local paper. Another notable was Alan Taylor a charming old boy type who had published books on DIY. He even gave me a signed copy of his paperback opus on Garden Construction. Arthur Nicklin was a prolific freelance writer for various magazines including Prediction as he had some interes…

Holiday Highlights

As a child I went to a number of countries during the late 1960s, and early 1970s. They were France, Germany, Portugal, and notably Spain which was visited three times. What follows are just some holiday highlights that happened. First on the list was something amusing in Portugal.


Marriage, and Funerals..................

When I went with mater, and pater via ship to Lisbon, the light was so bright, and sunny that it was almost impossible to see anything. Continually, one had to shield one's gaze by means of the hand to act as shade to perceive anything properly. The most remarkable thing I saw apart from the famous statuesque monument to  the Discoverers was a Church. On one side of it, a number of couples were lined upto it for their weddings. Bizarrely, on the other side of the Church was a line of several coffins, and mourners queued up for a funeral service......


The Student Protests, and a "Shock".....................

I did not see a great deal of …

The Early Days

When I was in my teenage years, and probably a little earlier I was fascinated in psychical research, or parapsychology as it is more popularly known. This in the main was due to my childhood experiences which are narrated in The Realization of the Psychic.

About 16 years of age, or so I wrote two manuscripts. One was a fiction piece concerned with post-mortem existence, and another one which had the rediculously pompous title of Explanations for Paranormal Events. Colin Symthe a publisher (notably published The Link by Matthew Manning) lived in Gerrards Cross, and not far from Stoke Poges where I was living. He turned it down with a polite, and encouraging rejection letter. As for the long fiction work which included direct speech it too met a similiar fate from some publishing house in London.

None of this though quenched my thirst for a better understanding of the psychic, and spiritual. For reas…

Mediaeval Baebes, and the James Whale Show

Back in circa 1997 I heard on the news at Talk Sport Radio the emergence of the Mediaeval Baebes. Later on it transpired that James Whale was to have them on his show. It was a first for him, and for Talk Sport, if I recall rightly. His show was a phone-in, and I was the first to engage with one, or more of the Medieaval Baebes.

I briefly mentioned among things about David Munrow being the greatest populariser of early music. However, I got the distinct impression that they did not seem to know, or appreciate him. The reason why possibly was because many of them were probably too young to know anything about him. The same thing seemed to happen when I complimented a Madrigal group made up of young females in Windsor high street

Anyway, on the radio I tried to attract the Baebes attention to certain early music groups notably the Clemencic Consort, and Ensemble Unicorn as being good examples of colourful interpretations of medieval music.

James Whale asked me whether it mattered if o…

A Windsor Home

From about 1966 to 1977 I lived in a house  at 74 King's Road, Windsor. It was set behind some grand old buildings overlooking the Long Walk. It was situated in an exclusive area.  A narrow drive just off King's Road itself led to not just 74 but also to number 76. Both the houses were apparently designed in a very modern style for their time by an architect who lived at the latter. His name was Edward Whiteley.

 I used to visit his wife Beryl now, and again as I a child. She was a very idealistic, and intellectual woman. She kept her home spotlessly clean, and there was very little furniture in the place. Sadly, she had no children by Edward.

Sometimes, I would read books aloud to her outside her front door. She notably introduced me to Alice In Wonderland, and Alice Through The Looking Glass. I introduced her to the comic world of Catweazle which was a well-known TV series. I read the book based on it to her, and she was much taken by it. Infact, I actually met Richard Car…