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★ Great Bores of Today ★ No.43
‘…it must be the longest running BBC programme ever I’m old enough to remember it when Roy Plomley was the presenter he had actually had the idea originally it came to him in the night in my view it was never as good after he died Sue Lawley took it on no I tell a lie it was Michael Parkinson before her he never had his heart in it do you remember that singer who chose all her own recordings what was her name? one or two people have been on more than once like David Attenborough Sue Lawley was too intrusive to my mind asking Gordon Brown if he was gay but I think Kirsty Young does a good job did you hear her interviewing Vikram Seth…?’
© Fant and Dick
Tips for Meanies Many eminent oldies enjoy Coca Cola, but who knew it was also a miracle product around the home? A can of Coke emptied into the wash with detergent is a seriously good grease remover. Just run through a normal cycle and the carbonic and phosphoric acid will dissolve stains and deodorise clothes. It’s also a rust-buster. You can clean a blackened saucepan by simmering Coke in it and loosen a rusty bolt or lock with just a few drops.
Give and take An Oldie reader writes to tell of his shock on visiting the Imperial War Museum to see ‘Shaped by War’, an exhibition of the extraordinary and affecting photographs of war photographer Don McCullin. But it wasn’t the photographs of fifty years of conflict that alarmed our reader: ‘In front of me at the ticket desk were three young servicemen with their passes, expecting some concession on the £7 admission charge. They were refused. The ticket attendant was totally sympathetic but
Still at it... Last year reader Jenny Hicks wrote to tell us how after breaking her leg while working as a personnel manager she had used the recovery time on a project for her husband Peter. She surveyed who was using bar codes in publishing in the UK. ‘Everyone was adamant that they would never deface their beautiful covers with those horrible codes.’ Then WH Smith insisted that their books must be coded ‘and that was that’. She saw a splendid business opportunity, took retirement, and began ordering images on film from home. ‘I got busier and busier, I was 60, thoroughly enjoying the challenge and working for my husband.’ They bought bar code equipment and moved out of the back bedroom into an office, and Peter, a chemical engineer, joined her full time. The company, Axicon, grew, selling to 25 countries. They relocated to Western-on-theGreen, an Oxfordshire village, and employed many locals. Sadly, when we rang to speak to Jenny we learned from Peter that she had recently died of cancer. Peter is determined to carry on with the company, which now has offices in France, America and South Africa. Now 84, he says ‘With Jenny we built a real family company employing some fifty lovely, local people who are friends, many in their sixties and seventies.’ If you know someone who is Still At It, please write to The Old Un’s Diary.
unable to help.
‘What an irony, given the appalling situations of men in the front line, as portrayed in the exhibition.’ Quite so.
Pleased as Punch Congratulations to Mr Punch, who is 350 this year. He made his first recorded appearance in Covent Garden in 1662. Samuel Pepys found the
8 THE OLDIE – April 2012 D I A R Y
Not many dead
Important stories you may have missed
Voice from the Grave
‘In a lifetime of soccer, I have sadly watched the foreigner improve and the Englishman deteriorate year by year. Now it must surely be conceded that we have hit rock bottom… In theory, everything in the football garden is lovely. In practice, all this progress has brought us to the stage where England field probably the poorest international XI ever known, and individual craft has almost disappeared from the game at club level.’ (Billy Walker, Manager, Nottingham Forest FC) From EmpireNewsFootball Annual,1959–60
Sent in by Paul Pastor £25 for published contributions show, originally performed by marionettes, ‘very pretty’. Now we hear that Tourism and Heritage Minister John Penrose is proposing to give the old rogue a special birthday present: deregulation.
Red tape has been oppressing the red-and-white
‘Four across could be dog’s bollocks’
striped puppet theatres since the Licensing Act 2003, which also affects musicians in bars and restaurants, and concerts in church halls. Penrose, who was an active member of the Commons’ Regulatory Reform Committee before joining the government, said: ‘One area of entertainment licensing deregulation that I can’t imagine anyone will take exception to is getting rid of the silly rules that apply to Punch and Judy Shows. As things stand, they need a licence, which costs them money and hassle, two factors which, I suspect, may help explain the P&J man’s traditionally grouchy demeanour.’ Another gift will be a Heri-
tage Lottery Fund grant of £240,000 for a Punchy new show which will tour the UK this summer.
Glyn Edwards, master Punch and Judy puppeteer, said: ‘This project will enable so many people to get involved in learning about the longest-lived and most vigorous form of folk puppetry Europe has ever known: one which tickled the funnybone of Samuel Pepys and still has the power to make people laugh in the 21st Century.’
The Obit Game Who was what? (answers p.11) 1.Txillardegi a. Chinese ceramicist who reinterpreted the Ming Vase
J U N E A N D G E R A L D b y N A F
Speeding car hits concrete power pole; driver unhurt but pole broken. The Wellington Scoop
A man was trapped in a lift in
Cirencester this morning. Wilts and Gloucestershire
A llama has been found in woodland after four days on the run in the South Oxfordshire countryside. Oxford Times
No explosives or devices were found in a van that caused the bomb scare which gridlocked Hereford, police have said.
Kate Moss woke up at the Ritz hotel in London unable to move her right arm last weekend and has since been diagnosed with a nerve disorder, according to friends. AOL News
£25 for published contributions for the 20th century b. Key figure on the left wing of Basque nationalism c. Flamboyant Turkish pop star and only Turk to win the Eurovision Song Contest 2.Gustav Leonhardt a. Harpsichordist who pioneered early music b.Plastic surgeon who pioneered bovine collagen lip enhancement
April 2012 – THE OLDIE 9