Nuff Said

February 1, 2018

Worlds Finest 323

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Test card

January 1, 2018

PUB QUIZ QUESTION: Who is the person who has been seen on TV for the greatest number of hours? No, it’s not Bruce Forsyth, Gary Lineker or even Ant or Dec (although it often seems like it).
ANSWER: Carole Hersee (and her friend Bubbles) on the Test Card is the correct answer.

There are a number of grainy VHS videos already uploaded to UToob displaying Test Card F. I was amused to find that you can currently view a pristine digital widescreen version of the Test Card (Test Card W) on Freeview. It is hidden in plain sight and can be accessed by performing the following:-

Navigate to Channel 250. Let the screen load text and also the Red Button logo. Then press the Yellow button on your remote control. Next change to a different channel and then change back to Channel 250. Once again wait for text and also the Red Button logo to load. Then press the Green button on your remote control. This will bring you to a technical screen (that even appears to flash the word “secret” in the top right corner). Press the Green button once more and you will finally have reached the BBC TEST CARD W.

In 1995 I purchased a Philips Matchline 6770C 28in TV. At the time it was pretty much unique due to it’s stylish (once so-common) mahogany timber surround and matching stand. After a few years the vertical/horizonal hold began playing up so around 2003 I replaced it with a Philips Blackline 32PW9586C 32in TV. This beast weighed 64kg including stand and was the end of an era as it also sported much mahogany too. This was the time when large flatscreen TVs were gaining popularity and even the shop puzzled why I wanted a retro/on the point of being phased out TV containing an enormous cathode ray tube that protruded three feet behind the screen. I doubt many fifteen year-old flatscreen TVs are still functioning. My 32PW9586C is still used every day. Of course it is now limited by a lack of hdmi connectivity.

PS: You may be able to hang modern TVs on the wall but you certainly can’t stand an ever-changing display of ornaments/photos/cards/ashtrays/dinky toys/Batman models etc etc on the top like you can with mine.

Last words

August 1, 2017

At 11pm on the 19th March 1980 the numbers 59, 60 and 25 were announced over the air and not long after that:

“Radio Caroline broadcasting on 319m, 963khz. Well we’re sorry to tell you that  due to the severe (con) weather conditions  and also to the fact that we’re shipping quite a lot of water, we’re closing down and the crew are at this stage leaving the ship. Obviously we hope to be back with you as soon as possible but we’d just like to assure you all on land that there’s nothing to worry about. We’re all quite safe. Just for the moment we’d like to say goodbye. Tom?”.

“Yeah. It’s not a very good occasion really. We have to hurry this because the lifeboat is standing by. We’re not leaving and disappearing. We’re going onto the lifeboat hoping that the pumps can take it. If they can we’ll be back. If not, well I don’t like to say it”.

“I think we’ll be back one way or another Tom”.

“From all of us for the moment goodbye and God Bless”.

  • Caroline by the Fortunes.
  • Silence for the next three years……

Yet More Gutsman

August 1, 2017

I’ve mentioned Gutsman comics before here and here. They aren’t the easiest comics to track down so when I bumped into these recently whilst visiting eBay looking for something else entirely I just had to acquire them.

These comics are pretty odd and unique being wordless, although there are a number of “word balloons” (filled with images not words!). And neat touches like games and paper dolls to cut out.

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Erik seems to have moved up a few gears since the Gutsman days. He’s now producing Graphic novels. In 2016 “In the Pines” was published and is available in German, French, Italian (and presumably Dutch/Flemish) but not in English. His next graphic novel will be about Vikings in the year 900AD!!

Get Outa My ‘Ouse

August 1, 2017

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Hustler were a great band from the mid 1970s that deserved better breaks.

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Top Fifteen

August 1, 2017

For the last twenty years Radio Caroline has been available first via the Astra satellite and then later via the Internet. Later this year they will be returning (legally) to 648khz on the Medium wave band (Note: This officially/actually happened on Dec 22nd 2017) , but you’ll only be able to listen using that “old fashioned” method if you are in the Suffolk or Essex areas. Although no doubt “anoraks” living far further afield will manage to hear it too! I recently visited the Radio Caroline website and saw that they broadcast a Top 15 chosen by listeners each weekday morning. They give you a clickable list of their Top 500 albums to select your Top 15 from. I struggled to find much there. How many more times can people listen to “Dark Side of the Moon” or “Stairway to Heaven”? Anyway this was the list I ultimately chose:-

15 Janis Joplin – Mercedes Benz
14 Lou Reed – Perfect Day
13 Loving Awareness Band – Existence
12 Hazel O’Connor – Will You
11 John Lennon – Gimme Some Truth
10 Bob Dylan – I Want You
09 Alice Cooper – Poison
08 Love – Alone Again Or
07 Iggy Pop – Some Weird Sin
06 Argent – God Gave Rock ‘n’ Roll To You
05 Beach Boys – Here Today
04 Frankie Goes To Hollywood – The Power Of Love
03 Earth & Fire – Maybe Tomorrow, Maybe Tonight
02 Elvis Costello – What’s So Funny ’bout (Peace, Love & Understanding)
01 Shakespear’s Sister – Hello (Turn Your Radio On)

It was only after I’d submitted that list that I discovered I could have chosen tunes not in the Top 500 albums, but they’d only be used if Radio Caroline had the songs in their library so I’m sure that would exclude most of my current favourites. I doubt they’d play Robb Storme’s version of “Here Today” if I’d asked them, much as that is the sort of variety they should be aiming for.

My Top 15 was played on Radio Caroline a couple of weeks ago. But given free rein and my very own radio station I would no doubt be subjecting people to stuff like this:-

Thirty Two

Thirty Three

Thirty Five