Monday, October 25, 2010


Blowing Job, originally uploaded by Colonel Blink.

The Norfolk Lurcher, in my photograph above, belongs to another busker who was waiting to take over the pitch. There is an informal arrangement among the regular buskers as to how long any one person can stay at the same spot; partly to stop local shopkeepers from getting too annoyed at hearing the same musician, partly to give everyone a go at the 'better' sites. Much angry muttering is aimed at those who refuse to comply and stay in the same place, set up next to someone who is already playing or drown out their rivals with amplified sound.

I have said this before but it is worth repeating. Contrary to popular belief the majority of the regular buskers who play on the street every day in Norwich are not signing on as unemployed at the Jobcentre. They are not scallywags who are 'playing' the system and earning extra cash in the black economy. They perceive themselves and act as professional musicians albeit on the lowest rung. For better or worse this is their living or part of their living which is why, I guess they try to make rules.

The lurcher, by the way belongs to Bevan who is featured in this second photo.

Rainy Day, 12 String Guitarist With Norfolk Lurcher

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Number Three Hundred, December 28th 1946.

Corkers!!! it's the Beano from 1946 with Big Eggo on the cover.
The only pal you will recognise in the comic is Lord Snooty. Try to avert your eyes from the racial stereotype on the masthead.

It would be nice to think that he was there, eating a melon and with a bunch of bananas sticking out of his pocket, only to cheer up the readership during the dark days of rationing but alas I am afraid not. He was on the masthead from the very first issue July 30th 1938. His name was Little Peanut and his original purpose was to introduce the letters and jokes page but by the time Issue 300 came out this feature had been scrapped because of paper rationing.

The premise of Lord Snooty in the early days was slightly different to it's later incarnation. He would escape, every issue, from the confines of his stately home to play with his pals from Ash-Can Alley. They were Rosie, Hairpin Huggins, Skinny Lizzie, Scrapper Smith, Happy Hutton, and the baby-grow clad twins Snitchy and Snatchy. The final pal, representing the animal kingdom, was Gertie The Goat.

I can exclusively reveal that Lord Snooty's real name was Lord Marmaduke, The Earl Of Bunkerton.*

Other Characters in this issue included Cocky Dick (He's Smart And Slick), Sticky Willie, and, of course, Pansy Potter (The Strongman's Daughter).
*In later life he became a director of Leman's Bank and a contributor to the Conservative Party. In the present coalition government he holds the post of Minister Of Peasant Kicking.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

The Unasked Question

The CBBC Live 'n' Deadly Roadshow came to Norwich. Before it's host, the craggily handsome Stephen Backshall, came onto the stage there was a warm-up man to lead the children in a series of clapping games to get them to the right state of excitement.

First of all he put on his serious face and instructed the kids "Right when Steve asks for questions I want you all to ask questions but they must be sensible ones. It's no good asking if he wants to come round to your house for tea. Ask something like how many species of shark are there."

Please sir! Please sir!!! I've got got a good question. "How can you possibly justify the keeping of birds of prey in captivity to use for entertainment and the furtherance of your career?"

I warmly commend "The Goshawk" by T H White and the conclusions he came to about his own attempts to train/subdue a Goshawk?

CBBC Live 'n' Deadly Roadshow - Steve Backshall 'n' guest

A robin redbreast in a cage
Puts all heaven in a rage

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Fire At Zizzi's

Fire At Zizzi's, originally uploaded by Colonel Blink.

Zizzi's restaurant in Tombland caught fire today 12/10/10. One could smell the smoke as far as Norwich Market Place and although the odour was not as strong I was reminded of the day the Central Library burnt down and the stench of burnt paper hung around the whole city for a week. From the outside the fire at Zizzi's, which forms part of the medieval wall around Norwich Cathedral, did not seem too serious.

Fire At Zizzi's -Water Foam UnitFire At Zizzi'sa
Fire At Zizzi's - Gentleman Of The Press

Saturday, October 09, 2010

Wooden walled camera with shutter

This is the same camera as shown here. I have successfully got the before-the-lens shutter mechanism to work and this photograph shows it in situ.

The shutter is a simple, brass, non-returning, spring fired, rotary shutter that has to be turned every time before use. The 'cocked' shutter is held in place by a small latch that is released to make an exposure. Although the rotary shutter was first proposed in 1851 they were not in general use until 1886. Their great advantage was that they did not shake the camera unlike the earlier flap shutters. If this shutter is contemporary with the camera (and I have no reason to believe that it is not) the presence of this shutter makes the camera slightly younger than I first thought. I would now date it to about 1895-1910.

Also shown in this photograph is one of the plate holders.

I may or may not strengthen or replace the spring that holds the cocking mechanism in place but I have now largely finished all the repairs and renovations I intend.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

The Cost Of Postage Stamps

Inside The Dalek, originally uploaded by Colonel Blink.

A “double” postbox opened to reveal the insides. One notices straight away the red warning notices reading BEWARE OF HYPODERMIC NEEDLES.

It is sobering to think that as well as paying for wages, sophisticated sorting machinery, property, aeroplanes, ships, trains, vans, bicycles and all the rest the first class stamp has also to pay for HIV tests for Posties who accidentally pierce their skin with carelessly discarded syringes.

Postman Pat was never like this.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

The Picture Hangers

The Picture Hangers, originally uploaded by Colonel Blink.

The one on the left must be Fireplace and the one on the right Heating. Dunno about the one in the foreground.

I don't take many "candids" because I think they are unfair. This is an exception. I messed around with it in Photochop to try and give it a "cartooney" look.