Sunday, March 07, 2010

Platform Two and the Stones.

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A yacht on the River Thames off Erith. I took the photo from Erith Pier last Sunday afternoon; it was bitterly cold and windy. In the background you can see part of the huge rubbish dump in Rainham, Essex. The Northerly wind blows dust and pollution from there straight into Erith, one of the reasons why we suffer from some of the worst air pollution in the United Kingdom. Still, it was nice to see members of Erith Yacht club braving the cold weather for what looked like some excellent sailing.

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The photo above shows the M.V Folgefonn, the former Norwegian car ferry that has been used as the home for Erith Yatch Club for many years; I understand that it is being prepared for the sea journey back to Norway. It is being returned there now that the new Yacht club HQ is nearing completion, courtesy of a substantial National Lottery grant. Both the ferry and the new club HQ can be seen in the photo above - click for a larger version. In the background can be seen the Queen Elizabeth road bridge, which links Dartford in Kent, and Grays in Essex over the River Thames. I can see this view from my back garden. To see more of my photos, you can click here to visit my Flickr photo stream. Here is a photo of a scale model of the Folgefonn as she looked during WW2:

Those nice chaps from local free radio station WNKR are on their annual trip to the USA to attend the Short Wave Listeners convention at Kulpsville in Pennsylvania. As per last year, they have set up a blog with photos and video clips of their trip, but it is private, so you will just have to take my word for it. One thing that is not private is their customary American radio show, which as well as being transmitted over parts of America on FM, is also available streaming online. The four hour show, which runs as a loop can be heard by clicking here. Great stuff. If you want to drop them a line, their Email address is

An update from last weeks' posting; it turns out that Erith Police office may be some time from opening; apparently the authorities have decided that the building is too big to house just one Safer Neighbourhoods team, and are now planning to expand the office to house a total of four teams. This will mean some alteration to the existing structure, but in time will mean that the facility should be staffed pretty much full time, by the four overlapping Police teams, which can only be a good thing in the middle of the wild and lawless cesspit that is Erith town centre.

As you may be aware, before the 1997 hand gun ban, I was a keen and active licenced full bore pistol shooter. I was a weekly visitor to the Stone Lodge range at Dartford, and used to own a Glock 17, 9mm pistol. I was trained as a range safety master and qualified as an advanced pistol coach. The gun ban has done absolutely nothing to combat illegal gun ownership, or the level of firearms crime in the UK. Before the ban, legal gun owners were some of the most respectable and responsible members of society; before being granted a class 1 firearms certificate, we all had to be checked out by the Police, involving a number of detailed home security and applicability visits, and having clean bill of mental and physical health from ones' local GP.  Anyway, here is a video clip showing a new assault rifle that I feel would be a great improvement on the now venerable, unreliable and somewhat poorly made SA 80 5.56mm assault rifle currently used by the British Army. Here is the Tavor TA-21. See what you think from the video below.

My review of "The Boat that Rocked' (also known as "Pirate Radio" in the USA) has now been published in Popular Communications magazine. Thanks to Andy Walker for the photograph of the piece, which you can see below. Click on the picture for a larger view:

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News just in; A 40 ton artillery gun has been put on permanent display at the Firepower Royal Artillery Museum at Woolwich, after being in storage for more than a decade. The Gibraltar Gun is one of the largest and heaviest objects in the Royal Artillery’s collection and will now be on display at Firepower. This type of heavy artillery was used to protect important coastal locations throughout the British Empire such as Dover and Hong Kong. I will be popping along to see it just as soon as this execrable bout of cold and inclement weather is over.

Bexley Council is once again accused of spying on its' residents - here is an excerpt from an article from the News Shopper:

At least 2.6 million households now have microchips in their bins which can be used to weigh the amount of waste used. Critics fear the chips will lead to "pay as you throw" charges. Bexley council revealed its microchip of choice was a radio frequency identification read-only tag, pre programmed with a unique number. Big Brother Watch's report, Lifting The Lid, found councils had spent more than £1 million installing the chips in the past year. Alex Deane, director of Big Brother Watch, criticised the "surreptitious" installation of the chips. He said: "The number of local councils placing microchips in bins is increasing, despite the fact that only one of them has volunteered to trial the Government's 'pay-as-you-throw' scheme. "Councils are waiting until the public aren't watching to begin surveillance on our waste habits, intruding into people's private lives and introducing punitive taxes on what we throw away." He added: "The British public doesn't want this technology, these fines or this intrusion. If local authorities have no intention to monitor our waste then they should end the surreptitious installation of these bin microchips." 

This follows on from a new practice that many local authorities and private individuals now have of discouraging or moving on chavs hanging around shopping centres and other municipal areas by fitting loudspeakers that play classical music - apparently the low lives hate anything that smacks of civilisation or high class, and disappear as soon as the music starts. There is an article about the practice here. Once again, I am a proponent of civil liberties, but my own line is drawn in the sand when it comes to low life chav scumbags. Nuke them until they glow, then shoot them in the dark. It is the only way.

Have you noticed that as soon as anything to do with the city of Liverpool is mentioned, it is almost inevitable that the Beatles will crop up in the conversation. The two are inextricably linked. One cannot say the same for the Rolling Stones. Most people are unaware that they started in Dartford, and the town seems almost embarrassed by the connection; some years ago there was a proposal to put a blue plaque on platform two of Dartford Station, to commemorate where Mick Jagger and Keith Richards first met, which soon led to them forming the world famous band. The proposal has seemed to evaporate into nothing, and the general public are still ignorant of the link between the medium sized town in Kent and the worldwide musical phenomenon. If this was America, the town would now be a Stones theme park.

This weeks' video is a new one; it shows Jimi Hendrix playing the Glastonbury Festival. Before you comment that he never played there, I know. A clever bit of digital manipulation and a pretty good video to boot.

1 comment:

  1. Shame I would have loved to visit Erith Yacht Club (some how I don't think of "real" yacht berthing or sailing in Erith…) as I have a love of big boats. Apparently the M.V Folgefonn is the world's FIRST roll on roll off ferry hence the reason it's being saved. I doubt anyone would have bothered to go to any trouble saving it otherwise!
    RE: WNKR USA trip Blog - "they have set up a Blog with photos and video clips of their trip, but it is private, so you will just have to take my word for it." SHALN'T! We DEMAND you tell us or we shall impeach you through the courts and raze the walls of Pewty Acres to the ground!
    Thanks for the link, I'll have a listen to the show later on.

    So the lawless citadel that is "Eriff" has to wait a bit longer for Plod protection? Nice bit of planning to wait until the building finished then remodele it. Does this mean we'll see more Police around the area? Sadly I remain to be convinced. I'm of the school of seeing the Poice on the beat is a big deterant rather than having them sit in a literal "Cop-Shop". Glad their here but waiting to see if/what effect they have on the area.
    Talking of gun's the other day I was driving in The ReV'-Mobile through Welling when my 6yr old daughter piped up why was there a Gun shop as only bad men used Gun's. This then started a converstaion about gun's and their uses. She's obviously been taught at school that GUN'S ARE BAD (which is fair enough) and we've never had a reason to discuss them with her but it was an enlightening conversation. From my point of view I had to explain in the most basic terms whay my point of view is which was quite a struggle! The argument put forward at the time was Less Guns = Less Gun Crime (+ the reaction to Dunblaine) so they took 90% of the legal guns away and…it made no impact at all, in fact gun crime is higher now than it was 10 years ago but to explain to an inquisative child why I or anyone want's to keep a gun definatly shone a bright light on my reasonings. Quite sobering.
    Nice to see your work published in print! Good review, I really enjoied the film although there was some TERRIBLE plot holes that spoil it for me. There mostly at the end, if you watch it you'll notice it goes from Xmas dinner/freezing night time to sunny mid afternoon-swimming-in-the-water-happily in the space of about half hour film time and this lazy plotting really spoilt my enjoyment of the whole film. I'm going to try and get the American edit though just as I'm interested on how it's been re-cut for them.

    Talking of the microchips in the bins, does anyone know where they are? Are they embedded in the plastic or something? I took the barcode stickers off my bin as I object to this strongly to this surveillance but if I can find the chip I'll break the bloody thing.
    Classical music.
    Concrete municipal buildings.
    Low lives.
    ….A Clockwork Orange anyone??!

    Think your right about The Beatles/Liverpool link but then they always stayed linked to the town where as The Stones never made any connection to their hometown apart from being from "Sarf London alwright". I do think it's a missed opportunity not having a blue plaque on the platform though.
    Mind you we do have the rather spiffing Mick Jagger Centre (even if it's a converted school but it's perfect for what it's designed for now) but it does seem like "we" have missed out considering it's the birthplace of one of the biggest band's in the world.
    Not that I rate anything they've put out past about 1976 though...

    I'd ignore that new Hendrix album as thought it was a cash in but heard some of the tracks and it's really rather good! Studio versions of stuff we've only had as live recordings.