Sunday, August 29, 2010

The jetty.

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The photo above is a somewhat unusual view of Erith River Front, taken by me, early last Sunday morning from the far end of the wooden boating jetty, looking land ward. The tide was pretty far out and I managed to get quite a long way out into the River Thames, without even getting my feet wet!

I have some interesting news; I have been invited to a convention to be held at the OFCOM offices on the South Bank at the end of September. It is to be a gathering of London's top 100 community bloggers. Someone in the powers that be has decided that the humble Maggot Sandwich is a key online representation of Erith and the surrounding South East London area, and qualifies as a top 100 London blog. It is flattering, but I do somewhat wonder what criteria they used when drawing up the short list – after all, there are thousands of London based bloggers. My own feelings are that I do a strong line in grumpy. Please feel free to comment accordingly below.

I was travelling on the Northern Line tube between Euston and London Bridge on Wednesday afternoon, on my way back from a meeting in Watford, when I encountered a phenomenon I have not witnessed for quite some time. When the tube train arrived at Angel, a figure with a metal crutch got on board; at first I thought that he was genuinely disabled, and I packed my copy of the Times back into my work laptop bag in preparation to vacate my seat, to enable him to sit down. It was only at this point that I realised he was a well disguised opportunistic beggar. He pan handled the travellers in the carriage; normally I would have said something, but after such a long period without such hassles I gave it a miss. Not something I would endeavour in the future, however.


A prize is offered to anyone that can identify where the photo above was taken. Be imaginative!

After my observations on African and Nepalese restaurants last week, I am saddened to report that a Nigerian venue and night spot located in what used to be the Belvoir pub in Lower Belvedere, opposite Belvedere railway station has lost its' licence. Apart from hosting events that went on far later than their drinks and music licence permitted, they have been attracting the attention of gangs from Deptford and Peckham. The News Shopper reports that up to a hundred youths, some armed with knives and blunt instruments beseiged the place – and once again the Territorial Support Group had to be called. Residents have complained that the venue has hosted all night parties witth loud music and rowdy behaviour, all of which is a serious disruption in what is a residential area. It is a real shame that the place has not taken a responsible attitude, as the old Belvoir tavern site was an ideal place for a restaurant / party venue. I suspect that if it does regain its' licence, the terms and conditions will be prohibitively restrictive. You can read more about it here. On a similar note, the Cross Keys licence suspension has also turned out to be a far more serious affair than I had originally realised in my posting of last week. What I had assumed was a mildly amusing affair involving the slightly surreal imagery of a horse being led from the public bar by Police officers has now transfomed into a pretty major piece of social unrest and is becoming a footnote in local traveller lore. You can read about it in detail on the News Shopper website here.

The photo above is of a Fairlight CMI Series IIx that I was in negotiations to purchase a couple of years ago; the vendor and I unfortunately could not agree a final price. The Fairlight is a behemoth in sampling keyboard terms - the first genuine digital sampling keyboard workstation, and nowadays a modern technological antique.

If this is the first time you have read my Blog, then I should explain; I chronicle events in and around Erith and the local area, and cast my wry opinion on local issues such as petty crime and social injustice, mainly concentrating on the town and the surrounding area; my views and comments are often made in a slightly tongue in cheek manner, and whilst everything I report on the trusty Maggot Sandwich has occurred exactly as I write, any opinions expressed are to be taken lightly. When in petty local crime fighting mode, I have an alter ego - the suitably monickered Captain Tweed. You can read about one case I cracked by clicking here to go to the story. I have been posting weekly articles here for over four years now - there are now in excess of 290 posts; updates are published regularly on Sunday afternoons / early evenings, and an Email is sent out to inform veteran readers. The ten most recent postings are on the front page, older postings are automatically archived, and can be read by clicking on the "Blog Archive" drop down menu button to the right of the editorial. Also on the right are a series of links to other websites you may find of interest. The list updates whenever one of the linked sites posts any new content, so the links at the top of the list are those with the most recent updates - the lower on the list, the older the content - all clever stuff.

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The release of Windows 95, 15 years ago this week, was one of the biggest - if not the biggest - software releases in history. Microsoft really went to town on it, from licensing Rolling Stones songs to paying for 1.5 million copies of The Times so they could be distributed for free in the UK (twice as much as average circulation). It paid off. Within just two years of its release, 70% of the world's desktop computers ran Windows 95, which is pretty impressive. While it may not have been the most architecturally sound piece of operating system engineering, and whilst it did have its flaws, it was the undisputed leader of the personal computing revolution of the '90s, taking hundreds of thousands of people by the hand to introduce them to the world of computing. "After three years of development, a year of delays and months of the most intense hype ever to attend a product launch, the bespectacled Microsoft chairman, complete with pudding basin haircut, declared that the new 'operating system' would 'unlock the potential of personal computing'," The Guardian wrote about Windows 95's launch.

Please feel free to post a comment on anything I write - if you click on the small "Comments" tag at the bottom of the posting, this will bring up a dialogue box. You don't have to sign up to anything, and can post anonymously if you so wish.

Here is a video showing  a group of students using BBC Model B micro computers in a modern environment - see what you think and post accordingly below.


  1. er what's windows, I still use dos and ASCII, sometimes a bit of hex decimal finds it's way in too.

  2. I'm still happy running windows 3.1! why anyone would need to upgrade to 95 is beyond me!


  3. Don't get too cocky over the invitation to OFCOM's offices; :-) I got one too for my little effort.

    Can't go. Pity, I used to work in that building when it belonged to BT. I would have liked to see just how much tax-payer's money has been squandered on tarting it up.

  4. This is all new to me, but your pictures were fantastic. I'd like to hear a little more of your insight about what you've seen and what it "means" to you. Keep up the good work!

  5. Hugh I was wondering if you could help me, I need a photo of the 170's underground car park as my Grandad worked there and I am digging up his history.