Sunday, April 10, 2011

Bozza in Town.

The excellent, slightly surreal photo above was taken by local photographer Justin, who is a resident of Manor Road. To my mind, it almost looks like central London has just been hit by a thermonuclear weapon, but the resultant blast wave has not yet made it to Erith. And anyway, what is the Sun but a giant thermonuclear furnace anyway? You can see more of Justin's photographic work by clicking here

Mentioning the Sun, its' appearance in the latter part of this week has brought about behaviour amongst a section of the local populace that I have reported on in previous years. As soon as the temperature threatens to exceed twenty degrees, the local Chavs strip down to their bare torsos and strut around with testosterone and Stella fuelled bravado, as if by suddenly so doing they have become some kind of modern day Gladiator. The reality is that these scrawny, pigeon chested kidults with attitude problems, bad diets and a surfeit of both tattoos and poor hygiene will end up looking burned and scarlet hued within a day or so of exposure - well on the way to skin cancer and other nasties later in life. I detest the exposure of bare skin under any circumstances; the best method of protection against the UV rays of the sun is not sun cream, it is a stout layer of pure wool Harris tweed.

Potion Bar is in the news again this week, the hive of scum and villainy has evaded a complete shut down, as mentioned last week; details of its legal transgressions have now made it into the public - here is an excerpt from the News Shopper: Among the incidents were numerous fights and assaults; a drunken man driving his car into the bar’s plate glass windows; drug dealing, including a bag of ketamine discarded in the beer garden; failing test purchases by under-age customers and complaints from nearby residents, of loud music and customers fighting. PC Boston also claimed the bar had been serving drinks illegally for three months at the end of last year, because it did not have a designated premises supervisor (DPS), but had failed to tell anyone. Bexley’s environmental health department was also concerned about loud music being relayed into the street, missing manhole covers resulting in a smell of raw sewage, lack of hot water in the toilets, standing water on the men’s toilet floor, substantial drugs contamination in the toilets and the bar area and locked toilets in the first floor function area. One particular cause for concern had been an incident on Christmas Day when a woman and her six-month-old baby, who had been reported missing by her partner, had been found extremely drunk in the private quarters of the pub after closing time. You can read more about the scandalous situation here.

The place is a drug den and honey pot to the areas' legions of criminal underclass. The sooner it is razed to the ground the better.

I have not really mentioned the activities of local chavs for a while; mainly because they generally seem to keep a low profile when I am around - they tend to be short, skinny and rather puny, due to their poor diet and and drug fuelled lifestyle, so my six foot three high, size twelve steel toecapped boot look probably manages to keep them in their place. I know many others do not share this physical advantage. I was shocked to overhear a conversation between two male chavs and a third female chavette on the train from Greenwich this afternoon. The alpha male chav had a couple of illegal large Pit Bull / Staffordshire terrier cross bioweapon type attack dogs, complete with leather bondage type body straps, covered in metal studs - a kind of canine Rob Halford of Judas Priest look. He was boasting to his female companion that the dogs were trained to attack anyone who was not of Northern European heritage (actually, that's not how he put it, but I will not lower myself to employ the language he used). Initially I thought this was a piece of typical scumderclass bravado, but when we got off the train, the dogs immediately started pulling at the leash, growling and barking in a most threatening manner when an African woman walked past - I was appalled - it would seem that he really had trained the dogs to intimidate people.

The Olympic Games will be having quite an impact on public transport within London next year, according to Darryl of the excellent Charlton based 853 Blog. Apparently the train service into and out of London will take quite a hammering - not good news for those of us who use the train to get to and from work in London on a daily basis. You can read all about it here.

If you watch the video clip below, you will see something recorded from Tomorrow's World from way back in 1979. The BBC have now developed a dedicated YouTube channel for the long missed technology show, which I used to be addicted to - 7.30pm on a Thursday evening was put aside for Tomorrow's World. This clip features a very early prototype mobile phone, which at this point still has a rotary dial. See what you think, and feel free to post a comment below.

The fountain that has been in the middle of Bexleyheath Broadway, outside the entrance to the Broadway shopping centre is no more. Apparently the council have stated that it was too expensive to operate during the current financial situation; personally I could not give a stuff - almost inevitably, whenever I have had to walk past the fountain, I would get sprayed with horrible, chlorine filled water - the design of the fountain was such that the slightest whisper of wind would blow the water spray onto pedestrians, so I for one am actually not sad to see the back of it. Of course the local school kids will need to find another water feature to fill with their empty cans and sweet wrappers, not to mention the comedians who used to regularly dump shampoo or washing up liquid into the water in order to create huge quantities of foam, which would then get caught by the wind, to blow around and inconvenience pedestrians.

London Mayor Boris "Bozza" Johnson was a visitor to Erith on Monday last week. He was in town to promote the launch of a new range of eco friendly small commercial vehicles. He held court outside of Erith Station whilst the press and a few invited dignitaries looked on. You can read all about it in the Bexley Times online here. What the story patently fails to mention is that Erith Station has now been sheathed in scaffolding and woodwork for the last four months, though only after I got the situation raised with the local press - masonry was falling off the outside of the structure as far back as October last year, all of which I documented at the time. Even now, no actual remedial work has been undertaken - it is all just cosmetic action to make it look like work is under way. Bozza is meant to be a fan of green alternative transport methods, so why the hell is he not kicking arses and taking names? The problem was staring him straight in the face whilst he grandstanded for the press.

FORGE (Friends Of Riverside Gardens Erith) have now apparently gained their 500th member. I really feel that this important local pressure group need to get themselves an online presence; I would offer to do this for them, but with my current other commitments, I feel that I would be spreading myself too thinly. You can read about them here

Do you recall the diminutive and quietly spoken little old lady Melitta Norwood? She used to live in Bexleyheath, a couple of doors along from the parents of my good friend and fellow radio amateur Colin G6PBS. Ms. Norwood was a Russian spy, who stole Britains' nuclear secrets and gave them to the communists. She died some time ago. Her entry on Wikipedia is located here.

Another computer anniversary is now upon us; the 30th anniversary of the world's first transportable computer - the Osborne One, as pictured below. It was launched in April 1981 as a machine that could be lugged around - it was not a true portable computer, as it needed mains power - no batteries were available to run it away from a power socket. Nevertheless, it was massively popular - especially with accountants and consultants, as it ran the then ground breaking VisiCalc spreadsheet software, and could be taken to client sites for audits and the like. The tiny screen and bulk of the unit were seen as minor inconveniences, when compared to the huge benefits having such a computer gave. Relatively speaking, it was cheap and reliable too, though by modern standards it is a bit of a brute. I used a slightly later version of the Osborne when I worked as a trainee Quantity Surveyor back in the late 1980's - before I chucked it in to spend time floating around on the North Sea and playing records for a living. You can read a comparison review of the Osborne One versus the iPad 2 if you click here.

The second clip from the TV series Tomorrow's World is possibly the most prescient and forward thinking of the programme's history, though at the time it probably seemed like self serving wish fulfilment, rather than a real stab at what was yet to come. Treat yourself to a few minutes back in 1967, with a man who has a teletype terminal that was connected to an "Electronic Brain" some miles away. An accurate prediction of the Internet, aeons before it became a reality to those outside the military and academia. Watch and comment below, as always.


  1. Wasn't tone dialling around when they prototyped that 'Mobile phone', even if it was not widespread, why have a dial?

    The transceiver it was hooked up to looked remarkably familiar and the likelihood of it being capable of full duplex is zilch so I wondered how it could handle a two way conversation.

    Look below the dial and you will see a black button. Watch the clip where he is in Danbury Park. You will see his finger on the button when he speaks. A click can just be discerned on change over.

    Frank, '3WMR

  2. Lovely photo!
    Reminds me (in a geeky way) of the Genesis Wave in Star Trek II or the Ribbon thingy in Star Trek: Generations. Both wreaked untold destruction so maybe that's just wishful thinking about Erith on my part…
    Ah the sun.
    I know your aversion to it.
    Gotta say whatever happened to dressing sensibly for the sun? Most blokes I know are either end of the spectrum you describe (pigeon cheated bareness or swathed in clothes and avoid going out). Me I love the sun but draw the line in public by wearing loose cotton shirts. Have to admit I've noticed a marked rise in blokes swigging from a can (usually Stella I have to admit although Saturday morning I did see a man drinking that well known "Tramp-aine" Skol Super at 8:30 whilst sunning himself like a lizard waiting for a bus) and on the way to work this morning noticed a lot of bright red heads and necks on public transport.
    I can't believe Potion is still operating. Correct me if I'm wrong but the owners basically say "the old landlord wasn't trained/up to the job/any good" and Bexley Council let them get away with it.
    I mean come on!
    Driving a car INTO the pub?
    Ketamine (a bloody HORSE tranquiliser!)!
    Open sewers?!
    Public order offences?
    AND serving completely illegally for 3 whole months.
    Beggars belief.
    I recon' something's going on because no other pub would get prefetial treatment like that and stay open. Is it cos it’s a #Ahem!# "centre piece" for Erith what with it's location/the mural on the side and the fact it's now the only pub in the Area? I'm not counting the Running Horse's as that 50% restaurant.
    Sadly your story about the dog being "trained" is something I've known people to do. Friends of friends but I've seen it first hand. Deplorable.

    So the Olympic Games is going to have an impact on public transport eh?
    Can I just say I'm 100% against the Olympics full stop.
    I have no interest in sport/who wins Gold or Copper. I'm not in the SLIGHTEST bit interested and don't want it in London.
    Mind you saying that I cheered when Paris lost!
    I don't want to help subsidise it. I don't want my parents to have to help subsidise it and I don't want my children paying for the "legacy". If they wanted it here it should be self financing. For instance I'd rather like the UK to have a viable Space Agency, you know something slightly useful for the future rather than having to pay out for a track for someone to prove they can run faster than someone else.
    Say that though if they had games that involved maiming, violence or dismemberment I'd whole heartedly support it…

    Tomorrows World…ahhhh!
    I used to LOVE Thursday night TV. Tomorrows World, Top Of The Pop's, Knight Rider or Doctor Who…fond memories.
    You ever seen the Gadget Show on Ch5? That's it's sorta spiritual descendant. If they mixed it 50/50 Gadgets and cutting edge science (that was guaranteed to fail on LIVE TV) I'd watch it! As it is The Gadget Show just agrivates me as I can't afford half the stuff on there and the presenters are a bit too giggly and hyped up. Just enough that after half the show they irritate me to the point of turning off.

    So Boris came to Erith? What's the connection between it and small eco vehicles? Any takers?
    Me neither…