Posts

Showing posts from 2013

Our Mid Winter Break At The Biscot Mill...

Image
Well, it was a welcome return to The Hungry Horse at Biscot Mill Luton UK on Friday for our Mid Winter Break Feast, and a feast it was too! This time we featured the younger members of the family who tucked heartily into a mirade of tasty big plate dishes including Chicken New Yorker and Big Plate Prime Steak with all the trimmings and washed down with giant glasses of iced Cola. It was a festive treat for all!

Buggleskelly Today...

Image
Buggleskelly Today… The year of 1937 began the birth of Buggleskelly, the mythical Irish railway station set on a stretch of disused line near Basingstoke in Hampshire England. The setting was for the film Oh, Mr. Porter starring Will Hay, Moore Marriot, and Graham Moffat… The film was to become a classic!
A tumbledown railway station, representing Buggleskelly was built at an old halt, and even during filming the line was being taken up by The Basingstoke and Alton Railway Company. The film itself is one of the funniest of British comedies in the Music Hall tradition of the 1930′s. The location of the run-down mythical Buggleskelly station was very overgrown when we visited there with our cameras in 1996, but it was still possible to make out where the booking office, rail lines, and signal box had once stood. There are more pictures taken at the location on http://twitpic.com/photos/patricallaghan3

The Crooked Chimney...

Image
It has got to be the best ‘cook from scratch’ menu we have ever tasted when the family visited ‘The Crooked Chimney’ at Lemsford Nr. Welwyn Garden City Hertfordshire UK. On offer were fab starters, vintage classics, seasonal favourites, chargrills, vintage home made pies, and tasty puddings, all washed down with a wide array of winter warming drinks… (PGC is pictured in shot 2 by a member of the very helpful staff.)

The Saltair Pavilion Utah from my blog of December 2010...

Image
Some of you have watched with interest the DVD of ‘Carnival of Souls’ 1962 after my recent blog, and emailed to say that you enjoyed it, but wondered if I knew anything about the creepy derelict Pavilion used in the movie.
The Pavilion was built in the 1800′s as a health spa on the edge of The Great Salt Lake in Utah. Thousands came to take to the waters that were heavily salted… the only creatures able to sustain life in it’s saline depths were tens of millions of Brine Shrimps, harvested today as pet fish food… In those days one could simply float without drowning in the water! The end of the Pavilion came as part of The Great Salt Lake began to dry, and by the time the movie ‘Carnival of Souls’ was made in 1962 The Saltair Pavilion was in a sorry state.
I hope that makes the film even more interesting for you… By the way, the director had seen the Moorish type Pavilion driving home one night across state, and seeing it at its most erie gave him the idea for the film…

Mitchell and Kenyon...

Found in the basement cellar of a shop in Blackburn Lancashire England were over 800 short films of Edwardian life in the North of England. They were made by the partnership of Sagar Mitchell and James Kenyon and the films they shot were of local people and events. It is a remarkable glimpse into history. They made the films to be shown at the Music Hall, Town Hall, or Fairgrounds. They were made for commercial reasons with the sole intention of putting ‘bums on seats’ after all, for people to see themselves on a projected screen was something new and quite wonderful!
Between 1897 and 1913 Mitchell and Kenyon made hundreds of short films depicting the everyday lives of ordinary people, and when the business closed its doors in the nineteen twenties their original negative film stock was left hidden away in the basement of the shop. Here it lay for years simply collecting dust until 1994 when a building contractor found three large metal drums containing…

Still Open All Hours - 30 Years On...

I was so pleased to hear that David Jason is to return for a half hour Christmas Special entitled STILL OPEN ALL HOURS in the role of the older Granville, now running Arkrights old shop. Filmed in Doncaster this month it will be screened on BBC 1. If it proves a hit, it could pave the way for a new series. it also features some of the old cast, but not alas the late great Ronnie Barker!

Well, it was around this time last year...

Image
The Family at Santa Pod… It was nice to get out to Santa Pod Monster Truck Venue, near Bedford UK on Saturday evening for a Fab show and Fireworks to round off the season… But ‘I Curumba’ – the cold weather! fair froze us… Anyway, here we are in the LUVELY HOT BAR having a beer or two! Steve (right) enjoyed the event so much that he made this shot his profile picture on FB! Well Done Stevie!

Biscot Mill...

Image
This time it was the turn of The Hungry Horse at Biscot Mill Luton UK to furnish our megameals! and settle some hungry tums... With Adrian, Shana, and Rhys Callaghan

Whisky Galore!

WHISKY GALORE!  It was in the summer of 1948 when the Ealing crew arrived on the beautiful Island of Barra in the Western Isles of Scotland. Michael Balcon, head of Ealing Studios had not been happy about the production, saying as he looked at the story board, he just did not understand it!  “It holds few laughs” he was heard to comment. Based on a Compton Mackenzie novel, shooting almost entirely on location presented huge problems, everything, including cast and crew, and a huge amount of camera equipment, had to be shipped from mainland Scotland. Actors were billited with a number of the Islanders, and in fact, many of the inhabitants appear in the production. Their view of the film people was… That they were quite mad! Prefabricated sets were constructed at Ealing Studios in London then shipped for assembly on Barra. Under the brilliant direction of Alexander Mackendrick, an American born Scot, the film gently eases you into a world of warmth, gentility …

Hungry Horse...

Image
It was Big Fat Tums once again when the family visited The Chequers Hungry Horse eating house in Houghton Regis UK...

The Shriving of Miss Esme Stamp...

Serialized by Patrick George Callaghan                                                                                                                    Part Eight
That night Esme was to be denied the closure of soundless sleep. She lay in the half gloom; her eyes open to a flickering, shapeless room. Emily had made her hot chocolate and settled her down; saying it would help her sleep, but her tickling mind ran with regenerating reliving joy. She had been his pleasure. His delight. He had drenched himself in her body. He had supped his fill of her. He had enjoyed the fruits of her soul and not turned away. She pulled the Eiderdown over her face to remember his kiss. His flesh touching her flesh. His hands ran through the creases of her soft tissue and his mind again penetrated her spirit with its erotic grace. In that heat of airlessness gripping hands pulled back her covering; heapishly throwing her nightclothes to the floor. She lay nude in the reflective hue of that d…

Fat Tums!...

Image
It was Fat Tums once again when the family returned to The Chequers in Houghton Regis UK for their Sunday Megameals...

Interesting Movies From The Past...

Image
The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes

I was very pleased to recieve a prime DVD copy of The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes from Barry in Omagh, Co Tyrone recently. It stars Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce and was made in 1939. It’s the first time I’ve watched this movie and I must say that I really enjoyed it. It was produced by Darryl F. Zanuck and is lavish and well made, particularly for 1939, and sets the pace for other adaptions of Conan Doyle’s books. The plot is based around Professor Moriarty’s attempt to steal The Crown Jewels and to ridicule Sherlock Holmes in the bargain. The film reaches a gripping finish in The Tower of London as Holmes and Moriarty confront each other. The movie features American actor George Zucco as a brilliant Moriarty and a strong supporting act from Ida Lupino. Completely enjoyable from start to finish.  Highly recommended

Nikon coolpix L810...

My observations on the purchase of the Nikon coolpix L810 camera.
I have mixed feelings about this camera, yes it’s compact and feels good in the hand, its 26x zoom is useful, but can be jerky and sometimes difficult to position quickly, the battery cut-off needs to be reset for longer duration or candid shots are not possible. The battery door feels flimsy and you might think it could break under battery pressure. Picture quality is very good, but the lens does not allow warmth to a picture as does my Kodak bridge camera. On the plus side it’s very easy to use as it’s very much a point and shoot camera, and the large size viewing screen is very useful, but there is no eyelevel viewfinder. The camera uses batteries that can be bought anywhere so you are not tied to a manufacturer for replacements. The high level of mp’s are useful but only on large blow-up prints. All in all though… Worth the price paid for…

First appeared in the Argos Review

A Day Out At Stockwood Park...

Image
Shana and Rhys Callaghan enjoying the delights of Stockwood Park Discovery Centre and The Mossman Collection at Luton UK... The Wells Fargo Stagecoach behind them was used in the British comedy film 'Carry On Cowboy' in 1965.

The Avebury Stones...

Image
The Avebury Stones. The village of Avebury is seen as a mecca for those who believe in Paganism, Wicca, and Druidry. The Avebury Stones surround the village in the fair county of Wiltshire England, a county renown for it’s fine quality hams and fresh country vegetables. The summer solstice and pagan festivals held at Avebury attract visitors from all over the world, as Avebury stands on the St. Michael ley line that runs from Cornwall to East Anglia - and in the village itself ; The Red Lion Public House can offer you one of the most ghostly inhabited pubs in England!

St. Albans Cathedral...

Image
Two members of the family Shana Eileen Callaghan (left) and Marilyn Clair White enjoying a visit to St. Albans famous Cathedral in Hertfordshire UK. "The building's amazing mixture of architectural styles bears witness to the many centuries of its life, first as a monastic Abbey and now as a Cathedral. Down all those centuries countless pilgrims have come to honour the saint Alban's sacrifice and offer their prayers at his shrine - and they still come in their thousands today." The Dean of St. Albans Cathedral

During the UK Heatwave...

Image
PGC relaxing and texting at St. Pancras Station, North London, thanks to some thoughtful station staff in providing deck chairs for hot and tired rail travellers during the current heatwave in the UK

The UK Heatwave!...

Image
Enjoying the bonus of a summer heatwave in the UK, three of the Callaghan children take to the water fountains to cool off at the Leighton Buzzard Carnival and Fun Fair on Saturday...

Interesting People From The Past...

Sir Ernest Henry Shackleton, was an explorer who commanded British Antarctic Expeditions of 1907 and 1914. He was Director of Equipment and Transport, Mobile Forces, during the North Russia Campaign of 1918-9. He was also Commander of the Quest Expedition of 1921, and author of “TheHeart of the Antarctic” After catching Influenza, he died from heart failure in 1922.

Lord Latham, Charles Latham was a Labour Leader of London County Council from 1940 until 1947. He joined the Labour Party in 1905, and in 1915 was elected President of the National Union of Clerks. He was also the Chairman on many trade concerns and a member of the London Passenger Transport Board. He was born in 1888.

Sir Donald George Bradman, was Australia’s ace batsman, he scored numerous centuries since he first made 118 runs playing for New South Wales against South Australia in 1927. His highest Test score in England was 334  runs, at Leeds in 1930. His highest score was 452 runs not out, scored for New So…

The Moat House...

Image
It was FAT TUMS all round once again, when the family made a hungry visit to The Moat House at Limbury UK for the Sunday Carvery!

The Shriving of Miss Esme Stamp...

Image

Classic Car Rally...

Image
Despite the dull weather Dunstable's annual classic car rally held in the Priory Gardens in Bedfordshire UK was well attended once again with visitors counted in their thousands. Amongst the 500 exhibits was this wonderful British classic Morgan sports car. 

The Calthorpe Project...

Image
Set beside the historic Eastman Dental Hospital on the Grays Inn Road in North London is the Calthorpe Community Garden Project. Its aim is to provide a safe green space for the whole community and all cultures. It was opened by the Mayor of London on the 29th September 1984 and is funded by the London Borough of Camden. Local people fought and won against office development and created these community gardens, play space and under fives area

Southend...

Image
Our family day out in Southend was something of a nostalgic trip for me. I haven't visited this remarkable seaside town since I was a child. Southend in Essex UK is renown for its wonderful Fish N' Chips dinners and fresh landed sea foods.

The Olde Watermill...

Image
Last Thursday found Adrian, Jenny, and myself make a welcome return visit to The Olde Watermill at Barton Le Clay in Bedfordshire England. We took a step back in time in this Dickensian shopping village with its many Victorian looking shops and wild and extensive Spring extravaganza. We embraced the hustle and bustle of busy Victorian streets with their mystery and intrigue. There were many simply quaint little shops selling soaps, traditional sweets, jewellery, there were Clairvoyants, book shops, gift shops, and Ladies fashions, and much more!

At the top of one pebbled street, and beside the Mill pond of Mallards and brown and golden Carp we lunched at Hayden’s fine Victorian Tea Rooms on home made soup and wonderful full English Breakfasts. The Watermill itself is steeped in history as the Watermill is the second oldest overshot Mill in the Country and is even mentioned in the Domesday Book.

There is some 3500 square feet given over to Spring themes and decorations in t…

Milton Keynes UK Open Market...

Despite the bitter cold of an easterly wind on Friday, Marilyn and I, made a visit to Milton Keynes open market in search of VHS tapes and DVDs. It’s a wonderful myriad of a market set near to the enclosed shopping area of MK and offers just about everything from fruit and veg to Chinese food, tins, pots, pans, coats and jackets, and there is even a hairdresser for the disconcerning lady or gent. The market wafts with intriguing smells from the citrus to the hamburger and hot dog, steaming coffee and rich ripe teas. Aside from a dozen or so DVDs of Poirot and Sherlock Holmes, Marilyn and I, came away with lovely sense of having stepped back in time to our childhood days!

Interesting Quotes From The Past...

We all know that Art is not truth. Art is like a lie that makes us realize truth. Pablo Picasso 1881-1973 Spanish painter.

I hate books; they only teach us to talk about things we know nothing about. Jean-Jacques Rousseau 1712-78 French philosopher.

One would remember the Good Samaritan if he’d only had good intentions. He had money as well. Margaret Thatcher 1925- British stateswoman.

Charm… it’s a sort of bloom on a woman. If you have it, you don’t need to have anything else; and if you don’t have it, it doesn’t matter what else you have. J.M. Barrie 1860-1937 Scottish writer.

The opposite of talking isn’t listening. The opposite of talking is waiting. Fran Lebowitz 1946- American writer.

This is the Night Mail crossing the border, bringing the cheque and the postal order, letters for the rich, letters for the poor. The shop at the corner, the girl next door. W.H. Auden 1907-73 English poet.

Interesting Movies From The Past...

One of the most lovable and enduring movies I have ever watched is The Bridal Path starring Bill Travers and released in 1959. Bill plays a Hebridean farmer who is forbidden by certain members of the community to marry his first cousin, and most of the women on the island are first cousins. In an effort to find a wife he sets out to the mainland where his many adventures soon get him into trouble with the police. He is accused of being a white slaver, of poaching, upsets the Highland Games, and is chased by angry police across the highlands. He makes his way back to his island to find that his cousin does not care if they are cousins, and wants to marry him whatever the considerations, and upon this, they set off for the Island of Mull and marriage. A lovely comedy with fantastic colourful Scottish scenery.

Actress Enid Stamp Taylor... My Final Tribute To Her!

Image
Enid Stamp Taylor was born on Sunday the 12th of June 1904 in the agreeable, late Victorian, seaside town of Whitley Bay in the North East corner of England. She was the only daughter of Army Major George Stamp Taylor and his wife Agnes. Some years later they had a son and named him Robin Geoffrey. But tragically, he died at the very young age of only ten years whilst away from home and at boarding school.
Regretfully, the distraught parents separated in 1918, and Enid and her mother moved to London in order to stay with friends. It was here, that Enid’s interest in the stage began to blossom. She had reluctantly entered a beauty contest and then won the first prize of a part in the chorus line of a top West End show. The quality of her voice and exacting diction soon led her to stage training under Rosina Filippi, and in 1923 she toured in the ‘The Lady of the Rose’. During the thirties and forties, along with her agent Al Parker, she successful…

Interesting Movies From The Past...

Maryon Park was the main setting for the 1966 Michelangelo Antonioni’s cult movie ‘Blow-Up’ featuring David Hemmings and Vanessa Redgrave. David Hemmings played Thomas, a top London fashion photographer captivated by his photographs of a murder, whilst Vanessa Redgrave is the woman at the centre of his interest. His photographs depict a murder scene… or do they? What you see, and what you don’t see, is the enigma central to the story. My photographs taken in 1998 show a park that has changed little in 32 years, the upper meadow where the supposed murder took place is a bit run-down now, but the lower meadow still has its original tennis courts used in the movie, and much of the scenery is unchanged. Beyond the courts there is a hedge now, the flower beds have been altered since the movie, and there is perhaps a little more litter around, but to be fair… a school party had just left from having a picnic when I arrived!  http://twitpic.com/photos/patricallaghan3

A Lewis Carroll Delight...

Image
Alice in Wonderland Presented by Ballet Theatre UK Saturday 13 April 7.30pmMarilyn and me,plus a group of friends are booked to watch Alice on her magical adventure as she tumbles into Wonderland! at The Grove Theatre, Dunstable, in Bedfordshire UK. Guided by the White Rabbit, Alice meets some astonishing characters, including the Mad Hatter, the Queen of Hearts, a studious caterpillar and those mischievous twins, Tweedledum and Tweedledee.
Basing his ballet on Lewis Carroll’s much-loved children’s books, Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass, Ballet Theatre UK’s Artistic Director Christopher Moore has created a captivating piece, brimming with wit, humour and charm. With its whimsical flights of the imagination, eclectic music and joyful dance, Alice in Wonderland is delightful entertainment for all ages.
www.grovetheatre.co.uk

The Shriving of Miss Esme Stamp...

Serialized by Patrick George Callaghan                                                    Part Six

The journey from Primrose Hill had not been without a great deal of apprehension and aside from Constance’s concern over her daughter’s visit to Bayswater, to which Charles had given her every assurance of behaved conduct, she waved the car away with the overbearing worries of a fussy hen. Soon Charles and Esme were easing themselves along the Bayswater road – a busy arboreal road edged on one side by the grandeur of Hyde Park and high black oaks, and where rich green grassy acres ran down to blue glittering waters. The striking gothic beauty of many Georgian villas rose up along its north side, while Charles chatted with gentleness; fully aware of the importance of his passenger’s nervousness and mounting excitement. A fading Costa man waved some pots and pans from a painfully dry looking hand cart; for profit or protest – Esme was not sure. Then Charles slid the hushed mot…

The Gulls of Wardown...

Image
This late Victorian bridge due for possible demolition in the picturesque Wardown Park in Luton Bedfordshire UK now hosts hundreds of Seagulls that have made it their home for the time being...

Interesting People From The Past...

Image
Codebreaker – Alan Turing’s life and legacy LocationFirst FloorSuggested duration30 mins Opening DatesThu 21 Jun 2012 – Sun 30 Jun 2013CostFreeMore things aboutCommunications and Computing, Physics and Maths Codebreaker is an exhibition developed by the Science Museum to celebrate the centenary of the birth of this pioneering British figure.
Alan Turing is most widely known for his critical involvement in the codebreaking at Bletchley Park during the Second World War. But Alan Turing was not just a codebreaker.
This British mathematician was also a philosopher and computing pioneer who grappled with the fundamental problems of life itself. His ideas have helped shape the modern world, including early computer programming and even the seeds of artificial intelligence. This exhibition tells the story of Turing and his most important ideas.
At the heart of the exhibition is the Pilot ACE computer, built to Turing’s ground-breaking design. It is the m…