Crooked Houses of Lavenham.

lavenham-1[2]by Kaushik
There was a crooked man, and he walked a crooked mile.
He found a crooked sixpence upon a crooked stile.
He bought a crooked cat, which caught a crooked mouse,
And they all lived together in a little crooked house.


Remember that nursery rhyme? Some believe the poem, first published in the 1840s, was inspired by the once prosperous wool trading village of Lavenham, in Suffolk, England.
To understand why, you just have to wander around the streets of this delightful little town, located about 70 miles northeast of London.
Just about every other half-timbered, brightly painted houses here are noticeably crooked, leaning on to each other as if for support.

Read on via The Crooked Houses of Lavenham | Amusing Planet.

Frank Sinatra v. our ‘Silver Bodgie’, 1974.

Frank Sinatra, 12 Dec. (1915-14 May, 1998) versus Bob Hawke, (9 Dec. 1929-16 May, 2019).

“A funny thing happened in Australia,” Frank Sinatra told a New York audience. “I made a mistake and got off the plane.”
The plane in question landed in Melbourne on 9 July 1974. Fresh out of self-imposed retirement, the 58-year-old Sinatra was visiting Australia for the first time in 15 years.
His career was back on the upswing after a decade of poor record sales and crappy movies; his five shows, billed as the “Ol’ Blue Eyes Is Back” tour, were eagerly awaited.

Trouble began the moment he set foot on the ground. Nobody was waiting to pick him up. As he headed to his rehearsal in a borrowed car, he was pursued by a journalist, who was disguised as his then wife, the former Mrs Zeppo Marx.
Finally, he sprinted through the rain to the venue with a media posse at his heels, only to find himself locked out. Photos splashed across the afternoon papers showed a very cranky Frankie pounding on the stage door “like a demented fan”.
That night when on stage, the Chairman of the Board let fly. In a prickly monologue, he described journalists as “bums”, and as for “the broads who work for the press”: “hookers” worth “a buck and a half” at best. Shame on you Frank!
The crooner had bitten off more than he could chew.
When the journalists’ union demand for an apology was brushed aside, the Australian Council of Trade Unions slapped a ban on Frank’s  tour.
At the suggestion of Gough Whitlam, Prime Minister the president, of the ACTU Bob Hawke, took personal charge of the campaign.
The Silver Bodgie was then 45, a champion pisspot, notorious womaniser and the artful manager of Labor’s industrial wing. He declared that unless Sinatra could walk on water, he would be stuck in Australia until he said sorry.
With transport workers refusing to refuel his jet, Sinatra was forced to sneak onto a commercial flight to Sydney. Holed up in the Boulevard Hotel, he considered calling on the US Navy to rescue him. Eventually, he agreed to negotiate.
On 11 July, the two men met in Sinatra’s suite. Over four hours, an agreement was hammered out.
In return for a statement that Sinatra “did not intend any general reflection upon the moral character of working members of the Australian media”, Hawke was prepared to green-light his remaining concerts.
Bob Hawke went on to become Prime Minister of Oz for some years.
via Frank Sinatra & Bob Hawke 

‘My clever work pony was so loyal that I’d give him my sandwiches.’

Joseph McQuiggan, far right, at Nettlesworth Colliery, County Durham in 1965. Image Credit: Photograph by John Bulmer
I was 15 when I began mining. I had my heart set on it, and left school on the Friday and started on the Monday. I began with screen work, separating the stones from the coal.
Before long, I’d been trained to go underground. It wasn’t claustrophobic – even when you’re working a seam that’s only 18 inches high. Typically, I’d work at the face, up against the rock, chiselling the coal out.
We’d go down clean and come back up covered in coal. Every 18 months, you got a chest x-ray to make sure you had no dust on your lungs. I was OK; I always wore a mask at the coalface.
When this photo was taken, I was around 23 years old; I’m on the far right, looking cheeky. I remember the photographer, John Bulmer – he was a young man, a lot like us. He’d say: “Forget I’m here, get on with your normal day,” and we did.
We’d go to the stables with the ponies from the pit and wash them down with a hosepipe, put them in their stalls and make sure they were fed and brushed; all the while, John was snapping away.
They are the most intelligent animals in the world – just marvellous to work with. The ponies helped carry the coal out to a landing point above ground.
I had a little one called Anchor. He was small and white. He led me a dance for about a month, but I persevered, and by the end, he’d do anything for me.
He was that good, sometimes I’d give him my sandwiches. I’d give him both of them and go without lunch, because he was earning the money for me.
Source: ‘My pony was that good, I’d give him my lunch – he was earning the money’ | Art and design | The Guardian

Parham’s Life as a young Boy, circa 1954.

During the school holidays I would sit in the gutter out the front of Mum and Dad’s house at South Plympton and wish for lots of things.
I wished I was older, I wished time would go quicker. I wished I was back at school.
I wished the baker and his horse would pass by. Remember, those freshly baked loaves that had hot doughy centres.
Yummy! No sliced bread in those days.
I wished I had a pair of fluorescent glow in the dark socks. Lime green was the colour I wanted and when I got them I was too frightened to wear them.
I was too worried I would get a rock in the back of the head on my way home from the local Deli just for wearing them.
But most of all I wished the newsagent would hurry up each Thursday afternoon around 5 0’clock and deliver my precious copy of the British “Eagle” Magazine for boys.
Oh Joy!

I would rush in to my room and read up on the latest exploits of Dan Dare (science fictionand P.C. 49 (He was a kindly British Copper).

The ‘Hokey Pokey Men’ of Glasgow.

Carlo Gatti is credited for introducing ice cream to the British as a street food.
Throughout the 1850s, he peddled his sweet treats from his brightly painted cart.
He and a few other ice cream vendors found such a ready market that they began bringing other Italians over to join them in the venture.
As the economy in Italy took a nosedive, the trickle of Italian emigrants rapidly became a flood. Some went to America, though a large number made their home in Scotland.
The established community of Italians began to bring friends and relatives in to work in the family industry. Padrones, or “benefactors”, would send agents back to Italy to recruit cheap labour for their enterprises – primarily the ice cream business.
Carlo Giuliani was one of the most successful and well-known of the padrones, and he is credited with laying the foundation for the ice cream industry in Scotland.
Many Italian immigrants arrived with little to nothing, and initially made a living by begging or as itinerant musicians playing the hurdy-gurdies on street corners.
The hurdy-gurdy men and the beggars realized that they could make more money selling ice cream, and the padrones were all too eager to give them a barrow and take a cut of the profits.
Every morning throughout the warm summer months, the Italians would work their hand-cranks to freeze the ice cream mix they had prepared the night before, and then they would set off on their rounds.
Throughout London, Manchester, Glasgow and other big cities, the ice cream vendors could be heard calling,
“Gelati, ecco un poco!” This cry quickly earned them the nickname “hokey pokey men”.
While they were making more money, the immigrants were still grossly underpaid and lodged in poor conditions. During the winter months, many had to go back to working as hurdy-gurdy men to earn enough to survive.
The Italians spoke little English at first, and many were subjected to mischief and abuse at the hands of local youth.
Necessity forced the immigrants to persevere, however, and many soon became very successful. In a short 50 years between 1870 and 1920, the ice cream vendors had graduated from rickety hand carts and shabby slum shops to rather luxurious establishments.
Ice cream cafes along Sauchiehall Street and in Glasgow’s city centre boasted leather-covered seats, glossy wooden booths and mirror-lined walls.
Carlo Giuliani himself was running three hugely successful cafes in Glasgow by 1890, and customers were pouring in by the thousands.
He often had five or more assistants working behind the bar serving out ice cream and drinks like ginger ale.
via Exodus.

The Looff Carousel, 1895.

Contributors: Gregory T Janetka, EricGrundhauser, Rachel
Amidst the glut of shops and restaurants that make up San Diego’s touristy Seaport Village area lies a genuine piece of history that has been bringing smiles to the faces of children and parents for over a century.
The Looff Carousel was first installed in Fair Park, Texas in 1895.
Its journeys took the wooden structure to Santa Monica, California in the 1950s, Spanaway, Washington in the 1970s, Portland, Oregon in 1979, and Burbank, California in 1997, finally making it to San Diego in 2004.
Featuring over 40 horses, a menagerie of other animals, including camels, giraffes, and an elephant, the carousel was built by Charles I. D. Looff, the father of carousels in America.
Born in Denmark, Looff came to the United States in 1870. He built his first carousel in 1876 for Coney Island and his style would go on to influence a myriad of other carousel makers.
While many of his creations have disappeared with time, you can still experience Looff’s legendary work at the Zeum Carousel in San Francisco, Looff’s Lite-A-Line in Long Beach, California, and the Santa Monica Looff Hippodrome on the Santa Monica Pier.
During his lifetime Looff built over 50 carousels, numerous amusement parks, roller coasters, Ferris wheels, and his opus, California’s Santa Monica Pier. For $2 visitors to Seaport Village can take a ride on one of his surviving treasures.
via 1895 Looff Carousel | Atlas Obscura.