Thursday 17 February 2011

London women prepare for the worst with a stiff upper lip

One of my most favourite images. It is said that it was "staged" but I have my doubts. I would love to know what happened to Mrs Rowe and Mrs Treadwell.

Monday 7 February 2011

Obituary for Mr Common Sense

I came across the following obituary that was sent to me in 2008. His passing was and still is remembered by those who live on the Hill

London Times Obituary of Mr. Common Sense
'Today we mourn the passing of a beloved old friend, Common Sense, who has been with us for many years. No one knows for sure how old he was, since his birth records were long ago lost in bureaucratic red tape. He will be remembered as having cultivated such valuable lessons as:Knowing when to come in out of the rain; why the early bird gets the worm; Life isn't always fair; and maybe it was my fault.

Common Sense lived by simple, sound financial policies (don't spend more than you can earn) and reliable strategies (adults, not children, are in charge). His health began to deteriorate rapidly when well-intentioned but overbearing regulations were set in place. Reports of a 6-year-old boy charged with sexual harassment for kissing a classmate; teens suspended from school for using mouthwash after lunch; and a teacher fired for reprimanding an unruly student, only worsened his condition.

Common Sense lost ground when parents attacked teachers for doing the job that they themselves had failed to do in disciplining their unruly children. It declined even further when schools were required to get parental consent to administer sun lotion or an Elastoplast to a student; but could not inform parents when a student became pregnant and wanted to
have an abortion.
Common Sense lost the will to live as the Ten Commandments became contraband; churches became businesses; and criminals received better treatment than their victims. Common Sense took a beating when you couldn't defend yourself from a burglar in your own home and the burglar could sue you for assault.

Common Sense finally gave up the will to live, after a woman failed to realise that a steaming cup of coffee was hot. She spilled a little in her lap, and was promptly awarded a huge settlement.

Common Sense was preceded in death by his parents, Truth and Trust; his wife, Discretion; along with his daughter and son, Responsibility and Reason. He is survived by his four stepbrothers; I Know My Rights, I Want It Now, Someone Else Is To Blame, and I'm A Victim.

Not many attended his funeral because so few realised he was gone. If you still remember him, pass this obituary on. If not, join the majority and do nothing.  

Wednesday 2 February 2011

The Story That Got Away

I received the following e- mail the other day in response to an article I posted some years ago regarding the Civilian War Dead of Pitsmoor, (Sheffield). I have now obtained Alan's permission to publish it and add it to the web-site. It is a story that you can't really add to 

Hi, my name is Alan Simpson,also born 1953,also went to Abbeydale Grammar School. Whilst browsing your site I found a link to the Pitsmoor Roll of Honour to those who perished in the Sheffield blitz.
My father was Arthur Simpson,rear gunner in a Halifax bomber during the war. On the night of the 13th December 1940 he lost his mother,Mary Simpson,youngest sister Margaret Simpson,together with his niece Patricia Hutchinson(8),nephew Barrie Hutchinson (5mths),eldest sister Doris Heeley, brother in law Percy Heeley and niece Barbera Heeley (10). His eldest sister Mary Hutchinson survived the blast on Bressingham Rd,even though her son Barrie was being nursed on her lap at the time.
Mary,or Nellie as she preferred had a daughter later in life which she named Barbera. Barbera had a successful life as a ballet dancer in the Saddlers Wells ballet company and to this day teaches worldwide. Nellie died last year (2010) at the ripe age of 101 having received a letter from H.R.H.
Some six months after loosing virtually his entire family,my father was shot down over France and parachuted out of a burning Halifax bomber to be captured and spent the next 3 years in a prisoner of war camp in various places,finally in Poland. On the forced march into Germany,the much reported "Death Marches", he and his Canadian friend escaped into the forest and finally after many days hiding and running,met up with an American patrol. He was awarded the "Caterpillar Tie" and membership of the "Caterpillar Club",an exclusive club for airmen shot down and parachuting to earth.
Sadly like his father,Arthur died at an early age but not without leaving a wife,Gladys who is still with us at 89 years old. Happily they had four children. Myself Alan,my brother John and sisters Anita and Joanne. Many more grandchildren and great grandchildren have sadly missed the company of my Father whom I regard as a true hero.
Dad rarely spoke of the war. He did mention being in a camp in Poland,close to Auschwitz and being able to smell the funeral pyres as bodies were burned in the open as the Russian and American soldiers advanced.
He was a loyal family man,proud and with strict morals,loved and missed by all. His ashes lay in a Crematorium in Carleton near Blackpool where we lived after leaving Totley in 1966. I hope this story is of interest to you and others.