Nutritionally Incorrect Anthems: A Feast of the M60 Rebellious Mixtape (Volume #11)

20 Golden Greats, of the nutritionally incorrect variety

Burger King, Manchester
24 Hours from Whopper: Burger King, Mosley Street, Manchester. Image by Mikey (Creative Commons License – Some Rights Reserved).

Take a good look through your record collection. Can you think of any memorable songs or instrumental tunes extolling the joys of Iceberg Lettuce? Have you heard of a concept album dedicated to tofu? Or even a song? Well, apart from Killer Tofu by The Beets (the fictitious group in Nickelodeon’s/Jumbo Productions’ animated series, Doug), little of note. Continue reading “Nutritionally Incorrect Anthems: A Feast of the M60 Rebellious Mixtape (Volume #11)”

Besses Boys Band: Sunday Brass at the Boarshurst Band Club

Let’s Hear It For the (Besses) Boys

Last night [24 April], Besses Boys Band gave the Boarshurst faithful a fabulous concert. The band, formed in 1943 to save the senior band from a possible demise, have come from strength to strength. This year saw a sensational start, with the Lancashire band picking up the Second Section title at the Butlins Mineworkers’ Contest in Skegness, Lincolnshire. The Second Section test piece this January gone, was Fire in the Blood by the excellent Paul Lovatt-Cooper.
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Memoirs of a BBC Micro Maniac, Aged Six

Or: how the school computer became my gateway drug to all things of an 8-bit nature.

Acorn BBC Model B - Retrosystems 2010

If you know a thing or three about 8-bit computing, you would have come across the excellent drama, Micro Men (starring Alexander Armstrong as Sir Clive Sinclair). Or, you might have had first-hand experience with a Commodore 64, ZX Spectrum, or an Amstrad CPC. Even if you didn’t have access to a microcomputer in the home, you would have had first-hand experience at school. Continue reading “Memoirs of a BBC Micro Maniac, Aged Six”

Phoenix Brass Ensemble: Sunday Brass at the Boarshurst Band Club

Ensemble offers ten good reasons for a great night

Breaking from the norm a little, last night’s [Sunday 17 April] concert was brought to us by a ten-piece ensemble. The Phoenix Brass Ensemble gave a great concert at the Boarshurst Band Club, with the ten players providing a powerful and well-rounded sound.

The band with musical director Alan Widdop, have been going for 36 years, established in Littleborough. Recent changes in personnel have seen the arrival of players from the disbanded Versatile Brass. One of them took a back seat from being our front man, the flugelhorn player we shall mention later.
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Last Bus from Ashton: The Night I Saw Jeff Lynne’s ELO

The Mother of All Memorable Concerts at Manchester Arena, 10 April 2016

The rave reviews of their Manchester gig were well deserved. Surpassing my previous all time #1 gig (Roger Hodgson, 29 May 2013, Bridgewater Hall) and my last trip to Manchester Arena (Peter Kay’s Comic Relief gig), Jeff Lynne and Co. more than exceeded my expectations. By several notches. Continue reading “Last Bus from Ashton: The Night I Saw Jeff Lynne’s ELO”

Top Beer: 3. Stockport Brewing Company’s Stock Porter

Top Beer on Stockport Brewing Company’s porter

For lovers of cask conditioned and bottle conditioned ales, Greater Manchester is some sort of a metropolis for its microbreweries. Stockport town centre also has three microbreweries alongside Frederic Robinson’s Unicorn Brewery. Two of them are yards apart, with the third one closer to Heaviley. Continue reading “Top Beer: 3. Stockport Brewing Company’s Stock Porter”

A Trip to Rochdale Town Centre in the 1980s

East of the M60 takes a 400 bus towards the mid-1980s

Seven Sisters flats, Rochdale [c64]
Seven Sisters flats in Commodore 64 mode. Had to be done.
Once upon a time, the future seemed to be in shades of orange and brown. Our electrical appliances, local buses, furniture, and our public buildings. By the late 1970s, this was applicable to Rochdale. Continue reading “A Trip to Rochdale Town Centre in the 1980s”

Duffers’ Guide to Bus Operations #11: Queueing for Buses

Much to do with the way we queue for the 192 (well, other buses are also available).

London General TEN5 on Route 192, Tottenham Hale Bus Station
A queue for the 192, though not the one we are more familiar with in Greater Manchester. Here’s Transport for London’s version of the 192 service, seen loading at Tottenham Hale bus station bound for Enfield. Image by Aubrey Morandarte, 2014 (Creative Commons License – Some Rights Reserved)

Queueing, it’s a very British phenomenon. It is something which, supposedly, sets Britons apart from their overseas peers. It is something certain generations did a lot of in the Second World War for buses, rations and trips to the local cinema.
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How I Miss BR Rail Blue (and the use of Rail Alphabet on All Station Signs)

Why, oh why, does our rail franchisees insist on liveries inspired by 1990s football strips?

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Dignified: the BR Rail Blue scheme seen on a Class 304 bound for Stoke-on-Trent in 1992. Photograph by Hugh Llewellyn (Creative Commons License – Attribution-Share Alike).

Call me old (well, I’m almost 37 years old for goodness sake anyway), but I hanker for the smooth, smart, yet strikingly modern liveries of the British Rail era. I hanker for their discipline and adherence to the Rail Alphabet typeface, and other wonders from the Design Research Unit. I miss seeing the yellow text on red signage of the BR Travellers’ Fare outlets and the design language, used on all railway stations from Abererch to Yeovil Pen Mill. Continue reading “How I Miss BR Rail Blue (and the use of Rail Alphabet on All Station Signs)”

Retail Comings and Goings in Tameside, April 2016: The Ashton Review of Shops

This month’s window on the shop windows

Paul's Tool Emporium
Paul’s Tool Emporium: a Stalybridge Legend. Image by Matthew Wilkinson, 22 November 2014. (Creative Commons License – Attribution-No Derivatives)
  • Stalybridge Sci-Fi shenanigans;
  • Denton’s forthcoming micro pub;
  • Plus the usual changes in the Tameside retail world.

This month’s digest has neatly coincided with a moderately early Easter break. One that has seen sci-fi characters trying to climb into restored Jaguars (just jesting).

Continue reading “Retail Comings and Goings in Tameside, April 2016: The Ashton Review of Shops”