May 28, 2016
by Paul
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Bude – promotional film from the early 1960s

bude film

There is a wonderful film on the Love Bude Facebook site. It was produced by the Bude Hotels’ and Caterers’ Association in the early 1960s (judging by the cars in the film) and narrated by Michael Aspel. It last nearly 12 minutes and covers the whole gamut of things Bude.

You can view it here.

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May 17, 2016
by Paul
2 Comments

David Rendel 1949-2016

This was originally published on Liberal Democrat Voice earlier today.

David Rendel on Newbury Town Hall steps - Some rights reserved  by Martin TodAs reported earlier, former Liberal Democrat MP David Rendel has died aged 67.

David was born in 1949 in Athens, Greece. His father was a foreign correspondent for The Times, and he was a great-grandson of civil engineer Sir Alexander Meadows Rendel, and a great-great-nephew of Liberal MP Stuart Rendel, the first Baron Rendel, a benefactor of William Gladstone, as noted in Roy Jenkins’ book “Gladstone: A Biography”.

David was educated first at Horris Hill school, Newtown, Hampshire, and then as a scholar at Eton College. He spent 14 months as a volunteer teacher in Cameroon and Uganda with Voluntary Service Overseas. Afterwards he went to Magdalen College and St Cross College, Oxford where he gained a degree in Physics and Philosophy and rowed in the record-breaking Boat Race crew of 1974. Continue Reading →

May 15, 2016
by Paul
1 Comment

Traffic chaos caused by accidents – we need to listen to local radio and look to our own driving

On Wednesday there was traffic chaos in Berkshire. A lorry driver sadly lost his life after his vehicle over-turned, closing six lanes over two carriageways on the M4 for nearly twenty hours.

Fortunately, I turned onto BBC Radio Berkshire as I left home and, on hearing about the problem, was able to turn around and work from home for the day. Continue Reading →

May 9, 2016
by Paul
0 comments

Ten years of Liberal Burblings – thanks for reading!

This is the tenth anniversary of my first post on Liberal Burblings, which was on May 7th 2006. That post had already been published elsewhere, so my first original post here was about Christian Aid week on May 18th 2006.

Since then I’ve written 6,669 posts and received 664,620 “hits”.

Looking back on my posts I am often genuinely surprised that I wrote particular posts (I had forgotten all about them) – especially ones where I obviously spent ages doing research. The weird and wonderful subjects covered bewilder me in retrospect.

Thank you for reading along the years and I hope to keep plugging on.

Here’s a gallery of the “look” of Liberal Burblings over the ten years it’s been staggering on:

2006 on Blogger at paulwalter.blogspot.com

2006 on Blogger at paulwalter.blogspot.com

2007

2007

2008

2008

2009 on liberalburblings.com

2009 on liberalburblings.com

2010. At the expense of many naughty swearwords, moved to self-hosted WordPress on GoDaddy.com at www.liberalburblings.co.uk

2010. At the expense of many naughty swearwords, moved to self-hosted WordPress on GoDaddy.com at www.liberalburblings.co.uk

June 22nd 2013

June 22nd 2013

lib burb

May 9, 2016
by Paul
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Why is the name of Wendell Wilkie significant this year?

Wendell Wilkie. A name to conjure with.

He was the Republican presidential nominee in 1940 and lost to F.D.Roosevelt. He was a rare Republican interventionist, favouring more involvement in World War Two (pre-Pearl Harbour) to support Britain and the allies.

He is significant this year because the occasion of his nomination was the last time either of the two main US political parties put forward a presidential nominee who had no experience as an elected office holder or as a “war hero”.

Now we have Donald Trump fulfilling both of those qualifications.

….Unless he’s suddenly going to tell us he won the Korean War single-handed….

May 5, 2016
by Paul
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The last risk I expected on polling day was sunstroke

IMG_2856Well done and thank you to everyone who has done anything for the Liberal Democrats in our campaigns culminating today.

What a glorious day it was here in the south of England! – and apologies if the weather in your area wasn’t as great.

My straw hat got its first outing of the year and, as I tramped round the streets of Newbury, I couldn’t believe how lucky we were to have such glorious sunshine and warmth. Continue Reading →

May 2, 2016
by Paul
0 comments

Great TV series – Britain’s Treasure Islands

Available on BBC iPlayer is a great BBC 4 TV series called “Britain’s Treasure Islands“. Explorer Stewart McPherson visits all the UK’s overseas territories. In this first episode, his visit to the Chagos Archipelago is extraordinary, including stunning footage of coconut crabs.

This TV series focuses on flora and fauna. I should mention that the recent political history of the island chain is rather unsettling.

April 26, 2016
by Paul
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Reminiscences from Kenneth MacLeod of “Westward Diary”

Kenneth Macleod at his home in Surrey on August 15th 2000

Kenneth Macleod at his home in Surrey on August 15th 2000

Following my visit to interview Westward Television’s Kenneth MacLeod in August 2000, he sent me these reminiscences to be included on my website “Westward Shrine”. That website is now defunct, so I am republishing these memoirs here to allow them to be able to be read.

Childhood days

My earliest days were in Kent and my first memories are of Broadstairs, where we lived. It was a wonderful place for a child. I have fond memories of it and regard it as home. We were not a conventional family. My mother and father were both in the theatre and were married during a run of “Joy Bells”, a highly successful musical starring George Robey, which ran for two years. The arrival of the “Talkies” and the depression meant fewer lavish musicals. Dad was forced to find other work. After various selling jobs, he found regular work at Manston airport but the money was poor. He supplemented this by playing piano in a dance band, working as a Tote clerk at dog races and extra waiting at odd functions (not to mention the occasional appearance at the Bohemia Theatre, Broadstairs).
Continue Reading →

April 26, 2016
by Paul
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“We poor buggers would go on every night and get slaughtered and crucified” – ‘Westward Diary’ presenter Kenneth MacLeod talks in 2000

Kenneth Macleod at his home in Surrey on August 15th 2000 when I interviewed him

Kenneth MacLeod at his home in Surrey on August 15th 2000

I used to run a tribute website for Westward Television called “Westward Shrine”. You can see it here via the miracle of the Wayback Machine on www.archive.org. Westward Television was the ITV franchise for the Westcountry from 1961 to 1981. I used to love it as a kid, and have always been fascinated in memorabilia about it.

After some correspondence with his daughter via a chance internet search, I was extremely privileged and honoured to be invited by Kenneth MacLeod to go to his home in Surrey on August 15th 2000. I spent a wonderful two hours with Kenneth. He was on a great form and, looking back on it, I was extremely fortunate to be able to record the following transcript where he talks in depth about the old days of Westward Television. Kenneth MacLeod sadly died on January 31st 2003.

The topics we talked about were: Continue Reading →

April 23, 2016
by Paul
Comments Off on Doctor in the House episode written by John Cleese and Graham Chapman

Doctor in the House episode written by John Cleese and Graham Chapman

A bit of a gem this, that reminds us of John Cleese’s strength as a comedy writer and his work outside of Monty Python and Fawlty Towers. This Doctor in the House series was a fantastic success, showing at peak time on Saturday evening on ITV, via London Weekend Television. JC and GC wrote this opening episode. Bill Oddie and Graeme Garden, of “Goodies” fame, wrote most of the episodes, with Barry Cryer and Bernard McKenna also writing. A wider writing team wrote the subsequent Doctor at Large.

This is very funny, and shows the talent of Barry Evans, as Michael Upton, who was always my favourite character in the series.


April 23, 2016
by Paul
1 Comment

The USA: The clue is in the title – and it is the greatest example of pooled sovereignity between states

Four of the USA’s founding fathers: (l to r) Adams, Morris, Hamilton, Jefferson

There was a rather strange moment on Thursday’s BBC Question Time. There was a discussion about President Obama’s intervention in the EU referendum debate.

Liam Fox was waxing lyrically about how the USA has great democracy, and all we want is the same democracy ourselves without our country being, he posited, controlled by “Brussels”. Continue Reading →

April 17, 2016
by Paul
1 Comment

Saturday morning TV as it used to be!

I think this was all before “Swap Shop”. I think there was an Ed Stewart programme at some stage. But around 1971, the BBC1 TV staple on Saturday mornings was a combination of the “Banana Splits” and “Here come the Double Deckers” – both of which programmes had very catchy theme tunes. Happy memories!