June 18, 2016
by Paul
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Great BBC Four programme on the Pop charts

This programme came out in 2012, but I’ve just seen it repeated on BBC Four. It really is superb: Pop Charts Britannia: 60 Years of the Top 10″. It’s on BBC iPlayer for the next 9 days.

It is a remarkable documentary on the charts from 1952 up to 2012, with some great footage of the British Market Research Bureau, Gallup, Radio One, Top of the Pops and record shops over the decades. Well worth watching!

The photo above is a remarkable find. It shows Alan Freeman and Tom Browne together in the Radio One studio in September 1972. This would have been when Pick of the Pops, introduced by Alan Freeman, ended and was replaced by “Solid Gold Sixty” presented by Tom Browne.

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June 4, 2016
by Paul
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Compelling portrait of a disabled person who was one of the USA’s greatest Presidents

BBC 4 have surpassed themselves with “World War Two: 1945 & The Wheelchair President”. Professor David Reynolds presents a remarkably gripping and informed biography of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, focussing mainly on the final year of his life. It’s a must-see for any politics anorak and is available for the next 20 days here. Continue Reading →

June 3, 2016
by Paul
0 comments

Clinton finds her voice: “This isn’t reality television – this is actual reality.”

Imagine if he had not just his Twitter account at his disposal when he’s angry, but America’s entire arsenal.

Hillary Clinton has found her voice with a major speech on foreign policy in San Diego. The speech is substantive, going through key issues one by one and quoting Donald Trump’s “ideas”, of which she says, powerfully: Continue Reading →

May 23, 2016
by Paul
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Is it the BBC’s fault that Bargain Hunt is so popular?

I have a confession to make. I watch BBC’s antiques competition, Bargain Hunt, three times a week. Perversely, I watch it with the volume turned down, reading the sub-titles (I’m on the treadmill in the gym at the time).

It’s a strange programme, because, as my lifelong auctioneer father often says, in exasperation:

They’re going the wrong way!

What he means is, that prices are lower at auctions than flea markets/boot sales. So, if you buy some things at an auction, you can earn good money on them at a boot sale. But if you go the other way, you are often on a hiding to nothing. Continue Reading →

May 17, 2016
by Paul
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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
0 comments

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
0 comments

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
0 comments

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 →