Thursday, 4 April 2013
The crew of the ship marched down Fore Street in Devonport with Tommy at their head and this is probably the only photo of him that still remains. No-one knows what became of Tommy but perhaps he ended up in one of England's many zoos.
The Prince went on to become Vice-Admiral, Channel Squadron, Commander-in-Chief, Devonport in 1890 and later became Admiral of the Fleet.
Tuesday, 2 April 2013
Apparently the work has now stopped because finds from the Bronze Age have been discovered during all the digging work.
Tamerton Foliot and the Warleigh Estate are steeped in history and also have connections with the Romans.
Many years ago, local historian, Marshall Ware, told me that his interest in history began when he was given a greenstone neolithic axe in 1910 by Mr H Montagu-Evans. Similar axes were found in the 1960s near to the Brown and Sharpe factory site. Marshall's axe was excavated in 1898 by a team of soldiers, headed by a Captain Mullens, by Ernesettle Woods, which pointed to it being one of the earliest settlements in the area.
It will be interesting to discover exactly what has been found at Warleigh and there must be many more relics and much more history that lays yet undiscovered.
Tuesday, 19 February 2013
It's available from all good book shops and also from Amazon here:
Sunday, 18 November 2012
On 22nd February 1957, Bill Haley and his Comets appeared for one night only at the Odeon in Frankfort Street. Tickets for the circle were 8/6 and also on the bill were the Vic Lewis Orchestra together with comedians Malcolm Vaughan and Kenneth Earle. Also featured was Desmond Lane with his tin whistle!
Bill played to an audience of 3,000 who, according to a report in the Herald, 'clapped and stamped their feet to the music'. The report said that the show was definately not for 'squares' and included the 'monotonous, pounding rhythm of electric guitars, string bass, and drums'. The show ended with the three songs 'Shake Rattle 'n' Roll', 'See You Later Alligator' and 'Rock Around The Clock'.
Hundreds of fans waited outside the venue hoping to get a glimpse of Bill but both he and the Comets left by a side door after the concert and were taken to their next venue at Southampton. The tour was promoted by Lew and Leslie Grade and other venues included: February 1957: 6th The Dominion in London for 4 nights, 10th The Gaumont at Coventry,
11th The Odeon at Nottingham, 12th The Odeon at Birmingham, 13th The Odeon at Manchester, 14th The Odeon at Leeds, 15th The Odeon at Sunderland, 16th The Odeon at Newcastle, 17th The Gaumont at Bradford, 18th The Odeon at Glasgow for 2 nights, 20th The Odeon at Liverpool, 21st The Capitol at Cardiff, 22nd The Odeon at Plymouth, 23rd The Gaumont at Southampton and on the 24th The Gaumont State at Kilburn for 3 nights.
1st The Hippodrome at Belfast for 2 nights, 3rd The Regal at Edmonton, 4th The Davis at Croydon for 2 nights, 6th The Carlton in Norwich, 7th The Gaumont at Doncaster, 8th The Gaumont at Wolverhampton, 9th The Gaumont at Cheltenham and on the 10th back to The Dominion in London.
The Comets included Johnny Grande on accordion, Billy Williamson on steel guitar, Ralph Jones on drums, Rudy Pompilli on saxophone, Al Rex on bass and Franny Beecher on electric guitar. Other songs included in their set were Razzle Dazzle, Rock-a-Beating Boogie, Mambo Rock, The Saints Rock and Roll, Rocking Through The Rye, Rip It Up, Rudy's Rock, Don't Knock The Rock, Live It Up, Crazy Man Crazy and Hook Line And Sinker.
Friday, 14 September 2012
Before Nazareth House was built in the 1970s, the site used to house the Earl of Mount Edgcumbe's Winter Villa. The photo on the left shows the grand old building that once stood there.
Monday, 27 August 2012
When Neil Armstrong died a couple of days ago, a part of my childhood went with him. Days of anticipation watching the flight to the moon, the live broadcasts of the moon walks and the pomp and ceremony when the astronauts arrived back on Earth. It was all fascinating stuff especially for a small boy.
I read somewhere that there's more technology in a modern washing machine than there was in the lunar module (although I find it hard to believe!).
They were great days and there's nothing like it nowadays. The 1960s and 1970s were great times, full of adventure, when anything seemed possible.
No matter where space technology takes us, Neil Armstrong will always be remembered for being the first man on the moon and will always remain an icon of the 20th century.
Sunday, 26 August 2012
The whole operation was highly secret and from May 1944, anyone who wanted to visit relatives in the area had to apply for a permit and would be escorted to the address by military police. They would also have to give a specific time when they would be leaving.
The mission was codenamed Operation Overlord. The codename for the many US bases around Plymouth was 'sausages'.
During this time, the river was full of ships loading men and equipment. One day the river was full of ships and the next day, it was completely empty as the troops headed towards the beaches of Normandy.
The large majority of troops in Plymouth were from the 29th Armoured division which went on to land at the Omah and Utah beaches. Omah beach was the codename for one of the main landing points for the troops on 6 June 1944. Unfortunately, it is where the Americans suffered their heaviest casualties. The Vicarage Road camp was decommissioned in September 1945.
Tamar Terrace was later renamed Normandy Way and Vicarage Road was renamed Normandy Hill to commemorate the troops that passed this way on their way to the D-Day landings.
A tablet commemorating the event was unveiled on Normandy Hill, known as US Army Route 23, by the Mayor of Cherbourg in May 1947.
A memorial was later erected in the gardens and the plaque on it reads:
'This tablet marks the departure from this place of units of the V and V11 corps of the United States Army on the 6th June 1944 for the D-Day landings in France and was unveiled by His Excellency John Hay Whitney, the Ambassador of the United States of America.
When the American troops took over Saltash Passage in preparation for D-Day in 1944, everyone was issued with special passes so that they could enter the area. Marshall remembered, 'We all had identity cards but Saltash Passage residents were issued with yellow Certificate of Residence Cards. It bore the holder's National Registration Identity Card number and stated that the holder was thereby certified to be a resident within the specified area and that it must be carried out of doors at all times and shown to any Constable or member of His Majesty's or Allied Forces on duty. It bore the signature of the holder and was signed by the Chief Constable of Plymouth and the distribution was completed by 19th April 1944. One resident, wearing tennis gear, forgot to carry his card and was taken in a jeep for interrogation to the US Naval Advanced Amphibious Base at Vicarage Receiving Barracks at St Budeaux.'
Maurice Dart recalled, 'I remember the American's camp at Vicarage Road. When I was a boy, we would go down to the gate sometimes and they would give us chocolates and sweets and items to take home, such as tins of cocoa, biscuits and butter. My mother used to tell me off for scrounging but she was always pleased to receive it all!'
The rare colour photo shows the smiling faces of the American troops as they left for D-Day. Residents remember that the area was a hive of activity while the troops were there but, one day, they awoke to find that they'd all gone, leaving just a baseball bat behind.