Noddy Holder (Slade)

Noddy Holder, British singer with glam rock band Slade was born 15th June 1946. Slade are a rock band from Wolverhampton, who rose to prominence during the glam rock era of the early 1970s. With 17 consecutive Top 20 hits and six number ones, including Mama weer all crazee now and take me bak ‘ome the British Hit Singles & Albums names them as the most successful British group of the 1970s based on sales of singles. They were the first act to have three singles enter at number one, and all six of the band’s chart-toppers were penned by Noddy Holder and Jim Lea. Total UK sales stand at 6,520,171, and their best selling single, “Merry Xmas Everybody”, has sold in excess of one million copies.and can be heard incessantly every Christmas lol.

Following an unsuccessful move to the United States in 1975, the band’s popularity waned but was unexpectedly revived in 1980 when they were last minute replacements for Ozzy Osbourne at the Reading Rock Festival. The band later acknowledged this to have been one of the highlights of their career.The original line up split in 1992 but the band reformed the following year as Slade II. The band has continued, in various guises, to the present day.   A number of diverse artists have cited Slade as an influence, including 90s icons Nirvana and Smashing Pumpkins, punk pioneers The Ramones, Sex Pistols, The Undertones, The Runaways and The Clash, glam followers Kiss, Mötley Crüe, Twisted Sister, Quiet Riot, Poison and Def Leppard and pop-rock stalwarts Cheap Trick and Oasis.The Illustrated Encyclopaedia of Music tells of Holder’s powerful vocals, guitarist Dave Hill’s equally arresting dress sense and the deliberate misspelling of their song titles for which they became well known.

Trbute to Revd W. Awdry

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English cleric, railway enthusiast and children’s author Wilbert Vere Awdry, OBE was born 15th June 1911 better known as the Reverend W. Awdry and creator of Thomas the Tank Engine, who starred in Awdry’s acclaimed Railway Series.Awdry was born at Ampfield vicarage near Romsey, Hampshire in 1911In 1917 the family moved to Box, in Wiltshire, moving again in 1919, and 1920, still in Box, the third house being Journey’s End  which remained the family home until August 1928.   Journey’s End was only 200 yards (180 m) from the western end of Box Tunnel. There the Great Western Railway main line climbs at a gradient of 1 in 100 for two miles, and a banking engine was kept there to assist freight trains up the hill. These trains usually ran at night and the young Wilbert could hear them from his bed, listening to the coded whistle signals between the train engine and the banker, and the sharp bark from the locomotive exhausts as they fought their way up the incline. Awdry related: “There was no doubt in my mind that steam engines all had definite personalities. I would hear them snorting up the grade and little imagination was needed to hear in the puffings and pantings of the two engines the conversation they were having with one another: ‘I can’t do it! I can’t do it! I can’t do it!’ ‘Yes, you can! Yes, you can! Yes, you can!’” Here was the inspiration for the story of Edward helping Gordon’s train up the hill, a story that Wilbert first told his son Christopher some 25 years later, and which appeared in the first of the Railway Series books

The characters that would make Awdry famous and the first stories featuring them were invented in 1943 to amuse his son Christopher during a bout of measles. After Awdry wrote The Three Railway Engines, he built Christopher a model of Edward, and some wagons and coaches, out of a broomstick and scraps of wood. Christopher also wanted a model of Gordon; however, as that was too difficult Awdry made a model of a little 0-6-0 tank engine. Awdry said: “The natural name was Thomas – Thomas the Tank Engine”. Then Christopher requested stories about Thomas and these duly followed and were published in the famous book Thomas the Tank Engine, released in 1946.   The first book (The Three Railway Engines) was published in 1945, and by the time Awdry stopped writing in 1972, The Railway Series numbered 26 books. Christopher subsequently added further books to the series.In 1952, Awdry volunteered as a guard on the Talyllyn Railway in Wales, then in its second year of preservation. The railway inspired Awdry to create the Skarloey Railway, based on the Talyllyn, with some of his exploits being written into the stories.Awdry’s enthusiasm for railways did not stop at his publications. He was involved in railway preservation, and built model railways, which he took to exhibitions around the country.   Awdry wrote other books besides those of The Railway Series, both fiction and non-fiction. The story Belinda the Beetle was about a red car (it became a Volkswagen Beetle only in the illustrations to the paperback editions).Awdry was awarded an OBE in the 1996 New Year’s Honours List, but by that time his health had deteriorated and he was unable to travel to London. He died peacefully in Stroud, Gloucestershire, on 21 March 1997, at the age of 85. His ashes are interred at Gloucester Crematorium.

Trooping the Colour

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The annual Trooping The Colour took place on Saturday 15th June 2013 to Mark the official birthday of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Starting at 11am a carriage procession made it’s way from Buckingham Palace, down The Mall, through Admiralty Arch and onto Horseguards Parade. HM the Queen was accompanied by the Duke of Kent instead of  HRH Prince Philip Duke of Edinburgh, who is still in hospital, followed by the Duchess of Cornwall, The Duchess of Cambridge Prince William and Prince Harry. Prince Andrew, Prince Edward, The Countess of Wessex, Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie.

Music for the event included the traditional National Anthem, Les Huguenots, British Grenadiers Slow March, Hazelmere, the Grand March from Rienzi by Wagner, Men of Harlech, Scipio by Handel, Figaro, Yhe Champion, Highland Laddie and Galanthia. The occasion was marked by a traditional 41 Gun Royal Salute from Green Park, then the royal party made their way back through Admiralty Arch, up TheMall and back to Buckingham Palace. This was followed shortly afterwards by three generations of the Royal Family appearing on the balcony of Buckingham Palace to witness the flypast by the Royal Airforce, which Iincluded the Battle of Britain Memorial Avro Lancaster, Hawker Typhoon, Tornado GR3, E3A Sentry, C17 Globemaster, DC10, Tristar and the RAF Red Arrows