John Entwistle (The Who)

the-whoThe Late great John Entwistle, English singer-songwriter, musician, and producer and bass Player with The Who, sadly passed away 27 June 2002. Formed in 1964 by Roger Daltrey (lead vocals, harmonica and guitar), Pete Townshend, John Entwistle (bass guitar, brass and vocals) and Keith Moon (drums and percussion). The Who became known for energetic live performances which often included instrument destruction. So far The Who have sold about 100 million records, and have charted 27 top forty singles in the United Kingdom and United States, as well as 17 top ten albums, with 18 Gold, 12 Platinum and 5 Multi-Platinum album awards in the United States alone. The Who rose to fame in the UK with a series of top ten hit singles, boosted in part by pirate radio stations such as Radio Caroline, beginning in January 1965 with“I Can’t Explain”. The albums My Generation, A Quick One and The Who Sell Out followed, with the first two reaching the UK top five.

They first hit the US Top 40 in 1967 with “Happy Jack” and hit the top ten later that year with “I Can See for Miles”.Their fame grew with memorable performances at the Monterey Pop, Woodstock and Isle of Wight music festivals. The 1969 release of Tommy was the first in a series of top ten albums in the US, followed by Live at Leeds, Who’s Next, Quadrophenia, The Who by Numbers, Who Are You, and The Kids Are Alright. Moon died at the age of 32 in 1978, after which the band released two studio albums, the UK and US top five Face Dances and the US top ten It’s Hard, with drummer Kenney Jones, before disbanding in 1983. They re-formed at events such as Live Aid and for reunion tours such as their 25th anniversary tour and the Quadrophenia tours of 1996 and 1997. In 2000, the three surviving original members discussed recording an album of new material, but their plans temporarily stalled upon Entwistle’s death at the age of 57 in 2002. Townshend and Daltrey continue to perform as The Who, and in 2006 they released the studio album Endless Wire, which reached the top ten in the UK and US. They have also played Barnstorming sets at Glastonbury.

The Who were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990, their first year of eligibility; the display describes them as “Prime contenders, in the minds of many, for the title of World’s Greatest Rock Band.” Time magazine wrote in 1979 that “No other group has ever pushed rock so far, or asked so much from it.” Rolling Stone magazine wrote: “Along with The Beatles and The Rolling Stones, The Who complete the holy trinity of British rock.” They received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the British Phonographic Industry in 1988, and from the Grammy Foundation in 2001, for creative contributions of outstanding artistic significance to the field of recording. In 2008 surviving members Townshend and Daltrey were honoured at the 31st Annual Kennedy Center Honours. That same year VH1 Rock Honours paid tribute to The Who and Jack Black of Tenacious D called them “the greatest band of all time.

Helen Keller Day

Helen Keller Day, is held yearly on 27 June to commemorate inspiring deafblind American author, political activist, and lecturer Helen Adams Keller, who was born June 27, 1880 and overcame her disability and made a huge impact onthe quality of life of deafblind people the world over. The story of how Keller’s teacher, Anne Sullivan, broke through the isolation imposed by a near complete lack of language, allowing the girl to blossom as she learned to communicate, has become widely known through the dramatic depictions of the play and film The Miracle Worker. Her birthday on June 27 is commemorated as Helen Keller Day in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania and was authorized at the federal level by presidential proclamation by President Jimmy Carter in 1980, her 100th birthday. A prolific author, Keller was well-travelled and outspoken in her convictions. A member of the Socialist Party of America and the Industrial Workers of the World, she campaigned forwomen’s suffrage, labor rights, socialism, and other radical left causes. She was inducted into the Alabama Women’s Hall of Fame in 1971. Helen Keller was born with the ability to see and hear. At age 19 months she contracted an illness described by doctors as “an acute congestion of the stomach and the brain”, which might have been scarlet fever or meningitis. The illness left her both deaf and blind. At that time, she was able to communicate somewhat with Martha Washington, the six-year-old daughter of the family cook, who understood her signs; by the age of seven, Keller had more than 60 home signs to communicate with her family.

THE MIRACLE WORKER 

In 1886, Keller’s mother, inspired by an account in Charles Dickens’ American Notes of the successful education of another deaf and blind woman, Laura Bridgman, dispatched young Helen, accompanied by her father, to seek out physician J. Julian Chisolm, an eye, ear, nose, and throat specialist in Baltimore, for advice. Chisholm referred the Kellers to Alexander Graham Bell, who was working with deaf children at the time. Bell advised them to contact the Perkins Institute for the Blind, the school where Bridgman had been educated, which was then located in South Boston. Michael Anagnos, the school’s director, asked former student 20-year-old Anne Sullivan, herself visually impaired, to become Keller’s instructor. It was the beginning of a 49-year-long relationship during which Sullivan evolved into governess and then eventual compaion.Anne Sullivan arrived at Keller’s house in March 1887, and immediately began to teach Helen to communicate by spelling words into her hand, beginning with “d-o-l-l” for the doll that she had brought Keller as a present. Keller was frustrated, at first, because she did not understand that every object had a word uniquely identifying it. In fact, when Sullivan was trying to teach Keller the word for “mug”, Keller became so frustrated she broke the doll. Keller’s big breakthrough in communication came the next month, when she realized that the motions her teacher was making on the palm of her hand, while running cool water over her other hand, symbolized the idea of “water”; she then nearly exhausted Sullivan demanding the names of all the other familiar objects in her world. Due to a protruding left eye, Keller was usually photographed in profile. Both her eyes were replaced in adulthood with glass replicas for “medical and cosmetic reasons”.

Starting in May 1888, Keller attended the Perkins Institute for the Blind. In 1894, Helen Keller and Anne Sullivan moved to New York to attend the Wright-Humason School for the Deaf, and to learn from Sarah Fuller at the Horace Mann School for the Deaf. In 1896, they returned to Massachusetts and Keller entered The Cambridge School for Young Ladies before gaining admittance, in 1900, to Radcliffe College, where she lived in Briggs Hall, South House. Her admirer, Mark Twain, had introduced her to Standard Oil magnate Henry Huttleston Rogers, who, with his wife Abbie, paid for her education. In 1904, at the age of 24, Keller graduated from Radcliffe, becoming the first deaf blind person to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree. She maintained a correspondence with the Austrian philosopher andpedagogue Wilhelm Jerusalem, who was one of the first to discover her literary talent. Determined to communicate with others as conventionally as possible, Keller learned to speak, and spent much of her life giving speeches and lectures. She learned to “hear” people’s speech by reading their lips with her hands—her sense of touch had become extremely subtle. She became proficient at using Braille and reading sign language with her hands as well Shortly before World War I, with the assistance of the Zoellner Quartet she determined that by placing her fingertips on a resonant tabletop she could experience music played close by

Keller went on to become a world-famous speaker and author. She is remembered as anadvocate for people with disabilities, amid numerous other causes. She was a suffragist, apacifist, an opponent of Woodrow Wilson, a radical socialist and a birth control supporter. In 1915 she and George Kessler founded the Helen Keller International (HKI) organization. This organization is devoted to research in vision, health and nutrition. In 1920 she helped to found the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). Keller traveled to 40 some-odd countries with Sullivan, making several trips to Japan and becoming a favorite of the Japanese people. Keller met every U.S. President from Grover Cleveland to Lyndon B. Johnson and was friends with many famous figures, including Alexander Graham Bell, Charlie Chaplin and Mark Twain. Keller and Twain were both considered radicals at the beginning of the 20th century, and as a consequence, their political views have been forgotten or glossed over in popular perception. Keller was a member of the Socialist Party and actively campaigned and wrote in support of the working class from 1909 to 1921.

she supported Socialist Party candidate Eugene V. Debs in each of his campaigns for the presidency. Newspaper columnists who had praised her courage and intelligence before she expressed her socialist views now called attention to her disabilities. Keller joined the Industrial Workers of the World (known as the IWW or the Wobblies) in 1912, saying that parliamentary socialism was “sinking in the political bog”. She wrote for the IWW between 1916 and 1918. In Why I Became an IWW, Keller explained that her motivation for activism came in part from her concern about blindness and other disabilities:I was appointed on a commission to investigate the conditions of the blind. For the first time I, who had thought blindness a misfortune beyond human control, found that too much of it was traceable to wrong industrial conditions, often caused by the selfishness and greed of employers. And the social evil contributed its share. I found that poverty drove women to a life of shame that ended in blindness.The last sentence refers to prostitution and syphilis, the former a frequent cause of the latter, and the latter a leading cause of blindness. In the same interview, Keller also cited the 1912 strike of textile workers in Lawrence, Massachusetts for instigating her support of socialism.

Keller wrote a total of 12 published books and several articles.One of her earliest pieces of writing, at age 11, was The Frost King (1891). There were allegations that this story had been plagiarized from The Frost Fairies by Margaret Canby. An investigation into the matter revealed that Keller may have experienced a case ofcryptomnesia, which was that she had Canby’s story read to her but forgot about it, while the memory remained in her subconscious. At age 22, Keller published her autobiography, The Story of My Life (1903), with help from Sullivan and Sullivan’s husband, John Macy. It recounts the story of her life up to age 21 and was written during her time in college.Keller wrote The World I Live In in 1908, giving readers an insight into how she felt about the world. Out of the Dark, a series of essays on socialism, was published in 1913.When Keller was young, Anne Sullivan introduced her to Phillips Brooks, who introduced her to Christianity, Keller famously saying: “I always knew He was there, but I didn’t know His name!” Her spiritual autobiography, My Religion, was published in 1927 and then in 1994 extensively revised and re-issued under the title Light in My Darkness. It advocates the teachings of Emanuel Swedenborg, the Christian revelator and theologian who gives a spiritual interpretation of the teachings of the Bible and who claims that the second comingof Jesus Christ has already taken place. Adherents use several names to describe themselves, including Second Advent Christian, Swedenborgian, and New Church

Keller suffered a series of strokes in 1961 and spent the last years of her life at her home.On September 14, 1964, President Lyndon B. Johnson awarded her the Presidential Medal of Freedom, one of the United States’ two highest civilian honors. In 1965 she was elected to the National Women’s Hall of Fame at the New York World’s Fair. Keller devoted much of her later life to raising funds for the American Foundation for the Blind. She died in her sleep on June 1, 1968, at her home, Arcan Ridge, located in Easton, Connecticut, a few weeks short of her eighty-eighth birthday. A service was held in her honor at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C., and her ashes were placed there next to her constant companions, Anne Sullivan and Polly Thompson

Severn Valley Railway 1940’s weekend

This year the ever popular Severn Valley Railway 1940′s weekend takes place between June 27 & 28 and July 4 & 5 2015. As always there will be an intensive service of evacuation trains moving troops and their families up and down the line all weekend, as well as Costumed re-enactors wondering about all the stations and displays. Including a 1940’s house, an ARP Post, an Allotment, replica Operations Room, conscientious Objectors Display, replica air Raid Shelter and themed Replica Blackout Air-Raid shelter a Dig-for-victory Garden and Privy and a bombed out building. There will also be a display of Historic vintage 1940’s civilian and military vehicles at various stations like tanks, DUKWS, jeeps Scout Cars. 1940’s Vehicle and Jeep displays. The Engine Shed Railway Museum at Highley will be selling 1940s food.

There will be an Evacuation of Kidderminster Station before the evening Big Band Show on Saturday 27th June and Saturday 4th July with a spectacular finale, 1940s stalls, Evacuation of school children at 10.42am on Saturday 27th June and on Saturday 4th July, British Army Medical Corps Field Hospital A wedding takes place at 2.30pm, a1930s caravan display.

There is also an exciting Battle Reenactment a Highley Station during which a German train is attacked by Allied Paratroopers and members of the French Resistance after the Normandy Invasion! Plus More Military Vehicle displays, an Allied Encampment, Live entertainment with Dickie Lines, Genuine King George VI Royal Carriage on display in The Engine House, Wartime Public Information films Kidderminster War Games display, “0 Gauge” 1930s clockwork model railway display, a German encampment and the Paddock Railway at Highley will also be running on all four days

There is also Live entertainment from Natasha Harper, a VE Day Celebration Show, 1940s crooner Kevin Mack will be entertaining and The ever-popular Big Band Band-Show “workes Playtime” by the Allen Francis Big Band will be playing at Kidderminster Station . There is also a show entitled A Salute to the 1940′s and more entertainment will be provided by The Three Belles, Andrews Sisters Tribute Group, The Beven Boys, three piece band, Dicky Lines, Lola Lamour and Peter Wayre. There are also sales stands selling 1940’s clothing, uniforms and memorabilia. wartime Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill, will also give a rousing speech and there will be a full sized replica Spitfire on Display plus an Evening dining service.

Armed Forces Day

Armed Forces Day (formerly Veterans’ Day) in the United Kingdom is celebrated annually on  June 27 to commemorate the service of men and women in the British Armed Forces. Veterans’ Day was first observed in 2006. Although an official event, it is not a public holiday in the UK. The name was changed to Armed Forces Day in 2009. The four Armed Forces Dys so far have been held on the last Saturday of June. Plans for a Veterans’ Day were announced in February 2006 by then-Chancellor o the Exchequer, Gordon Brown, who said the aim was to ensure the contribution of veterans was never forgotten.

The day is marked across the UK by local ceremonies and the presentation of medals to living ex-servicemen and women. The date of 27 June was chosen as it came the day after the anniversary of the first investiture of the Victoria Cross, in Hyde Park, London in 1857. Veterans’ Day was created as a permanent extension of Veterans’ Awareness Week first held in 2005. In the UK it followed the model of the Veterans Day holiday in the United States which honours all military veterans and is both a federal holiday and a state holiday in all states. On 25 June 2007, Jim Devine the Member of Parliament for Livingston, tabled a House of Commons Early Day Motion calling for the day to be a public holiday, stating “that this House recognises the outstanding contribution that veterans have made to the country; and believes that Veterans’ Day should be a national public holiday across the United Kingdom.”

Over the past few years there have been many events to mark the occasion including a Parade of Standards” which was led by The Central Band of the Royal Air Force, a National Veterans’ Day Service , A Badge Presentation ceremony, The Red Devils parachute display team performed an illuminated “night time parachute drop”, A traditional Drumhead Service took place . A Fly-overs by the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, the Red Arrows and Helicopter Formation. There have also been Arena displays including the Royal Marine Commando Display Team, and the Royal Marine Band as well as other Military displays representing all of the armed forces , Search and rescue Sea King rescue display on the water. Plus The opportunity to go aboard HMS Kent ,Royal Navy destroyers HMS Gloucester and HMS Daring, an evening of stage performances featuring The Soldiers and Only Men Aloud and A firework finale