Posted in music

Kill your Television

Ned's_Atomic_Dustbin-God_FodderJonn Penney best known as the lead singer of Ned’s Atomic Dustbin, was born 17 September 1968, Quarry Bank, near Stourbridge, West Midlands .He went to Thorns School and Community College in Quarry Bank, where he met Ned’s bass player Matt Cheslin. Penney used to live in a house near the Swan Hotel in Stourbridge, where he used to drink and he still lives within walking distance from there .He formed Ned’s Atomic Dustbin in 1988 while still at sixth form college. In the early 1990s they had several hit singles, including “Happy”, “Kill Your Television” and “Not Sleeping Around”. Together they released three successful albums (God Fodder, Are You Normal? and Brainbloodvolume). The band split up in 1995 after record company problems.In 1998 he formed a new band, Groundswell, initially with former Ned’s Atomic Dustbin guitarist Rat. The band released a few singles, and played some successful shows, but did not have much commercial success. After Groundswell split he completed a degree course, and now works as Media officer for Wolverhampton Civic Hall, while lecturing part-time and writing a weekly column titled ‘Up Penneyscope’ for local newspaper The Express & Star.In 2000 he reformed Ned’s Atomic Dustbin (with an altered line up including Andy King (bass) and Martin Warlow (guitar) for occasional gigs. The band completed a five date tour in 2004, and Penney continued to play occasional gigs with the band.Ned’s Atomic Dusbin reformed with original line-up for a re:united gig at the London Astoria in December 2008 and then a home gig in Wolverhampton. Penney recently contributed vocals to a song by Wolverhampton rock musician and free software advocate, Jono Bacon.

Ned’s Atomic Dustbin are an English rock band formed in Stourbridge in West Midlands in November 1987.The band took their name from an episode of The Goon Show. The band were unusual for using two bass players in their lineup: Alex Griffin played melody lines high up on one bass, and Mat Cheslin played the regular bass lines on the other. This gave the band a tense and highly driven sub-hardcore sound featuring distorted effects-laden guitar and energetic drums. The band was formed while at sixth form college and they recorded their first album while some of the members were still teenagers. This led to a strong teenage fanbase with a reputation for enjoying crowd surfing and moshing at their gigs. The band were also noted (and occasionally ridiculed) for their early image which consisted of uniformly crimped hair and a predilection for sporting shorts and band/skateboard T-shirts. “The Neds” (as their fans referred to them) were well known for their own distinctive T-shirt designs, reportedly producing over 86 different designs within three years (1987–1990). (In 2009, Jonn Penney stated, “We’re still adding designs – old habits die hard”.)


Posted in music

Twisted Firestarter

Keith Flint , the rather scary looking English singer-songwriter from English electronic dance music group the Prodigy was born september 17th 1969 I used to be a big fan so I thought I would mark the occasion. Formed by Liam Howlett in 1990 in Braintree, Essex. Along with Fatboy Slim, The Chemical Brothers, and other acts, The Prodigy have been credited as pioneers of the big beat genre, which achieved mainstream popularity in the 1990s and 2000s. They have sold over 25 million records worldwide, and have won numerous music awards throughout their career, including two Brit Awards—winning Best British Dance Act twice, three MTV Video Music Awards, two Kerrang! Awards, five MTV Europe Music Awards, and have twice been nominated for Grammy Awards.The group’s brand of music makes use of various styles ranging from rave, hardcore techno, industrial, and breakbeat in the early 1990s to big beat and electronic rock with punk vocal elements in later times.

The current members include Liam Howlett (keyboardist and composer), Keith Flint (dancer and vocalist), and Maxim (MC and vocalist). Leeroy Thornhill (dancer and occasional live keyboardist) was a member of the band from 1990 to 2000, as was a female dancer and vocalist called Sharky who left the group during their early period. The Prodigy first emerged on the underground rave scene in the early 1990s, and have since then achieved immense popularity and worldwide renown With great albums like Fat of the Land, Music for the Jilted Generation, Always Outnumbered never Outgunned, invaders Must Die, World’s on Fire and The Day is My Enemy.

Posted in cars

Stirling Moss MBE &Damon Hill

Former English race car driver Stirling Moss OBE FIE (Fellow of the Institute of Engineers) , was born September 17th 1929 . Moss was a pioneer in the British Formula One racing scene and placed second in the Drivers’ Championship four times in a row from 1955 to 1958 and won 212 of the 529 races he entered, including 16 Formula One Grands Prix.Moss’s first Formula One win was in 1955 at his home race, the British Grand Prix at Aintree. His Mercedes-Benz W196 led home a 1–2–3–4 win for the German marque. This victory made Moss the first British driver to win the British Grand Prix. It was the first race where he finished in front of Juan Manuel Fangio, his teammate, friend, mentor, and arch rival at Mercedes.One of his best remembered drives was in the 1955 Mille Miglia, which he won in the record time of 10 hours 7 minutes 48 seconds, finishing almost half an hour ahead of teammate Fangio in second place. In 1957 Moss won on the longest circuit to ever hold a Grand Prix, the daunting 25 km (16 mi) Pescara Circuit, again demonstrating his skills at high speed, long distance driving. He beat Fangio, who started on pole, by a little over 3 minutes over the course of a gruelling 3 hour event. In the 1960 Formula One season, Moss took the top step of the podium at Monaco, winning in Rob Walker’s Coventry-Climax-powered Lotus 18. For the 1961 F1 season, which was run under the new 1.5-litre rules, Enzo Ferrari rolled out his state-of-the-art “sharknose” Ferrari 156 with an all-new V6. Moss was stuck with an underpowered Climax-engined Lotus, but managed to win the 1961 Monaco Grand Prix by 3.6 seconds (beating the 156s of Richie Ginther, Wolfgang von Trips, and Phil Hill).

Sadly though, I n 1962, Moss was badly injured in a crash at Goodwood in a Lotus in the Glover Trophy. The accident put him in a coma for one month and partially paralyzed the left side of his body for six months. He recovered but decided to retire from racing after a private test session in a Lotus 19 the next year. He would compete in as many as 62 races in a single year and drove 84 different makes of car over the course of his racing career, including Lotus, Vanwall, Maserati, Jaguar, Ferrari and Porsche. Like many drivers of the era, he competed in several formulae—very often on the same day and was as gifted at the wheel of a sports car as he was in a Grand Prix car. For three consecutive years (1958–1960) he won the gruelling 1,000 km (620 mi) race at Germany’s Nürburgring, the first two years in an Aston Martin (where he won almost single-handedly) and the third in the memorable Tipo 61 “birdcage” Maserati, co-driving with young American prospect Dan Gurney. Moss was also a competent rally driver and is one of only three people to have won a Coupe d’Or (Gold Cup) for three consecutive penalty-free runs on the Alpine Rally (Coupe des Alpes). In addition, he finished second in the 1952 Monte Carlo Rally driving a Sunbeam-Talbot 90 with co-driver John Cooper. He retired in 1962 after a crash left him in a coma for a month, as afterwards he felt unable to continue driving at a professional level. In spite of this early retirement he has remained a well-known figure.


In other Motor Sport related posts, Retired Formula One driver Damon Graham Devereux Hill OBE was also born 17 September, in 1960. He is the son of the late Graham Hill, and is the only son of a world champion to win the title. His father died in an aeroplane crash when Hill was 15. He started racing on motorbikes in 1981 and after minor success, he moved on to single-seater racing cars and progressed steadily up the ranks to the International Formula 3000 championship by 1989, where, although often competitive, up until that point he never won a race.

Hill became a test driver for the Formula One title-winning Williams team in 1992. He was promoted to the Williams race team the following year after Riccardo Patrese’s departure and took the first of his 22 victories at the 1993 Hungarian Grand Prix. During the mid-1990s, Hill was Michael Schumacher’s main rival for the Formula One Drivers’ Championship. The two clashed on and off the track. Their collision at the1994 Australian Grand Prix gave Schumacher his first title by a single point. Hill became champion in 1996 but was dropped by Williams for the following season. He went on to drive for the less competitive Arrows and Jordan teams, and in 1998 gave Jordan its first win.

Hill retired from racing after the 1999 season. He has since launched several businesses and has made appearances playing the guitar with celebrity bands. In 2006, he became president of the British Racing Drivers’ Club, succeeding Jackie Stewart. Hill stepped down from the position in 2011 and was succeeded by Derek Warwick. He presided over the securing of a 17-year contract for Silverstone to hold Formula One races, which enabled the circuit to see extensive renovation work.

Posted in Events, locomotives, steam locomotives, Trains

Severn Valley Railway Autumn Steam Gala

This year’s Severn Valley Railway Autumn Steam Gala takes place September 17-18-19-20 2015 with Thursday 17 September being Gala Preview Day. Locomotives visiting for this years Gala include LMS ROYAL SCOT class 46100 “Royal Scot” and BR Standard Class 7mt 4-6-2 Pacific no.70000 “Britannia”. Plus Ivatt class 2 46521 from the Great Central Railway in Loughborough which had a starring role in the Television series “Oh Doctor Beeching, parts of which were filmed at Arley Station on the Severn Valley Railway. The Engine House visitor and education centre in Highley will also be open and the replica of Richard Trevithick’s locomotive Catch-me-who-Can will also be on display as will new build BR CLASS 3 locomotive No. 84045.

They will be joined by the home fleet of GWR 7812 Erlestoke Manor, BR Standard class4 43106, Battle of Britain Class 34053 Sir Keith Park and West Country Class 34027 Taw valley. On Thursday 17 September a VIP visitor will also be visiting the Severn Valley Railway between 1:30 and 2:30pm.

In addition The A1 Pacific steam 4-6-2 locomotive No.60163 ‘Tornado’, is revisiting the Severn Valley Railway on October 10-11/ 17-18/24-25 2015 2015 to celebrate the Severn Valley 50th Anniversary Golden Jubilee.

Posted in books

I am Pilgrim by Terry Hayes

I enjoy a good thriller and I would like to read I Am Pilgrim the exciting debut Spy thriller by former journalist and screenwriter, Terry Hayes. Pilgrim is the codename for a man who doesn’t officially exist. The adopted son of a wealthy American family, pilgrim is A former intelligence agent who once headed up a secret espionage unit for US intelligence, before retiring. However Before he disappeared into anonymous retirement, he wrote the definitive book on forensic criminal investigation. Unfortunately The book comes back to haunt him when someone starts using it to commit untraceable murders.

Elsewhere NYPD Detective Ben Bradley is called to investigate a murder, after the body of a woman is found facedown in a bath of acid, in a run down New York hotel room, her features erased, her teeth missing, her fingerprints gone. It is a textbook murder – and Pilgrim wrote the book. So Bradley tracks Pilgrim down and they both become involved in the investigation to find the killer.

What begins as an unusual and challenging investigation becomes a terrifying race-against-time to save America from oblivion. Pilgrim journeys from a public beheading in Mecca to a deserted ruins on the Turkish coast via a Nazi death camp in Alsace and the barren wilderness of the Hindu Kush in search of a faceless man who is capable of committing appalling acts of mass murder in the name of his God. MGM have also bought the movie rights for the book for a series of films, similar to the Bond franchise.