BVMC Vintage Tractor Run

This years Bridgnorth Vintage Machinery Club annual Shropshire National Vintage Tractor Run took place on Sunday 2 April 2017. The BVMC Have been in Bridgnorth since 1986 and have hosted a number of events including the annual Shropshire National Vintage Tractor Road Run (well it’s more of a leisurely trundle) in aid of the Shropshire Air Ambulance. Starting and finishing at Alveley Social Club, the convoy visited Morville, Much Wenlock, Broseley, went through Bridgnorth high Street, before stopping at Severn Park and returning to Alveley Social Club. This year it involved a convoy of around 100 vintage tractors, from all over the Bridgnorth District. Bridgnorth Vintage Machinery Club will also be present at this years Rally in The Valley plus many other events.

There was also a Continental Food Market in Bridgnorth High Street, selling all kinds of continental produce including Dried fruits, Baklava, Specialty Breads including French Loaves, Pitta Bread, Barra Brith, Panini, Naan and Malt Loafs. There was also a variety of continental Cured Meats on Sale including Bratwurst, Knockwurst, Pastrami and Honey Roast Ham. A wide selection of continental cheeses were also available including Brie, Camembert, Edam, Gouda, Shropshire Blue and Manchego. Those with a sweet tooth were also well catered for with a wide selection of confectionary including Home made fudge, sweets, toffee and vanilla fudge. There was also a wide range of preservatives available including specialty mustards, pickles, Honeys and Jams. There was also a Market in the High Street selling all sorts of Hand-made Arts and crafts including Paintings, hand Made Jewellery, Hand-made Greeting Cards, Pottery, vintage wares and Artisan goods.

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Motor Racing Legends

Australian race car driver Sir John Arthur “Jack” Brabham, AO, OBE was born 2 April 1926. He was Formula One champion in 1959, 1960, and 1966. He was a founder of the Brabham racing team and race car constructor that bore his name. Brabham was a Royal Australian Air Force flight mechanic and ran a small engineering workshop before he started racing midget cars in 1948. His successes with midgets in Australian and New Zealand road racing events led to his going to Britain to further his racing career. There he became part of the Cooper Car Company’s racing team, building as well as racing cars. He contributed to the design of the mid-engined cars that Cooper introduced to Formula One and the Indianapolis 500, and won the Formula One world championship in 1959 and 1960. In 1962 he established his own Brabham marque with fellow Australian Ron Tauranac, which in the 1960s became the largest manufacturer of customer racing cars in the world. In the 1966 Formula One season Brabham became the first – and still the only – man to win the Formula One world championship driving one of his own cars. He was the last surviving World Champion of the 1950s. Brabham retired to Australia after the 1970 Formula One season, where he bought a farm and maintained business interests, which included the Engine Developments racing engine manufacturer and several garages. Brabham sadly died 19 May 2014.

Finnish rally driver Juha Matti Pellervo Kankkunen was born 2 April 1959 in Laukaa His factory team career in the World Rally Championship lasted from 1983 to 2002. He won 23 world rallies and four drivers’ world championship titles, which were both once records in the series. Sébastien Loeb has since collected more world titles, but no driver has so far been able to repeat Kankkunen’s feat of becoming a world champion with three different manufacturers. Kankkunen was signed by Toyota in 1983 and he took his first WRC win in his third year in the team. His performances got him a deal with the defending champions Peugeot for 1986, and Kankkunen was soon crowned the series’ then youngest-ever champion. As Peugeot withdrew from the championship following the ban of Group B, Kankkunen moved to Lancia and became the first driver to successfully defend his title. After a two-year stint back at Toyota, he returned to Lancia and won a record third title in 1991.

In 1993, Kankkunen re-joined Toyota and won his fourth title. Following Toyota’s disqualification and 12-month ban in 1995, Kankkunen did not return to active participation in the series until joining Ford halfway through the 1997 season replacing an underperforming Armin Schwarz. After moving to Subaru for 1999, he took his first win in over five years. Before retiring after the 2002 season, he competed part-time for Hyundai. Kankkunen’s achievements outside the WRC include winning the Dakar Rally in 1988 and the Race of Champions in 1988 and 1991. Following his retirement from active rallying, he has worked in the fields of business and politics. In 2007, Kankkunen set the world speed record on ice in a Bentley Continental GT. In 2011, he set a further record of 330.695 km/h in a convertible Bentley Continental Supersports.

British Grand Prix motorcycle road race Stanley Michael Bailey Hailwood, MBE, GM was born 2April 1940. Hailwood became known as “Mike The Bike” because of his natural riding ability on bikes with a range of engine capacities. Hailwood saw his first race at age 10 with his father, and first spectated at the Isle of Man TT races in 1956.VHe first raced on 22 April 1957, at Oulton Park. Barely 17, he finished in 11th place. In 1958 he won ACU Stars at 125 cc, 250 cc, and 350 cc classes, earning him the Pinhard Prize, an accolade awarded yearly to a young motorcyclist under 21. He teamed with Dan Shorey to win the Thruxton 500 endurance race and finished well in four classes of TT race with one podium. By 1961, Hailwood was racing for an up-and-coming Japanese factory named Honda. In June 1961, he became the first man in the history of the Isle of Man TT to win three races in one week when he won in the 125 cc, 250 cc and 500 cc categories.[7] He lost the chance at winning a fourth race when his 350 AJS failed with a broken gudgeon pin whilst leading. Riding a four-stroke, four-cylinder 250 cc Honda, Hailwood won the 1961 250cc world championship. In 1962, Hailwood signed with MV Agusta and went on to become the first rider to win four consecutive 500cc World Championships and In February 1964 during preparations for the US Grand Prix, Hailwood set a new one-hour speed record on the MV 500 cc recording an average speed of 144.8 mph (233.0 km/h) on the oval-shaped, banked speed-bowl at the Daytona circuit. The previous record of 143 mph (230 km/h) was set by Bob McIntyre on a 350 cc Gilera at Monza in 1957. Hailwood then went on to win the GP race, which carried World Championship points, in the afternoon of the same day.[9]

During 1965, Hailwood entered selected UK events riding for the Tom Kirby Team. In heavy rain, Hailwood won the 1965 Hutchinson 100 Production race at the Silverstone circuit on a BSA Lightning Clubman entered by dealer Tom Kirby, beating the Triumph Bonnevilles entered by Syd Lawton.[10] The ‘Hutch’ was a main production race of the season along with the Thruxton 500, so it was very important for manufacturers to establish the racing potential of their recent models. As this was production-based racing open to all entrants, ‘official’ works teams were ineligible; instead, machines were prepared and entered through well-established factory dealers. BSA Lightning Clubmans were ridden by Hailwood (carrying number 1 on the fairing) and factory rider Tony Smith, whilst Triumph Bonnevilles were ridden by World Champion Phil Read and works employee Percy Tait. Conditions were poor and Smith was out of the race at slippery Stowe Corner. With little regard for the rain, Hailwood was achieving laps of 83 mph (134 km/h) to establish his winning lead. After his successes with MV Agusta, Hailwood went back to Honda and won four more world titles in 1966 and 1967 in the 250 cc and 350 cc categories. At the ‘Motor Cycle’ 500 race at Brands Hatch in 1966, Hailwood demonstrated a Honda CB450 Black Bomber fitted with a sports fairing. It was unable to compete in the 500cc category, the FIM deeming it was not classified as a production machine as it had two overhead camshafts.

Hailwood is remembered for his accomplishments at the famed Isle of Man TT. By 1967, he had won 12 times on the island mountain course. He won the most dramatic Isle of Man race of all time, the 1967 Senior TT against his great rival, Giacomo Agostini setting a lap record of 108.77 mph (175.05 km/h) on the Honda RC181, that stood for the next 8 years. After suffering breakdowns in 1967, Hailwood had intended to re-sign for Honda provided the 1968 machinery was to his satisfaction, and had relocated to South Africa where he started a building business with former motorcycle Grand Prix rider Frank Perris, completing their first house in October 1967, also selling one to ex-racer Jim Redman. Hailwood stated to Motorcycle Mechanics that even without suitable machinery from Honda he would not go elsewhere, preferring to retire prematurely and he would in any case finish at the end of the 1968 season. For 1968, Honda pulled out of Grand Prix racing, but paid Hailwood £50,000 (equivalent to over £620,000 or US$1.1m at 2006 prices) not to ride for another team, in expectation of keeping him as its rider upon return to competition.

Hailwood continued to ride Hondas during 1968 and 1969 in selected race meetings without World Championship status including European events in the Temporada Romagnola (Adriatic Season of street-circuits), sometimes wearing an unfamiliar plain-silver helmet, including on a 500 cc engined machine which used frames privately commissioned by Hailwood. Hailwood also appeared in selected UK events, in 1968 appearing in the post-TT race at Mallory Park on a Honda, and in 1969 he participated in the Mallory Park Race of the Year riding a Seeley He had already started to race cars and with no other factory racing teams available to compete against MV Agusta, Hailwood decided to pursue a career in car racing, placing third in the 1969 Le Mans 24-Hour race in France as a co-driver of a Ford GT40 with David Hobbs.

In 1970, Hailwood was again lured back into bike racing, this time by the BSA team riding a Rocket 3 at the Daytona 200 race in Florida, part of a strong BSA/Triumph team. Whilst placed at the head of the field the machine soon failed due to overheating. Hailwood again rode for BSA at the 1971 Daytona race, qualifying on the front row. He led the race but again broke down. Mike’s son David Hailwood completed a demonstration lap of the Isle of Man TT course on 3 June 2002, riding Mike’s Daytona 1971 BSA Rocket 3 carrying large letters ‘H’ instead of a race number. He crashed at low speed when waving to the spectators at Governor’s Bridge, a tight hairpin bend close to the end of the 37-mile course. He became one of the few men to compete at Grand Prix level in both motorcycle and car racing and is regarded by many as one of the greatest racers of all time. Hailwaood sadly died 21 March 1981.

English racing driver and 1991 British Touring Car Champion will Hoy was born 2 April 1952 in Melbourn, Cambridgeshire. Hoy did not begin racing until his late 20s and first raced at international level in 1985, taking on the full World Sportscar Championship including Le Mans. Over the next few years, he raced in an assortment of championships and one-off races, the highlight undoubtedly being second overall in the 1988 All Japan Touring Car Championship. Hoy supplemented his racing career as a fully qualified chartered surveyor, employed first by Bernard Thorpe and latterly by DTZ.

For 1991 he concentrated on the BTCC, in the first season of Super Touring regulations. Although manufacturers including Vauxhall and Toyota had factory entries, the established BMWs were the car to have initially. Will made full use of his opportunity in a car entered by Vic Lee, building a championship lead nobody was able to overhaul. He also won the Willhire 24 Hour at Snetterton in a BMW M3, partnering Ray Bellm and Kurt Luby. For 1992 he was signed by the Toyota team, went into the final round in a three way tussle for the championship but was beaten by Tim Harvey’s BMW. However, the car was not competitive in subsequent seasons, Toyota won once in 1993 with Julian Bailey at Knockhill. The closest Will came was at Silverstone in 1993, when he was punted off onto his roof by team-mate Julian Bailey, an incident remembered for Murray Walker’s commentary line “the car upside down is a Toyota”, a play on the company’s advertising slogan of the time (The car in front is a Toyota).

Despite 2 largely result-free seasons, Will was still an established star, and Renault hired him alongside Alain Menu for 1995. The early part of the season was a disaster, with many mechanical failures and crashes, although in the latter part of the season Will moved up to 4th with 3 race wins, in what was now the fastest car. Hopes of a title push for 1996 was erased by the entry of the 4-wheel drive Audi of Frank Biela. Although Menu was again championship runner-up, Will slipped back to 9th. The BTCC of this era was dominated by high-investment manufacturer teams, largely made up of overseas former single-seater drivers. Like Tim Harvey and Robb Gravett, Will was struggling to remain in a competitive car or make use of it. He went to a fading Ford team for 1997 and 1998. 1997 was somewhat disappointing but 1998 was a much better performance, with Hoy finishing in the top 10 in the championship in one of the least competitive works cars and even picked up a race win at Round 4 at Silverstone. Hoy raced independently for part of 1999, outperforming the rest of the independents in a half-season campaign in the Arena Motorsport Renault Laguna before entering semi-retirement. His last appearance came at Silverstone in 2000 in a Class B Vic Lee Racing Peugeot 306, securing pole position in class for both races, but retired from both races with mechanical failures. Hoy was a commentator for the 2002 BTCC season alongside Ben Edwards in addition to being part of the works Honda BTCC team in a managerial role alongside driver, Andy Priaulx. Tragically In late 2002, Hoy suffered a brain tumour and sadly died 19 December. He is survived by his wife and three children.

Marvin Gaye

American singer songwriter and musician Marvin Gaye was born April 2, 1939.Gaye helped to shape the sound of Motown Records in the 1960s with a string of hits, including “How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You)” and “I Heard It Through the Grapevine”, and duet recordings with Mary Wells and Tammi Terrell, later earning the titles “Prince of Motown” and “Prince of Soul”. During the 1970s, he recorded the concept albums What’s Going On and Let’s Get It On and became one of the first artists in Motown to break away from the reins of its production company. Gaye’s later recordings influenced several R&B subgenres, such as quiet storm and neo-soul.Following a period in Europe as a tax exile in the early 1980s, Gaye released the 1982 Grammy Award-winning hit “Sexual Healing” and the Midnight Love album. Since his death in 1984, Gaye has been posthumously honored by many institutions, including the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Marvin began singing in church at age four and was accompanied by his father on piano. Gaye developed a love of singing at an early age and was encouraged to pursue a professional music career after a performance at a school play. Marvin attended Cardozo High School and joined several doo-wop vocal groups, including the Dippers and the D.C. Tones.The younger Marvin’s relationship with his father worsened during his teenage years .Following an argument in which he stood up against his father, the younger Marvin walked out of the house for good and dropped out of high school. With dreams of being a flyer, 17-year-old Marvin enlisted in the United States Air Force as a Basic Airman. However he faked mental illness and was discharged shortly afterwards. Following his return, Marvin and good friend Reese Palmer formed the vocal quartet The Marquees.The group performed Gaye released his first single, “Let Your Conscience Be Your Guide” in May 1961, with the album, The Soulful Moods of Marvin Gaye, following a month later. The Marquees Were signed to Columbia subsidiary OKeh Records.The group’s sole single, “Wyatt Earp”, failed to chart and the group was soon dropped from the label.

During this period Marvin began composing music and.The Marquees changed their name to Harvey and the “New Moonglows” and recorded several sides for Chess in 1959, including the song “Mama Loocie”, They also found work as session singers for established acts such as Chuck Berry, singing on the hits “Back in the U.S.A.” and “Almost Grown”. In 1960, the group disbanded and Marvin signed as a session musician, playing drums on several Tri-Phi releases. Sadly Gaye’s initial recordings were flops. Gaye spent most of 1961 performing session work as a drummer for artists such as The Miracles, The Marvelettes and blues artist Jimmy Reed.In 1962, Gaye found success as co-writer of the Marvelettes hit, “Beechwood 4-5789” and also released the songs, “Stubborn Kind of Fellow”, “Hitch Hike”and “Pride and Joy” these were included on Gaye’s second album, That Stubborn Kinda Fellow. Gaye performed as part of the Motortown Revue. A performance of Gaye at the Apollo Theater was also filmed. Then signed with Motown subsidiary Tamla and performed of jazz music and standards, having no desire to become an R&B performer.Before the release of his first single, Marvin was teased about his surname, with some jokingly asking, “Is Marvin Gay?” Marvin changed his surname by adding an “e”, following the style of Sam Cooke.

In 1964, Gaye recorded a successful duet album with singer Mary Wells titled Together, including the songs “Once Upon a Time” and “What’s the Matter With You Baby”. Gaye’s next solo hit was “How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You)”. Gaye also appeared on the TV. show American Bandstand and the concert film, The T.A.M.I. Show. Gaye had two number one R&B singles in 1965 with the Miracles-composed “I’ll Be Doggone” and “Ain’t That Peculiar”.After scoring a hit duet, “It Takes Two” with Kim Weston, Gaye began working with Tammi Terrell on a series of duets, mostly composed by Ashford & Simpson, including “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough”, “Your Precious Love”, “Ain’t Nothing Like the Real Thing” and “You’re All I Need to Get By”.”I Heard It through the Grapevine” was recorded by Gaye in April 1967, and became Gaye’s first to reach number one , followed by “Too Busy Thinking About My Baby” and “That’s the Way Love Is”. That year, his album M.P.G. became his first number one R&B album. Gaye produced and co-wrote two hits for The Originals during this period, including “Baby I’m For Real” and “The Bells”.Gaye’s new song “What’s Going On”, was inspired by an idea from Renaldo “Obie” Benson of the Four Tops after he witnessed an act of police brutality at an anti-war rally in Berkeley which became a huge hit. Gaye’s next album What’s Going On featured the singles, “Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology)” and “Inner City Blues”and was described as “the most important and passionate record to come out of soul music, delivered by one of its finest voices”. The album received two Grammy Award nominations and several NAACP Image Awards. Gaye then released the soundtrack and subsequent score, Trouble Man, released in late 1972.In 1973, Gaye released the Let’s Get It On album. Its title track became Gaye’s second number one single.

Other singles from the album included “Come Get to This” and “You Sure Love to Ball”.Marvin’s final duet project, Diana & Marvin, with Diana Ross, garnered international success. Responding to demand from fans and Motown, Gaye went on tour starting AT the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum and this performance received critical acclaim and resulted in the release of the live album, Marvin Gaye Live! and its single, a live version of “Distant Lover”, an album track from Let’s Get It On.Gaye toured throughout 1974 and 1975 and gave a performance at a UNESCO benefit concert at New York’s Radio City Music Hall to support UNESCO’s African literacy drive, resulting in him being commended at the United Nations. Gaye’s next studio album, I Want You, followed in 1976 with the title track becoming a number-one R&B hit. That summer, Gaye embarked on his first European tour in a decade, starting off in England and issued the live album, Live at the London Palladium, featuring the song, “Got to Give It Up”.In December 1978, Gaye issued Here, My Dear, inspired by the fallout of his first marriage to Anna Gordy.

During that period, Gaye became addicted to cocaine and had serious financial problems with the Inland Revenue Service.In 1980, Gaye went on a European tour . After the tour he relocated to London where he feared imprisonment for failure to pay back taxes, which had now reached upwards to $4.5 million.(US$12,880,250 in 2014 dollars. Gaye decided to rework Love Man from its original disco concept to another personal album invoking religion and the possible end time from a chapter in the Book of Revelation entitled In our Lifetime? However the Master Tape was stolen. Motown remixed the album and issued it on January 15, 1981 without permission, prompting Gaye not to record any more music for Motown. In 1981, Gaye relocated to Ostend, Belgium where He began attending a local Ostend church, regaining personal confidence. Following several months of recovery, Gaye sought a comeback onstage, starting the short-lived Heavy Love Affair tour in England and Ostend between June and July 1981.Gaye then released his first post-Motown album titled Midnight Love. The first single, “Sexual Healing”, was released in 1982, and became a huge hit, winning two Grammy Awards and becoming Gaye’s most successful single to date. In 1983 Gaye performed “The Star-Spangled Banner” at the NBA All-Star Game, accompanied by Gordon Banks and also performed at the Motown 25: Yesterday, Today, Forever special and also made his final TV Performance on Soul Train. Gaye embarked on his final concert tour, titled the Sexual Healing Tour, in 1983 in San Diego, California. Midnight Love was nominated for a Grammy in the Best Male R&B Vocal Performance, his fourteenth and final nomination.

Sadly on April 1 1984, Gaye was shot twice by his Father and was rushed to California Hospital Medical Center but was pronounced dead on arrival. Gaye died a day before turning 45.The gun with which Marvin Gaye, Sr. shot his son was given to him by Marvin as a Christmas present.Following his funeral, Marvin was cremated with part of his ashes spread near the Pacific Ocean. Since then Marvin’s fans have held vigils for the singer at the final residence to celebrate the day of his birth. Marvin was the father of three children, Marvin III, Nona and Frankie, and the grandfather of three boys, Marvin IV, Nolan and Dylan. At the time of his death, he was survived by his three children, parents and five siblings.

World Autism Awareness Day

World Autism Awareness Day is an internationally recognised day on the 2nd of April every year, encouraging Member States of the United Nations to take measures to raise awareness about children with autism throughout the world. It was designated by the United Nations General Assembly resolution “62/139. World Autism Awareness Day”, passed in council on November 1, 2007, and adopted on December 18, 2007. It was proposed by the United Nations representative from Qatar, Her Highness Sheikha Mozah Bint Nasser Al-Missned, Consort of His Highness Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani, the Emir of the State of Qatar, and supported by all member states.

This resolution was passed and adopted without a vote in the UN General Assembly, mainly as a supplement to previous UN initiatives to improve human rights.Since its inception autism awareness and research around the world has boomed as a result. World Autism Day is also one of only four official health-specific UN Days. The day itself brings individual autism organizations together all around the world to aid in things like research, diagnoses, treatment, and overall awareness for those with the disorder and looking for help.

The First autism Awareness Day was hosted by the UN branches around the world. With events being held at the United Nations Headquarters in New York. These events included a panel discussion sponsored by Qatar and the UN representative responsible for the resolution, along with the World Health Organization and the NGO Autism Speaks. In addition, there was a briefing concerning topics relating to autism awareness. Both of these events focused on personal efforts for awareness raising and eliminating negative stigma associated with autism. In addition, it highlighted the struggles of people with autism and mentioned the importance of better understanding the disorder.

Autism Speaks is one of the largest non-governmental organizations and aims to raise awareness to autism, further research, and act as an advocate to those with the disorder. This group is considered to lead the field in science and advocacy, and is a leader in research dealing with causes, prevention, treatments and cures. They also act as a large support system for families of an autistic person. Light It Up Blue is another event proposed by Autism Speaks. It is observed on WAAD, and is a dedication to autism awareness. The Power of One March is a unique night-time march in Washington, D.C. to mark World Autism Awareness Day, The march aims to unify the autism awareness community and provide a time of healing and peace around the globe. Attendees may choose which organization they want to march for with proceeds of LED bracelet sales going to the organization of their choosing.

In Canada Autism Ontario celebrates World Autism Awareness Day by “Raising a Flag” for autism. Municipalities around Ontario raise a flag to raise awareness for autism in their region. In 2014 WAAD coincided with Onesie Wednesday, a day created by the National Autistic Society to encourage people in England, Wales and Northern Ireland to show their support for anyone on the autistic spectrum By wearing a onesie or pyjamaS. The Autism Flour Power Challenge was also launched 1 April 2016 to raise autism awareness by encouraging participants to blow into a bowl of flour and have it cover their face. The United States is a major proponent of human rights and In 2015 President Obama highlighted some of the initiatives that the US government was taking to bring rights to those with autism and to bring awareness to the disorder. He highlighted things like The Affordable Care Act, which prohibits health insurance companies from denying coverage based on a pre-existing condition such as autism. He also pointed out the recent Autism CARES Act of 2014, which provides higher level training for those serving citizens on the autism spectrum.

Hans Christian Anderson

International Children’s Book Day takes place on 2nd April to mark the birthday of author Hans Christian Anderson. It is sponsored by the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY), an international non-profit organization. Founded in 1967, and is observed on or around the anniversary of Hans Christian Andersen’s birthday, in order to to inspire a love of reading and to call attention to children’s books.

Each year a different National Section of IBBY has the opportunity to be the international sponsor of ICBD. It decides upon a theme and invites a prominent author from the host country to write a message to the children of the world and a well-known illustrator to design a poster. These materials are used in different ways to promote books and reading. Many IBBY Sections promote ICBD through the media and organize activities in schools and public libraries. Often ICBD is linked to celebrations around children’s books and other special events that may include encounters with authors and illustrators, writing competitions or announcements of book awards. Other activities include writing competitions, announcements of book awards and events with authors of children’s literature.

HANS CHRISTIAN ANDERSEN

Danish author and poet Hans Christian Andersen was born April 2, 1805. Andersen is best remembered for his fairy tales, a literary genre he so mastered that he himself has become as mythical as the tales he wrote. Although he was also z prolific writer of plays, travelogues and novels. Andersen’s popularity is not limited to children either; his stories—called eventyr, or “fantastic tales”—express themes that transcend age and nationality. very early fairy tale by Andersen called The Tallow Candle (Danish: Tællelyset) is about a candle who did not feel appreciated. In 1829, Andersen enjoyed considerable success with a short story titled A Journey on Foot from Holmen’s Canal to the East Point of Amager. In the book, the protagonist meets characters ranging from Saint Peter to a talking cat. He followed this success with a theatrical piece, Love on St. Nicholas Church Tower and a short volume of poems. At Jura, near Le Locle, Switzerland, he wrote the story, Agnete and the Merman. He spent an evening in the Italian seaside village of Sestri Levante the same year, inspiring the name, The Bay of Fables. It was during 1835 that Andersen published the first installment of his immortal Fairy Tales (Danish: Eventyr; lit. “fantastic tales”).

More stories, completing the first volume, were published in 1836 and 1837. The collection consists of nine tales that includes The Tinderbox, The Princess and the Pea, Thumbelina, The Little Mermaid, and The Emperor’s New Clothes. The quality of these stories was not immediately recognized, and they sold poorly. At the same time, Andersen enjoyed more success with two novels, O.T. (1836) and Only a Fiddler (1837); the latter was reviewed by the young Søren Kierkegaard. in July 1839 during a visit to the island of Funen that Andersen first wrote the text of his poem, Jeg er en Skandinav (I am a Scandinavian). Andersen returned to the fairy tale genre in 1838 with another collection, Fairy Tales Told for Children (1838) (Eventyr, fortalte for Børn. Ny Samling.), which consists of The Daisy, The Steadfast Tin Soldier, and The Wild Swans. 1845 heralded a breakthrough for Andersen with the publication of four different translations of his fairy tales. The Little Mermaid appeared in the popular periodical Bentley’s Miscellany. It was followed by a second volume, Wonderful Stories for Children. Two other volumes enthusiastically received were A Danish Story Book and Danish Fairy Tales and Legends.Andersen would continue to write fairy tales until 1872.

Some of his most famous fairy tales include: The Angel, The Bell,The Emperor’s New Clothes, The Galoshes of Fortune, The Fir Tree, The Happy Family, The Ice-Maiden “, It’s Quite True! The Little Match Girl, The Little Mermaid, Little Tuck, The Nightingale, The Old House, Sandman, The Princess and the Pea, Several Things, The Red Shoes,The Shadow, The Shepherdess and the Chimney Sweep, The Snow Queen, The Steadfast Tin Soldier, The Story of a Mother, The Swineherd, Thumbelina, The Tinderbox, The Ugly Duckling, The Wild Swans

Hans Christian Anderson sadly passed away on 4th August 1875 in Copenhagen, Denmark, but During his lifetime he delighted children worldwide and was feted by royalty. Andersen’s fairy tales have been translated into more than 125 languages and are culturally embedded in the West’s collective consciousness, readily accessible to children, but presenting lessons of virtue and resilience in the face of adversity for mature readers as well. His stories laid the groundwork for other children’s classics, such as Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame and Winnie the Pooh by A.A. Milne. The technique of making inanimate objects, such as toys, come to life (Little Ida’s Flowers) would later be used by Lewis Carroll and Beatrix Potter. In the English-speaking world, his fairy tales remain immensely popular and are widely read. The Emperor’s New Clothes and The Ugly Duckling have both become household words. Many of his story’s have also inspired motion pictures, plays, ballets, and animated films

C.S. Forester

English novelist Cecil Scott “C. S.” Forester (Cecil Louis Troughton Smith) sadly died 2 April 1966. He was born 27 August 1899  in Cairo and, moved with his mother to London and was educated at Alleyn’s School, Dulwich College, south London, and Guy’s Hospital, London, but did not complete his studies. “Forester had always worn glasses and been thin. Later, trying to enlist in the army he failed his physical and was told there was not a chance that we would be accepted even though he was of good height and somewhat athletic. In about 1921, after studying medicine for several years, he began writing seriously using his pen name.” During World War II, Forester moved to the United States where he worked for the British Information Service and wrote propaganda to encourage the US to join the Allies. He eventually settled in Berkeley, California. While living in Washington, D.C., he met a young British intelligence officer named Roald Dahl, whose experiences in the RAF he had heard of, and encouraged him to write about them. In 1947, he secretly married a woman named Dorothy Foster.

Forester was a prolific author and wrote many novels, among them the 12-book Horatio Hornblower series, depicting a Royal Navy officer during the Napoleonic era, His novels A Ship of the Line and Flying Colours were jointly awarded the 1938 James Tait Black Memorial Prize for fiction. He also wrote the African Queen (1935) and The General (1936); Peninsular War novels in Death to the French (published in the United States as Rifleman Dodd) and The Gun (filmed as The Pride and the Passion in 1957); and many seafaring stories that did not involve Hornblower, such as Brown on Resolution (1929); The Captain from Connecticut (1941); The Ship (1943) and Hunting the Bismarck (1959), which was used as the basis of the screenplay for the 1960 film Sink the Bismarck! Several of his works were filmed, most notably the 1951 film The African Queen, directed by John Huston. Forester is also credited as story writer for several movies not based on his published fiction, including Commandos Strike at Dawn (1942).

Forester also wrote several volumes of short stories set during the Second World War. Those in The Nightmare (1954) were based on events in Nazi Germany, ending at the Nuremberg Trials. Stories in The Man in the Yellow Raft (1969) followed the career of the destroyer USS Boon, while many of those in Gold from Crete (1971) followed the destroyer HMS Apache. The last of the stories in the latter book – “If Hitler had invaded England” – offers an imagined sequence of events starting with Hitler’s attempt to implement Operation Sea Lion, and culminating in the early military defeat of Nazi Germany in the summer of 1941. His non-fiction seafaring works include The Age of Fighting Sail (1956), an account of the sea battles between Great Britain and the United States in the War of 1812. In addition to his novels of seafaring life, Forester also published two crime novels, Payment Deferred (1926), and Plain Murder (1930),

He also wrote children’s books. One, Poo-Poo and the Dragons (1942), as a series of stories told to his younger son George to encourage him to finish his meals. George had mild food allergies that kept him feeling unwell, and he needed encouragement to eat. The second, The Barbary Pirates (1953), is a children’s history of those early 19th-century pirates. He can be seen as a contestant on 1 November 1956 edition of You Bet Your Life, commenting that his latest book is The Age of Fighting Sail. His novels still remain popular and in 2003 a “lost” novel of Forester’s, The Pursued, was discovered and bought at an auction and published by Penguin Classics on 3 November 2011. British author Roald Dahl’s writing career began after he met Forester in early 1942. According to Dahl’s autobiographical Lucky Break, Forester asked Dahl about his experiences as a fighter pilot. This prompted Dahl to write his first story, “A Piece of Cake.