Steam Railway DVD’s

Unseen Steam -1967 The last full year of steam

I have recently watched a few steam DVD’s including Unseen Steam -1967 The last full year of steam. This features rare archive footage from the online transport archive Taken during 1967. This was the last full year of Steam Workings on British Railways before being banned. This DVD Features many steam locomotives including Stanier 8f 48697 on the RCTS Wrexham Mold and Connah Quay Railway railtour.

Other steam locomotives featured include BR Standard Pacific no. 70013 Oliver Cromwell, BR Britannia Class 70000 “Britannia”, Jubilee Class Locomotive “Kolhapur”, Rebuilt SR Pacific locomotives, LNER Greseley k4 no. 61994 “The “Great Marquess”. Unrebuilt SR Pacific locomotives 21C123 “Blackmore Vale”,  unrebuilt SR West Country class Pacific locomotive 34019 “Bideford”. Standard class 4, SR Merchant Navy class Pacific Locomotive, BR Standard Class 9 locomotive 92003 “Black Prince”, Stanier Black 5 45xxx, an LNER A4 Pacific on Greyrigg Bank and GWR 4-6-0 4079 “Pendennis castle” on the Birkenhead flyer plus many more.

Pacifics in Preservation

I have also watched Pacifics in Preservation which features Pacific Locomotives (4-6-2 wheel arrangement) which were seen as the most glamourous steam engines and were often found heading the most prestigious of express passenger trains of their day.

Several surviving examples of pacific design are seen in action in this programme including a Princess Coronation class no. 6201 Princess Elizabeth, 6233 Princess Margaret Rose, A4 class 60009 Bittern, 60019 Union of South Africa, 60007 Sir Nigel Gresley, Sandard class 7 70013 Oliver Cromwell. Southern Region Merchant Navy class “Clan Line”, west country class “Eddystone, 34082 and Battle of Britain class “92 Squadron” which was recently at the Severn Valley Railway’s Spring Steam Gala.

Unseen steam-The Glorious Years

This Heritage DVD features archive footage of steam engines during the 1950’s and 1960’s. including Steam Engines working on the sea front at Dawlish Warren, The Brunel Centenary, which took place in 1959 to commemorate the Royal Albert Bridge in Plymouth, the isle of Wight , Raynes Park Station and elsewhere. It Features appearances by standard class 5 locomotive No. 76012, A1 class no.60037, Jubilee Class locomotives, GWR 0-6-0 Pannier tank engines, SR West Country class Pacifics, and A4 2-6-4 Pacifics, the Highland Railway 103 Jones Goods locomotive at Helmsdale in the Scottish Highlands and SR West Country class Pacific no.34052 Lord Dowding among many others.

International Dance Day

International Dance Day is celebrated annually, on April 29. It was introduced in 1982 by the International Dance Council (CID, Conseil International de la Danse), a UNESCO partner NGO. The date is not linked to a particular person or a particular form of dance, although it’s also the day when the French dancer and ballet master Jean-Georges Noverre was born. The main purpose of Dance Day events is to attract the attention of the wider public to the art of dance, which being a part of every culture, constitutes the ideal means for bringing together people from different countries and to address people who do not follow dance events. The president of the International Dance Council also sends the official message for Dance Day to every country around the world and it is posted at the official website for Dance Day.

The International Dance Council considers that while dance is an integral part of human culture, it is less prioritized by official establishments in the world. Professor Alkis Raftis, president of the International Dance Council, said in his 2003 Dance Day Message that In more than half of the 200 countries in the world, dance does not appear in legal texts and There are no funds allocated in the state budget to support this art form.

The focus of Dance Day for 2005 was on primary education. International Dance Council urged dance establishments to contact the Ministries of Education with the proposals to celebrate this day at all schools with writing essays about dance, drawing dance pictures, dancing in the streets, etc. The 2006 message addressed the reluctance of dancers to join collective organizations, expresses an opinion that this is a major reason of the lack of the due recognition (legislation, financing, visibility) of dance in society, and calls: “Dancers of the world, unite!” The 2007 Dance Day was dedicated to children.

Individual Dancers struggle to approach Government, Sponsors and the media and often achieve poor results, so in 2008, Alkis Raftis circulated an e-mail aimed at Governments (national, regional or local), sponsors (private or public) and the media (newspapers, magazines, radio, TV) stating that they are the three most important factors affecting the practice of Dance and proposed a better way to advertise dance through CID Sections representing all forms of dance, all levels, all functions”

The United Nations proclaimed 2010 as International Year for the Rapprochement of Cultures and designated UNESCO as lead agency, having regard to its experience of more than 60 years in advancing the mutual knowledge and understanding of peoples. The new Director-General of UNESCO Irina Bokova, proposed a universal vision, which she called the “new humanism” – a vision open to the entire human community, providing a humanist response to globalization and crisis, aiming at the safeguarding of social cohesion and the preservation of peace. Dance Festivals also promote reciprocal knowledge and respect of diversity in the most lively manner.

Teachers offering classes in foreign countries provide immediate bridges of understanding ingrained into the bodies of dancers; there are tens of thousands of dance teachers crossing national borders yearly. Many people also attend dance festivals yearly Congresses and open conferences also provide opportunities to showcase one’s work to an audience of peers; there are dozens of international meetings of dance researchers, historians and critics in any given year. Attending festivals, classes or conferences and watching a dance from a foreign country is another way to vividly illustrate cultural diversity, Also In 2014, a flashmob of around 50 classical dancers also got together to perform.

Ludwig Wittgenstein

The Austrian-born philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein, sadly died 29 April 1951. He was born 26th April 1889 and worked primarily in logic, the philosophy of mathematics, the philosophy of mind, and the philosophy of language, and was professor in philosophy at the University of Cambridge from 1939 until 1947. During his lifetime he published just one book review, one article, a children’s dictionary, and the 75-page Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus. In 1999 his posthumously published Philosophical Investigations was ranked as the most important book of 20th-century philosophy, standing out as “…the one crossover masterpiece in twentieth-century philosophy, appealing across diverse specializations and philosophical orientations”. He was Born in Vienna into one of Europe’s wealthiest families, he gave away his entire inheritance. Three of his brothers committed suicide, with Ludwig contemplating it too.

He left academia several times: serving as an officer on the frontline during World War I, where he was decorated a number of times for his courage; teaching in schools in remote Austrian villages, where he encountered controversy for hitting children when they made mistakes in mathematics; and working during World War II as a hospital porter in London, where he told patients not to take the drugs they were prescribed, and where no-one knew he was one of the world’s most famous philosophers. He described philosophy, however, as “the only work that gives me real satisfaction.” His philosophy is often divided between his early period, exemplified by the Tractatus, and later period, articulated in the Philosophical Investigations. The early Wittgenstein was concerned with the logical relationship between propositions and the world, and believed that by providing an account of the logic underlying this relationship he had solved all philosophical problems. The later Wittgenstein rejected many of the conclusions of the Tractatus, arguing that the meaning of words is constituted by the function they perform within any given language-game.

Wittgenstein’s influence has been felt in nearly every field of the humanities and social sciences, yet there are widely diverging interpretations of his thought. In the words of his friend and colleague Georg Henrik von Wright: “He was of the opinion… that his ideas were generally misunderstood and distorted even by those who professed to be his disciples. He doubted he would be better understood in the future. He once said he felt as though he were writing for people who would think in a different way, breathe a different air of life, from that of present-day men.” He is buried at the Ascension Parish Burial Ground in Cambridge. his legacy lives on and In 1999 the Investigations was ranked as the most important book of 20th-century philosophy, standing out as “…the one crossover masterpiece in twentieth-century philosophy, appealing across diverse specializations and philosophical orientations”.

Duke Ellington

American composer, pianist, and big-band leader Duke Ellington was Born 29th April in 1899. During his life he wrote over 1,000 compositions. In the opinion of Bob Blumenthal of The Boston Globe “In the century since his birth, there has been no greater composer, American or otherwise, than Ellington.” A major figure in the history of jazz, Ellington’s music stretched into various other genres, including blues, gospel, film scores, popular, and classical. His career spanned more than 50 years and included leading his orchestra, composing an inexhaustible songbook, scoring for movies, composing stage musicals, and world tours. Several of his instrumental works were adapted into songs that became standards.

Due to his inventive use of the orchestra, or big band, and thanks to his eloquence and extraordinary charisma, he is generally considered to have elevated the perception of jazz to an art form on a par with other traditional genres of music. His reputation increased after his death and the Pulitzer Prize Board bestowed on him a special posthumous honor in 1999. Ellington called his music “American Music” rather than jazz, and liked to describe those who impressed him as “beyond category.” These included many of the musicians who were members of his orchestra, some of whom are considered among the best in jazz in their own right, but it was Ellington who melded them into one of the most well-known jazz orchestral units in the history of jazz.

He often composed specifically for the style and skills of these individuals, such as “Jeep’s Blues” for Johnny Hodges, “Concerto for Cootie” for Cootie Williams, which later became “Do Nothing Till You Hear from Me” with Bob Russell’s lyrics, and “The Mooche” for Tricky Sam Nanton and Bubber Miley. He also recorded songs written by his bandsmen, such as Juan Tizol’s “Caravan” and “Perdido” which brought the “Spanish Tinge” to big-band jazz. Several members of the orchestra remained there for several decades. After 1941, he frequently collaborated with composer-arranger-pianist Billy Strayhorn, whom he called his “writing and arranging companion.” Ellington recorded for many American record companies, and appeared in several films. Ellington led his band from 1923 until his death in 1974. His son Mercer Ellington, who had already been handling all administrative aspects of his father’s business for several decades, led the band until his own death in 1996. At that point, the original band dissolved. Paul Ellington, Mercer’s youngest son and executor of the Duke Ellington estate, kept the Duke Ellington Orchestra going from Mercer’s death onwards

Day of Remembrance for all victims of Chemical Warfare

The Day of Remembrance for all Victims of Chemical Warfare takes place annually on April 29 as a “tribute to the victims of chemical warfare, as well as to reaffirm the commitment of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) to the elimination of the threat of chemical weapons, thereby promoting the goals of peace, security, and multilateralism.” April 29 was chosen as the date for the event’s celebration because the Chemical Weapons Convention entered into force 29 April 1997. It is officially recognised by the United Nations (UN) and has been celebrated since 2005. On the 2013 observance day, the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon Urged the international community to intensify efforts to rid the world of chemical weapons, along with all other weapons of mass destruction and also urged them to work together to bring all States under the Convention and promote its full implementation to honour past victims and liberate future generations from the threat of chemical weapons.

In 2005, during the last day of the United Nations’ Tenth Session of the Conference of the State Parties, the members of the UN officially recognised the Day of Remembrance for all Victims of Chemical Warfare, following a suggestion by Rogelio Pfirter, Director-General of the Secretariat and proposed the erection of a monument at the Hague commemorating all victims of chemical warfare

Although the majority of the world has either given up or destroyed their stockpiles of chemical weapons as of 2013, several nations have yet to do so. Five of these, Angola, Burma, Egypt, Israel, and North Korea, have not ratified the Convention and are suspected to possess chemical weapons. Syria is also known to possess a sizeable stockpile and Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon noted this in his 2013 speech, condemning the nation for its alleged exploitation of chemical weapons in its ongoing civil war. On September 14, 2013 the United States and Russia announced in Geneva that they reached a deal whereby Syria would ratify the treaty and give up its chemical weapons. The Syrian government has been cooperating and as of November 2013, all but one of Syria’s 23 publicly declared chemical weapon sites have been visited by international inspectors that are dismantling the Syrian chemical weapons program.

Alfred Hitchcock

Prolific British film director and Producer, Alfred Hitchcock KBE, sadly passed away 29 April 1980. He was born 13 August 1899 in Leytonstone, London and during a career spanning more than half a century, Hitchcock directed more than fifty feature films, many of them psychological thrillers. Among his most famous films are Rebecca, North By Northwest, Notorious, The Birds, Psycho, Jamaica Inn, Rear Window, Rope, The Man Who Knew Too Much, Vertigo and Marnie.

During his career. Hitchcock also developed many pioneering techniques in the suspense and psychological thriller genres during which he created a distinctive and recognisable directorial style. He pioneered the use of a camera made to move in a way that mimics a person’s gaze, forcing viewers to engage in a form of voyeurism. He framed shots to maximise anxiety, fear, or empathy, and used innovative film editing. His stories frequently feature fugitives on the run from the law alongside “icy blonde” female characters. Many of Hitchcock’s films have twist endings and thrilling plots featuring depictions of violence, murder, and crime, although many of the mysteries function as decoys meant only to serve thematic elements in the film and the extremely complex psychological examinations of the characters. Hitchcock’s films also borrow many themes from psychoanalysis and feature strong sexual undertones. Through his cameo appearances in his own films, interviews, film trailers, and the television program Alfred Hitchcock Presents, he became a cultural icon.

Alfred Hitchcock has left a long lasting legacy in the form of some fantastic films including Rebecca, Notorious, Saboteur, Spellbound, Psycho, Rope, The Birds, North by Northwest, Marnie, Vertigo, Rear Window, The Man Who Knew Too Much and Frenzy. He also came first in a 2007 poll of film critics in Britain’s Daily Telegraph, which said of him: “Unquestionably the greatest filmmaker to emerge from these islands, Hitchcock did more than any director to shape modern cinema, which would be utterly different without him. His flair was for narrative, cruelly withholding crucial information (from his characters and from us) and engaging the emotions of the audience like no one else.” The magazine MovieMaker also described him as the most influential filmmaker of all time, and he is widely regarded as one of cinema’s most significant artists. Many of his films still remain popular today and are often shown on television.