Cozy Powell

Drumming Legend, Cozy Powell (Colin Flook) sadly died on 5 April 1998 following a car accident while driving his Saab 9000 in bad weather on the M4 motorway near Bristol. Powell was ejected through the windshield and died at the scene . at the time of the crash Powell’s blood-alcohol reading was over the legal limit, and he was not wearing a seatbelt, in addition to talking with his girlfriend on his mobile phone. The official investigation also found evidence of a slow puncture in a rear tyre. It was suggested, that this could well have caused a sudden collapse of the tyre with a consequent loss of control of the car

He was born 29 December 1947 in Cirencester, Gloucestershire, England, and started playing drums at age 12 in the school orchestra, thereafter playing along in his spare time to popular singles of the day. The first band he was in, called the Corals, played each week at the youth club in Cirencester. At age 15 he had already worked out an impressive drum solo. The stage name ‘Cozy’ was borrowed from the jazz drummer Cozy Cole.The semi-professional circuit was next, with semi-pro outfit The Sorcerers, a vocal harmony pop band. The late nights and usual on-the-road exploits began to affect his education, and Powell left to take an office job in order to finance the purchase of his first set of Premier drums. The Sorcerers performed in the German club scene of the 1960s.

By 1968 the band had returned to England, basing themselves around Birmingham. Powell struck up friendships with fellow musicians like Robert Plant and John Bonham(both at the time unknowns in Listen), future Slade vocalist Noddy Holder, bassist Dave Pegg and a young Tony Iommi. The Sorcerers now became Youngblood, and a series of singles were released in late 1968–69. The group then linked up with the Move bassist/singer Ace Kefford to form The Ace Kefford Stand. Five recorded tracks are available on the Ace Kefford album ‘Ace The Face’ released by Sanctuary Records in 2003. Powell also began session work. Powell with fellow Sorcerers Dave and Denny Ball formed Big Bertha.powell also played with swamp rocker Tony Joe White at the Isle of Wight Festival 1970. Powell then landed the then highly prestigious drumming job with Jeff Beck’s group in April 1970. Their first project was to record an album of Motown covers in the USA. This was never finished and remains unreleased. After the recording of two albums, Rough and Ready (October 1971) and Jeff Beck Group (July 1972), the band fell apart. ln 1972′

Powell drummed for two tracks (“Hey Sandy” and “Martha”) on Harvey Andrews’ album Writer of Songs. By late 1972 he had joined up with the Ball brothers and singer Frank Aiello to form Bedlam, whose eponymous album was recorded for Chrysalis and released in August 1973. Eventually Powell abandoned Bedlam to record two singles including “Dance with the Devil”, which reached #3 in the UK singles chart during January 1974. The song was his only solo hit in the United States, peaking at #49. The track featured Suzi Quatro on bass. Powell’s second hit during 1974 was with “The Man in Black”, which reached a respectable #18.Arrows front man Alan Merrill, also a RAK records artist, played electric bass on ‘”The Man In Black’” and the b-side ‘”After Dark.” Jeff Beck’s studio producer was Mickie Most and Powell soon found himself drafted into sessions for artists signed to Most’s RAK label, including Julie Felix, Hot Chocolate, Donovan and Suzi Quatro. To cash in on his chart success the drummer formed Cozy Powell’s Hammer in April 1974. The line-up included Bernie Marsden (guitar), Clive Chamen (bass), Don Airey (keyboards) and Frank Aiello (Bedlam) on vocals. Clive Chamen was replaced on bass by Neil Murray in the band in early 1975 for the RAK Rocks Britain Tour. “Na Na Na” was a UK #10 hit, and another single “Le Souk” was recorded but never released

n 1975 he joined Rainbow. Powell and Ritchie Blackmore were the only constants in the band’s line-up over the next five years, as Blackmore evolved the sound of the band from a neo-classical hard rock to a more commercial AOR sound. Rainbow’s 1979 Down to Earth LP (from which singles “Since You Been Gone” and “All Night Long” are taken) proved to be the band’s most successful album thus far; however, Powell was concerned over the overtly commercial sound. Powell decided to leave Rainbow, although not before they headlined the first ever Monsters of Rock show at Castle Donington, England on 16 August 1980. The festival was Powell’s last show with the band. After Powell left Rainbow he worked with vocalist Graham Bonnet (he too an ex-Rainbow member) on Bonnet’s new project calledGraham Bonnet & The Hooligans, their most notable single being the UK top 10 single “Night Games” (1981), also on Bonnet’s soloLine Up album. For the rest of the 1980s, Powell assumed short-term journeyman roles with a number of major bands — Michael Schenker Group from 1981 to 1982, and Whitesnake from 1982 to 1985. In 1985 he started recording with Phenomena for their first album, which was released in 1986, when he joined up with Keith Emerson and Greg Lake as a member of Emerson, Lake & Powell. Powell worked with Gary Moore in 1989, followed by stints with Black Sabbath from 1988 to 1991, and again in 1994–1995.

Between late 1992 and early 1993, Powell put together an occasional touring band using the old band name ‘Cozy Powell’s Hammer’ featuring himself on drums, Neil Murray on bass, Mario Parga on guitar and Tony Martin on vocals and occasional rhythm guitar/synth module. The band performed throughout Europe and appeared on German television. Powell along with Neil Murray were members of Brian May’s band, playing on the Back to the Light and Another World albums. Cozy played with May opening for Guns N’ Roses on the second American leg of their Use Your Illusion tour in 1993. The duo also served a spell with blues guitarist Peter Green in the mid-nineties. Cozy’s last recording session was for Colin Blunstone’s The Light Inside, alongside Don Airey, which was released shortly after Cozy’s death.

Prior to his death in 1998, Cozy had pulled out of a tour with Swedish guitarist Yngwie Malmsteen due to an injury and was preparing to tour with Brian May. The final solo album by Cozy Powell Especially for You was released in 1998 after his death, and featured American vocalist John West, Neil Murray, Lonnie Park, Michael Casswell and others. Powell had a fascination with fast cars and motorbikes, and raced for Hitachi on the UK saloon car circuit for a few months.He also made headlines, when he appeared on the BBC children’s programme Record Breakers, where he set a World Record for the most number of drums played simultaneously And During his career Powell had been the drummer on at least 66 albums with minor contributions on many other recordings. Many rock drummers have cited him as a major influence

Kurt Cobain

Best known as the lead singer and guitarist of the Seattle grunge band Nirvana, the Late great American singer-songwriter, musician and vocalist Kurt Cobain tragically committed suicide 5 April 1994. Born 20 February 1967 Cobain formed grunge band Nirvana with Krist Novoselic in Aberdeen, Washington in 1985 and established it as part of the Seattle music scene. Nirvana’s debut album Bleach was released in 1989. Nirvana’s classic second album Nevermind was released in 1991 and contained the songs “Smells Like Teen Spirit”, “Come as You Are” “In Bloom“ and “Lithium“. A 20th Anniversary edition of the album was also released in 2011 which in addition to the original album also features a second disc full of rarities, Alternative versions, outtakes and accoustic versions.

Following the success of Nevermind, Nirvana was labeled “the flagship band” of Generation X, and Cobain hailed as “the spokesman of a generation”. Cobain however was often uncomfortable and frustrated, believing his message and artistic vision to have been misinterpreted by the public, with his personal issues often subject to media attention. He challenged Nirvana’s audience with its final studio album In Utero (1993). During the last years of his life, Cobain struggled with heroin addiction, illness and depression. He also had difficulty coping with his fame and public image, and the professional and lifelong personal pressures surrounding himself and his wife, musician Courtney Love. However it was not until 8 April 1994 that Cobain was found dead at his home in Seattle, the victim of what was officially ruled a suicide by a self-inflicted shotgun wound to the head. The circumstances of his death have been a topic of public fascination and debate ever since.

Nirvana, with Cobain as a songwriter, have sold over 25 million albums in the US alone, and over 50 million worldwide. Cobain has been remembered as one of the most iconic rock musicians in the history of alternative music. He was ranked by Rolling Stone as the 12th greatest guitarist and 45th greatest singer of all time, and by MTV as 7th in the “22 Greatest Voices in Music”. In 2006, he was placed at number twenty by Hit Parader on their list of the “100 Greatest Metal Singers of All Time”. Reflecting on Cobain’s death over ten years later, MSNBC’s Eric Olsen wrote, “In the intervening decade, Cobain, a small, frail but handsome man in life, has become an abstract Generation X icon, viewed by many as the ‘last real rock star, a messiah and martyr whose every utterance has been plundered and parsed”.

In 2005, a sign was put up in Aberdeen, Washington, that read “Welcome to Aberdeen – Come As You Are” as a tribute to Cobain. The sign was paid for and created by the Kurt Cobain Memorial Committee, a non-profit organization created in May 2004 to honour Cobain. The Committee planned to create a Kurt Cobain Memorial Park and a youth center in Aberdeen. Because Cobain was cremated and his remains scattered into the Wishkah River in Washington, many Nirvana fans visit Viretta Park, near Cobain’s former Lake Washington home, to pay tribute. On the anniversary of his death, fans gather in the park to celebrate his life and memory. In 2006, Cobain took the place of Elvis Presley as the top-earning deceased celebrity, after the sale of the Nirvana song catalogue. Presley reclaimed the spot in 2007. There is also A monument to Cobain in Aberdeen along the Wishkah River, and The monument and bridge have both become popular places for fans to leave tributes. Gus Van Sant loosely based his 2005 movie Last Days on the events in the final days of Cobain’s life. In January 2007, Courtney Love began to shop the biography Heavier Than Heaven to various movie studios in Hollywood to turn the book into an A-list feature film about Cobain and Nirvana. A film entitled Montage of Heck about Cobain was also released.

Anthony Horowitz


Prolific Author Anthony Horowitz OBE was born in Stanmore, Middlesex, on 5April 1955 From an early age Horowitz enjoyed reading books from his father’s library. At the age of 8, Horowitz was sent to Orley Farm, a boarding preparatory school in Harrow, Middlesex. There, he entertained his peers by telling them the stories he had read. Horowitz described his time in the school as “a brutal experience”. At age 13 he went on to Rugby School, a public school in Rugby, Warwickshire, and discovered a love for writing. Horowitz’s mother introduced him to Frankenstein and Dracula. She also gave him a human skull for his 13th birthday. From the age of 8, Horowitz knew he wanted to be a writer, realizing “the only time when I’m totally happy is when I’m writing”. He graduated from the University of York with a lower second class degree in English literature and art history in 1977, where he was in Vanbrugh College. Horowitz’s father was associated with some of the politicians in the “circle” of prime minister Harold Wilson, including Eric Miller.Facing bankruptcy, he moved his assets into Swiss numbered bank accounts. He died from cancer when his son Anthony was 22, and the family was never able to track down the missing money

IMG_5645Anthony Horowitz published his first book, The Sinister Secret of Frederick K Bower, in 1979. This was a humorous adventure for children. In 1981 his second novel, Misha, the Magician and the Mysterious Amulet was published and he moved to Paris to write his third book. In 1983 the first of the Pentagram series, The Devil’s Door-Bell, was released. This story saw Martin Hopkins battling an ancient evil that threatened the whole world. Only three of four remaining stories in the series were ever written: The Night of the Scorpion (1984), The Silver Citadel (1986) and Day of the Dragon (1986). In 1985, he released Myths and Legends, In 1988, Horowitz published Groosham Grange which won the 1989 Lancashire Children’s Book of the Year Award and was partially based on the years Horowitz spent at boarding school. Its central character is a thirteen-year-old “witch”, David Eliot, gifted as the seventh son of a seventh son. Like Horowitz’s, Eliot’s childhood is unhappy In 1987 Horowitz published Adventurer and Starting Out in 1990. In 1986 Horowitz published The Falcons Malteser, the first of the successful Diamond Brothers series. It was filmed for television in 1989 as Just Ask for Diamond, with an all star cast that included Bill Paterson, Jimmy Nail, Roy Kinnear, Susannah York, Michael Robbins and Patricia Hodge, and featured Colin Dale and Dursley McLinden as Nick and Tim Diamond. It was followed in 1987 with Public Enemy Number Two, and by South by South East in 1991 followed by The French Confection, I Know What You Did Last Wednesday, The Blurred Man and most recently The Greek Who Stole Christmas.

IMG_5646During the 1990’s Horowitz wrote many stand-alone novels including Granny, a comedy thriller about an evil grandmother. The Switch, a body swap story, first published in 1996 andThe Devil and His Boy, which is set in the Elizabethan era and explores the rumour of Elizabeth I’s secret son. Horowitz also wrote The Unholy Grail which was published as a sequel to Groosham Grange but was renamed as Return to Groosham Grange in 2003 Horowitz also wrote Horowitz Horror (1999) and More Horowitz Horror (2000) which contain several short horror stories each. Many of these stories were repackaged in twos or threes as the Pocket Horowitz series. Horowitz next wrote the Alex Rider novels concerning a 14-year-old boy who becomes a member of the British Secret Service branch MI6. There are ten books where Alex Rider is the protagonist, and an eleventh is connected to the Alex Rider series (although not part of it) : Stormbreaker (2000), Point Blanc (2001), Skeleton Key (2002), Eagle Strike (2003), Scorpia (2004) Ark Angel (2005), Snakehead (2007), Crocodile Tears (novel) (2009), Scorpia Rising (2011), Russian Roulette (2013) and Never Say Die (2017)

In 2004, Horowitz branched out to an adult audience with The Killing Joke, a comedy about a man who tries to track a joke to its source with disastrous consequences. Horowitz’s second adult novel, Magpie Murders, was published in2016. It concerns “a murder mystery writer who is murdered while he’s writing his latest whodunit”. In 2005, Horowitz released a book called Raven’s Gate which began another series entitled The Power of Five (The Gatekeepers in the United States). He describes it as “Alex Rider with witches and devils”.The second book in the series, Evil Star, was released 2006,The third Nightrise, was released 2007. The fourth Necropolis was released in October 2008 and The fifth and last book Oblivion was released 2012

In October 2008, Anthony Horowitz’s play Mindgame opened Off Broadway at the Soho Playhouse in New York City starring Keith Carradine, Lee Godart, and Kathleen McNenny. The production was the New York stage directorial debut for Ken Russell. In March 2009 he was a guest on Private Passions, the biographical music discussion programme on BBC Radio 3. In 2011 Horowitz Wrote a new Sherlock Holmes novel, The House of Silk, courtesy of the Arthur Conan Doyle Estate which was also broadcast on BBC Radio 4.A follow-up novel, Moriarty, was also published in 2014. In October 2014, the Ian Fleming estate commissioned Horowitz to write a James Bond novel, Trigger Mortis, which was released in 2015. It will be followed by a second novel, Forever and A Day, which is set to come out on 31st May 2018. Horowitz was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2014 New Year Honours for services to literature.

Horowitz has also written many television dramas. He began writing for television in the 1980s, contributing to the children’s anthology series Dramarama, and also writing for the popular fantasy series Robin of Sherwood. In 1986 Horowitz worked with Richard Carpenter on the Robin of Sherwood television series, writing five episodes of the third season. He also novelised three of Carpenter’s episodes as a children’s book under the title Robin Sherwood: The Hooded Man. In addition, he created Crossbow (1987), a half-hour action adventure series loosely based on William Tell.

His association with murder mysteries began with the adaptation of several Hercule Poirot stories for ITV’s popular Agatha Christie’s Poirot series during the 1990s. He was also involved in thr comic murder anthology Murder Most Horrid (BBC Two, 1991) and the comedy-drama The Last Englishman (1995), starring Jim Broadbent. He also wrote the majority of the episodes in the early series of Midsomer Murders. In 2001, he created a drama anthology series of his own for the BBC, Murder in Mind, an occasional series which deals with a different set of characters and a different murder every one-hour episode. He also created two science-fiction shows, Crime Traveller and The Vanishing Man. While Crime Traveller received favourable viewing figures it was not renewed for a second season. In 2002, the detective series Foyle’s War launched, set during the Second World War. Horowitz also devised the 2009 ITV crime drama Collision and co-wrote the screenplay with Michael A. Walker. He also wrote the screenplay for The Gathering, starring Christina Ricci and the screenplay for Alex Rider’s film Stormbreaker.

Horowitz currently lives in London with his wife Jill Green, whom he married in Hong Kong on 15 April 1988. Green produced Foyle’s War, the series Horowitz wrote for ITV. They have two sons. He credits his family with much of his success in writing, as he says they help him with ideas and research. He is a patron of child protection charity Kidscape

Les Binks (Butterfly ball, Judas Priest)

ButterflyballIrish heavy metal drummer, James Leslie Binks was born 5 April 1951 in Portadown, Northern Ireland). He started his career In 1974 After being invited to play drums on the Roger Glover album The Butterfly Ball and the Grasshopper’s Feast. The album project began as a soundtrack for an animated film based on a well-known English children’s book, but a promo for the film never gained any interest, so the project was scrapped. Glover went on to release the soundtrack as a “Roger Glover and Friends” title. One of the featured vocalists, Eddie Hardin, later released his own albums, the first of which was 1976’s Eddie Hardin’s Wizard’s Convention, which again included Binks on drums. Binks also played for the band Fancy who had two U.S. hits in 1974 with a cover of “Wild Thing”, and “Touch Me”.

Binks was then auditioned by Judas Priest Through his Roger Glover connection, and was hired for their 1977 world tour — their first on American soil. Binks remained with the band until 1979, recording two studio albums “Stained Class”, “Killing Machine” and one live in Japan LP “Unleashed in the East.” Binks was co-credited for the song “Beyond the Realms of Death” on the album, Stained Class. According to the band’s memoirs, Binks picked up one of the guitars, turned it around (since he was left-handed), and strummed the first chords of what became the main guitar line of the song. In a 2017 interview, Binks clarified that he had made a home demo of the track, with friend Steve Mann of the Michael Schenker Group playing the solo, and at the rehearsal picked up a guitar to show them the chords in the demo. Halford then created the song’s title and lyrics.

Binks left Judas Priest amicably terms just prior to the start of the North American leg of the “Killing Machine” tour after Judas Priest decided to move away from Binks’ complicated jazz-inspired playing to a more groove-oriented sound. Binks said in a 2017 interview that he left because he was hired as a “freelance session drummer” for Judas Priest, and then-manager Mike Dolan suggested that he should “waive his fees”, i.e. not get paid for his performance, on the live “Unleashed in the East” album, a RIAA-certified platinum seller.

In 1979, Binks joined Charlie Whitney and Axis Point and remained active in the British hard rock/heavy metal underground. In 1981, he was a member of Lionheart which featured Dennis Stratton (ex-Iron Maiden) on guitar and Jess Cox (ex-Tygers Of Pan Tang) on vocals, though this was only a brief stint. Also in 1981, Binks played on the album Finardi by Italian rock singer Eugenio Finardi. Binks toured with Lionheart and Tytan soon after their first single release.

Since then, Binks has appeared in a classic rock cover band around South London called The Shakers, with Dave Bunce, guitarist Pete Friesen (formerly with Jeff Beck and with Alice Cooper), and vocalist/guitarist Tom Lundy (of The Poor Mouth). Rounding out the band was bassist Phil Rynhart, co-founder member of The Poor Mouth. Binks and Pete Friesen have also done time in Metalworks, along with ex-Iron Maiden guitarist Tony Parsons, playing covers of Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, and other legendary metal bands around London. Binks also had a stint with an Irish country-folk-pop trio called The Faintin’ Goats and In 2013, he joined the band Raw Glory, which also featured singer Paul Manzi (of Arena).In 2015, Binks played live around London in Broken Bones with ex-Bad II The Bone members Ed Hudson and Paul Smith, and in original prog-folk-rock band Kindred Spirit and recorded the album Phoenix Rising. During 2017 and 2018, he performed classic Judas Priest songs live with a new band called Les Binks’ Priesthood.

Agnetha Faltskog

Swedish singer Agnetha Faltskog was bjorn 5 April 1950. She found fame as a member of Swedish pop group ABBA. Formed in Stockholm in 1972, ABBA comprised of Agnetha Faltskog, Benny Andersson, Björn Ulvaeus and Anni-Frid Lyngstad. ABBA being an acronym of the first letters of the bjand members’. They became one of the most commercially successful acts in the history of pop music, topping the charts worldwide from 1972 to 1982. They are also known for winning the 1974 Eurovision Song Contest with the song “Waterloo”, giving Sweden its first victory in the history of the contest and being the most successful group ever to take part in the contest.ABBA have sold over 370 million records worldwide and still sells millions of records a year, which makes them one of the best-selling music artists of all time. ABBA were the first pop group to come from a non-English-speaking country that enjoyed consistent success in the charts of English-speaking countries, including the UK, Ireland, the U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa.

ABBA enjoyed significant success in Latin American markets, and recorded a collection of their hit songs in Spanish. During the band’s active years, Fältskog and Ulvaeus were a married couple, as were Lyngstad and Andersson, although both couples later divorced. At the height of their popularity, both relationships were suffering strain which ultimately resulted in the collapse of the Ulvaeus-Fältskog marriage in 1979 and the Andersson-Lyngstad marriage in 1981. These relationship changes were reflected in the group’s music, with later compositions including more introspective lyrics.After ABBA broke up in late 1982, Andersson and Ulvaeus achieved success writing music for the stage while Lyngstad and Fältskog pursued solo careers with mixed success.

At the end of 1982, Fältskog duetted with Swedish singer (and former ABBA backing vocalist) Tomas Ledin on a song called “Never Again”, the song was also released in a Spanish-language version, entitled “Ya Nunca Más”. In the summer of the same year, Fältskog had a leading role in the hit Swedish movie Raskenstam. In May 1983, Fältskog released her first post-ABBA solo album, Wrap Your Arms Around Me Containing the singles “The Heat Is On” and “Can’t Shake Loose” and Fältskog was voted by the readers of Aftonbladet as Best Female Artist of the Year in the Rockbjörnen music awards. Fältskog’s next studio album, Eyes of a Woman, produced by Eric Stewart of 10cc, was released in March 1985 And contained the single “I Won’t Let You Go”.In 1986, Fältskog recorded another duet, “The Way You Are”, with Swedish singer Ola Håkansson. In early 1987, Agnetha recorded an album “Kom folj med I var karusell” (‘Come ride with me on my carousell’) with her son Christian. The album contained songs for children and was sung in Swedish. For the album Agnetha recorded duets with her son and with a choir of children. She also recorded a few solo songs including The single ‘Pa Sondag’ . In the summer of 1987,

Fältskog recorded her fourth solo album (after ABBA), I Stand Alone, produced by Peter Cetera (formerly of the band Chicago) and Bruce Gaitsch, who had collaborated on Madonna’s La Isla Bonita. Containing the single, “I Wasn’t the One (Who Said Goodbye)”, on which Fältskog duetted with Peter Cetera. Two tracks were also recorded in Spanish for the Latin American market; “La Ultima Véz” (“The Last Time”) and “Yo No Fui Quién Dijo Adiós” (“I Wasn’t the One (Who Said Goodbye)” In 1996, her autobiography Som jag är was published in Swedish (and in English the following year titled As I Am), followed by several compilation CDs of her Swedish and English recordings, including one called My Love, My Life for which Fältskog picked out the music herself. The book was updated in 1998 and released worldwide.

In April 2004, Fältskog released a new single, “If I Thought You’d Ever Change Your Mind” (a cover of the song originally recorded by Cilla Black). Followed by the album My Colouring Book, a collection of Fältskog’s covers of 1960s classic oldies Like “Sealed with a Kiss”,And, “When You Walk in the Room”and “Sometimes When I’m Dreaming”.In 2004, Fältskog was nominated for Best Nordic Artist at the Nordic Music Awards, and released lavishly produced 6-CD boxed set comprising Fältskog’s Swedish solo career, mostly before ABBA, with five original solo albums: 1968, 1969, 1970, 1971, and her 1975 album recorded and released during her time with ABBA) – plus an additional compilation disc with bonus tracks. In January 2007, Fältskog appeared at the final performance of Mamma Mia! in Stockholm (as she had at its opening in 2005). She also sang a duet, “True Love”, with Tommy Körberg of Chess. In October 2008, a new compilation album, My Very Best, was released in Sweden. The double CD contains both Swedish (CD 1) and English-language hits (CD 2) from her whole solo career, from 1967 to 2004. On 4 July 2008, Fältskog joined former colleagues Anni-Frid Lyngstad, Björn Ulvaeus, and Benny Andersson at the Swedish premiere of the film version of Mamma Mia!.

In January 2009, Fältskog appeared onstage together with Lyngstad at the Swedish Rockbjörnen Awards to receive a lifetime honorary award for ABBA, and in February 2010, ABBA World, an extensive exhibition, debuted at London’s Earls Court For which she recorded a light-hearted opening film together with former ABBA colleague Benny Andersson. In May 2013 ), Fältskog released a new album called “A” Containing the single “When You Really Loved Someone,” The One Who Loves You Now” dance your PainAway and included a duet with Gary Barlow of Take That, called “I Should’ve Followed You Home” A’ has earned Agnetha 3 Gold Records in UK, Australia and Germany, and Platinum in Sweden., Fältskog was awarded the SKAP 2013 Kai Gullmar Memorial Award at the Stockholm release party for “A”.On 12 November 2013 Fältskog sang live on stage for the first time in 25 years at the BBC Children in Need Rocks concert in London; she sang a duet with Gary Barlow, the organiser of the event. On 18 November 2013 in order to promote the song, a video for “I Should’ve Followed You Home”. ABBA’s popularity was revived by several films, notably Muriel’s Wedding, Mamma Mia and The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, spawning several tribute bjands. In 1999, ABBA’s music was adapted into the successful musical Mamma Mia! that toured worldwide. A film of the same name released in 2008 became the highest-grossing film in the United Kingdom that year. The group was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on 15 March 2010

Sir Nigel Gresley CME DSc

Best known for designing the A4 steam locomotive, Sir Nigel Gresley, The Chief mechanical Engineer of London North Eastern Railway, sadly passed away 5 April 1941. He was Born 19 June 1876 he became one of Britain’s most famous steam locomotive engineers, rising to become Chief Mechanical Engineer (CME) of the London and North Eastern Railway (LNER). He was the designer of some of the most famous steam locomotives in Britain, including the LNER Class A1 and LNER Class A4 4-6-2 Pacific engines. An A1, Flying Scotsman, was the first steam locomotive officially recorded over 100 mph in passenger service, and an A4, number 4468 Mallard, still holds the record for being the fastest steam locomotive in the world (126 mph). Gresley’s engines were considered elegant, both aesthetically and mechanically. His invention of a three-cylinder design with only two sets of Walschaerts valve gear, the Gresley conjugated valve gear, produced smooth running and power at lower cost than would have been achieved with a more conventional three sets of Walschaerts valve gearMechanical .

Gresley was born in Edinburgh, but was raised in Netherseal, Derbyshire, a member of the cadet branch of a family long seated at Gresley, Derbyshire. After attending school in Sussex and at Marlborough College, Gresley served his apprenticeship at the Crewe works of the London and North Western Railway, afterwards becoming a pupil under John Aspinall at Horwich of the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway (L&YR). After several minor appointments with the L&YR he was made Outdoor Assistant in the Carriage and Wagon Department in 1901; in 1902 he was appointed Assistant Works Manager at Newton Heath depot, and Works Manager the following year. This rapid rise in his career was maintained and, in 1904, he became Assistant Superintendent of the Carriage and Wagon Department of the L&YR. A year later, he moved to the Great Northern Railway (GNR) as Carriage and Wagon Superintendent. He succeeded Henry A. Ivatt as CME of the GNR on 1 October 1911. At the 1923 Grouping, he was appointed CME of the newly formed LNER (the post had originally been offered to the ageing John G. Robinson; Robinson declined and suggested the much younger Gresley). In 1936, Gresley was awarded an honorary DSc by Manchester University and a knighthood by King Edward VIII; also in that year he presided over the IMechE.

LNER 4468 Mallard

During the 1930s, Sir Nigel Gresley lived at Salisbury Hall, near St. Albans in Hertfordshire. Gresley developed an interest in breeding wild birds and ducks in the moat; intriguingly, among the species were Mallard ducks. The Hall still exists today as a private residence and is adjacent to the de Havilland Aircraft Heritage Centre, with its links to the design of the famous Mosquito aircraft during World War II.In 1936, Gresley designed the 1,500V DC locomotives for the proposed electrification of the Woodhead Line between Manchester and Sheffield. However The Second World War forced the postponement of the project, which was completed in the early 1950s. Sadly Gresley did not live to see the result, tragically dying after a short illness on 5 April 1941 he was buried in Netherseal, Derbyshire. Gresley was succeeded as the LNER CME by Edward Thompson. There is a statue of Sir Nigel Gresley at Kings Cross in London, complete with duck although there are moves afoot to have the duck removed and the new statue without the duck was unveiled 5 April 2016.

Charles Benjamin Collett CME

The great Western Railways’ Chief Mechanical locomotive Engineer Charles Benjamin Collett sadly passed away 5 April. He was Born 10 September 1871 and was chief mechanical engineer of the Great Western Railway from 1922 to 1941. He designed (amongst others) the GWR’s 4-6-0 Castle and King Class express passenger locomotives. Collett’s predecessor, George Jackson Churchward had delivered to the GWR from Swindon a series of class leading and innovative locomotives, and arguably by the early 1920s the Great Western‘s 2-cylinder and 4-cylinder 4-6-0 designs were substantially superior to the locomotives of the other railway groupings. In 1922 Churchward retired, and Charles Benjamin Collett inherited a legacy of excellent standardised designs. However, with costs rising and revenues falling, there was a need to rationalise the number of pre-grouping designs and to develop more powerful locomotives, hence the creation of the Big four railway companies in 1923 – Great Western, London Midland Scottish, London North East and Southern Railways.

Collett was a practical development engineer and he took Churchward’s designs and developed them – the Hall from the Saint class, and the Castle from the Star. He was also responsible for more humble locomotives, such as many of the pannier tank classes. However despite this he received criticism by contemporary engineers and later railway historians for undertaking very little innovation in his designs, instead sticking with Churchward’s style in every case. Arguably this meant that by the time Collett retired the superiority of Great Western locomotives was lost to more modern designs, particularly those of William Stanier, who worked at Swindon before moving to the LMS in 1932, and took Churchward’s style with him but developed it in line with the progression in steam technology.

In 1926, Collett was asked to design something bigger than the Castle in order to haul heavy expresses at an average speed of 60 mph. So Great Western’s General Manager Sir Felix Pole told Collett to proceed with the design and construction of a “Super-Castle”. The result was the King class 4-6-0 design which emerged from Swindon works in June 1927. This had dimensions never previously seen, and represented the ultimate development of Churchward’s four cylinder concept. It was the heaviest (136 tons), and had the highest tractive effort (40,300 lbs.) of any 4-6-0 locomotive ever to run in the United Kingdom. However Because of its weight, the King class was restricted to a limited number of routes. Nevertheless the king class locomotives are an impressive sight.