W Heath Robinson Illustrates the Stock Market.

One of my favourite books is entitled:
‘Success with Stocks and Stares.’

The subtitle to this work being:
‘A practical guide to profitable investment.’

Written by John B Gledhill and Frank Preston, it was
published in 1938.

The book is illustrated by W Heath Robinson.

Two of his drawings clearly illustrates just how a bull and
market work.

Although many of the technical details within this book are
very dated:
much of the advice in this work still holds true.

Here are a few examples: –

– Beware of boom flotations.

– Don’t borrow money to gamble on the stock exchange.

– Beware of market under-currents.

– Beware of bucket shop literature.

– Axioms do not always work.

&

– Remember a mine is a diminishing asset.

This is also something of a good piece of ecological advice.

If only some of the people who now run the financial industry
had read this work,
then we might not be in the kind of global fiscal mess that
faces us all right now.

Human Rights

December 10th is Human Rights Day.

Here is a list of Human Rights which still need some working
upon,
or which we should all focus more upon.

The right to fresh air,
by not having to breath in the muck which is produced by the
internal combustion engine.

The right to practice our good atheist values:
Without being persecuted by religionists for doing so.

The right to built a peaceful world, and not to be jailed as a
conscientious objector.

The right to good basis housing,
which is not subject to the economic pressures which come
from an attitude that it is just another consumer product.

&

By extension to that of Human Rights:
We should think upon the rights of our fellow creatures.

40 Years of Peace Activism.

On November 3rd it will be exactly 40 years since I first
become involved in the peace movement.

I remember this exact date as I was on a sitdown outside of a
company which made military plane equipment that was
being used in Vietnam.

It was my 19th birthday when I joined a demonstration
outside of a company called Elliott Automation.

Elliott Automation made navigation equipment which was
used upon American Military Aircraft in Vietnam.

I knew no one upon the demonstration, but felt that it was
important to show my opposition to the war

What happened on the demonstration,
& information upon Elliott Automation,
appeared within Peace News: –
November 1st & 8th 1968.

If you look very carefully:
you can see me in a photo of the demonstration that was
published within Peace News.

The first copy of Peace News I ever purchased was sold to
me by a street seller outside of Holborn Tube station.

It was dated November 8th 1968.

While upon the demonstration I picked up a leaflet about
the Peace Pledge Union ( PPU ).

I joined the PPU,
started to read Peace News,
and the rest is history.

Death pays a Dividend

It is not a normal publishing practice to review a book some 60
years after it came out, but in this one case these are very good
reasons to do so.

Death pays a Dividend is an account of the arms trade, & the
various companies which still are involved in the trade.

Companies which are still very well know by any of todays
anti arms trade campaigners.

Companies like:
Vickers.
Dupont.
&
ICI.

Starting with the US, German, & British companies which
supplied all these countries armies during World War one, the
book goes on to show that even while in the middle of this
conflict, that an International arms cartel was in
operation.

It was British made shells which fell upon British Troops in
Gallipoli, While after the armistice Vickers had to pay for the
Krupp-patented rights on the 123,000,000 fuses which were
used against the German armies.

Continue reading Death pays a Dividend

When is Equality not equality?

When is Equality not equality?

When it comes to legislation to give ‘equal rights’ to
religionists.

A fine example of this is the UK
‘Employment Equality (Religion or Belief) Regulations’ 2003.

The aim of this law is to prevent discrimination to individuals
because of their religionist or Philosophical beliefs.

The key wording upon this legislation is: ‘ religion’ or
‘Similar Beliefs’.

Continue reading When is Equality not equality?

Maids, Grooms, Footmen, and Library History.

Putney Library opened to the public in 1899.

The building was the gift of the publisher Sir George
Newnes.

A bust of him was placed in the long corridor to the building
during the 1920s.

When the library first opened it listed its members by their
occupations:

Maids, Grooms, Footmen, Butlers, Draper, Ladies and
Gentlemen.

A practice which has long gone out of use.

These membership records were written upon ledgers,
which were kept within the Librarians Office,
and stored there for many years after they had became
obsolete.

You could made an interesting historical class analysis by
just going through these ledgers.

During World War Two the basement of the building was
used as an ARP ( Air Raid Patrol ) centre.
This space was later used to store items for the
Wandsworth museum.

I worked in Putney Library from 1973 to 1987.

When I first worked in the library it still had its original
wood book cases, and a wonderful grandfather clock in
the hall.

Roy Plomley of ‘Desert Island Discs’ fame would use the
Music Library in his research work for his broadcasts.
He also liked to see old French films, and I would sometimes
bump into him at the National Film Theatre.

Another Putney library user was the Tribune cartoonist
George Gale.

A former Labour minister, Lord Jenkins of Putney, was yet
another library user.

I give the above facts as an example of the joy of Library
history.

We all use & work within public libraries, and very rarely
think about just how they have been used over the years.

Yet just you look at this kind of history, & you will find a
fascinating part of all our social heritage.

Signs of the times.

Traditional shop sign writers practiced an art.

It took some years of training in order to become a really
good sign writer.

Such signs took a while to complete, but they gave our
high streets a visual quality which is missing within our
modern townscapes.

One would be very hard pressed to find a sign writer these
days.

Most modern shop signs being a mixture of plastic sheets
and individual plastic lettering.

Such signs are both homogeneous in style , and very ugly
in the extreme.

Once used and discarded,
such signs create yet more waste,
or just more plastics which needs to be recycled.

Continue reading Signs of the times.

James Duff Brown (1862-1914)

Very few people might ever of heard of James Duff Brown ,
but his impact upon just how we use public libraries is
enormous.

Brown worked as a librarian in Camberwell before he
became the first Borough librarian for Islington.

His great innovation was to introduce ‘open access’ within
public libraries.

Previous to that ‘closed access’ meant that one had to
browse the library catalogue, and complete a form in order
for one of the library staff to fetch the book out from the
back.

Brown wrote upon various aspects of librarianship.

His Publications include:

A manual of practical bibliography.

Subject Classification.

&

British Musical Biography: A Dictionary of Musical Artists,
Authors, and Composers Born in Britain and Its Colonies.

Anyone who is interested in library history or library
cataloguing should find out more about his work.

Simon Dee and French Nukiller Bomb Tests.

Simon Dee ( Carl Henty-Dodd ) was the first pirate radio
disc jockey upon radio Caroline.

Radio Caroline being one of the various off-shore radio
stations which broadcast pop music to Britain during the
period 1964 to 1967.

Before working for Radio Caroline he had done a string of
jobs. At one time been vacuum cleaner salesman, and had
run a coffee bar.

After his days on Radio Caroline he worked for Radio
Luxembourg, and then hosting some kind of television show .

His meteoric rise towards,
and fall from stardom,
should be a lesson to us all.

I meet Simon Dee during the summer of 1974 when he just
turned up at a meeting of Greenpeace ( London ).

During that period the focus of the group was French
atmospheric nukiller bomb tests at Mururoa Atoll in the
pacific.

Continue reading Simon Dee and French Nukiller Bomb Tests.

In to the Dustbin of History.

The Chapel Street Market branch of Woolworths closed
down last month, and thus another part of my landscape
history disappeared along side of it.

I have a strong memory of being outside of the store while I
was four years old – over 50 years ago.

Places change, buildings come and go.

What used to be slum areas turn in to fashionable parts.

Fashionable areas decay and turn in to slum areas.

It’s the old saying:
‘What comes around goes around’.

What used to be the premises of C & W May ( theatrical
Costumiers ) has changes a lot.

I worked for the company in Covent Garden from 1968 to
1972.

My how things have changed in the area since then!

Continue reading In to the Dustbin of History.