First Night Design | Great Rail Restorations with Peter Snow #2 days left!

I meant to write this post two or three weeks ago but I forgot all about it. You have two days only (tonight and tomorrow) to catch up on iPlayer [the UK only] with a programme that ‘stars’ my family’s railway carriage and the writer of this blog!

Episode 2 shows the incredible work done by talented volunteers on restoring our Oldbury carriage which dates from…

via First Night Design | Great Rail Restorations with Peter Snow #2 days left!

On this day: Svetlana Alliluyeva defects | In Times Gone By…

On the 6th of March, 1967, Svetlana Alliluyeva, daughter of Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin, approached the US embassy in New Delhi and asked for political asylum. She is seen below arriving in the U…

Source: On this day: Svetlana Alliluyeva defects | In Times Gone By…

A Doric Tragedy: Demolishing the Euston Arch | cabinetroom

Drivers crawling along the Euston Road in the north of Central London will be familiar with the uninspiring, bland and brutal space that surrounds Euston Station. The three high-rise office blocks in particular seem to have been lifted from some mediocre midwestern city in the United States (Minneapolis? Cleveland?) and plonked down in Britain’s capital, as if outposts of a regional insurance firm or bank. Train passengers too will know the unpleasant warren of passageways and concrete steps that cluster around these blocks, leading from the station onto a dirty apron of grass, which itself appears custom-made for discarded free-sheets, beer cans and syringes.

The current Euston Station was opened by the Queen in 1968, but, like so many modern buildings, it has never really lived up to the artist’s impression.

It was not always thus. Until 1961, Euston Station was separated from the Euston Road by several smaller streets and the…

Source: A Doric Tragedy: Demolishing the Euston Arch | cabinetroom.

On this day: The Mỹ Lai Massacre

In Times Gone By...

Vietnamese women and children in Mỹ Lai before being killed in the massacre, March 16, 1968.[13] According to court testimony, they were killed seconds after the photo was taken.

Apparently taken moments before they were killed.

I’m not even going to try and summarise this one. Below is a little bit from an article about it:

Unidentified bodies near burning house. My Lai, Vietnam. March 16, 1968.

The Mỹ Lai Massacre was the Vietnam War mass killing of between 347 and 504 unarmed civilians in South Vietnam on March 16, 1968. It was committed by U.S. Army soldiers from the Company C of the 1st Battalion, 20th Infantry Regiment, 11th Brigade of the 23rd (America) Infantry Division.

 Photo taken by United States Army photographer Ronald L. Haeberle on March 16, 1968 in the aftermath of the My Lai massacre showing mostly women and children dead on a road.

Women and children killed.

Victims included men, women, children, and infants. Some of the women were gang-raped and their bodies mutilated.

Pfc. Mauro, Pfc Carter, and SP4 Widmer (Carter shot himself in the foot during the My Lai massacre)SP4 Dustin setting fire to dwelling (during the My Lai massacre)

One soldier shot himself in the foot; another sets a building on fire.

Twenty-six soldiers were charged with criminal offences, but only Lieutenant William Calley Jr., a platoon leader in C Company, was convicted.

Found guilty of killing 22 villagers, he was originally given a life sentence, but served only three…

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LSD: A Trip Down Memory Lane

Atomic Flash Deluxe

LSD25 Manufactured by Sandoz Laboratories - Basel, Switzerland LSD25 Manufactured by Sandoz Laboratories – Basel, Switzerland

Taking LSD was a profound experience, one of the most important things in my life.  ~~Steve Jobs

In 1956 this unnamed American housewife took LSD at the Veteran’s Administration Hospital in Los Angeles. This woman’s husband was an employee at the hospital and referred her to this study, which was reportedly done for a television program on mental health issues.

When Swiss chemist Albert Hoffman first synthesized LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide) at the Sandoz laboratories in Basel, Switzerland on November 16, 1938, he felt that the compound wasn’t useful for the project at hand. He set it aside in the slush-pile. Five years later, April 16, 1943, Hoffman felt compelled to take another look at his abandoned discovery. John Beresford writes:

Hofmann is not sure – the chemist in the old Sandoz lab had what he called a “Vorgefühl.” The usual English…

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Bermondsey summers

A beautiful piece by Pete Johnson about summers in the 1950s and ’60s when English children could be so much more inventive than today, when imagination was the key.

beetleypete

What is it about memory, that makes us remember summers as being better in our youth? Ask most people about the weather, and they will almost always agree that the summer was better when they were young. Six weeks of unbroken sun, school holidays spent outside, with perhaps the occasional thundery shower, that helped to clear the air. Given that this might span a time period from 1958, to 1998, it cannot really have any basis in fact. Although I do not have the real statistics to hand, (and cannot be bothered to look them up) I am sure that we didn’t always have fabulous summers, with weeks of Mediterranean heat, and unbroken blue skies. So why is it that this is how I remember them?

Before we moved to Kent, when I was fifteen years old, I spent my summers on the streets of Bermondsey, a South London district…

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