Monthly Archives: December 2016

Small Business Fed Up of Queuing at The Post Office?

Small business wondering if there is more to life than queuing at the Post Office counter?

Wondering which courier to use?

Been there – done that. Here are some pointers.

The post office or couriers are the two options.

Remember: For Highlands and UK islands always use the Post Office, they will always be cheaper. You’ll find the postcodes couriers surcharge online, IM, PO33, BT and some K Scottish ones. Couriers don’t want to go there so they charge more. PO is always cheaper on small boxes.

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Parcel2go

We used to use parcel2go.com… Click here to continue reading this article

Teddy Boys and the Rock’n’Roll Revival

During a period of about ten years between the tail end of the 1960s and that of the 1970s, youth culture had been hit by a wave of nostalgia.

From the Beatles with their faux Victorian bandleader costumes on the cover of the Sgt Pepper LP, to the 1930s stylings of groups like Fox and Sailor, to the fifties pastichery and revival, which can be seen in rock groups as diverse as Roxy Music and Mud.

The revival of interest in the 1950s was particularly interesting, as not only was it the only one that revived a period of youth culture, but it also ushered in a (mostly brief) revival in the careers of many fifties stars.… Click here to continue reading this article

The Phenomenon that was The Shangri-las

Although rock and pop music has always been a phenomenon that has attracted fans of both sexes, the role of female artists in its development has frequently been marginalised by critics, unless the artiste under consideration has been deemed ‘authentic’ enough to pass muster.

This is especially true in the case of the artists who started to emerge at the end of the 1950s, after the commercial demise of the first generation of rock’n’rollers.

These second-generation artists are frequently dismissed as an anachronism, something that simply filled the gap between the demise of their predecessors and the rise of artists who were considered important in intellectual terms from very early on, most notably the Beatles and Bob Dylan.… Click here to continue reading this article

Essay: Domestic Nostalgia

Nostalgia in the home is far from being a modern phenomenon.

In fact, it has been an integral part of consumer culture since the late 18th century.

One only has to look at some of Wedgwood’s original products, such as their reproduction Portland vase. This was sold as an exact replica of the real thing, and contemporary advertising claimed that Wedgwood had rediscovered the ancient techniques that went into making it.

This was a fallacy however, as it was actually manufactured using a technique that Wedgwood had discovered himself. The early period of the industrial revolution coincided with the first stirrings of major interest in antiquities, which would go some way to explaining Wedgwood’s choice of design.… Click here to continue reading this article

David Bowie, Ziggy Stardust and the construction of an image.

In 1972, David Bowie released his fifth album, Ziggy Stardust.

Up until that year, Bowie had been perceived in the main as a folk singer-only other success till that point was Space Oddity, 1969, which was largely perceived then as a novelty song, used by the BBC for their coverage of the 1st man in space that year.

Bowie had problems following up the success of this track, which had reached no. 5 in the charts, and despite critical acclaim for the succeeding albums, it appeared that Bowie would remain a one-hit wonder.… Click here to continue reading this article

What is a Cult Film?

The interest in cult cinema seems to stem from 1950s America, as the spending power of the teenage consumer was increasingly catered for, not least by the movie industry.

This was the period in which television was permeating the American home, more so than even in Britain, and cinema increasingly had to resort to shock tactics and sensationalism to lure in audiences. Sophistication was not an option; studios knocked out cheapie flicks with lurid, disposable feels such as the 1956 film The Girl Can’t Help it.

This was a lightweight but enjoyable film, which had cameo appearances by various prominent rock’n’rollers such as Little Richard, Eddie Cochran, Gene Vincent and Fats Domino, which although largely superfluous to the plot, gave the film ‘teen appeal’.… Click here to continue reading this article

Beyond the Valley of the Dolls

Beyond the Valley of the Dolls is maverick 1960s porn purveyor Russ Meyer’s finest achievement.

Mayer had made many low budget flicks before this, like Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!, a great film depicting the adventures of three psychopathic go-go-dancers (it’s as good as it sounds).

But Beyond the Valley was his first for a major studio, and as well as having a higher budget (all the better for filming the crowd scenes and financing an appearance by The Strawberry Alarm Clock, a late 60s rock group that was on the wane).… Click here to continue reading this article

Hush, Hush, Sweet Charlotte

While Whatever Happened to Baby Jane is a very well known film, its follow up, Hush, Hush, Sweet Charlotte is rather more obscure.

It was originally conceived as another vehicle for Bette Davis and Joan Crawford, on similar lines to Baby Jane – a slightly crazy aged Southern Belle who has long been suspected of murdering her lover is fighting eviction from her home, and enlist her Cousin Miriam for help. The Role of Miriam was originally Crawford’s, and she was present and correct at rehearsals and the first days of shooting.… Click here to continue reading this article

Ocean Hotel, Saltdean, Brighton

Along with the Lido to the south, the Ocean Hotel (sometimes known as the Grand Ocean Hotel) is another fine example of thirties seaside architecture in the south coast village of Saltdean.

Indeed, it was constructed by the developers responsible for the Lido and much of the actual village, the saltdean Estate Company, formed by speculator Charles Neville in 1924.

The Ocean Hotel was acquired by Butlins and opened its doors for business in May of 1953 after an extensive refurbishment. Six months of hard work had gone into restoring the near-derelict building to its former glory.… Click here to continue reading this article

Embassy Court, Brighton

Embassy Court is one of the most striking buildings on the seafront at Brighton and Hove, although the reasons for this have differed over the years.

When built in 1935, the building contrasted sharply with the more sedate and ornamental architecture of King’s Road; but by the 1990s, the structure drew comment because of its terribly run down nature.

The building made the local press after chunks of render and windows fell from the building onto the street below, and it appeared until recently that it may suffer the same ignominious fate met by the West Pier sat opposite it, which finally succumbed to the elements (and arsonists) in early 2004.… Click here to continue reading this article

De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill-on-Sea

The De La Warr Pavilion was erected between 1934 and 1935 in the otherwise sleepy seaside town of Bexhill-on-Sea, following a competition held by the mayor, Earl De La Warr. He sought a design for a new leisure complex for the town, and this was to be the winning entry.

The design was by Eric Mendelsohn and Serge Chermayeff, both celebrated designers of the modern movement. It was truly a stunning design, with a welded steel frame and cantilevered staircases, and even today it is considered to be one of the most significant modern movement building in the United Kingdom.… Click here to continue reading this article

Bishopstone Railway Station, Seaford

Nowadays, Bishopstone railway station is almost forgotten, an unstaffed halt and the last stop on the Lewes – Seaford railway line. The whole site has an air of neglect about it; it is easy to forget that it was part of a plan to bring the railway network of south east England firmly into the 20th century.

Before 1923, the railway lines of Great Britain were owned by numerous different companies, a situation that was to change that year with the grouping of the companies. Four new companies were formed, the one responsible for lines in the south of England being the Southern Railway.… Click here to continue reading this article

Granada Cinema in Hove, East Sussex. Photos.

Granada cinema in Hove, East Sussex

Welcome to the page dedicated to the now disused former Granada cinema in Hove, East Sussex, to the west of Brighton. This art deco Cinema was opened in the 1930s as a Granada Theatre, and showed films up until 1974, when it was acquired by Ladbrokes and re-opened as a bingo hall.

The old cinema was thus granted a new lease of life, and stayed open as a bingo club, latterly run by the Gala Group, until it was closed in the summer of 2003.… Click here to continue reading this article