Friday, 29 April 2011

Killing For Company - Andy's New Guitar

I`am sitting next to Andrew on the settee , a few moments ago he was scrolling through his I pad when I spotted this video and asked Andrew if he could download it onto the blog for me -which he has just done , The I pad is a fabulous gadget - it acts as Andrews communication aid- it has a small keyboard ,display screen and synthesised speech-you type a sentence and press a button for the machine to speak the message you type . It also allows Andrew, internet access to all his favourite sites including facebook and myspace, and he can also download and read a book if he so wishes ! I`am now going to hand you over to Andrew -he is going to write a little bit of information about the video,
Hi all ,I met all the band KFC onThe Alarm tour 2010 and built up a friendship with their lead guitarist Andy "Glam" Williams as I used to help him hook up his amp ready for starting off the gigs, it was on the last gig of the tour we all got up to play on the encore and I passed Andy Mike's custom LHS white telecaster that I built for Mike for the tour Andy enjoyed playing it so much he commissioned me to build one for himself .
So here`s the footage he recorded and sent me to hear it in it's full glory, Hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

A Loving Tribute

At the beginning of this year sister in law Jayne put some of our Motor Neurone Disease Awareness bands on ebay to sell, Rachael-pictured here on the right with her sister Claire and father Norman bought one and asked Jayne for advice about fundraising and how we got the support from the M.N.D.A. Jayne has been emailing Rachael to see how she and her dad have been getting on , but strangely on Friday Jayne felt she had to email Rachael [ call it intuition ] only to be told that her father had died that morning - in fact, as Jayne was typing her email . Rachael and her sister Claire are throwing themselves into fundraising and awareness for M.N.D. ,and only on Friday morning they had their picture with their dad , and a lovely article published in their local paper-this is the link if you wish to read their story- This is another young family devastated by this dreadful disease and a reason to free the world of M.N.D. From all of Andrews family -our heartfelt condolences , we are thinking of you .

Sunday, 24 April 2011

The Start of Prestatyn car show - and car rides for MND

On the 30th May 2011 Prestatyn will be hosting it`s annual car show- now in its 12 th year the show was originally organized by my sister as part of the business association initiative to hold and organize a special event in the town to celebrate the Millennium . The flower show committee had a brainstorming session and it was then the idea of holding a car show was born - Ann ran the idea past the local vicar, Clive Southerton -never one to miss an opportunity to fund raise he asked her for the catering as a trade off for her having the use of the vicarage, she agreed ! she had the vicarage he had the church hall a deal was struck !
For those of you who don`t know Prestatyn, the Edwardian vicarage is set in a picturesque woodland garden in the centre of town , I think the vision Ann had at that time was of a country house setting rather like a Agatha Christie / Miss Marple type film with all the pre- 1939 cars parked up under the trees and driveway ! She obtained a grant from the Prestatyn Town council and contacted the local car club- Clwyd Pratical classics , setting up a meeting over afternoon tea they agreed they would like to help and support the event and still do today ! The first show was a modest affair with just 50 cars compared to the 300 who took part last year ! The grant was used to hire a marquee and all the car owners were treated to a light lunch with all of Ann`s team of helpers dressed in navy blazers for a corporate look-retired manageress of Manweb- Ann Jones, Debbie Rawlins carpet shop owner , Elizabeth Quinlan from the china shop and Norma and Ken Radcliffe from the sweet shop , Joyce [a high street customer ] and Frank Cook a retired police officer was the official photographer.Chatting with Ann and Tim it was lovely to hear the memories they had of that day !
Picture the scene a lovely sunny day, a jazz band playing , face painters and childrens entertainer, craft and produce stalls- when it was decided on a parade of classic cars around the town at midday , the Mayor to travel in a Daimler Jag once owned by the Marques of Angelsey and the chair of the Business Association in an open top Lanchester with numerous dignitories assigned to eye catching classic`s.
The chair of the business Association was the lovely Lyn Bedway the glamorous manageress of Ethel Austin- Lyn arrived immaculately dressed the morning of the show sporting the most beautiful picture hat and stunning smile that lasted all day ! Ann says when she thinks back she thinks warmly of all the wonderful team of volunteers , who are still with her today and of all the good humour and laughter , local people pulling together at a community event and enjoying themselves [ a lot of whom have helped us with our fundraising for MND today ] but her lasting memory has to be Lyn and her smile sitting in the back of the Lanchester bombing passed the entrance of the marquee as Ann looked up from serving lunch-holding on to her wonderful hat for dear life- Fabulous !

After that first year was deemed such a success- Brother in law Tim took over organizing of this event, and it has grown from strength to strength each year and now has a committee of around 12 who all help Tim organize it- All types of cars from lovely old vintage 1920 style cars to present day - to super cars and vintage motor bikes [ hubby plans to take one of his along this year !] all turn out to support this show, a free lunch is still given to the first 100 cars who enter- that is 200 lunches ! There are lots of stalls , childrens rides , face painting and refreshments available in the vicarage- music is supplied by the local hospital radio, there is no entry charge for this event but people are encouraged to support St Kentigerns who are out in force with their buckets !

This lovely old 1937 Leyland Tiger bus is usually on hand to give the public rides down to Prestatyn beach and back- which has given us an idea this year to raise funds for Motor Neurone Disease ! Especially as one of our classic car owners took advantage of a similar scheme at this years classic car show in Birmingham-where she took a ride in a Morgan for a £20 donation and thoroughly enjoyed it ! so Tim decided to email some of the car owners who have already entered for this years show and asked them if they would a sell ride in their car for a donation to raise funds for MND- so far we have four owners who have said they would be delighted to !
The cars that are so far participating in this are- a 1933 Austin box saloon [something similar shown above ]
A 1937 Lanchester- L14

A 1988 Opel Manta rally car [example shown above ]
and a 1982 Porche 911 ! something to suit everyones taste ! for more information you can visit Tims web site on this link hope you are all enjoying the lovely weather-have a lovely Easter !

Sunday, 17 April 2011

Meet the wonderful Jenny Green !!

The Jenny Green Challenge Fund has been established by British housewife and mother Jenny Green [ pictured above ] and her family to raise funds into the causes and possible better treatments for MND , Jenny was diagnosed in June 2009 and is experiencing considerable loss of mobility in the limbs and is dependent on a wheel chair for mobility. Last year Jenny took part in her first fundraising challenge for M.N.D - she competed in an international sailing race at the Regatta Royal in Cannes
with 65 of the top international Dragon crews taking part ,Regatta Royal is a challenging race for any competitor, but for Jenny , completing all races in the Regatta was a huge task. Jenny sailed alongside her husband Malcolm and said fatigue and weakness were the biggest hurdles and getting annoyed about the things she cannot do anymore or that took so much longer didn`t help either !! She says....It was difficult moving around the boat and balancing on the side without much help from the legs-but when racing I can feel almost normal- there is no time for doom and gloom , as all the concentration went on the competition !
Jenny pictured above preparing for the start of the race and below in action !
Since the Regatta last year Jenny`s MND has progressed and her disability is greater now-many people would have retired to an armchair , but not Jenny .She remains totally committed to making the most of her remaining life to raise funds so that in the future others with MND might have access to improved treatments and perhaps even a cure . At the end of May Jenny will ride her off-road mobility vehicle all the way from Notre Dame Cathedral , Paris to the Cutty Sark in Greenwich London. Jenny writes a wonderful blog - full of warmth and humour , you can keep up with her progress and leave Jenny some words of encouragement at she has been in training for this event which will require her to cover around 50km a day- she jokes-even taking a pee requires careful planning !! each training session leaves Jenny utterly drained and exhausted. Wishing you well Jenny-I will be rooting for you and following your progress- you are truly inspirational ! I look forward to seeing the photographs-Jenny has promised to send me some wearing her motor neurone disease bands while in action !

Sunday, 10 April 2011


We have lived at our present home for nearly eight years now - and one of those little renovation jobs that has badly needed doing and has been put off countless times over the years - is our coal shed. We do not have a coal fire but do have a log burner- so we do use the shed to store our logs- our little coal shed has had a leaky roof for quite some time-so over the years the roof has required waterproofing with tarpaulin and has become a dumping ground for all sorts of wood offcuts - it has become a real eyesore ! The good thing about deciding to open your garden to the public [ to raise funds for MND] is that an effort is made to get all of these little jobs done and sorted ! I find myself stalking round the garden trying to view things as a stranger would for the first time and am horrified to see just what a terrible state everything is in ! I guess after a while you just stop noticing these things ! So we have called in the cavalry - brother in law Chris has been working hard not only putting a new roof on the shed but raising the height to make it a little bigger.

It has been a glorious day today-Chris pictured above, [ please note he is wearing his band ! ] called round to put the finishing touches to the shed so I could start painting it.While I filled the car with all sorts of junk to take to our local tip.
I have made a start painting the walls- while Ned has sorted the wood out and tidied it all away, while on a tea break I had a wander round the garden-everything is looking so much more colourful now.

I have also made a start on my vintage table top sale ! Our previous home was a cottage and a lot of what I brought with me to this house just doesn`t fit in [ 1938 semi ] with our deco - so I`am being ruthless and having a good sort out- I have no idea what sort of prices to ask -so I might check on ebay to get some ideas ! Hope you are all enjoying your Sunday and the nice weather-better get back to sorting a few more things out for the sale while I`am in this- its gotta go mood !

Sunday, 3 April 2011

Travelling M.N.D. bands go posh ?

Last year I watched a really interesting series on the the television documenting the restoration of the Savoy Hotel in London.The Savoy was the first luxury hotel to be built in Britain and is situated on the Strand in the city of Westminster in central London-it took five years to build, finally opening its doors on the 6th of August 1889 .It was built by impresario Richard Carte with the profits from his Gilbert and Sullivan operas ,it caused a great sensation at that time as it was the first hotel in London to be lit by electricity, it had the first electric lift and later became the first hotel to provide bathrooms en suite
Artists Whistler and Monet both used views from the hotels windows for their work. Oscar Wilde with his friend Lord Alfred Douglas, The Prince of Wales and his coterie were all frequent visitors-The likes of Noel Coward ,George Gershwin,George Bernard Shaw and H.G.Wells frequented the American Bar.
Art Deco and Jazz and the Savoy were made for each other-The iconic stainless-steel sign over the Savoy court was erected in 1929.Top jazz musicians from America came to play and a hydraulic lift system installed to raise the dance floor and turn it into a stage for cabaret acts.The stars loved the Savoy-England`s own Vivien Leigh was first introduced to her future husband Lawrence Olivier in the hotel`s front hall - From America Al Jolson, Errol Flynn and Katherine Hepburn,From France Josephine Baker and Coco Channel, Winston Churchill frequently had lunch with his cabinet at the hotel during WW2 and attended his Savoy club, The other club ,until his death in 1965.Once peace was declared The Savoy quickly regained its air of glamour and luxury ,Princess Elizabeth was first seen with Lt Philip Mountbatton in public at a Savoy reception.
The new Elizabethan age saw a new generation of actors ,films ,stars and politicians.
Elizabeth Taylor [honeymooned there ]Sophia Loren ,Marilyn Munroe.The Savoy swung into the sixties with Louis Armstrong, Marlon Brando,and Jane Fonda to the Beatles and Bob Dylan !
In 2007 began the most extensive restoration that would re-launch The Savoy in 2010,
The hotel conducted a sale of 3,000 of its famous furnishings and memorabilia -which is something I personally felt quite sad about, for me [if I ever got the opportunity that is ]of going to the Savoy for afternoon tea ,the joy of being there and soaking up the atmosphere-wondering who had sat in that exact same spot-parked their bottom in that same chair and used the same china would be all part of the enjoyment for me ![ romantic old fool that I`am ] Having said that-the glass dome which was covered during WW2 was never uncovered until the renovation -The rooms have been modernised but decorated in period styles - I couldn`t help but feel it had been spoilt- once you had walked through the doors you could have been at any top class hotel anywhere in the world- but I guess you need to move with the times-I really am a bit of a grumpy bum - I hate change !
The hotel checked in its first guest- Actor and broadcaster Stephen Fry at 10.10am on the 10/10/10 after a refurbishment cost of 220 million pounds [ 110 m over budget]
Butler service was re-introduced .I would still love to stay the night at this hotel-who wouldn`t ? Sigh ! Our travelling bands go to the nicest of places !