Friday, November 25, 2011

how to hate the working classes

Details of the T.U.C. Day Of Action:30th November
 Personally , I think the focus on just "pensions" is a far too narrow one.It's more complex than that....but,hey, what do I know....? I support, but it's disingenuous for both sides say it's 'just' about pensions.

Do you think David Cameron's hair is starting to turn gray?  Wouldn't it be cool if peoples hair turned sepia instead of gray........ 

"Yes, I remember Tommy Cheese-bits very well. I can see him now, pushing his cart around. If he saw a group of youngsters he would often turn around and walk away, frightened of "getting a stone on th'heed", I heard him tell..........."[Read More]
This is a Sepia Saturday post.

This week,a couple of photos& comments from Old Photos Of Halifax    
Our first  man is Tommy Cheesbits (outside a 1970's shop.I'm on theme by accident this week!).Tommy was one of those "characters" who,in retrospect, are remembered by a community."You dont get any characters these days" people say.I'm not so sure if thats true?Maybe we only recognise 'character' in retrospect?
I remember 2 other local characters from my youth in the 60's..70's.....80's...[hey! I had a long youth!].Sadly I dont have any photos of them.One was a guy who dressed up as a Roundhead Soldier..& used to ride around The Pennine Moors on his horse.I know not why.I remember once,driving along Blackstone Edge in thick fog..and suddenly he appeared silently (from shrubs & grassland) like an extra from The Twilight Zone.
Another chap I remember was  someone who seemed to spend his life walking up& down The Calder Valley.Dressed as a bare feet.
I never stopped to talk to them.Je regrette..........
One bloke I did know was Donald John.As a child I lived near a Salvation Army Hostel near King Cross Street (it closed during the reign of Maggie Thatcher & became a winebar called "Salvations").Donald was a kind man.I used to meet him & his mates in Peoples Park on Sunday morning when (aged 11) I told my parents I was going to Sunday Mass..but sat in the Park for an hour instead talking with him.
I loved this guy,i used to tell him where there was any scrap,visited him in hospital when he had throat cancer, I also attended his funeral which was very well attended, I think he was one of the last of the Cowburn totters, I miss the old characters of hx,when Donald died the Courier ran weeks of eulogies about him. Donald John R.I.P.............[Ken]
.............. he used to go to Butterly Bricks in Elland every night my grandad was kiln man there and my grandad used to let him sleep near kiln where it was warm........[Karl Gledhill]

Ken was telling me recently about another Halifax character I had never heard of ,a certain "Mrs Cheesebits" [no relation] who in the 70's used to sit cross-legged on a pavement all day [often sat immodestly] selling day-old copies of The Halifax Courier.Rumour had it that if she didn't bring home enough money,her son would beat her up in the evening.....that's the way it goes.............
just like millions of other British Public Service Workers , I will be taking part in a Day Of Action on Wednesday 30th November.

Luke Haines :"How To Hate The Working Classes".
A Link via:Danny's blog


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

"a city with my name on, i will enter in disguise"~ Jackie Leven.

Jackie Leven playing Hebden Bridge Trades Club,August  2010.Phil The -Ex-Fireman lends an ear ,far left of the photo.
Jackie Leven [wikipedia] died from Prostrate Cancer on Monday night at 8pm.
[In a Shivering Blaze by Jackie Leven]
Usually ,media announcements of death leave me cold.To mourn a passing you must,i think, have some physical connection.Only friends & family have the right of grief.
Look .I like Bob Dylan.I have seen him play often.But when he dies i doubt if I should really care.I have never  had a wish meet him.[I suspect he's as mad as a bucket of frogs]
I will mourn Bob's back catalogue.I will mourn the fact that it indicates my own mortality.But, Bob's Pulse itself doesn't really  touch me individually .
Jackie is the late 70s in my grotty East London ;Acid-Soaked bedsit, i had developed a fairly eclectic taste in music.[I talked about this period of my life in this old post ].The likes of Nick Drake,The Only Ones, & a couple of LPs by a punkish band called Doll By Doll  graced my turntable... I knew little about Doll by Doll:never saw them play. +Eventually I forgot..........
In the middle 80's i was introduced to a cd by Jackie.I was attracted by the Leven /Fife connection.My Mum had lived as a child in Leven.It was only later I realised Jackie was the Voice of Doll by it goes...
My first Jackie Leven cd had contributions from the likes of Robert Bly & the whole Mens Movement thing.
At this time I was having all sorts of Stress & Depression Problems with my teaching career . Jackie helped me find my balls again.
[Defending Ancient Springs by Jackie Leven]
From then on I was hooked.I saw him play live 5 times at The Hebden Bridge Trades Club & once at The Bury Met.It was at Bury in 2008,with Cathy,Don& Margaret, I saw Jackie play the week between my Mum Dying &  My Burying Her.
Unknown to Jackie, he told a wildly funny story about him trying to scatter his own Mum's ashes.In a very counter-intuitive way, I laughed for the only time that really helped me to cope with my own loss.
I only took up 2 minutes of Jackie's Life.
Twice I talked to him in The Hebden Bridge Trades.Once ,just a simple "Good Gig Jackie".The other time, we talked about how Jackie had had a "dodgy curry in Bradford" the night before...and his fear of having to leave the stage midstream to go to the bog..........(a conversation held appropriately ,during the Interval,in The Trades Club toilets)
God Speed Dear Jackie.I Love You but,for fuck sake, say well away from that  Jimmy Savile! X
Der Tagesspiegel:Obituary
*a 2nd,amusing,Obituary in The Independent
Jackie with Princess Di.She was the patron of the CORE TRUST that he help set up for addiction.She was one person who encouraged him to return to singing+performing  after he got his throat cut.

 Below another of my photos of dear sweet Jackie in Hebden Bridge...........