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Robthu
Coventry
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496 of 645  Sat 15th Dec 2018 4:02pm  
Member: Joined Oct 2012  Total posts:103

Hello Kaga, I hope you are keeping well? In the middle of Coventry, my little haven still, (but don't tell anyone about it), in this dark drab time there is still a joy to be had, as that small country boy I travelled the fields and woodlands and still do at 71yrs and have found one of the most heart-warming things is sitting quietly beneath the bushes when scores of long-tailed tits pass through. They murmur, mutter and come within inches of you peering at you with their exquisite faces as they search and find their food (it must be small because I am yet to see what they are eating), it seems you are surrounded for hours, but it is only minutes, then gone, and silence falls again. This is just across the road from me and I attach two pictures for your enjoyment, one from my bird bath in summer and one from now where I have enjoyed the pleasures described above. Kindest regards Derek.
Coventry People - Our Kaga
Kaga simpson
Peacehaven, East Sussex
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497 of 645  Sun 16th Dec 2018 10:23am  
Member: Joined Sep 2014  Total posts:3202

Robthu, Yes, thank you, aren't they great. One could spend many happy hours just watching them. The purest pleasure and very English.
Coventry People - Our Kaga
Kaga simpson
Peacehaven, East Sussex
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498 of 645  Sun 16th Dec 2018 11:56am  
Member: Joined Sep 2014  Total posts:3202

Scrutiny, I was amused at your post on canal topic, and loved it. Anything you don't understand then just ask. In the 1930's onwards Coventry was all industry. I knew the names of Courtaulds, Dunlop etc before I knew chocolates or toffees. 95% of Coventry's males worked in some factory or other, but that was not for me, no interest ever in cars or engines, tools, or owning anything etc. All my money went on travel, books and freedom. Lucky or what? I was different to most. In old age and told of this forum, and told my stories were different, I thought someone on this forum may be interested. But I love writing about places and events, and some of the people I came across in my life. As for understanding me? Oh my Watching a programme the other night, I said "Why doesn't he tell her, he carved his own headstone?" Wife said "I don't know why you watch these war programmes, you're always criticising them".
Coventry People - Our Kaga
Kaga simpson
Peacehaven, East Sussex
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499 of 645  Tue 25th Dec 2018 12:05pm  
Member: Joined Sep 2014  Total posts:3202

On this day a little before my time a child was born in a manger in Bethlehem in the Holy Land. Now this manger looked something like an old English inglenook fireplace only in a rock setting, a huge block of granite as a lintel supported by two carved pillars, another block of granite lay between the two pillars forming an oblong two feet deep well. Can you imagine opening your eyes to the world with this great rock above your head? There were only five people viewing at that time, I was one of the five. Today over 10,000, the mind boggles.
Coventry People - Our Kaga
Kaga simpson
Peacehaven, East Sussex
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500 of 645  Thu 3rd Jan 2019 2:35pm  
Member: Joined Sep 2014  Total posts:3202

Dreamtime I could tell a lot of tales but who is going to believe me. I knew some of the crime underworld of Brighton and London, the only thing to back me up was Brighton police was so corrupt in the 1950's the chief and some detectives were summonsed. That is on record. I sat at the bar of the Iron Lung Club in Brighton sipping a shandy. My name was John. I nodded to the bouncer on the door to the back rooms. I heard through the racing someone was trying to get in touch with me. Three people came in - the girl Sylvia, her boyfriend Fingers and a guy called Swan. They came to the bar, arguing. The girl said "Hi John, buy me a drink, they're broke". I bought her a drink. "Come and sit with me" she said. We sat, the other two were still rabbiting on. Each had a half-pint. "What's with them two?" I asked. "Fingers wants to sell me to the Swan, he thinks he has money. He needs twenty quid to do a job". "What's the job this time?" "He's got a job lined up in Belgium, but doesn't have the fare, and I'm not going to help him either". "How good is the job?" I asked. "Oh yes, it's a cinch, but he can't bring in outsiders. You know that". My mind was working overtime, I had just had a big win. The Iron Lung was an illegal gambling, call girl, shady dealing club. Down steps off the pavement in the basement of a large Victorian mansion. In the back rooms were roulette wheel, high staked card tables etc. Sylvia won the Miss Brighton or Miss Sussex title. Fingers had many aliases, he had been in jail most of his life in most countries in Europe. His trade was to enter a jeweller's, ask to see jewels, then swap the jewels for glass replicas while assistants were boggle eyed looking at Sylvia's cleavage. The Swan was about six-feet tall, four inches of that was his neck. To cut it short, I staked Fingers for a percentage. He took another girl, left Sylvia with me for egoism. He was successful, came back and paid me in full. I had no worries - if a guy loses money foolishly, so be it.
Coventry People - Our Kaga
Dreamtime
Perth Western Australia
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501 of 645  Fri 4th Jan 2019 12:50pm  
Member: Joined Jan 2010  Total posts:3373

Kaga, that reminds me of the film 'Brighton Rock'. I don't think the average Joe has any inkling of what goes on in the underworld. Another way of life for so many but I am sure you would be the first to say they were YOUR good old days. Hope you are feeling better healthwise these days. Wave
Coventry People - Our Kaga
Midland Red
Cherwell
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502 of 645  Fri 4th Jan 2019 3:14pm  
Moderator: Joined Jan 2010  Total posts:5470

Kaga, did you ever come across 'Nasty Nick' van Hoogstraten or any of his buddies? We believe they had a connection with the property next door to us in Seaford which was empty for a while and gained a stack of air conditioning units in the back garden.
Coventry People - Our Kaga
Kaga simpson
Peacehaven, East Sussex
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503 of 645  Fri 4th Jan 2019 5:39pm  
Member: Joined Sep 2014  Total posts:3202

MR Kept well clear of that loony, been little news of him for years, but they say crime doesn't pay - he's worth £500million. There was a rumour in the sixties the SAS ex-soldiers were going to bump him off. 1957 - the guy that caught up with me asked, did I have a record, mug shot or prints. I said "no". "We're looking for new faces - job going, big money, no guns, no knives, no one gets hurt, interested?" "No". Nothing more, then 1963 train robbery! I was courting a girl, introduced her to a mate (once mentioned on this forum) and that was me out the back door. They married so I brought 'Miss Bathing Beauty' Sylvia to Coventry (ego), introduced her to them. I also one time brought Mr South East Britain (top billing) to the Morris Motors Club, Courthouse Green. All old hat now.
Coventry People - Our Kaga
Kaga simpson
Peacehaven, East Sussex
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504 of 645  Sat 5th Jan 2019 11:04am  
Member: Joined Sep 2014  Total posts:3202

Midland Red, Sure you didn't live in Newhaven, a guy in Newhaven's fort road broke the bank at Monte Carlo, winning £50,000 in one night, he did it no less than three times 19th century.
Coventry People - Our Kaga
Kaga simpson
Peacehaven, East Sussex
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505 of 645  Sat 5th Jan 2019 11:43am  
Member: Joined Sep 2014  Total posts:3202

Dreamtime. I was not happy about the hospital I attended so I asked for a transfer. I now have an appointment with a consultant at a different hospital on Jan 10, so spin the wheel, play the numbers, 7 red or 13 black. I'm ready. Were you out there in 1974, when cyclone Tracy flattened Darwin on Christmas Day? Yes, Brighton Rock was made in Duke Street, a dingy back-street right in the centre of Brighton. I worked with a guy who watched the street fights filmed as a child from his window. Graham Greene was in MI5 during the war.
Coventry People - Our Kaga
Dreamtime
Perth Western Australia
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506 of 645  Sat 5th Jan 2019 5:37pm  
Member: Joined Jan 2010  Total posts:3373

Kaga, Yes we arrived in the September as Cyclone Tracy hit on Christmas Day '74. You should see Darwin now, a complete new city. Most of the townsfolk were evacuated to Graylands Hostel here in Perth. As coincidence had it my daughter's name is Tracie. We have Cyclone Penny playing around at the moment up in far north Queensland, keeps blowing out to sea and then turning inland again, but has been downgraded now I believe.
Coventry People - Our Kaga
Kaga simpson
Peacehaven, East Sussex
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507 of 645  Sun 6th Jan 2019 11:55am  
Member: Joined Sep 2014  Total posts:3202

Dreamtime We met some people from Langford, while out there 1990 time. Sounds like the same boat they were on, hence my question. I loved Queensland, all the way up to Cape Tribulation. Wife hated the humidity.
Coventry People - Our Kaga
Kaga simpson
Peacehaven, East Sussex
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508 of 645  Thu 10th Jan 2019 6:04pm  
Member: Joined Sep 2014  Total posts:3202

I glanced down at my watch - 9.22 pm, and I was cursing to myself. It was my 19th birthday, I should have been dancing with some lovely girl, but no, I was with my mate standing on the corner of two streets, doing a curfew patrol in a hostile town in a very hostile district, rifles at the waist, barrels pointing forward. The sun had disappeared behind the hills, casting harsh early shadows - the shadows kept us more tense. My damp shirt clung to my back. An army lorry came round the other end of the street. My two friends at that end of the street climbed aboard. My spirits rose - it had been called off, we would return to camp. The lorry pulled up alongside us - a sergeant said "Hop in, we have got trouble". We scrambled aboard, nodded to our four friends. We all had our problem thoughts, the lorry sped off. Few minutes later it pulled up outside a large house - a jeep came from the other end of the street, one of our officers jumped out and so did a Palestine police officer. They entered the house, we followed. The door opened as we approached - the beautiful house had gorgeous rugs, cushions, curtains, and top class paintings. The second room, the same. Then we heard lovely music. We went through some curtains, and there was a small dance floor - a young girl was belly dancing. The officers skirted the dance floor, the sergeant said "You two stay here. No one goes out, no one". He followed the others. The lights were low, the music was intoxicating, four musicians on small stools. A rich scent in the air. We stood guard, There were four sheiks in flowing coloured robes sitting cross legged on coloured cushions, others of minor rank sat also. Everyone and everything reeked of money, but no one took a blind bit of notice of us - not one glance from anyone. My mate who was older and better educated than me, glanced and mouthed "Shush". He carefully lowered his rifle butt to the floor, barrel in both hands in front of him. I did the same, but neither of us could take our eyes off the girl, we were both spellbound. The girl danced in front of us, eyes blazing with hatred, then she danced away. The music stopped, she made some gesture to the sheiks, then slipped behind the curtain behind the band. Hubbly-bubbles, small saucers of food, and drinks were brought out for the guests - still no one glanced our way. My mate slowly drew his hand across his brow, he then mouthed "A private party, we are unwanted intruders". He slowly motioned for me to follow him so we stood in the folds of the great curtains. A few minutes later, chief sheik clapped his hands - servants came and took the refreshments away. The band played, only more Arabic, different kind of music - the girl danced, arms and fingers moving through the air, body twisting and turning. I felt my mate glancing - he mouthed "Story". We watched, mesmerised. A few minutes later and our mob came back through the back curtains and now I felt angry. They spoilt something majestic - they had someone in handcuffs. We left, the prisoner was transferred to a military police jeep. We climbed aboard a lorry and were returned to camp - in the lorry my mate said "A baby could have taken my rifle away". I nodded. It was the best birthday I ever had.
Coventry People - Our Kaga
Kaga simpson
Peacehaven, East Sussex
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509 of 645  Sun 13th Jan 2019 1:39pm  
Member: Joined Sep 2014  Total posts:3202

I wonder sometimes if it's the beauty of a running horse that brings so many people to the racecourse, or if it is the magnetism of a crowd, or the hope of making an easy shilling. For me it was the free strength of flashing flanks and driving hooves beating a challenge against the turf. My grandfather owned fifteen horses. By the time my father was ten, he knew every one of them, their strengths, their ability - leggy, headstrong, haughty - their integrity, whatever, and everything he knew he had passed on to me, for I was now in charge of two mighty shire horses. But those years passed, lost under the veil of war. I was with a friend on our way to Ascot races. Our coach stopped, the greatest jockey in England Gordon Richards entered. He mentioned a name (I have posted this before), the whole coach took on a new meaning, a tip to make bets, from the mouth of the jockey who was to ride the filly. A race of eleven horses, but gossip only counted two, a filly that had never run on a racecourse against a colt that had run several times, the last time being placed second. Each carried the same weights, a sprint race over six furlongs. To me the colt had the experience of the flag start. There was against the whisper of jockey, little difference in the price of each. We left the coach, entered the course. This was more than a racecourse, this was England, its age old custom, its top hats, its dress for dinner, its pass-the-port wine - it was Harrow and Eton, ploughman and farmer, politicians escaping the corridors of words, and workers from Coventry. All the people put together. We placed our bets, my friends went to find a place in the stands, a cloud of people across the grandstands. It had been ten years since I had got close to a horse. I walked to the parade ring just as the bell rang for them to enter, The colt led. Magnificent, sleek as speed itself, dancing like a boxer - was it coincidence that the filly falls in line in front of the colt? I compare them closely. The filly moves modestly but in splendid condition. I don't bother about the others. The crowd mumbles and shifts, I make my way to the stands. Binoculars to my eyes, they're at the post - the colt is covered in sweat fighting against the delay. This is the moment, the flag falls, everybody on their feet, craning their necks. The colt jumps into the lead. Ten thousand voices, swell and roll over the course. The filly in third, courage, run with them, and strategy. You do not watch a race, you read it - slow pace, medium or fast. Don't be rattled, don't be fooled, there's time. The filly, smooth, she's catching him, gliding up. The crowd stirs, roars for blood - she's smooth as a blade, and she's passing him. The crowd roar. It will break the colt's heart, but it doesn't - his head is up, he gives more. His ego kindles his courage, but not enough. The filly wins, and her supporters find their voice again. Then silence. The crowd moves away.
Coventry People - Our Kaga
Kaga simpson
Peacehaven, East Sussex
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510 of 645  Mon 14th Jan 2019 5:50pm  
Member: Joined Sep 2014  Total posts:3202

My friend Charlie rushes down to collect his winnings, but I walk down to the saddling enclosure, the little filly stood before the cameras bathed in glory, and owner and trainer and friends in festive mood. Some yards away the colt was still prancing and throwing his head high. The jockey had the saddle in his hands ready to weigh in but someone was livid and really ticking him off - could only be the owner. I took one last glance at the handsome colt - I thought, a bigger and better day will come for you. The years proved me right, he won many races, often with my money on his back. For me it was the start of a life of adventure and fun that was unusual for my background.
Coventry People - Our Kaga

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