Thursday, November 30, 2006

Movie Doppelganger

You know the phenomenon - you wait all year for a movie about something and then two come along. This is a list of movies on the same subject that came out at roughly the same time - whether for commercial, coincidental or commemorative purposes like the Columbus movies. If you are of a certain age this could be called the Antz/Bugs Life effect. Confusing.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Don't Misbehave in the New Age mp3

I am sure you're all getting excited about coming to our do on the 23rd, so play this to get you in the mood. If you haven't got an invite email me and you can have one. I was reading a thing in the Sunday Times (which we don't buy I hasten to add) and it is the guide to throwing a very 2006 party and one thing to do is get some trashy bands. Well we got that right. Susan and I met in 78, for the record, outside the Granary in Bristol. Kev Saunders introduced us and though we both lived in Frome didn't know each other. The Ants were supporting Wire but the gig was cancelled. So, after chatting to Bristol's then rising rock star Johnny Britten who talked about dating one of Paul Maccartney's daughters, we went for a drink over the road to the Old Duke pub. The rest, as they say, is history. Or, to quote Girls Aloud, Biology.

Cock and Bull Story

Have you ever seen yourself parodied on screen? Well according to my kids I have, in this comedy about the making of an 18thc history picture based on Tristram Shandy (a few Barry Lyndon references in there) starring Steve Coogan and Rob Bryden. The character in question is played Mark Williams of the Fast Show and is a nerdy historical reenactor-cum-expert who is present when they are shooting the battle scenes of Namur 1695. 'They're cheap' someone says, 'We would have done this for free we love this period so much' he says - my lot said I winced. There's a fantastic model of Namur citadel in his garden too. You'll have to see the movie. I think he's nothing like me, but I take on board I used to be a bit like that. The film itself is very funny. KInd of like 'Extras' but a movie version with lots of the usual backstage bitchiness you can expect for a film about the making of a film.
I recommend you rent this very witty movie or buy it if only to see the second film to lampoon 18thc reenactors - the first being Alan Alda's 'Sweet Liberty'.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Napoleon the ferret

Did you know that if you do a Blog search for Napoleon the ferret you get some other ferret - an American one - so I think it's time to give him a bit more exposure. As you can see he's a little on the chubby side but he does get plenty of exercise - he just has a healthy appetite.
I've managed to prevent him getting the nickname Nappy but he is occasionally known as Mr Chuckles because of the happy noises he makes while he scurries about. Maybe I ought to record it and put out a cd - bet the other Napoleon hasn't had that.

Monday, November 27, 2006

The Cramps 'Primitive'

Live version of the Groupies classic from this summer's visit. You get a view from the moving audience. We do a version of this song - it's a classic from 66... 'Because I love...and I live...Primitive'. The Groupies were all extremely young and when they were signed to Atlantic -got on a wrong plane finished up on the wrong coast and got dumped by the label. The 1960s NY Garage band scene

Germany preserves bunker with history running back to World War One

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Worker's Songs from the Somerset coalfield

This is a musical posting really. I think. Issue 3 of the Radstock Museum Journal has some wonderful songs that were sung during strikes and so on during the late 19th century. They are stirring stuff and as some are written by G. Mitchard, Somerset Miner's Association official, so I am bound to be interested. Anyway I'd like to see some of these songs redone - - in a new way. There's about 7 in the article by Tom Randall - if you think it might be fun get in touch. To give you a taster of what is a typical song this is the last verse of 'Who Will Help Them'
The kind-hearted colliers of the North of Old England
Have offered to help them and set them free,
From their tyrant oppressors who have long been supreme,
And those Radstock colliers will never give in,
There's no end of danger they're in down below,
Doing their best to bring us good coal,
Yet still in this danger, they're sorely oppressed,
By those who employ them for wages so low

Strong stuff...

Somerset mining memories

If you are local or looking for a gift for a relative this might fit the bill. It's a high quality documentary by Tim Bateman on the Somerset coalfields told through archive photos but most notably by interviews with old miners. The stories are both sad and funny and much ground is covered - from the miners brought into the coalfields from the Northeast, from Italy and Poland as well as dealing with subjects like accidents, early history, comradeship and so on. A visual treat for anyone interested in the area. Available from Radstock Museum, which is having a Christmas fair on the 2nd December.

Badly Drawn Boy video

I'm not normally a BDB fan - I don't really like pianos and I like my music exhuberant but this has grown on me - it has a melancholy charm and seems very English and for that reason you might - if you are dropping by from somewhere else -learn something from this video. Not sure what though...the chorus is worth waiting the long wait for but you might be ready to give up before then but hang's worth waiting for.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Conan the Historian

This history blog is excellent - check it out for some really stimulating stories from around the world.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Flyboys trailer

This has been getting mixed reviews - here's a favourable one. I quite enjoyed it - it was a superior Hollywood treatment all in all - I was pleasantly surprised in a way - obviously aimed at a young audience I would be happy to recommend it to someone who wasn't a World War One nut. Not that I know anyone...

The Black Mountains quartet

Of course with all these books coming out about Radstock and the Great War you might think that this would be a good area and era for a novel - well luckily there have been four - starting with the Black Mountains (a reference to the spoil heaps of coal which dominate the landscape). Local authoress Janet begins the saga of 'Hillsbridge' a mining town in Somerset and follows the family's fortunes through the generations until 1955.
Janet Tanner has also a fiction work 'Tucker's Inn' loosely based on the pub Tucker's Grave. Interestingly this must-visit cider house was also the subject of a song on the last Stranglers album. Funnily enough Hugh Cornwell was out there once when I was there. Small world.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Bow wow wow 'Do you Wanna Hold Me'

It's been weeks since I put a Bow Wow Wow video up and what with the Marie-Antoinette film out I think it's time they had a revival. All we need is 'Sun Sea And Piracy' to be on a commercial and away we go.

Frome's Fallen Heroes of the Great War

I just received this book by David L Adams and can recommend it wholeheartedly. It tells the tale of the 450 or so men killed from this small industrial market town in North Somerset during the First World War. I found it particularly interesting as many of the surnames were familiar having grown up in Frome and the addresses also give a picture of the town as it was, and their occupations show the area and its neighbouring little different from the days of my youth. A cross section of a national tragedy. Available from local museums and an ideal, though sombre Festive gift for someone who lives in the town as it reinforces how short life can be for the brave.

Death of Blackbeard

Today is the day when Bristol's own legendary pirate met his grisly death. Now he has his own festival
and tv series, which I didn't get to see.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Ben Affleck hits with Superman tale

Return to form for Affleck as he plays George Reeves the man who was Superman.

King Biscuit Time

Pass the Biscuits! As the tag went. This was broadcast or the first time today in 1941, and made a legend of Sonny Boy Williamson. This was an influential programme introducing a new blues sound across the south. Watch Sonny Boy playing Keep it To Yourself here

Monday, November 20, 2006

The realm of the hungry ghosts

Sue went with a neighbour to a buddhist meditation evening - when they talked of the realm of the hungry ghosts she thought of Pacman!

Marco interview

Talks about music, punk, and of course A Ant. Damaged goods
Wolfmen single out today

Battle of Narva

Epic battle fought in blizzards this day in 1700 in present day Estonia. The Russians lost. It's also the day when Plastic Soldier review posts their comments on Zvezda Swedish infantry. They reckon they're more 1706-21. I still rate them as the best plastic 18thc figures so far.
See Great Northern Wars reenactors here
Figures here

Radstock in the Great War

Went in to my local stationers-cum-printers and imagine my joy - another book published about Radstock and the surrounding villages in the Great War - called 'In the Company of Heroes' by William Blanning. It is a very thick paperback and looks full of useful information, photos, and biographies. £15 from Fosseway Press Frome Road Radstock. Doesn't look like my grandad is in this one either.

Cheers My Bab!

Last night 'Lydia' a subject of a documentary on teenage binge drinking propelled our little town of Radstock into prime time tv on Panorama. What a scream. 'Can you get me some cider? I'll give you a fag...cheers my bab!' - we all cheered when she said 'I started going down Radstock to drink' - wonderful - she looked like she was thoroughly enjoying herself and even singing a Britney Spears type song in the show as some sort of happy ending. A star is born.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Toussaint L'Ouverture

Just in case you are wondering who this man is and why they should be making a film of him - read his life story above. A son of a slave who raised an army to beat the French helping to create a new Republic. For military information check out the Osprey Napoleon's Overseas Army by Rene Chartrand (see image).
Fight to Control the West Indies
The period of the French Revolution and Napoleonic wars in the West Indies hasn't really had the coverage it deserves - it was essentially about who controlled these sugar-rich fever islands and was part of the maritime struggle between Britain and France in the 18th century. For wargaming it maybe the best bet is to convert Hat's Spanish Guerrilas, British Marines and sailors and French Line Infantry
Campaigns in the West Indies

Mark E Smith on Adam and Joe

Adam and Joe visit the record collections of the music world. Note the Royal Armouries carrier bag.

Animals and Men get good review shock

Someone gave our band a good review on the excellent Rate Your Music site - 'a frickin' masterpiece' - what can we say...thank you Gore Girl - You've Got GOOD taste. ... and you travel by bus...consider yourself invited to our 25th anniversary party in Radstock UK 23rd December.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Bad Detectives 'Howlin' For My Baby'

Frome's rockabilly and surf superstars playing live. Also see

Makhnovist reenactors from Russia

I don't know this group but they look suitably anarchistic for a lot portraying Makhnovism

Friday, November 17, 2006

S.R.D. Jar

It's funny the things you can find right under your nose - whilst looking for a lost ferret (which we thankfully found) I happened upon one of these in my next door neighbour's garden being used as a doorstop for a potting shed - it's a World War One rum ration jar. The SRD logo has been said to mean many things - Seldom rarely delivered is one - service rum diluted is another - check out the above reenactors page for details. If it looks familiar then you might have seen one in the movie The Trench featuring the current Bond Daniel Craig where one gets broken before the lads were about to go over the top. It is a bit insulting really that scene - implies that all the people going over the top were drunk. Plot of the film

Surname profiler

This is good fun - try your surname out for 1881 and see where the main concentration was - no prizes for guessing what small NE Somerset town we were gathered at.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

The War Illustrated

This is an original way to present photos - Russian Great War reenactment photos are presented using captions and images from the contemporary magazine, The War Illustrated. Also The Kaiser's Huns in Various Moods and Places, and With Our Allies on Western and Eastern fronts. Looking forward to more.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Charley's War

My son is always telling me that all he knows about the Great War is gathered from the comic strip Charley's War from the British mag 2000AD and others. Well it so happens that this strip is a good place to start for anyone's money as it is not only very accurate historically it also is very well drawn into the bargain. Check out the site if you don't believe me.
So if you want a good graphic book about this period get one of the compendium stories or put it on your wish list for the festive season. Many historical themes are covered including the Etaples Mutiny.

Battle of Winwaed 655

An interesting Dark Age battle has its anniversary today, fought between Northumbrians and Mercians. Website above will tell you all there is to know. The helmet known as the Sutton Hoo helmet is from roughly the same era. Buy your repro version here

Axis and Allies

If you're into tanks but are not bothered by modelling and more into game play you might want to try Avalon Hill's game Axis and Allies. Centred around collectable miniatures and figures and various scenarios it looks like it might be a worthwhile investment if you are wanting something three dimensional to get you away from the screen. I notice they have the Italian M13/40 (see below) as highly inflammable - nice...

Airfix bought by Hornby

Good news for model makers... apparently sales at Hornby dipped this year. They put the fall down to the World Cup and the hot summer, which it said was "not conducive to indoor hobby activities". That's quite refreshing in a way to know that people have enough sense to enjoy the sun when it's shining. What to make now that long winter evenings are here? If you're not into World War One why not make the new Italeri M13/40? A reissue of an Esci kit that was quite sought after as far as I know - this Italian tank was a death trap for the poor crews that had to go into battle in them. M13/40 details

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Barry Lyndon battle scene

I know we have had this clip before but it's great and I want to promote my google group dedicated to 18thc warfare reenactment - thanks!


Ah nostalgia - even more poignant when relating to toys - well that's what I think. You can tell a true toy fan when they fantasise about what models they'd get when time machines are invented - mine would have to be Britain swoppets. They were amazing and this site does them justice with all manner of interesting pictures and stories about the creation of these superior toy soldiers. I had some of course, never enough and I always changed what I was interested in so I would only have about three of each range. My son was asking me about this tendency to change the period of history I was into frequently the other day - I blame movies for this - you can happily go along being quite happily into say, the Napoleonic wars and then you watch a movie about say the American Revolution and then off you go. Anyway enjoy this site and if you have any of these figures feel free to send them to me, I will give them a good home, and won't trash them like I did 40 years ago. Link to another interesting Herald and Britain's site

Monday, November 13, 2006

Kazakh horsemen in London

Unfortunately they weren't allowed to bring their horses in and do their stunts due to Health and safety reasons and rode polo ponies but other than that these must have made quite a sight in the Lord Mayor's parade in London.

Star Wars Miniatures

I'm not one for fantasy or sci-fi much but this set of pre painted miniatures based on the Star Wars saga are pretty appealing. About an inch tall the figures cost a couple of quid each and are with a card which relates to a grid based game - a bit like Hero Clix if you know that system. So if you can't be bothered to paint and you like Star Wars maybe these should be on your list of things to buy. I'll stick to history but anything NOT Games Workshop gets my vote.

Civil War - the Game - for PS2, Xbox360 and PC

A civil war first person shooter? Clouds of blackpowder smoke obscuring your vision while you fire indiscriminantly at some unseen foe while artillery destroys nearly all your comrades - your idea of fun? Well maybe this could be a game worth getting. From what I can find out this is based on the Call of Duty 2 engine and I should imagine it therefore being pretty good. From the list of weapons in the bumph below I note there is no mention of the basic firearm for the period - the muzzleloader as that would be kind of frustrating having to load one of those all the time. The end effect with gatling guns and revolvers will probably more resemble a Great War battlefield than Civil War but you have to be reasonably impressed someone bothered to do this. I hope there's an online possibility as that would be interesting. To me anyway. Screenshots
Out on November 14 Civil War will be a first-person action game and will take place during 12 of the war's most notorious battles, including Gettysburg, Bull Run, and Antietam. The game will feature authentic guns, like repeating rifles, revolvers, and Gatling guns, but it will also feature plenty of gritty hand-to-hand combat with bayonets, sabres, and good old-fashioned fists. Gamers can play as either the Confederate or Union soldiers.

Into the West

This historical western series carries on - wikipedia for episode guide if you've missed any. Some of it is annoying - mostly the soundtrack which has all the old cliches like warbly whistle music in the Native American bits. If I ever find myself in the Dakotas talking to some old Indian guy I will be extremely disappointed if I don't hear annoying native whistle music in the background. Anyway you can watch it online - I should skip the first couple of episodes if you want epic battle scenes.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Norton-Radstock Carnival

Here's a very short clip shot by Sussan of one of the floats at our local Carnival in North East Somerset - it's hard to choose one particular example of this tradition - we think it is a naive or folk art form - have a look and see if it is. It is certainly not commercially oriented and that's something to treasure.

Saturday, November 11, 2006


Emhar are a British company making excellent World War 1 artillery, tanks and figures in the larger scale and are ideal for garden wargames. They are in a hard plastic and are pretty bendable. Review of their German cannon here which also contains info and a clip of the 7.7cm.
Buy the figures here at Harfields. Or on ebay.

thanks to whoever sent me this.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Wells Carnival

Tonight, Friday, is the big night in the Carnival season in the West Country at Wells - Britain's smallest city. Last night was our Norton-Radstock one - not as big as Wells but it was pretty good and if I can get my pc working I will upload a few clips so you can see what it's like. Basically the season starts November 5th in Bridgwater and then does a week or so around the key Somerset towns. Originally the floats were on haycarts and were simply people dressed up but since then they have become pretty opulent eye catching affairs. They usually fall into two groups - humourous where some aspect of West Country life is lampooned or serious and these usually take the form of some people standing stock still while dressed as a futuristic warlord or Native American. People spend all year making these things and if you're not in the mood you can't help thinking 'why?' but if you in the right frame of mind it is a glorious folk art treat stacks better than anything Disney or any other corporation can conjure up. If you live in the South West get down to Wells - it's a great night out - wrap up warm and take plenty of coins. Be prepared for pumping music, glaring lights that will bleach your eyebrows and cold feet. Learn more at this Somerset carnival website

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Great War in the Garden

Wargaming can be expensive - it has been estimated that a Games Workshop army big enough for a battle costs around three hundred quid and that is before you start buying terrain. And who has a table big enough? Disenchanted with the hobby I once gave my collection of tanks and figures to my then young son to play with - he and the neighbouring kids had a great time, better than I could have had, playing war with them in the dirt and among the rocks - and they brought them back pretty much intact, and then it dawned on me...why try and fight on a table when you have a garden? Wasn't HG Wells' Little Wars - the book that started wargames in 1913 ('A Game for Boys from twelve years of age to one hundred and fifty and for that more intelligent sort of girl who likes boys' games and books') all about doing it in the garden? (Read it online)
Now if that fills you with horror at putting your precious figures outside then maybe you shouldn't use them; maybe you should buy a load of 1/72 or if you have a large garden 1/32 plastics, give them a rudimentary paintjob, base them on washers for stability and use those instead. Wargaming the Great War in the garden means you can excavate trenches, dig out shell craters, and have unlimited space within reason. You can have enough room to use long range artillery fire, spotters, actually destroy trenches and troop build ups with some realism. Having cheap and cheerful armies means not spending your life modelling and instead getting outside on a sunny afternoon instead of hunched over a smokey table. Probably the easiest way is for the host to have a defensive position and the guest attack it - but be prepared for the occasional earwig or ants invasion. Whether you use normal wargames rules or ones that involve projectiles like corks to replicate howitzer fire is of course up to you. I suggest a combination of both. More about Little Wars and some great images
Harfields for plastic figures including the Armies in Plastic 1/32 pictured

The Great War scene in Russia

Some excellent snowy pics of recreated trench warfare from the era 1914-17 are on this site - mostly taken recently. As you can see winter's already arrived with scenes depicted reminiscent of the first Christmas in the trenches. Nice to see Lambs Navy Rum still has the power to keep out the cold even that far north. Apparently there was a rugby match between the Allies and the Austrians as well, between skirmishes.

Call of Duty3

Well it's nearly out - the excellent WW2 series for various consoles. What will it be like? How long will it be before I get sucked into this world? Promises even more vehicles and hand to hand options. Call of Duty 2 Big Red One was excellent and the online option very realistic - too realistic to make it a comfortable experience. If you don't have that one maybe you should get that one first as that will be no doubt cheap. Official site

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

World War One Action figures

Maybe you think this is in bad taste - but obviously it's the sort of thing that is prevalent for the World War Two period but we're not supposed to have toys of the Great War. Why is that? Is the implication that WW2 was nicer or is it simply more profitable - anyway check these out for an unusual gift idea for a small child relative or a deranged blogger...

These French and Germans ar made by Workshop toys - three and three quarters of an inch tall. I like them - this company's Samurai figures look good too. If you want Great War in the larger size like the German Trench Raider try these in the series Bayonets and Barbed Wire.

Lobositz reenactment pics

The 250th anniversary of this Seven Years War battle was fought this October. Pictures on this site linked Bitva u Lovosic 1756


This is the only picture of me in a kilt so apologies for the low quality. Although it is indoors I did actually go out looking like this a few times. I am wearing Susan's Boy Jacket and some Kitsch 22 trousers. It was round about this time 79, that we recorded Shell Shock - see below.
There are some pretty cool kilts nowadays - see Utility Kilts -would I wear one now?

Great War Miniatures

A new range and a new company in 28mm - they look well sculpted - what they have at the moment is British and German for the last two years of the war. Apparently they tower over the old Foundry range but are smaller than Renegade Miniatures' line, but accuracy levels are high in equipment etc.
In 1/72 scale Hat are about to release Canadian infantry which should go down well with what's available already.
Shellshock by Animals and Men

A series of images Red and I put to our old 45 from 1980 'Shell Shock' a song about the Great War - hope you find the time to watch it.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

bell tents

There's nothing more symbolic in my mind of Imperial Britain than a row of bell tents. This picture shows troops policing striking railwaymen in Wales. Also used by scouts they are still readily available.

French trench with donkey and poppies

The only photo from the Great War showing poppies.

Don't forget to wear your poppy... Remember soldiers don't start wars - politicians do - soldiers only get killed, injured, mentally scarred and ruined in wars but they don't start them.

Photo is from the excellent Heritage of the Great War site. There are some beautiful colour postcards and photos - also some interesting items on Tolkien and the Western Front.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Middle East in World War One

This is an interesting looking dvd about the area now known as the Middle East - called 'Blood and Oil' it looks worth checking out - there are trailers to watch. My Great-Grandad on my mother's side was in Mesopotamia so I am pretty interested...

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Yorktown 2006 reenactment clips

Yorktown 225th Re-enactment DVD Preview

If you like 18th century warfare you might want to watch this clip - even if you don't I recommend you watch it - it's pretty spectacular - I even dragged Susan over to see it - the quality of the camera work coupled with large bodies of French, British and American revolutionary reenactors make this worth the effort of watching. I don't suppose we will get anything like this in scale in Britain but Napoleonic used to be small - this year's Jena was huge.
Anyway if you inspired to reenact the period check out my forum and if you want to build a Revolutionary period wargames army I recommend the Perry Miniatures range

Vivienne Westwood

Of course with the movie Marie-Antoinette out, and kids loving Pirates no doubt everyone is talking about the 18th century punk French revolution cross over so let's remember who started it - Vivienne Westwood - our most influential designer - she who mixed piracy and the Incroyables with walkman's and Bow wow wow. Mind you I think it was a mistake going for the Incroyables (reactionary dandies) side of thing - the sans-culottes were the true fashion radicals in my opinion- but I think the whole thing was anti-punk and that's where that was coming could have taken off a lot bigger than it did but then I don't expect anyone minded - they've made enough since... anyway she is responsible for getting me into a kilt so bicorns off to her - a true original. I suppose there is still time for people to wear pirate gear on the street - pirate punk is a genre in itself now, so who knows

'I can't think of any event in history that did more damage than the French revolution. Not only to culture, but also to society. Yes, I am English. It's in my bones. (Very unpatriotic and interested in French culture because although the revolution smashed so much, but nevertheless the French still had ideas up until the First World War)'. Vivienne Westwood
Schwimmwagen in a pond

there's something about amphibious cars I like - I think I want one of these...

Into the West

I actually enjoyed this - but I am a sucker for bison, flintlocks and indians and there were plenty of all these things in the first episode. I felt that it was in a tradition of trying to educate people as well as entertain them - I think John Ford would have enjoyed watching it. I have to admit that I am looking forward to the next instalment. Learn to speak Lakhota
If you want some further study I recommend 'To Live and Die in The West' which is a great book at a ridiculously cheap price.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

18th century reenactment forum

I have set up this forum for reenactors across the world to keep each other informed with news of important events, anniversaries, new websites and photo galleries. Join up if that is your cup of tea and spread the word. By the way the fine artwork here of a tavern is by Sean O'Brogain all rights reserved 2004 Grand Alliance

Friday, November 03, 2006

Into the West

This big budget story of the clash between settlers and Lakota Natives looks unmissable visually - though the reviews have reckoned it to be corny and ridiculous with regards characters and story. Someone quipped on tv last night that 'this is for people who thought Dances With Wolves too short'. Very popular in America though and I shall try and tape it and no doubt moan about it. Battle sequences look good on the trailers.
Wiki on Spielberg's Into the West

French army of 1914

To say the French army of 1914 was colourful is probably an understatement. Going to war in red trousers and a red kepi may have seemed like a great idea to the politicians who thought it essential for the national glory but it made the poor French soldier a beautiful target for the accurate rifles in use at the time. African troops also went to war in outfits that to the 20th century eye look more Hollywood than practical. With almost a Lemming-like zeal the brave but foolhardy French officers in white gloves led bayonet charges against machine guns. Cavalry wearing the breastplates and helmets of the Napoleonic era clattered nobly in the streets of Paris but were denied the chance for epic charges in an era when artillery devestated masses of horsemen with ruthless effect. Soon things would change; first covers were issued for the red items and then a horizon blue uniform was introduced as well as a helmet - the age of romantic warfare was dead and a new more determined France dug in for the long haul.
What I would like to see - and I think it will work a treat - is to see a 1914 era French unit recreated by Germans. German reenactors I think would love to do this kind of unit and I think it could be a lot of fun. Basically it is an era where you can enjoy the finer things in life - red wine, absinthe, great art and grow a fine moustache. Of course it's just an idea, but one to think about for a few years and then prepare for 2014. French colour photos from the excellent Great War in a Different Light site. French uniforms are available at Italian Front.
Poilus de la Marine -French reenactors
151eme - US based group with detailed equipment pages
photos 14-18

Virtual Museum

Simple traditional designs

If you are the sort of person that gets excited by things like old-style stoves (Susan is) and objects like these washboards then this American store is the place for you. They have all sorts of useful things NOT IN PLASTIC - which is great as plastic is rubbish - it fades, cracks and then you have to get another - this stuff will last a proper decent length of time and look pleasant to the eye. The lawnmower is the only type I would contemplate these days, quiet, amphibian-friendly, and space-saving. Actually some of this stuff will be useful for World War One living history enthusiasts I should think.

Mitchards in Radstock

Bought an interesting map of Radstock c1902 the other day - mentions Uriah Mitchard on the council - not sure where he stands in terms of the family but an interesting genealogy link. Ican trace my family as coal miners with no exception back to 1768 - my dad broke the chain, thankfully. Try your family or if not work it out and tell of him here but I am not sure which one he is.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

The Trench, a movie from 1999

This fellow Daniel Craig is everywhere - this will be his best moment for Great War movie fans - as a sergeant about to go over the top. The scene with the rum ration is priceless. I couldn't remember the plot so I borrowed this review - sorry for being so lazy...

In 1916, the British Army suffered their bloodiest and most severe defeat ever in the Battle of the Somme; The Trench focuses on the awful prelude to the battle as seen through the eyes of a group of inexperienced soldiers. Billy Macfarlane (Paul Nicholls) is a 17-year-old boy who joined the Army to fight alongside his older brother Eddie (Tam Williams), whom he worships. As the members of their platoon wait for fighting to commence, Eddie climbs up on a hill to see what the German forces are up to. He's immediately hit by sniper fire, suffering a severe injury, and soon another man in the unit is killed. Suddenly the ugly reality of battle has been introduced to the soldiers, few of whom are out of their teens. While their commanders inform them bombing has wiped out most of the enemy troops, the continued attacks convince them this may not be the truth. The Trench marked the directorial debut of novelist William Boyd, whose books have often dealt with the First World War. ~ Mark Deming, All Movie Guide IMdb for the Trench
Falco - Rock Me Amadeus

I bought this record today for 50p - I've long yearned for it and now I can play it any time I want. The only musician I could think of from Austria and then I thought 'Mozart - oh yeah' - I think last night's attack on some vodka may have killed some brain cells

Zvezda Swedish Army figures out!

Check out the pics - at first glance I like them...they look like they could do for French and Indian war or War of Polish Succession - they might not be perfect but the best eighteenth century plastics made to date is my verdict. The walking forward with musket pose is a bit Barry Lyndonesque but pretty interesting I reckon. Look forward to the artillery and cavalry.


As you can see - I am very proud and happy with my new Telnyashka - (Russian naval and other forces shirt) - I've wanted one for ages and now I have one. Thanks. It's really warm and now I hope that everyone in the People's Republic of Radstock adopt them as a sign of solidarity with the workers and fighters against facism.

Great War British Uniforms

This company comes highly recommended for price and quality. Looks impressive.
Jack Scott - Leroy

'Leroys mind is full of hate - Leroy will never go straight' - I remember Peely delivering those lines in mock gravitas - a great Rockabilly classic

Leroy's birthday portrait

This will probably have people going for the Next Blog button - Susan did this great study to mark his 8th birthday. Notice his arse on the tv remote controls - considered by many the wand of domestic power.