Sunday Round-up

My round-up of news, events and stuff and nonsense from the last seven days –
if it’s news to me, it must be news to you!

PC crossings: The traditional green man lights on pedestrian crossings around Trafalgar Square have been temporarily changed ahead of the London’s Pride Festival to show same-sex couples holding hands to form a heart shape and other LGBT symbols.

Whether that means that only gay, lesbian, bi or transgender couples are allowed to cross at the appropriately denoted crossing isn’t clear.

Clowning around: A sinister craze from America has crossed the Atlantic in which people dress up as clowns, then leap out of bushes to scare children, no doubt causing severe coulrophobia.

Alternative education: An elementary school in Portland, Oregon, is to run a Satanic after-school programme as an alternative to clubs run by evangelical Christians.

Pat the PeacockMurder most fowl: A murder mystery in the Yorkshire village of Thimbleby – who killed Pat the Peacock?

Meanwhile, a rare black dormouse is spotted in Britain for the first time. (Dormice aren’t really mice at all and get their name because they sleep a lot. They were also were considered a tasty treat by the Romans.)

What were her parents thinking: One of the world’s most successful women chess players will boycott the world championship in Iran because by law she would have to wear a headscarf. But why did her parents name her Nazi? (Actually, it’s Georgian and means ‘delicate’ or ‘tender’)

Man’s best friend: Gertie the pointer came to the rescue of a woman who had lost her artificial leg by retrieving it after it was lost to the sea. A cat wouldn’t do that.

Alternative medicine of the week: Taking a ride on a rollercoaster can be good for you, from shifting kidney stones to easing asthma.

Photo by Jesus Abad ColoradoForgotten war: As the people of Colombia reject a ceasefire with Farc rebels, some moving images recorded over the last twenty-five years by Jesus Abad Colorado Lopez.

Binary notes: If the Windows start-up music drives you nuts (there hasn’t been any since Windows 8), then at least it’s an improvement on the first recorded computer generated music from Alan Turing’s computer  at Manchester University in 1951.

Mexican wave: I hope Donald Trump isn’t reading this, but apparently Mexicans have 300 different words to describe corruption. Mind you, there must be quite a few words to describe the tricks Trump gets up to.

wrong-answerWrong answer: A student at the at the University of Tennessee failed an exam by giving an answer that was deemed inappropriate by the examiner. I would have flunked the exam-setter for ‘if you don’t remember make something good up’.

Crimean shift: The disputed land of Crimea isn’t just moving politically towards Russia, but physically as well at the rate of 2.9mm a year.

World record of the week: A Whitstable woman set a new world record for the fastest mile on a space hopper, covering the distance in 17 mins 22.83 secs.

Brief lives: Mel Charles  (brother of John), voted the best centre-half at the 1958 World Cup; George Barris who took some of the last photos of Marilyn Monroe;

Hermione Harvey, actress who appeared with Peter Sellers, Morecambe and Wise and Frankie Howerd; transgender performer, The Lady Chablis;

David Herd

Col Anthony Fowle who fought at the Battle of the Imjin River in the Korean War; Spitfire pilot Colin Colquhoun; Cold War warrior Stephen De Mowbray;

British songwriter Rod Templeton who wrote Michael Jackson’s Thriller; Terence Bayler who memorably appeared in The Life of Brian; Hollywood child actor Bobby Breen;

And Manchester United stalwart, David Herd, who began his career at my local club Stockport County and scored twice in the first game I remember watching on tv – the 1963 Cup Final against Leicester City.

Nobody’s prefect. If you find any spelling mistakes or other errors in this post, please let me know by highlighting the text and pressing Ctrl+Enter.

8 comments… Add yours
  • Trevor Rowley 10th October 2016

    Mel Charles, the brother of the more famous, John (known as the “Gentle Giant”)was one of four players who made up two sets of footballing brothers who turned out for Wales at about the same time during the 1950s. The other two were the Allchurch brothers, Ivor and Len. Not to be outdone, Newcastle United provided two players for the Chilean national side at about the same time – Charles and George Robledo. How on earth the Robledos arrived on Tyneside is anyone’s guess but I bet there’s a story there somewhere.

    • Mr Parrot 10th October 2016

      The name Ivor Allchurch rings a bell (no pun intended).

      • Yorkshire Pudding 11th October 2016

        I saw Ivor Allchurch play… for Swansea Town. As for the Robledos, I guess they arrived on Tyneside by train from London after flying to Europe from South America. Yes it’s “a story” but relatively ordinary.

        • Trevor Rowley 12th October 2016

          Not such an ordinary story, Mr Pudding. Their mother, Elsie Oliver, aged just eighteen, had travelled out from her native Yorkshire to take up a governess appointment with an English family in Argentina – the father of the children was a manager out there, in the mining industry. The household subsequently moved to Chile which is where Elsie Oliver met and married Aristides Robledo who was the mining company’s chief accountant.They went on to have three sons, George, Edward and Walter. By 1932, Mrs Robledo had decided to return to England and when she arrived by boat in Liverpool with her three sons, the youngest, Walter, was only a matter of weeks old. We have to assume that the marriage was now over and only one of the boys was ever to see his father again.

          The boys grew up and attended school in their mother’s native Yorkshire, in the Barnsley area. She took over a shop from a relative which presumably provided for them. Soon after, George’s football skills began to attract attention and he signed for Barnsley and was subsequently signed by Newcastle United – only accepting the transfer if his younger brother Ted (Edward) could be included in the deal. The whole household moved to Newcastle and George went on to have a glittering career with the “Magpies”, netting 91 goals in 164 appearances, and scoring the winning goal in the 1952 FA Cup Final against Arsenal at the old Wembley Stadium. He played alongside Newcastle’s favourite son, Jackie Milburn, known on Tyneside as “Wor Jackie” (Our Jackie) and what a formidable partnership they must have made – George set up one of Milburn’s goals in their 2-0 defeat of Blackpool in the 1951 FA Cup Final. Ted’s footballing career was perhaps a little less prolific but he still managed to play alongside his brother in that 1952 Final.

          It was while George was representing his country, Chile, in the 1950 World Cup in Brazil that he met up again with his father, Aristides. He was the only brother to see their father again after their departure from Chile in 1932.

          George and Ted eventually left Newcastle United and returned to their native Chile to play in domestic football but sadly, by now, their father was no longer alive. George appears to have had a decent career in Chile, coaching at a high level after his playing days were over. Ted subsequently worked on rigs in the oil industry and mystery still surrounds his disappearance in the early 1970’s when he was on board a ship off Dubai – the captain of the ship having been acquitted of his murder.

  • Trevor Rowley 10th October 2016

    …any thoughts on the Robledos?

    • Mr Parrot 10th October 2016

      I confess that I hadn’t heard of the Robledos so I had to look it up. Easily explained – the family emigrated to Yorkshire from Chile in 1932 due to the political instability at home. Talk about frying pan to fire!

  • Trevor Rowley 10th October 2016

    I’ll do this bit without reference to the internet. I’ve got an inkling that dad was a merchant seaman who sailed to Tyneside and decided to stay. I’ll have a sleep then check it out tomorrow.

  • Yorkshire Pudding 11th October 2016

    I wonder who the hell sanctioned those pedestrian crossing light changes around Trafalgar Square? Such a stupid waste of money. As for dressing up as a clown and leaping out in front of people – that sounds like a load of fun. I have an old “Comic Relief” red nose somewhere and I can use some of the wife’s lipstick for my mush plus I have spotted an old Man Utd shirt down at “Oxfam”.


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