Thursday, August 20, 2009

Iron Maiden

I was astounded when I stumbled on this picture!

Back in the early 70's I went to a gig at a Methodist Church on Chorley Old Road with Neil and my girlfriend at the time Carol. Now I have seen a few pop groups live before now at the Palais and places, but never a group like this!!

Iron Maiden were LOUD and I remember two brass horns on either side of the stage! My first real experience of Rock, it was brill!!

Then there was this other guy called SAG who danced in the middle of the floor covered in foil and flashing lights. What I didn't know at the time is that my wife Kath (and a few others) dressed him up in foil and they all danced. Now SAG is quite a guy, wore a huge chain with his name on it or sometimes with flashing lights and did his famous 'back dance'.

I will never forget the amazing Moss Bank Park festival with other other local groups like 'Black Cat Bone' and a girl called Jacky from Radcliffe who came with Kath and myself and another girl who got lost!!

A great site!!

Monday, August 17, 2009


Another 40 years anniversary! Woodstock...August 15th - 18th 1969, quite a year was '69!

Brian Adams wrote a great song 'Summer of '69' says it all!

I must admit that the Woodstock Festival at the time was a bit strange to me, I didn't know much about the artists and it took another few years before I fully appreciated rock and blues stuff. Even then I thought Janis Joplin was 'noisy', now I can see the light! Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix and a few others could have had a huge influence on music today had they not died early. I can see where Led Zeppelin's stuff came from, particularly where Robert Plant's voice came from....Janis Joplin!
A truely analogue festival - Valve Amps!!

Summer of '69

Matthews Southern Comfort

Janis Joplin

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Open University 40th Anniversary

Stirling University - My first Summer School!
In 1980 I made probably one of the boldest decisions of my life. I started studying with the Open University with a view to getting a Degree! I had looked at other options for getting better qualifications, but when I read about the OU and the prospect of a Degree at the end I thought it was the best option. At this time I was a qualified electronic technician, but still had no GCEs. You didn't need them to study with the OU! Fantastic!
The first year I did the Maths Foundation Course M101, this was a make of break course, if I could pass I would carry on, but if not I would just give up! I had a lot of applied maths experience from my courses in electronics, but the pure maths stuff worried me! I was lucky, I met a guy from the corner before I started. He was sat at the bar in the social club around the corner with another guy discussing some questions. I overheard and asked him if it was OU stuff. It was and they were doing M101! He lent me the units and and some preparatory stuff and this gave me enough confident to make a start.
Discipline was the thing, I had to adapt to working two hours a night in my study room, away from the TV and Radio stuff!
I did it...I completed the course, passed and then never looked back!
Followed it with the Science Foundation Course S101 and then second and third level courses. OK, sometimes I struggled, but I passed every course!
It took me eight years to complete and finally become a Graduate!
Congratulations OU! It changed my life!

"23 April 1969 saw the birth of The Open University but its intellectual roots go back much further. In 1926 the educationalist and historian J C Stobart wrote a memo on a ‘wireless university’, while working for the BBC. By the early sixties many different proposals were being debated such as a 'teleuniversity', which would combine broadcast lectures with correspondence texts and visits to conventional universities - a genuinely 'multi-media' concept. "

Gosh...packages through the post every week, books, resources. Six in the morning watching the course TV program, cassette tapes to listen to!
That was in the analogue days of learning, I wonder what it would be like to do the courses again in the digital age?
High quality TV productions on TV, Sky + Box, DVDs and CD Roms, memory sticks and Laptops. Interactive Whiteboards and Visualizers. E mail your TMAs and CMAs on line! Blogs, Twitter, Forums and the Internet! WoW!!!