One hit wonders- The Look

This was an interesting Single in that the playout groove continued the record endlessly. I can only assume that they had worked out that 45RPM gave them a 1.333 second repeating opportunity at the end of the song so if they got the beats per minute right (about 180).
Here is a 45 of it:

and the inevitable TOTP2 mime:

Web roundup

Here are a few bits and pieces that have caught my eye recently:

  • Bradford Odeon Rescue Group have announced plans for a scheme that refurbishes rather than removes the building: (click to enlarge)Scan from the Yorkshire Post

Get your eggs quickly…

smarties-egg.jpgAs of this morning, ASDA Morley still had a couple of thousand Cadburys Smarties Easter Eggs at 50p each. (They were £1 each last Tuesday and £2 each before Easter).

They are going fast though, I reckon they’ll all be gone by tomorrow afternoon.

(I checked the expiry date- June 2008).

Only six months until the factories start the 2009 production run, I imagine.

Sleeping Beauty suffocated

I love theatres, old and new. Once Britain had thousands of them, the building of a new theatre being the equivalent of the developer cash cow in the Victorian age. As time went on and the silver screen took over from variety, many theatres were converted to be able to show moving pictures. Others were lost or became something else.

As time went by and Television impacted on the picture houses, many were saved through Bingo. The ascendency of the Bingo Barns and the impact of the smoking regulations have driven many of these venues to the wall, particularly the independent ones.

One such sleeping beauty was the Derby Hippodrome, built in 1914, a Cinema in 1930, on bingo in 1962 and closed last year. Someone bought it with the intention of development and so the story ends. Well, it would normally and being a Libertarian I would completely respect the owner’s property rights to do what the hell he wanted with it.

However, the theatre was a listed building under English law and the buyer knew that when he bought it. Buildings are not listed on a whim, they have to have something special about them to warrant it. (You can see the reasons for listing the Hippo on the Department for Culture Media & Sport). So started a sequence of events that were rather predictable in their way, because they have happened so many times before.

Firstly was the fire under mysterious circumstances near the orchestra pit. As it happened, it was contained (mainly by the Safety Curtain)and caused no structural damage.

Secondly, a well known Urbexer managed to get inside the building and was shocked by what he discovered. He assumed that it looked like the photos on this site but the reality was rather different. If you compare the list of special features from the DCMS with the photos, it seems that much of it has been systematically and deliberately destroyed. ( smackheads & griefers don’t put up hazard tape when they do it!)

Thirdly, the Council served emergency repairs notices and scaffolding went up, but the company that did the work happened to be a demolition Company and their essential repairs involved trashing the roof, side walls and stage house.

The owner took the step of defending himself in a letter to the local paper which has appeared online today but it leaves some questions unanswered. Meanwhile the Theatres Trust has issued a scathing Press Release.

Today, under the pretext of carrying out ‘essential repairs’ contractors AB Demolition demolished substantial sections of Derby Hippodrome. Fears were raised by The Theatres Trust two days ago that the presence of a demolition crew would only lead to further damage. Structural metal beams supporting the roof were removed and destabilised the whole building. The Hippodrome’s side walls have been pulled down and the theatre’s stage house and flytower have been lost.

They are shocked, and rightly so- read the whole thing here.

Now, the owner is in a bit of a sticky position now- he has potentially committed a criminal act and may be liable to the costs of complete rebuilding through an enforcement notice.

However, I think that in reality it probably won’t happen. The Council may well have cocked up along the way and be worried about taking it to court where there is a risk they might lose and face costs. There were mixed local feelings about the building, some loving it but others considering it an eyesore. The Council ran Derby Playhouse (Rep) closed recently due to a financial crisis. Both theatres are in locations suitable for redevelopment. If the Council win, the Company that owns it will probably go bankrupt and the Council won’t be able to afford to rebuild what is potentially a Curate’s egg anyway. (There is local interest from the Am Drams, but The Assembly Rooms have a theatre format in the main hall).

On the other hand, if unchallenged, this gives the green light to developers that the listing laws are toothless. The Government already overturns listing laws far too easily when pressurised by big business and I’d hate the next decade to be as thoughtless as the 60s when it comes to the destruction of quality buildings just because they are in the way.

A victory is needed here, even if only a pyrrhic one.

I have been in the theatre before on a visit. It was a very pleasing auditorium and the stage house above the stage seating false ceiling was a time warp. It was indeed a sleeping beauty but now it has had a pillow held over her face and her legs have stopped twitching.

Here are two YouTubes. The first one recalls happier times, the second one the “emergency repairs”.

You can also view a slideshow of the “repairs” here.

Taking photos in public

I take a lot of photos, so sooner or later I’m going to have a run-in with some obnoxious, ill-informed knobhead like this one:

There is currently an Early Day Motion on the topic Tabled in Parliament which already has 99 signatures:

That this House is concerned to encourage the spread and enjoyment of photography as the most genuine and accessible people’s art; deplores the apparent increase in the number of reported incidents in which the police, police community support officers (PCSOs) or wardens attempt to stop street photography and order the deletion of photographs or the confiscation of cards, cameras or film on various specious ground such as claims that some public buildings are strategic or sensitive, that children and adults can only be photographed with their written permission, that photographs of police and PCSOs are illegal, or that photographs may be used by terrorists; points out that photography in public places and streets is not only enjoyable but perfectly legal; regrets all such efforts to stop, discourage or inhibit amateur photographers taking pictures in public places, many of which are in any case festooned with closed circuit television cameras; and urges the Home Office and the Association of Chief Police Officers to agree on a photography code for the information of officers on the ground, setting out the public’s right to photograph public places thus allowing photographers to enjoy their hobby without officious interference or unjustified suspicion.

I’m pleased to see that my otherwise fruitloop watermelon MP has signed the EDM, so I don’t have to bend his ear. If it bothers you, hastle your MP about it too.

(The site of the video, Current TV UK is worth a look as well)

(Hat tip- 28 days later)