23 June 2009

Birthday Girl

just a quick catch up on MLR's birthday - with cousins and later with G'ma and G'pa - and when the scanner is talking to the Mac, you will see those photos too.

17 March 2009

Only in Canberra, you tell me?

Did the lobotomy come before owning the car or did owning the car cause the lobotomy?


The other day a lot of soil was delivered to the car park I use at work.  The soil was delivered to fill in the lumps and bumps.  These mounds of soil took up a car space or two.  That did not deter one driver.

22 February 2009

Wedding Anniversary

Gill Pool and Mike Carter

Married on 28 February 1959 

Celebrating 50 Years

28 February 2009


Here are some facts about 1959 for your edification 



Theatre and Films

Arsenic and old lace played at the Scunthorpe Hospital Players

Musical theatre – Pieces of eight

Expresso Bongo (Cliff Richard)

39 Steps

Look Back in Anger (Best British film 1959)

I’m alright Jack – Peter Sellers

(Best British Actor 1959)

Get Carter

The writer Ted Lewis, who lived in nearby Barton-upon-Humber, featured Scunthorpe in some of his novels about low-life 1960s gangster Jack Carter. The most famous of these books, Jack's Return Home saw the main character return from London to his home-town of Scunthorpe to avenge his brother's death. The story itself was based on the background to the real-life murder of Newcastle businessman Angus Sibbet in 1967, in what was known as the Fruit Machine Murder.

The film rights to this book where purchased by MGM who ironically transferred the setting from Scunthorpe to Newcastle-upon-Tyne and released the film in 1971 as the cult British crime thriller Get Carter, starring Michael Caine in the eponymous lead role.



Prime Minister  of  England was Harold MacMillan

Prime Minister of Australia was Robert Menzies


February 1959 MacMillan goes to Moscow to hold talks with Kruschev

June 3 Singapore becomes self-governing after 13 years as a British crown colony



August - MacMillan and Eisenhower (US President) hold a TV debate on the cold war and world peace (world first TV debate)



 3 January Alaska becomes the 49th state of the USA

 17 February Turkish Airlines crashed at London Gatwick Airport 

28 February  Launch of Discoverer 1 – first polar orbit (and a wedding in Scunthorpe)

 9 March Barbie doll debuted

 24 May Empire Day renamed Commonwealth Day in England

 21 August Hawaii becomes the 50th state of the USA



Jan 5th Buddy Holly releases his last record "It Doesn't Matter”

Adam Faith – What do you want?

Johnny Kidd and the pirates – Please don’t touch

Vince Taylor and the Playboys – Brand new Cadillac

Cliff Richard (Harry Rodger Webb) – Living doll (biggest selling single of 1959)


  STATISTICS on 1959


  • Population of England - 51 956 000
  • Male - 25 043 000
  • Female - 26 913 000


[1961 - Population of Scunthorpe - Total 743,596  / Males 369,386 / Females 374,210 ]


Average House Price £2,410

 Austin 7 ( Mini ) £500 

Average UK male annual salary £190 

Yearly Inflation Rate UK 0.9% 

Number of births in UK was 748,501


Etch A Sketch, France, by Arthur Grandjean

Microchip, USA, by Jack Kilby



Oh Boy

October 27 Anglia Television goes to air

Benny Hill

Hancock’s Half Hour



 February 12 Sigrid Thornton, actress          

 February 16 John McEnroe, tennis player  

April 15 Emma Thompson, actress

May 3 Ben Elton, writer and actor

 June 11 Hugh Laurie

October 15 Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York  



February 3 Buddy Holly, Richie Valens and the Big Bopper die in a plane crash

April 9 Frank Lloyd Wright

16 June George Reeves (AKA Superman)

July 17 Billie Holliday

 September 28 Gerard Hoffnung  Gerard Hoffnung was born in Berlin in 1925 and went to London in 1939 as a schoolboy refugee. Although he died at the early age of 34 years, he achieved in his short life enough to fill a whole series of lifetimes. Artist, teacher, cartoonist, caricaturist, musician and tuba player, broadcaster and raconteur, a much sought after speaker at the Oxford and Cambridge Unions and prison visitor, a Quaker - these were all facets of a creative personality. He was almost as gifted a musician as he was an artist, his true passion being for the brass instruments of the orchestra; this led him one day to purchase a bass tuba which, with serious dedication, he set about learning to play. He was 25 at the time and, after two or three years and many hours of practice, he found himself ensconced amidst the brass section of the Morley College Orchestra as their bass tuba player. From this vantage point at the rear of the orchestra his perceptive eye was free to focus, with affection and critical amusement, on the foibles and idiosyncrasies of his fellow performers. This new experience further stimulated his imagination and love of music and musicians and inspired the many hundreds of musical cartoons produced during the final years of his short life.


October 14 Errol Flynn


Eddie Fisher and Elizabeth Taylor


August – Australia beats US for Davis Cup

Rod Laver and Darlene Hard won Wimbledon’s mixed doubles, Rod Laver was runner up in the singles. 

The 2.65 mile Grand Prix circuit at Brands Hatch was constructed in 1959


  •  The Mark I Mini: First sales August 1959
  •  On December 15, 1959, Ackworth School was granted a coat of arms by the Kings of Arms. The school's coat of arms is made of the white rose of Yorkshire ("barbed and seeded"), acorns ("slipped" - which means "with a bit of stalk"), and the lamb, which is a device shown on the arms of the Foundling Hospital. It also features the school motto - "Non Sibi Sed Omnibus" ("Not for oneself but for all").
  •  The Nikon F 35-mm. single-lens reflex camera is introduced by Nippon Kogaku K.K.
  •  Direct Dial Payphones Introduced In The UK
  •  Southend Pier Pavilion is destroyed by fire
  • QANTAS introduces the Boeing 707 on its Sydney-San Francisco route, the first transpacific service flown by jet.
  •  One billionth can of Spam sold
  •  Spalding Flower Parade is held in Lincolnshire in late spring every year. Colourful floats decorated with tulip heads compete for a cup. The tradition was started in 1959, and draws coach tours from across Britain.





8 February 2009

Emigrating to Australia - 50th Anniversary Series

In February 1972 the Carter Family Emigrated from England to Australia on the 
P&O Liner, SS Canberra
Commissioned 1956

Maiden Voyage 1961:

1961-1973: 548 First class, 1,690 Tourist class, 960 officers and crew

                1973-1997: 1,737 passengers, 795 officers and crew



Maiden voyage

Waving off on maiden voyage to Australia from Southampton 1961

First arrival in Sydney


Military refurbishment for service in the Falklands

Final weeks

This is how the Carter family saw the SS Canberra as they left England for Australia in February 1972.

P&O commissioned the Canberra to operate the combined P&O-Orient Line service between the United Kingdom and Australia. The arrival of the jet airliner had already caused a drop in demand for this service; a reduction in emigration to Australia and wars forcing the closure of the Suez Canal saw the route become unprofitable. However a refit in 1974 saw the Canberra adapted to cruising. Unusually, this transition from an early life as a purpose-built ocean liner to a long and successful career in cruising, occurred without any major external alterations, and with only minimal internal and mechanical changes over the years.

Arguably the single most remarkable feature of Canberra's design was her turbo-electric propulsion system. Instead of being mechanically coupled to her propeller shafts, Canberra's steam turbines drove large electric alternators, which provided power to electric motors, which, in turn, drove the vessel's twin screws. They were the most powerful steam turbo-electric units ever installed in a passenger ship; at 42,500 hp (31,700 kW) per shaft, they surpassed SS Normandie's 40,000 hp (30,000 kW) on each of her 4 shafts. There are several operational and economical advantages to such electrical de-coupling of a ship's propulsion system, and it has become a standard element of cruise ship design during the 1990s, over 30 years after Canberra entered service. However diesel engine and gas turbine driven alternators are the primary power source for most modern electrically propelled ships.

After the Argentine invasion of the Falkland Islands in 1982, which initiated the Falklands War, the Ministry of Defence requisitioned the Canberra as use as a troopship. Nicknamed the Great White Whale, the Canberra proved vital in transporting the Parachute Regiment and Royal Marines to the islands more than 9,000 miles (14,000 km) from the UK. Whilst the Queen Elizabeth 2 was held to be too vulnerable to enter the war zone, Canberra was sent to the heart of the conflict.

Canberra anchored in San Carlos Water on 21 May as part of the landings by British forces to retake the islands. Although her size and white colour made her an unmissable target for the Argentine Air Force, the Canberra, if sunk, would not have been completely submerged in the shallow waters at San Carlos. However, the liner was not badly hit during the landings as the Argentine pilots tended to attack the Royal Navy frigates and destroyers instead of the supply and troop ships. After the war, Argentine pilots claimed they were told not to hit the Canberra, as they mistook her for a Hospital Ship.[1]

When the war ended, Canberra was used to repatriate the Argentine Army, before returning to Southampton to a rapturous welcome. After a lengthy refit, Canberra returned to civilian service as a cruise ship. Her role in the Falklands War made her very popular with the British public, and ticket sales after her return were elevated for many years as a result. Age and high running costs eventually caught up with her though, as she had much higher fuel consumption than most modern cruise ships. She was withdrawn from service in September 1997 and sold to ship breakers for scrapping, leaving for Gadani Beach, Pakistan the next month. The breakers paid $5,640,818 for the ship. She did not give up without a fight however; her deep draft meant that she could not be beached as far as most ships, and due to her solid construction the scrapping process took nearly a year instead of the estimated three months, and it is believed that the yard lost great deal of money trying to scrap her.

For more information on the SS Canberra try this website http://www.sscanberra.com/hist1constr.htm 

(the photo’s of the SS Canberra mostly came from this website).


The Original Carter Immigrants (2002) Celebrating 30 Years in Australia

Crossing the Equator Certificate

All suited up for ship board life

Mementoes of the Trip on the SS Canberra

27 October 2008

Bateman's Bay

Here we are at Bateman's bay, wondering where we might have dinner

The light made for surreal photographs of the boats and the water

29 September 2008

Milton Park

At work we decided to have a team building exercise and we were bussed off to the Southern Highlands to Milton Park in Bowral. We left Tuesday morning and returned Wednesday evening. Milton Park is an amazing place, with a miriad of gardens, paths, additional buildings (such as the conference centre and spa).

spa entrance

side of conference centre

The house is built at the time of federation, and is beautiful with high ceilings and lots of space.
entrance to the Hotel from the garden
I had a room on the ground floor that opened up to the courtyard. I have never had so many pillows on my bed as I did on Tuesday night.

The food was spectactular, for instance the evening meal for me was venison followed by milk fed lamb from WA, a chocolate mud desert finished the meal.

The gardens are extensive, lots of paths winding around. Of course it is spring in the highlands and lots of the flowers and trees are bursting with new life.

Fairy walk

Helicopter pad
Lily pads

Another walk through the gardens

Beautiful bulbs down a meadow - very English

At the end of Tuesday we had some free time. Three of us went to an art gallery in Bowral, we also visited a cheese shop and a dress shop and Bed and Bath. Nothing like retail therapy, JR will be happy to know that the only thing I bought was coffee - although I was sorely tempted by lots of things.

When you really want to celebrate something special, a trip to Milton Park could be the place to go.