The Athlete Machine - Red Bull Kluge

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Derived from the German adjective Klug (meaning “clever”), Red Bull Kluge combines complex machinery patched together with the energy and prowess of world-class athletes, to see what happens when physics gets physical.

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Experience the world of Red Bull like you have never seen it before. With the best action sports clips on the web and original series, prepare for your “stoke factor” to be at an all time high.

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Sean MacCormac (Skydiver), Joey Brezinski (Skateboarder), Rickie Fowler (Golfer), Danny MacAskill (Trials Biker), Ryan Sheckler (Skateboarder), Drew Bezanson (BMX Rider), Bryce Menzies (Off-Road Truck Racer), Rhys Millen (Drifter), Robbie Maddison (Freestyle Motocross Rider), Lolo Jones (Hurdler), Pat Moore (Snowboarder)

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This week we’ve got three awesome people refusing to be held back by vertigo and braving extreme heights. From climbing along the “Knife’s Edge” on Capitol Peak to an extreme unicycle ride down a narrow mountain path, with a steep cliff edge to the side.

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Top Three Plyometrics

Top Three Yoga

Original Videos: Hua Shan plank Walk

Indian Summer 2015 Unicycle Ride

Knife Edge on Capitol Peak with The Chemical Brothers

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PEOPLE ARE AWESOME is the number one destination for amazing, original videos and compilations of ordinary people doing extraordinary things. We feature all sorts of different extreme sports and activities other amazing feats, including parkour, skateboarding, tricking, cliff diving, wingsuit flying, skiing, snowboarding, surfing, BMX, acrobatics, calisthenics, cheerleading, freestyle football, basketball dunks, extreme pogo, freerunning, cycling, kayaking, frisbee trick shots, golf, martial arts, BASE jumping and many, many more a host of other action sports! Whether you’re searching in 2016 or any other year, check out our amazing and original action sports videos in HD where we show you why we think people are awesome!

Top 10 Paintings That Look Like Photographs

Top 10 Paintings That Look Like Photographs

True artistic talent can be defined as the ability to take the things you see in your head, and put them on paper — canvas or clay. Not everybody can do it, and among those who can, there are those who simply do it better. These people literally give shape, form and, yes, life, to their own imagination. Then there are paintings which say “screw you” to imagination, stomp on its foot, and drive off into the vibrant sunset of hyperrealism. Among them, the most impressive ones are …

Text version: http://www.toptenz.net/top-10-paintings-that-look-like-photographs.php

Coming up:

10. Pause (Alyssa Monks)
9. Mosh Pit (Dan Witz)
8. The X-Statix (Jason de Graaf)
7. Fuori o Dentro (Roberto Bernardi)
6. More Milk Please (Diego Gravinese)
5. Everybody Gets Tempted Sometime (Tom Martin)
4. Auspicia (Robin Eley)
3. Sin Título 4 (Pedro Campos)
2. NVA 24 (Paul Cadden)
1. Aurora (David Kassan)

Source/Other reading:


For more informations visit :http://www.top10ten.net/2012/09/10-most-famous-paintings-of-all-time.html

Exclusive Look at MANSIONS of the SUPER RICH on STAR ISLAND

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Exclusive Look at MANSIONS of the SUPER RICH on STAR ISLAND
Star Island is a highly exclusive neighborhood of South Beach in the city of Miami Beach on a man-made island in Biscayne Bay, Florida, United States. The island is south of the Venetian Islands and just east of Palm and Hibiscus islands.
Known for its waterfront lots and celebrity residents, Star Island real estate is a man-made island on South Beach that’s just a bridge away from the action. Initially developed by Carl Fisher in the 1920s, Star Island is accessible via the MacArthur Causeway.
Though guard-gated, the island is open to public access and contains a single, oval-shaped street aptly named “Star Island Drive”. Homes are all situated on waterfront lots, while beautiful Buoy Park runs along the interior of the island.

The owners of 42 Star Island, a couple featured on reality television show the “Real Housewives of Miami,” have opened their home, which the Historic Preservation Board of Miami Beach voted last week to attempt to preserve, to the Miami Herald in order to show that the mansion is not worth saving.
Leonard and Lisa Hochstein have already filed the necessary paperwork to move ahead with the demolition of the house, which they bought in a foreclosure auction last year, the Herald said.

The Hochsteins want to tear down the home and replace it with a new 14,000 square-foot mansion with a five-car garage, but the preservation board’s move to protect the home could imperil their plans. As it stands, the 1925 home is built in a “railroad” format, with no hallways between bedrooms, the Herald said. Star Island Billionaire Millionaire rich “super rich” mega wealth celebrity Monaco Russia Business private elite exclusive interior super rich Billionaire Saudi Arabia investor businessman CEO Forbes luxury Monaco elite exclusive” shaquille o’neal” “P diddy” “real estate” wealth Palace house home mansion yacht supercar wealthy “big boy toys” cash usd dubai money London Europe uk usa America “high end” expensive vip preview palm beach money “private jet” 2015 2014 2013 “get rich”. And even beyond the difficult room arrangement, the home is in disrepair, Leonard Hochstein said.

Celebrities who own or have owned homes on the island include Sean Combs, Gloria Estefan, Don Johnson, Rosie O’Donnell, and Shaquille O’Neal. Tour guides and realtors have made false claims of some other celebrities having homes on Star Island, such as Julio Iglesias, Madonna, Sylvester Stallone, and Elizabeth Taylor
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GoPro Hero 3+ Plus Accessories Quick Look and Installation Demonstration

A quick look and review of demonstration of installation of various accessories for the GoPro Hero 3+ plus, including Wifi Remote Control, Jaws Flex Clamp Mount, LCD Touch BacPac, Battery BacPac, The Frame, Car charger, HDMI Cable, Adhesive mount.
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Make Your Vacation Photos Look Amazing in Photoshop!

Make Your Vacation Photos Look Amazing in Photoshop!

Common Issues with Vacation Photos

We all know that you can set up lighting and work with models to make a photo more interesting, but what happens when you have no control over your environment? That is the case much of the time when you are traveling, you have to take what you are given.

Some common issues with travel photos include:

Unwanted People in Background – Can usually be taken out with the Clone Stamp Tool
Haze or Fog – Use the Auto feature on Curves or Levels as covered in this episode
Unsharp Photos – You probably won’t have a tripod and your best lenses with you on vacation
Colors – The colors in your photos usually don’t represent the colors of the actual scene, a lot of the time due to errors in white balance.

Correcting Color

In this episode we show you how to correct color and exposure at the same time using the “Auto” feature that comes built into both Curves and Levels adjustment layers. We go in depth showing you the different options available in the Auto dialog, showing you how to change the algorithm used to correct color. These changes may sound small but they can make a huge difference in your images.


There are many ways to sharpen an image in Photoshop. In this episode we go over one of my favorite methods, particularly effective when dealing with landscape images. Instead of trying to sharpen the entire image at once we actually apply a small amount of sharpening over and over again. This results in a more natural looking image but one with incredible detail.

If you thought this episode was great our “Pro Tutorials” are about 10 times better, more in-depth detailed information, and are priced perfectly for the photographers and photoshoppers wanting to become the best. Of course we teach it the right way, you just have to get access to the lesson check out http://phlearn.com/pro-tutorials.

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We look back at the poster company that became a phenomenon

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We look back at the poster company that became a phenomenon
World's Best Beaches guide
Image by brizzle born and bred
Tennis Girl sold more than two million copies

Tennis Girl was the photograph of the moment a beautiful young woman gracefully raised the flap of her pristine tennis whites, and scratched her bum. Thirty five years on, it remains one of the biggest-selling posters of all time, and news that the now 52-year-old model has been reunited with the image for an exhibition celebrating tennis-related art will surely send many men of a certain vintage scurrying down memory lane and knocking urgently on the doors of their teenage bedrooms.

The image, printed in 1976 by now-defunct poster retailers Athena, was for much of the 70s and 80s a staple feature in the digs of many a lustful young undergraduate, and has since sold more than two million copies.

Although we have never been introduced, many of us know this lady a little better than we should.

Her cheekiest of poses on a sunny tennis court way back in the 1970s remains one of the world’s best selling posters.

The shot was taken at the now defunct Birmingham University courts at Edgbaston on a hazy September afternoon in 1976. Chewed tennis balls belonging to her dog were scattered across the court.

The white summer dress and other items related to the iconic 1970s Tennis Girl poster sold for £15,500.

Fieldings Auctioneers said dozens were interested in the lot, which had a guide price of £1,000 to £2,000.

Ms Butler, who lives in Worcestershire, was not paid for her modelling.


The dress was on show at Wimbledon before it was auctioned.

The tennis racquet from the photo, the dress, a 1979 poster and a 1980s limited edition canvas print were auctioned on the day of the ladies’ singles final.

Fieldings Auctioneers said an anonymous buyer on the phone claimed them following interest from "registered bidders from all over the world", with the furthest away being in New Zealand.

There were eight phone lines open, a "handful of committed people" at the sale room in Stourbridge and "tens of people" interested on the internet, it said.

Director Will Farmer said although there was a guide price, the auctioneers never knew what the lot would go for.

He said: "We have nothing to compare it to because it’s unique – nothing like it has been sold before.

"You’re buying a slice of history and what price is an icon?"

Ms Knotts, a friend of Ms Butler, said she was "kind of amused" by the interest in the poster over the years.

The 55-year-old barrister, who lives in Winchcombe, Gloucestershire, said she did not know the dress was on the poster until her sister at university saw it in 1978.

Asked about the auction, Ms Knotts said: "I am astonished because when I made (the dress), I was saving money and it’s made a lot of money.

"It was cheaper to make your clothes than to buy them then, so I used to make quite a lot of clothes.

"You go to a dinner party and people will say ‘what’s your claim to fame?’

"And that’s the one I’ve always come up with."

Elliott went on to sell the image rights to Athena but retained the copyright, earning him an estimated £250,000 in royalty payments. Two million copies were sold worldwide.

Athena history

Athena’s first shop was opened by Ole Christensen in Hampstead in July 1964, and then bought into E&O PLC, by Chairman, Douglas H. Bayle. He expanded Athena to some 60 shops, making sure to keep the ethos on fine art reprints.

The company’s popular success divided opinion amongst intellectuals and art critics who were uncertain as to whether these works were too vulgar and populist to be considered art.

The chain was sold off by E&O, in 1977 and then was acquired by the Pentos Group before Athena went into administration when it failed financially in 1995. Athena’s last shop Exeter, Devon will cease trading on 21 September 2014, bringing it’s high street presence to an end, e-commerce company under the brand name of Vivarti (with the byline "powered by Athena") continues to trade.

By far the most successful Athena Poster of all time was “Man and Baby“. First hitting the stands in 1986, it appealed to girls of all ages, it captured everything that the stereotypical teenage girl in particular aspired to.


Shot in monochrome, the image displayed a great looking man, with a well built nude torso holding a smiling new born baby. The chiselled looks of the man smiled at the infant, as so did the baby. It was not only the retail chain’s biggest hit, but the record breaker in the history of poster sales in the United Kingdom.

Truth behind THAT Athena poster


Each decade has its iconic poster. Man and Baby, which sold at auction for thousands this week, was the defining image of the 1980s, capturing the then nascent New Man and making fortunes in the process.

By the photographer Spencer Rowell’s own admission, Man and Baby, or L’Enfant, is "a bit cheesy". There’s a cute baby, but the eye is drawn to the buffed and muscular male specimen cradling said infant in his lap.

It made model Adam Perry a hit with the ladies, and a fortune for the photographer and the poster shop Athena, selling more than five million copies.

Twenty-one years after its release, at auction on Thursday, a print of the image went for £2,400 – considerably more than the price paid in the late 1980s by scores of students and young professionals keen to brighten up rented walls.

There were a great many Athena posters which made into the best sellers through this time, as prepubescent and puberty ridden bedrooms became swathed in iconic images and photographs of the age. Held up by vast amounts of putty adhesive and stick back plastic, Athena retail did far more than boost its own standing.

As success fuelled success, more mainstream images were brought into the mix. Superstars such as Michael Jackson, Madonna, Led Zeppelin and the like were soon appearing on prints in the shops. Reproductions of famous artists, notably Salvador Dali too were favourites.

There were still a great many memorable Athena posters that the company went on to commission however; all of which were well received by consumers if not the critics. Indicative of the Nineties for example was a title called Beyond City Limits.

Another black and white print, the image showed a man dressed in leathers sat astride a motorbike. Accompanying him was a blonde woman in typical sultry pose, who’s submissive body language and the presence of the motorcyclist’s hand resting on her leg was perhaps a little outdated with the times. In many ways therefore, it could be construed as a precursor the fortunes of the company as a whole. The tide was turning.

As the nineties came, there was a sizable shift away from posters, and all things printed in general. The digital age had arrived. Art, real art, still had its place of course, but populist designs mass made for the consumer market did not. It was Pentos that would ultimately own the company when it failed

in 1995, but the brand and the memories still live on.
Shadows of “The Tennis Girl” are still seen today. Notably the image of one time tennis star and now full time clothes horse Anna Kournikova acting out her own example. Though for maybe a little more class, GQ magazine’s example with Kylie Minogue is a touch more significant in the grand scheme of things.

“Man and Baby” has inspired when greater though. Whilst Nick Kamen could argue he too inspired the classic blue jeans and rippling torso look, it is perhaps this poster that really drew it. A near naked man, a cute and cuddly baby and camera are all that is needed n many regards to sell practically anything. Indeed, many a new father has probably had a photo similarly taken themselves.

Athena Posters itself has long since drawn away from the public profile it once enjoyed, and many would say the retail industry is poorer for it. However, the stark truth is that it was a brand which just failed to develop with the times. Most industries are harsh, the retail industry perhaps more than most; eating up competition whenever the opportunity strikes. Woolworths, C&A, Army & Navy, the list of failures is ever growing.

There is still life though, as an online art retailer, renamed as Vivarti. Though a number of Athena Poster stores still live on too; but strangely not near the London home. Shoppers wanting Athena posters will have to head to Bristol, Cheltenham, Exeter, Harrogate, Plymouth, Yeovil or York.

How these stores survived administration is unclear, so perhaps at a point in the future they will populate the wider UK retail scene again, only time will tell. But it will probably be worth producing a poster or two.

the poster company that became a phenomenon

It was a turning point for a certain generation: the fading, Blu-Tack’d Snoopy posters were ripped down from the bedroom wall, the teddy bears and dolls pushed firmly to the back of the wardrobe, childish things put away once and for all. In their place went the pin-ups of some fantastically cool and grown-up pop group – Blondie, perhaps (David Cassidy now long forgotten) – and, importantly, the Athena poster, that quintessential mark of the aspiring adult. They were glitzy, glittering, high-living images: airbrushed, scarlet-lipped ladies sipping neon cocktails; chic Parisian beauties with poodles in tow; exotic birds of paradise perching on palm trees. The Athena posters that adorned the bedroom walls of the early 1980s held, for the thousands of British teenagers (girls, mostly) who bought them, the promise of a brave new grown-up world – sophisticated, glamorous and indisputably modern.

Teenage years being tender and formative as they are, it is perhaps no surprise that those who are now in their 30s, and working in influential positions in fashion and photography, have been drawing on the 1980s – and specifically the Athena look – for inspiration. It began with the Chloé spring/summer 1999 show, when designer Stella McCartney sent models down the catwalk wearing two distinctive items: a T-shirt and a bikini, both printed with airbrushed images of sunsets and palm trees. Very 1980s, very Athena and very popular: they became the bestselling items in the Chloé collection. Now such prints are everywhere, from high street to market stall, and the trend shows no sign of abating: designer Martin Kidman has chosen the Athena airbrushed look – bleached-out face, garish make-up – to illustrate the cover of his autumn/winter 2001 brochure.

The revived interest in Athena images is part of a wider phenomenon that has seen mass market and amateur art being reclaimed by the art establishment (the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London staged an exhibition devoted to amateur art last year). A recent book by the designer Wayne Hemingway, Just Above The Mantelpiece: Mass-Market Masterpieces (Booth-Clibborn Editions), devotes a chapter to the Athena phenomenon. Like the rest of the prints in the book – Vladimir Tretchikoff’s Green Lady, JH Lynch’s Dusky Maidens, the "big-eyed children" series – the Athena art showcased represents what real people, as opposed to art collectors, were choosing for their homes in the latter half of the past century.

It is not just early 1980s teenagers who have fond memories of their first Athena moment; the company had already played a part in the first tentative attempts at interior decoration of an earlier generation. When it was established in 1964, Athena was an original idea and its founder, Ole Christiansen, a pioneer. The dedicated outlet was a new notion and took off quickly, just as retailers such as Tie Rack and Sock Shop did a couple of decades later. Athena was, at its start – as successful retail companies tend to be – the height of chic. It was a time when art was obsessed with the ephemeral and the consumerist, and pop artists such as Lichtenstein and Warhol were creating works inspired by advertising billboards and consumer packaging.

Athena’s timing was impeccable. It started with a single shop in Hampstead, offering fine art reproduction prints – Dali, Monet, Van Gogh, Picasso, Lowry, Constable – alongside works by unknown artists and images of the popular icons of the time. They sold in their tens of thousands for 36 shillings (£1.80), framed or "blockmounted" for 50 shillings (£2.50). The first Athena shop was an essential port of call for swinging Londoners, attracting the same crowd as Terence Conran’s fledgling Habitat and Barbara Hulanicki’s groovy Biba. The late 1960s and early 1970s were also a time when students and young couples had more disposable income than before and were keen to make their homes resolutely un-square and distinct from their parents’. Amid the beanbags, swivel armchairs, wicker furniture and paper lampshades, they needed something for the walls: a Salvador Dali melting clock, perhaps, or a Che Guevara, a Jim Morrison or a Jimi Hendrix surrounded by multicoloured, psychedelic swirls. Athena had it all.

Things were progressing nicely for Athena. The company expanded to become a poster manufacturer as well as a retailer and then, in 1977, came the Tennis Girl. The mildly titillating photograph of a knickerless girl in tennis whites, wistfully scratching her bottom, was a phenomenon unlike anything before in the poster trade – estimates of its sales vary from 375,000 to 2m. This came as a surprise to photographer Martin Elliott, who attributes the poster’s success to its "schoolboy appeal". The image has since become a symbol of its era and the tennis girl has been much parodied over the decades by cartoonists in the likes of Viz magazine, as well as by political satirists (one depicted John Major in a similar pose). Every time Wimbledon comes around, Elliott says, enquiries come flooding in – this summer, Anna Kournikova posed for the cover of a magazine in tennis girl mode, and the poster featured in an exhibition in Bradford entitled Pert Pets And Sultry Sirens: The Most Popular Prints Of The Late 20th Century.

Just as many thirtysomething women now look back fondly at the Athena images of glossy sophistication that were so prevalent in their impressionable teens, so, it seems, many men feel a similarly affectionate Proustian rush when confronted with their first poster purchase. And, as it has turned out, the "schoolboy appeal" of the 1970s tennis girl dovetails with the mood of laddism in current popular culture. In one episode of the TV sitcom Men Behaving Badly, the tennis girl featured prominently in a nostalgic 1970s flashback sequence and last year it was parodied on the cover of GQ magazine with Kylie Minogue as model. The appeal of the original, says GQ editor Dylan Jones, was that it was "playful and quite affectionate, not aggressive. We wanted to do something that was ironic as well as iconic – it was successful because it was sexy, clever and it appealed not only to men who remembered the original poster but also to those who were attracted by the image itself." The issue turned out to be GQ’s biggest ever seller – perhaps not surprising, given that the current mood of men’s magazines owes much to the louche playboy sensibility that was fashionable in the 1970s.

Athena’s sales went off the boil after the tennis girl frenzy passed. It wasn’t until airbrushing techniques became fashionable in the early 1980s that the company’s fortunes turned around, thanks to the dreamscape, fantasy-world style of gloriously kitsch prints such as Unicorn Princess, Beach Lovers and A Dolphin Moon. These owed much to Stephen Pearson’s fantastically tacky Wings Of Love, given cult status by its appearance in Mike Leigh’s 1977 film Abigail’s Party.

Unicorn Princess was a huge success with pre-teen girls, due to its combination of fairy-tale subject matter and the essential horse factor. Horses have always featured heavily in mass-market art, from Tretchikoff’s Wild Horses to Violet Skinner’s Galloping Horses of the early 1960s, and Unicorn Landscape, Running Free and Horseman’s Dream were just some of the equine Athena pictures to score. Recently, Stella McCartney picked up on the horse factor in her Athena-influenced creations which, along with the airbrushed palm trees and pineapples, featured rearing horses in silhouette.

The "Kiss series" that so inspired designer Martin Kidman was another big hit for Athena. Created by Syd Brak, an artist from an advertising background, it was planned specifically to appeal to teen and pre-teen girls who, Brak says, "aspire to maturity and sophistication". Pictures such as First Kiss, Forget Me Not and Long Distance Kiss all contained some mini- narrative that chimed with the adolescent psyche, hinting picturesquely at the dramas of teenage melancholy, lost love and heartache. The icy, mysterious girls, their faces bleached out, their eyes smothered in electric blue eye shadow and their lips a streak of glossy red, inspired many imitations with cheap make-up. They also apparently inspired last year’s homage to the 1980s in the Face magazine, which featured on its cover a photograph of airbrush-style perfection. The same photographer, Solve Sundsbo, followed it up with his recent ad campaign for hip design house Bottega Veneta – the collection, needless to say, inspired by 1980s style.

The technique of airbrushing over photographs had already emerged on the sleeve of David Bowie’s Aladdin Sane and as the look gained popularity, airbrushed illustration began to take hold. It was the tail end of punk, when the overly made-up Debbie Harry and Madonna were the icons of choice, and when a streak of pink hair and a slash of heavy eye make-up were all that remained of a movement that had once prided itself on its grubbiness and realness.

Inevitably, the airbrush trend ran its course and by the end of the 1980s, the backlash had begun. Chris Meiklejohn of Meiklejohn Graphics, the company that supplied Athena with around 70% of its original artwork through the decade, says that in the 1990s, clients even stipulated "no airbrushing". But the advertising and graphic art industries are, like fashion, cyclical. With the 1980s aesthetic back (for now, at least), the advertising industry can’t get enough of airbrushing – Pepsi is just one of the brands to incorporate the method in recent campaigns. Andrew Farley, a 1980s Athena artist, is making the most of the resurgence: he has just designed a new range of images, due to appear in the coming months on the T-shirts of a new generation of teenagers.

But as Athena frenzy takes hold, interest in fashion circles has expanded beyond the airbrushed-print look. Even from the early days, when Che Guevara was the pin-up, figures of legend have been Athena staples – after the Kiss series, Brak went on to enjoy follow-up success for the company with his airbrushed depiction of Marilyn Monroe and James Dean in an American diner. This has not been lost on the fashion pack – a recent issue of Vogue focused on a new trend, Heroine Chic: "It’s icon T-shirts a go-go." Kate Moss favours a Marilyn T-shirt with her denim miniskirt and fake fur blouson jacket, while others among the model/party-girl circuit, snapped out on the town, have emblazoned on their chests the likes of Hendrix, Elvis, Dean and Che Guevara – all Athena stalwarts. And where Moss leads, others tend to follow: expect a rush of icon T-shirts on the high street before long.

The black-and-white posters that had been so consistently successful at Athena segued into a trend for monochrome photography with a nostalgic spin. The message was "This Is Art" and it was calculated to appeal to the aspirations of the poster-buying public. "The perception was that if you had this poster on your wall, then you were culturally aware," says Roger Watt, chief art director of Athena between 1986 and 1994. The 1950s were "happy hunting ground" for the company. The contemporary take on the style, "incorporating romanticism, an atmospheric setting and a 1950s look", as Watt puts it, was offered in photos such as Grant Sainsbury’s Bad Company and Nevada Rider – moody models in leather on big bikes, evoking a sultry, Brando-esque machismo. Beyond City Limits by Alwyn R Coates was another huge seller, a black-and-white picture, colour-tinted, depicting a male and female model on a motorbike – shot in Surrey with a dramatic fake sky superimposed. It was a veritable nostalgia-fest: Sheila Rock’s images of young couples in retro clothing, shot in moody lighting, recalled Doisneau’s The Kiss, a classic shot from an earlier era that had already been a big Athena seller. Many of the pictures were accompanied by typography, in the high-brow style of an exhibition poster, thus imbuing the image with a cod cultural significance.

It wasn’t all about nostalgia, though. Athena was also tapping directly into the mood and aesthetics of the moment – the most famous television ad of the time showed the brawny Nick Kamen stripping off his Levi’s in a 1950s launderette. Magazines such as the Face and Arena used monochrome fashion images, notably the work of the Buffalo group, led by the late Ray Petri. Athena was no longer setting the trends but rather offering a watered-down, commercially acceptable version of a look that had begun in a purer form in the style press. In one particularly bizarre photographic series, Cool Kid, toddlers were dressed up in the 1980s uniform of Dr Martens boots, MA1 flying jackets, spiky hair and shades – a bastardisation of an innovative series of pictures in the Face, styled by Petri, of young model Felix.

The style might be borrowed, but for the thousands who bought it, it represented something "cool". As consumer goods go, the poster is a fairly reliable indicator of changing popular tastes and aspirations, and while Athena fell in and out of fashion over the decades, the company always had a knack of tapping into popular preoccupations. It consistently encapsulated the mood of each era, even if it did so, in later years, by reducing it to a lowest common denominator.

One such defining image came in 1986, with the release of a poster entitled L’Enfant, also known as Man And Baby, showing a bare-chested man, cradling a baby. Like Tennis Girl before it, L’Enfant seemed to take on a life of its own and was bought by hundreds of thousands of people. At the time, Spencer Rowell, the photographer who took it, was cynical about the whole "new man" phenomenon. "This idea that suddenly men were going to be different, I thought it was a load of cobblers," he says. Yet, looking back, there was a zeitgeisty feel to the picture – just as the tennis girl had encapsulated a particularly 1970s mood of sexiness for thousands of teenage boys, so L’Enfant represented something quintessentially of the moment for their female counterparts. The message was a new one, as Rowell concedes. "Men had always been supposed to cope under pressure and never cry – then there was this idea that it was okay to be in touch with your feminine side, that your girlfriend wouldn’t think badly of you if you had a quick blub."

In the years that followed its success, Rowell says L’Enfant became a "creative millstone" – he was interested in doing something more "dark and meaningful". Now, he says, he is rather proud of the image: it was a job well done, well crafted, well lit. And then, of course, there was the casting. Paul Rodriguez, the art director responsible, was gay and was, Rowell says, "looking for certain attributes", but he also had a knack for spotting a generic look in a model, a timeless, universal appeal. The identity of the baby in L’Enfant is not known, but the male model, one Adam Perry, has not been shy of publicity. Now in his mid-30s, Perry has become best known for his claim that he has slept with 3,000 women. He was named "the world’s most promiscuous man" by one glossy men’s magazine and, aptly, he posed in a condom commercial.

No single poster has rivalled L’Enfant since in terms of sales, yet, Rowell says, nothing was ever done to "push" it; it became successful simply by word of mouth. "That doesn’t happen now. Anything that’s going to become iconic today will become so simply because enough money and hype have been put into it. Very few things become iconic in a natural way."

Unsurprisingly, Athena was soon after more of the same from Rowell: "Usually a guy with not very many clothes on, or wafting around looking really sensitive on a beach, or holding flowers – stuff like that." The idea was to present pictures of "people living a life that doesn’t really exist", couples under water with dolphins, men larking about on idyllic beaches. Although there was a certain homoerotic quality to some of the pictures, Rowell says their main appeal was to teenage girls. Plus, he adds with a laugh, "black-and-white photography goes with any wallpaper or paintwork".

Although L’Enfant continued – and continues – to sell, the monochrome photography trend at Athena began to wear thin. By the beginning of the 1990s, it had had its day.

Views differ on when and why it all started to go wrong for Athena. Some point the finger at the mid-1980s, when the company was bought by corporate group Pentos. Hemingway, in Just Above The Mantelpiece, argues that, "like many great concepts, when Ole Christiansen sold Athena to a big corporation, the spark was lost". Roger Watt agrees: in the early days, he says, the merchandise was chosen by a haphazard reliance on gut instinct, but as commercial pressure increased, the process became "more scientific". Others say that the company went downhill when Rodriguez died in 1993, while Chris Meiklejohn, who feels Athena lost its way post-airbrush boom, suggests it was a victim of its own arrogance. "Athena started to believe that what it was was important in itself, without renewing itself."

In the early 1990s, when the recession kicked in, money was very tight, Watt adds. Pressure from Pentos increased and "as the parent company grew, we had to become more accountable. We had to justify our strategy to the board of the plc and the MD."

The retail arm of the company ran into problems, with many of the stores not breaking even, particularly those in shopping centres, where rents were high and there was little foot traffic. Original photographic and artwork commissions were cut back, and the company invested instead in numerous licences for movie and other brand merchandise. There was still the odd original work – such as the "fractal optics" series or Dylan, the rabbit from Magic Roundabout, with the caption "Rave On" – but Athena in the 1990s came mostly to rely on big-name licensing deals: Batman, Disney, Warner Brothers, Sonic the Hedgehog, Thunderbirds and the World Wrestling Federation. When a range of Star Wars merchandise bombed, it was a wake-up call for the company.

Athena was spiralling deeper and deeper into debt, and it proved impossible to stem the losses, which reached £5m in the first half of 1994. The rents for the shops were just too high to support the business and at the end of the year, Pentos took the unusual step of putting the stores into receivership, fearing that its losses would drag down the rest of the group, which includes Dillons bookshops. The "ring-fencing" of the subsidiary company ensured that creditors such as landlords would be prevented from claiming money from the parent group. One Pentos insider was quoted as saying at the time, "If a leg has gangrene, you can’t wait too long before cutting it off" and though a receiver described the action as "immoral", it was certainly legal and not unprecedented. The result? A handful of viable outlets were sold to independent buyers, but most of the 157 stores closed.

the poster company that became a phenomenon

It is unlikely that Britain will witness a phenomenon like Athena again, certainly for the time being. Watt doesn’t see much of a future for the poster industry: "It’s a new generation now, a digital age, and kids prefer to download stuff themselves from their computers." Not many stores stock posters now, he says, because the browser racks take up too much space and, besides, "The kind of social interaction kids used to get going down to the high street on a Saturday afternoon with their friends has been replaced by email and text messaging and computer games." Add to this the current preference for clean-living minimalism and it’s hard to see an imminent resurgence of poster mania.

While the 1980s fashion revival looks set to run for a while yet, Athena won’t be back – which is perhaps just as well. It had its time and is probably best remembered in a golden glow of kitsch-imbued nostalgia. If you really want to revisit the old days of Athena, you can always get down to your nearest designer or high street store to buy the T-shirt or the bikini – and wear it with a knowing, grown-up, tongue-in-cheek attitude. Or forget the irony and just relive that youthful rush of aspiration and promise.

The first test pilot of Concorde
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Welsh-born Brian Trubshaw described that maiden 22-minute flight from Filton near Bristol to RAF Fairford in Gloucestershire on 9 April 1969 as "the highlight of my aviation career".

That career began as an RAF pilot in World War II and he likened being at the controls of the supersonic aircraft to "travelling faster than a rifle bullet".

His enthusiasm for Concorde continued even after last summer’s fateful crash near Paris, which killed 113 people.

He insisted that the plane was still safe to fly.

Born in Llanelli, west Wales, Mr Trubshaw died at his home near Tetbury, Gloucestershire, on Saturday.

His wife, Yvonne, said: "It was very peaceful, he hadn’t been ill."

The couple have a stepdaughter, Sally.

Mr Trubshaw very nearly followed his father and grandfather into the family tinplate business, but he entered the RAF as World War II started.

As it turned out, the Western Tinplate Works was swallowed up in a series of mergers.

Howard Berry, a spokesman for BAE Systems, who worked for Mr Trubshaw before his retirement in 1986, said: "He’ll be greatly missed in the world of aerospace."

Mr Trubshaw’s autobiography was launched the day after the Paris crash and his book opened with the sentence: "It is not unreasonable to look upon Concorde as a miracle".

Interviewed by BBC Television after the crash, he said: "It would be wrong for me to say I was astonished. It was an incident I hoped never would happen, but at the same time one has to be realistic."

"Being mixed up with aviation for as long as I have, one knew that one day we could be faced with this situation."

In his book, "Concorde: The Inside Story", he said he remembered the aircraft’s test day as if it were yesterday.

Crew members were issued with air-ventilated suits and parachutes and the pre-flight checklist took one hour.

Mr Trubshaw said: "We were off down the runway with extremely rapid acceleration."

He flew Concorde 002, the British prototype, again on 14 June 1969 in honour of the Queen’s official birthday, passing over Buckingham Palace at 1,500ft.

He was first inspired to become a pilot when at the age of 10 he saw the Prince of Wales’s aircraft land on the beach at Pembrey, Carmarthenshire, near where his family lived.

Prestigious career

He joined the RAF at Lord’s cricket ground in 1942 and trained in the US, learning to fly Stearman biplanes.

Qualification as a bomber pilot followed and he joined the prestigious King’s Flight in 1946, flying members of the Royal Family and attending private parties with Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret.

He joined Vickers-Armstrong as a test pilot on V-bombers and tested the dropping of Britain’s first atom bomb.

The British and French governments signed an agreement in 1962 to develop Concorde and he was selected as test pilot.

The supersonic aircraft went into commercial service seven years after the maiden flight and Mr Trubshaw later said he had doubted whether it ever would because of political opposition.

2001 Brian Trubshaw died at the age of 77.

My Family Link with Concorde by Paul Townsend

I do have a family link with Concorde my grandfather’s brother (Great Uncle) was Sir George Edwards Aviation Pioneer and ex-chairman of BAC.

Guiding light in the postwar British aircraft industry whose achievements are an indelible part of world aviation history

When, in mid-career, Sir George Edwards was awarded the Guggenheim Gold Medal for Aeronautics in New York in 1959, he was described by the leaders of American aviation, never men to bestow praise lightly, as “one of the world’s foremost aircraft designers and administrators – an architect of the age of flight”. Such an expression of esteem showed well the regard in which he was held over the years, even by his competitors in world markets.

George Edwards was one of British aviation’s most accomplished and respected practitioners and one of its most stalwart and articulate advocates. Perhaps supreme among his achievements was the bringing to fruition and successive development of the world’s first turbo.prop airliner, the Vickers Viscount after 1948. But his career was studded with the names of famous aircraft, both civil and military – first at Vickers and then at the British Aircraft Corporation (BAC) – in whose design he had a hand, or whose development he oversaw. Among these were the Valiant jet bomber of the early 1950s; the elegant VC10 military and civil jet transport of the 1960s; the revolutionary TSR2 strike aircraft which fell victim to politics in 1965; the Anglo-French Jaguar strike fighter of 1972, which is still in service; and the Anglo-French Concorde supersonic airliner project, whose success owed so much to his tact and diplomacy.

Nor were his attainments confined to the aeronautical field. His interests and skills embraced a wide spectrum – from painting and cricket to small boat sailing, golf and Surrey University. Most of all, his successful line of a dozen different types of British civil and military aircraft – almost 1,500 of them built and sold in the home and export markets – made a major contribution to the United Kingdom’s coffers and prestige in aviation over more than 40 years.

George Edwards’s aircraft may not have had quite the elegance of line seen in the products of Sydney Camm, nor perhaps the wider variety of those built by Geoffrey de Havilland. But they had four supreme qualities. They were immensely robust; they were a delight to fly in both civil and military forms; they met well their customers’ requirements; and – most important of all – their performance was in the vanguard of technical progress.

All this was achieved consistently through the years by design, construction, flight test and sales teams led from the front by GRE, as he was universally known at Vickers and BAC, in a direct and uncomplicated manner, always with skill and good humour and without a shade of pomposity.

In his 40 years in aeronautics – from 1935 to 1975 – he had to endure many frustrations, most of which arose from the political timidity or misconceptions of others. Besides the TSR2 there was the V1000 project, cancelled in 1955 just when it promised to achieve for Britain a lead into profitable trans.atlantic jet services. There was the “Three-Eleven” wide-body, 250 passenger “airbus” – ahead of its competitors but denied support in 1975. And but for General de Gaulle and the British Minister of Aviation, Julian Amery, Concorde might well have been killed off in 1964.

Edwards not only designed his series of remarkable aircraft but forged a new concept of “high-tech” international collaboration. As he remarked, with his dry and penetrating wit: “If you could colla.borate successfully on an advanced design such as Concorde with the French, then you could do it with anything and anybody.” Thereafter, the military collaborative programmes came along relatively painlessly.

George Robert Edwards was born at Highams Park, Essex, in 1908. He came into a family with its roots in the tech.nology and transport of the time. His father, Edwin George Edwards, was station master at Walthamstow on the Great Eastern Railway. Edwards’s mother, Mary Elizabeth (née Freeman), died when he was born.

Edwards first went to school at Woodford Green, then to the South West Essex Technical College and from there to acquire a degree in engineering at London University. For seven years from 1928 he was engaged as a budding structural engineer in such diverse projects as hydraulic machinery and steam tugs – the latter at Hay’s Wharf, near London Bridge.

In 1935 he joined the design office of Vickers (Aviation) at Brooklands, Surrey. Under the benevolent eyes of the pioneer aircraft designer Rex Pierson, he quickly mastered the peculiarities of aeronautical work, first on the Vickers G4/31 biplane, then on the Wellesley and Wellington bombers of Barnes Wallis’s geodetic “basketwork” construction.

In 1938 he was engaged on the preparation of four special long-range Wellesleys which, in November that year, won for Britain the world distance record of 7,158 nautical miles, flown non-stop by RAF crews from Ismailia, Egypt, to Port Darwin, Australia, in 48 hours.

For his part in that success Edwards was selected by Rex Pierson, early in the Second World War, to take charge of top-priority work to convert four Wellington MkI bombers as magnetic mine-sweepers against the menace to Allied shipping, laid by the Luftwaffe in coastal waters. The “degaussing” Wellingtons – with large electrically charged coils in hemispherical casings underneath – put an end to the magnetic mine problem, and earned for George Edwards the responsible job of experimental manager at the Vickers works in 1940.

His wartime tasks at Weybridge included the pressurised “crew capsules” for special high-flying Wellington MkVs – the first in British aircraft – and the prototype construction of the Warwick and Windsor bombers, and of Vickers’s last fighter, the prototype, twin-Merlin F7/41, high-altitude Type 432.

By 1945 Edwards was involved with Rex Pierson in the Vickers VC1 – first called the “Wellington Transport” – which became the Viking. It was a twin-engined, 27-passenger “DC-3 Dakota replacement” intended to lead the way to more advanced projects. Altogether 163 Vikings were built for British European Airways (BEA) and other postwar airlines.

On Pierson’s death in February 1948, Edwards was his natural successor as chief designer and chief engineer of the Vickers Aviation works. As such it fell to him to bring to fruition Pierson’s last design, the VC2, a pressurised, turbo-prop, medium-range airliner that was to become famous as the Viscount. Stretched successively from 24 to 47 passenger seats – and eventually to 70 – the Viscount became, under Edwards’s leadership, the most successful of British civil aircraft. In July 1950 BEA operated the world’s first, turbine-powered, commercial passenger air services between Northolt, London, and Le Bourget, Paris. In ten years Vickers built 456 Viscounts, 80 per cent of which were exported, including 147 to North American airlines.

Meanwhile, between 1946 and 1956, the piston-engined Viking and its military developments, the Valetta and the Varsity, of which a total of 589 were built, established Vickers under Edwards’s leadership as the first substantial British supplier of transport aircraft. From 1953 the Viscount brought Vickers and Edwards into the front rank of the world’s aircraft constructors.

That position was consolidated when the four-jet Valiant – first of Britain’s V-bombers – flew in May 1951. During ten years of service, from 1955, Valiants delivered Britain’s first air-dropped atom bomb at Maralinga, Australia, on October 11, 1956; dropped its first H-bomb at Christmas Island seven months later; saw action from Malta in the brief Suez campaign; and flew non-stop from Marham to Singapore – 8,110 miles in 15 hours at 525 mph – twice flight-refuelled on the way.

The logical application of the experience of the Viscount and the Valiant was to set in hand, for BOAC and the RAF, a new generation of long-range jet transport aircraft for which there was an obvious demand. The Vickers V1000/VC7 was designed to carry 120 passengers, or equivalent military load, from London to New York non-stop, or to Australia with two stops. But despite an initial Air Ministry order for seven aircraft, this bold concept was frustrated in December 1955 by a political decision to scrap the project in favour of the turbo-prop Bristol Britannia. Thus a clear lead in the lucrative transatlantic jet business was lost,some 20 months ahead of the first version of the Boeing 707.

Ever philosophical, Edwards turned, first, to a new medium-haul, 130-passenger turbo-prop transport for BEA and Trans-Canada Air Lines which, as the Vanguard, went into service in February 1961. Sixteen months later the prototype four-jet, 115-passenger VC10 made its first flight from Brooklands, designed for BOAC and RAF Transport Command. Eighty-two were built.

The VC10 and its development, the Super VC10, with their excellent flying characteristics and superior passenger appeal compared with any of its contemporaries, would have sold worldwide in substantial numbers but for a decision by Sir Giles Guthrie, the chairman of BOAC in 1964, to standardise his fleet on the Boeing 707 instead.

By this time, in a coalescing of the 11 major British aircraft constructors into two major groups, Vickers joined with English Electric, Bristol Aircraft and Hunting to form the British Aircraft Corporation (BAC), with its headquarters at Weybridge and Edwards as its managing director. One of the objectives of the Government in urging this, more or less shotgun, marriage was concentration of work upon an advanced, supersonic “tactical-strike-reconnaisance, weapons-concept aircraft” – the TSR2.

The first TSR2 flew on December 27, 1964, and went supersonic on February 21, 1965, clearly demonstrating that it could do its intended job. It was, however, promptly cancelled by the new Labour Government on April 6, 1965. This cancellation anticipated acquisition of the American F111 strike bomber which, however, was never delivered to the RAF. This second blow – strongly contested by Edwards – was taken by him in his usual stoic fashion. He turned instead to the much smaller and much less complicated BAC One-Eleven short-haul, twin-jet airliner with 99 passenger seats. A total of 234 One-Elevens were built by BAC and sold profitably in 62 countries, including the United States.

In 1968 BAC collaborated with Breguet in France to form a consortium to develop the Jaguar ground-attack aircraft. In 1969 it joined with West Germany and Italy in Panavia to develop and build the multirole combat aircraft which became the Tornado. In the design and development of this outstandingly successful aircraft, Sir Frederick Page and Edwards played a dominant part.

Meanwhile, the Anglo-French Concorde supersonic jet airliner had appeared on the scene, evolved from design studies by Morien Morgan of the Royal Aircraft Establishment (RAE), Farnborough, and A.E. Russell at Bristol. Edwards embraced the concept with enthusiasm and, by force of personality, the honesty of his approach and the attractiveness of his character, welded a warring, Anglo-French consortium into the semblance of a harmonious team. It was a triumphant technical and administrative climax to his career.

He retired from BAC as it became the nationalised British Aerospace in 1975. Then, not a little through his efforts, some half a million people were employed in the British aerospace industry and its supporting companies. He remarked that “the fundamental problem with aerospace is that the business is long-term and politics is short-term”.

Edwards was knighted in 1957 and appointed to the Order of Merit in 1971. He was President of the Royal Aeronautical Society in 1957-58 and was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1968. He was President of Surrey County Cricket Club, 1979-89, Pro-Chancellor of the University of Surrey, 1964-79 and Pro-Chancellor Emeritus thereafter.

Throughout his life, plagued by much ill health, Edwards remained steadfast in his beliefs, kindly in all his personal contacts and revered by his staff.

He married in 1935 Marjorie Annie (Dinah) Thurgood. She died in 1994 and he is survived by their daughter.

Sir George Edwards, OM, CBE, chairman, British Aircraft Corporation, 1963-75, was born on July 9, 1908. He died on March 2, 2003, aged 94.

See 1967 M4. Various shots on country road and section of M.4. of a large transporter carrying section of Concord fuselage from B.A.C. British Aircraft Corporation Filton to R.A.F. Farnborough for heat and stress tests.


See 1967 CONCORDE CONSTRUCTION BRISTOL – Colour video newsreel film


That Was the Year That Was – 1974
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1974 is marked by the Three-Day Week, two General Elections, one change of national government, a state of emergency in Northern Ireland, extensive Provisional Irish Republican Army bombing of the British mainland, several large company collapses and major local government reorganisation.

1974 Inflation continues to spiral out of control around the world reaching 11.3% in the USA and 17.2% in the UK and the global recession deepens. The famous skeleton "Lucy" is discovered in Ethiopia which lived between 3.9 to 3 million years ago. More and more smaller digital based consumer products appear in the shops and the earliest forms of Word Processors appear which resemble a typewriter more than a computer. After the findings of the Watergate Scandal Richard Nixon becomes the first US president forced to resign from office.

Vietnam had begun to recede from the popular consciousness in America in the early ‘70s. It was a reviled war, an embarrassment. Servicemen returning from their term of duty would land in San Diego and disappear into the hinterland rather than go home, finding refuge in drugs, alcohol or wretched anonymity. There were few homecomings, in fact, not many yellow ribbons tied around the old oak tree, the symbol of thanksgiving for sacrifice. This was the war America no longer wanted, and the young men who died latterly for its discredited cause.

IRA bombing campaign on mainland Britain

IRA begins bombing campaign on mainland Britain and bombs The Tower of London on July 17th and the Houses of parliament and pubs in Birmingham.

M62 coach bombing: 12 people were killed when a bomb planted by the Provisional Irish Republican Army exploded on a coach on the M62 motorway in West Yorkshire. Eight of the dead were off-duty British Army soldiers, and two were children. 12 other people were seriously injured.

8 February – The M62 motorway bombing death toll reached 12 with the death in hospital of an 18-year-old soldier who had been seriously injured in the bombing.

4 November – Judith Ward was sentenced to life imprisonment for the M62 coach bombing.

17 June – A bomb exploded at the Houses of Parliament in London, damaging Westminster Hall. The Irish Republican Army claimed responsibility for planting the bomb.

17 July – A bomb planted by the Provisional Irish Republican Army (PIRA) exploded in the White Tower at the Tower of London, killing one person and injuring 41. Another bomb exploded outside a government building in South London.

5 October – The Guildford pub bombings at The Horse and Groom and The Seven Stars killed five people.

22 October – The Provisional IRA bombed Brooks’s club in London.

28 October – The wife and son of Sports Minister Denis Howell survived a provisional IRA bomb attack on their car.

A provisional IRA bomb exploded at the Kings Arms, Woolwich.

21 November – Birmingham pub bombings: In Birmingham, two pubs were bombed, killing 21 people and injuring many others.

24 November – The Birmingham Six were charged with the Birmingham pub bombings.

IRA Bomb, Bristol 1974

1974 Wednesday December 18th – Bristol was in Christmas mood and the gaily decorated shops in Park Street had been bustling with Christmas shoppers in the final run-up to the holiday. And then, at 7.30 p.m., came the call to Avon and Somerset police headquarters at Bridewell in the city centre. The telephone caller spoke with an Irish accent and said simply: ‘In 20 minutes to half-an-hour a bomb will go off in Park Street’. There were bomb hoaxes a-plenty that year as the mainland bombing campaign got into its stride.

Explosions in provincial cities as well as the capital made police take every warning call seriously. On the Avon and Somerset police patch, officers were even more rigorous after the region’s first taste of terrorism came with a warning following by the blast of a 51b bomb in The Corridor at Bath. That was just eight days before the Bristol phone call. The pattern was the same as at Bath. The caller with an Irish accent. The lack of a code word. The threat was real enough. Within 10 minutes of the alert 50 police officers were on Park Street, searching litter bins, dustbins, shop doorways and piles of wastepaper awaiting collection.

The search began at the bottom of Park Street and was making its way painstakingly up the hill when, at 7.54, there was the deafening roar and shockwaves of a device exploding outside Dixon’s photographic shop further up the road. One man was hurt and taken to hospital. The blast, the biggest bang suffered in the fashionable shopping street since bombs wrecked several shops during the blitzes of World War II, shattered plate glass shopfronts up and down the street.

Within a minute police had resumed their check of dustbins, doorways and other possible bomb hiding places. And then, at 8.03 and without a warning, a second bomb exploded in a dustbin out-side the Kenneth Harris hearing aid shop. The muffled crump of the detonation could be heard two miles away. In Park Street itself the bang was deafening. The second explosion seemed designed to catch police in the mop-up operation. In the event it caught a teenager hurrying to ring his and his girl-friend’s parents to tell them they had not been hurt in the first attack.

He suffered nasty burns and glass cuts. She was saved because he fell across her as shopfronts around them exploded in the shockwave. In just eight minutes Bristol’s premier shopping street had been reduced to a ghastly mockery of a Christmas attraction. Mercifully no one died, although 15 people were injured. The Post’s six-strong team sent to the scene described the aftermath of the terrorist attack: ‘A large facia above Kenneth Harris’s hangs at a crazy angle. The force of the explosion blasted downwards into a cellar buckling a steel beam. ‘The upward force has crumpled brickwork and a major re-building programme will be necessary.

‘Across the road more shops ring to the sound of hammers and crowbars as glass clinging to broken frames is cleared for safety. ‘A merry Christmas banner and silver tinsel, bathed still in an electric spotlight, looks incongruous flapping in the window of Rayner’s Records where the smiling faces of Bob Dylan and Sir John Barbirolli appear on record sleeves—beckoning to the Christmas trade. ‘At the Chapter and Verse bookshop, ironically, James Joyce’s volume Dubliners stands unscathed and draws the eye from Sir John Betjeman portrayed on his dustcover with a stoic grimace.

‘One wonders at the forces of science that in moments of explosion can cause such havoc yet leave seven milk bottles on a doorstep unscathed. ‘One marvels at the way vast panes of glass can just disappear and at the force that drives the splinters to destroy furniture in the gaping front of an antique store. ‘There is blood still on the pavement. It is a reminder above the clatter of the big clear-up that we are the lucky ones.

‘The idiocy of the Park Street bombers has taken its toll in many ways and the faces are grim of those with a devilish task of finding the clues that led to the culprits.’

The Rumble in the Jungle

On October 30, 1974, 32-year-old Muhammad Ali becomes the heavyweight champion of the world for the second time when he knocks out 25-year-old champ George Foreman in the eighth round of the “Rumble in the Jungle,” a match in Kinshasa, Zaire. Seven years before, Ali had lost his title when the government accused him of draft-dodging and the boxing commission took away his license. His victory in Zaire made him only the second dethroned champ in history to regain his belt.

The “Rumble in the Jungle” (named by promoter Don King, who’d initially tagged the bout “From the Slave Ship to the Championship!” until Zaire’s president caught wind of the idea and ordered all the posters burned) was Africa’s first heavyweight championship match. The government of the West African republic staged the event—its president, Mobutu Sese Seko, personally paid each of the fighters million simply for showing up—in hopes that it would draw the world’s attention to the country’s enormous beauty and vast reserves of natural resources. Ali agreed. “I wanted to establish a relationship between American blacks and Africans,” he wrote later. “The fight was about racial problems, Vietnam. All of that.” He added: “The Rumble in the Jungle was a fight that made the whole country more conscious.”

At 4:30 a.m. on October 30, 60,000 spectators gathered in the moonlight (organizers had timed the fight to overlap with prime time in the U.S.) at the outdoor Stade du 20 Mai to watch the fight. They were chanting “Ali, bomaye” (“Ali, kill him”). The ex-champ had been taunting Foreman for weeks, and the young boxer was eager to get going. When the bell rang, he began to pound Ali with his signature sledgehammer blows, but the older man simply backed himself up against the ropes and used his arms to block as many hits as he could. He was confident that he could wait Foreman out. (Ali’s trainer later called this strategy the “rope-a-dope,” because he was “a dope” for using it.)

By the fifth round, the youngster began to tire. His powerful punches became glances and taps. And in the eighth, like “a bee harassing a bear,” as one Times reporter wrote, Ali peeled himself off the ropes and unleashed a barrage of quick punches that seemed to bewilder the exhausted Foreman. A hard left and chopping right caused the champ’s weary legs to buckle, and he plopped down on the mat. The referee counted him out with just two seconds to go in the round.

Ali lost his title and regained it once more before retiring for good in 1981. Foreman, meanwhile, retired in 1977 but kept training, and in 1987 he became the oldest heavyweight champ in the history of boxing. Today, the affable Foreman is a minister and rancher in Texas and the father of five daughters and five sons, all named George. He’s also the spokesman for the incredibly popular line of George Foreman indoor grills.

News Headlines

India successfully detonates its first nuclear weapon on May 18th becoming the sixth nation to do so.

Conservative Prime Minister Edward Heath’s decision to call a snap election in February 1974 backfired. His plea to the electors to "return a strong government with a firm mandate" was ignored as Britain was faced with its first hung parliament since 1929.

Although Labour won fewer votes than the Conservatives, the party took four more seats, 301 against 297. After four days of indecision that saw Heath unable to convince the Liberals to lend him their support he had no choice but to resign.

Labour leader Harold Wilson was back in Downing Street for the third time, but now he would have to deal with the fresh challenge of heading a minority administration which could fall at any time.

Heath was prime minister for three years and 259 days but it felt like a decade at least, packed with one crisis after another. Ted Heath yearned for business as usual, but these were not usual times. In late 1973, he reacted to the miners’ work-to-rule by declaring his fifth and final state of emergency, imposing a three-day week from 1 January. Noddy Holder and Slade tried to keep spirits up with their chart-topping chorus – "Here it is, merry Christmas, everybody’s having fun!" – but did anyone believe them?

1974 saw some of the most miserable events in recent British history

The 70s in Britain have become "synonymous with the colour brown", which is certainly how I recall them: Vesta instant curries, Watneys Red Barrel, faux-velvet wallpaper, fawn-coloured nylon sheets. Yet this was offset by a gaudy display of flashiness and spivvery: Jason King’s moustache, Roger Moore’s lapels, Noddy Holder’s trousers, Slater Walker’s gleeful asset-strippers.

The years between 1974 and 1979 saw some of the most miserable events in recent British history – the three-day week, the Winter of Discontent, the decline of Britain’s industries, its empire and its standing in the world. Taxes rose, inflation soared and instances of violent crime doubled; while everything else – including the strength of the pound, standards of living, consumer confidence, producer confidence and confidence in general – plummeted.

This was the decade when the innocent twinkling of disco and Abba gave way to the harsh nihilism of punk; when Dixon of Dock Green was replaced by The Sweeney; and when the flowering of the permissive society produced the fruits of rising rates of divorce, drug use, abortion and teenage pregnancy.

There were a million things to be depressed about in the mid-Seventies: football hooliganism, IRA bombing, the Yorkshire Ripper, racial tension, nationalism and radicalism, working-class resentment, middle-class resentment, upper-class resentment, the destruction of direct-grant grammar schools and the Brain Drain.

“If I were a younger man,” Jim Callaghan admitted to his Cabinet colleagues in November 1974, “I would emigrate.” Thousands did exactly that – not only pop stars and actors like David Bowie, Rod Stewart and Roger Moore, but also managers, doctors and engineers. Over the following three years, for the first time in recorded history, the population of Britain fell because so many people were fleeing what they regarded as a sinking ship.

1st McDonalds opens in London

In October 1974, to no great fanfare and met pretty much with initial indifference by the British public, the first McDonald’s outlet in the UK opened in the London Borough of Woolwich, though the company decided to have its British HQ in rather more upmarket Hampstead .

The joys of the Big Mac, (“Do you want fries with that?”) the thick vanilla milkshake and the Egg McMuffin were of course soon to become almost omnipresent in the British High Street, but the concept of fast food (or the then British version of it, not completely slow food) was far from new, with Wimpey for years previously serving their burgers to Brits eager for a taste of pseudo-America.

The Woolwich McDonald’s was a significant one for the company: not only was it invading the British market, but it was a landmark too in that this was the 3,000th restaurant opened by the chain worldwide.

To break Britain the company needed the power of cleverly targeted TV ads, putting over the idea of food as fun and McDonald’s as a colourful and unstuffy place to eat. Love them or loathe them McDonald’s was destined to conquer the British market.

Lord Lucan disappears

Belgravia, London The 7th of November 1974 – Drinkers in the Plumbers Arms on Lower Belgrave St were astonished, on the evening of 7th November 1974 to have their peace shattered by a blood stained woman screaming for help. She cried "Help me, help me, help me. I’ve just escaped from being murdered. He’s in the house. He’s murdered the Nanny!".

This was Lady Lucan and so one of the most mysterious episodes of the 1970’s was to explode. The nanny, Sandra Rivett, had indeed been killed in the basement and there was no sign of the aristocratic serial gambler. He had fled to Sussex to the home of his friends Ian and Susan Maxwell-Scott in an agitated state and with blood stains on his clothing. Claiming he had interrupted a man assaulting his wife he pleaded his innocence and said that he had panicked.

The Maxwell-Scotts begged him to go to the police but he refused and set off in the early hours stating that "he had to get back". His abandoned Ford Corsair was found on the beach at Newhaven and there has been no sign (though numerous ‘sightings’) ever since

1974 Timeline

January – Britain enters its first postwar recession after statistics show that the economy contracted during the third and fourth quarters of last year.

1 January – New Year’s Day was celebrated as a public holiday for the first time.

The Northern Ireland Power-sharing Executive was set up in Belfast.

1 January–7 March – The Three-Day Week was introduced by the Conservative Government as a measure to conserve electricity during the period of industrial action by coal miners.

4 February – M62 coach bombing: 12 people were killed when a bomb planted by the Provisional Irish Republican Army exploded on a coach on the M62 motorway in West Yorkshire. Eight of the dead were off-duty British Army soldiers, and two were children. 12 other people were seriously injured.

7 February – The Prime Minister, Edward Heath, called a General Election for 28 February in an attempt to end the dispute over the miners’ strike. During the campaign, the Labour Party and Trades Union Congress agree a ‘Social Contract’ intended to produce wage restraint.

Grenada became independent of the United Kingdom.

8 February – The M62 motorway bombing death toll reached 12 with the death in hospital of an 18-year-old soldier who had been seriously injured in the bombing.

12 February – BBC1 first aired the children’s television series Bagpuss, made by Peter Firmin and Oliver Postgate’s Smallfilms in stop motion animation.

14 February – Bob Latchford, the Birmingham City centre forward, became Britain’s most expensive footballer in a £350,000 move to Everton.

Opinion polls show the Conservative government in the lead.

27 February – Enoch Powell, the controversial Conservative MP who was dismissed from the shadow cabinet in 1968 for his "Rivers of Blood" speech opposing mass immigration, announced his resignation from the party, in protest against Edward Heath’s decision to take Britain into the EEC.

28 February – The General Election resulted in the first hung parliament since 1929, with the Conservative government having 297 seats – four fewer than Labour, who have 301 – and the largest number of votes. Prime Minister Ted Heath hoped to form a coalition with the Liberal Party in order to remain in power.

4 March – Ted Heath failed to convince the Liberals to form a coalition and announced his resignation as Prime Minister, paving the way for Harold Wilson to become Prime Minister for the second time as Labour formed a minority government.

6 March – The miners’ strike came to an end due an improved pay offer by the new Labour government.

10 March – Ten miners died in a methane gas explosion at Golborne Colliery near Wigan, Lancashire.

11 March – Convicted armed robbers Kenneth Littlejohn and his brother Keith, who claimed to be British spies in the Republic of Ireland, escaped from Mountjoy Prison in Dublin.

15 March – Architect John Poulson was jailed for five years for corruption.

18 March – Oil embargo crisis: Most OPEC nations ended a 5 month oil embargo against the United States, Europe and Japan.

20 March – Ian Ball failed in his attempt to kidnap HRH Princess Anne and her husband Captain Mark Phillips in The Mall, outside Buckingham Palace.

29 March – The government re-established direct rule over Northern Ireland after declaring a state of emergency.

April – The Soviet car maker Lada, founded four years ago as a result of an enterprise by Italian automotive giant Fiat, began selling cars in the United Kingdom; its 1200 four-door saloon was based on the Fiat 124 and retailed for £999.

1 April – The Local Government Act 1972 came into effect in England and Wales, creating six new metropolitan counties and comprehensively redrawing the administrative map. Newport and Monmouthshire are legally transferred from England to Wales.

6 April – The 19th Eurovision Song Contest is staged at The Dome in Brighton. The winning Swedish group ABBA, go on to be the top-selling act of the decade.

24 April – Leeds United won their second Football League First Division title.

27 April – Manchester United were relegated from the Football League First Division where they have played continuously since 1938. Their relegation was confirmed when they lose 1-0 at home to their neighbours City in the penultimate game of the league season and the only goal of the game came from former United striker Denis Law.

1 May – Alf Ramsey, who guided England to World Cup glory in 1966, was dismissed by the Football Association after 11 years in charge.

2 May – The fascist far-right National Front gained more than 10% of the vote in several parts of London in council elections, but failed to net any councillors.

4 May – Liverpool won the FA Cup for the second time, beating Newcastle United 3-0 in the Wembley final, with Kevin Keegan scoring twice and Steve Heighway scoring the other goal.

6 May – Inauguration of full electric service on British Rail’s West Coast Main Line through to Glasgow.

7 May – Led Zeppelin announce their new record label, Swan Song Records, with a lavish party at The Four Seasons Hotel in New York.

17 May – The Loyalist paramilitary Ulster Volunteer Force carried out the Dublin and Monaghan bombings in the Republic of Ireland.

28 May – Power-sharing in the Northern Ireland Assembly collapsed following a strike by unionists.

1 June – Flixborough disaster: An explosion at a chemical plant in Flixborough, South Humberside, killed 28 people.

8 June – Jon Pertwee left Doctor Who in the final episode of Planet of the Spiders citing the death of his close acting friend Roger Delgado (who played ‘The Master’) the previous year as the reason. He was replaced by Tom Baker.

15 June – The Red Lion Square disorders saw members of the fascist National Front clash with counter-protesters in London’s West End; 21-year-old Kevin Gateley, a university student, is killed.

17 June – A bomb exploded at the Houses of Parliament in London, damaging Westminster Hall. The Irish Republican Army claimed responsibility for planting the bomb.

24 June – The government admitted testing a nuclear weapon in the United States causing a rift in the Labour Party.

3 July – Don Revie, the manager of Football League champions Leeds United since 1961, accepted the Football Association’s £200,000-a-year deal to become the new England manager.

12 July – Bill Shankly, manager of FA Cup holders Liverpool, stunned the club by announcing his retirement after 15 years as manager. Shankly, 60, had arrived at Liverpool when they were in the Football League Second Division and transformed them into one of the world’s top club sides with three top division titles, two FA Cups and a UEFA Cup triumph.

17 July – A bomb planted by the Provisional Irish Republican Army (PIRA) exploded in the White Tower at the Tower of London, killing one person and injuring 41. Another bomb exploded outside a government building in South London.

20 July – Leeds United appointed the Brighton & Hove Albion manager Brian Clough, formerly of Derby County as their new manager.

20 July – The first Knebworth Concert is held, headlined by The Allman Brothers Band.

21 July – 10,000 Greek-Cypriots protested in London against the Turkish invasion of Cyprus.

26 July – Liverpool appointed 55-year-old first team coach Bob Paisley as their new manager.

15 August – Collapse of Court Line and its subsidiaries Clarksons and Horizon Holidays leaves 100,000 holidaymakers stranded abroad.

29 August – Thames Valley Police broke up the Windsor Free Festival.

12 September – Brian Clough was dismissed after less than two months as manager of Leeds United following a disappointing start to the Football League season.

23 September – Ceefax was started by the BBC – one of the first public service information systems.

30 September – With the year’s second General Election 10 days away, opinion polls showed Labour in the lead with Harold Wilson well placed to gain the overall majority that no party had achieved in the election held seven months earlier.

October – Five previously all-male Colleges of the University of Oxford admitted women undergraduates for the first time.

1 October – The Fast food chain McDonald’s opened its first restaurant in Woolwich, London.

5 October – The Guildford pub bombings at The Horse and Groom and The Seven Stars killed five people.

10 October – The second general election of the year resulted in a narrow victory for Harold Wilson, giving Labour a majority of three seats. It was widely expected that Edward Heath’s leadership of the Conservative Party would soon be ended, as he had now lost three of the four general elections that he had contested in almost a decade as leader. The Scottish National Party secured its highest-ever Westminster party representation with 11 seats. Enoch Powell was elected to parliament in Northern Ireland for the Ulster Unionist Party. Powell, who was dismissed from the Tory shadow cabinet in April 1968 following his controversial Rivers of Blood speech on immigration, had left the Conservative Party at 28 February election and had recently rejected an offer to stand as a candidate for the National Front.

16 October – Rioting prisoners set fire to the Maze Prison in Belfast.

22 October – The Provisional IRA bombed Brooks’s club in London.

28 October – The wife and son of Sports Minister Denis Howell survived a provisional IRA bomb attack on their car.

2 November – George Harrison launches his "George Harrison & Friends North American Tour" in Vancouver. It’s Harrison’s first tour since the Beatles North American Tour of 1966.

4 November – Judith Ward was sentenced to life imprisonment for the M62 coach bombing.

7 November – Lord Lucan disappeared after the murder of his children’s nanny.

A provisional IRA bomb exploded at the Kings Arms, Woolwich.

11 November – The New Covent Garden Market in Nine Elms was opened.

21 November – Birmingham pub bombings: In Birmingham, two pubs were bombed, killing 21 people and injuring many others.

24 November – The Birmingham Six were charged with the Birmingham pub bombings.

25 November – Home Secretary Roy Jenkins announced the government’s intention to outlaw the IRA in the UK.

27 November – The Prevention of Terrorism Act was passed.

28 November – John Lennon joins Elton John on stage at Madison Square Garden for three songs. It would be Lennon’s last stage performance.

5 December – Party Political Broadcast, the final episode of Monty Python’s Flying Circus, was broadcast on BBC 2.

10 December – Friedrich Hayek shared the 1974 Nobel Prize in Economics with ideological rival Gunnar Myrdal "for their pioneering work in the theory of money and economic fluctuations and for their penetrating analysis of the interdependence of economic, social and institutional phenomena.".

Martin Ryle and Antony Hewish won the Nobel Prize in Physics "for their pioneering research in radio astrophysics: Ryle for his observations and inventions, in particular of the aperture synthesis technique, and Hewish for his decisive role in the discovery of pulsars".

12 December – Mick Taylor leaves The Rolling Stones after 6 years.

15 December – New speed limits were introduced on Britain’s roads in an attempt to save fuel at a time of Arab fuel embargoes following the Yom Kippur War.

18 December – The government paid £42,000 to families of victims of Bloody Sunday riots in Northern Ireland.

22 December – The London home of Conservative Party leader and former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Edward Heath was bombed in a suspected provisional IRA attack. Mr Heath had been away from home when the bomb exploded, but returned just 10 minutes afterwards.

24 December – Former government minister John Stonehouse was found living in Australia having faked his own death. He was quickly arrested by Australian police, who initially believed that he was Lord Lucan.

Inflation soars to a 34-year high of 17.2%.

Last production in the UK of steel by the Bessemer process, at Workington.

China gives two Giant Pandas, Ching-Ching and Chia-Chia, to Britain.


1974 TV adverts

5 January – Tiswas starts as a local programme in the Midlands (on ATV), but the television show wasn’t fully automatically networked through ITV until 1979.

6 April – The 19th Eurovision Song Contest is held at the Dome in Brighton, produced and transmitted by the BBC. Katie Boyle hosts the event for the fourth time. Sweden wins the contest with the song "Waterloo", performed by ABBA, who become the first group to win the Contest. They go on to achieve huge international success.

8 June – Jon Pertwee makes his final regular appearance as the Third Doctor in the concluding moments of Part Six of the Doctor Who serial Planet of the Spiders. Tom Baker briefly appears as the Fourth Doctor at the conclusion of this serial.

5 August – For the first time on a pre-school children’s programme, the show Inigo Pipkin covers the death of the main character, Inigo, as the actor who played him (George Woodbridge) had died. The show is renamed Pipkins.

23 September – The BBC teletext service Ceefax goes live with 30 pages of information.

5 December – Party Political Broadcast, the final episode of Monty Python’s Flying Circus, is broadcast on BBC 2.

28 December – Tom Baker makes his first full appearance as the Fourth Doctor in the Doctor Who serial Robot.

ITV begins developing the ORACLE teletext service. Dates for its launch are unclear, but it became popular around 1980.


3 January – It Ain’t Half Hot Mum (1974–1981)
11 February – Bagpuss (1974)
9 May – Happy Ever After (1974–1978)
5 September – Porridge (1974–1977)
21 October – Roobarb (1974 BBC, 2005–2013 Channel 5)


4 January – Within These Walls (1974–1978)
5 January – Tiswas (1974–1982)
7 January – Wish You Were Here (1974–2003, 2008)
3 March – Not On Your Nellie (1974–1975)
5 March- Napoleon and Love (1974)
13 April – The Wheeltappers and Shunters Social Club (1974–1977)
3 May – My Old Man (1974–1975)
27 July – Don’t Drink the Water (1974–1975)
2 September – Rising Damp (1974–1978)
20 December – Churchill’s People (1974–1975)

Number Ones Singles

"Merry Xmas Everybody" – Slade
"You Won’t Find Another Fool Like Me"- The New Seekers
"Tiger Feet" – Mud4
"Devil Gate Drive" – Suzi Quatro
"Jealous Mind" – Alvin Stardust
"Billy Don’t Be a Hero" – Paper Lace
"Seasons in the Sun" – Terry Jacks
"Waterloo" – ABBA
"Sugar Baby Love" – The Rubettes
"The Streak" – Ray Stevens
"Always Yours" – Gary Glitter
"She" – Charles Aznavour
"Rock Your Baby" – George McCrae
"When Will I See You Again" – The Three Degrees
"Love Me for a Reason" – The Osmonds
"Kung Fu Fighting" – Carl Douglas
"Annie’s Song" – John Denver
"Sad Sweet Dreamer" – Sweet Sensation
"Everything I Own" – Ken Boothe
"Gonna Make You a Star" – David Essex
"You’re the First, the Last, My Everything" – Barry White
"Lonely This Christmas" – Mud


Tales from Topographic Oceans – Yes
Sladest – Slade
And I Love You So – Perry Como
The Singles: 1969-1973 – The Carpenters
Old, New, Borrowed and Blue – Slade
Journey to the Centre of the Earth – Rick Wakeman
The Singles: 1969-1973 – The Carpenters
Diamond Dogs: – David Bowie
Caribou: – Elton John
Band on the Run: – Paul McCartney & Wings
Hergest Ridge: – Mike Oldfield
Tubular Bells: – Mike Oldfield
Rollin’ – Bay City Rollers
Smiler – Rod Stewart
Greatest Hits: – Elton John

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