We approached the end of a one off summer unusually sun-tanned, playing in the dusty street or at East Park and (most of us) wondering what was going on. Many of our parents looked worried. We had seen newsreels of Italian bombs and machine guns pacifying the luckless Abyssinians because Mussolini wanted an empire like everyone else. We had seen similar film of Hitler's bombers practicing on the undefended people of Guernica.
Our grandparents remembered the First World War well: it was only twenty years away after all. Many of them, who had learned little or nothing from it, adopted an attitude of defiant good cheer - real or false.
Well here we go again, they'd say. Another lot coming then. Same as last time.
Silly old sods, putting on a brave face already.
They couldn't wait to start saying, Ah well, we mustn't grumble.
We'll just have to put up with it, a philosophy which had allowed their betters to walk all over
them throughout their lifetimes.
They dusted off their stories of Zeppelin Raids and food shortages. They repeated the propaganda about German troops in Belgium spitting Belgian babies on their bayonets. This story, manufactured in 1914, was still believed in along with the desirability of dying for one's King and Country. Jobless younger men were already joining up, and some men who had reached the end of tours of duty in the Army, and were on the reserve, were already being recalled to service.
Leaving all that on one side, life was not too bad. As I mentioned it had been hot and sunny for a long time.
There had been a little more money around. Some people had jobs for the first time in years.
Those were the days of the singable popular song.
In the warm autumn of 1939 the popular song was Boom! sung by a Frenchman called Charles Trenet.
Boom. Why does my heart go boom?
Me and my heart go boom, boom diddy boom cause I've found you.
Not Shakespeare but it swung and it caught on and we were all humming it when
the Prime Minister gave us the news we had been expecting.
As the upper-crust voice told us we were at war with Germany,
the eerie howl of the air-raid sirens echoed through the deserted streets for
the first time augmented by the steam whistle at Hollis's Sawmill in Craven Street,
a deep bass rumble which had told Hollis's work force when to start and finish all our short lives.
In August of 2006, Adam Atkinson went missing - he was last seen on a remote island off the coast of Suffolk.
All that was found was his log book and a battered camera ...Sunday: Its 7am, I'm sprawled out like Chevy Chase's stunt double looking out
my perspex window as the sun shines on a tranquil sea and the sound of tiny birds
feet patter on
Articles, Obituaries - John Sheridan 28/9/1923 - 24/6/2006 By Martin J Deane
John Sheridan passed away peacefully Saturday morning last. He had been ill in recent months.
Many will remember him for his commitment to the peace movement.
All those Saturdays turning out for a stall in Queen Victoria Square, complaining of the cold
("It's bitter, isn't it?!"), handing out leaflets, or engaging even some most unlikely groups in conversation on what
Articles - Chill Out, Why Don't You? An Impromptu Article About Meditation By Steve Rudd
Face it - it's impossible to avoid getting stressed-out.
Still, have you ever considered that age-old method of meditation that is alleged to
help overcome stress to an overwhelming extent?
No? Well, neither had I until I decided to pay the beautiful Madhyamaka Buddhist Centre
near Pocklington a visit on the evening of Thursday June 15th for a spot
Articles - Random Mushroom Babbling Bollocks By Sean Davey. Magic Mushrooms: The Truth
They'll talk to ya and talk to ya and talk to ya about individual freedom. But when they see a free individual it's gonna scare 'em.
Not my words, the words of Dennis Hopper. But so what, Hopper sold out a long time ago, not that I blame him, I mean, where do you go from there exactly?
Hopper ran out of choices. He ended up as a crippled hack. Just as I
Articles - The Art of Cow-Tipping By Iain Booth
The all so regular question asked about cow tipping, are the lengths of devastation it can lead to?
The myth of cow tipping can be traced back through generations, proving to be a popular past time,
however do we really know the controversy of our cow tipping actions?
Cow tipping is an activity allegedly common in rural areas; it includes individuals
Articles - Practically Political In Every Way By Jo Allison
A few years ago politics was dull, boring, and for men aged over 40 in grey suits with expanding waistlines and receding hairlines. Now suddenly it's cool. Politics is everywhere, it has saturated our mass culture, and almost everyone thinks they have a political position on something (or other).
It's a disturbing fact, or perhaps a reflection on our society's celebrity-obsessed
Articles - World War III By Sean Davey
For fucks sake, surrounded by all this teen pop shite that doesn't even
deserve to be called music.
In my opinion the career of any average manufactured band is far more sinister
that that of Slipknot's, Pete Doherty's and Ozzy Osbourne's combined.
I'm now convinced that this must be the government's method of keeping the
general population under control.
Just fill everybody's
Articles - See No Evil By Bekki Stephenson
In a society rife with obesity, violence and drug abuse, do cartoons provide
us with escapism or are they themselves the biggest danger of all?
Sir Paul McCartney recently credited Bambi with inspiring his fight for animal rights.
Back in December of last year, the former Beatle was quoted in The Daily Mail
as saying If you think of BambiRead more...
Articles - Volunteer Prisoners (Living in the Global Panopticon - Part 1) By Ann R Kist
Many of us, if not all to a greater or lesser degree, are prisoners. We've allowed ourselves to become such, locking ourselves in our homes for fear of the night, sealing ourselves in metal boxes to move from A to B. We don't need Big Brother, we do quite readily give ourselves over to be watched, tracked, measured, assessed and put under constant surveillance.
Articles - Canine Partners Opens Station in Hull
Canine Partners is a national charity with the slogan,
Opening doors to Independence, and the basic objective is to train assistance
dogs to transform the lives of people with disabilities.
The charity is continually expanding.
They have many satellite stations down the southern end of England and are
currently expanding up the Northern end.
One station recently created is
Articles - Identity Cards by B.Brother
You may have heard that legislation creating compulsory ID Cards passed a crucial stage in the House of Commons.
You may feel that ID cards are not something to worry about, since we already have photo ID for our
passport and driving license and an ID card will be no different to that.
What you have not been told is the full scope of this proposed ID card, and what it
Articles - The Restoration of Wellington Street Swing Bridge Part 1 By Tony Waddington Photographs By Tony and Mo
Over the past 4 weeks work has been underway, dismantling this ancient bridge and after many years out of commission, and derelict, much work is needed to get it back in running order.
The first bridge over the entrance to Humber Dock was installed around 1824 but replaced in the 1840's.
Due to damage, worn or rotten structures, expenditure on the swing bridge
Articles - Memories of Hull By Frank Storey
I was most interested to read the article by John Firth regarding the fish shop owned by
his grandmother in Redbourne Street.
I worked at Gordon Street Police Station in the ranks of Constable, Sergeant and Inspector
during the period 1947 to 1966, I well remember the Beatles visit - they used
my office to get changed!
I had a great leg pull with a young girl who was an avid Beatles fan, - we gave her a
Articles - The Thames Whale By Michelle Dee
Sometime on Friday 20th January a bottle nosed whale was spotted in the Thames River.
This unusual event caused quite a stir in the capital later that day the 18ft whale
tried to beach itself in the shallow waters by Westminster Bridge.
Volunteers and specialists alike tried to encourage the whale back the way it came
into the deeper parts of the river.
On the Saturday it was thought to have gone back towards the mouth
Articles - Partners In Parallel At Law Firm By Julian Woodford
The truth really is stranger than fiction.
Who'd have believed that the lives and careers of two young women lawyers could have followed such remarkably similar and parallel paths - and without them knowing it.
Claire Ramsden and Jane Longhorn, who have just been made new partners at
the Hull firm, Williamsons Solicitors, both started their education at the same
Articles - More Famous Than Christmas By Jim Higo
You can guarantee that some things never change. Sickening over-indulgence, excessive eating and drunken abuse of your work colleagues, followed by obnoxious obscenities, mindless violence and the inability to string together a coherent sentence.
Yes, that's John Prescott for you.
This Christmas I have managed to stay as close as possible to the true and original meaning