new icn messageflickr-free-ic3d pan white
View allAll Photos Tagged Caernarfon Festival

Esmerelda / Come What May sailing in the Sound of Bute, Scotland. Inchmarnock and Arran in the distance

 

Log of the Dinghy Esmerelda or Come What May

Three seasons learning to sail (1998 - 2000)

 

May 1998

For years, it seems, it has been at the back of my mind that, when it was convenient, I would learn to sail my own boat. Life being such as it is, I have spent the last nine years living within ten minute's walk of the sea but have not been in a sailing boat in all that time. Last weekend, I answered an advert in the local paper. Now, I am the proud owner of a 14ft Lark sailing dinghy! Ian, the seller, kindly offered to teach me to sail her. She’s a modest little boat, but seems worth the price. Adam (my elder son) is delighted and is raring to have a go.

****

Yesterday evening was our first time out on the water, not on the tide, but on West Kirby marine lake in the Dee estuary. I felt very much an incompetent land-lubber. I have a whole new set of coordination skills to learn, certainly more than when learning to ride a motorcycle or drive a car, but this is part of the challenge. I think it helps to have the limbs and bodily plasticity of an octopus.

****

Ian took me out in the boat for the second time yesterday evening and it was beautiful! - sun sinking in the west, warm blue sky, a gentle breeze and the boat gliding effortlessly through the water. If I am not yet completely hooked, then I soon shall be. My aspirations are modest: I'd be thrilled simply to learn the necessary skills and gain the confidence to navigate the Wirral coast.

****

This sailing has really got a grip on me. I spent last Thursday night in Manchester so that I could start earlier on Friday in order to be home by 5 p.m. to take the boat out. It was wild! The wind was approaching force 4 and we managed to capsize twice, (although we were the last boat on the lake to do so). It is a wonderful activity which, like mountaineering, is completely absorbing both mentally and physically, and which, if you're not actually doing it, then you're thinking about doing it or pottering around with the equipment. I'm pleased, because it has restored a dimension to my life that has been sadly lacking for a few years. Alix and I have decided definitely to withdraw our house from sale and stay put here on the coast, at least for the foreseeable future.

 

Inanimate objects

I hesitate to consider my boat an inanimate object. She has several traits suggestive of animation, and female at that:

a nice shape,

moves gracefully,

behaves wilfully,

demands attention,

requires sensitive handling,

and on two occasions has been quite upset and ditched me.

 

Friday 12th June 1998

Stimulating, thrilling, absorbing and therapeutic.

We went out last Saturday and plan to again this Saturday. It is time I took it out on my own though, or rather with someone I can't rely on to take the initiative in a tricky situation. After all, the whole idea is to sail this boat myself. With this in mind, I persuaded my German colleage Tobias to come over on Sunday to join me. He has never sailed, so it'll be the blind leading the blind, but it has to be the quickest way to learn.

 

Sunday 14th June 1998

Achievement!

I took the boat out truly as 'skipper' this evening (with Tobias). The wind was northerly, gusting force 4, and slightly intimidating - I nearly called the whole thing off - but once we'd cast off it was magical!

Suddenly after all the flapping and palaver of rigging, all is quiet and smooth as we glide downwind. A slightly anxious moment ensues when I realize we'll have to gybe before we run out of lake, but this manoeuvre works smoothly and I realize with relief that I can actually tack back against the wind.

After an hour, despite some interesting moments, we have managed to avoid capsizing and are still relatively dry. We are rewarded by the sun peeping out from under the clouds just before it vanishes below the horizon.

 

Clynnog fawr, Lleyn Peninsula, north Wales, July 1998

 

Wonderful holiday! - the best I think for several years. Brothers Martin and Chris and our three families (15 of us in all) staying in a farm house together. Best of all was to see all the kids together (eight cousins and one half-sister) - how the older ones looked after and amused the younger ones, and also how the younger ones amused the adults, and how the adults are actually kids at heart and behave as such when they are all together. It was invaluable to have so many young cousins for Adam to play with, and to be able to let Ricky trot out into the large green spaces around the house and to play in the sand, knowing that there were nearly always three or four others keeping an eye on him.

 

The farm itself was in a beautiful location on a magnificent length of coast, north west facing, catching the best of the sunsets. The whole area is delightfully quiet and unspoilt (and only two hours drive from home, even towing the boat). The weather was not ideal, but we still managed to spend a large proportion of the time outside.

 

At the beginning of the week high winds, cloud and some rain made it quite unsuitable for sailing but we managed some hiking and some went horse riding. By Wednesday, the forecast was slightly better and we'd discovered relative shelter and what seemed to be a nice launching site at the northern end of Llanberis Lake, so we decided to sail come what may. [At this moment Come What May suggested itself as a name for my boat. Only later did I discern the name Esmerelda almost completely faded written on the hull.]

It turned out to be a delightful, sunny and warm afternoon, the shore had trees to climb, sticks and stones to splash in the water and soft grassy spots for picnics. We launched and I was able to take everyone out in turn. For Adam and Alix it was actually their first time, the complexities of child care being what they are. Adam was fairly excited but not a hundred percent confident, he finds it a little intimidating but hopefully that will change. It was the perfect day for him - gentle and warm.

 

The next day started fine with a light breeze. Majority interest however determined that we go riding again followed by a pub lunch, but in the afternoon I was determined to get the boat out. The tide was up and three of us succeeded in handling it down a steep track to the shore and then over small, slippery, seaweed-covered boulders to the water's edge.

I still find it miraculous how, once rigged, with a quick shove and hop in, we are gliding through the water as if by magic (hoping a freak gust doesn't turn us round before I grab hold of the tiller and get the centreplate down!)

Caernarfon Bay, and first time on the sea! The swell was a little daunting as we sailed into deeper water, especially with four adults aboard (not sailed with that many before), but I practised a few tacks, sailing up-wind and down-wind, and she seemed to handle alright without shipping water, albeit a bit heavy at the tiller, so I was happy. It was a delight with the rhythm of the waves and the late afternoon sun sparkling through the spray and sea to the open horizon; with our course set for the open Atlantic I just wanted to keep going. Fortunately, I didn't. All of a sudden there was no more resistance on the tiller and we swung round into the wind: the rudder had torn off its mounting! I was glad that I'd invested in some oars as a precaution with which we were able to turn about to face shoreward; then, by holding the rudder (fortunately still attached to the boat by the uphaul line) and leaning right into the water astern, we were able to hold a course back to the shore. I since realised that the reason the rudder felt so heavy in the first place was because it was not engaged in its fixed down position but trailing horizontally behind; the extra leverage combined with the weight in the boat must have sheared the two mounting bolts. I've now repaired it with four new reinforcing bolts. It was a learning experience and exciting at the time. The others all seemed to enjoy it and seemed to think it was all in a day's sailing adventures.

 

7th August 1998

Last weekend was wonderful. Summer finally seemed to have arrived: it was comfortable to spend dawn 'til dusk in shorts and T shirt and to sit out late in the garden for dinner with a bottle of wine after the kids were in bed. Adam and I went onto the beach on Sunday and spent a good hour just splashing in the sea and being crabs and sea-monsters wallowing in the deep soft sand. Simple happiness!

More exciting still, I took the boat out twice. First, on West Kirby marine lake completely on my own for the very first time. I was out on the water by 7.30 a.m., it was a gorgeous morning and I had the whole lake and, indeed it seemed, the whole estuary to myself. Second, again on my own, on the high tide for the first time. Two significant achievements which have given me such a thrill that I can't wait to do it again! In fact, I can now say that I have achieved my long held ambition of being able to sail my own boat on the sea, albeit in very easy conditions: a smooth surface and barely a breath of wind. I sailed for three hours on the high spring tide and was really chuffed to be out there on my own, but it would have been nice to have had some good company too. I feel this is only the beginning: my curiosity is already drawing me to peruse the second-hand yacht sections of the sailing magazines!

 

17th August 1998

I had my sailing abilities stretched this weekend when I took the boat out on the tide in a breeze that was slightly too strong for me (also my muscles and parts of the boat were well stretched). It was a humbling experience:

On the sea front, the breeze felt rather intimidating. The lifeguard on duty hailed me, having seen me with my boat the previous week,

"Going out today?"

I confided my reservations to him, but he replied, presumably intending to encourage me,

"Only way to learn, by experience!"

This was a challenge I felt bound to accept.

Having rigged and launched, all there was to do was push off and hop in. It was that moment of hesitation that reminded me of the feeling I had as a novice skier on the lip of my first black run: the point of no return. Hesitation over, the first few seconds I spent struggling to lower the rudder, which for some reason would not go down (because, I found out later, I'd hitched the uphaul too tight), while keeping an eye on other boats at their moorings skimming past me at an alarming rate even before I'd trimmed the sails. In the excitement, I forgot to lower the centreplate, which meant that having covered about half a mile in what seemed like about ten seconds I tried to come about into the wind but couldn't. Hemmed in by a sand bank on one side and an approaching groyne on the other, there seemed to be little room to manoeuvre and all I could do was gybe, but this didn't work properly either and I capsized. I realised the centreplate wasn't down when I tried to stand on it to pull the boat back upright, it then took me a few moments to lower it because first I had to untangle the anchor warp from the centreplate uphaul, the two having become intertwined. The boat then righted quite easily and I tacked back against the wind with the water gurgling reassuringly out through the self-bailers; I was determined not to be defeated.

Eventually though, the jib became wrapped around the forestay and I capsized again trying to unwind it. At this point I felt I was doing everything wrong and it was time to come in so I limped back to the slip still half full of water where by now a small group of spectators had gathered to watch me, including the lifeguard and two old sea-dogs who'd obviously been passing comment. Later, the lifeguard told me that the old sea-dogs were "impressed" that I'd got back without assistance. But really I don't suppose I impressed anyone much. I clearly have much to learn.

 

7th September 1998

I took Adam out in the boat on Saturday. There was almost no breeze: we seemed to spend long periods just playing with the sails trying to detect what little air movement there was. Adam had a go at the helm which quite thrilled him, and he even tacked. He was pretty good at holding a course when I told him to steer towards particular landmarks.

The dissipated remnants of hurricane Danielle have been lurking off the coast of Ireland these last few days and forecast to be moving across the British Isles; on Sunday the wind got up and there were gales forecast in the Irish Sea and I chickened out of going out on my own although several boats did sail on the high tide.

 

14th September 1998

Sunday was too windy for sailing. I'm going to have to experiment with techniques for reefing the sails, or sailing on the jib only.

 

18th September 1998

I saw a centre page pull-out guide in one of the yachting magazines this week entitled, "Your guide to crossing the Atlantic" - I dream.

 

9th October 1998

It's been cool and windy here but with a lot of bright sunshine interrupted by occasional showers. The leaves are starting to thin on the trees and most of the apples are in, except the late ripening ones. I was hoping there might have been a chance to take the boat out, but the weather really wasn't suitable. Most of the moored sailing boats are coming in onto dry land for the winter now.

I did get some useful clearing done in the garden and managed to build up our supply of fire-wood. Richard was following me behind the wheelbarrow and he managed to tumble into the pond!

It is simply beautiful being out in the garden. There is something very special about this time of year: the colours, the earthy smells and the sound of the wind in the trees.

 

20th October 1998

Autumn has set in a big way: chilly, grey and wet, and particularly dismal now that the nights are drawing in. Definitely time for the wood fire in doors. It was beautiful though in the garden on Sunday: I got a lot of clearing done and generated much material for bonfire night; also, I came across a hedgehog - not so rare in our garden but unusual in broad daylight and nice to see. Adam insisted I tell stories to him about hedgehogs for the rest of the day.

 

3rd November 1998

At 11 p.m. there was a 10 metre tide bursting on the sea wall with a strong northwesterly wind behind it and a full moon. I never saw such a high tide here. The sea was all over the road. I felt a strange, pleasant, almost terrified excitement because there is one recurring nightmare that I have occasionally had in adult life which involves standing on a foreshore and seeing the monster of all waves rising up and bearing towards me and the growing realisation that I won't escape it in time.

Our bonfire party is tomorrow. As usual, a huge pile of wood has appeared as though by magic in the night, the local contractors see it as an opportunity for free rubbish disposal and it will take four of us half the day to built it into burnable shape tomorrow, but this is all part of the fun. Adam is looking forward to it and so am I.

 

2nd December 1998

We like too much where we live: our wonderful garden, horses over the fence, lying in bed listening to the waves on a summers night, the crashing surf of a winter storm, opening the door to the tangy smell of sea air in the morning, sunrise in a crispy dawn sparkling on frost-covered sand, and the pink rays of setting sun over the water glowing off the distant Welsh hills. It's a clear, frosty night with a full moon. There's a thin, misty vapour over the water as the tide silently slides past the sea wall and the oyster catchers make their eerie call - I love it!

 

***

 

26th April 1999

Out sailing again - first launch this year. Saturday was a beautiful day and I took Adam out on the high tide in the evening while the sun was lowering in the west. It was neap and there was virtually no wind - very still, we moved like a whisper. It was so still that we went aground (neap tides don't leave much room to manoeuvre between sand banks) and didn't even notice that we were stuck for about a minute! It was good to be on the water again.

 

28th April 1999

The sun is a great red orb above the horizon. The boat is all set for launching at the next available opportunity - this weekend. It is a long weekend with the May Day holiday and there are high spring tides around midday - perfect!

 

14th May 1999

Sailing has been wonderful! Especially yesterday, when conditions were perfect and I spent three hours exploring some of the far reaches of the sand-banks several miles up and down the coast. I'm looking for the best route across the shallows that will allow me to circumnavigate the islands in the mouth of the Dee estuary on a single high tide. The timing is important in order to avoid being left high an dry.

 

18th May 1999

Sailing is good exercise: strong on the back and arms hauling the trailer along the road to and from the slipway, and then on the tummy muscles when leaning out to balance the boat when it's heeling over.

 

I had an embarrassing little incident two weeks ago in front of the lifeboat. It was a perfect day for sailing, sunny with a gentle breeze. I'd been out for about an hour and was starting to think about coming in for some lunch when I saw the Hoylake lifeboat coming past. This is a big, powerful, offshore boat with an experienced, sea-going crew. It pulled up close to our slipway, and the crew having passed some lines ashore set about some rescue exercises. Meanwhile, I thought I'd better make a good impression. I gave them a wide berth and tacked cleanly round to make my approach to the slipway in such a way as to avoid any risk of entanglement with their lines. Gliding in smoothly, I reached aft to raise the rudder to stop it grounding, but instead managed to pull the tiller off the rudder stock: the boat slewed round out of all control and, before I could do anything about it, heeled over wildly and capsized, right in front of the life-boat! What's more, a crewman was recording the whole incident on video! I righted the boat without assistance and then sailed out again to allow the self-bailers to empty the boat of water to avoid the embarrassment of having to do so ashore. Afterwards, our local lifeguard, who was also there on duty, remarked that I couldn't have chosen a better moment: the lifeboat only comes down here about once a year!

 

We've finally booked our holiday cottage for this summer: a house on the shores of Loch Torridon, way up in the north west of Scotland. I'm really looking forward to it. It is in one of the most beautiful parts of Scotland and a superb area for mountaineering. Everything is literally on the doorstep. There is access to the loch to launch the boat and the cottage lies at the very foot of one of the most spectacular mountains in Scotland, Liathach, the crest of which, soaring to 3,456ft directly above the sea, is considered to be one of the four classic ridge routes in the country. Of course, scope for serious mountaineering will be limited, but at least we will be four adults to share child minding. Unfortunately, the cottage was only available for one week and not two, but we plan to take the tent and tour for a few days after. I'm already really excited.

 

10th June 1999

Sailing, it is completely absorbing and I love it! This was my diary entry last weekend:

Onshore breeze, about force 3, which seems plenty strong enough for me single handed. The question arises how to launch at a right angle to the breeze with the sails up; hoisting the sails once afloat would be the better solution but with no means of holding the bow this could be awkward. I wheel the boat on the trolley half into the water then swing the trolley to head the boat into the wind, hoist the sails, rig the rudder, then manoeuvre the trolley so as to allow the boat to float, holding the bow. I'm glad Alix then turns up to retrieve the trolley. Which direction to cast off? Try to avoid the embarrassing and awkward situation of being blown back onto the sea wall before making way, but to make good way, must lower the plate and sheet-in immediately but can't lower the plate until in deeper water. Conundrum. Oh well, try it. Here goes. Shove, hop in and grab tiller. Impetus of shove already gone, drifting back on shore into small party launching rowing boat; sheet-in sheet-in: yes! now 45 degrees to wind and making way, miraculously avoid sea wall. Rudder down, plate down - no, not enough depth for plate, grounding on sand bank; half raise plate, can't tack, bear round with wind, avoid moored boats, must gybe - tricky in confined space, risk of capsize. Steady gybe by holding vang as boom swings across. Success! Now on course with clear water ahead.

It takes a few minutes of lively sailing to convince myself that I am really in control. The swell is slight but riding the waves is exciting as every other crest bursts on the bow, shooting spray up my bum leaning out over the windward gunwale. Shortly, the rhythmic plunge and rise through the waves works a very soothing effect, my senses become fully attuned to my immediate surroundings and all else seems a world away.

 

Hoylake Sailing Club Regatta, 15th June 1999

I actually took part in a race this weekend. The local sailing club held its annual regatta. While I was launching on Friday evening one of the officers of the club introduced himself and invited me to take part. It's quite an event locally, with a lot of visiting boats from the region and open to non-members.

So there I was on the water on Sunday morning with only the vaguest notion of what was expected. I was confused by the order of buoys and posts that marked out the course, which ones to pass on which side and in which order. Then there was the gun. There were meant to be six minute and three minute warning shots but I'm sure there was an extra one, and on which side of the line was I supposed to be? At the last moment but too late it suddenly became clear and the start gun found me on the wrong side of the line going the wrong way! The other boats were racing towards the first buoy whilst I having recrossed the line lagged hopelessly in their wake. For a while I was able to follow them, but as the wind got up and the sea became grey and choppy the field spread out and even some of the more experienced boats appeared to become confused and eventually I had to admit that I really didn't know where I was supposed to be heading! Oh well, I'll know what to expect another time.

I appreciated the opportunity to make contact with the sailing club. They seem to be a friendly and pleasantly informal lot and I may consider joining, partly for access to their rather nice clubhouse with bar overlooking the sea, but partly also because it represents a chance to get to know people whose company I might enjoy and who share an enthusiasm for sailing. It is not a sporty, highly competitive dinghy racing club, although they do organise racing on some Sundays. I have the impression that the competitive aspects are not taken too seriously. It is more a group of people who enjoy sailing in all its forms, which suits me. The attractive clubhouse is an added bonus.

It was not a competitive streak that induced me to participate in the race on Sunday, but an exploratory streak to see how I might enjoy it, and a sense of curiosity to see how my sailing matched up to others. I realised that racing is a good way to hone one's skills because I did a lot more manoeuvring and trying to maximise efficiency than when out on my own. I can see how racing could be enjoyable because it involves optimizing your performance, which can be thrilling and satisfying (and it would be nice to win sometimes too) but I can't yet see myself wanting to race regularly. Like skiing, I see sailing as a means of exploration rather than a competitive sport.

 

Tuesday 6th July 1999

We were sailing on Sunday, all of us together for a change. Rick was very excited before he got in, then once underway he kept saying, "Tip over!" and looking worried, but he got used to it for before long he was scrambling to the stern to grab the tiller saying, "Have it, Ricky do it!" Meanwhile Adam was intent that I tell him a story about some limpets who make friends with some ammonites. I am learning that taking the kids out demands additional skills to normal sailing competence.

We're soon away to Scotland for a fortnight. I actually bought myself a fishing rod and some tackle just in case the wind drops while out on the loch, as if I won't have enough to occupy myself with a boat and kids and magnificent nearby mountains. It telescopes down to 18 inches so it won't take up much space. I thought it might be fun for the kids too (good excuse, eh? Of course I'm just a big one.) I have fished exactly twice in my life and caught one trout about four inches long, so the family probably shouldn't rely on me for food.

 

Torridon and Kishorn, July 1999

 

[Monday 2nd August 1999, back home.] It is hard to be back after such a lovely break. Tragic actually. I suddenly see all the things that are wrong with my life here and what an effort it is to try to force myself to put up with them. Especially I see how drab, ugly and over-crowded are the areas where I live and work, even our little patch on the coast holds no magic compared with the northwest of Scotland.

While we were away it was wonderful to be able to spend so much time continually with Richard and Adam and coming back I realize how unnatural it is for a parent to see so little of his children as I normally do here. I have no illusions that we have a right to a perfect life - there is no reason why working for a living should be easy - but some things need to change.

The northwest of Scotland would certainly have limitations as a place to live, the principal of which would be an acceptable means to make a living, followed by the distance to secondary schooling for the boys. Also, family visits would be much less frequent, the midges bite terribly and the weather would not be as reliably good as we had it at least in the second week. But as for the rest of it - city life - I don't need it.

 

We spent the first week on the shores of Loch Torridon nestling at the foot of two of the principal mountains of the area. Torridon is rugged country - one of the last places in Britain to have glaciers as late as 9,000 BC - but like the whole west highland seaboard, sublimely beautiful. Other fjord-scape coastlines in the world are certainly more splendid, but Scotland has a special charm that appeals to me personally.

The peaks of Torridon rise straight out of the sea to over three thousand feet and are composed of thousand Myr old sandstone, which in the larger corries takes the form of shear, dark grey precipices of giant masonry blocks, and on the tops, precariously placed boulders like part-melted stacks of huge dinner plates. Many of the peaks are capped with silver-grey quarzite which when wet glints and sparkles in the sun. The whole is founded on much older bed-rock (up to half the age of the earth) which shows itself in places as contorted swirls of intermingled shades of pink, orange and fiery red streaked with white. The region has remnants of the original Caledonian pine forest still undisturbed after eight thousand years. But the principal charms are the play of cloud and light on the hills and sea, and the unhurried style of life, where people still leave their house doors unlocked when they go out.

We had a fair bit of drizzle and overcast days in the first week, during the course of which ours was the only boat we saw afloat in the whole of Upper Loch Torridon. In fact, one afternoon, Martin and I were sitting in the boat in the middle of the loch, with the clouds low on the hills and the rain dribbling down the sails, awaiting any movement of air that might get us back to shore before tea, and I did start to wonder what it might take before I started to question my enjoyment!

Another day Martin and I thought we'd make the most of any time when the breeze died by trying my new fishing rod and three hundred piece fishing kit. Out on the water, the sails lolling impotenty, I gave Martin charge of the helm, should any light air arise to stir us, while I sorted hooks and fiddled, trying to remember how to tie them to the line. All of a sudden, there were ripples on the water, the sails filled, the boat heeled wildly and we were creating a creaming bow wave, covering the distance across the loch in a couple of minutes that it had taken us a whole afternoon the previous day, while I scrabbled to prevent fish hooks from littering the floor around our bare feet and at the same time tried to give instruction to Martin who'd never helmed a dinghy!

 

Come the weekend, the clouds evaporated and there followed six days of glorious hot weather when we were out everyday in T-shirts and shorts, even on the water and up at 3,000ft late into the evening - very unScottish! We found accommodation slightly farther south, with magnificent views from our living room window up into the majestic corries of Applecross and out to Skye, in a secluded bungalow just outside the small village of Achintraid on the shore of Loch Kishorn. Alix, Adam, Rick and I spent a couple of days of idyllic sailing when we were out for the whole day with picnic and cans of beer, mooring on uninhabited islands and remote beaches for long lunches, lounging in the sun, exploring the rock-pools for crabs and sea-anemones and swimming nude (there simply was no need for swimming costumes because no one was there!), although not for many minutes because the water was chilly. I love to abandon the trappings of civilization as much as possible on holiday - radio and television, swimming trunks, combing my hair, etc. I go happily for days washing and bathing only in salt-water with my hair gone wild, I like the feeling of it.

The Highlands can be extremely bleak and dreary ("driech" in the Scotch dialect) but only in some places and in certain weather. The atmosphere is often fresh and invigorating or imbued with a remarkable softness. Part of the beauty is this softness and the wonderful cloud-scapes. During our hot weather spell, although I wouldn't have wanted to change it, some of the distinctive charm was lost: it reminded me more of the Alps or the Sierra Nevada than Scotland.

I think we've all felt slightly down since returning, we had such a gorgeous few days. Sailing off the sea front here in Liverpool Bay has (at least temporarily) lost its appeal.

 

***

 

Sunday 19th March 2000

First launch of the year. It was wonderful to be on the water again! It is something very special to me. On the water, I am happy: life is as it should be and I don't want for anything. I was out at 8:30 a.m. for nearly three hours, and there was no one else.

 

28th March 2000

Summer time

We switched to British Summer Time this weekend and today the temperature has dropped to 3°C - it feels like January again! I did get out in the boat though, both on Saturday and Sunday. Good thing is, the kids have not adapted to the time change yet, so we get to sleep slightly later, but I wonder how long it'll take for them to catch on.

 

Sunday 2nd April 2000

Hoylake Sailing Club first dinghy race of the season.

It rained the whole weekend: a pretty much continuous light sea-drizzle which hardly let up even once. Alix took advantage of child-minding by parents and agreed to join me in the boat on Sunday (rare that we are ever in the boat together). At 9 a.m. there was a sea mist and hardly a breath of wind, and we really wondered whether we were silly, sitting bailing the rain out from where it collected from dribbling down the sails as fast as it came in, and feeling the wetness slowly creeping in down our necks. At the starter's gun, the few other boats all managed magically to coax some movement out of the still air, while it took a good two minutes before we managed first to point in the right direction then get underway, bringing up the rear. It was all quite amusing really, and in the end we were glad we'd made the effort to go out. Afterwards, all of us including the boys went into the clubhouse for a drink, then returned home for proper Sunday lunch of roast lamb, a good bottle of Rioja and an afternoon cozily by the living room fire. A near perfect Sunday.

 

Hoylake Sailing Club Regatta, Saturday 3rd and Sunday 4th June 2000

There were around 70 boats racing offshore, so quite a spectacle. I didn't race. I'm not convinced that racing is where my interest lies, I simply like to be out on the water and go where the whim takes me rather than jostle with other craft around buoys. The lifeguard introduced me to Billy who offered to take me out in Magnetic, his Cygnet cruising yacht. We walked out over the sand to his mooring in the outer channel. The tide comes up here with a rush; it is impressive like a fast flowing river, one minute you're lying aground and the next you're bobbing around floating free. It was interesting for a change and novel to be able to brew tea en route in the cabin, but it struck me how sluggish and how restricted in manoeuvring over the sand banks is a boat like Magnetic compared to my dinghy, so on Sunday I was happy to be back under my own sail.

Alix took the boys to the Millennium Dome in Greenwich at the weekend. It has been billed as a festival of Britain to match the great ones of the past but has had bad press and accusations of waste of public money. Alix thought it was accurate in presenting an impression of the state of Britain today in that it was confused and didn't seem to know what it was trying to be, and it had an abundance of what this country is famous for abroad: its queues.

 

12th June 2000

I'm considering an over-night sailing and camping expedition to Hilbre. The tides were right this weekend but the winds were too fierce for me, force 4 - 5 the whole time, and I didn't get out in the boat at all (I feel deprived). Beautiful sunny weather for the garden though; however, I had to use some of it on afternoon naps as, first Adam, then Richard, were sick during the night and left us very short of sleep.

 

16th June 2000

I went out on Tuesday evening just after I got home and it was gorgeous in the late light, sailing into the sunset. There was a significant breeze and I was even surfing in on some waves. This weekend the weather looks set lovely and, wind permitting, tomorrow we will all go out and perhaps anchor somewhere for a picnic.

 

19th June 2000

We are enjoying a heat wave; that is, I am enjoying it, but many are not. I wouldn't be surprised if some of the inner cities reached 90°F this weekend. We have a south wind, but plenty of breeze on the coast to be bearable. We all sailed on Sunday, cruising out to the far edge of the sandbank (about a mile offshore) where we beached, ate picnic lunch and had a swim; it is good to have a break to provide variety for Adam and Richard, otherwise they get restless just having to sit. After we returned, we all went to the beach again (with swimming costumes this time) to cool off while the tide was still up to swim in. Adam and Richard loved it. Later Alix and I were eating dinner on the lawn until 10 p.m. I love weekends like this and count it a great privilege to have the wonderful sea on the doorstep. Being back at work is definitely dull by comparison, but it is what I am paid for.

 

Monday 26th June 2000

We are in the 70s today, warmer than at the weekend with its brisk northwesterly breeze - too windy for sailing, unfortunately, which we’d been looking forward to as Alix’ sister and family were here to visit. We were a bit downcast from sadness that our visitors had to leave. The kids were so excited the whole time to have each other as playmates and they were all devastated when they had to part. They all shared the same bedroom and around seven each morning we heard the "gentle" patter of feet as they trooped down stairs, trying to be quiet but not quite succeeding, to organize their own breakfast before any of the adults appeared. On Sunday morning they even let themselves out of the house to play in the garden and in the lane before we got up - two of them still half in their night-clothes! And Adam was revelling in showing them around his home territory.

 

Sunday 30th July 2000

It's been a good weekend for sailing. Thursday evening was looking gorgeous and Adam decided to come with me (partly I suspect as a means of delaying his bed-time); unfortunately shortly after we launched some grey clouds coalesced above and released persistent rain for an hour. Friday really was gorgeous though: what little rain there was had cleared during the course of the day leaving a few fantastic cloud shapes and sparkling sunshine. I was the only boat out and I sailed until just after sunset in only my shorts and T-shirt. The breeze was very light and at one point I let myself hang backwards over the side with my hair almost dabbling in the water becoming almost dizzy from the huge upside down vista of red orb sun and pink tinted clouds gliding passed at water's-eye view. It was very pleasurable.

This morning Richard and I went out together. First time I've taken Richard alone. He was very good (in doing what he was told when told) and seemed really to enjoy and remain interested for the whole of nearly two hours that we were out (in perfect summer weather). He caused some amusement upon landing when he insisted in helping me by pushing the boat from behind with all his might up the slipway!

 

Saturday 5th August 2000

We are leaving for the Isle of Bute next Saturday and I feel there is a lot to rush to do before we go. Preparations for holidays these days are no longer a simple matter of organizing a rucksack on my back, boots on my feet and money in my pocket. There's the boat trailer to load - do the lights work? - need a new registration number plate to match the new car, grease the wheel bearings, where are all the straps and cords I used last year? Adam, Rick, where have you hidden xyz since I last saw you playing with it? Where are all the tent pegs? Does the camping stove work? etc. Alix tends to organise food and kids' clothes, which is a relief. All I've done is had a case of wine sent to the friends we're staying with for the first week (definitely essential provisions). I try to tell myself that this is a holiday and we're supposed to enjoy it, but I know I've worn myself down because I've succumbed to respiratory infection and my back is playing up (doesn't help to have to lift the boat trailer). None of this stopped us all going out sailing today though. We pottered along the shore to Leasowe beach and landed for the kids to build sand castles for half an hour (they like the break), then headed home before the tide went out. We saw lots of birds and a couple of very brightly coloured jelly fish.

 

Wednesday 9th August 2000

The boat and equipment is now loaded for the road and ready to go as soon as we can get out on Saturday morning. I avoid the check-list syndrome as much as possible and usually get by with a single pencilled sheet of paper scribbled a week in advance; I do what I consider necessary to avoid wasting time when we are actually away. High tide is about an hour before sunset and there is light air movement: if I feel I've worked well by the end of the day I'd be tempted to go out, although I'm not sure I want to face all the unloading and reloading again!

 

Isle of Bute and Argyll, August 2000

 

Our holiday was really wonderful. August Scottish weather again proved remarkably fine. There were only two days in nearly a fortnight when rain deterred us from doing what we had planned, and we had several magnificent days. Of our eleven days spent actually in Scotland, we sailed on six of them.

We enjoyed our time on the Isle of Bute spent with a long-standing friend David in his parental house. His parents are now dead but his sister lives there still. David lives in Switzerland, but returns every couple of years to supervise (and pay for) necessary structural upkeep as it is a large, rambling Victorian property. He generally invites a house-full of friends for the duration, which makes for a lively week - ideal for the kids, because there are other kids to play with, and for the adults too, who have the stimulus of each other's company.

The island is relatively close to Glasgow but, on its western shore particularly, it is quiet and has much of the character of more remote Hebridean islands. We had some fine sailing off the beaches in magnificent scenery and crystal-clear water. I also took some of the other guests out - I enjoy sharing their pleasure in it.

 

For the second week we moved farther westward and found a delightful camp spot on the shore of Loch Sween. It was a perfect, level, grassy platform a few yards above the shore, facing the sunsets. We had words with the local farmer who let us stay there and gave us access to a water tap, and who also offered to launch our boat from their adjacent field, enabling us to keep it moored right below the tent. We actually used two tents on this trip, letting Adam and Richard share the small backpacking tent together, which they enjoyed, thus leaving us some peace and privacy in the larger dome tent. It was very close to idyllic: we were completely secluded, I was able to read The Hobbit to Adam snuggled up to the campfire for his bedtime story, and we were very little harassed by midges, which is unusual for the Scottish west coast in August.

 

Upon arrival, it had been a hectic day travelling in the car, the kids had been fractious and were finally in bed, it was a beautifully placid evening with perhaps half an hour left of sun before sinking behind the hills, and I took the boat out. Ghosting along the middle of the loch with barely a whisper, making myself comfortable with my head resting on the thwart staring backwards up at the sky, I was so absorbed that I turned with a start when I suddenly realized I'd nearly bumped into an island full of seals! About a dozen of them on a craggy rock, about twenty yards long and four wide, breaking the surface of the water by about three feet. The rock was actually marked on the 1:50,000 map as a small blip but I hadn'd noticed it. It lay only about 500yd offshore from where we were camped, so we all returned there together in the morning for a closer look. There were several pups among them looking very cute.

 

Our nearest shop was 4 miles away by boat up the loch at Tayvallich on the opposite shore, but a 20 mile trip around by car, so we experienced the novelty of a family grocery shopping expedition by sail, making a fine day trip, with a good sea-food pub dinner thrown in.

 

Kilmartin Glen, not far away, is a centre for some of the earliest known settlements in Scotland, so on non-sailing days there were five thousand year old stone circles, burial sites, iron age fortresses, and also near by, tiny ruined churches dating back to the early Roman missionaries of the 6thC AD, some with original 12thC stone carvings still intact, as well as Castle Sween to explore. But I must say that I loved the sailing most: exploring the little islands, anchorages and unfamiliar harbour entrances. It is completely absorbing, demanding a wonderful combination of attention to physical coordination and judgment. That is what I find immensely satisfying about mountaineering too: this combination of physical challenges together with the continual need for reassessment of the situation in the light of one's knowledge of one's own abilities and of the objective dangers.

 

Tuesday 29th August 2000

I picked up a book from the library recently about how to build a wood and canvas kayak. I am wondering whether I could sustain the motivation and determination for such a project. This came after casually browsing for some information on glass fibre boat repairs: the boat could benefit from a little attention this year. I would like to paint her name on the hull. The word Esmerelda is just discernible written large on the side but so faded as to be almost invisible except in certain light. I'm still in two minds as to whether to call her this or Come What May, which refers to a remark made in conjuction with a decision to sail one day. To me, Esmerelda is the name of an elderly lady, and as time goes by I realize that she deserves the according level of respect.

 

Brother Martin and family came over the bank holiday and we sailed. Then today Adam and I happened to get the perfect combination of clear sunshine, fine breeze and high spring tide that allowed us to cross the sandbank and circumnavigate Hilbre, a feat that has been my aim since the beginning of the season, but from which I had been deterred either by too much or too little wind or insufficient tide. We spotted a dozen seals on the way, a pair of which followed us at close quarters for up to half a mile (Adam was thrilled).

 

Wednesday 13th September 2000

This day I was at home working, ostensibly, but there was mild, balmy sunshine and sufficient breeze to tempt me out onto the tide at midday. It was gorgeous and I made good way into the gentle south westerly air, ploshing pleasantly through the wavelets. Out of the distance, suggesting itself as a destination, appeared the HE2 East cardinal buoy that marks the east side of the West Hoyle Bank, beckoning me like a siren to go farther offshore than I have ever been, two and half miles out from the mouth of the Dee estuary. I decided I ought to be able to round it and return with the breeze behind me in time to cross the bank before the tide receded.

It was eerie being alone and so far out, with the buoy and its apparently resident population of perched seagulls on its large scaffold superstructure behung with lights, bells and other navigational symbols; the boat seemed small and fragile compared to its robust iron bulk.

On the way back the breeze became lighter. A seal investigated me closely, surfacing and blowing noisily just off the stern and rolling tummy-up as if to get a better look. Shortly afterwards the wind died.

I tried with the oars to get as far as possible, and then towed and hauled on the painter as the ebbing tide left me with barely enough depth to cover my ankles, but eventually had to deploy the anchors, abandon my vessel and walk home, some fifteen minutes back to Hoylake promenade.

Next high tide was not until midnight so I would have to walk out and wait for the flood two hours before, then row back in the dark. My main concern was to locate the boat on the vast expanse of sand in darkness; I had taken a compass bearing and, fortunately, noticed that the iron railings on the promenade caused the needle to deviate by about 30°!

Come What May / Esmerelda finally appeared as a ghostly white shadow in the torch beam. Waiting on board for the tide was a quietly serene experience, reclining quite comfortably in my 8mm wet suit in a slight drizzle. It was rather beautiful: wet but warm in the dark, with the night full of the sounds of oyster catchers and imagining the gurgling trickle of advancing water becoming louder by the minute, and a hint of moonlight behind the clouds.

 

20th September 2000

The season is distinctly about to slide into autumn. The apples have reached full ripeness and are starting to drop, and there are widespread hints of leaves starting to turn colour. The sunshine is warm during the day, but last night the temperature dropped nearly to 50°F for the first time probably in months. With the shorter days, the number of high tides potentially suitable for sailing becomes restricted; that combined with the higher probability of poor weather means sailing will be sporadic (I've been out only twice this month). But I love this season.

 

22nd November 2000

I'm enthralled with a book at the moment. It is a description of three seasons spent sailing up the eastern seaboard of North America, from Florida to the St. Lawrence, in a 16ft Wayfarer dinghy by Frank Dye. It is about exploration by sail stripped to its bare essentials, the idea of which appeals to me enormously, and is exactly the sort of sailing I'd love to do on this coast, although without some of the author's more hairy adventures. Among other things, he has opened my eyes to what an enormous and varied coast North America has - like distances on the land, the size of the coastline is difficult to conceive compared to this country.

1969 saw the Manson murders, the Stonewall riots, the Woodstock festival and man landing on the moon.

 

The Stonewall riots were a series of spontaneous, violent demonstrations by members of the gay community against a police raid that took place in the early morning hours of June 28, 1969, at the Stonewall Inn, located in the Greenwich Village neighborhood of Manhattan, New York City. They are widely considered to constitute the single most important event leading to the gay liberation movement and the modern fight for LGBT rights in the United States.

 

Charles Manson, who is serving a life sentence for nine murders committed in July and August of 1969 near Hollywood, California. Manson did not actually commit any of the murders, but orchestrated the killings. He was initially sentenced to death, but his sentence was commuted when California's death penalty was overturned in 1972.

 

1969 On July 20th one of mans crowning achievements occurred when American Astronaut Neil Armstrong became the first human to set foot on the Moon and uttered the immortal words "That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind."

 

The British Army was sent into Northern Ireland on August 14, 1969 by the Wilson government as law and order had broken down and the population (mainly Catholics) and property were at grave risk. Between then and 1998 some 300,000 British troops served in Northern Ireland.

 

1969 - Up to three million people in Britain urgently need re-housing because they are living in damp, overcrowded slum conditions, according to housing charity Shelter.

 

The opposition to the war continued to increase with more and more attending anti war demonstrations and demanding that the US withdrew from Vietnam. The music came from groups including the Doors, Led Zeppelin, Janis Joplin and the Beatles and the most famous music festival of modern times "WOODSTOCK" took place on a New York Farm on August 15th to August 17th with more than 400,000 avid music fans attending to see the Who, Jimi Hendrix, Crosby Stills Nash and Young and others perform live. fashions reflected the anti war sentiment with military jackets adorned with peace signs, and other trends including long unkempt wild hair and headbands showed the feelings of anti establishment felt by the youth.

 

1969: Woodstock music festival

 

The Woodstock Festival was a three-day concert (which rolled into a fourth day) that involved lots of sex, drugs, and rock 'n roll - plus a lot of mud. The Woodstock Music Festival of 1969 has become an icon of the 1960s hippie counterculture.

 

Thousands of young people are heading home after three days and nights of sex, drugs and rock and roll at the Woodstock music festival.

 

An estimated 400,000 youngsters turned up to hear big-name bands play in a field near the village of Bethel, New York state in what has become the largest rock concert of the decade.

 

About 186,000 tickets were sold so promoters anticipated that around 200,000 would turn up. But on Friday night, the flimsy fences and ticket barriers had come down and organisers announced the concert was free prompting thousands more to head for the concert.

 

Traffic jams eight miles long blocked off the area near White Lake, near Bethel, some 50 miles from the town of Woodstock.

 

Local police estimated a million people were on the road yesterday trying to get to Woodstock. They were overwhelmed by the numbers but were impressed by a good level of behaviour.

 

The festival's chief medical officer, Dr William Abruzzi told Rolling Stone magazine: "These people are really beautiful. There has been no violence whatsoever which is really remarkable for a crowd of this size."

 

Those who made it to the makeshift venue were treated to performances by Janis Joplin, The Who, Grateful Dead, Canned Heat, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, Jimi Hendrix, Joan Baez and Ravi Shankar.

 

Rainstorms failed to dampen the spirits of the revellers, many high on marijuana, some dancing naked in the now muddy fields.

 

The main organiser, 49-year-old dairy farmer Max Yasgur, who provided $50,000 and 600 acres of his land, addressed the crowds on the last day of the event.

 

"You have proven something to the world... that half a million kids can get together for fun and music and have nothing but fun and music."

 

There were however two deaths - a teenager was killed by a tractor as he lay in his sleeping bag and another died from a drugs overdose.

 

Woodstock, a holiday centre and artists' colony, had held an arts and music fair since 1906 but the 1969 Woodstock festival made the town world famous. The final cost to the four sponsors - John Roberts, Joel Rosenman, Artie Kornfeld and Michael Lang - was $2.4m.

 

A film of the concert was release the following year and Woodstock became synonymous with flower power, the hippie culture and anti-Vietnam war protests that dominated the 1970s.

 

The "Woodstock generation" look back on the event with nostalgia and an anniversary Woodstock festival was held in 1994.

 

But the second - highly commercialised - anniversary concert in July 1999 ended in riots, fires and at least eight allegations of rape.

 

www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wyx053CNMag

 

Isle of Wight Festival 1969

 

The 1969 Isle of Wight Festival was held on 29–31 August 1969 at the English town of Wootton, on the Isle of Wight. The festival attracted an audience of approximately 150,000 to see acts including Bob Dylan, The Band, The Who, Free, Joe Cocker, the Bonzo Dog Band and The Moody Blues. It was the second of three music festivals held on the island between 1968 and 1970. Organised by Ronnie and Ray Foulk's Fiery Creations, it became a legendary event, largely owing to the participation of Dylan, who had spent the previous three years in semi-retirement. The event was well managed, in comparison to the recent Woodstock Festival, and trouble-free.

 

The 1969 festival was considerably larger and more popular than the previous year's. Dylan had been little heard of since his allegedly near-fatal motorcycle accident in July 1966. Shunning the Woodstock Festival, held near his home in upstate New York, Dylan was initially reluctant to perform his comeback show on the little-known Isle of Wight. After weeks of negotiations, the Foulk brothers showed him a short film of the island's cultural and literary heritage; this appealed to Dylan's artistic sensibilities, as he was enthusiastic about combining a family holiday with a live performance in Tennyson country.

 

Before the festival, Dylan and his fellow Woodstock residents The Band rehearsed at Forelands Farm in Bembridge, and were joined there by George Harrison, the only "outsider" to have visited him in his enclave in the Catskill Mountains. On Saturday, 30 August, the day before Dylan was to take the stage, Harrison's fellow Beatles John Lennon and Ringo Starr arrived on the island, along with Keith Richards and Charlie Watts of the Rolling Stones, and Eric Clapton. Also seated in the sealed-off VIP area in front of the stage would be Beatle wives Pattie Harrison, Yoko Ono and Maureen Starkey, together with celebrities such as Liz Taylor, Richard Burton, Jane Fonda, Françoise Hardy, Roger Vadim, Syd Barrett, Donald Cammell, Elton John and others.

 

Lennon opined that Dylan's performance was reasonable, though slightly flat; and that expectations were such that the audience was "waiting for Godot or Jesus". Clapton was mesmerised, however, having already been inspired back to blues and country, post-Cream, by Dylan's change of musical direction and by The Band's album Music From Big Pink. "Dylan was fantastic," Clapton later said. "He changed everything ... The audience couldn't understand it.

You had to be a musician to understand it." Another champion of both The Band and Dylan, Harrison wrote a country song inspired by the event and dedicated to Dylan, "Behind That Locked Door", released on his 1970 triple album All Things Must Pass. Folk singer Tom Paxton has referred to the "negative reaction in the British press" as "downright fabrications: like saying he had run off stage half-way through". Paxton also recalled: "I went with him and The Beatles to the farmhouse where he was clearly in a merry mood because he had felt it had gone so well … The Beatles had brought a test pressing of Abbey Road and we listened to it and had quite a party."

 

www.youtube.com/watch?v=0JaAlXpZetA

 

Death of a Rolling Stone

 

Once a Stone always a Stone? Or was guitarist Brian Jones an ex-Stone when he died on July 3 1969? It was Jones who set the Stones rolling with an ad inviting like-minded musicians to audition at the Bricklayers’ Arms, and he is credited with coming up with the band’s name when asked for one by a promoter. But a month before his death he had been edged out of the group because of his erratic behaviour and heavy drug use, his convictions for that use meaning he would be unable to participate in an upcoming tour of the USA.

 

Mystery still surrounds exactly how he came to die. Jones was found at the bottom of the pool at his house – Cotchford Farm – near Hartfield in East Sussex (bizarrely previously owned by A.A. Milne , and the setting for his Winnie the Pooh stories). His liver was found to be enlarged by substance and alcohol abuse, though tests showed he had a fairly small amount of alcohol in his bloodstream and no traces of drugs. The verdict of the subsequent inquest was death by misadventure. Brian Jones was just 27 when he died, though pictures of him taken near that time showed the bloated face of a man who looked much older.

 

For years rumours and allegations have put the case for his sudden death being murder at the hands of a man described as a builder doing work on the house. That man died in 1994. The files have recently been reopened.

 

www.youtube.com/watch?v=8yW3-Qj5FQ0

 

The Beatles played their final gig atop 3 Savile Row, London

 

Throughout January 1969, director Michael Lindsay-Hogg (the man who shot the Paperback Writer/Rain and Hey Jude/Revolution promotional shorts) had been filming the dissolution of the biggest band in the world as they rehearsed and recorded the songs that would eventually appear on Let It Be.

 

The decision to move the production from the cavernous confines of Twickenham Studios to the intimate rooms of the new Apple offices at 3 Savile Row in central London was a wise one, immediately thawing the frosty atmosphere that had so far blighted the project. Beatles Press Officer, Derek Taylor: “I was glad when they came back to Apple and were inside the building again. There was a two or three-week period at the end of January when it was nice”.

 

A live concert had been suggested as a way to end the film and so it was that on January 30 The Beatles ascended the stairs at Apple HQ to play live together for the very last time. What followed remains one of the all-time greatest moments in pop culture.

 

www.youtube.com/watch?v=NCtzkaL2t_Y

 

1969 Timeline

 

January - Secretary of State for Employment and Productivity Barbara Castle published a White Paper In Place of Strife proposing powers of intervention in advance of industrial action. This proved unacceptable to the Trades Union Congress.

 

The Space hopper toy was introduced to Britain.

 

2 January – Australian media baron Rupert Murdoch purchased the largest selling British Sunday newspaper The News of the World.

 

4 January – Guitarist Jimi Hendrix caused complaints of arrogance from television producers after playing an impromptu version of "Sunshine of your Love" past his allotted timeslot on the BBC1 show Happening for Lulu.

 

5 January – Derry Riots left over 100 people injured.

 

10 January – Protestors in Northern Ireland defied police orders to abandon a planned march.

 

12 January – Led Zeppelin's eponymous début album is released.

 

14 January – Sir Matt Busby, hugely successful manager of Manchester United F.C. for the last 24 years, announced his retirement as manager. He would become a director at the end of the season, and hand over first-team duties to current first team trainer and former player Wilf McGuinness.

 

18 January – Pete Best won his defamation lawsuit against the Beatles. He had originally sought $8 million, but is awarded much less.

 

24 January – Violent protests by students closed the London School of Economics, which did not re-open for three weeks.

 

Ford launched the Capri, a four-seater sporting coupe designed to compete with the likes of the MGB.

 

27 January - London School of Economics students occupied the University of London Union building in Malet Street in protest at the closure of the LSE.

 

Reverend Ian Paisley, the hard line Protestant leader in Northern Ireland, was jailed for 3 months for illegal assembly.

 

30 January – The Beatles gave their last public performance, on the roof of Apple Records. The impromptu concert is broken up by the police.

 

3 February – John Lennon, George Harrison and Ringo Starr hire Allen Klein as The Beatles' new business manager, against the wishes of Paul McCartney.

 

4 February – Paul McCartney hires the law firm of Eastman & Eastman, Linda Eastman's father's law firm, as general legal counsel for Apple.

 

18 February – Pop star Lulu, 20, married Maurice Gibb of the Bee Gees.

 

March – The first B&Q DIY superstore was set up in Southampton by Richard Block and David Quayle.

 

2 March – The maiden flight of Concorde took place.

 

4 March – The Kray twins were both found guilty of murder: Ronnie of murdering George Cornell; Reggie of murdering Jack "the Hat" McVitie.

 

5 March – The Kray twins are sentenced to life imprisonment with a recommended minimum of 30 years by Mr Justice Melford Stevenson.

 

7 March – The London Underground Victoria line was opened by The Queen.

 

12 March – Paul McCartney married Linda Eastman.

 

17 March – The Longhope lifeboat in Scotland was lost; the entire crew of 8 died.

 

19 March - British paratroopers and Marines landed on the island of Anguilla.

 

The 385 metre tall Emley Moor transmitting station television mast in West Yorkshire collapsed because of icing.

 

25 March – John Lennon and Yoko Ono married in Gibraltar.

 

27 March – First ordination of a woman in the Church of Scotland, Catherine McConnachie by the Presbytery of Aberdeen.

 

29 March – The UK shared first place in the Eurovision Song Contest, with a four-way tie with France, Spain, and the Netherlands. Lulu represents the UK, singing Boom bang-a-bang.

 

1 April – The Hawker Siddeley Harrier GR.1 V/STOL "Jump Jet" fighter entered service with the RAF.

 

9 April – Sikh busmen in Wolverhampton won the right to wear turbans on duty.

 

17 April - Representation of the People Act lowered the voting age from 21 to 18 with effect from February 1970. It also permitted candidates to have a party label included on the ballot paper, and removed the right (theoretically restored in 1967) of convicted prisoners to vote in Parliamentary elections.

 

Bernadette Devlin won the Mid Ulster by-election and became the youngest ever female MP at 21 years old.

 

20 April – British troops arrived in Northern Ireland to reinforce the Royal Ulster Constabulary.

 

22 April – Robin Knox-Johnston became the first person to sail around the world solo without stopping.

 

The first complete performance of The Who's rock opera Tommy during a performance in Dolton, Devon, UK

 

Peter Maxwell Davies conducts the premiere performance of his monodrama Eight Songs for a Mad King at the Queen Elizabeth Hall.

 

John Lennon officially changes his name from John Winston Lennon to John Winston Ono Lennon.

 

24 April - British Leyland Motor Corporation launched Britain's first production hatchback car, the Austin Maxi, designed to compete with family saloons like the Ford Cortina and following a new European design concept started in 1965 by French car maker Renault's R16 range.

 

The final episode of the long-running BBC Radio serial drama Mrs Dale's Diary was broadcast.

 

The Beatles make a $5.1 million counter offer to the Northern Songs stockholders in an attempt to keep Associated TV from controlling the band's music.

 

26 April – Manchester City F.C. won the FA Cup with a 1-0 win over Leicester City in the Wembley final.

 

28 April – Leeds United won the Football League First Division title for the first time in their history.

 

2 May – The ocean liner Queen Elizabeth 2 departed from Southampton on her maiden voyage to New York.

 

23 May – The Who released the concept album Tommy.

 

2 June – John Lennon and Yoko Ono host a "Bed-In" at the Queen Elizabeth Hotel in Montreal, Canada. The couple records the song "Give Peace a Chance" live in their suite with Tommy Smothers, Timothy Leary, and several others.

 

13 June – Mick Taylor joins the Rolling Stones.

 

21 June – The showing of television documentary The Royal Family, attracted more than 30.6 million viewers, an all-time British record for a non-current event programme.

 

Patrick Troughton made his final appearance as the second Doctor in Doctor Who in the final episode of The War Games which was also the last episode to be recorded only in black and white.

 

24 June – After a referendum in Rhodesia decided in favour of becoming a Republic, the Governor of Southern Rhodesia Sir Humphrey Gibbs left Government House, severing the last diplomatic links with the United Kingdom.

 

29 June – Bass player Noel Redding announces to the media that he has quit the Jimi Hendrix Experience, having effectively done so during the recording of Electric Ladyland.

 

30 June – Two members of the Mudiad Amddiffyn Cymru (Movement for the Defence of Wales) were killed whilst placing a bomb outside government offices in Abergele in an attempt to disrupt the following day's events.

 

1 July – Charles, Prince of Wales, was invested with his title at Caernarfon.

 

John Lennon, Yoko Ono and their children were hospitalised at Golspie in Scotland following a car accident while on holiday.

 

3 July – Swansea was granted city status.

 

3 July – Brian Jones is found dead in the swimming pool at his home in Sussex, England, almost a month after leaving The Rolling Stones.

 

3 July – Lulu the elephant runs amok on Blue Peter. The clip is subsequently repeated many times, becoming the archetypal British TV "blooper".

 

10 July – The trimaran Teignmouth Electron of Donald Crowhurst was found drifting and unoccupied in Mid-Atlantic. It is discovered that Crowhurst had been falsifying his position in a Round the World yacht race and presumed that he committed suicide.

 

5 July – The Rolling Stones proceed with a free concert in Hyde Park, London, as a tribute to Brian Jones; it is also the band's first concert with guitarist Mick Taylor. Estimates of the audience range from 250,000 to 400,000.

 

12 July – Golfer Tony Jacklin won The Open Championship.

 

19 July - British Grand Prix held at the Silverstone Circuit, Jackie Stewart was victorious, as he lapped the entire field and took his fifth win in six races.

 

20–21 July – A live transmission from the Moon is viewed by 720 million people around the world, with the landing of Apollo 11: at 10:56 p.m. EDT on 20 July 1969, Neil Armstrong stepped onto the surface of the Moon, broadcast live.

 

23 July – BBC Two television first aired the Pot Black snooker tournament.

 

24 July – British lecturer Gerald Brooke was freed from a Soviet prison in exchange for the spies Morris and Lona Cohen.

 

1 August – The pre-decimal halfpenny ceased to be legal tender.

 

12 August – Rioting broke out in Derry, Northern Ireland in the Battle of the Bogside, the first major confrontation of The Troubles.

 

13 – 17 August - Sectarian rioting in Northern Ireland.

 

13 August – The Taoiseach of the Republic of Ireland, Jack Lynch, made a speech on Teilifís Éireann saying that his government "can no longer stand by" and requesting a United Nations peacekeeping force for Northern Ireland.

 

14 August – British troops were deployed in Northern Ireland to restore law and order.

 

30 – 31 August - The second Isle of Wight Festival attracted 150,000 pop music fans, with the appearance of Bob Dylan a major draw.

 

2 September - Release of The Stones in the Park, footage of a Rolling Stones concert given in London's Hyde Park in July and filmed by Granada Television.

 

11 September – The housing charity Shelter released a report claiming that there are up to 3 million people in need of rehousing due to poor living conditions.

 

13 September – John Lennon and Plastic Ono Band perform at the Toronto Rock and Roll Revival 12-hour music festival, backed by Eric Clapton, Klaus Voormann and Alan White. It is Lennon's first-ever public rock performance without one or more of The Beatles since meeting Paul McCartney in 1957. He decides before returning to Britain to leave The Beatles permanently.

 

16 September – Iconic 1960s fashion store Biba reopened on Kensington High Street.

 

21 September – Police evicted squatters from the London Street Commune.

 

21 September – Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased) premieres on ITV.

 

26 September – The Beatles released what would be their final album (Abbey Road) recorded together.

 

28 September – The National Trust acquired ownership of the island of Lundy.

 

1 October – The Post Office became a Statutory corporation.

 

4 October – The ITV Seven, a programme which shows live coverage of horse racing from racecourses around the UK, is first aired. The programme was an essential part of ITV's Saturday afternoon World of Sport show and continued until a few weeks before World of Sport ended in 1985.

 

5 October – Monty Python's Flying Circus aired its first episode on the BBC.

 

6 October – Chigley becomes the third and final programme of The Trumptonshire Trilogy on BBC1 to be shot in colour before the introduction of regular colour broadcasting on 15 November.

 

10 October – The government accepted the recommendations of Lord Hunt's report on policing in Northern Ireland including the abolition of the Ulster Special Constabulary.

 

14 October - The new seven-sided 50p coin was introduced as replacement for the 10-shilling note, to a mixed reception from the British public, with many people complaining that it is easily confused with the 10p coin.

 

With a general election due within the next 18 months, opinion polls showed that the Tories were comfortably ahead of Labour, by up to 24 points.

 

16 October – Peter Nichols' black comedy The National Health was premiered by the National Theatre at the Old Vic in London.

 

November – Ken Loach's film Kes was released at the London Film Festival.

 

3 November – ITV airs the first edition of Coronation Street to be videotaped in colour, though it includes black-and-white inserts and titles. The 29 October episode – featuring a coach trip to the Lake District – had been scheduled for colour shooting, but suitable colour film stock could not be found so it was filmed in black-and-white.

 

7 November – The Rolling Stones open their US tour in Fort Collins, Colorado.

 

15 November – Regular colour television broadcasts began on BBC1 and ITV.

 

16 November – BBC1 first aired the children's television series Clangers, made by Oliver Postgate and Peter Firmin's Smallfilms in stop motion animation.

 

17 November – The Sun newspaper was relaunched as a tabloid under the ownership of Rupert Murdoch.

 

19 November – The Benny Hill Show premieres on Thames Television.

 

21 November – The controversial London Weekend Television comedy Curry and Chips begins airing. The programme is the first LWT comedy to have been recorded in colour. It is pulled off air after six episodes following a ruling by the IBA that it is racist.

 

24 November – Date claimed by official Coronation Street archivist Daran Little as the first on which the soap was transmitted in colour.

 

25 November – John Lennon returned his MBE to protest against the British government's involvement in Biafra and support of the U.S. war in Vietnam.

 

10 December – Derek Harold Richard Barton won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry jointly with Odd Hassel "for their contributions to the development of the concept of conformation and its application in chemistry".

 

18 December - The abolition of the death penalty for murder was made permanent by Parliament.

 

Release of Fairport Convention's pioneering folk rock album Liege & Lief.

 

The sixth James Bond film - On Her Majesty's Secret Service - was released in British cinemas. Bond is now played by George Lazenby after Sean Connery starred in the first five films. Starring alongside him is Yorkshire-born actress Diana Rigg.

 

26 December – A fire at the Rose and Crown Hotel, Saffron Walden, killed eleven.

 

The Chancellor of the Exchequer Roy Jenkins introduced Mortgage Interest Relief at Source (MIRAS) to encourage home ownership; it allowed borrowers tax relief for interest payments on their mortgage.

 

Golden eagles were found to be nesting in England for the first time in modern history, at Haweswater in the Lake District.

 

Completion of the Castle Vale estate in Birmingham, one of the largest housing estates in Europe, consisting mostly of council houses and low-rise flats as well as 34 tower blocks, the first of which were occupied in 1964.

 

1969 Television

 

BBC1

 

2 January – The Holiday Programme (1969–2007)

14 April – The Liver Birds (1969; 1971–1979, 1996)

9 September – Nationwide (1969–1983)

17 September – Up Pompeii! (1969–1975, 1991)

5 October – Monty Python's Flying Circus (1969–1974)

6 October – The Trumptonshire Trilogy: Chigley (1969)

16 November – Clangers (1969–1972)

 

BBC2

 

14 March – Q (1969–1982)

 

ITV

 

28 February – On the Buses (1969–1973)

21 September

The Flaxton Boys (1969–1973)

Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased) (1969–1970)

The Secret Service (1969)

19 November – The Benny Hill Show (1969–1989)

 

1969 Football

 

First Division - Leeds United

Second Division - Derby County

Third Division - Watford

Fourth Division - Doncaster Rovers

FA Cup - Manchester City

League Cup - Swindon Town

Charity Shield - Manchester City

Home Championship - England

Raglan Castle is a late medieval castle located just north of the village of Raglan in the county of Monmouthshire in south east Wales. The modern castle dates from between the 15th and early 17th-centuries, when the successive ruling families of the Herberts and the Somersets created a luxurious, fortified castle, complete with a large hexagonal keep, known as the Great Tower or the Yellow Tower of Gwent. Surrounded by parkland, water gardens and terraces, the castle was considered by contemporaries to be the equal of any other in England or Wales.

During the English Civil War the castle was held on behalf of Charles I and was taken by Parliamentary forces in 1646. In the aftermath, the castle was slighted, or deliberately put beyond military use; after the restoration of Charles II, the Somersets declined to restore the castle. Raglan Castle became first a source of local building materials, then a romantic ruin.

The current Raglan Castle was begun by Sir William ap Thomas, the lesser son of a minor Welsh family who rose through the ranks of mid-15th century politics, profiting from the benefits of the local offices he held. William married first Elizabeth, a wealthy heiress, and then Gwladus ap Thomas, another heiress who would prove to be a powerful regional figure in her own right. In 1432 William purchased the manor of Raglan, where he had already been staying as a tenant, for 1,000 marks (£666) and commenced a programme of building work that established the basic shape of the castle as seen today, although most of it — with the exception of the South Gate and the Great Tower — was later built over.[6][nb 1]

William's son dropped the Welsh version of his name, calling himself William Herbert. He continued to rise in prominence, supporting the House of York during the War of the Roses, fighting in the Hundred Years War in France but making his fortune from the Gascon wine trade. He was also closely associated with Welsh politics and status, being the first Welshman to be made an earl and being described by contemporary poets as the "national deliverer" who might achieve Welsh independence. In the 1460s William used his increasing wealth to remodel Raglan on a much grander scale. The symbolism of the castle architecture may have reflected the Welsh family roots — historian Matthew Johnson has suggested that the polygonal towers were possibly designed to imitate those of Caernarfon Castle, whose architecture carries numerous allusions to the eventual return of a Roman Emperor to Wales.] The resulting castle was what historian Anthony Emery has described as one of the "last formidable displays of medieval defensive architecture".

There was an important link between the Raglan Castle and the surrounding parkland, in particular the Home Park and the Red Deer Park.[3] Historian Robert Liddiard suggests that on the basis of the views from the castle at this time, the structured nature of the parks would have contrasted with the wilderness of the mountain peaks framing the scene beyond, making an important statement about the refinement and cultured nature of the castle lord.[13] In the 15th century there were also extensive orchards and fish ponds surrounding the castle, favourably commented upon by contemporaries.

William Herbert was executed in 1469 as a Yorkist supporter after the Battle of Edgecote Moor. Building work may have stopped for a period under his son, also called William Herbert, before recommencing in the late 1470s. By 1492, the castle passed to Elizabeth Somerset, William Herbert's daughter, who married Sir Charles Somerset, passing the castle into a new family line.

  

Sir Charles Somerset was politically successful under both Henry VII and Henry VIII, being made the Earl of Worcester. His son, Henry Somerset, died shortly after inheriting Raglan, but not before using lead reclaimed from Tintern Abbey to help the building work at Raglan Castle during the dissolution of the monasteries.

His son and grandson, William Somerset and Edward Somerset, proved to be what John Kenyon describes as "wealthy, brilliant and cultured men". William rebuilt much of the Pitched Stone Court, including the hall, adding the Long Gallery and developing the gardens into the new Renaissance style. The Somerset family owned two key castles in the region, Raglan and Chepstow, and these appeared to have figured prominently as important status symbols in paintings owned by the family.

Edward Somerset made minor improvements to the interior of the castle at the start of the 17th century, but focused primarily on the exterior, expanding and developing the gardens and building the moat walk around the Great Tower. The resulting gardens were considered the equal of any other others in the kingdom at the time.

Upon inheriting Raglan in 1628, Henry Somerset, then the 5th Earl of Worcester, continued to live a grand lifestyle in the castle in the 1630s, with a host of staff, including a steward, Master of Horse, Master of Fishponds, surveyors, auditors, ushers, a falconer and many footmen. The interior walls were hung with rich tapestries from Arras in France, while an inventory taken in 1639 recorded a large number of silver and gilt plate kept in the Great Tower, including a basket for the consumption of oranges and lemons, then luxury items in Wales. Mead was a popular drink in the castle, but contemporaries described the castle as being a particular sober and respectful community. Henry developed the entrance route to the castle, including building the Red Gate. His son Edward, Lord Herbert became famous for building a "water commanding machine" in the Great Tower, which used steam to pump a huge spout of water high into the air from the moat.

However, in 1642 civil war broke out between the rival Royalist supporters of King Charles I and Parliament. Raglan Castle was still held by Henry, then an elderly man, supported by his son, Lord Herbert. Both men were firm royalists. King Charles sent his own son, Prince Charles, on a fund-raising tour of friendly regions, starting with Raglan Castle in October 1642, following which Henry was promoted to be the first Marquess of Worcester. Tensions grew in the immediate region, partially driven by religious tensions between some of the more Protestant local people and the Roman Catholic Marquess; on one of these occasions a local group attempted to search the castle, but were reportedly driven away by the sudden noise of Lord Herbert's steam-engine. The defences of Raglan were improved after this, with modern earthwork bastions built around the castle and a powder mill created; a garrison of around 300 men was established at a cost of £40,000. Heavier cannon were installed in the bastions, with lighter pieces placed in the castle towers.

Lord Herbert left the castle to join the campaign against Parliament, returning at intervals to acquire more funds for the war. Charles I himself visited the castle twice, first in June 1645 after the battle of Naseby and again in 1646, when he enjoyed playing bowls on the castle's green. The Royalist cause was now close to military collapse, and the Marquess started to send some valuables, including the oak panelling from the parlour, some plaster ceiling and many pictures, to his brother at nearby Troy House for safe-keeping. Lord Herbert was captured in Ireland, and an attack on Raglan itself appeared imminent.[29]

n the expectation of a siege, the castle garrison was increased to around 800 soldiers; the avenue of trees outside the castle gates were cut down, and neighbouring buildings destroyed to avoid them being used by Parliamentary forces. Large amounts of food were brought in to support the growing castle community, which also included a number of the wider Herbert family and other regional Royalist leaders who had sought shelter there. The first Parliamentary army arrived in early June, under the command of Colonel Morgan and Sir Trevor Williams. After several calls for the castle to surrender, a siege ensued, lasting through the summer months. In August, additional Parliamentary forces under General Fairfax arrived, and calls for the castle to surrender were renewed. Fairfax's men began to dig trenches towards the castle, and used these to move mortars forward, probably including the famous "Roaring Meg", bringing the interior of the castle into artillery range.[33] Facing a hopeless situation, the Marquess surrendered the castle on 19 August on relatively generous terms for the garrison.The Marquess himself was arrested and sent to Windsor Castle, where he died shortly afterwards.[33] Informed shortly before his death that Parliament had granted his request to be buried in the family vault at Windsor, the Marquess remarked; "Why then I shall have a better castle when I am dead, than they took from me when alive."

Fairfax ordered the castle to be totally destroyed under the supervision of Henry Herbert, a descendant of William ap Thomas. The fortifications proved too strong, however, and only a few of the walls were destroyed, or slighted.[35] Historian Matthew Johnson describes the event as having the atmosphere of a "community festival", as local people dredged the castle moat in search of treasure, and emptied the fishponds of valuable carp. The castle's library, including an important collection of Welsh documents and books, was either stolen or destroyed.

Despite some immediate confiscations after the siege, by the time of the Restoration of Charles II, the Somerset family had managed to recover most of their possessions, including Raglan Castle.Henry Somerset, the 3rd Marquess, decided to prioritise the rebuilding of his other houses at Troy and Badminton, rather than Raglan, reusing some of the property sent away for safety before the war, or salvaged after the slighting.

 

Raglan Castle is a late medieval castle located just north of the village of Raglan in the county of Monmouthshire in south east Wales. The modern castle dates from between the 15th and early 17th-centuries, when the successive ruling families of the Herberts and the Somersets created a luxurious, fortified castle, complete with a large hexagonal keep, known as the Great Tower or the Yellow Tower of Gwent. Surrounded by parkland, water gardens and terraces, the castle was considered by contemporaries to be the equal of any other in England or Wales.

During the English Civil War the castle was held on behalf of Charles I and was taken by Parliamentary forces in 1646. In the aftermath, the castle was slighted, or deliberately put beyond military use; after the restoration of Charles II, the Somersets declined to restore the castle. Raglan Castle became first a source of local building materials, then a romantic ruin.

The current Raglan Castle was begun by Sir William ap Thomas, the lesser son of a minor Welsh family who rose through the ranks of mid-15th century politics, profiting from the benefits of the local offices he held. William married first Elizabeth, a wealthy heiress, and then Gwladus ap Thomas, another heiress who would prove to be a powerful regional figure in her own right. In 1432 William purchased the manor of Raglan, where he had already been staying as a tenant, for 1,000 marks (£666) and commenced a programme of building work that established the basic shape of the castle as seen today, although most of it — with the exception of the South Gate and the Great Tower — was later built over.[6][nb 1]

William's son dropped the Welsh version of his name, calling himself William Herbert. He continued to rise in prominence, supporting the House of York during the War of the Roses, fighting in the Hundred Years War in France but making his fortune from the Gascon wine trade. He was also closely associated with Welsh politics and status, being the first Welshman to be made an earl and being described by contemporary poets as the "national deliverer" who might achieve Welsh independence. In the 1460s William used his increasing wealth to remodel Raglan on a much grander scale. The symbolism of the castle architecture may have reflected the Welsh family roots — historian Matthew Johnson has suggested that the polygonal towers were possibly designed to imitate those of Caernarfon Castle, whose architecture carries numerous allusions to the eventual return of a Roman Emperor to Wales.] The resulting castle was what historian Anthony Emery has described as one of the "last formidable displays of medieval defensive architecture".

There was an important link between the Raglan Castle and the surrounding parkland, in particular the Home Park and the Red Deer Park.[3] Historian Robert Liddiard suggests that on the basis of the views from the castle at this time, the structured nature of the parks would have contrasted with the wilderness of the mountain peaks framing the scene beyond, making an important statement about the refinement and cultured nature of the castle lord.[13] In the 15th century there were also extensive orchards and fish ponds surrounding the castle, favourably commented upon by contemporaries.

William Herbert was executed in 1469 as a Yorkist supporter after the Battle of Edgecote Moor. Building work may have stopped for a period under his son, also called William Herbert, before recommencing in the late 1470s. By 1492, the castle passed to Elizabeth Somerset, William Herbert's daughter, who married Sir Charles Somerset, passing the castle into a new family line.

  

Sir Charles Somerset was politically successful under both Henry VII and Henry VIII, being made the Earl of Worcester. His son, Henry Somerset, died shortly after inheriting Raglan, but not before using lead reclaimed from Tintern Abbey to help the building work at Raglan Castle during the dissolution of the monasteries.

His son and grandson, William Somerset and Edward Somerset, proved to be what John Kenyon describes as "wealthy, brilliant and cultured men". William rebuilt much of the Pitched Stone Court, including the hall, adding the Long Gallery and developing the gardens into the new Renaissance style. The Somerset family owned two key castles in the region, Raglan and Chepstow, and these appeared to have figured prominently as important status symbols in paintings owned by the family.

Edward Somerset made minor improvements to the interior of the castle at the start of the 17th century, but focused primarily on the exterior, expanding and developing the gardens and building the moat walk around the Great Tower. The resulting gardens were considered the equal of any other others in the kingdom at the time.

Upon inheriting Raglan in 1628, Henry Somerset, then the 5th Earl of Worcester, continued to live a grand lifestyle in the castle in the 1630s, with a host of staff, including a steward, Master of Horse, Master of Fishponds, surveyors, auditors, ushers, a falconer and many footmen. The interior walls were hung with rich tapestries from Arras in France, while an inventory taken in 1639 recorded a large number of silver and gilt plate kept in the Great Tower, including a basket for the consumption of oranges and lemons, then luxury items in Wales. Mead was a popular drink in the castle, but contemporaries described the castle as being a particular sober and respectful community. Henry developed the entrance route to the castle, including building the Red Gate. His son Edward, Lord Herbert became famous for building a "water commanding machine" in the Great Tower, which used steam to pump a huge spout of water high into the air from the moat.

However, in 1642 civil war broke out between the rival Royalist supporters of King Charles I and Parliament. Raglan Castle was still held by Henry, then an elderly man, supported by his son, Lord Herbert. Both men were firm royalists. King Charles sent his own son, Prince Charles, on a fund-raising tour of friendly regions, starting with Raglan Castle in October 1642, following which Henry was promoted to be the first Marquess of Worcester. Tensions grew in the immediate region, partially driven by religious tensions between some of the more Protestant local people and the Roman Catholic Marquess; on one of these occasions a local group attempted to search the castle, but were reportedly driven away by the sudden noise of Lord Herbert's steam-engine. The defences of Raglan were improved after this, with modern earthwork bastions built around the castle and a powder mill created; a garrison of around 300 men was established at a cost of £40,000. Heavier cannon were installed in the bastions, with lighter pieces placed in the castle towers.

Lord Herbert left the castle to join the campaign against Parliament, returning at intervals to acquire more funds for the war. Charles I himself visited the castle twice, first in June 1645 after the battle of Naseby and again in 1646, when he enjoyed playing bowls on the castle's green. The Royalist cause was now close to military collapse, and the Marquess started to send some valuables, including the oak panelling from the parlour, some plaster ceiling and many pictures, to his brother at nearby Troy House for safe-keeping. Lord Herbert was captured in Ireland, and an attack on Raglan itself appeared imminent.[29]

n the expectation of a siege, the castle garrison was increased to around 800 soldiers; the avenue of trees outside the castle gates were cut down, and neighbouring buildings destroyed to avoid them being used by Parliamentary forces. Large amounts of food were brought in to support the growing castle community, which also included a number of the wider Herbert family and other regional Royalist leaders who had sought shelter there. The first Parliamentary army arrived in early June, under the command of Colonel Morgan and Sir Trevor Williams. After several calls for the castle to surrender, a siege ensued, lasting through the summer months. In August, additional Parliamentary forces under General Fairfax arrived, and calls for the castle to surrender were renewed. Fairfax's men began to dig trenches towards the castle, and used these to move mortars forward, probably including the famous "Roaring Meg", bringing the interior of the castle into artillery range.[33] Facing a hopeless situation, the Marquess surrendered the castle on 19 August on relatively generous terms for the garrison.The Marquess himself was arrested and sent to Windsor Castle, where he died shortly afterwards.[33] Informed shortly before his death that Parliament had granted his request to be buried in the family vault at Windsor, the Marquess remarked; "Why then I shall have a better castle when I am dead, than they took from me when alive."

Fairfax ordered the castle to be totally destroyed under the supervision of Henry Herbert, a descendant of William ap Thomas. The fortifications proved too strong, however, and only a few of the walls were destroyed, or slighted.[35] Historian Matthew Johnson describes the event as having the atmosphere of a "community festival", as local people dredged the castle moat in search of treasure, and emptied the fishponds of valuable carp. The castle's library, including an important collection of Welsh documents and books, was either stolen or destroyed.

Despite some immediate confiscations after the siege, by the time of the Restoration of Charles II, the Somerset family had managed to recover most of their possessions, including Raglan Castle.Henry Somerset, the 3rd Marquess, decided to prioritise the rebuilding of his other houses at Troy and Badminton, rather than Raglan, reusing some of the property sent away for safety before the war, or salvaged after the slighting.

 

Raglan Castle is a late medieval castle located just north of the village of Raglan in the county of Monmouthshire in south east Wales. The modern castle dates from between the 15th and early 17th-centuries, when the successive ruling families of the Herberts and the Somersets created a luxurious, fortified castle, complete with a large hexagonal keep, known as the Great Tower or the Yellow Tower of Gwent. Surrounded by parkland, water gardens and terraces, the castle was considered by contemporaries to be the equal of any other in England or Wales.

During the English Civil War the castle was held on behalf of Charles I and was taken by Parliamentary forces in 1646. In the aftermath, the castle was slighted, or deliberately put beyond military use; after the restoration of Charles II, the Somersets declined to restore the castle. Raglan Castle became first a source of local building materials, then a romantic ruin.

The current Raglan Castle was begun by Sir William ap Thomas, the lesser son of a minor Welsh family who rose through the ranks of mid-15th century politics, profiting from the benefits of the local offices he held. William married first Elizabeth, a wealthy heiress, and then Gwladus ap Thomas, another heiress who would prove to be a powerful regional figure in her own right. In 1432 William purchased the manor of Raglan, where he had already been staying as a tenant, for 1,000 marks (£666) and commenced a programme of building work that established the basic shape of the castle as seen today, although most of it — with the exception of the South Gate and the Great Tower — was later built over.[6][nb 1]

William's son dropped the Welsh version of his name, calling himself William Herbert. He continued to rise in prominence, supporting the House of York during the War of the Roses, fighting in the Hundred Years War in France but making his fortune from the Gascon wine trade. He was also closely associated with Welsh politics and status, being the first Welshman to be made an earl and being described by contemporary poets as the "national deliverer" who might achieve Welsh independence. In the 1460s William used his increasing wealth to remodel Raglan on a much grander scale. The symbolism of the castle architecture may have reflected the Welsh family roots — historian Matthew Johnson has suggested that the polygonal towers were possibly designed to imitate those of Caernarfon Castle, whose architecture carries numerous allusions to the eventual return of a Roman Emperor to Wales.] The resulting castle was what historian Anthony Emery has described as one of the "last formidable displays of medieval defensive architecture".

There was an important link between the Raglan Castle and the surrounding parkland, in particular the Home Park and the Red Deer Park.[3] Historian Robert Liddiard suggests that on the basis of the views from the castle at this time, the structured nature of the parks would have contrasted with the wilderness of the mountain peaks framing the scene beyond, making an important statement about the refinement and cultured nature of the castle lord.[13] In the 15th century there were also extensive orchards and fish ponds surrounding the castle, favourably commented upon by contemporaries.

William Herbert was executed in 1469 as a Yorkist supporter after the Battle of Edgecote Moor. Building work may have stopped for a period under his son, also called William Herbert, before recommencing in the late 1470s. By 1492, the castle passed to Elizabeth Somerset, William Herbert's daughter, who married Sir Charles Somerset, passing the castle into a new family line.

  

Sir Charles Somerset was politically successful under both Henry VII and Henry VIII, being made the Earl of Worcester. His son, Henry Somerset, died shortly after inheriting Raglan, but not before using lead reclaimed from Tintern Abbey to help the building work at Raglan Castle during the dissolution of the monasteries.

His son and grandson, William Somerset and Edward Somerset, proved to be what John Kenyon describes as "wealthy, brilliant and cultured men". William rebuilt much of the Pitched Stone Court, including the hall, adding the Long Gallery and developing the gardens into the new Renaissance style. The Somerset family owned two key castles in the region, Raglan and Chepstow, and these appeared to have figured prominently as important status symbols in paintings owned by the family.

Edward Somerset made minor improvements to the interior of the castle at the start of the 17th century, but focused primarily on the exterior, expanding and developing the gardens and building the moat walk around the Great Tower. The resulting gardens were considered the equal of any other others in the kingdom at the time.

Upon inheriting Raglan in 1628, Henry Somerset, then the 5th Earl of Worcester, continued to live a grand lifestyle in the castle in the 1630s, with a host of staff, including a steward, Master of Horse, Master of Fishponds, surveyors, auditors, ushers, a falconer and many footmen. The interior walls were hung with rich tapestries from Arras in France, while an inventory taken in 1639 recorded a large number of silver and gilt plate kept in the Great Tower, including a basket for the consumption of oranges and lemons, then luxury items in Wales. Mead was a popular drink in the castle, but contemporaries described the castle as being a particular sober and respectful community. Henry developed the entrance route to the castle, including building the Red Gate. His son Edward, Lord Herbert became famous for building a "water commanding machine" in the Great Tower, which used steam to pump a huge spout of water high into the air from the moat.

However, in 1642 civil war broke out between the rival Royalist supporters of King Charles I and Parliament. Raglan Castle was still held by Henry, then an elderly man, supported by his son, Lord Herbert. Both men were firm royalists. King Charles sent his own son, Prince Charles, on a fund-raising tour of friendly regions, starting with Raglan Castle in October 1642, following which Henry was promoted to be the first Marquess of Worcester. Tensions grew in the immediate region, partially driven by religious tensions between some of the more Protestant local people and the Roman Catholic Marquess; on one of these occasions a local group attempted to search the castle, but were reportedly driven away by the sudden noise of Lord Herbert's steam-engine. The defences of Raglan were improved after this, with modern earthwork bastions built around the castle and a powder mill created; a garrison of around 300 men was established at a cost of £40,000. Heavier cannon were installed in the bastions, with lighter pieces placed in the castle towers.

Lord Herbert left the castle to join the campaign against Parliament, returning at intervals to acquire more funds for the war. Charles I himself visited the castle twice, first in June 1645 after the battle of Naseby and again in 1646, when he enjoyed playing bowls on the castle's green. The Royalist cause was now close to military collapse, and the Marquess started to send some valuables, including the oak panelling from the parlour, some plaster ceiling and many pictures, to his brother at nearby Troy House for safe-keeping. Lord Herbert was captured in Ireland, and an attack on Raglan itself appeared imminent.[29]

n the expectation of a siege, the castle garrison was increased to around 800 soldiers; the avenue of trees outside the castle gates were cut down, and neighbouring buildings destroyed to avoid them being used by Parliamentary forces. Large amounts of food were brought in to support the growing castle community, which also included a number of the wider Herbert family and other regional Royalist leaders who had sought shelter there. The first Parliamentary army arrived in early June, under the command of Colonel Morgan and Sir Trevor Williams. After several calls for the castle to surrender, a siege ensued, lasting through the summer months. In August, additional Parliamentary forces under General Fairfax arrived, and calls for the castle to surrender were renewed. Fairfax's men began to dig trenches towards the castle, and used these to move mortars forward, probably including the famous "Roaring Meg", bringing the interior of the castle into artillery range.[33] Facing a hopeless situation, the Marquess surrendered the castle on 19 August on relatively generous terms for the garrison.The Marquess himself was arrested and sent to Windsor Castle, where he died shortly afterwards.[33] Informed shortly before his death that Parliament had granted his request to be buried in the family vault at Windsor, the Marquess remarked; "Why then I shall have a better castle when I am dead, than they took from me when alive."

Fairfax ordered the castle to be totally destroyed under the supervision of Henry Herbert, a descendant of William ap Thomas. The fortifications proved too strong, however, and only a few of the walls were destroyed, or slighted.[35] Historian Matthew Johnson describes the event as having the atmosphere of a "community festival", as local people dredged the castle moat in search of treasure, and emptied the fishponds of valuable carp. The castle's library, including an important collection of Welsh documents and books, was either stolen or destroyed.

Despite some immediate confiscations after the siege, by the time of the Restoration of Charles II, the Somerset family had managed to recover most of their possessions, including Raglan Castle.Henry Somerset, the 3rd Marquess, decided to prioritise the rebuilding of his other houses at Troy and Badminton, rather than Raglan, reusing some of the property sent away for safety before the war, or salvaged after the slighting.

 

Raglan Castle is a late medieval castle located just north of the village of Raglan in the county of Monmouthshire in south east Wales. The modern castle dates from between the 15th and early 17th-centuries, when the successive ruling families of the Herberts and the Somersets created a luxurious, fortified castle, complete with a large hexagonal keep, known as the Great Tower or the Yellow Tower of Gwent. Surrounded by parkland, water gardens and terraces, the castle was considered by contemporaries to be the equal of any other in England or Wales.

During the English Civil War the castle was held on behalf of Charles I and was taken by Parliamentary forces in 1646. In the aftermath, the castle was slighted, or deliberately put beyond military use; after the restoration of Charles II, the Somersets declined to restore the castle. Raglan Castle became first a source of local building materials, then a romantic ruin.

The current Raglan Castle was begun by Sir William ap Thomas, the lesser son of a minor Welsh family who rose through the ranks of mid-15th century politics, profiting from the benefits of the local offices he held. William married first Elizabeth, a wealthy heiress, and then Gwladus ap Thomas, another heiress who would prove to be a powerful regional figure in her own right. In 1432 William purchased the manor of Raglan, where he had already been staying as a tenant, for 1,000 marks (£666) and commenced a programme of building work that established the basic shape of the castle as seen today, although most of it — with the exception of the South Gate and the Great Tower — was later built over.[6][nb 1]

William's son dropped the Welsh version of his name, calling himself William Herbert. He continued to rise in prominence, supporting the House of York during the War of the Roses, fighting in the Hundred Years War in France but making his fortune from the Gascon wine trade. He was also closely associated with Welsh politics and status, being the first Welshman to be made an earl and being described by contemporary poets as the "national deliverer" who might achieve Welsh independence. In the 1460s William used his increasing wealth to remodel Raglan on a much grander scale. The symbolism of the castle architecture may have reflected the Welsh family roots — historian Matthew Johnson has suggested that the polygonal towers were possibly designed to imitate those of Caernarfon Castle, whose architecture carries numerous allusions to the eventual return of a Roman Emperor to Wales.] The resulting castle was what historian Anthony Emery has described as one of the "last formidable displays of medieval defensive architecture".

There was an important link between the Raglan Castle and the surrounding parkland, in particular the Home Park and the Red Deer Park.[3] Historian Robert Liddiard suggests that on the basis of the views from the castle at this time, the structured nature of the parks would have contrasted with the wilderness of the mountain peaks framing the scene beyond, making an important statement about the refinement and cultured nature of the castle lord.[13] In the 15th century there were also extensive orchards and fish ponds surrounding the castle, favourably commented upon by contemporaries.

William Herbert was executed in 1469 as a Yorkist supporter after the Battle of Edgecote Moor. Building work may have stopped for a period under his son, also called William Herbert, before recommencing in the late 1470s. By 1492, the castle passed to Elizabeth Somerset, William Herbert's daughter, who married Sir Charles Somerset, passing the castle into a new family line.

  

Sir Charles Somerset was politically successful under both Henry VII and Henry VIII, being made the Earl of Worcester. His son, Henry Somerset, died shortly after inheriting Raglan, but not before using lead reclaimed from Tintern Abbey to help the building work at Raglan Castle during the dissolution of the monasteries.

His son and grandson, William Somerset and Edward Somerset, proved to be what John Kenyon describes as "wealthy, brilliant and cultured men". William rebuilt much of the Pitched Stone Court, including the hall, adding the Long Gallery and developing the gardens into the new Renaissance style. The Somerset family owned two key castles in the region, Raglan and Chepstow, and these appeared to have figured prominently as important status symbols in paintings owned by the family.

Edward Somerset made minor improvements to the interior of the castle at the start of the 17th century, but focused primarily on the exterior, expanding and developing the gardens and building the moat walk around the Great Tower. The resulting gardens were considered the equal of any other others in the kingdom at the time.

Upon inheriting Raglan in 1628, Henry Somerset, then the 5th Earl of Worcester, continued to live a grand lifestyle in the castle in the 1630s, with a host of staff, including a steward, Master of Horse, Master of Fishponds, surveyors, auditors, ushers, a falconer and many footmen. The interior walls were hung with rich tapestries from Arras in France, while an inventory taken in 1639 recorded a large number of silver and gilt plate kept in the Great Tower, including a basket for the consumption of oranges and lemons, then luxury items in Wales. Mead was a popular drink in the castle, but contemporaries described the castle as being a particular sober and respectful community. Henry developed the entrance route to the castle, including building the Red Gate. His son Edward, Lord Herbert became famous for building a "water commanding machine" in the Great Tower, which used steam to pump a huge spout of water high into the air from the moat.

However, in 1642 civil war broke out between the rival Royalist supporters of King Charles I and Parliament. Raglan Castle was still held by Henry, then an elderly man, supported by his son, Lord Herbert. Both men were firm royalists. King Charles sent his own son, Prince Charles, on a fund-raising tour of friendly regions, starting with Raglan Castle in October 1642, following which Henry was promoted to be the first Marquess of Worcester. Tensions grew in the immediate region, partially driven by religious tensions between some of the more Protestant local people and the Roman Catholic Marquess; on one of these occasions a local group attempted to search the castle, but were reportedly driven away by the sudden noise of Lord Herbert's steam-engine. The defences of Raglan were improved after this, with modern earthwork bastions built around the castle and a powder mill created; a garrison of around 300 men was established at a cost of £40,000. Heavier cannon were installed in the bastions, with lighter pieces placed in the castle towers.

Lord Herbert left the castle to join the campaign against Parliament, returning at intervals to acquire more funds for the war. Charles I himself visited the castle twice, first in June 1645 after the battle of Naseby and again in 1646, when he enjoyed playing bowls on the castle's green. The Royalist cause was now close to military collapse, and the Marquess started to send some valuables, including the oak panelling from the parlour, some plaster ceiling and many pictures, to his brother at nearby Troy House for safe-keeping. Lord Herbert was captured in Ireland, and an attack on Raglan itself appeared imminent.[29]

n the expectation of a siege, the castle garrison was increased to around 800 soldiers; the avenue of trees outside the castle gates were cut down, and neighbouring buildings destroyed to avoid them being used by Parliamentary forces. Large amounts of food were brought in to support the growing castle community, which also included a number of the wider Herbert family and other regional Royalist leaders who had sought shelter there. The first Parliamentary army arrived in early June, under the command of Colonel Morgan and Sir Trevor Williams. After several calls for the castle to surrender, a siege ensued, lasting through the summer months. In August, additional Parliamentary forces under General Fairfax arrived, and calls for the castle to surrender were renewed. Fairfax's men began to dig trenches towards the castle, and used these to move mortars forward, probably including the famous "Roaring Meg", bringing the interior of the castle into artillery range.[33] Facing a hopeless situation, the Marquess surrendered the castle on 19 August on relatively generous terms for the garrison.The Marquess himself was arrested and sent to Windsor Castle, where he died shortly afterwards.[33] Informed shortly before his death that Parliament had granted his request to be buried in the family vault at Windsor, the Marquess remarked; "Why then I shall have a better castle when I am dead, than they took from me when alive."

Fairfax ordered the castle to be totally destroyed under the supervision of Henry Herbert, a descendant of William ap Thomas. The fortifications proved too strong, however, and only a few of the walls were destroyed, or slighted.[35] Historian Matthew Johnson describes the event as having the atmosphere of a "community festival", as local people dredged the castle moat in search of treasure, and emptied the fishponds of valuable carp. The castle's library, including an important collection of Welsh documents and books, was either stolen or destroyed.

Despite some immediate confiscations after the siege, by the time of the Restoration of Charles II, the Somerset family had managed to recover most of their possessions, including Raglan Castle.Henry Somerset, the 3rd Marquess, decided to prioritise the rebuilding of his other houses at Troy and Badminton, rather than Raglan, reusing some of the property sent away for safety before the war, or salvaged after the slighting.

 

1969 saw the Manson murders, the Stonewall riots, the Woodstock festival and man landing on the moon.

 

The Stonewall riots were a series of spontaneous, violent demonstrations by members of the gay community against a police raid that took place in the early morning hours of June 28, 1969, at the Stonewall Inn, located in the Greenwich Village neighborhood of Manhattan, New York City. They are widely considered to constitute the single most important event leading to the gay liberation movement and the modern fight for LGBT rights in the United States.

 

Charles Manson, who is serving a life sentence for nine murders committed in July and August of 1969 near Hollywood, California. Manson did not actually commit any of the murders, but orchestrated the killings. He was initially sentenced to death, but his sentence was commuted when California's death penalty was overturned in 1972.

 

1969: Sharon Tate, The Beatles, Charles Manson & Hollywood's Satanic Spell

 

www.biography.com/news/manson-murders-anniversary

 

1969 On July 20th one of mans crowning achievements occurred when American Astronaut Neil Armstrong became the first human to set foot on the Moon and uttered the immortal words "That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind."

 

The British Army was sent into Northern Ireland on August 14, 1969 by the Wilson government as law and order had broken down and the population (mainly Catholics) and property were at grave risk. Between then and 1998 some 300,000 British troops served in Northern Ireland.

 

1969 - Up to three million people in Britain urgently need re-housing because they are living in damp, overcrowded slum conditions, according to housing charity Shelter.

 

The opposition to the war continued to increase with more and more attending anti war demonstrations and demanding that the US withdrew from Vietnam. The music came from groups including the Doors, Led Zeppelin, Janis Joplin and the Beatles and the most famous music festival of modern times "WOODSTOCK" took place on a New York Farm on August 15th to August 17th with more than 400,000 avid music fans attending to see the Who, Jimi Hendrix, Crosby Stills Nash and Young and others perform live. fashions reflected the anti war sentiment with military jackets adorned with peace signs, and other trends including long unkempt wild hair and headbands showed the feelings of anti establishment felt by the youth.

 

1969: Woodstock music festival

 

The Woodstock Festival was a three-day concert (which rolled into a fourth day) that involved lots of sex, drugs, and rock 'n roll - plus a lot of mud. The Woodstock Music Festival of 1969 has become an icon of the 1960s hippie counterculture.

 

Thousands of young people are heading home after three days and nights of sex, drugs and rock and roll at the Woodstock music festival.

 

An estimated 400,000 youngsters turned up to hear big-name bands play in a field near the village of Bethel, New York state in what has become the largest rock concert of the decade.

 

About 186,000 tickets were sold so promoters anticipated that around 200,000 would turn up. But on Friday night, the flimsy fences and ticket barriers had come down and organisers announced the concert was free prompting thousands more to head for the concert.

 

Traffic jams eight miles long blocked off the area near White Lake, near Bethel, some 50 miles from the town of Woodstock.

 

Local police estimated a million people were on the road yesterday trying to get to Woodstock. They were overwhelmed by the numbers but were impressed by a good level of behaviour.

 

The festival's chief medical officer, Dr William Abruzzi told Rolling Stone magazine: "These people are really beautiful. There has been no violence whatsoever which is really remarkable for a crowd of this size."

 

Those who made it to the makeshift venue were treated to performances by Janis Joplin, The Who, Grateful Dead, Canned Heat, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, Jimi Hendrix, Joan Baez and Ravi Shankar.

 

Rainstorms failed to dampen the spirits of the revellers, many high on marijuana, some dancing naked in the now muddy fields.

 

The main organiser, 49-year-old dairy farmer Max Yasgur, who provided $50,000 and 600 acres of his land, addressed the crowds on the last day of the event.

 

"You have proven something to the world... that half a million kids can get together for fun and music and have nothing but fun and music."

 

There were however two deaths - a teenager was killed by a tractor as he lay in his sleeping bag and another died from a drugs overdose.

 

Woodstock, a holiday centre and artists' colony, had held an arts and music fair since 1906 but the 1969 Woodstock festival made the town world famous. The final cost to the four sponsors - John Roberts, Joel Rosenman, Artie Kornfeld and Michael Lang - was $2.4m.

 

A film of the concert was release the following year and Woodstock became synonymous with flower power, the hippie culture and anti-Vietnam war protests that dominated the 1970s.

 

The "Woodstock generation" look back on the event with nostalgia and an anniversary Woodstock festival was held in 1994.

 

But the second - highly commercialised - anniversary concert in July 1999 ended in riots, fires and at least eight allegations of rape.

 

WOODSTOCK 69

 

www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wyx053CNMag

 

The Late Great JOE COCKER "With A Little Help From My Friends" 1969 Woodstock (best cover version ever of a Beatles song)

 

www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ecZ94guWl0

 

Canned Heat performing Woodstock Boogie at Woodstock

 

www.youtube.com/watch?v=2YkDH2s5eW0

 

Janis Joplin Ball & Chain Live At Woodstock 1969

 

www.youtube.com/watch?v=h66qXAK-q3o

 

Isle of Wight Festival 1969

 

The 1969 Isle of Wight Festival was held on 29–31 August 1969 at the English town of Wootton, on the Isle of Wight. The festival attracted an audience of approximately 150,000 to see acts including Bob Dylan, The Band, The Who, Free, Joe Cocker, the Bonzo Dog Band and The Moody Blues. It was the second of three music festivals held on the island between 1968 and 1970. Organised by Ronnie and Ray Foulk's Fiery Creations, it became a legendary event, largely owing to the participation of Dylan, who had spent the previous three years in semi-retirement. The event was well managed, in comparison to the recent Woodstock Festival, and trouble-free.

 

The 1969 festival was considerably larger and more popular than the previous year's. Dylan had been little heard of since his allegedly near-fatal motorcycle accident in July 1966. Shunning the Woodstock Festival, held near his home in upstate New York, Dylan was initially reluctant to perform his comeback show on the little-known Isle of Wight. After weeks of negotiations, the Foulk brothers showed him a short film of the island's cultural and literary heritage; this appealed to Dylan's artistic sensibilities, as he was enthusiastic about combining a family holiday with a live performance in Tennyson country.

 

Before the festival, Dylan and his fellow Woodstock residents The Band rehearsed at Forelands Farm in Bembridge, and were joined there by George Harrison, the only "outsider" to have visited him in his enclave in the Catskill Mountains. On Saturday, 30 August, the day before Dylan was to take the stage, Harrison's fellow Beatles John Lennon and Ringo Starr arrived on the island, along with Keith Richards and Charlie Watts of the Rolling Stones, and Eric Clapton. Also seated in the sealed-off VIP area in front of the stage would be Beatle wives Pattie Harrison, Yoko Ono and Maureen Starkey, together with celebrities such as Liz Taylor, Richard Burton, Jane Fonda, Françoise Hardy, Roger Vadim, Syd Barrett, Donald Cammell, Elton John and others.

 

Lennon opined that Dylan's performance was reasonable, though slightly flat; and that expectations were such that the audience was "waiting for Godot or Jesus". Clapton was mesmerised, however, having already been inspired back to blues and country, post-Cream, by Dylan's change of musical direction and by The Band's album Music From Big Pink. "Dylan was fantastic," Clapton later said. "He changed everything ... The audience couldn't understand it.

You had to be a musician to understand it." Another champion of both The Band and Dylan, Harrison wrote a country song inspired by the event and dedicated to Dylan, "Behind That Locked Door", released on his 1970 triple album All Things Must Pass. Folk singer Tom Paxton has referred to the "negative reaction in the British press" as "downright fabrications: like saying he had run off stage half-way through". Paxton also recalled: "I went with him and The Beatles to the farmhouse where he was clearly in a merry mood because he had felt it had gone so well … The Beatles had brought a test pressing of Abbey Road and we listened to it and had quite a party."

 

www.youtube.com/watch?v=0JaAlXpZetA

 

Death of a Rolling Stone

 

Once a Stone always a Stone? Or was guitarist Brian Jones an ex-Stone when he died on July 3 1969? It was Jones who set the Stones rolling with an ad inviting like-minded musicians to audition at the Bricklayers’ Arms, and he is credited with coming up with the band’s name when asked for one by a promoter. But a month before his death he had been edged out of the group because of his erratic behaviour and heavy drug use, his convictions for that use meaning he would be unable to participate in an upcoming tour of the USA.

 

Mystery still surrounds exactly how he came to die. Jones was found at the bottom of the pool at his house – Cotchford Farm – near Hartfield in East Sussex (bizarrely previously owned by A.A. Milne , and the setting for his Winnie the Pooh stories). His liver was found to be enlarged by substance and alcohol abuse, though tests showed he had a fairly small amount of alcohol in his bloodstream and no traces of drugs. The verdict of the subsequent inquest was death by misadventure. Brian Jones was just 27 when he died, though pictures of him taken near that time showed the bloated face of a man who looked much older.

 

For years rumours and allegations have put the case for his sudden death being murder at the hands of a man described as a builder doing work on the house. That man died in 1994. The files have recently been reopened.

 

Brian Jones - The Death of Brian Jones

 

www.youtube.com/watch?v=heUni-iZueY

 

The Rolling Stones - Live in Hyde Park 1969 (Full Concert)

 

www.youtube.com/watch?v=QGbtWXeCuv8

 

The Beatles played their final gig atop 3 Savile Row, London

 

Throughout January 1969, director Michael Lindsay-Hogg (the man who shot the Paperback Writer/Rain and Hey Jude/Revolution promotional shorts) had been filming the dissolution of the biggest band in the world as they rehearsed and recorded the songs that would eventually appear on Let It Be.

 

The decision to move the production from the cavernous confines of Twickenham Studios to the intimate rooms of the new Apple offices at 3 Savile Row in central London was a wise one, immediately thawing the frosty atmosphere that had so far blighted the project. Beatles Press Officer, Derek Taylor: “I was glad when they came back to Apple and were inside the building again. There was a two or three-week period at the end of January when it was nice”.

 

A live concert had been suggested as a way to end the film and so it was that on January 30 The Beatles ascended the stairs at Apple HQ to play live together for the very last time. What followed remains one of the all-time greatest moments in pop culture.

 

www.youtube.com/watch?v=NCtzkaL2t_Y

 

1969 Timeline

 

January - Secretary of State for Employment and Productivity Barbara Castle published a White Paper In Place of Strife proposing powers of intervention in advance of industrial action. This proved unacceptable to the Trades Union Congress.

 

The Space hopper toy was introduced to Britain.

 

2 January – Australian media baron Rupert Murdoch purchased the largest selling British Sunday newspaper The News of the World.

 

4 January – Guitarist Jimi Hendrix caused complaints of arrogance from television producers after playing an impromptu version of "Sunshine of your Love" past his allotted timeslot on the BBC1 show Happening for Lulu.

 

5 January – Derry Riots left over 100 people injured.

 

10 January – Protestors in Northern Ireland defied police orders to abandon a planned march.

 

12 January – Led Zeppelin's eponymous début album is released.

 

14 January – Sir Matt Busby, hugely successful manager of Manchester United F.C. for the last 24 years, announced his retirement as manager. He would become a director at the end of the season, and hand over first-team duties to current first team trainer and former player Wilf McGuinness.

 

18 January – Pete Best won his defamation lawsuit against the Beatles. He had originally sought $8 million, but is awarded much less.

 

24 January – Violent protests by students closed the London School of Economics, which did not re-open for three weeks.

 

Ford launched the Capri, a four-seater sporting coupe designed to compete with the likes of the MGB.

 

27 January - London School of Economics students occupied the University of London Union building in Malet Street in protest at the closure of the LSE.

 

Reverend Ian Paisley, the hard line Protestant leader in Northern Ireland, was jailed for 3 months for illegal assembly.

 

30 January – The Beatles gave their last public performance, on the roof of Apple Records. The impromptu concert is broken up by the police.

 

3 February – John Lennon, George Harrison and Ringo Starr hire Allen Klein as The Beatles' new business manager, against the wishes of Paul McCartney.

 

4 February – Paul McCartney hires the law firm of Eastman & Eastman, Linda Eastman's father's law firm, as general legal counsel for Apple.

 

18 February – Pop star Lulu, 20, married Maurice Gibb of the Bee Gees.

 

March – The first B&Q DIY superstore was set up in Southampton by Richard Block and David Quayle.

 

2 March – The maiden flight of Concorde took place.

 

4 March – The Kray twins were both found guilty of murder: Ronnie of murdering George Cornell; Reggie of murdering Jack "the Hat" McVitie.

 

5 March – The Kray twins are sentenced to life imprisonment with a recommended minimum of 30 years by Mr Justice Melford Stevenson.

 

7 March – The London Underground Victoria line was opened by The Queen.

 

12 March – Paul McCartney married Linda Eastman.

 

17 March – The Longhope lifeboat in Scotland was lost; the entire crew of 8 died.

 

19 March - British paratroopers and Marines landed on the island of Anguilla.

 

The 385 metre tall Emley Moor transmitting station television mast in West Yorkshire collapsed because of icing.

 

25 March – John Lennon and Yoko Ono married in Gibraltar.

 

27 March – First ordination of a woman in the Church of Scotland, Catherine McConnachie by the Presbytery of Aberdeen.

 

29 March – The UK shared first place in the Eurovision Song Contest, with a four-way tie with France, Spain, and the Netherlands. Lulu represents the UK, singing Boom bang-a-bang.

 

1 April – The Hawker Siddeley Harrier GR.1 V/STOL "Jump Jet" fighter entered service with the RAF.

 

9 April – Sikh busmen in Wolverhampton won the right to wear turbans on duty.

 

17 April - Representation of the People Act lowered the voting age from 21 to 18 with effect from February 1970. It also permitted candidates to have a party label included on the ballot paper, and removed the right (theoretically restored in 1967) of convicted prisoners to vote in Parliamentary elections.

 

Bernadette Devlin won the Mid Ulster by-election and became the youngest ever female MP at 21 years old.

 

20 April – British troops arrived in Northern Ireland to reinforce the Royal Ulster Constabulary.

 

22 April – Robin Knox-Johnston became the first person to sail around the world solo without stopping.

 

The first complete performance of The Who's rock opera Tommy during a performance in Dolton, Devon, UK

 

Peter Maxwell Davies conducts the premiere performance of his monodrama Eight Songs for a Mad King at the Queen Elizabeth Hall.

 

John Lennon officially changes his name from John Winston Lennon to John Winston Ono Lennon.

 

24 April - British Leyland Motor Corporation launched Britain's first production hatchback car, the Austin Maxi, designed to compete with family saloons like the Ford Cortina and following a new European design concept started in 1965 by French car maker Renault's R16 range.

 

The final episode of the long-running BBC Radio serial drama Mrs Dale's Diary was broadcast.

 

The Beatles make a $5.1 million counter offer to the Northern Songs stockholders in an attempt to keep Associated TV from controlling the band's music.

 

26 April – Manchester City F.C. won the FA Cup with a 1-0 win over Leicester City in the Wembley final.

 

28 April – Leeds United won the Football League First Division title for the first time in their history.

 

2 May – The ocean liner Queen Elizabeth 2 departed from Southampton on her maiden voyage to New York.

 

23 May – The Who released the concept album Tommy.

 

2 June – John Lennon and Yoko Ono host a "Bed-In" at the Queen Elizabeth Hotel in Montreal, Canada. The couple records the song "Give Peace a Chance" live in their suite with Tommy Smothers, Timothy Leary, and several others.

 

13 June – Mick Taylor joins the Rolling Stones.

 

21 June – The showing of television documentary The Royal Family, attracted more than 30.6 million viewers, an all-time British record for a non-current event programme.

 

Patrick Troughton made his final appearance as the second Doctor in Doctor Who in the final episode of The War Games which was also the last episode to be recorded only in black and white.

 

24 June – After a referendum in Rhodesia decided in favour of becoming a Republic, the Governor of Southern Rhodesia Sir Humphrey Gibbs left Government House, severing the last diplomatic links with the United Kingdom.

 

29 June – Bass player Noel Redding announces to the media that he has quit the Jimi Hendrix Experience, having effectively done so during the recording of Electric Ladyland.

 

30 June – Two members of the Mudiad Amddiffyn Cymru (Movement for the Defence of Wales) were killed whilst placing a bomb outside government offices in Abergele in an attempt to disrupt the following day's events.

 

1 July – Charles, Prince of Wales, was invested with his title at Caernarfon.

 

John Lennon, Yoko Ono and their children were hospitalised at Golspie in Scotland following a car accident while on holiday.

 

3 July – Swansea was granted city status.

 

3 July – Brian Jones is found dead in the swimming pool at his home in Sussex, England, almost a month after leaving The Rolling Stones.

 

3 July – Lulu the elephant runs amok on Blue Peter. The clip is subsequently repeated many times, becoming the archetypal British TV "blooper".

 

10 July – The trimaran Teignmouth Electron of Donald Crowhurst was found drifting and unoccupied in Mid-Atlantic. It is discovered that Crowhurst had been falsifying his position in a Round the World yacht race and presumed that he committed suicide.

 

5 July – The Rolling Stones proceed with a free concert in Hyde Park, London, as a tribute to Brian Jones; it is also the band's first concert with guitarist Mick Taylor. Estimates of the audience range from 250,000 to 400,000.

 

12 July – Golfer Tony Jacklin won The Open Championship.

 

19 July - British Grand Prix held at the Silverstone Circuit, Jackie Stewart was victorious, as he lapped the entire field and took his fifth win in six races.

 

20–21 July – A live transmission from the Moon is viewed by 720 million people around the world, with the landing of Apollo 11: at 10:56 p.m. EDT on 20 July 1969, Neil Armstrong stepped onto the surface of the Moon, broadcast live.

 

23 July – BBC Two television first aired the Pot Black snooker tournament.

 

24 July – British lecturer Gerald Brooke was freed from a Soviet prison in exchange for the spies Morris and Lona Cohen.

 

1 August – The pre-decimal halfpenny ceased to be legal tender.

 

12 August – Rioting broke out in Derry, Northern Ireland in the Battle of the Bogside, the first major confrontation of The Troubles.

 

13 – 17 August - Sectarian rioting in Northern Ireland.

 

13 August – The Taoiseach of the Republic of Ireland, Jack Lynch, made a speech on Teilifís Éireann saying that his government "can no longer stand by" and requesting a United Nations peacekeeping force for Northern Ireland.

 

14 August – British troops were deployed in Northern Ireland to restore law and order.

 

30 – 31 August - The second Isle of Wight Festival attracted 150,000 pop music fans, with the appearance of Bob Dylan a major draw.

 

2 September - Release of The Stones in the Park, footage of a Rolling Stones concert given in London's Hyde Park in July and filmed by Granada Television.

 

11 September – The housing charity Shelter released a report claiming that there are up to 3 million people in need of rehousing due to poor living conditions.

 

13 September – John Lennon and Plastic Ono Band perform at the Toronto Rock and Roll Revival 12-hour music festival, backed by Eric Clapton, Klaus Voormann and Alan White. It is Lennon's first-ever public rock performance without one or more of The Beatles since meeting Paul McCartney in 1957. He decides before returning to Britain to leave The Beatles permanently.

 

16 September – Iconic 1960s fashion store Biba reopened on Kensington High Street.

 

21 September – Police evicted squatters from the London Street Commune.

 

21 September – Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased) premieres on ITV.

 

26 September – The Beatles released what would be their final album (Abbey Road) recorded together.

 

28 September – The National Trust acquired ownership of the island of Lundy.

 

1 October – The Post Office became a Statutory corporation.

 

4 October – The ITV Seven, a programme which shows live coverage of horse racing from racecourses around the UK, is first aired. The programme was an essential part of ITV's Saturday afternoon World of Sport show and continued until a few weeks before World of Sport ended in 1985.

 

5 October – Monty Python's Flying Circus aired its first episode on the BBC.

 

6 October – Chigley becomes the third and final programme of The Trumptonshire Trilogy on BBC1 to be shot in colour before the introduction of regular colour broadcasting on 15 November.

 

10 October – The government accepted the recommendations of Lord Hunt's report on policing in Northern Ireland including the abolition of the Ulster Special Constabulary.

 

14 October - The new seven-sided 50p coin was introduced as replacement for the 10-shilling note, to a mixed reception from the British public, with many people complaining that it is easily confused with the 10p coin.

 

With a general election due within the next 18 months, opinion polls showed that the Tories were comfortably ahead of Labour, by up to 24 points.

 

16 October – Peter Nichols' black comedy The National Health was premiered by the National Theatre at the Old Vic in London.

 

November – Ken Loach's film Kes was released at the London Film Festival.

 

3 November – ITV airs the first edition of Coronation Street to be videotaped in colour, though it includes black-and-white inserts and titles. The 29 October episode – featuring a coach trip to the Lake District – had been scheduled for colour shooting, but suitable colour film stock could not be found so it was filmed in black-and-white.

 

7 November – The Rolling Stones open their US tour in Fort Collins, Colorado.

 

15 November – Regular colour television broadcasts began on BBC1 and ITV.

 

16 November – BBC1 first aired the children's television series Clangers, made by Oliver Postgate and Peter Firmin's Smallfilms in stop motion animation.

 

17 November – The Sun newspaper was relaunched as a tabloid under the ownership of Rupert Murdoch.

 

19 November – The Benny Hill Show premieres on Thames Television.

 

21 November – The controversial London Weekend Television comedy Curry and Chips begins airing. The programme is the first LWT comedy to have been recorded in colour. It is pulled off air after six episodes following a ruling by the IBA that it is racist.

 

24 November – Date claimed by official Coronation Street archivist Daran Little as the first on which the soap was transmitted in colour.

 

25 November – John Lennon returned his MBE to protest against the British government's involvement in Biafra and support of the U.S. war in Vietnam.

 

10 December – Derek Harold Richard Barton won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry jointly with Odd Hassel "for their contributions to the development of the concept of conformation and its application in chemistry".

 

18 December - The abolition of the death penalty for murder was made permanent by Parliament.

 

Release of Fairport Convention's pioneering folk rock album Liege & Lief.

 

The sixth James Bond film - On Her Majesty's Secret Service - was released in British cinemas. Bond is now played by George Lazenby after Sean Connery starred in the first five films. Starring alongside him is Yorkshire-born actress Diana Rigg.

 

26 December – A fire at the Rose and Crown Hotel, Saffron Walden, killed eleven.

 

The Chancellor of the Exchequer Roy Jenkins introduced Mortgage Interest Relief at Source (MIRAS) to encourage home ownership; it allowed borrowers tax relief for interest payments on their mortgage.

 

Golden eagles were found to be nesting in England for the first time in modern history, at Haweswater in the Lake District.

 

Completion of the Castle Vale estate in Birmingham, one of the largest housing estates in Europe, consisting mostly of council houses and low-rise flats as well as 34 tower blocks, the first of which were occupied in 1964.

 

1969 Television

 

BBC1

 

2 January – The Holiday Programme (1969–2007)

14 April – The Liver Birds (1969; 1971–1979, 1996)

9 September – Nationwide (1969–1983)

17 September – Up Pompeii! (1969–1975, 1991)

5 October – Monty Python's Flying Circus (1969–1974)

6 October – The Trumptonshire Trilogy: Chigley (1969)

16 November – Clangers (1969–1972)

 

BBC2

 

14 March – Q (1969–1982)

 

ITV

 

28 February – On the Buses (1969–1973)

21 September

The Flaxton Boys (1969–1973)

Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased) (1969–1970)

The Secret Service (1969)

19 November – The Benny Hill Show (1969–1989)

 

1969 Football

 

First Division - Leeds United

Second Division - Derby County

Third Division - Watford

Fourth Division - Doncaster Rovers

FA Cup - Manchester City

League Cup - Swindon Town

Charity Shield - Manchester City

Home Championship - England

ARRIVA North West VDL Commander 2621 - CX07 COU was loaned to Bangor depot for the weekend of the 2013 Wakestock Festival in Abersoch, where many of Bangor's own vehicles were working shuttle duties to and from Pwllheli. Here the Bolton based vehicle enjoys a change of scenery in Llandudno working an inbound route 5 from Caernarfon. Note the CX registration fits in very well with the Welsh fleet!

 

Would have been better if the kite was facing us properly...

 

Part of a series of photos I took for Caernarfon Festival 2008

Walking home after flying our kite and having a drink (I had a bottle of Bulmers pear, my friend had a G&T), we spotted this mother and her son riding on a tandem and since they'd stopped, I had to take a photo.

 

Part of a series of photos I took for Caernarfon Festival 2008

Part of a series of photos I took for Caernarfon Festival 2008

A glorious evening for the annual Llandudno Transport Festival road rally from the Bodafan Farm base to Conwy, and sandwiched amongst the assortment of vintage cacophony merchants was a regular service bus in the form of CX14 BYJ (3171) working a No.5 from Llandudno - Caernarfon, seen here on the edge of the town.

 

5th May 2018.

This year the Urdd Eisteddfod was held in Glynllifon, near Caernarfon in Gwynedd. It was the first of our many summer shows and events in 2012. The Assembly Outreach Bus opened its’ doors to the public on the first day of the festival and welcomed over 800 visitors including many competitors. The activities on the bus were very popular including the Bus Quiz, where children had to find information relating to the Assembly using the information panels inside the bus and the illustration outside. The feedback form was also popular as it offered a chance to win a digital camera, encouraging people to participate in the Presiding Officer’s photography competition.

Our main attraction for this year’s summer shows was the Member Wall outside the bus. Members of the public could see which AMs represented them and postcards were available for them to highlight any issues that affected them or their local area and stick to their constituency or region on the map of wales. We hope to feedback the results to Members to show what subjects are of importance to their electors. The main issues that cropped up during the week were within the Sport & Recreation and Environment subject areas.

On Monday Simon Thomas AM for Mid & West Wales held a drop in session, he spoke to Schoolchildren about highways and transport issues in Wales. Mike Hedges AM for Swansea East also held a drop in session on Wednesday and spoke to members of the public about his role in the Assembly.

Unfortunately the rain and mud affected the attendance figures which dwindled towards the end of the week. Despite this we had over 2000 visitors on the bus to learn about the Assembly and how they can have their say.

The next stop will be at the Llangollen International Eisteddfod 3rd – 7th of July. Come and see us there if you didn’t get the chance to visit us at the Urdd.

  

Cynhelir Eisteddfod yr Urdd eleni yng Nglynllifon, ger Caernarfon yng Ngwynedd. Hwn oedd y digwyddiad cyntaf yng nghalendr sioeau haf y bws Allgymorth y flwyddyn hon. Egyr drysau’r bws i’r cyhoedd ar ddiwrnod cyntaf yr ŵyl gan groesawu dros 800 o ymwelwyr gan gynnwys sawl cystadleuydd. Roedd gweithgareddau ar y bws yn hynod o boblogaidd megis Cwis y Bws. Roedd rhaid i blant ddarganfod gwybodaeth am y Cynulliad gan ddefnyddio’r paneli gwybodaeth tu fewn i’r bws, ac wrth edrych ar y murlun tu allan. Hybwyd cyfranogiad yng nghystadleuaeth ffotograffiaeth y Llywydd gan gynnig cyfle i ennill camera digidol wrth lenwi ffurflen adborth.

Atyniad pennaf y bws oedd Wal yr Aelodau. Galluogodd hyn i aelodau’r cyhoedd ddarganfod pwy oedd yn eu cynrychioli nhw yn ogystal ag amlygu unrhyw faterion oedd yn eu poeni nhw yn eu hardaloedd lleol ar gardiau post oedd yn cael eu glynu ar fap o Gymru. Gobeithiwn i adborthi’r canlyniadau i’r Aelodau I ddangos pa bynciau sydd o bwys i'w hetholwyr. Y pynciau oedd yn codi amlaf oedd o fewn meysydd pwnc Chwaraeon & Hamdden a'r Amgylchedd.

Dydd Llun daeth Simon Thomas AC i Ganolbarth & Gorllewin Cymru I ddal sesiwn galw heibio ar y bws, fe gafodd sgwrs gyda phlant ysgol am faterion yn ymwneud a Phriffyrdd a Thrafnidiaeth yng Nghymru. Daeth Mike Hedges AC I Ddwyrain Abertawe ar y bws hefyd, gan sgwrsio gydag aelodau’r cyhoedd am ei rôl ef yn y Cynulliad.

Yn anffodus, lleihaodd y nifer o ymwelwyr i’r maes tuag at ddiwedd yr wythnos oherwydd y glaw a'r mwd. Serch hynny fe groesawyd dros 2000 o ymwelwyr ar y bws i ddysgu mwy am y Cynulliad a sut i ddweud eu barn.

Os nad oedd cyfle gennych i ddod draw i’r bws yn Eisteddfod yr Urdd, dewch draw i Eisteddfod Ryngwladol Llangollen rhwng 3ydd - 7fed o Orffennaf, dyma fydd arhosfa nesa’r bws.

 

1 3