Archive for September, 2021

Thursday 30th September 2021

Posted in Uncategorized on September 30, 2021 by uppyalf

Wednesday 29th September 2021

Posted in Uncategorized on September 29, 2021 by uppyalf

Tuesday 28th September 2021

Posted in Uncategorized on September 29, 2021 by uppyalf

Monday 27th September 2021

Posted in Uncategorized on September 27, 2021 by uppyalf

Sunday 26th September 2021

Posted in Uncategorized on September 27, 2021 by uppyalf

The Museum of the Moon

The moon came down to visit us tonight.
It was right there you could almost touch it.
It was hanging like a giant ball of glowing joy.
Children played in its light
Casting their silhouettes while
Adults directed them and their friends
So they could tell the tale to their future selves.
Everyone gazed in awe at its brilliance
Some lay on blankets.
Others sat around in small groups
Eating lunch and drinking wine.
A breeze swept into the courtyard
And the moon appeared to rotate.
Music and science played on the same breeze.
Before I reached the moon the lake had moved.
I felt I was on a moving ship
Now as I left the moon was reflected in this same lake.
It gave a call to the stars and they didn’t disappoint.
Every speck of light was a dream to hold on to.
The child in me sees the stars.
I remember everything.

Bish 26th September 2021

Floating

The Moody Blues

Floating free as a bird
60 foot leaps, it’s so absurd
From up here you should see the view
Such a lot of space for me and you
Oh, you’d like it
Gliding around, get your feet off the ground
Oh, you’d like it
Do as you please with so much ease
Now I know how it feels
To have wings on my heels
To take a stroll among the stars
Get a close look at planet Mars
Oh, you’d like it
Gliding around, get your feet off the ground
Oh, you’d like it
Do as you please with so much ease
Bouncing about on the moon
Guess you’ll all be up here soon
The candy stores, they’ll be brand new
And you’ll buy a rock with the moon right through
Oh, you’d like it
Gliding around, get your feet off the ground
Oh, you’d like it
Do as you please with so much ease
Come fly
(Come fly)
Come fly
(Come fly)
Come fly
(Fly)
(Goodbye)
(Fly)

Late Lament

The Moody Blues

Breathe deep the gathering gloom
Watch lights fade from every room
Bedsitter people look back and lament
Another day’s useless energy is spent
Impassioned lovers wrestle as one;
Lonely man cries for love and has none
New mother picks up and suckles her son
Senior citizens wish they were young
Cold-hearted orb that rules the night
Removes the colours from our sight
Red is grey is yellow white
But we decide which is right
And which is an illusion

Saturday 25th September 2021

Posted in Uncategorized on September 25, 2021 by uppyalf

Friday 24th September 2021

Posted in Uncategorized on September 24, 2021 by uppyalf

Thursday 23rd September 2021

Posted in Uncategorized on September 23, 2021 by uppyalf

Wednesday 22nd September 2021

Posted in Uncategorized on September 22, 2021 by uppyalf

World Cup Willie

There’s a football fellah, you all know his name
And the papers tell us he’s in the Hall of Fame
Wherever he goes, he’ll be all the rage
‘Cause he’s the new sensation of the age

Dressed in red, white and blue, he’s World Cup Willie
We all love him too, World Cup Willie
He’s tough as a lion and never will give up
That’s why Willie is fav’rite for the Cup
Willie, Willie, he’s evry’body’s fav’rite for the Cup

Well, we’re all football crazy and it’s plain to see
That we’re all so happy, like one big family
Now we’ve found someone who makes the rafters ring
Welcome to a brand new soccer King

All dressed in red, white and blue, that’s World Cup Willie
We all love him too, World Cup Willie
He’s tough as a lion and never will give up
That’s why Willie is fav’rite for the Cup
Yes! Willie, Willie, he’s evry’body’s fav’rite for the Cup

All the fans are waiting, how they’ll spur him on
And those sixty nations will soon know Willie’s song
Wherever he goes, he’ll be all the rage
‘Cause he’s the new sensation of the age

All dressed in red, white and blue, that’s World Cup Willie
We all love him too, World Cup Willie
He’s tough as a lion and never will give up
That’s why Willie is fav’rite for the Cup
Ev’rybody!
Willie, yes Willie, he’s evry’body’s fav’rite for the Cup
One more time!
Willie, Willie, he’s evry’body’s fav’rite for the Cup

World Cup Willie: The story of the 1966 mascot

The 1966 World Cup wasn’t just about England’s glory on the pitch – off it, a cartoon lion broke new ground in merchandising, and the badges, beer mats and bedspreads flew off the shelves

It only takes a second to score a goal. So ran one of Brian Clough’s better-known maxims.

Reg Hoye needed around 300 times longer to accomplish his aim – four minutes, 59 seconds to be exact. However, the five minutes the illustrator spent on a rough sketch of the cartoon lion chosen as the face of the 1966 World Cup arguably ranks as one of football’s seismic modern moments. A game-changer in its own way as significant as linesman Tofiq Bahramov’s call to let Geoff Hurst’s second goal in the final against West Germany stand.

Once World Cup fever had gone into overdrive following England’s triumph, World Cup Willie – Hoye’s creation and the tournament’s first mascot – was in the vanguard. This was an omnipresent figure licensed to appear on anything from beer mats and horse brasses to cufflinks, knitting patterns, toffees and even toy periscopes.

An eBay search for World Cup Willie on any given day still turns up anything from 80 to 100 pieces of memorabilia. Official tea tray, anyone? Yours for just £125. A nine-inch ‘soft plush’ toy? That will be £400, please. It might have been 50 years-plus of on-field hurt for England, but 1966’s gift to the global game just keeps on giving. It’s now a $2 billion business.

And it all began with an unassuming, bespectacled illustrator from Marlow, who was paid only a one-off fee for his efforts. Reg Hoye was a freelancer with Walter Tuckwell & Associates when the FA’s World Cup organising committee got in touch, requesting some designs to exploit the commercial opportunities offered by the tournament.

“My father and Walter Tuckwell were excited,” Reg’s son Leo explains to FourFourTwo. “Walter because he was a very shrewd businessman with an eye on the till; my dad because, at last, one of his artistic creations was coming to life.

“In addition to the fee, he got the odd perk, but I don’t really think he wanted anything more than that. Like so many people of his era, he’d been through the war and was happy to be able to return home to his studies in Hackney, though he always regarded World Cup Willie as his proudest achievement.”

Hoye – summoned with fellow artist Richard Culley – had previously worked on illustrations for Enid Blyton’s Noddy books, as well as the BBC’s Dr Who and The Daleks. Given carte blanche, with just the image of the Jules Rimet Trophy to work with – the pair got busy. Initial sketches of a bulldog were shelved, as were those of individual figures donning bowler hat and cloth cap, partly because Hoye saw them as too class-conscious.

The sketch liked best by FA secretary Denis Follows – who later helped Reg’s other son, actor Nicholas, bag parts in Dixon of Dock Green – was one of four submitted of lions “to show that we’re not as clapped-out as people think we are”, Hoye later admitted.

The first of these designs was based on Hoye’s son Leo, although the one launched at a press conference in July 1965 bore an uncanny resemblance to the FA’s rather square-shouldered chief administrative officer called EK Willson. Hence the nickname.

“A lion with a Beatle haircut, a Union Jack jersey and an address somewhere in Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park,” quipped the Daily Mirror.

“Dad was very single-minded once he had captured the spirit of the character he wanted to bring to life,” reveals Leo. “He wasn’t immune to suggestion, but his conception on paper was final and subject to his revision only.”

Licensing a cartoon character as the ‘face’ of the tournament would, it was hoped, have some appeal, even to those who had no real interest in the football itself. As 1966 began, The Sunday Times reported that £4 million worth of goods, “all stamped with some sort of World Cup insignia would flood the market”, with the FA expected to mop up more than £200,000 in royalties.

Initial interest in Willie was modest, but England’s unexpected tournament triumph lit the touch-paper.

While Alf Ramsey’s wingless wonders took off, so did all of the accompanying hoopla. Now everyone wanted a piece of a figure synonymous with the Three Lions’ success. And as Hoye explained: “He allowed us to create a product with a sense of fun” – something for which an inward-looking FA had not previously been particularly famed.

Though he stops short of suggesting that World Cup Willie first marked the professionalisation of graphic design – and ‘a visual aesthetic of world sport’ – Robert Opie, consumer historian and founder of the Museum of Brands and Packaging, admits that England’s win was a light-bulb moment.

“Characters had been around a very long time – cartoon strips, animations, Felix the Cat, Mickey Mouse and so on,” he says. “These kind of things go way back, so World Cup Willie sits among these great cartoon and promotional characters. He was a big, very British, moment which made history.”

Defeat to West Germany could have orphaned Willie, but victory gave him a thousand fathers.

“You can’t really underestimate the change a win over a loss made,” adds Opie. “If we had lost the final, we’d still be talking about it in a very dour sense – World Cup Willie would have just been another character without the fame.”

Not that Leo knew the result. His dad was working in London, but the rest of the Hoyes were holidaying in Cornwall for Willie’s showpiece moment.

“None of us, except dad, saw the final until later on,” he reveals. “There was no TV. Radio? A few snatches amid terrible interference. The phone? Forget it. We had to wait until the following day and read about it in the newspapers.”

In the wake of England’s historic win, applications flew in for licences – more than 120 – from France, Germany, Italy, Denmark, Holland and, in particular, the Soviet Union. Within weeks, in excess of 10 million items were rolled out.

“We were so excited, as dad had hit the big time,” chuckles Leo. “It was as if something new was coming out every week. I can remember being presented with a pink World Cup Willie candlewick bedspread and it was embroidered with the multicoloured motif of Willie. There were bathmats, too.

“However, the best thing was a green tracksuit which was emblazoned with the feisty wee lion. I was even allowed to wear this at school. I was only 12 and quite shy, but I was just swept up in the mid-60s mood of, ‘Let’s go for it’.

“I recall being immensely proud of my father. Everybody was. My schoolmates didn’t rib me too much about it either, even though they all knew I was pretty hopeless at football.”

With the demand for goods so high, World Cup Willie merchandise flew off the shelves almost quicker than they could be made. That often came at the expense of quality control. As there was no approved style guide to follow, poor Reg had to draw Willie to order.

A subsequent domestic attempt to piggy-back Willie’s success floundered – 1967’s League Cup Review suggested boosting the tournament with ‘League Cup Les’ – but it wasn’t long before club mascots emerged. Birmingham’s ‘Beau Brummie’ and Sheffield Wednesday’s ‘Ozzie the Owl’ were just two examples. Hoye was later asked to mock up the first Red Devil mascot for Manchester United’s badge.

The Stuffed Tyger   Part II

Tyger Tyger burning bright

At the tip both day and night

On top of the Aluminium bin

I could not help but notice him

In front of the carpets

And the small appliances

His eyes shining brightly

For he has no alliances

His colour still true

His Stipes still bold

He looks pretty fierce

For a stuffed toy that’s old

What child could pass you by?

Without a tear in the child’s mind eye

What child could not notice thee?

Or avoid your perfect symmetry

Tyger Tyger burning bright

At the tip both day and night

What poor mortal could leave you there?

Without remembering your deadly stare

Bish September 22nd 2021

Tuesday 21st September 2021

Posted in Uncategorized on September 21, 2021 by uppyalf