78 thoughts on “ALL OUR YESTERDAYS”

  1. Wouldn’t like to fly that wee kite at all but I remember going to school in single deckers like the one in the picture. The tinned milk is before my time but I remember my wee sister getting fed on tinned Ostermilk. Ostrich milk we used to call it. 😀

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      1. But Tris,
        The flying flea is bright green, green with envy of the maybot being in charge and not him.
        Most suitable as he’s got the hair already windswept to give the illusion of speed.
        Build it in your garage, french word, get a Ford 10HP engine, go fly.
        Good old days; all our yesterdays.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Well, he’s welcome, Dave.

          Mind you, if the plane you arrive in says something abut the country you represent… small and powerless is good. But this little fellow is also cute… and I’ m thinking that’s not so appropriate!


  2. Castlehill School? It may be on Johnston Terrace looking down onto the Grassmarket as the architecture feels right, but honestly can’t say for sure.

    Bluebird buses. If you lived in Edinburgh and wanted to go to the Wild West, then Bluebird covered Falkirk and Stirling, if I remember correctly. Obviously I never wanted to go further than that…

    Good old Pong, absolutely riveting stuff. *Bip… bip bip… bip… beeeep* The first home console if I remember correctly.

    Alma Cogan; John Lennon’s muse (just thought I’d throw in a semicolon there).

    Liked by 2 people

        1. OK Conan…….and this seems to be an urban dictionary term too. It wasn’t even that long ago that I had to look up the word “bollocks.” English/Scottish English is a strange language. 😉

          Liked by 1 person

            1. A bit “bookish” ; Conan.

              See Danny not difficult once you get the idea. I am even impressing myself with this new found love of the ; .

              Shit at languages ; Kangaroo.

              Liked by 1 person

        2. Conan, I had a look at some old O.S. maps of Edinburgh to see if I could find a likely candidate for Castlehill School and also came across this extract from (gulp) The Scotsman :-
          “Built on the site of 17th century Brown’s Court and several prominent tenements, Castlehill School opened in 1888. In its heyday, up to 800 pupils were enrolled at the school – a large number when you consider the size of the building. Boys and girls both attended, but would have never crossed paths. Separate stair wells throughout the building made it all possible. To the rear facing Johnston Terrace, the building was partially open and supported by a series of stanchions. This allowed the children a larger playground area in what was a constricted space. Pupil numbers remained fairly steady for the first fifty years but dipped dramatically to less than 350 following WWII. The school was soon deemed surplus to requirements by the education authorities, and Castlehill Primary closed in 1951. Today the building is better known for alcohol than algebra as the home to the world’s largest collection of Scotch whisky. With approximately half a million visitors passing through its doors every year, the Scotch Whisky Experience is one of the capital’s premier tourist attractions. The interactive guided tour and barrel car ride, telling the story of 300 years of whisky production, are well worth the entrance fee. Former classrooms have been transformed into cosy restaurant and bar areas where you can enjoy Scotland’s favourite tipple.”
          Read more at: https://www.scotsman.com/lifestyle/lost-edinburgh-a-brief-tour-of-castlehill-1-3624680

          You may remember another pic from a few weeks ago(?) on MNR of bairns lowsin’ frae the schule an the dominie wi nae legs. That was, I believe, taken at Castlehill School in 1953.

          Liked by 3 people

    1. Oh, that’s impressive, Conan. Particularly the semi colon between Alma Cogan and John Lennon.

      I have a feeling that despite your reluctance, these Bluebird busses probably went all the ways to… Oh well, best not mention it I suppose. It might upset your sensibilities.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Firstly, Munguin wishes to make it clear that he takes no responsibility for this sad event.

        Can you give us more details, please?


          1. The pdf interview linked on El Reg is worth reading, if only to remind ourselves how kids today don’t get the second (& third…. ) chances we got.

            Liked by 1 person

            1. I’d do the same were I him – his cancer would seriously impact on basic stuff like eating/drinking & he was 80 when diagnosed.

              When its time its time, nice if we could all make the choice….

              Liked by 1 person

              1. Yes, that’s fair enough. I think choice should be open to everyone.

                A neighbour of mine was 70 and had cancer treatment. He was a fit walker and player of bowls, but the treatment has taken it out of him, and he’s now a shuffling old man who can’t do much. But he wanted to see his granddaughter grow up, so he made that choice.

                This guy was 10 years further on. Who knows what his situation was.

                The point is we should all have the choice, and we should have the choice to have life terminated, if that seems the right thing.


  3. i wasn’t aware that Alexander’s had any Daimler buses, as the single decker appears to be – the registration suggests early to,mid-50’s. Daimler’s had pre – select gearboxes in which the left pedal acted as the gearchange, giving some decisive shifts which might be felt through the seat back. The double decker is an AEC – is it perchance one of the ex LT buses which gravitated north in the late 40’s ? Doesn’t look like a Scottish plate.

    The Hungarian paper of course relates to our the wonderful 6-3 win by Hungary at Wembley, which introduced the world to the talents of Puskas, Hidgekuti (?) et al, although the team was soon broken up by the events of 1956, defections etc.

    I loved the look of American streamliners although I am not sure offhand which line this one belonged to. These were less noted for out and out speed records though, perhaps because Americans were less interested in running light trains down favourable gradients to establish absolute speed records.

    Remember dried milk (and dried egg) tins being used for storage but no recollection of whether I might have consumed the reconstituted original contents.

    Will explore the possible location of Catlehill school – looks very much like a small a Scottish small burgh setting like eg Forfar.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Apologies for “our” cropping up in irrelevant position in relation to Hungarian game but at least gives a reminder that Scotland received the same kind of football lesson shortly afterwards.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Wow, THAT was weird. Let’s try this again.

        The steam streamliner is the Pennsylvania Railroad’s S-1; it was a 6-4-4-6 and unique; only one was built. PRR also developed the electric GG-1, which was much more successful; it was used into the early 1980s.

        They still look better than 90 percent of today’s designs.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Jon……that’s interesting. I didn’t know about the S1 6-4-4-6.

          However, the picture seems to show a locomotive with an angled nose having a ridge just above a high-mounted light. To me, that makes it more likely to be the T1 4-4-4-4, of which the PRR had 50 in regular service, than the single experimental S1 6-4-4-6 that was in use by the PRR.

          The T1 4-4-4-4:

          But I could be wrong. 😉


  4. The first photie is of a Flying Flea (Pou du Ciel), designed by a French guy ((Mignet?). It was an early microlight aircraft and the idea was to make flight available to everybody who didn’t mind dying 🙂 Actually, they were pretty popular: the attraction was that you could build one yourself. Not sure what the big American streamliner is in pic 2 (Danny will tell us) but she’s sure burning a lot of coal: if that loco was running well, it’s steam (white) she’d be shovelling over her shoulder. I certainly remember Bluebird buses and (am I that old?) NDM in those tins – along with cod liver oil and orange juice (there’s a song in there somewhere – Hamish Imlach). The final pic is, I think, of Alma Cogan.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Andi…..I’m no expert on trains (or much of anything else) so I had to cheat a little with file names, Google, and Wiki. SPOILER ALERT – read no further if you want to work it out yourselves.

      As Cairnallochy stated……it’s one of the streamliners that American railroads ran on major passenger routes late in the steam era. This is the Manhattan Limited, which served the Chicago-Manhattan route on the Pennsylvania Railroad. The Manhattan Limited was one of the great trains of the twentieth century and operated from 1903 to 1971.


      Wiki identifies this streamlined locomotive as the Pennsylvania Railroad T1 Duplex Drive 4-4-4-4, the last steam locomotives built for the Pennsylvania Railroad by the Baldwin Locomotive Works of Altoona, Pennsylvania.


      The Pennsylvania Railroad was one of the great American railroads. Established in 1846, it battled the New York Central for dominance during the golden age of passenger rail service in the first half of the twentieth century.


      The destruction of old Penn Station, sitting on 8 acres of prime Manhattan real estate between 7th and 8th Avenues from 31st to 33rd streets, was a great architectural loss to New York City. Penn Station is now below street level at the same location, under the current Madison Square Garden. It’s the busiest transportation hub in the Western hemisphere (Wiki says.) The loss of old Penn Station was partially responsible for a change in attitude regarding Manhattan redevelopment, and New York Central’s Grand Central Station was saved and beautifully restored.

      Old Penn Station, 1910-1963:


      Liked by 2 people

        1. Conan……as evidenced by indentation, you may be directing this to me…..and not Andi. I know of Sheldon Cooper but am not a regular viewer of The Big Bang Theory. So I have no idea about the five pounds. Looking it up didn’t help, although I note that Sheldon is incapable of recognizing sarcasm. (Which probably has nothing whatever to do with it.)

          BTW, I’ve studied a little deep space high-redshift astronomy and astrophysics, and have more than a passing acquaintance with big bang cosmology. I’m always looking for a comment that will prompt an essay on the subject. This one came dangerously close to providing an excuse. A picture of GNz-11 on Soppy Sunday would be just the ticket. Then we’d be off to the races. 😉

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Many moons ago British newspapers used to run articles saying that their reporter would we walking along the High St/pier/funfair wearing a certain article of clothing, and the first member of the public to go up to them and proclaim “You Are The Daily Shiterag Reporter And I Claim My Five Pounds” would get their photie in the paper. And five pounds.
            Fun Fact:-

            Liked by 3 people

        1. People still mourn the loss of Penn Station in Manhattan that occurred after the Pennsylvania Railroad sold the air rights to their property, while retaining the below-ground tracks and platforms.

          Grand Central Station, the historic terminal of the New York Central at 42nd street did not suffer that fate. It is magnificent. (The stars and constellations of the ceiling mural in the grand concourse were part of the recent restoration.)


          Liked by 1 person

        2. PS Tris…….The great train terminals of the golden age of rail travel often fell into disrepair and were sometimes destroyed when passenger traffic declined and was taken over by the federal government as “Amtrak.”

          But some of the monumental old buildings were saved in the way Grand Central Station was. Union Station in Kansas City (built in 1914) was one that was saved and repurposed to other uses.

          Liked by 1 person

            1. Tris…..Union station is the site of several scientific and cultural organizations and exhibits, and various large public events are held there through the year. Now that restoration is complete, some Amtrak passenger trains use it as a terminal again. It’s a magnificent old building and it’s hard to appreciate its size from the pictures.


              Liked by 1 person

        1. Andi……Pennsylvania coal no doubt! You mentioned all the black smoke. Wiki said this about PRR’s T1 duplex-drive 4-4-4-4 locomotives.

          “They were ambitious, technologically sophisticated, powerful, fast, and distinctively streamlined by Raymond Loewy. However, they were also prone to wheelslip both when starting and at speed, complicated to maintain, and expensive to run.”

          Makes me wonder if all that smoke might have occurred while regaining momentum after a wheel slip.

          Liked by 2 people

          1. An impressive loco, Danny, by any standard and, being American – huge. I wouldn’t be surprised to learn they suffered from wheelslip with so many driving wheels. Wheelslip often occurred when pulling away from stations or on gradients and a good driver (engineer) would be very careful in their operation of the regulator (throttle lever). You could also use the sandbox to get a bit of traction. I’m not at all surprised they were complicated to maintain – with that number of driving wheels there had to be multiple connecting rods, linkages, bushes, bearings, etc., all requiring careful lubrication and inspection. I wonder if American railroads had wheel-tappers as Britain did.

            Liked by 2 people

    2. LOL…

      Yes, I have a memory of a song about Cod Liver Oil and Orange Juice…

      Thanks for the info on the Pou du Ciel, perfectly translated too! As Dave said, let’s get one and give it to Boris to complete his around the world journeys doing the Trade Secretary’s job.

      Alma Cogan it is. She was very pretty, I think.


  5. The only time that I considered stealing a book from a library was at my school; they had an original copy of the book that told you how to build a Flying Flea. I didn’t.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I am going to attempt a link! If it works, I’d be interested in your views on a quintissential Englishman. Nuff said, the attempt follows:

    Holding my breath!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Douglas……I enjoyed the video. And I always enjoy hearing Fry speak. In the USA, the issue of what is and what is not acceptable speech in the public forum must be viewed in the context of “freedom of speech,” which is a constitutional Bill of Rights imperative, and very nearly a secular religion. And yet on the political
      far left of the Democratic Party, we have in my view the crazy political correctness warriors (on the university campuses most prominently,) who shout down (and often disinvite from planned speaking engagements) speakers who are insufficiently accepting of progressive liberal thought and speech. So at the same time, we have as president a con-artist who took on the mantle of battling the elitist academic lefties with a crusade against political correctness and all it stands for. In so doing, he sold to the crazies on the Republican right….most importantly, disaffected unemployed blue collar factory workers in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Michigan……a program of racism (Obama birtherism,) sexism, xenophobia, homophobia, fundamentalist theocracy, etc, etc. The rootin-tootin flag waving, gun loving, Bible-thumping right wing blue collar radicals think that the politically correct academic liberals on the left of the Democratic party feel contempt for them and everything they hold dear. Well they DO, and Trump, the posturing populist demagogue rode the fear and loathing on BOTH sides of the political spectrum to electoral glory.

      I was struck with his statement that Trump cold be reelected. I think Fry is right about that, unless and until the Mueller investigation comes up with OVERWHELMINGLY rock solid evidence of serious criminality by Trump himself. Absent such evidence, the demagogue can be reelected. The economy is good, Trump’s popularity has soared by about ten points (34% to 44% on average,) and the generic (Republican vs Democrat) polling for this years’s Congressional elections has swung from a Democrat advantage of about 14 percentage points to a current advantage of only about 4 points. I’m also amazed BTW, that some Europeans seem to feel that Trump is on the verge of being impeached and removed from office. While it’s true that impeachment requires only a simple majority vote of the House of Representatives (which could happen if the Dems take House control this November,) removal from office on impeachment charges requires a 2/3 vote of the Senate, which is not going to happen in a Senate that is (and apt to remain) under Republican control.

      As for his love of the royals, how it is that a man of Fry’s intellect could be a monarchist defies understanding. (Except that he obviously enjoys basking in the royal limelight as he rubs shoulders with them.) I’d like to see some solid data that confirms his foolish belief that the Queen as Head of State tends to reign in the demagoguery and corruption that is inevitably a part of democratic governance. From my American perspective, the British…….back to Cromwell…….have shown not the slightest capacity for self-government. They made Cromwell a de facto monarch, and as soon as he was dead, begged the son of the King they beheaded to PLEASE come back and govern them. Geeeeze!!!!! As for today, the Queen is only powerless because she chooses to be and there is no British constitution to restrict her actions one way or another; and because Victoria (who Fry bizarrely seems to admire) was so bad at governing and just lost interest in doing it anymore. And your system of parliamentary sovereignty is as bad as monarchy. Without a constitution, every aspect of the State and everything it represents, up to and including national sovereignty itself, is subject to the whims of a simple majority vote of politicians in Westminster or Edinburgh on any given day of the week. It’s quite simply a system of mob rule! When challenged about the manifest insanity of having no constitution to define and circumscribe the powers of the Monarch and Parliament, I’ve heard Brits say that the Queen and Parliament simply would never CHOOSE to misuse their powers. They say: “We have a way of doing things here that everyone understands and accepts and we don’t need a constitution that will sometimes restrict what politicians want to do.” That those politicians are often corrupt and always follow the mob in the street seems not to bother the Brits one bit. They make it up as they go along, and so far they are quite happy with that arrangement.


      The Americans have shown you the way! Just sayin……..

      Rant over! Sorry about the length of the dissertation, but you did ask for opinions. It’s pretty much what Tris said, but a LOT longer. 😉

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Ha ha ha , Danny…

        Actually, the lack of constitution is particularly important at the moment.

        May has taken powers to amend EU law in bringing it in to the various legal systems in the Uk,. She wanted to do everything by Royal Prerogative, but a court case originally to the English High Court then the UK Supreme court stopped her in her tracks.

        Now she is messing with devolution settlements.

        And this is a minority government dependent on a set of religious nut jobs for continued office.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I’m always pleased to find an opportunity to post my standard “the British can’t govern themselves” rant…..LOL. Interesting that the UK supreme court exerts meaningful authority even in the absence of a written constitution. And of course a constitution didn’t protect the American republic from a demagogue. 😉

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Well, in this case, the Supreme court said that, as the UK was a parliamentary democracy (lol lol lol), the decision on Article 50 being invoked must be made by the UK parliament, not by the PM using royal prerogative.

            And you’re right. Although I’m a staunch republican (note the small “r”), I’m aware that it doesn’t answer all our problems…as the election of Trump ably shows.

            Liked by 1 person

      1. He has some points about political correctness, I think. Demanding that people be “politically correct” is, in itself, political incorrectness. But we’ve travelled a long way towards a more accepting society in so many ways, we should be careful what we throw out.

        His views on the monarchy as quaint and English, I guess.

        I don’t think for a minute that having to go and bow to the queen on a Tuesday evening keeps May in her box.

        And we should be aware that Charles thinking that you are a national treasure, doesn’t mean that you are one.

        I like Fry on tv. I think he’s funny and clever. I’m not sure I would like him face to face.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. There was a Castlehill School right in the centre of old Cupar, in Fife – on Castle Hill.
    Some of the building still exists in other use, but the school name is now carried by a new building on the outskirts of the town. I can’t identify this for sure, but some of the buildings look right.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s interesting, EN. The school in the photo seems to be in Edinburgh. But I suppose there were many “castle hills” all over Scotland. Cupar isn’t that far away. I’d like to go have a look. Can you please give me an idea of where it is in the centre?


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