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August 2018: Regency Brighton and Hove

The plurally-named City of Brighton and Hove rather fittingly is a holidays – plural - destination. It’s modern, historic, cultural, sporting, happening, a seaside resort ...More
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Patrick Moore

The overused title ‘national treasure’ for once really applied in the case of Sir Patrick Moore, the amateur astronomer, moon-mapper and populariser of science who has just died. In him were encapsulated several of our most cherished characteristics: he was eccentric, playing the xylophone, a cricketer until his seventies and sporting a monocle; a gentleman amateur whose work annoyed a few academics but inspired untold thousands of youngsters (and was used by NASA); all who knew him acknowledged the man as generous and fun-loving; and he was enormously enthusiastic, his machine-gun delivery much mimicked. Add to that his war heroism – joining the wartime RAF by lying about his age and bypassing the physical that he’d have failed – and the phrase rounded figure fits perfectly (especially as in later life he was decidedly rotund). We can even pardon him his rather un-PC pronouncements of more recent days, and given the loss of his fiancée to a Nazi bomb we understand his unwillingness to forgive the German nation. His presence on The Sky at Night – missing just one edition from May 1957 until his December 2012 death – was a little bulwark of British civilisation that will be hard, maybe impossible, to replace.

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Brit Quote:
I tell my children to avoid theatre and go into cinema and TV. - Peter O’Toole
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On this day:
Macbeth Killed at Lumphanan - 1057, Battle of Kilsyth - 1645, Last Execution in The Tower - 1941, Lynmouth Floods Kill 34 - 1952, Beatles Create Stadium Rock at Shea Stadium - 1965, Woodstock Begins - 1969, Inaugural Premier League Games - 1992
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