A man who penned some exquisite music – Ennio Morricone

The haunting theme tune of what would have been a long forgotten TV series ‘The Life and Times of David Lloyd George’ sprung to mind as soon as I heard of the death of Ennio Morricone. There’s a link to this now iconic theme tune on You Tube below:-

www.youtube.com/watch?v=ajI2OPRfTps

I recall buying a 45rpm single of it back in 1981 and if you were around at the time you’ll recall it became quite a hit, possibly quite unexpectedly so. This is a scan of my copy of the record:-

RIP Ennio Morricone a great composer

Here’s a Wikipedia link with more information about the TV series:-

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Life_and_Times_of_David_Lloyd_George

Lancashire Railways 1964-1968 (Liverpool – Southport – Ormskirk – Burscough – Wigan)

The Burscough Curves are in West Lancashire. This historic shot of them is from when they were in place, in 1960’s.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=GJ3SxCwCcIQ

I can’t recall whether I’ve posted about this particular You Tube video before (posted by Michael Dawson – see link above) or not but it is so significant in documenting the railways around Merseyside and West Lancashire in the mid 1960’s through to the end of steam that it is well worth sharing.

It covers through trains from Liverpool Exchange to Scotland via Ormskirk, the now long gone and much missed Southport – Preston Line, the fabled Burscough Curves which OPSTA are trying to get reopened and many other delightful railway scenes.

And I’m also taking the opportunity to add in more photos by Anthony Graham, which he has kindly given me permission to use, to further illustrate in a similar timeline some of the lines the video:-

Hall Road Station 1968 with a Liverpool Lime Street to Southport Class 108 DMU in the station.

Hesketh Park Signal Box May 1968

Ormskirk Station Signal Box 1968 May

Rufford 1970 2nd May, the final Saturday 0900 Liverpool Exchange-Glasgow Central service being cautioned owing to a block failure between Rufford and Midge Hall.

Kirkdale Station 1968 looking north east

I’m sure this posting will bring back memories for many folk looking at it. How lucky we are that our railway past has been so well documented on film/video and by photographers.

Merseyrail – Testing the new Class 777’s

A mock-up of a Class 777 – The new Merseyrail trains that will soon replace the Class 507/508 EMU’s

I’ve not actually snapped a new Class 777 live so the two shots in this posting are of the the mock-up which was on public view a while back at Liverpool Lime Street Station and Pacific Road in Birkenhead. However, there are videos appearing on You Tube now of the testing of the first batch of new units on the Merseyrail Network and here’s a link to one:-

www.youtube.com/watch?v=xOzovLI3Qno&feature=youtu.be

This shows a Class 777 at Sandhills and at Bootle Oriel Road only yesterday evening.

A mock-up of a Class 777 Stadler EMU as displayed in Birkenhead a while back

Tanfield Railway – It’s well worth a visit if you are up in the North East

Steaming at Causey Arch Station

Whenever I travel around the UK I like to seek out preserved railways and this one just south of Newcastle/Gateshead is a real treat. I came across this excellent footage of it on You Tube entitled ‘Tanfield Railway Legends of Industry 2019’ :-

www.youtube.com/watch?v=SEpT6ttX1zc

Thirsty work at Andrews House Station

Here’s a link to the Tanfield Railway’s website for a bit of historical context:-

www.tanfield-railway.co.uk/index.php?page=railways-history

Both of the photos can be found amongst my Flickr shots at:-

www.flickr.com/photos/86659476@N07/

Dozier – One of the greatest song writers of all time

In August 2015 I posted about seeing Lamont Dozier live on stage at Liverpool’s Epstein Theatre. Here’s a link back to that posting:-

tonyrobertson.mycouncillor.org.uk/2015/08/28/lamont-dozier-i-was-in-the-same-room-as-the-motown-legend/

As the middle part of the world famous soul music writing trio of Holland – Dozier – Holland he penned so many hits for Motown that it would take far too long to write them all down. However, I actually got into Lamont as a solo artist via what I think was his 2nd LP/album cut in 1974 entitled Black Bach.

I’ve always looked upon this album as one of the very few I like where every song and tune is worth listening to. So many artists released albums where there were only a couple of good tracks but for me this one ranks along with Gato Babieri’s Caliente and Isaac Hayes To Be Continued as being all good or better all the way through. Oddly whilst some Dozier fans think his later solo work was better I only took to individual songs.

I recently stumbled across this You Tube link to the Epstein Theatre performance of The Record Producers Live back in 2015:-

www.youtube.com/watch?v=OfcHzUWzQBE

and here’s a link to another You Tube event when Dozier was named a Fellow of the Center for Popular Music at MTSU

www.youtube.com/watch?v=iI3HPmnIfsA

And my favourite Lamont Dozier Track? All cried out and here’s a link to it:-

www.youtube.com/watch?v=V1TNhGbYFyc

Click on the photos to enlarge them

New Merseyrail Trains – a construction video on You Tube

A mock-up of a Class 777 – The new Merseyrail trains that will soon replace the Class 507/508 EMU’s

Although Merseytravel posted this video – see link below – on 7th February I had not come across it before. It’s worth watching to see how the new trains are being built and the initial testing of them:-

www.youtube.com/watch?v=dOn07VAeGHU

‘From design concepts to the real thing; watch as the new trains for the Merseyrail network take shape from initial designs to the first train out on the test track in Europe!’

As I post this Merseyrail (still operating Class 507 & 508 units of course) have had their first Stadler unit (777 003) out on nocturnal testing along the Kirkby line of recent nights.

NOTE – Merseyrail are only offering a 30 minute frequency service presently due to the health crisis we find ourselves in.

A mock-up of a Class 777 Stadler EMU as displayed in Birkenhead a while back