A Glittering career on YOU TUBE ??…or even HOLLYWOOD …???

I thought I’d better make an effort and get on with the old Blog ..I say old because other newer things seem to have taken the place of the blog, namely the VLOG on my You Tube channel.(Aside from the fact that I’ve been quite ill and got blue lighted into hospital for two weeks and the subsequent recovery time, due to heart failure ..and complications… I haven’t had the wherewithal or motivation, let alone the strength, to either write in the blog or film the vlog…but Hey !! I’m back !!).

I’m finding that Vlogging is much more challenging, much harder work, more time consuming and, of course, much more expensive to execute. Apart from the computer, there is the camera…mine is a Canon 750d, external mics, tripods, lighting set up, sound recorders and software for editing. I spend money I don’t really have, not quite getting into debt, but not far off !!! … Anyway, as I was saying, vlogging is much more challenging both personally and, because I’m a technophobe of the highest order, technologically, but I find the rewards are much greater. I get a buzz when it goes public on my You tube channel.. and an even greater buzz when people leave comments. I get a buzz from this WordPress Blog when it is published and comments come in, but it cogsinwallrequires far less effort (and expense !!) than making a film and striving to get it technically ‘right’… I’m no Cecil B De Mills, but I enjoy pretending to be !! lol.
There is a young man residing in ROTHERHAM, a town next door to the ‘STEEL CITY’ by the name of HARRISON FLETCHER, who is a remarkably fine film maker and You Tuber (check out his You Tube channel )                                                                                                     . He read my blog about me questioning whether or not I was too old at 68 to be a You Tube Vlogger and, he also watched the film  I made of the  same subject  on my ‘steelcityman’ You Tube channel 
, after which he approached me and asked if I would like to be part of a documentary film he was making as part of his media and film making degree course at Salford University, in Media City, the Northern powerhouse of TV and program production. I was really taken aback that Harrison had chosen me to be a part of his work and I agreed on the spot…instantly …. maybe even sooner than that !!!, and after some dialogue we agreed dates to do the filming. He first visited my home to get some background on the ’70 year old vlogger’ as he titled me, shot some footage and did a short interview and we agreed another date for me to travel to a studio in Media City to do a longer more in depth interview, with some ‘B’roll footage both inside and outside the studio. I must say it ws a very professional set up and it all made me realise how make do and mend my filming set up was … There were cameras worth thousands of pounds..lighting rigs to die for with all the attendant controlling software … Really put my pokey ‘front bedroom studio’ to shame…. If nothing else, it gave me something to aspire to !!!
I was a little nervous at first as the interview and filming progressed, but soon warmed to it and got quite comfortable with it all in the end, and really enjoyed the whole thing. Even my lovely wife Christine appeared in a cameo


The Wonderful Christine

role (which freaked her out a bit !!!) but she did well and put it in her experience bank.  After the filming, we all went and had a few drinks and a meal (Italian),
had a good laugh and left for the station for the rail trip back to Sheffield … a good day indeed.

A great big thank you to Harrison Fletcher and his wonderful partner Tasha, they treat us like royalty and made things easy. Hopefully the documentary will be released soon, on You Tube, and when it is I’ll post the url so you can see it if you so desire.

Now then …. If I sit close to the phone and just wait a little longer….it may ring….long distance. It’s taking a while, it been ten minutes since I sat down and started waiting ….waiting…..waiting………..

A Re-Blog of a Re-Blog….

***Whilst browsing previously blogged articles in the Archives today (Friday 17th Feb 2017), I came across this article from August 2015, and I can still feel the passion and anger I felt whilst writing it…the feelings have not subsided one iota and neither has the problem described, namely ‘Affordable Housing’, been addressed either…Platitudes and Lies are all we are offered by this black hearted  Tory Government and it’s about time the ‘REAL’ working class of this country, the backbone and source of capitalist’s wealth, took off their blinkers and had a good look at what is happening to the unfortunate population who aren’t rich…. (stop press …. Because of public spending cuts imposed by the Tory Government,on council budgets, Council Tax is likely to increase 15-18% in order to pay for social care…….) All I can think about now is … Look what happened when Thatcher tried to impose the POLL TAX !!!

48% of GB’s wealth is owned by just 10% of households (https://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/dcp171776_428683.pdf)



1 Vote



First posted in AUGUST 2015 … I don’t often re-blog my own stuff…in fact this post is the first post of mine that I have re-blogged, simply because, in the run up to the election of the Labour Party Leadership, all the candidates, with the exception of Mr Jeremy Corbyn, have talked about solving the Housing crisis that is afflicting the UK, in terms of building more ‘Affordable’ housing. By that they mean houses (or rabbit hutches ) for people to buy or ‘Buy to Let’.

Only My Corbyn, who is at present, winning the race admirably, has mentioned, like a good Socialist, that the way to solve the housing crisis is for central government to fund a massive build of Council Housing…or Social Housing, as it is now known. WELL DONE MR CORBYN !! at least one of the candidates is listening to the electorate.

It has just stirred up the passion I have for a return to the Old Labour party with a social conscience….so, a reblog of earlier words ….

I can well remember the day , many years ago when, as a small boy, I witnessed the joy of my parents as we moved out of our private rented house and took delivery of a brand new, never been lived in by anyone else, Council house…24, Lowedges Drive, Sheffield 8….it had a luxurious bathroom with a wash hand basin, Bath and a toilet…three spacious bedrooms, modern kitchen and a huge back garden. It even had a brick built flowerpot on the front of the house. I thought it was quite ‘posh’. It was a brand new housing estate with country side at the bottom of the road. We had ‘arrived’. We had a relatively good life there..grew up ..moved on to different areas of Sheffield, always in a council rented property….more time passed and in 1979, a dark cloud passed over the United Kingdom. Her name was ‘Margaret Hilda Thatcher’…a name that most working class people choke on because of her governments relentless attacks on workers and their rights. Aside from her single handed destruction of the working man’s trade unions, which could fight for the worker’s rights and conditions of employment, one of the most harmful things she ever did was to make it the Tory party policy to allow Council house tenants to purchase the houses they rented from the councils where they lived. She talked a lot about the fact that an ‘Englishman’s home is his castle’, people had the right to purchase the council houses at a discounted price and this gave way to the lie that if you owned your own house you were in effect, middle class and you had dragged yourself up from the working class…you were an owner of ‘property’.

Many people fell for this without realising what effect the practice of buying the council house stocks would have on future generations. Or, if they did realise what effect it would have, they didn’t care. That attitude has been attributed directly to the Thatcher ideology of me, me, me, and greed is good…up yours Jack, I’m alright !!….well…we are reaping the benefits of that Tory policy in this present day and age with a chronic shortage of housing stock and massive waiting lists of people who cannot afford to buy a house…and that number grows day by day. Many people, of all ages are forced into the private housing market, where landlords supply houses at high rents for their own profit, and we all know how it works don’t we ?…no repairs on the houses means more profit, no improvements means more profit and we finish up living in virtual squalor for the benefit of a profit seeking landlord. Unless of course you manage to get a benevolent landlord with a bit of a social conscience …and finding one of those is like trying to find rocking horse droppings !!!

Decent living accommodation provided by the people for the people is a social necessity and not a frivolous product of a more socially oriented society of a bygone age. Young people who are newly married and starting out on their lives, people on a low income, the unemployed who can’t find money for a deposit, let alone a mortgage, people who are pensioners and can’t afford a mortgage….the list of people disenfranchised from a decent standard of living by the government, and not only governments of a blue hue either…was it not LORD (that’s a laugh for a so called socialist, is it not?) Prescot, who sanctioned the wholesale demolition of thousands of council properties…then quickly shelved the plans to build ‘Affordable Housing’ to replace them???? The Affordable housing he refers to, is of course, housing for SALE, not rentable from the Council, but for sale, and the small percentage of housing not for sale is owned by ‘Housing associations’….The choice is stark is it not, for people who can’t afford, for whatever reason, to purchase a dwelling to live in…either pay a private landlord a high rent and rely on an ever dwindling public fund to provide rent and council tax relief, or tough it out and wait for another 15-20 years for a council house…….OR…..stop fighting illegal wars, and unwinnable wars which are costing the tax payers countless millions and invest in a public works program to build decent housing for people to rent off their local councils…problem solved for generations to come….And some people don’t like Socialism ?????….why the hell not?

I would imagine there will be some very anti comments to this post from people of a differing political standpoint…well bring it on !!…just remember what I said in the blurb about the Red Box…these are MY views and it matters not a jot that you disagree with them, what does matter, is that we have a platform on which to disagree and debate these issues……….. This is a very important issue for me and so I needed to shout about it…stay safe people.

A few housing facts to back up my claims..(information taken from Charitable groups and Housing charities)

7.7 million homes in England fail to meet the government’s Decent Homes Standard

1.6 million children in Britain live in overcrowded, temporary or run down accomodation

The average weekly rent in 2009-10 was £156 for private renters and £75 for social renters

Almost 50% of local housing allowance claimnents face rent shortfalls-averaging £100 per month

across LONDON homelessness is up by 27.4%

4 million children live in poverty after housing costs have been paid

33% of private renters had lived in their homes for less that 1 year

Birmingham..highest number of homeless people , 925 households

8550 households are homeless because their short lease came to an end.

37% annual increase in number of people being housed in bed and breakfast accommodation

Housing affordability measures show that housing is unaffordable in ALL 33 UK regions

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    A fascinating discussion, Pat. I love your analysis of the issue of affordable housing that interweaves your own experiences and observations within the larger historical context. The Thatcher/Reagan years were indeed an assault on unions and social programs that ushered in the mean-spirited austerity that is still with us today – profits are more important than people…

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Letter of complaint to IPSO about the Sun and Mail disrespecting Britain’s war dead on Remembrance Sunday

Pride's Purge

Independent Press Standards Organisation
Gate House
1 Farringdon Street

I am writing to complain about misleading and inaccurate material published by the Sun and the Daily Mail – as well as the disrespectful and dishonest behaviour of a press photographer.

On this year’s Remembrance Sunday, the 13th of November 2016, two distorted and misleading articles and photographs were published by the Sun and the Mail about Her Majesty’s Leader of the Opposition Jeremy Corbyn’s attendance of the Cenotaph Service commemorating Britain’s war dead.

The articles and photographs appeared online and possibly in print and were headlined: ‘Is this really the day to audition for Strictly, Jeremy?(the Mail) and ‘Jeremy Corbyn DANCES his way into Downing Street as he attends Remembrance Sunday at the Cenotaph(the Sun). Screenshots of both articles and the misleading photographs are attached (attachments 1, 2).

A photograph…

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Brief Reflections about Standing Rock – Wednesday, November 23, 2016

This is getting out of hand … the government and the corporations need to take note of their racist policies in search of ‘profit at all costs’ … it’s inhuman. And to think the Americans had countless thousands killed at the hands of the Nazs and here they are doing the same thing to the protesters at Standing Rock … your actions disgust me and I stand in solidarity with the Standing Rock Protesters ….

Voices from the Margins

Carol A. Hand

Today a young woman is in critical condition due to escalating police violence, all so corporations can pollute and profit: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/standing-rock-arm-amputation_us_5834853ee4b09b6055ff01ec. Her only “crime” was standing in peaceful solidarity with Standing Rock Water Protectors to prevent corporations from creating yet more environmental devastation.

Photo: Huffington Post - Thanksgiving Message to Indigenous People from the Invading Forces Photo: Huffington Post – Thanksgiving Message to Indigenous People from the Invading Forces

(Link to Huffington Post photo and article: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/standing-rock-sioux-tear-gas-thanksgiving_us_583496a3e4b000af95ece35d?wjz1i201zkpf8t1emi)

The list of the militarized police forces arrayed against Standing Rock Water Protectors is daunting: http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2016/11/02/how-contact-people-who-sent-militarized-police-standing-rock-166326.

I’m not entirely sure why, but this situation reminds me of Wounded Knee and the Ghost Dance: http://www.pbs.org/weta/thewest/program/episodes/eight/likegrass.htm.

Wounded Knee Massacre - December 29, 1890 Wounded Knee Massacre – December 29, 1890

(Photo Source: Wikipedia)

The circumstances feel eerily similar. Two vastly different cultures collide, one with fear and lethal weapons, and one with hope, ceremony, and prayers. One to exploit the earth for short-term individual profits, and one…

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How a US PR company conned UK voters into voting for Brexit

Further notice that the ‘BREXIT’ campaign was an organised symphony of lies deceit and marketing strategy (which is MORE lies) … reblogged for all my ‘BREXITEER’ friends on Facebook and Twitter ….

Pride's Purge


Sorry Brexiters – but you’ve been conned. By an American. And he’s not even hiding the fact.

PR executive Gerry Gunster has been boasting about how his firm was behind the successful Brexit campaign – and how he used sales techniques instead of facts to trick British voters into voting for Brexit.

Gunster claims he was behind the successful slogan “take back control” and was the person who directed the Leave campaign to run a campaign free of facts which played on voters’ emotions, in particular fears about immigration.

Gunster even employed the services of a hypnotist to work on Leave campaign videos.

The extremely expensive services of Gunster’s Washington firm were bankrolled to run the Brexit campaign by multi-millionare UKIP backer Arron Banks.


In the past, Gunster’s firm has helped big US corporations fight unpopular public health measures such as sugar taxes.

It’s ironic the very voters who…

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Good news on the VLOG front…

Forget about the Presidential election, forget about how the Rotherham Titans RUFC loscogsinwallt again last Saturday … There is GOOD NEWS happening right now !!! The VLOG on You tube, steelcityman … has finally moved off 2 subscribers  (who were family) and now stands at 9, yes NINE subscribers and the views have  sped past the 500 mark (539 views).  My audience is growing and giving me the feel good factor. Oh! yes !!!

      It’s not really Earth shattering  news, but it gives me great pleasure and satisfaction to know people out there in the WWW are beginning to find my Vlog, and the blog as a consequence. All I need to do now is find the time and application to publish the Vlog on a ‘Regular” basis … as well as finding the all important ‘NICHE’

ADDENDUM …. subscribers now at 12…. as of 21st Nov … 


Open Letter to White People at Standing Rock

Read this, please, with an open heart. If you start feeling defensive, take a moment to reflect on why that is before returning to reading. I couldn’t NOT reblog this post, written by Miriam Schacht (RoteZora) re: the suggestion that white activists have been taking over from the indigenous people at the STANDING ROCK protest. It certainly gives food for thought as well as feelings of guilt and shame at being white, American or European … try and put those feelings aside to be dealt with later, and read the full post with an open heart and mind ….

Voices from the Margins

By Miriam Schacht (RoteZora)

I wrote this note while staying at the Two Spirit Nation camp within the Oceti Sakowin camp at Standing Rock about a week ago. I originally drove out there to help someone else out, but without the intention of staying, because I take seriously the critiques that suggest that white activists have been taking over the protests. However, I stayed much longer than I intended because it turned out that there was important work to do as a white accomplice–work that addressed precisely the issue of white activists at these camps and these actions. Part of the necessary work of white accomplices is to lessen the burden on people of color. At camp that meant I was asked by Two Spirit folks to give white visitors “allyship 101” or “Two Spirit 101” lectures; this letter is my attempt to keep that work up, and keep taking…

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Bell ringers’ injuries

Note from the U.K …. an excellent blog from Ellen Hawley, a writer of note and an excellent wordsmith with a killer sense of humour. I urge you to read more of Ellen … she will certainly brighten up your days and “ring your bell” !!!

Notes from the U.K.

In last week’s post, I mentioned that York Minster had fired its volunteer bell ringers. It was a small part of the post, but the comments it provoked have been fascinating. So first—because, admit it, you don’t actually read every golden word I publish, although I can’t think what else you have to do with your lives—let me draw your attention to a few of the comments.

John Evans wrote a first-hand explanation of bell ringing, and that was followed by several other comments that are also worth reading, for both the mechanics and the politics of it all. I won’t give you a separate link since they’re all grouped together.

John also sent a link to a bell ringers’ publication. What could I do but follow it? I was rewarded with a statement from the York bell ringers, setting out their side of the story. John did say…

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A Request for Action to Support Standing Rock Water Protectors

This situation is getting quite serious and I urge all who read this to contact the President of the USA and show support for the Indigenous people and the Standing Rock call for action. It reminds me VERY MUCH of the news reels I saw in the sixties when the American government treat the black population in such a disgraceful manner when they struggled for civil rights. I thought the American Nation had moved on…sadly I am mistaken.

Voices from the Margins

Carol A. Hand

My heart is heavy with the news coming from Standing Rock, ND today. It’s led me to do something I rarely do. I’m posting a request for the help of all of those who follow this blog. For the sake of the health of our earth and future generations, I ask you to consider voicing your concerns about the situation in Standing Rock, ND.

The voice of the Protectors:

Standing Rock Update and Indigenous Call to Action – Bioneers 2016

An example of the mainstream media portrayals:

Dakota Access Pipeline Standoff Lapses Into Violence (Huffington Post)

Consider contacting the White House today at 202-456-1111 or sending a message to whitehouse.gov/contact. Ask President Obama to support the peaceful Water Protectors and act on behalf of the 17 million Americans who depend on the Missouri River for their clean water. Ask him to honor treaties and…

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‘GUNFIRE’ …at Balaklava.


, , , , , , , ,

OCTOBER 25th … BALAKLAVA DAY. (a link to the ‘GUNFIRE’ Vlog)

Amongst the cavalry regiments of the British Army…Hussars, Lancers, Dragoons, Light and Heavy, there is a proud tradition of celebrating /remembering the famousCHARGE OF THE LIGHTunknown BRIGADE’ ..As immortalised by Alfred Lord Tennyson in his epic poem. MY first experience of ‘GUNFIRE’, a la ‘Balaklava Day, was on the morning of October 25th 1969 in the then, West Germany at Munster, Swinton barracks, home of the 13th/18th Royal Hussars (QMO) or, Queen Mary’s Own. I was awakened by a vicious prod to the shoulder and as I sat up realised it was the RSM (Regimental Sergeant Major) and the Squadron Leader (Major) pushing a tea trolley with a Tea urn on it … “With or without”? said the RSM. Thinking he meant sugar, I said, “With, please Sir”…I was baffled and still half asleep. The Major poured a ‘little’ tea in my tin mug and the RSM ( Jack Hatton, or ‘The Badge’ as he was affectionately known…R.I.P.) topped it up with issue rum. The instant I tasted it I was wide awake, much to the merriment of the two ‘Gods’ serving it up to a lowly trooper…and the tradition continues to this day in regiments which took part in the charge, on the morning of October 25th, the other ranks in a cavalry regiment are woken up by the RSM and another High ranking officer with a mug of ‘Gunfire’….black tea and dark rum. Traditionally given to troops about to go into battle as   ‘Dutch courage’…and lets face it the Light Brigade needed courage to charge the might of the Russian guns that day …  October 25th, 1854.


13th Hussar on picket

Here is a first hand account of the engagement from a Commanding officer of one of the lead regiments … which one I know not;

Preparing for ‘GUNFIRE’ in the morning….October 25th 1854

“We advanced down a gradual descent of more than three-quarters of a mile, with the batteries vomiting forth upon us shells and shot, round and grape, with one battery on our right flank and another on the left, and all the intermediate ground covered with the Russian riflemen; so that when we came to within a distance of fifty yards from the mouths of the artillery which had been hurling destruction upon us, we were, in fact, surrounded and encircled by a blaze of fire, in addition to the fire of the riflemen upon our flanks.
As we ascended the hill, the oblique fire of the artillery poured upon our rear, so that we had thus a strong fire upon our front, our flank, and our rear. We entered the battery—we went through the battery—the two leading regiments cutting down a great number of the Russian gunners in their onset. In the two regiments which I had the honour to lead, every officer, with one exception, was either killed or wounded, or had his horse shot under him or injured. Those regiments proceeded, followed by the second line, consisting of two more regiments of cavalry, which continued to perform the duty of cutting down the Russian gunners.
Then came the third line, formed of another regiment, which endeavoured to complete the duty assigned to our brigade. I believe that this was achieved with great success, and the result was that this body, composed of only about 670 men, succeeded in passing through the mass of Russian cavalry of—as we have since learned—5,240 strong; and having broken through that mass, they went, according to our technical military expression, “threes about,” and retired in the same manner, doing as much execution in their course as they possibly could upon the enemy’s cavalry. Upon our returning up the hill
which we had descended in the attack, we had to run the same gauntlet and to incur the same risk from the flank fire of the Tirailleur as we had encountered before. Numbers of our men were shot down—men and horses were killed, and many of the soldiers who had lost their horses were also shot down while endeavouring to escape.
But what, my Lord, was the feeling and what the bearing of those brave men who returned to the position. Of each of these regiments there returned but a small detachment, twcogsinwallo-thirds of the men engaged having been destroyed? I think that every man who was engaged in that disastrous affair at Balaklava, and who was fortunate enough to come out of it alive, must feel that it was only by a merciful decree of Almighty Providence that he escaped from the greatest apparent certainty of death which could possibly be conceived”.”

And of course the famous Poem by Alfred Lord Tennyson;

The Charge of the Light Brigade

Half a league, half a league,
Half a league onward,
All in the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.
“Forward, the Light Brigade!
“Charge for the guns!” he said:
Into the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.

“Forward, the Light Brigade!”
Was there a man dismay’d?
Not tho’ the soldier knew
Someone had blunder’d:
Theirs not to make reply,
Theirs not to reason why,
Theirs but to do and die:
Into the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.

Cannon to right of them,
Cannon to left of them,
Cannon in front of them
Volley’d and thunder’d;
Storm’d at with shot and shell,
Boldly they rode and well,
Into the jaws of Death,
Into the mouth of Hell
Rode the six hundred.

Flash’d all their sabres bare,
Flash’d as they turn’d in air,
Sabring the gunners there,
Charging an army, while
All the world wonder’d:
Plunged in the battery-smoke
Right thro’ the line they broke;
Cossack and Russian
Reel’d from the sabre stroke
Shatter’d and sunder’d.
Then they rode back, but not
Not the six hundred.

Cannon to right of them,
Cannon to left of them,
Cannon behind them
Volley’d and thunder’d;
Storm’d at with shot and shell,
While horse and hero fell,
They that had fought so well
Came thro’ the jaws of Death
Back from the mouth of Hell,

All that was left of them,
Left of six hundred.

When can their glory fade?
O the wild charge they made!
All the world wondered.
Honour the charge they made,
Honour the Light Brigade,
Noble six hundred.


survivors of the Charge

On this day I raise a glass to the brave Hussars, Lancers and Dragoons, who courageously did
their duty….”theirs not to reason why…” … HUSSAR  !!!