Wednesday 31 October 2012

Happy Halloween, or, Echoes of Terror!

The light is dimming outside and the leaves are dancing in the street, excited at what will come when night falls. Yes, it's the between channels Halloween post and served up on a bed of death and worms is a series of plates from Hamlyn's 1980 anthology 'Echoes of Terror'. Unlike many of these volumes it was published as an A4 hardback with copious gruesome illustrations. Fittingly, someone has been at this copy with a knife so when I bought it everything tumbled onto the floor like, er, a sailor's guts. I'm not sure which illustration goes with which story - perhaps you can guess! - and as a result am unsure as to which illustrator penned which picture. Let's just give a severed hand to Les Edwards, Gordon Crabb, Jim Burns, Terry Oakes, Stuart Hughes, Peter Goodfellow, Bob Fowke and George Smith. Now let's peep through the crooked bits of wood I hammered over the window, enjoy a hedge-meal of rat and henbane and try to figure out what those lights bobbing in the field really are...
I'm sure Denholm Elliott played Dracula once. Anyone?
There's something about an A4 scary face propelling itself towards you at great speed.
Hypgnosis goes horror, and it works.
I have to admit that this one is quite frightening.
Poker is much easier in the underworld.
The Ramblers Association's new logo.
A cross-breed, unsuitable for families with young children.
Medieval Jaegerbomb.
The man himself, give it up for him and rock will NEVER die. Like much of the country I will spend the evening with kith and kin, watching 'The Living Dead at the Manchester Morgue', Kevin Billington's 1973 Hemmings-fest 'Whispers' and shutting the curtains to pretend nobody is in. Stay safe, and remember that on the night when the invisible membrane between this world and the hereafter is at its thinnest, turn your lights on if you're going for a bike ride. Adieu!

Tuesday 30 October 2012

Barrie's Album

Hello there. I've been hunting around for things, and recently bought a small photo album.
It's a souvenir from Jerusalem, where the owner served for a while in World War Two. After taking the pictures out, I ascertained that the owner was called Barrie.
This is Barrie's sister. This photograph unnerves me a little for some reason.
This is Barrie, and someone has snapped him walking down the lane. He walks on the outside of his feet, just like I do.
Cheerfully looming out of the gloom.
Barrie liked football. I'd imagine there was no heated dugout at this ground. And the ball was carved from solid walnut.
Barrie was married. And in uniform ...
And in 1943 he was posted abroad. Written on the back: 'Your loving Sheikh xxx barrie. They never smile darling. It just is not done here.'
'14 Jan 1945 - what do you think of the car dear.'
'What do you think of the house dearest. This is not for your eyes mind.'
You're darn right about that Barrie! There were probably no more letters asking to see what 'the house' looked like. It must have been boring and lonely in the desert when you weren't fighting.
'2 girls - sidi bishr'.