About 340 million years ago, the area which is now the Peak District was covered by a warm, clear, shallow sea. The sea was full of microscopic shell-creatures, and on the sea bed there were several coral reefs and beds of shellfish. Over a long period, millions of years, these creatures lived and died in this area, gradually laying down a thick bed of calcium deposits from their shells up to a depth of 600m in places. This is now the rock which is known as Carboniferous Limestone and this rock lies under the whole of the Peak District.
Then suddenly in 1972 the Buxton Rock Festival relocated from the nearby Pavilion Gardens to an area high atop the moors, on High Edge.
Don’t recall rain but it was very cold at night. The beer tent was selling Party Seven cans of beer, with seven pints in them. The queues for them were so long you had to make an important decision one can or two? Unfortunately I chose the latter, while one wasn’t enough, two was too much for a sixteen year old. Part way through the second can, I got up to dance to Easy Livin’ by Uriah Heep and fell flat on my face – Tim Hardman
Then suddenly in 1974.
I raced at the first meeting at High Edge Raceway and competed in that first year when the track was just a bulldozed dirt oval with earth banks and tyres for protection. I remember going to the Quiet Woman pub in Earl Sterndale for the first drivers meeting to see if there would be enough support for racing to take place. The people who went included a group of disillusioned hot rodders seeking to get away from the Belle Vue promoter, others ranged from truckers and farmers to car-nuts who just wanted to race anything. The first meeting I well remember those earth banks because I spent most of my first race sat on one, I couldn’t get the car off the top where I had been shunted by another racer. I wasn’t a successful banger racer and I didn’t continue after that first year but I am glad that racing has kept going at the venue – Alan Inwood
2017 and the track continues to grow and thrive currently trading as Buxton Raceway.
Offering a wide range of motor sports, racing anything with wheels and an engine, including bangers, buses and speedway bikes, being home to the Buxton Hitmen.
I often cycle or walk by and was privileged on this occasion to be given a guide tour by track worker, keen racer and self confessed car-nut Shane.
Pop in if your passing, you won’t be disappointed.
To the east of Manchester and the west of Ashton sits The Moss.
This area of low lying, deep peaty bog, just outside Ashton-under Lyne, was drained in the mid 1800’s to grow some of the best crops – It was world famous for its celery but also grew good cabbage, cauliflowers and lettuce, with cucumbers and tomatoes grown in glasshouses.
This map of 1861 shows an area criss-crossed with lanes, ditches and field boundaries.
A world that survived into the 1980s, captured here so beautifully by Brian Lomas, prior to the building of the M60.
Its location on the south east corner of the Lancashire Coalfield, and the burgeoning demands of the Industrial Revolution saw the further development of mining in the area.
As the demand for coal outstripped the output, a deeper mine was opened in 1875, at Ashton Moss. This new pit had its own railway branch and canal arm for efficient transportation of the coal. In 1882 a second shaft was sunk – at 2,850 feet, the deepest in the world at that time.
The New Rocher pit closed in 1887 and Broadoak pit closed in 1904, after which time Ashton Moss pit was the only coal mine still in operation in Ashton. Although it produced 150,000 tons of coal a year in the early 1950s and employed over 500 men, Ashton Moss colliery closed in 1959 and part of its site is now the Snipe Retail Park on the boundary with Audenshaw.
Seen here in this painting by local artist David Vaughan.
Colliery lamp token.
This tight little island of land was a contrasting mix of the agricultural and industrial, home also to the urgent demands of a leisured and growing working class.
The area boasted two motorcycle speedway tracks.
One located on the Audenshaw side, just behind The Snipe pub.
And one in Droylsden at the Moorside Stadium – home to local legend Riskit Riley:
The stadium later to become a horse trotting track, known locally as Doddy’s Trot
The Moss has also provided a home for Curzon Ashton football club
For me the Helsinki 1952 Olympics, began in Morecambe 2016.
I was attracted by the stylish cover of this report, in the town’s second hand book shop, the vendor was expecting forty pounds, I exhaled, eyebrows raised and departed.
But my curiosity had been aroused.
Where is Helsinki, when was 1952 – what’s an Olympics?
I was up and running!
To begin, it was the Paavo Nurmi poster, created for the 1940 Games, which were never held because of the Second World War. It was just updated with the dates and the lines around the countries, drawn in red on a globe in the background. 82,000 large format copies were made in nine languages and 33,000 small format copies in 20 languages.
Look there’s Helsinki!
Where they built a stadium.
The Stadium Foundation, established 1927, started to implement that dream, and their first and foremost task was to get a stadium built, which would permit Helsinki to host the Summer Olympics. Building began on February 12, 1934, and the Stadium was inaugurated on June 12, 1938. Since its completion the Stadium has undergone eight important stages of development. The most important was the total modernization 1990-1994. At its maximum, in 1952, the Stadium accommodated 70 000 spectators. Today, the number of spectator places, all of them seats, is 39 000.
The Stadium arena, which has been described as the most beautiful in the world, is the product of an architectural competition. Arhcitects Mr. Yrjö Lindegren and Mr. Toivo Jäntti won the competition with their clearly lined functionalistic style design. The most important events in the life of the Helsinki Olympic Stadium were the XVth Olympic Games, 19. July-3. August, 1952. In the opening of the Olympic Games the spectator record of the stadium was reached 70 435 spectators and the olympic year is still an event which has collected most spectators. Whole year 1952 altogether 850 000 spectators.
The Stadium Building is 243 m long and up to 159m wide. The tower is 72m high. The Stadium covers 4.9 hectares. The Olympic Stadium is administrated by the Stadium Foundation. The Municipality of Helsinki, the Ministry of Education and the central sports organisations are represented in the Board of the Foundation.
The Stadium has been characterized as the world’s most beautiful Olympic Stadium, and what is exceptional about it is the fact that the Olympic buildings are in active use.
It defined the visual culture of the games.
My curiosity was further aroused when I discovered graphic material and images linking Coca- Cola to the games, how long have they been pumping athletes full of pop?
Quite some time it turned out:
The 1928 Olympic Games, which included 46 nations, marked the beginning of The Coca-Cola Company’s Olympic involvement – a presence that would continue to grow to this day, through sponsorships, donations and innovative support programs. That summer, a freighter delivered the U.S. Olympic Team and 1,000 cases of Coca-Cola to the Amsterdam event.
The morbidly obese’s drink of choice was forever aligned with the fleet of foot.
Despite the fact that Finland did not have a local bottler, Coca-Cola still was served to athletes and spectators at the Helsinki Olympic Games. More than 30,000 cases of Coca-Cola were brought to the event from the Netherlands aboard the M.S. Marvic, a rebuilt World War II landing craft, in what became known as “Operation Muscle.” Ice coolers and trucks from the corners of northern Europe also were brought in, turning the ship into a floating stockroom.
Gee thanks Yanks.
Whenever you had done well in an Olympics you would expect some reasonable reward, commensurate with your achievements, wouldn’t you?
What do you want, a medal?
On the obverse, the traditional goddess of victory, holding a palm in her left hand and a winner’s crown in her right. A design used since the 1928 Games in Amsterdam, created by Florentine artist Giuseppe Cassioli ITA -1865-1942 and chosen after a competition organised by the International Olympic Committee. For these Games, the picture of victory is accompanied by the specific inscription: “XV OLYMPIA HELSINKI 1952”. On the reverse, an Olympic champion carried in triumph by the crowd, with the Olympic stadium in the background. N.B: From 1928 to 1968, the medals for the Summer Games were identical. The Organising Committee for the Games in Munich in 1972 broke new ground by having a different reverse which was designed by a Bauhaus representative, Gerhard Marcks.
Olympics are obviously something of a global money spinner for many greedy nations, they will stop at nothing to cash in, producing millions of tiny stamps, at premium prices, to rinse the undeserving and guileless citizen.
Here are a few more examples of the graphic identity with a distinctive modern style:
There we have it, now we’re all ever so slightly older and wiser.