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Dyn Llun

Fifty years ago......................

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They say everyone can remember where they were when they heard that JFK had been assassinated. Well I do and I can also remember where I was when the news of Churchill's death came through.

 

I was working in the darkroom of the Physics Dept. at Cardiff university. I knew there would be pictures to get, so I took the day off, grabbed the old Rolleiflex I had and caught the bus to Tonypandy in the S. Wales valleys. (I was 17 so only just learning to drive). I knew there would be a different mood there to the rest of the country and sure enough, the partying had already begun. Pubs full of cheering and celebrating miners and street parties being planned for the day of the funeral. 

 

Those pics sold at the time and are now selling again through my dealers and galleries. I have a sort of exclusivity arrangement with them for certain of my past work which works well because I get premium prices for original prints if we restrict publication. 

 

No matter, it was great to be a tiny part of something at a young age.

 

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I was writing a grade 9 English exam in Montreal when our school guidance counsellor came into the room and told us that JFK had been killed, but I can't remember where I was when Churchill died. At almost 16, I was probably too busy thinking about cars and, of course, girls.

Edited by John Mitchell

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I remember watching Churchill's funeral on the TV and, as then an avid steam train buff, I  was pleased to see that they used the steam loco "Winston Churchill" for the purpose - even though the steam era was just about over.

 

Confess that I have no recollection of where I was when the news of the JFK assassination came out.

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I'm Irish, and Churchill was no friend to the Irish. Putting that aside, I consider him to be what he was: the greatest man of the 20th century. He lived a long, useful life, drank a lot of whiskey, smoked a lot of cigars, and saved all of us from the evil people. I'm not sure that anyone else could have done that. 

 

JFK I knew slightly. My father was a congressman at that time. I had a small part in a play at the Circle in the Square Theater, and the then senator from Massachusetts would come by in a limo to pick up one of two sister who were in the show. This was about 1960. 

 

Of course it was a shock when he was assassinated . . . and the aftermath. He showed a lot of promise. But he was no Churchill. 

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I have the privilege to live in his old constituency of Wanstead and Woodford as was. It's changed name a couple of times since but it's still one of those seats where Conservative votes are weighed.

I don't remember the funeral, I was only 4 at the time, but we have a good statue at the end of the road to remind us.

overnight-snow-covers-the-1959-statue-by

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Ed,

 

Here, Here Ed.  How about when Ernest, Hunter or Bob Fosse?

 

Sill on my first expresso, so I can't raise a glass of the proper sort to all of them.

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Here's an interesting photography side story to the Churchill funeral: 

 

I was living in Rome in January 1965, but I had a conversation with a Life photographer at the B&W lab we both used (Pierluigi). He told me how Life had gutted and rebuilt a 707 jet as a flying darkroom and office. They flew to London with a bunch of top staffers, shot the event, and flew back to NYC, developing, printing and laying out the magazine as they went. 

 

Tab Hunter?

Edited by Ed Rooney

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Here's an interesting photography side story to the Churchill funeral: 

 

I was living in Rome in January 1965, but I had a conversation with a Life photographer at the B&W lab we both used (Pierluigi). He told me how Life had gutted and rebuilt a 707 jet as a flying darkroom and office. They flew to London with a bunch of top staffers, shot the event, and flew back to NYC, developing, printing and laying out the magazine as they went. 

 

Tab Hunter?

 

They had money in those days!

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I have the privilege to live in his old constituency of Wanstead and Woodford as was. It's changed name a couple of times since but it's still one of those seats where Conservative votes are weighed.

I don't remember the funeral, I was only 4 at the time, but we have a good statue at the end of the road to remind us.

overnight-snow-covers-the-1959-statue-by

 

Fancy that!  We are almost neighbours.  I live near Whipps.

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I remember watching Churchill's funeral on the TV and, as then an avid steam train buff, I  was pleased to see that they used the steam loco "Winston Churchill" for the purpose - even though the steam era was just about over.

 

Confess that I have no recollection of where I was when the news of the JFK assassination came out.

 

 

As a then 12 year old trainspotter (remember those!) I too remember them using the steam engine called Winston Churchill and I thought that was the best bit of the funeral.

 

When JFK died I was most upset because they cancelled the episode of Harry Worth that was due to be shown that evening! I also remember they stopped the 'world' from turning on the BBC! They used to show a picture of the world turning between programmes.

 

John.

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I was a sophomore at university when JFK died. Strangers came up saying, "Can you believe it, the president's dead!" I said, "Yeah, and Aldous Huxley on the same day. Isn't it awful?" Met with some very blank stares.

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I was also a train spotter and remember going to "Nine Elms" shed in London to see the loco "Winston Churchill" being prepared for the funeral run. Must have a few shots taken with my (or my sister's) Brownie 127 somewhere, but doubt if the quality is good enough for QC!

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I was also a train spotter and remember going to "Nine Elms" shed in London to see the loco "Winston Churchill" being prepared for the funeral run. Must have a few shots taken with my (or my sister's) Brownie 127 somewhere, but doubt if the quality is good enough for QC!

No problem, it's archival.

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I was also a train spotter .....

My wife is convinced I still am :)

 

She's only 55 years out.

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Referring back to the OP (a reminder to always look for the less-obvious angle of a story), the people of Tonypandy had good reason of course to dislike Churchill, but I was interested to hear in a documentary last night (presented by Jeremy Paxman) that the dockers along the Thames who bowed their cranes as the coffin went past had to be paid to do so, such were their feelings towards the great man.

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Referring back to the OP (a reminder to always look for the less-obvious angle of a story), the people of Tonypandy had good reason of course to dislike Churchill, but I was interested to hear in a documentary last night (presented by Jeremy Paxman) that the dockers along the Thames who bowed their cranes as the coffin went past had to be paid to do so, such were their feelings towards the great man.

Unchecked and unsubstantiated of course. It didn't ring true at all and stuck out like a sore thumb, or should that be a chipped shoulder.

I think Paxman was embarrassed about that, being among things quite a good journalist.

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Referring back to the OP (a reminder to always look for the less-obvious angle of a story), the people of Tonypandy had good reason of course to dislike Churchill, but I was interested to hear in a documentary last night (presented by Jeremy Paxman) that the dockers along the Thames who bowed their cranes as the coffin went past had to be paid to do so, such were their feelings towards the great man.

It's quite true about the cranes. I knew this at the time and have heard it quoted many times over the years. No amount of money would have made the Welsh miners doff their caps to Churchill! 

 

A similar thing happened with the death of Thatcher of course. Street parties and celebrations in the Welsh valleys, weeping and wailing in most of England. I was abroad dealing with one of my exhibitions at the time or I might have made a return visit. 

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Referring back to the OP (a reminder to always look for the less-obvious angle of a story), the people of Tonypandy had good reason of course to dislike Churchill, but I was interested to hear in a documentary last night (presented by Jeremy Paxman) that the dockers along the Thames who bowed their cranes as the coffin went past had to be paid to do so, such were their feelings towards the great man.

It's quite true about the cranes. I knew this at the time and have heard it quoted many times over the years. No amount of money would have made the Welsh miners doff their caps to Churchill! 

 

A similar thing happened with the death of Thatcher of course. Street parties and celebrations in the Welsh valleys, weeping and wailing in most of England. I was abroad dealing with one of my exhibitions at the time or I might have made a return visit.

What's true is that you heard it. Repeating something doesn't make it so.

I had always thought that most miners were decent men, lions led by donkeys if you like. I still do, except those who purported to celebrate a death.

Most people in both cases were able to see beyond the end of their noses.

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A similar thing happened with the death of Thatcher of course. Street parties and celebrations in the Welsh valleys, weeping and wailing in most of England.

 

Not overmuch weeping and wailing in this part of England, I can assure you!

Edited by Bryan

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I remember when I herd the news that JFK was dead, I was in High School, and we were let out early.  I visited the FDR Little White House in Warm Springs, GA, where he died. FDR and Churchill worked closely during WWII.  In the tour of the Little White House photography was ok but no flash.  I should go back with a camera that has better low light level performance, I had the D70 then. 

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Yeah, the Nikon people introduced the D70 just before their nation bombed Pearl Harbor . . . but it was only available in the Carolinas. FDR had a plan to collect all those cameras and use them to make bombs of our own, then he found that they were mostly made of plastic. Yes, I'm an alternate history buff.  :huh:

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