Monday, 30 April 2012

Return of the Equine Quadrupeds

This blog first encountered Roy Peckham, proprietor of the Fforest Uchaff Horse and Pony Centre and Pit Pony Sanctuary, a couple of years ago (see `Mr Peckham`s Pit Pony Petition`, this blog, 15 Jan 2010).

We`re pleased to hear that Peckham perseveres with his pit ponies and other needy horses.

During June of this year, his micro-charity (number 1002933) will be participating in the Foundation for Social Improvement`s `Small Charity Week` (see

As part of that event, they will be holding a fundraising event at St David`s Centre in Cardiff (probably Tues 12 June) and are also looking for items with a `celebrity` provenance to sell for fundraising purposes as part of an E-Bay/FSI Small Charities Week sale 11 - 15 June 2012.

If you can help, I`m sure they would glad to hear from you - contact them via their website at .

Speaking personally I`ve always been fond of our four footed friends and am very glad to give this interesting charity a bit of a plug.

This is Iggy, one of a number of ponies to benefit from the sanctuary. To learn more about Iggy and a number of other ponies at the centre, click on .

Monday, 23 April 2012

All the Way From Memphis ?

On Sat 21 Apr the Erewash Museum marked it`s 30th birthday with a rock `n` roll party featuring live music by the Memphis Riders.

The band were a last minute replacement for Glenn Darren and the Krew Katz, who were unable to appear. In the interests of scientific research I`ve had a quick look on the web and there is live footage of Mr D and his KKz which is well worth a look, though for me I preferred the line-up with the double bass player than the one with the electric bass.

The Riders played three sets. The first was made up of largely `50s cover versions, though the handful of songs that I didn`t recognise could have been band originals for all I know. Their opening number was Boogie Woogie Country Girl, followed by Bony Moronie, He`ll Have to Go, No Heart to Spare and many others. The general feel was quite authentic, and they were at their best on No Heart... and He`ll Have.. .

This brings me to something I touched on earlier. In my view, their bassist is wise to opt for a double bass rather than a bass guitar. Of course, there are many great rock `n` roll records featuring the bass guitar, but the use of a stand-up bass does just give it that extra `50s feel.

The second set I missed.

The third set began with a Stonesy version of Burning Love followed by a touch of diversification as they explored the music of the `60s, with House of the Rising Sun, These Boots are Made for Walking, Do You Wanna Dance, It`s Only Make Believe and others.

The band were warmly received with much dancing in the Derbyshire rain and seemed to gel with young and old alike.

I like this band. They are authentic enough to appeal to the serious rock `n` rollers, accessible enough to reach out to a wider audience. They play with great feel, but they aren`t afraid to to do familiar songs in a slightly different way. 

A lot of people assume that straight-ahead rock `n` rollers aren`t necessarily such great musicians. I can`t really agree with that. It`s true that some people seem to have a natural aptiutude for rock `n` roll playing and it does come pretty readily to them. On the other hand there are plenty of people who fail to convince playing this sort of material, even if technically they may well be the better players. 

I`m not usually a great lover of bands who rely heavily (exclusively ?) on covers, but I`m prepared to make exceptions for bands as good as this  - even if their native Warsop is not very much like Memphis !

FOOTNOTE - The Memphis Riders have a CD out, Someone Else`s Girl, and the title track can be found on You Tube, posted by MrBlack1966. There is also some live footage of them on YT - a slightly different line-up, though (in my view) it`s not quite up to the standard they set on Saturday. They do have a My Space page with some excellent studio tracks.

I gather the band have already conquered such rock `n` rolling hotspots as Strelley, Chesterfield and Skegness and are due to appear at a `50s weekend at Crich Transport Museum in the near future.

Monday, 16 April 2012

Derbyshire Literature Festival

Derbyshire Literature Festival will take place during 11 - 20 May 2012, and will feature various exhibitions and personal appearances by writers.

Commendably, most events will take place in leisure centres and libraries throughout Derbyshire, rather than being concentrated in Derby itself or at the University, thus bringing the festival much closer to home for many people than is usually the case with these things.

I`m told that more than 65 events are planned, and a quick skim through the promotional booklet showed that around 40 locations are involved, including Haddon Hall, and the aforementioned libraries and leisure centres, including those at Alfreton, Bakewell, Calke, Dronfield, Eckington, Fairfield, Glossop, Holymoorside, Ilkeston, both of the Matlocks, Newbold, Whitwell and Wingerworth.

Writers will include Deirdre O`Brien, Morag Joss, Sinclair McKay, Debjani Chatterjee, Paul Kane, Marie O`Regan and Steven Dunne.

I`m sure many of the writers will have their own stories to tell, but perhaps none more notable than that of Jasvinder Sanghera (Ilkeston Library, 16 May) who survived a forced marriage and went on to become not only a writer but a co-founder of Karma Nirvana ( , a project that supports those affected by so-called `honour` crimes and forced marriage.

That`s enough from me. To find out more about the festival, visit .

Friday, 6 April 2012

The Hoonaloon Big April Books Bonanza

Here at Hoonaloon Books we have regular sales throughout the year.

Our current sale is now on (ends 27 April 2012), giving you yet another chance to pick up a bargain.

At any given time we have around 4,000 books in stock, with prices to suit every pocket.

This blog carries links to ABE Books and to our catalogue, but you can if you wish contact us directly ot

In the meantime, here are a selection of recent additions to our catalogue.

4951 Hall (ed) - The Green Building Bible

4948 Jeffs (ed), Whitby Schoolkids (poetry/illustrations), Ron Dunn (illustrations) -  If ; An Anthology of Student`s Poetry

4952 - Simon Armitage - Gig ; The Life and Times of a Rock Star Fantasist *Signed copy*

These three were all added to the system today. All being well, full details, descriptions etc will appear on the ABE site and in our catalogue within 24 hours and pictures of the books will added to those within 48 hours.

Any questions, just ask.

Nick and Ann-Marie
Hoonaloon Books

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Quotation Station : Albert Einstein

The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has it`s limits.

Albert Einstein