Saturday, 23 July 2011

Coronation Street 35th Anniversary Commemorative Stamps (1995)

These Local Issue stamps were issued in 1995 by St Mary's in the Scilly Isles as part of a joint Omnibus issue to commemorate the 35th Anniversary (1960-1995) of Coronation Street. These particular stamps feature the legendary Stan & Hilda Ogden.

Slim Whitman 25th Anniversary Concert (1973)

Slim Whitman,25th Anniversary Concert,UK,Deleted,LP RECORD,510123
Slim Whitman 25th Anniversary Concert was released in 1973 as a UK 14-track live LP recorded at the Empire Theatre in Liverpool on 4th March 1973, it had a wonderful front laminated gatefold picture sleeve with integral eight page illustrated booklet & silver 25th Anniversary custom sticker on the front.

Indian Love Call
I'm Casting My Lassoo Towards The Sky
Cool Water
Cattle Call
The Twelfth Of Never
Poor Little Angeline
Got The All Overs For You (All Over Me)
Love Song Of The Waterfall
China Doll
There's A Love Knot In My Lariat
Rose Marie
Cool Water
The Old Spinning Wheel
I'll Take You Home Again Kathleen
When I Grow Too Old To Dream

Slade Prison's Finest - Mr MacKay!

Ronnie Barker and Fulton Mackay in TV show Porridge: Porridge to take to the stage

Prison Screw, Mr MacKay was a wonderful creation, a true comedic great, sadly, the kind of comedic great that we no longer witness in today's shite comedies. The character was great because of the actor Fulton MacKay's wonderful interpretation of the tough, no nonsense, neurotic Prison Warder. Fulton and Ronnie Barker complemented one another so well and the scenes the duo appeared in together were priceless and are the stuff true comedy legends are made of.

Mackay is a neurotic and tough prison warder whose constant obsession in life is to catch out Fletcher. The rivalry between Fletch and Mackay was a thing of comedy legend. Fletch's sly tactics in misdeeds ranging from fixing boxing matches, stealing pills from the prison Doctor and eggs from the prison farmyard right through to finding new and imaginative ways to stick two fingers up at Mackay and get away with it, were specially designed to get up Mackay's nose. In return, Mackay's frenzied attempts to catch Fletch out, when fruitful, gave Mackay a level of smugness and satisfaction which was only accentuated by Fletch's hostility and skulking.

Mackay was born into a poor family, he was one of 8 children and his father was an unemployed miner. MacKay was formerly a drill Sergeant in the Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders, and he brings the same manner and expectations of discipline to his job at HMP Slade. Mackay's temper is agitated by the constant suspicion he has of Fletch, and his despair at the leniency of his other polar opposite in the series - his optimistic, mild-mannered, kind-hearted prison officer colleague Mr Barrowclough.

Mackay's homeland of Scotland serves as a constant source of entertainment for Fletcher who is constantly on the lookout for an opportunity to antagonise Mackay. In one episode Mackay questions Fletch on whether he felt he was working class. Fletch responds 'I did, until I visited Glasgow. Now I think I'm middle class.'

Mackay's approach to prison officership is perfectly encapsulated in a ranting lecture he delivers to Fletcher and some of the other prisoners on his unexpected return from a period of absence on a training course in the episode, 'Disturbing the Peace.' Strutting back and forth in front of them, he takes great delight in yelling that "There's going to be a new regime here, based not on lenience and laxity but on discipline, hard work and blind, unquestioning obedience. Feet will not touch the floor. Lives will be made a misery. I am back, and I am in charge here." Despite this speech, every single inmate, including Fletch and Godber greet his return with a rendition of "For he's a jolly good fellow.". Possibly because it meant the end of the much more severe Mr. Wainwright, who even went as far as stepping on Fletcher's hand when he got his shoes wet.

He also displays his contempt for the prison occupants in an exchange with Fletcher when the latter protests about the infringement of his rights: "rights are a privilege that you forfeit when you choose to transgress the law".

On another occasion he remonstrates with Barrowclough. Mackay: "They're criminals, man!" Barrowclough: "Ah yes but they're also human beings." Mackay: "All right. But criminal human beings!

Despite their rivalry, Fletcher and Mackay can occasionally get along. This is seen in the Christmas special "No Way Out," after Fletcher, while attempting to reveal a false tunnel to Mr. Mackay when the inmates were planning an escape, landed up in the infirmary. A triumphant and tipsy Mackay visits him there and offers Fletcher a (slightly used) bottle of liquor as a Christmas present, and for information regarding the disposal of the dirt from the tunnel. Fletcher responds by informing Mackay the inmates had dug another tunnel and deposited the dirt from the first tunnel down that one!

He appeared in the first episode of spin-off series "Going Straight" having been retired out of the prison service. He and Fletcher share a few drinks on the Fletcher's train home, and although dismissive of Fletcher's plans to go straight, wishes him luck in the future after he gets him out of unknowingly smuggling goods.

Fawlty Towers - Series One, Episode Four - The Hotel Inspectors' (1975)

When Basil hears of Hotel Inspectors roaming Torquay, incognito, he realises with horror that the guest he has been verbally abusing could easily be one of them. "The Hotel Inspectors" was the Fourth episode from Series One of the classic Fawlty Towers and was first broadcast on 10th October 1975.

Two guests, Mr. Walt and Mr. Hutchinson, arrive separately at reception. Mr. Walt says very little, while Mr. Hutchinson speaks in a very drawn-out and pompous, overly-affected Northern manner (claiming that he finds "the air here [in Torquay] most invigorating") that immediately irritates Basil. Basil becomes increasingly irate as Hutchinson makes unreasonable requests and asks for specific directions to a meeting. Whilst drawing Hutchinson a map containing an abbreviation of Post Office, Basil accidentally makes Mr. Walt think he tells him to 'P-off', and also produces picture cards for Manuel to understand what he is saying. After Sybil finally finishes on the phone, she informs Basil that a friend of Audrey's discovered the presence of three Hotel Inspectors in town. This information raises Basil's blood pressure several notches, and he becomes determined to work out who the Inspectors are, realising with horror that any of the guests he has been monstering could be one of them.

While Mr. Hutchinson is requesting to reserve the television to watch a documentary he is interested in, he says something which makes Basil's hair stand on end: "In my professional activities I am in constant contact with [hotels]." This, combined with Hutchinson's neediness and over-inflated style of speaking, convinces Basil that Hutchinson is actually an Inspector, and changes his attitude towards Hutchinson, instead treating him like a VIP. He escorts him to the dining room, where lunch is about to be served, and ends up overlooking Mr. Walt, who is forced to wait after his bottle of wine proves to be corked, even though Hutchinson is taking a phone call. Sybil quietly reveals to Basil that Mr. Hutchinson is in fact a spoons salesman (she had overheard his conversation). Feeling conned, Basil promises revenge on Hutchinson. However, Basil's relief is short-lived when, while making conversation with him, Mr. Walt casually mentions that he is in Torquay "on business with two colleagues," which convinces Basil that he is actually the Inspector. In order to prevent Walt getting a bad impression, Basil tries to stop Hutchinson, who is annoyed because a confusion in the kitchen has led to his being served several dishes he did not order, from complaining by choking him, eventually rendering him unconscious.
Hutchinson regains consciousness and starts punching Basil at reception, who uncharacteristically accepts it without retaliation in Mr. Walt's presence, before storming off, declaring he is leaving and does not expect to receive a bill. Mr. Walt is flabbergasted, especially when Basil tries to bribe him not to mention the chain of events which has just taken place when he reviews the hotel, and immediately goes into hysterics, realizing how much he has just risked the hotel's reputation. Mr. Walt reveals he is actually an outboard motors salesman, and consoles Basil. Thinking he is in the clear, Basil runs to the kitchen with Manuel, who stops Mr. Hutchinson as he is leaving, saying Basil wants to "say adios". Basil then slaps pies on Mr. Hutchinson's face and crotch while Manuel pours milk into his briefcase. Hutchinson is marched to the door and forcibly ejected out of the hotel by a vengeful Basil, who kisses Manuel on the head for his help, crosses over to the reception and welcomes three smartly-dressed businessmen to the hotel - who have just witnessed the previous goings-on. He screams in terror when he realizes who they clearly are.