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Kevin Dawson "Green Weasel" (Horsham UK)
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The Gun-punt Adventure
The Gun-punt Adventure
by Colin Willock
Edition: Hardcover

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Gun-Punt Sort of Interesting Venture., 3 Oct. 2015
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This review is from: The Gun-punt Adventure (Hardcover)
Colin Willock and Jack Hargreaves managed to combine their interests in the Countryside with successful careers in journalism and the -at the time- relatively new media of television. This book tells of their enthusiastic efforts in the 1950's not just to build a fully-equipped gunning punt but to arm it and use it for the pursuit of wild-fowl in the style of the old time market gunners and sporting gentlemen of the Victorian era.
As anyone who reads this book will come to realise; once the design had been settled upon the making of the punt itself was the most straight-forward part of the exercise : sourcing suitable armament for the craft was to prove far more problematic .
In fact ,without giving too much away, it would be fair to say that the reasoning behind my relatively measly 3 Star rating for this book is based mainly on the fact that it lacks a climax. There is no mention of spectacular success or indeed, interesting failure. The author hints of possible advancement of the project in his closing sentences but leaves the reader -or this reader at least- feeling cheated of the complete story. And from my own anecdotal meeting with an associate of Mr Willock I'm fairly sure there was a little more to tell. Maybe Willock and Hargreaves-like small boys ,who, having sated their interest for one school holiday fad ,simply moved onto the next . .Its a petty they didn't finish the story first .


London's Lost Route to the Sea: Historical Account of the Inland Navigations Which Linked the Thames to the English Channel (Inland Waterways Histories)
London's Lost Route to the Sea: Historical Account of the Inland Navigations Which Linked the Thames to the English Channel (Inland Waterways Histories)
by P. A. L. Vine
Edition: Hardcover

5.0 out of 5 stars readable and easily followed. I would recommend this book to anyone ..., 5 May 2015
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With the Arun being local I'm familiar with the remains of the disused navigations associated with it but it took this book to bring home just how much the lower , tidal reach, of the present day Arun also owes its imposing character to human agency rather than nature.
The book covers the vessels , transport fees, the investments in the various projects and the daily running of the waterways. It also chronicles the enthusiastic but ultimately broken dreams of investors as water transport lost favour . Always slow, often at the mercy of floods and drought and always expensive to maintain ,the canals and navigations reaching out from the Arun could not compete with improving road and growing rail systems . Even the closing of the system was not without trauma as landowners and Parish Officials(some of whom had been forced to accept compulsory loss of land and taxation when the canals were built) feared they would be left with an expensive aftermath of derelict waterways and crumbling bridges to maintain.
The author has put a lot of work and research into this book and considering the varying and sometimes over-lapping time-scales of industry involved in the development of the canals and navigations , has produced something informative , readable and easily followed.
I would recommend this book to anyone interested in the canal system and more specifically to those interested in local history.


Beagle Garden Products EasySet Mole Trap - Green
Beagle Garden Products EasySet Mole Trap - Green
Price: £17.50

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The truth is I bought two of these while they were on offer simply to satisfy my curiosity, 10 April 2015
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I've given this product a three star rating because it is perhaps not as adaptable to soil conditions as more traditional mole-traps but mainly because of the heavy price tag.
The truth is I bought two of these while they were on offer simply to satisfy my curiosity . Professional mole-catchers tend to be dismissive of any but conventional metal traps-often without having actually handled the new product. Having said that; this trap is based upon a very old design ,albeit one made of string and wood rather than plastic.
Despite reading negative comments on a pest control forum I became intrigued by the design and decided that I would add a couple to my armoury and make up my own mind about the trap's limitations rather than follow negative Internet wisdom.
For use in shallow runs and crumbly soil there are cheaper and more efficient traps. But without giving away any trade secrets ; I found the Beagle easy to use and effective where the moles were running deeper and the soil was firm.
Whether the traps will stand up to the long-term use remains to be seen .
The ones I bought at discount have satisfied my curiosity and proved effective enough to rank as a successful purchase but not successful enough to tempt me into buying any at the full price! .
Its a modern version of a very old
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 15, 2015 9:02 PM BST


Talpex Trap Genuine with video instructions
Talpex Trap Genuine with video instructions

5.0 out of 5 stars Setting the Talpex is an easily mastered knack, 3 April 2015
The genuine Talpex is probably the most powerful , adaptable and in some ways easiest to use successfully of any mole spring trap. Professional mole-catchers ,recognising its adaptability and taking advantage of its powerful spring, have devised several different ways of setting the Talpex according to soil conditions and pattern of mole activity.
The amateur trapper may not have the advantage of practical experience but the design and strength of its spring make the genuine Talpex a very effective tool even when used in the most basic manner.
Setting the Talpex is an easily mastered knack. Using brute strength may result in a damaged trigger wire and damaged fingers!
If the trap is set in the right place , a degree of finesse used when balencing the trigger and the light and air carefully excluded from around the trap, success should follow. If it doesn't, the fault will not be with the trap.


Moles (The British Natural History Collection)
Moles (The British Natural History Collection)
by Rob Atkinson
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £14.99

5.0 out of 5 stars the author has managed to share the fruits of what seems like an impressive amount of scientific study, 2 April 2015
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Under the guise of an informative little book written in layperson's language, the author has managed to share the fruits of what seems like an impressive amount of scientific study. Its easily read and full of facts. Perhaps some might not agree with the author's choice of expert mole-catchers but few expert mole-catchers would be happy to share their secrets so perhaps he was limited for choice.


Mushrooming with Confidence
Mushrooming with Confidence
by Alexander Schwab
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £16.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I bought this book and I have'nt poisoned myself yet !, 26 Sept. 2013
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Good book . Follow the instructions to the letter and you will live . A trade-off I suppose is that while quality pictures,colour charts and clearly presented information guide reduce the scope for erronious identification it means that the book is a bit big to carry in the field and too nicely presented to risk getting wet and dirty.
Hence it drops a rating star for its lack of pocketability but its a great book !


Tommy (Special Edition) [DVD] [1975]
Tommy (Special Edition) [DVD] [1975]
Dvd ~ Roger Daltrey
Offered by westworld-
Price: £20.00

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Tommy 1975, 26 Sept. 2013
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Ken Russel's adaptation of the Who's ,not so classic and not so rocky, rock opera.
In short its a about a lad(Tommy played by Roger Daltry) who is traumatised into what might be described as a silent and dark world of innocence after witnessing the violent death of his father (Robert Powell) at the hands of his step-father ( the quirkily but effectively cast Oliver Reed). To be fair, everybody including the audience had been led to believe his dad was already dead and walking-in on his wife(Ann Margret) and her new spouse while they were in the throws of passion was not a well-planned move .
From there the film revolves around the family's attempts to live a jolly,normal 1950s life while seeking to cure Tommy of his deaf,dumb and blindness and his eventual rise to Messianic status as leader of a Utopian cult.Unsurprisingly human greed and failings don't allow this happy state of affairs to last long .
On one level its a pretty standard parady of the corruption of religion . Its also a quirky film. Darkly comic set-pieces are interplayed with light-hearted jollyness and some scenes that are quite frankly worrying . Tina Turner's Acid Queen scene is a ghastly highlight .Who drummer Kieth Moon's portrayal of pervy Uncle Ernie came across like a scene from a rather dark Carry-On film in its day but modern audiences might find it quite uncomfortable to watch .
Musical highlights include Elton John's Pinball Wizard,Tina Turner's turn as the Acid Queen and a couple of classic Who songs toward the end of the film. Apart from that the music pretty bland . Apart from a neat little performance by frothy pop-star of the time Paul Nicholas that is . Throwing-off his Mr Clean image in favour of a role as sadistic Cousin Kevin he gives a brief burst of energy to the film.
Those into motorcyles will have fun spotting the makes of machine used by the gangs of hired biker extras in their big fight scene . In fact in my view the most poignant image of the whole film is the look on the face of a young ,wounded Hell's Angel who thinks he has crawled to safety only to find ...... Well let's not spoil it .
Very much of its time ,Tommy may seem disturbing , possibly irrelevent , maybe boring and almost certainly over-hyped by a modern audience . On the other hand it could be viewed as a weird and wonderful bit of art that ,albeit grotesquely touches on human failings, and unspoken social issues .
Ann Margret in her role as Tommy's mum works very hard by the way and there are some who will find the film just as exhausting to watch . I saw it when it came out and I will watch it again but my finger will be hovering over the fast forward button in places . I kinda want to give it another star but.....


Duel At Diablo [DVD] [1966]
Duel At Diablo [DVD] [1966]
Dvd ~ James Garner
Price: £10.50

4.0 out of 5 stars Unusual and under-rated., 23 Jan. 2013
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This review is from: Duel At Diablo [DVD] [1966] (DVD)
Dual at Diablo dispenses with the simplistic cowboys vs indians or baddie vs goodies theme of so many formularic Western offerings .

It has at first glance an unlikely cast .However, Sidney Poitier's bronc-buster surely represents a passing nod in the direction of the unsung negro cowboys who existed in the west .British actor Bill Travis as a Scottish cavalry officer is an authentic touch as American regiments were drawn from many nationalities .

The story involves the sad plight of a white woman torn between her culture and the half-Apache child she bore whilst in captivity ,the bitterness of her white husband, Indian's on the war-trail and the revenge trip of Garner's character as he seeks the man who killed his Comanche wife.

The threads of these plots entwine and ultimatly come to a pretty satisfying conclusion .

There are unsurprisingly a few violent moments and one particularly gruesome scene . These seem to evoke more comment today than they did when the film was first screened .
Nowadays a warning tends to precede the film whenever it is shown on TV but I recall that back in the sixties it was cheerfully screened as family entertainment.

Watching it as a child on a wet Sunday afternoon ever did me any harm. Now where's my scalping knife ?.


Scalextric G1072 Team GB Velodrome 2012: Track Cycling 1:64 Scale Race Set
Scalextric G1072 Team GB Velodrome 2012: Track Cycling 1:64 Scale Race Set

4.0 out of 5 stars Don't pay full price !, 27 Dec. 2012
= Durability:2.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Educational:2.0 out of 5 stars 
The Grand-children had this for Christmas. Great-grandad paid £19 for it and was pretty chuffed as the rrp was close to £60.
I can't agree with those who have trouble stopping the bikes flying off the track .Yes ,when used flat-out they do flip-out at the corners but this is a racing game and its as much about control skills as speed.It's wise to place a few cushions track-side to stop the little bikes hurling themselves into oblivion but to be honest, once he'd mastered a subtle throttle technique my 6 year old Grandson began racking-up up some massive lap counts without mishap.
Its important to keep the contact brushes beneath each motor-unit neat and tidy or handling and performance suffer (Spare brushes are included) and the fixture between cycle and motor unit is undeniably weak.
Realistically it's a high-speed electric racing game of skill and leaving it in the unsupervised hands of boisterous children (or unsympathetic adults for that matter) will end in tears.
If/when the cycles become permenantly detatched from their base-units all is not lost .The motor-units themselves can be raced or other vehicles in the Scalectrix 1/64 "mini"series should fit on the velodrome track .
The recomended price of damn near £60 represents ridiculously poor value for what is a fun but very basic racing set-up with undeniably delicate vehicles.If you pay full price you have a right to feel cheated !
However I've given this product a decent rating based on the combination of grin-value and the more realistic discount price of around 20quid . .
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 6, 2013 12:32 AM GMT


Tales of a Rat-hunting Man
Tales of a Rat-hunting Man
by David Brian Plummer
Edition: Hardcover

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Rat Hunting Rip Off!, 29 Feb. 2012
Funny,risque,readable but original it is not . Enjoy Plummer's "Tales of a Rat Hunting Man"-published 1978- by all means.Then read Phil Drabble's "Of Pedigree Unknown"-first published in 1964 . Plummer may have "sexed them up" a bit but too many of the anecdotes mentioned in "Rat Hunting Man" and passed off as his own experiences seem to have been unashamedly lifted from Drabble's work of fourteen years earlier to be coincidental.
While the late Mr Plummer's ability to tell a good tale has never been in doubt his reputation as a hunter is considered by many to have been the result of self-publicity as much as true skill.
Phil Drabble ,also sadly no longer with us, was a far more honest writer. Plummer often portrayed himself as something of a field-sports heretic but the gentlemanly Drabble probably held more genuinly controversial views on certain aspects of hunting.
Tales of a Rat Hunting Man is not a bad book-possibly one of Plummer's best . It was good of Drabble to write so much of it for him !.


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