October 21st 1975

“Trip to London – Audio Fair = great!, Design centre = yawn!, London Motor Show = great bar crawl!”

I wish I had commented on who I went with and how we all got to London. The latter I suspect would have been via the train, but surely I didn’t venture to all these things by myself?….

I think this was my one and only London Audio Fair. I remember feeling daunted by all the stereo equipment on show and how everyone looking at and testing the new shiny boxes were all so very much older – and thus, to my mind, wiser – than me.

The only online reference I could find to the show was a review of it published in the December 1975 edition of Gramophone Magazine, which I have précised below, acknowledging their copyright in the content…

DISAPPOINTMENT could be seen on the faces of most people at this year’s London Audio Fair: it could even be read between the lines on the faces of those salesmen accustomed to dissemble, ie hide their true feelings behind a mask of bonhomie and apparent optimism. The number of exhibitors was disappointing. The quality of exhibitors was just as varied as usual, but there were many more British absentees than foreigners in proportion and this produced a rather uncomfortable air of being transported to other shores. The poor showing by British manufacturers seemed particularly ironic in view of the recently launched “Buy British” campaigns. Attendance was disappointing too, despite the programme of pop concerts and disc-jockey radio items. This must in part be because advance publicity was rather sparse this year, and the 75p admission charge may have put some people off. 
(© Gramophone Magazine Dec 1975)

Looks like a I wasted a whole 75p?!

Oh how I wish I could relive certain portions of my life… like today when I visited the London Design Centre

The London Design Centre was an offshoot of the Council of Industrial Design, itself dreamt up by the British government’s Board of Trade at the tail end of the 2nd World War. The Council’s objective was to promote the improvement of design in the production of UK-manufactured goods.

The council was renamed The Design Council and in 1956 the Design Centre was opened to the public in London’s Haymarket. It combined floating exhibitions with examples of stand out British design and proved popular with both regular consumers and manufacturers (looking for ideas for their products) alike.

This day in 1975 I described my time there as “yawn” suggesting it was a boring side event to the day’s proceedings. I am hugely embarrassed by this as I am sure that – now – I would be old enough to fully appreciate it and describe it with abject glee instead. Such is a teenager’s mind!

It may be that I was ‘saving all my concentration’ for the Motor Show, specifically the described ‘great bar crawl

The first British Motor Show took place way back in 1903 and it was held every year in London until 1976 when it moved to the vast National Exhibition Centre (N.E.C.)  in Birmingham where it became a biannual event. The show got cancelled in 2009, other events undermining its appeal to traders and the public.

The shows were a chance for vehicle and accessory manufacturers to show off their new wares, sometimes aided by a plethora of scantily-clad women who would drape themselves, somewhat unflatteringly, across the bonnets of the cars.

The cars on show would vary from the mundanely ugly (like the hideous Austin Allegro Mk.2 – seen below on the left) to the stunningly beautiful Series 3 E-Type V12 Jaguar (below right)

Other well-known cars which made their debut at the 1975 show include the Lotus Esprit (one of the most famous cars – along with the Aston Martin DB5 – to appear in James Bond movies), the omnipresent Volkswagon Golf and the Jensen Interceptor Coupe.

But, like I have said, my fascination we probably less for the cars than the huge number of bars that surrounded the display floor, all offering ‘liquid beverage’ and all, apparently, extremely lax in checking that their customers were of a legal drinking age. You gotta love Britain in the 70’s!


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October 20th 1975

“Started new English essay. Wrote some more poetry. At college Suzie J really annoying me”

I refer you, dear reader, to the previous entry wherein I documented my reasons for not posting my 70’s scribblings.

Please don’t be disappointed or unnecessarily irritated.

There really is no need to be.

Unless of course you are the aforementioned Suzie J.

In which case… “you deserve it!”

(FYI, I… somewhat naturally… have absolutely NO idea what this girl had been doing to really annoy me. But, I suspect, you had already accepted that. Most regular EFA70sTRO fans have long become accustomed to being let down. It is my stock in trade.)

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October 19th 1975

“Got up about 11 o/c. Nig came round in afternoon. Did posters and typed some poems in the evening”

Last time I mentioned my teenage poetry on this blog I received a complaint from a (presumably disappointed) reader that I had not appendaged an example of my early literary skills.

Well I am about to disappoint her all over again I’m afraid.

This time, unlike last, not due to embarrassment but because despite – all – my best efforts I cannot find the folder that I know contains much of my ‘written output’ from the mid-70s. It is in this house somewhere and commonsense dictates that it should be in with other vintage ‘dodgy keepsakes’ in a raggedy old suitcase that once belonged to my father when he was in the Merchant Navy… however, whilst the suitcase can be found, my poetry has mysteriously disappeared.

My fear is that we were broken into one night, that the burglar specifically targeted my 70’s poetry as something über-valuable and is currently hawking it around the world’s publishers, passing it off as his own fabulous set of manuscripts. I worry that one day it will appear at the top of the best sellers list, proving more popular than even a Jon Bon Jovi autobiography, and I will not receive one nickel in royalties from all my hard work.

If you do happen to notice some top notch poetry that looks suspiciously as if it could be mine, please send an email to “delusionalEFA70sTRO@mindlessdrivel.net”

Astute readers will notice that this is my first ‘proper’ post in almost two months. Please don’t get too comfortable, normal service may remain ‘bitty’ for a little while longer yet. Sorry.

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Blogger’s Delight…

I wish to stress – yes, again – that this blog has not been abandoned, but is merely in temporary abeyance until more time in a few consecutive days can be found!

Thank you readers for your patience

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October 18th 1975

“Party at Hiltingbury. Good. Punch up near end – Geoffo again! Got off with Caitlin again”

I do believe I am referring to Niles’ ‘official’ 18th birthday party?!

Which was apparently ‘good’ despite our crazy friend Geoffo initiating some kind of teenage brawl at the end of the night.

As I have waxed lyrically about before I don’t think I there was ever a party at Hiltingbury Pavilion without there being some kind of altercation. The kids of Chandlers Ford were obviously ‘punk’ before it was invented?

For me, any mention of “Hiltingbury Pavilion” always conjures up Jeff Beck’s hit single “Hi Ho Silver Lining“, it being the strange 70’s equivalent of the “Macarena”… or any song that the DJ plays which the entire venue then feels somehow obliged to dance to.

“Hi Ho Silver Lining” was written by American songwriters Scott English and Larry Weiss and it was first recorded by London band The Attack (who included The Nice’s Davy O’List and Marmalade’s Alan Whitehead amongst their lineup). Their single was released in March 1967, but it was followed just a week later by Jeff Beck’s version.

Beck was all over the music media (such as it was in 1967) at the time – mainly because of his succesful “Beck’s Bolero” album, a collaboration with Jimmy Page, John Paul Jones, Nicky Hopkins and Keith Moon – and so charted first with his balls-out foot-stomping version. Perhaps sadly for The Attack the song has been predominantly associated with Beck ever since, to the point where he has actually attempted to distance himself from it because it always comes back to undermine his more serious ‘guitar hero’ credibility.

I love the song. I think it’s a great pop song which has stood the test of time. I always do a little shimmy whenever it turns up on my iPod and resist the temptation to pick a fight with the person nearest to me.

Talking of which, I often wonder what happened to our old college chum Geoffo. He was such a fun gregarious character.


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October 17th 1975

“Two weeks before Halloween dance. Morning speech quite a grin. Dance = real good. “Got off” with Caitlin. The group were crap!”

We really held a “two weeks before Halloween Dance”? Why?

I wonder why “got off” is in inverted commas? I suspect I just danced with Caitlin rather than do anything touchy-feely, but that in my head I most certainly ‘got off’ with her.

I can say here that Caitlin (again, name changed to protect the ‘innocent’) was amongst the very first ‘loves of my life’, but that like many she would eventually break my fragile teenage heart. I realise I should maybe hide that outcome and release the embarrassing information slowly – if only to enhance this blog’s ‘drama’ quotient and add a little frisson to proceedings – but there seems little point in holding back the cold stark truth from you all when you have doubtless already guessed the certain inevitability.

In other news, I have no idea who the ‘crap group’ were. I’d love to be able to say they were someone who subsequently became famous… but I doubt (very VERY much) that was the case?!

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October 16th 1975

“Still doing the Common Room. Painted brown clouds on the ceiling (?). Not such a laugh as yesterday but quite funny”


so not even white clouds on a blue ceiling…

but brown clouds on a white ceiling…

I wonder what they looked like? (I don’t even want to contemplate it!)

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October 15th 1975

“Started to decorate the Common Room. REAL laugh. Nig C clock, Bob D panelling, nearly had kittens laughing”

As I think I have said before, the ‘common room’ was the relaxation area for all the 6th form students. A reconstituted office space that was located far too close to the staff room for comfort, it nevertheless became a haven of good music and laughter for many of us who didn’t take college life too seriously. (Hands up Paul, Niles and more!)

The ‘coffee club committee’, in its infinite wisdom decided the space needed sprucing up and dragging into the 1970’s!

So, an extensive redesign was discussed over a number of beers at the pub and it was decided we would half-panel some of the wall (to stop damage by furniture – good thinking by the drunken powers-that-be!) and redecorate the room, including painting clouds on the ceiling… an idea which may or may not have germinated in Niles’ fanciful mind.

So, eschewing all educational activities, several of the ‘committee’ got to work on the renovations.

I can still remember the laughter from these days, mostly at the expense of myself and others.

Bob D installed several yard’s  worth of the panelling before realising he was putting it in upside down… but the real classic (at which I ‘had kittens’ – what a FANTASTIC turn of phrase steeped in seventies lore) was when Nig C removed the clock on the wall to make painting easier.

An electric clock. An electric clock which was linked to every other electric clock in the college. Electric clocks which identified the start/end of every lesson and sounded bells accordingly.

Electric clocks which ALL ceased working when one in the system was disconnected.


As I recall it took almost a week to reset everything… we were not the most popular people with the teaching staff

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