Monday, 4 April 2011

Ten Things You Didn't Know About Me!

By way of light relief (possibly), I thought I would take a break from showing you some of the treasures from the large amount of glass plate negatives I have recently acquired. Here are ten things you didn't know about about Laurie Manton. It may be hard to think of anything interesting, but here goes!

1. I was born in Benghazi. It was then the British Military Administration - Cyrenaica.

2. I was educated at Broadmoor. For those who wonder what's interesting about that - Broadmoor was then the famous Lunatic Asylum for the Criminally Insane. My primary school was in the grounds of the hospital. Our nativity play was put on in the Asylum Theatre. I seem to remember there were mass murderers in the audience and I am sure that sort of thing wouldn't happen today!

3. I was once an extra in a Movie. The equally famous Wellington College public school was on the opposite side of our village. In 1963, a film called Tamahine was filmed at the college. It starred Nancy Kwan and I was part of a cheering crowd as she took part in the high jump. I have never seen it but it is one of my ambitions to do so. It was on television in 1983 and I missed it. It is not on DVD. I live in hope!

4. I once interviewed a number of famous people. They included Spike Milligan, the novelist Leslie Thomas, and the politicians Edwina Currie, Denis Healey and Enoch Powell. The latter still remains the most interesting person I have ever met!

5. The Imperial War Museum recorded my experiences for posterity. I went there three times and they kindly sent me a copy of the recording - it ran to 22 seventy minute CDs!

6. I was a war correspondent during the 1991 Gulf War. I was awarded the Gulf War medal and Liberation Medals from Kuwait and Saudi Arabia and had two books of my photographs published after the war.

7. I was once an Aviation Archaeologist. I recovered the wreckage of a Second World War Beaufighter, and a Dornier bomber, to name just two.

8. I have led guided walks showing people how to identify Animal Tracks and Signs. Not a lot of people know that!

9. I tend to see things that others don't. That sounds a bit like the film Sixth Sense but it's not. By way of explanation, read the first post of this blog. Click HERE to save you a long search!

10. I attended a 'Learn to play the Ukulele' course in January this year. Now, admit it - that has really shocked you!


  1. Wow, Laurie! Lots of interesting stuff there. I love these posts, as it satisfies the nosey person in me! Funnily enough, we had a Ukelele Course advertised in our local paper, which I would have loved to attended, but it didn't fit in with work committments - how are you finding it? The blurb said you'd be playing tunes after session 1! Is that true? It also said it's mush easier to learn to play than the guitar! Let us know = a little YouTube of you playing wouldn't go amiss, ha ha x

  2. Hi, Laurie~ I am flabbergasted at your resume! Born in Libya--but at a different time, when it was still sane... Educated at Broadmoor... I looked it up--possibly Jack the Ripper was a patient! Maybe its aura gave you a second sight... I remember your fun posts seeing images and signs in trees and clouds... back to your tracking days... Your life as a journalist definitely calls for a book-length memoir! I always could tell you were well-written and educated. As for the ukelele--to see what can be done with it, please check the Friday, March 18, 2011, post of Dan Gurney at You will be amazed; I recommend it to Buskitten, too. Laurie, it's a true honor having you as a friend.

  3. Thanks, Liz. Well, mine was an intensive course. If I say we played from 0900 to 2200 on day 1, you can judge how intensive it was. Halfway through the day, most of us were sobbing with pain from holding down the strings - excruciating! I learned on a soprano ukulele (the smallest), but in the event I needed a Tenor ukulele - I have one now to cope with my larger fingers! YouTube is a long way off but if you look up Stairway to Heaven Ukulele on YouTube you will find a man playing the Led Zep hit - brilliant. Plus, look up the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain there and search for Smells Like Teen Spirit - amazing! PS How is TIddles getting on learning the penny whistle? LOL

  4. Thanks, Margaret. Your very kind comments are much appreciated as well as the Dan Gurney link - utterly amazing. In return, I direct you to two performances by my heroes:

    and if you like Led Zepplin's Stairway to Heaven:

    Over the past couple of months, I have been noticing communing with trees near my new home in the far North. My new Tree friends have been telling me about the unusual creatures living behind their bark. When I return with my camera, they will show them to me! Keep your eyes peeled!

  5. Hi Laurie!
    Really entertaining! In Song 1, they caught Nirvana perfectly--even if the lead singer reminded me of Charlie Sheen! Song 2 added Glenn Beck! I liked "Psycho Killer, Qu'est-ce que c'est?" Stairway to Heaven was excellent, very intense--especially near the end. Thank you!
    I'll be looking for the tree creatures!