News Chronicles

26th July 2020

26th July 2020

I hadn't written a new song for a couple of weeks which is about my longest barren spell since I started recording the Torquay Pageant songs. I think it is partly due to work which is a bit tedious and complicated at the moment. Also with the new albums nearing completion I have been spending lots of time trying to deal with all the things that need to be done for a new release. I have had a couple of ideas in my head that I wanted to write a song about but I couldn't seem to find the spare time or inspiration to sit down and write some lyrics. Also whenever I have picked up the guitar over the last few weeks I haven't found any new melody ideas, although I must admit I hadn't tried very hard. Anyway last night I had some spare time to kill while I was trying to send a file of mp3's to Phil Swann. I tried several different methods to send the file which meant that I spent lots of time waiting for the file to be uploaded which until about the third attempt had been unsuccessful. During this time, waiting for the computer to do something, I started to write some new lyrics and I think I have got the composition of the a new song pretty much finished.

When I started writing songs about Torbay I made a list of as many things that I could think of that might be good ideas for songs. Something about the Spanish barn at Torre Abbey was one of those and there is a good account of the Nuestra Senora del Rosario in a book I have just finished reading about Torre Abbey which I referred to so that I could write the lyrics.


The Armada was sighted from St Michaels Mount

Then out of Plymouth the English ships sailed out

Commanded by Lord Howard and Sir Francis Drake

The odds were stacked against them with so much at stake


During the first skirmishes in late July

Two Spanish ships would disastrously collide

One lost two sails and was crippled in the sea

And from Sir Francis Drake that vessel could not flee


Captain Whiddon on the Roebuck into Torbay to tow

The Nuestra Senora Del Rosario


Drake hoped that he could loot the stricken vessel

With the ship at his mercy he was so successful

The Spanish surrendered their gold coins and their swords

Drake taking fifty nobles so history records


Captain Whiddon on the Roebuck into Torbay to tow

The Nuestra Senora Del Rosario


From the Revenge Don Pedro saw the campaign

The cunning English sailors against the might of Spain

At Calais the fireships burning so bright

The Armada in disarray for a him a painful sight


Captain Whiddon on the Roebuck into Torbay to tow

The Nuestra Senora Del Rosario


Our lady of the rosary a flagship of the sea

Don Pedro her captain for a ransom would be free


Back in Torbay the Rosario remained

And the hopes of the Spanish crew would surely be in vain

For they were held as prisoners in Torre Abbey's barn

For the history of Torquay this is such a thrilling yarn


Captain Whiddon on the Roebuck into Torbay to tow

The Nuestra Senora Del Rosario

19th July 2020

19th July 2020

Lord Zarquon celebrated his 60th birthday last weekend and I have written some new lyrics for him as part of the celebrations. Sing these words to the tune of 'God aid the Marshal'.

LZ and beer


GOD HELP LORD ZARQUON


TO TORQUAY HE TRAVELLED

TESTING HIS PATIENCE WITH SIR IAN'S SONGS

INTO A BASEMENT TO BE THRUST

BRAVELY RECORDING UNTIL DUSK


MAKING ALBUMS WAS HIS AIM

TO SELL FOR FINANCIAL GAIN

AS A MUSICIAN HE TRIED

WITH SIR IAN'S SONGS HE CRIED


ON HIS MOTORBIKE SEE HIM RIDE

NO MORE SONGS PLEASE YOU HEAR HIM CRY

GOD HELP LORD ZARQUON


LORD ZARQUON OF RENOWNED FAME

IN THE STUDIO CEMENTED HIS NAME

HUNDREDS OF SONGS HE'S RECORDED

MORE SONGS FROM SIR IAN TO BE AVOIDED


ON HIS MOTORBIKE SEE HIM RIDE

NO MORE SONGS PLEASE YOU HEAR HIM CRY

GOD HELP LORD ZARQUON


UNDER SIR IAN HE SERVED

FAME AND HONOUR HE DESERVED

WITH MELLOTRON SOUNDS HE PLAYED ABOUT

TO SAVE A NEW SONG WITHOUT A DOUBT


ON HIS MOTORBIKE SEE HIM RIDE

NO MORE SONGS PLEASE YOU HEAR HIM CRY

GOD HELP LORD ZARQUON

GOD HELP LORD ZARQUON

GOD HELP LORD ZARQUON

Here is a link to the God aid the Marshal song so that you can get the hang of the tune to be able to sing Gold Help Lord Zarquon!

https://soundcloud.com/the-legendary-ten-seconds/god-aid-the-marshall  

12th July 2020

12th July 2020

Further progress has been made with the various Legendary Ten Seconds Projects. Andy England has recorded his wife Bridgit singing some lovely harmony vocals at their home in Madron, Cornwall for my song about the Brixham Mayflower. I have uploaded the Logic project of the song into drop box for Lord Zarquon. Hopefully this one can be included on the Pageant of Torbay Part Two album.

A few days ago I recorded a new vocal for the song that I composed with Ashley Mantle called 'God aid the Marshal'. This tune should be included on the Amazing Songs album. I think we are nearly there with this album and I need Lord Zarquon to let me know the order of the tracks so that I can submit it for digital distribution. I've decided not to include the song about Santa being grumpy because I don't want more than one festive song on the album. I'm also not sure about the song called 'Lease to Your Heart'. This is another one that I composed with Ashley Mantle. At the moment the mastered version of the song doesn't include my best ever guitar solo and I am hoping that I can persuade Lord Zarquon to produce another version with this solo. I really feel that the guitar solo adds an extra dynamic to the song. Editor Note: I’m glad he feels his guitar part is good as a certain other person feels it wasnt that good ha ha!!

AS pencil R



5th July 2020

5th July 2020

We have now completed 16 songs about Torbay and there are a few more unfinished ones. I have therefore decided to see if we can record 2 Torbay Pageant albums. I had originally intended that the Torbay Pageant Part One and Two songs would start and end an album but I will now move the Torbay Pagenat Part Two song across to a second album.

I am hoping that Lord Zarquon can let me have the mastering projects for the songs on Monday so that I can create 16 bit wav files which I need for the digital distribution of the Pageant of Torbay Part One album via CD Baby. I have completed a large part of the information that is required for this and I have obtained a bar code. Graham Moores has been in touch to let me know that he should soon be able to make a start on the album artwork

28th June 2020

28th June 2020

Recording songs with Lord Zarquon has been a great inspiration for me. He has given me lots of new ideas. I have enjoyed listening to a few songs by the Strawbs because of him that I probably wouldn't have heard if it hadn't been for his recommendation. Phil Swann let me borrow one of his Strawbs albums called Baroque and Roll. This is an album of acoustic recordings and he suggested that perhaps I could record something similar with him. I think that Lord Zarquon thought highly of this album and so I am now recording another album although this time Lord Zarquon isn't involved with it. I hope he doesn't mind and I think he has got enough on his plate at the moment trying to finish the recordings for the Amazing Songs and Pageant of Torbay albums.

Graham Moores has painted a great album cover for the acoustic album project which I have decided to call Acoustic Album 2020.

ACOUSTI ALMANAC 150ppi



14th June 2020

14th June 2020


I have been holiday this week. It has been much more enjoyable than my previous week off work which was ruined by a very nasty cough. It would have been better though if we had been able to go to Northumberland as originally planned but this had to be cancelled due to the present restrictions caused by the very nasty virus that has caused so much misery. So instead it has been a holiday in Torquay which is a very nice place to be but I could have done with a change of scene.

I have written another song about some of the old things in Torquay that I have noticed for the first time despite having seen most of them for years. I have also become slightly fascinated by Torquay manhole covers.


I See Much More To My Surprise


So much I'd not noticed before

Why I hadn't I'm not sure

Now with a discerning eye

I see much more to my surprise

Yes I can see more than I did before


A fairing in my dining room

Surely it's a family heirloom

On a letter box George the Fifth

A red metal monolith


So much I'd not noticed before

Why I hadn't I'm not sure

Now with a discerning eye

I see much more to my surprise


Shackleton at the Torbay Hotel

At a dinner when he said farewell

A stone laid by Arthur Cain

So that we won't forget his name


Manhole covers that say Torquay

But most of them say Thomas Dudley


So much I'd not noticed before

Why I hadn't I'm now not sure

Now with a discerning eye

I see much more to my surprise

7th June 2020

7th June 2020


I am continuing to slowly read through Agatha Christie's autobiography. The first part of the book goes into lots of detail about her childhood at Ashfield which is quite fascinating and is making me think about my early years, trying to think of all the things that I can remember.

Visits to the dentist is something that immediately springs to mind. Probably breaking one of my back teeth last weekend has almost certainly not helped! Up until my early twenties I used to dread going to the dentist. I ate too many sweets as a child and always seemed to need a new filling when I went to the dentist in my teens. 

My first visits to the dentist were in Exeter. Although I was then living in Torquay I think that my parents took me to the dentist in Exeter because we had previously lived in Pinhoe. I don't remember anything unpleasant about those visits but when we started going to the dentist in Shiphay that's when I remember the injections and the drill. 

The needle always hurt and despite the numbness it caused the drill still hurt as well. I would imagine that the drill would have been even more without the injection. Then there was the horrible numbness in the mouth which seemed to last for hours afterwards with the feeling that you were dribbling and unable to speak or eat properly.

On more than one occasion a sticky sweet such as a toffee would remove a filling and consequently another trip to the dentist for another injection and further drilling and filling. I think my dentist in Shiphay was a very good dentist. Whenever the school dentist checked my teeth at the Torquay Boys Grammar school I was usually informed that my fillings were extremely good.

As well as going to the dentist in Shiphay I also went to an orthodontist in Newton Abbot. The orthodontist is still in the same building by the war memorial in Newton Abbot. I remember coming back on the bus from one visit to the orthodontist when I saw a nasty fire in a church in Kingskerswell.

Moulds were taken of my teeth, top and bottom and I have still got these somewhere in my basement. I then had to have four back teeth removed, not a pleasant experience and had to wear a brace. The brace used to make my teeth ache and when I was eventually able to dispense with it I found that I had gained a very slight speech impediment. Still the removal of the teeth ultimately proved to be a good thing. Those teeth all had fillings and after their removal the gaps between my teeth were better and made it easier to clean them with a toothbrush. I had a few further fillings in my early twenties but since then I have had to only endure one further filling and after that only one filling which was the replacement of an old existing one.

I remember being with my sister the first time that she had a filling. I saw her panic at the sight of the needle and she knocked the hand of Mr Abrahams, the dentist so that he accidentally pricked one of his fingers.


My fascination with the history of Torbay continues and I recently purchased  a jigsaw puzzle of a map of Victorian Torquay and this gave me the idea for another song.


The Town of Torquay

Let's take a walk by the harbourside in 1893

Life would be quite different then

In the town of Torquay

Everything looks so old fashioned

The ladies hats, their shoes and dresses

Let's take a walk up Union street in 1903

Life would be quite different then

In the town of Torquay

Gas lamps to the light the street

A horse and cart but no cars seen

Soon there will be trams

With electrification

The terminus for them

Located by Torre station

Take a walk to the town hall in 1923

Life would be quite different then

In the town of Torquay

31st May 2020

31st May 2020

I have been reading Agatha Christie's autobiography and found two excellent sections about her life in Torquay at the turn of the 19th into the 20th century that gave the inspiration for two more songs. It's a really interesting read, especially when she talks about swimming from Meadfoot beach to the large rock that I can see just about every day when I take the opportunity go for a walk near my house.

One of the songs is about the wedding of her sister at the church in Torre in which Agatha was the chief bridesmaid, There was no reception after the marriage service in the church because they were in mourning for the death of her father the previous year. Elaine wrote most of the lyrcis for the second song but I did change a few words as I wanted to include the reference to how Agatha, as a child, would start saving money in May for the eagerly anticipated fair which was part of the regatta in Torquay at the end of August each year.


The Torquay Regatta

1st chorus

It's the regatta in Torquay

The thought of it brings such glee

With yacht racing in the bay

Money for the fair saved since May

1st verse

On the switchback you'll lose your bearings

Come and buy some dainty fairings

Try your luck on the coconut shy

Bid for nougat please come and try

2nd chorus

It's the regatta in Torquay

The thought of it brings such glee

The horses on the roundabout

The strangest shows without a doubt

2nd verse

Penny monkeys in every hue

Pin your coat with one or two

Can you pitch a ping pong ball

A goldfish prize for one and all

Middle bit

Out in the bay the yachts race by

From Haldon pier you can watch them fly

Brittania sighted up goes the cry

Beneath the blue August sky

Last chorus

It's the regatta in Torquay

The thought of it brings such glee

With yacht racing in the bay

Money for the fair saved since May

Victorian Fairing

I had never heard of fairings until I read about them in Agatha Chrisitie's book. They were given away as prizes at fairs and were very popular in the Victorian era up until the start of the First World War. There is one in my dining room that used to belong to my grandmother and I never realised it was a fairing until I looked up some information about them on the internet.

24th May 2020

24th May 2020

While on my way back to my house after a short walk one evening a few days ago I bumped into Nick Pascoe and we had a long chat. He lives just around the corner from me and his older brother Chris was in the same year as me at Torquay Boys Grammar School. Nick was also at the same school. This reminded me of an old photo when Nick and myself took part in a WH Smith sponsored walk along the Newton Road in Torquay. We walked from Torquay to Newton Abbot and then back along the same route to Torquay. This was probably sometime in 1979. We talked about several things including supporting Torquay United and I mentioned my songs about our local football team. Nick said that he was at Plainmoor with his brother to see the game against Cambridge when Pat Kruse scored the record breaking own goal. Nick said that they didn't see the first goal at the game because it happened so quickly but he does remember the second own goal. He'd forgotten that Torquay scored all four goals in the 2-2 draw that day.

Ian Sponsored walk WH Smiths late 1970s

Since talking to Nick I have remembered one funny event at a grammar school assembly when the school governors attended. One boy called Morris, had cellotaped down all of the keys of the piano so that when Mr Hopkins' hands descended onto the instrument it resulted in a most horrible cacophony ringing out. There was a huge roar of laughter from all of the school children whereas the teachers, especially the headmaster did not look amused at all!

I had another idea for a tune last week which turned into another song. I was plucking two strings in unison on my guitar but not using the fingers of my left hand on the fretboard. It provied me with an interesting melody in E minor. It sounded a bit medieval and I'd been waiting for something like this to come along to me so that I could write a song about Torre Abbey. 


An abbot from Welbeck Abbey

Arrived on the shores of Torbay

William Briwere had gifted some land

Thanks for the safe return of his son


For the monks Torre Abbey was made

And throughout the day they prayed

Many gifts and bequests were received

And their faith in God they truly believed


On the west side a cruciform church

The buildings around a courtyard

Built on a Benedictine plan

Beer limestone used for the arcades


For the monks Torre Abbey was made

And throughout the day they prayed

Many gifts and bequests were received

And their faith in God they truly believed


The monks made sure that the poor were fed

Looked after the folk in Torbay

A genuine holy cast of mind

Destroyed by a tyrant King


Because of King Henry the abbeys dissolved

To take all their wealth he was resolved

King Henry the Eighth the great evil King

Great misery he would surely bring

17th May 2020

17th May 2020

When I went to Denver in the USA a few years ago I visited the Buffalo Bill museum at Lookout mountain and I was very surprised to discover that William Cody had visited Torquay with his Wild West show. When I started writing my songs about Torbay earlier this year I had forgotten about Buffalo Bill's visit until I saw some information about it at Torre Abbey. For a few weeks since then I have wanted to write about his show visiting Torquay so here are the lyrics for my latest song.


Buffalo Bill in Torquay

His wild west show we will see

William Cody his real name

A living legend of great acclaim


In the year 1904

He's not been here before

To the Newton Road we must go

For great excitement at his show


Buffalo Bill in Torquay

His wild west show we will see

Entertainment on a grand scale

To excite you he will not fail


Riders from many a nation

Bringing great acclamation

Colonel Custer's last stand

With Buffalo Bill in command


A thrilling and daring bicycle feat

Wild west stars that you can meet

Sideshows and staged races

At this pageant excited faces


Buffalo Bill in Torquay

His wild west show we will see

William Cody his real name

A living legend of great acclaim


In the year 1904

He's not been here before

Of great excitement I have been told

Tickets for his show to be sold


Buffalo Bill informed the press

His liking of Torquay he would express

He loved the view from Daddyhole Plain

His delight for it he could not contain


© Rainbow Starshine Productions 2020 - Version 7.0.7 August 2020