Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Police Puppy carers needed forcewide

The growing success of Devon & Cornwall Police’s Puppy Scheme has led to an increase in demand for willing walkers.

Led by a team of dog trainers based at Middlemoor, Exeter the police’s dog school trains puppies from 12 months of age alongside their police dog handlers.

Once fully trained the German Shepherd dogs will be able to assist tracking missing people, locate stolen property, chase and detain suspects, and keep order in crowd control situations. But before reaching this stage the pups are reared in homes until they have reached their first birthday when they embark on an intensive 13 week training course.

Due to the scheme’s growing success more puppy walkers are now needed and for the first time the trainers are casting their net beyond Devon.

Sgt Paul Glennon said: “In the past we have kept our puppy walkers fairly local to Middlemoor but now we are expanding the scheme and in order to find the best people to look after our dogs we are looking for homes in Cornwall as well as Somerset. What is most important is that we find the right people who have the time, patience and determination to give our dogs the best start in life.”

All puppy walkers must have a settled family background, a secure garden and are willing to undertake daily exercise, grooming and care with the dog.

The puppies are placed with the puppy walker at 8 weeks of age and it is the responsibility of the walker to expose the dog to a variety of situations such as a bustling town centre, busy roadside and rough terrain. Throughout the year the puppy walkers receive training and socialisation advice from the Dog Training School and can attend weekly puppy classes. The Force also pays for any food and veterinary bills during the year.

One such puppy who has benefitted from the scheme is six month old German Shepherd, Fred. Fred is due to begin his police training in a few months time but in the meantime is getting some extra special attention with hydrotherapy sessions which are easing his stiff hips. With successful treatment, which is kindly funded and provided by the Dogchester Collection near Lapford, Fred is now on course to become a police dog of the future.

Sgt Glennon added: “Fred is one of many puppies we have who have a bright future ahead of them as police dogs. But in order for these dogs to get the best start to their training we need more walkers to come forward. Ideal applicants will have previous experience caring for dogs but what is most important to us is that they share our aim to produce a well-balanced, confident and social dog at the end of the year.”

If you are interested in becoming a puppy walker and meet the qualities needed please call the Dog Training School on 01392 452410.

Fred enjoying his hydrotherapy with Trudy from the Dogchester Collection


Friday, 20 May 2011

Hundreds of schoolchildren join orchestral group in performance about Cornish giant

Hundreds of schoolchildren join orchestral group in performance about Cornish giant

Six hundred Cornish schoolchildren, musicians from the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and a withy giant have created a magical performance at the Eden Project.

The 21 primary schools came together yesterday (Thursday, May 19) to perform the story of Bodelva: The Giant who Helped With Eden, written and narrated by Angie Butler with music by Peter Bone.

Schoolchildren taking part in a performance with the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra at the Eden Project
It was organised by Cornwall Learning Music, Resonate from the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and Kernow Education Arts Partnership.

The children began with a procession to the Eden Arena led by a willow giant created by Lanlivery County Primary School and artist Reg Payn.

Sam Kendall, Eden’s school programme manager, said: “It was a spectacular scene with all the children waving their school banners, singing the giant’s song, and playing their cellos, violins, ukuleles and guitars. Everyone loved the performance.”

Cornwall Learning Music teachers worked with the children through their Wider Opportunities music lessons to create the musical event.

Andy Baker, the BSO’s nationwide community musician, said: “None of these children have been learning their instruments for more than a year, and the performance they have given is just incredible. So much hard work has gone into this.”

Karen Frost, string team leader from Cornwall Music Service said: “We have had so much fun with this project. The opportunity for the children to play in this venue, on this scale, with all these great musicians will inspire them to keep playing music.”

Schools performing were: Gorran, Tregony, Duloe, Lanlivery, Liskeard Hillfort, Tregadillett, St Day & Carharrack, Newlyn, Nancledra, Werrington, Launceston, Goonhavern, St. Minver, Boscastle, St Teath, St Breward, Egloskerry, Kea, St Issy, Kehelland and Calstock.

This project is part of the Arts Offer to schools from Cornwall Learning, delivered by KEAP, and represents the second year of a partnership with the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra in Cornwall supported by the Steel Charitable Trust and The Radcliffe Trust.


Thursday, 29 October 2009

Government Inciting Terrorism?

The Labour government are planning to introduce new laws that will enable them to ban illegal users from using the internet if they can prove they have been using or downloading illegal content, mainly through filesharing sites.

Im not one for conspiracy theories, but this smacks of the government looking for a fight - this time a digital one.

In order to make this work, they will have to monitor all of our internet access.

They are looking to target people who are "very clever" with technology. Lets call them hackers or geeks. These people tend to stick together when the shit hits the fan, so if one of them is targetted, can you guess whats going to happen?

How about a hack into any of the major digital systems that this country now runs on, disabling electricity supplies, putting all the traffic lights in London on green, or cutting telephone systems, etc, etc.

Then, the government gets to stand up and say "We are facing a new type of Terrorist Threat, a Digital One", and they introduce new laws that will let them access and monitor everything online to stamp out this threat.
Of course, the hackers will be using mobile networks and always be one step ahead - but the government will get exactly what it wants and be able to create another level of terrorism to pump billions of pounds into tackling. And of course another way to "control" the masses by giving them another threat to live under.

I already fear terrorism on a daily basis from a "dirty bomb", to a plane crashing into my house, a bomb under my car, being knifed or shot by a 13 year old, being car-jacked, etc, etc. Do I really need another threat?

You should only start wars you have a chance of winning - my money would be on the hackers every time.

Tuesday, 17 February 2009

BREAKING NEWS: Kasabian announced as first Eden Sessions headliner of 2009

Kasabian are the first band to be announced for the 2009 Eden Sessions and will play the world-famous Eden Project stage on July 4.

Kasabian, who beat Muse and Arctic Monkeys to the “Best Live Act” title at the NME Awards, release their eagerly anticipated new album on June 1, 2009. The record comes off the back of 2004’s acclaimed self-titled debut and the band’s follow-up Empire, which hit number one in the UK album charts after its release in August 2006.

Already confirmed for 2009 at the Eden Project is Oasis, who are due to play their rescheduled gig on July 14.

Peter Hampel, Eden’s Creative Director, said: “We’ve got our work cut out in 2009 to match last year’s success, but Kasabian are without doubt, one of the world’s top live acts and alongside Oasis, have given us the best possible start.”

The Eden Sessions are returning for their eighth year, having previously played host to the likes of Kaiser Chiefs, Muse, KT Tunstall, The Raconteurs, Vampire Weekend, The Verve, Amy Winehouse, Goldfrapp, Basement Jaxx, Snow Patrol and Editors

Tickets for the Kasabian Eden Session will go on sale on February 24 at 6pm priced at £35 each plus a £5 booking fee per ticket. To book, call the Eden box office on 01726 811972 or visit www.edenbookings.com.


Monday, 16 February 2009

Are you a Terrorist?

Hundreds of press photographers descended on New Scotland Yard to protest at a new law by doing what they do best - by lining up en masse and taking pictures of police officers; in other words, breaking the very law they are demonstrating against.

From today, anyone taking a picture of a police officer can be deemed as having a committed a criminal offence.

Section 76 of the Counter Terrorism Act is a new law that allows the arrest of anyone found "eliciting, publishing or communicating information" relating to members of the armed forces, intelligence services and police officers, which is "likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism".

If a link to terrorism can be proved, this means that anyone taking a picture of these people face a fine or jail sentence of up to ten years.

The National Union of Journalists therefore gathered together for a mass picture-taking protest, to highlight their demands for the right to take photographs in public places, a "precious freedom" that organiser John Toner says must be safeguarded.

"Police officers are in news pictures at all sorts of events," he told the BBC. "Football matches, carnivals, state processions - so the union wants to make it clear that taking their pictures is not the act of a criminal."

The new law has created all sorts of obstacles and loopholes: the Royal Family are members of the armed forces, so should the law stringently apply to them? Some police officers even wrongly believe that they have the right to delete images from photographers' cameras.

A government spokesperson said that, while there were no legal restrictions on taking pictures in public places, "the law applies to photographers as it does to anybody else".

Saturday, 7 February 2009

Harry Hammond

Harry Hammond, who died on February 4 aged 88, was one of Britain's leading showbusiness photographers in the post-war years, and was later acclaimed as the father of pop photography.

His archive – including shots of virtually every American musician who crossed the Atlantic in the 1950s, as well as the home-grown stars of the era – was significant enough to be purchased by the Victoria & Albert Museum in the 1980s and is to be the subject of an exhibition there later this year.

Harold Richard Hammond was born in the East End of London on July 18 1920. At the age of 14 he took up a four-year apprenticeship in advertising, fashion and press photography at the London Art Service in Fleet Street, where he had his first encounter with celebrity: "A dapper stranger in a sharp suit sauntered into the studio and said, 'The model agency sent me to do the Brylcreem advertisement'. We took a few head shots of him to match the art department's layout, which were in due course used in the national press. He agreed to the usual model fee of one guinea, and I asked his name for our files. 'Flynn', he said jauntily, tapping the ash from his cigarette. 'Errol Flynn'."

In 1938 Hammond joined the Bassano studio, where he shot portraits of society figures such as the Duchesses of Norfolk and Devonshire, as well as of leading figures in the arts, including HG Wells and Noël Coward. Debutantes also provided steady work, though the fashions of the time were not always appropriate for the refined standards of society photography: "Sometimes I had to cover their more generous endowments with a fine white chiffon in keeping with those respectable days," Hammond said.

At the outbreak of war he joined the RAF as a photographer, serving in the North African campaign. The contrast with his previous work could hardly have been more marked: "During the early days of the war," he recalled, "we used hand cameras, hanging them out over the side of the aeroplane for reconnaissance." During the same period, at a base near Cairo, he met his future wife Margaret, then working as a physical training instructor in the WAAF.
On his return to Britain after the war Hammond made the decision to go freelance. Without the security of a studio behind him, he was sensitive to shifts in public taste. "The demand was moving away from the aristocracy in favour of showbiz and music people," he explained; and he was increasingly attracted to the jazz musicians and bandleaders providing the entertainment for the society parties and fashion shows that he covered. They in turn took him to Tin Pan Alley, the informal name given to Denmark Street in London's West End, where the British music industry was based.

He focused primarily on the British dance-band world, dominated by the bands of Geraldo, Ted Heath and Ambrose, but also shot visiting American stars, including Frank Sinatra (who sold so few tickets that Hammond was forced to usher those who did attend into the front rows), Judy Garland and Billie Holiday. He was the only photographer to take pictures of Holiday's sole British concert at the Royal Albert Hall – she lamented to him: "Man, there's no money in jazz."
His work appeared in the music papers of the time, primarily Melody Maker and Jazz Journal. But when the Musical Express was relaunched in 1952 as the New Musical Express, he became associated primarily with that publication. The arrival of rock and roll in 1955 was embraced more fully by the NME than by its rivals, and Hammond was one of the few established names in the industry to take this new music seriously, and to accord its stars the respect and attention to detail that he had learned in his pre-war days.

The list of those he photographed over the next 10 years, on stage and in television studios, includes the cream of American rockers – Bill Haley, Buddy Holly, Little Richard, the Everly Brothers – as well as the initial British response to this revolution: Lonnie Donegan, Tommy Steele, Billy Fury and Adam Faith.
"I always tried to catch the star looking their best or most glamorous," he once explained. "That's how picture editors liked their photographs to be in those days." For those he photographed, it was largely this attitude that made Hammond such a reassuring figure. "Today's paparazzi seem intent to present their subjects in the worst possible light," Cliff Richard commented in 2008. "In the days of Harry Hammond, photographers only wanted to show the best of you. I guess that's why it was always such a pleasure to have Harry around."
Hammond's reputation went before him: a photo session with him came to be seen as a mark of success, a recognition that the subject had made the grade. "It was great," remembered Alvin Stardust. "We knew who Harry was because he'd taken the pictures of the people we grew up listening to."

Initially, he had the field virtually to himself. "For some years, I seemed to be the only photographer to take an interest in this scene," he reflected. And certainly he was the only one who could combine enthusiasm for his subject with such a position of authority and experience. In the early 1960s he was still working, by now taking pictures of the Beatles and the Rolling Stones. But things were changing: "I'd seen it all: jazz, swing, pop, R&B, bossa nova, doo-wop and, finally, Britain's acceptance of rock and roll. With the arrival of the Beatles, and finding that there were now at least 20 photographers at every concert, I decided to slow down."
In retirement Hammond withdrew from front-line magazine work while maintaining his lifelong interest in photography on less pressured assignments. He also moved into management, drawing on his extensive contacts book to steer the careers of emerging young bands, including The Overlanders, whose cover of the Beatles' Michelle reached Number 1 in the charts. He spent his last years at Leamington Spa, and is survived by his wife and daughter.

Thursday, 8 January 2009

Portfolio Book - Richard Horsfield

Richard Horsfield - Photographer
Richard's first Portfolio book, now available. Click the image below for more details.
By Richard Horsfield