Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Day-Glo Decoy

I am reading a book called The Backroom Boys at the moment. The current chapter is about the British efforts at Rocketry - Black Arrow, Blue Streak etc. There was mention of the Chevaline system which rang a very distant bell with me. It was in fact a delivery tip for the Polaris system, a British bolt-on to the American missile in order to provide decoy balloons and chaff over the target. It was developed as a response to the deployment of an anti ballistic missile system around Moscow. My background search for photos turned up the sad picture of a beat-up old Chevaline harness in some air show exhibit. All that money and the thing is out there as some Saturday afternoon ten-seconder. An interesting coincidence is an article in the Fortean Times regarding the Solway Spaceman. All this is bound up with tests of Blue Streak and strange Government intervention - the normal guff. It looks like a bottle falling behind the girl's head to me. Go on - choose the complicated solution.

And finally - Clangers. Someone brought me an article about Oliver Postgate yesterday which prompted me to read the interview at the above link. He talks about the censoring of his script by the BBC because Major Clanger said "Oh sod it! The bloody thing's stuck again." ignoring the fact that the actual sound was made by a Swannee Whistle. He also said that this was the phrase uttered by stuffed Clangers. Strangely NOS has a small stuffed Clanger which indeed utters the phrase above - well the cadence of it anyway.

The Clangers did better with their delivery system didn't they? The Blue Ladder I think it was called.

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