NONESUCH EXPEDITIONS   FOUNDED IN 1962
 
 
 
NONESUCH NEWS
2017 February
Fifty Years Ago

 

Nonesuch is about the journeys, books and films of Tony and Marion. And it's about the friends they have travelled with or met along the way.

This page covers events in February 1967 needing a special mark. Why? Let me recap - Tony had encircled the globe with the University of Bristol Expedition, he had filmed in the Middle East and South America for BBC TV and in 1963 had met Marion in Bolivia.

More filming followed for the next three years and then in 1967 they set out together for a three year journey filming wildlife along the Andes mountains

They made bases in Lima Peru, La Paz Bolivia, and Bogota Colombia. For this long Andean journey they took their own SWB Land Rover and that's where this story begins.

The Land Rover was shipped from Liverpool UK to Lima by cargo boat. Marion with seventeen pieces of luggage also travelled by sea but from Holland in a 5,700 tonnes cargo-passenger ship, the Ares of the Royal Netherlands Steamship Company [KNSM] Tony had the luxury -if you can call it that, by taking the air route via Mexico where he had picture and filming assignments.

Marion travelled on Ares as far as Callao the port for Lima with Sue Mann an old friend from her home town of Woodbridge in Suffolk, UK.

Sue in Callao Bay Peru with Harry Knapp - left

Sue had travelled in South America in 1965 with Tony and Mark and had made many friends there so decided to take a a two year job teaching in a school in Santiago, Chile - after Callao the Ares was headed down the west coast of South America to Valparaiso the port for Santiago. Sue Marion and Tony next met-up again in Santiago for Christmas .

 

 

Our Filming Journeys began

By the end of February 1967 our Land Rover was 'out of the Callao Customs shed' and the filming journeys had begun.

Here we are camped at 4,397m by The Yaurihuiri Lakes near Puquio 400 kms southeast of Lima . Yaurihuiri is now recognised as a 'wetland' with a special status.

We were there for the abundant birdlife including flamingoes and to capture the sunrise as an 'opener' for a film . Marion took the picture.

That Hat

We hadn't bargained on overnight snow and it was a bonus.I am wearing The Hat - see my 80th - below on this page

The Anniversary Reunion

Recently we met with Sue over a few glasses of Chilean vino to visit memory lane complete with its recordings of the Christmas party Sue held in Santiago. Stories about the Ares, the Panama canal and and cargo-ship life featured highly as such leisurely times are past. Sue continued her life teaching and Chile has drawn her back a couple of times, most recently with her flat-sharing friends of the 1960s.

Looking back to our three years of filming and writing which came with two unexpected filming visits to the Falkland Islands [Islas Malvinas] we feel those Land Rover journeys covering close to 150.000 kms were exceptional - the roads were empty and the towns were small, welcoming places. I still recall vividly the tiny hole in the wall shop-cum-cafe in Puquio at 3,120m where in the glow of a kerosene light we supped mutton and quinoa soup - that was aeons before quinoa became fashionable - a memorable soup it was too.

 

 
Valete
January 5th 2017 Roger Tutt CMG - died in Oxenhall, Gloucestershire
 

Roger Tutt, one of the six graduates from the University of Bristol Trans-Continental Expedition of the early 1960s died at home in Oxenhall, Gloucestershire on January 5th 2017.

After a globe-trotting distinguished career with the British Diplomatic Service, Roger retired close to where he grew up. Nowhere was he happier than in the little village where he was a a Trustee for the Parish Hall or out in the countryside 'doing a spot of coppicing' or filling a barn with wood for the winter.

The story of how Roger came to join the Expedition is in Eastwards to the Andes written by the late Malcolm McKernan for the University Union paper in January 1960. In this picture Roger is on the slopes of Mount Chacaltaya in the Bolivian Andes mountains at 5,200 m. in early 1961.


Eastwards to the Andes The full story of the expedition and Roger's part as 'Business Manager' - his return to India in 2000 and many news clippings are on this site.

 

December 31st 2016 Alfredo La Placa - died in La Paz Bolivia

Alfredo La Placa who died in Bolivia on December 31st 2016 was a great friend of Nonesuch. Known as 'Freddie' to Tony and Marion and their colleagues Mark Howell and Allan Reditt, he joined two filming journeys in 1963 and another in 1967.

Freddie was an artist and took great inspiration from the many beautiful mineralised rocks of his native country. For fifty years he added enormously to our understanding of Bolivian history and art. During his career he was appointed Director of Bolivian National Museum of Art and National Director of Bolivian Museums. His works were exhibited throughout Latin America and in the USA.

By the time of his death he had become one of South America's foremost artists and we know our memory of him will last a long time. See Why Bolivia? .

November 5th 2016 Allan Reditt - died in France

 

Allan was one of Tony's great schoolfriends from Taunton, Somerset who in 1963 joined the first Nonesuch Expeditions filming journey to South America. For the trip which made seven films for BBC TV, Allan acted as Business Manager watching over the production arrangements.

After the trip Allan worked as a journalist in London before joining Reuters for a long career with many overseas postings. In 1964 Allan married Jacqueline Chester from Kent who was with Marion Davies working with UNDP in Bolivia. Tony and Marion married in 1965 and the photo of Allan was taken at their wedding.

Allan Reditt 1936 - 2016 The full account of Allan and Tony's long friendship and of the 1963 journey to South America to make films for the BBC.

Picture by David Cole 1965

July 2016 Tony Morrison at 80 returns to the Quantock Hills in Somerset

A moment to look back

After more than half a century of travelling to some of the world's wildest places.... and to some of the most exotic.... and to some of the most depressed, I felt that my 80th birthday should be a time to look back and see where I began. And then quickly create another project.

A Grand Party?

The idea of a grand party appalled me..... ' a ghastly thought ....so with my wife Marion we planned a day of celebration in the Quantock Hills of Somerset.

My early life was spent in Somerset and Marion is from East Anglia so I would get the chance to show her places where I took my first photographs. We met in 1963 in the Andes mountains of Bolivia in far different scenery.

The Hat

At the top of my travel gear was a felt hat I had bought in a market in Cusco in Peru in 1964 when making a film for the BBC TV. The hat came with me to Espirítu Pampa - the actual Lost City of the Incas and then it survived an exhilarating journey on a balsa raft through the Pongo de Mainiqué rapids of the Urubamba river downstream from Machu Picchu. Many of the stories are on this site

And the hat was with me in 1967 when with Marion I was in the southern Bolivian Andes filming Land Above the Clouds about the rare wildlife for Survival, Anglia Television's prestigious natural history series.

Then in 1969 the hat came along when we made a BBC TV film in the forests of the Manú river. Our film ' A Park in Peru ' was a landmark in conservation as one of the first roads into Amazonia was being driven through the forest and rare widllife was threatened. After that it was put in a cupboard and for years I thought it was lost. Not so.

Picture it ..

So was the Quantocks trip to be for just the two of us. Not so. I invited David Cole an old friend from Bishop's Hull the village where I lived, as we had explored the hills and began our photographic careers at about the same time. Marion took the pictures. One is in Holford Combe and as it was mid-summer the trees were filled with a rich abundance of leaf. David and the very inquisitive cow were in a field in our old village.

To complete the scene I should have used 'binder twine' around the trouser legs below the knee once common on local farms. But with or without the binder twine we had some traditional scrumpy, the local cider. Mildly yellow and turbid with apple, the sacred juice was spot on - it hit all the right buttons.

Tinned Spam

Marion had prepared a 1950s picnic spread for lunch on Cothelstone Hill some 332 metres: it's not the highest point but my favorite as the 360 degree view is spectacular. But not for an easy panorama on my 1950s Kodak Retina 1a camera.

The menu included Spam- tinned pork of the frugal post war years, Shippams Fish Paste - another favourite from the 1950s, locally baked bread, Somerset butter and cheese, some local fruit and jam. A cake? Forget it. We had our eyes set on a cream tea in The Quantock Tea Rooms in Nether Stowey. The taste of clotted cream is unforgettable.

I have put more about the Quantocks in our Feature pages as Return to the Quantocks. Pictures and stories, including David's memories of the village will come later. David is married and living in London where he works as David Elkington Cole.

Try it - see

Return to the Quantocks

Launch of Nonesuch Silver Prints website March 2016

See some of our collection of black and white photographs

For the past couple of years we have been selecting the most evocative images from our early collections.

The 1950s are mainly from Somerset and my years as a student. The early 1960s pictures come from an around the world expedtion with five other graduates. And from the mid-1960s through to 1970 are when we travelled, mostly together in South America.

Each negative has been cleaned, scanned and stored in an acid free wallet. Each scan was made at high resolution so we can print on traditional silver gelatin paper... in fact only silver gelatin prints will be made so ensuring exclusivity and superb longevity.

Each picture is accompanied with a short description and camera details. Where possible the exposure and film data have been added.

Nonesuchsilverprints.com

 

 

Return to the Silk Road - September 18th 2015

Fifty three years after leaving the Silk Road in the deserts of Khorasan, Iran,Tony Morrison returned to the Asian steppes with Marion. Most of their life together has been spent in Latin America but one idea Tony was working on in 1962 was never completed. During the time when Soviet Russia dominated large parts of Central Asia the fabled religious centres of Bukhara and Samarkand were not open to visitors especially television teams. Tony was working as a cameraman director for two great travellers of their day, Ralph Izzard and Tom Stobart and the best they could do at the Soviet border was to dream of the Golden Road to Samarkand.

Tony Morrison writes.. Early in 2015 we decided to travel to Uzbekistan where the extraordinary monuments to many civilisations have been preserved.

We felt it should be an Izzard - Stobart Memorial Journey as both had died some years back. Our account will appear as a Feature Story on this site and we are indebted to our Uzbekistan guide and interpreter Kamalov Shavkat - Kamal - for easing us through the convoluted history of a very remarkable land.

Here on the left is the Char Minar madrassah in Bukhara. Built in the 19th century it is certainly not the oldest of the World Heritage sites but with its four minarets /turrets it has become a symbol for the city.

See Return to the Silk Road

 

Trevor Stephenson died May 16th 2015 - he made the 'Ton'

Trevor Stephenson the oldest of our correspondents died in May this year only a couple of months after reaching his 100th birthday'

Tony Morrison writes ' I met Trevor for the first time in Lima in 1979 when I was on a production recce for a BBC Television film about a train jouney. Trevor was a mine of information about trains especially those crossing the central Andes mountains.

Eventually Trevor was included in the film and 'interviewed' in as the train chugged up the Central Railway at that time the world's highest.

In 2012 Trevor asked me to publish his memoirs online - to be free of charge and to include snippets from his life in South America. The project took two years to complete during which we were in touch by e-mail almost daily - with Trevor himself writing and sending from Lima. The final chapters were uploaded in early 2014.

From Cranleigh School in Surrey, England, at that time a boys school, Trevor made a career in the world of shipping and trading with South America. Much of his early life was spent in Brasil along the Amazon river.

We were in touch just before his 100th birthday as he was to have a celebration party at Lima's historic Phoenix Club - founded in 1879 at the height of the War of the Pacific involving Peru, Bolivia and Chile.

The British Ambassador to Peru, Mr. Anwar Choudery and his wife Momina were invited to the party and Trevor was presented with a telegram / card of congratulations from Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth in London. In the picture with Trevor holding the card, his daughter Barbara is on the right.

Trevor Stephenson 1915 -2015 - his memoirs are in 18 chapters in Reminiscences of my Sixty years in South America

 

Launch of Nonesuch Silver Prints March 15th 2015

In our first major initiative since the website was created in 2005 Nonesuch Silver Prints went live in March.

A small selection of black and white pictures from the early collection of Tony and Marion Morrison are presented in 'Galleries' attached to this site. Eventually as many as three hundred pictures from silver halide images will be online and some will be available as silver halide paper prints.

This picture of a railway line across the Altiplano - the high plain of the Bolivian Andes was made on a Microflex twin lens reflex camera on Kodak silver halide fim in 1961.

More details are with the pictures in Galleries

 

 

Return to the Cauldron - Romania October 2014

Here at the Cazan gorges on the river Danube the picture is from Romania and Serbia is on the right.

In 1966 Tony Morrison was the film-maker on a small motor yacht September Tide making a Cold War journey up-river - MORE Lost in the Danube In Features on this site.

On that journey the fast flowing water boiled around ship - hence 'Cazan' variously translated as cauldron or boiler

In 1971 a dam was completed about 35kms downstream from the narrows in these pictures and the water rose by 33m. The Cazan stopped and a huge lake spead outwards affecting the river for about 400kms upstream.

Tony with Marion returned to the spot to see the changes. He said ' perhaps it's a bit late for a scoop but we have been tied up in South America almost non-stop since the September Tide adventure. Read the story in Afterthoughts - 'Lost in the Danube'

 

Launching the University of Bristol Trans-Continental Expedition 1960 - Michael Gorman dies 2013

At about the time Malcolm McKernan died in February this year (2014) we heard that Michael (Mike) Gorman the Editor of Nonesuch News in 1960 had died [in 2013].

Mike Gorman saw 'a good story' in the 'round the world expedition' and gave it a Front Page lead, a superb headline and a double page centre opener. Malcolm the writer was on the 'News' Editorial Board and became the Reporter on the expedition, and then very soon the Administrative Leader.

Tony Morrison remembers 'Mike was a true foot-in-the- door reporter - he sensed good stories. I took pictures for the News and one day Mike said ' how about London at the weekend - for the Express? With expenses?' He had a scoop Royal story and an on-going deal with the Daily Express. But like many such stories it didn't gel - Oh Well - better luck next time.

To read more about Michael Gorman's amazingly successful career look on the web for a PDF

March 6th 2014 Surrey, England - A memorial service for Malcolm Towers McKernan whose skill as a writer launched the University of Bristol Trans-Contintinental Expedition 1960-61

Malcolm died aged 86 on February 16th after a long illness. He had suffered from Parkinson's disease for many years and latterly developed Lewy Body dementia [LBD]. About 120 friends and family gathered to remember him at St. Peter's Church, Hersham.

Malcolm's short working life was with the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office. He joined late after surviving many years as a student at various universities.

It was in Bristol where Malcolm studied drama and playwriting that he found his way with news reporting and became a features writer for the student's union newspaper Nonesuch News. That post brought him into contact with Tony Morrison a photographer for the paper and who with a fellow graduate Mark Howell was seeking to launch an expedition to travel around the world.

And so the University of Bristol Trans-Continental Expedition became a reality. The team appointed Malcolm, then almost 33 as Administrative Leader and he did most of the formal handshaking on the journey - here he is on the Avonmouth [Bristol] quayside with The Lord Mayor of Bristol Alderman Charles Smith [left] and Alderman Hugh Jenkins the deputy Lord Mayor [right] on the day the team arrived home. Roger Tutt behind on Malcolm's left spoke at the memorial service. Mark Howell behind on his right died in 2002 - for more about Mark see this site..

Of the other team members Tony Morrison was at the memorial service and recalled some of their experiences. Don Pilton the team's doctor could not be there and Peter Krinks who has settled in Sydney Australia sent these thoughts.

If memory plays fair, I first saw Malcolm in 1958, on stage in the Drama Department at Bristol University where he was a post-graduate fellow. With his tall, fair, crew-cut appearance he was a convincing Swedish businessman. (The play may have been `Daylight and champagne', by Derek Coltman.) Our paths crossed intermittently on and off-stage thereafter until 1959, when I joined him and four others as members of the planned transcontinental expedition. Contact was constant during the trip, of course, as we were in the same vehicle for thirteen months. I was very grateful for his steady eye and hand on the wheel when he brilliantly avoided a collision, squeezing between a wooden ox-cart and a large cargo truck on a narrow Indian road.

I remember him as a courteous man whose gift for interesting talk reflected his diverse education and wide interests. Peter Krinks - March 2014.

Malcolm's Expedition reports for the Western Daily Press, Bristol are on this site - follow the Expedition pages. One special account about poverty in Peru is available for the first time since it was published in the original Nonesuch News in November 1961— READ HERE

 

November 26th 2013 Iquitos, Peru — At 98 Trevor Stephenson returns to the Amazon to launch a new book

Trevor has been back to Iquitos a couple of times since he was woking there in 1946 for the Booth Steamship Co Ltd

The Booth name dates back to the 19th century and is linked to the support of many of the companies trading along the river.

You can read Trevor's Reminiscences in Nonesuch Extra. But this special return journey was to launch a bookTrevor wrote when he was in the Booth office in Manaus in 1941-2.

The original work is a massive volume filled with paper memorabilia of all kinds some of which will be reproduced in Nonesuch Extra in 2014. The book just published is a Spanish language version of the original text and is the only commercially available edition.

Amazonía - A short study of the history and geography of the State of Amazonas with special reference to the capital city of Manaus is published in Iquitos by the Centro de Estudios Teológicos de la Amazonía

 

October 2013, La Paz, Bolivia - Tony and Marion Morrison were in La Paz for a reunion with old friends from the 1960s. Tony and Marion met in La Paz in 1963 and since then have worked together making television films, writing and publishing books. They are now creating a cloud archive of their Bolivia collection including more than fifty years of photography.

They met close to the Prado, an open place in the central part of the city - here in the picture on the left and now surrounded by high buildings.

Tony was in Bolivia with Mark Howell, a co-founder of Nonesuch Expeditions, and an old school-friend Allan Reditt making films for a BBC Adventure series. Marion was there as a Graduate Volunteer with Jackie Chester from London to help with a UN programme 'Accion Andina'.

Bolivia is twice the size of France and the UN programme extended to bases in four distant parts of the country.

The stories for the Nonesuch films took Tony, Mark and Allan to some of the far flung corners of Bolivia and the team very quickly became five. Here they are filming on the Salar (salt pan) of Uyuni in 1963 when it was untrodden and still to be 'discovered' for tourism.

The account of this early journey across the salar was told in the BBC film The Treasures of Chuquisaca [1963] and in Mark's book Journey Through a Forgotten Empire [1964]

Allan married Jackie in 1964 and after a life of world-wide journalism they settled in France. Mark who died in 2002 married and created a tech- business in Bristol, England. [see About Nonesuch].

The Treasures of Chuquisaca [1963] led Tony, Mark and later with Marion to five long journeys to the far south of the Bolivian Andes mountains into an area known as Lipes [Lipez]. The pictures and other records made in those years are in our Lipes Collection.

 
September 2013 Michael (Mike) Gorman - one time editor of the University of Bristol Union newspaper Nonesuch News died. See late 2014 and Malcolm McKernan for the report.
 

April 16th 2013 - Washington DC , USA — An exceptionally valuable collection of paintings by Margaret Mee is opened to the world by the Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection.

This web exhibit is the first of its kind from any of the holders of large collections of Margaret Mee's work. The Dumbarton Oaks collection has a history dating back to April 18th 1967 when Margaret gave a talk to the Trustees of Harvard University and their guests in the Garden Library of Dumbarton Oaks in what was then the home of Mildred Woods Bliss.

Mrs Woods Bliss purchased three of Margaret's paintings. Others were soon acquired and the Collection now consist of 21 full-size paintings of Brasilian flora including some from Amazonia. The paintings are valuable as they come from the most important phase of Margaret's career when she was developing her technique and finding her fascination with Amazonia. Nonesuch Expeditions helped by providing some photographs and detail of Margaret's life

The site has more information and the paintings - SEARCH FOR DUMBARTON OAKS MARGARET MEE.

 

March 1st 2013Our Cloud Collections Since March have been using The Cloud for storing our collections - pictures-videos- audio recordings - memorabilia- research notes and more.

The first Cloud Collections are The Steamship Great Britain, Margaret Mee, the Falkland Islands / Islas Malvinas - a snapshot of life in 1969, Chipaya [Bolivia] 1963, and the Danube 1966. The Danube photographs will feature on this site later this year. One major collection spanning fifty years will be 'the environment' across South America

When completed we will open to researchers sets of 'thumbnail' files from the Collections of Nonesuch Expeditions and South American Pictures.

 

 

 

November 21st 2012 - London, — The InterOceanic Highway: The missing link in the exploitation of Amazonia?

Tony Morrison and John Forrest, Chairman of TReeS - The Tambopata Reserve Society presented the Anglo Peruvian Society with an update on the current and possible future environmental impact of the Interoceanic Highway. The prospect of a highway passing through the species-rich area of Madre de Dios has concerned environmentalists for many years.The region has oil deposits , plentiful alluvial gold, timber and land available to settlers. The road was opened in 2012 road is seen by many as a disaster for the forest.

John commenced the evening with an account of highway planning in the 1960's and 70's in the time of the Peruvian President, Fernando Belaunde, a visionary architect. Belaunde pushed forward a major plan for a road along the eastern fringes of the Andes Mountains and also had plans for a new capital city - Constitución to be built in the Amazon forest.

A preçis of the talk READ AS PDF

 

October 2012— Achieving a Dream Along the TransAmazonica -BR230 [Dateline Altamira, Para State, Brasil]

Back in 1970 Tony Morrison was in Brasil for the BBC to cover a story about the great thrust into Amazonia - at the time the TransAmazon highway was a mere twinkle in the eye of the Generals running the country.

The highway was started in 1972 but for personal reasons Tony was unable to make the film. Now forty years later and after many other films he has made in Amazonia, Tony and his wife Marion have just travelled 880 kms along the TransAmazonica -TransAmazon Highway - the BR230

Some of their journey was rough and dusty but they found one sector being seriously upgraded.

 

The work is along a 300km stretch where heavy traffic is expected for the construction of the controversial Belo Monte dam on the Xingú river. The dam is being built at an estimated cost of 18.5 billion US dollars and will have three components of which Belo Monte at 3,545m long and 90m high is the largest.

The story will be in The New Amazonia section on this site.

 

September 27th / October 11th 2012 —The Festival of Rio-2012 The Rio de Janeiro International Film Festival

The story of Margaret Mee and the Moonflower is told for the first time for television in a Brasilian documentary selected for screening in the Festival of Rio. The title Margaret Mee e a Flor da Lua has been made in HD for large screen and cinema viewing. The producer is Elisa Tolomelli with her company EH! Filmes, Rio de Janeiro and the director is Malu de Martino.

Many people who knew Margaret have been interviewed for the production. The documentary was made in Amazon locations and places in England including the Royal Botanic Gardens, London. Historic video shot by Brian Sewell in 1988 on Margaret's fifteenth Amazon journey and produced by Tony Morrison has been incorporated in the film. The documentary also includes a large collection of archive images assembled by the Brasilian producers.

Left - 1988 Rio Negro, Brasil - Tony examining a 'Moonflower bud' during the filming of Margaret Mee's last journey.

 

 

Tony Morrison [far right] with Gilberto Castro and Malu de Martino said at a Press Conference in Rio

It was back in 1970 when I was making documentaries for the BBC in South America that I first heard about Margaret Mee . The headline story of the year was the ambitious plan for the TransAmazon Highway [BR 230] to which Margaret was vehemently opposed.. As I unravelled Margaret's extraordinary story I was amazed by her multifaceted character - she was a determined traveller - a remarkably skilful artist - a quiet temptress ...... and above all, a great storyteller.

The account of Margaret's final journey, her life and work is in Margaret Mee's Amazon on this site

 

June 5 / 6th 2012 The transit of Venus

Venus transits occur four times in approximately 243 years; and they appear in pairs of events separated by about eight years. These pairs are separated by about 105 or 121 years.

The transit has has occurred only seven times in the years since the invention of telescopes. in 1631, 1639, 1761, 1769, 1874, 1882 and 2004. The next pair of events will be in 2117 and 2125- with life expectancy increasing many children born on this day will be seeing or hearing news of those transits. For people it Britain it will be remembered by its coincidence with the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth ll

This picture was taken in southeast England during the 2004 transit. The image was made on an inexpensive digital camera - A Fuji Finepix 7000 using silvered polyester sheeting to critically reduce the exposure to sunlight and protect the camera's sensor. The camera was handheld. Unfortunately cloud obscured the sunrise 'window' for seeing the event from the same place this year - 2012. Tony Morrison

 

March 28th 2012 Trevor Stephenson and his wife Helena settled back in their apartment / flat in Lima, Peru Trevor and Helena who married in Lima on the 16th January 1947 and who for many years made their life and home in South America had been in London England since the 1990s. Trevor's story starting in the 1930's is in Nonesuch Extra - Reminiscences of 60 years in South America Trevor was 97 this year.

 

 

 

 

 

March 14th 2012 —An Award for the Yavari The 150 year old Yavari, originally a steamship on Lake Titicaca, Peru and the oldest of a small fleetwas given a Heritage Enginering Award in London. Tony Morrison a co-founder of Nonesuch Expeditions and the longest serving trustee of the Yavari Project responsible for the preservation and restoration of the ship was one of the guests at a luncheon at the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, in London, England.

WATCH THE VIDEO

 

 

 

March 8th 2012

Bob Giddings - [Emeritus Professor Robert Giddings]. Polio victim and one of the great humorists of the University of Bristol Union in the late 1950s' has died. Bob will be remembered by his friends of the Revue society Revunions and from all enthusiasts of the annual Rag Show as he created a band to play German martial music - the Auerbol-Saaricschen Lederhosenmusik.

Bob conducted from his wheelchair ' More more' [Ed]. ' It was Bob all over to have a plastic 8 pence ticket from the cake stall in the Union Refectory stuck in his History of England on the top shelf of his bookcase' says Tony Morrison who took dozens of pictures of the band.

Bob contracted polio when he was eleven and after a slow start with schooling he arrived. Bob read English and German at Bristol and received a PhD from Keele. He taught in a couple of schools before joining the staff at Bath Technical College. His next move was to Bournemouth University where he eventaully became the Professor Emeritus in the School of Media, Arts and Communication. No wonder he claimed his band 'incorporated the entire 5th Afrika Korps 1944-1944'. He could inspire and raise a very good laugh.

Bob wrote twenty books, contributed to BBC televison shows, and wrote for magazines including the Listener [BBC] . New Society and the New Statesman.

 

 

January 3rd 2012 The paper edition of Saving the Great Britain was published by Nonesuch Expeditions

 

October 1st 2011 - The InterOceanic Highway Tony and Marion Morrison set out from Puerto Maldonado, Peru, to follow the road eastward to São Paulo, Brasil WATCH THE VIDEO

 

September 26th 2011 - Machu Picchu Remembered Marion Morrisontalks with Nick Asheshov in Urubamba, a town in the Sacred Valley of the Incas, Peru WATCH THE VIDEO

 

 

July 2011 Michael (Mike) Gore died in Madrid.

Mike Gore was one of the team making films in the Middle East for BBC TV. Tony Morrison recalls that 'Mike was immensely sharp and streetwise. He taught me so much about film reportage and how to handle tricky situations. Read more about those trips in the Features pages of this site. The picture was taken in Beirut, Lebanon 1962

After the Middle East in 1962 Michael Gore moved to Spain and set-up his own reporting service for television news. It was not the all-in one-video of today but meant using a heavy camera, rolls of 16mm film and a separate sound recorder.

One of Mike's great achievements was his near daily coverage of the 1966 Palomares Hydrogen Bomb Incident at Palomares near Almeria in southern Spain. A US AirForce B52 bomber carrying H bombs collided with a tanker while refuelling at 31,000 feet. The detonators of some bombs exploded on impact with the ground so plutonium was scattered around.

One bomb went missing in the sea. Mike would shoot film in the morning and then drive to Madrid where it was processed and sent to London - and then he would drive back to Plaomares overnight to report again the next day.... and so on and on - the roads were not today's express routes.

 

July 24th 2011 Machu Picchu - Lost City of the Incas

As one of the world's 'must do before I die ' tourist destinations and a World Heritage site Machu Picchu in Peru is in the news again...... One hundred years ago the American academic Hiram Bingham first set his eyes on the ruin - a year later he gave the first account in Harper's Magazine, New York. Then in 1913 the National Geographic Magazine devoted an entire issue to Bingham's work and in 1922 he wrote a book Inca Land and another followed in 1930. The lighter, easier reading Lost City of the Incas was first published in 1948. The NGS Magazine of 1913 has been republished by the Society.

Films, television and now the popularity of the 'Inca Trail', a path through spectacular mountain scenery guarantees over 2000 visitors a day. Machu Pichu is often so crowded that UNESCO and the local guardian body the INC [Intstuto Nacional de Cultura - National Cultural Institute] are anxious that the wave of human traffic will damage the ancient stones. They close the gates at 2,500 visitors per day.

When the members of the University of Bristol Trans-Continental Expedition team arrived at the ruins by steam train in June 1961 they found just a handful of visitors. Wealthy tourists stayed in the small almost rustic state-run hotel and others like the Expedition team simply camped in the ruins. Entry was informal and paid at the hotel.

How lucky ..

We spent spent two days at Machu Picchu and by camping we saw the dawn in near solitude. The only sounds came drifting upwards from birdlife and insects in the tropical valley 2000 feet [610m] below. By a stretch of an ear we heard the sound of the Urubamba river tumbling over rocks. Two more years passed and I was back with Mark Howell making a professional film for BBC TV and then a year later searching for another lost city; also for BBC TV.

Altogether I made five television films with sequences at Machu Picchu, largely because the excutive producers always said " be sure to get that old city in the mountains ... Machoo something or other, I can't remember the name." I was not the only producer of Machu Picchuana and by the 1980's it was common to see units from several countries all trying to keep ' out of shot' of another camera.

 

Fifty years on

Now any Machu Picchu story makes world news and the argument of who discovered the site rolls on and on. What is certain is that Bingham was not the first to get to the ruins. In his book Inca Land on page 324 he says he saw the name 'Lizarraga 1902' scrawled on one of the walls. He overlooked this little matter when writing Lost city of the Incas now in its zillionth paperback.

Agustín Lizarraga lived in the Urubamba valley below Machu Picchu and though he left his mark was almost certainly not the first to get there. Watch this site for some ideas - Tony Morrison

READ The original book Inca Land 1922 by Hiram Bingham in which he describes how he was led to the site [page 314]. This book is in the Internet Archive
READ Malcolm McKernan - Looking down on the 'Lost City of the Incas' for the Western Daily Press, Bristol - August 1961
READ Hiram Bingham's account of the discovery in National Geographic MagazineNational Geographic Magazine 1913
WATCH The classic TV footage filmed in June 1961 by Tony Morrison
 
 

February 2011, Cheddar Man

A BBC TV series A History of Ancient Britain led to the resurgence of interest in a skeleton found 1903 in Gough's Cave Cheddar, Somerset England.

Gough's Cave is in a limestone rock formation in the Mendip Hills approx 13 miles (23 kms ) south of Bristol. The find was made by Arthur and William Gough and following extensive research has since been recognised as the oldest complete human skeleton known in Britain. It dates from 7,150 BC and is kept at the Natural History Museum in London where it is not on public display.

The skull was seen on the television programme and other research also seen on television in the 1990s employed mitochrondial DNA testing. Links were discovered between some residents in the local Cheddar village - details are available on the web.

One of the best accounts of the discovery and early work is in the Proceedings, University of Bristol Spelæological Society. The UBSS is often known as the Caving Society despite its long tradition of academic study

History and Literature of Pleistocene Discoveries at Gough's Cave, Cheddar, Somerset by R.M Jacobi, Proceedings 1985 [PDF 4.5 MB read and download]

The skeleton displayed in the Gough's cave museum today is a replica. But back in 1957 before the original was moved Tony Morrison was asked to take a series of photographs of which four were sent to the British Museum. At the time two eminent men from the UBSS were studying the remains: Dr.Oliver Cromwell Lloyd [right] a pathologist and senior lecturer usually known as 'Oliver' and Professor E.K Tratman [left] usually known as 'Tratty', a retired professor of dentistry and at the time the UBSS Society's President. The two specialists had medical as well as archaeological interest in the skeleton.

Prof.Tratman wrote several papers including Problems of The "Cheddar Man", Gough's Cave, Somerset. Proceedings, [PDF read and download 4.5 MB ] The paper comments on the discovery and early research. Here for the first time Nonesuch News publishes the original photos of the original skeleton. When found in pieces it was complete apart from parts of the hands - those seen in the photo below are replicas

 

July 19th 2010 SS GREAT BRITAIN, Bristol, England.

The Fortieth Anniversary Celebrations for the return of the Great Britain. It was forty years ago to the day that Isambard Kingdom Brunel's iron ship Great Britain was returned to the dock where she was launched in 1843. The historic launch is more correctly described as a 'floating' because the dock was empty of water for the building and was then filled for the launch. The story of the Great Britain is on this site. Originally designed as a steamship the SS Great Britain has been restored magnificently. A celebration 'tea party' held in the grand First Class Saloon was attended by many of the people involved with the salvage in 1970

Ray Sutcliffe, Marion and Tony Morrison meet again below the decorated stern of the restored SS Great Britain / Photo David Elkington Cole.

In 1970 Ray was a producer for the BBC Archaeology and History unit and Tony and Marion were film-makers and writers then based in South America. Marion reported the salvage for the Observer, London. David a long time friend and colleague who took the photo is no newcomer to Bristol and its special occasions.

 
Ray Sutcliffe's classic documentary The Great Iron Ship for the Chronicle series can be seen on BBC Archive iPlayer - a web service unfortunately at present viewable only in the United Kingdom. The film includes a short history of the ship and unique footage of the salvage filmed by Tony and Marion. [50 minutes.]
For historic 8mm colour footage of the departure from the Falkland Islands and some actuality audio see this site for Saving The Great Britain
To read Marion's account for the Observer Magazine 21st June 1970 
 

 

Ray - left and Tony filming in Sparrow Cove , Falkland Islands in 1970

Tony and Marion in Stanley, Falkland Islands 1969

 

For the fashion conscious - Marion took her Mary Quant, King's Road, London raincoat to Stanley. She says ' In the 1960's few people had little or no idea of what clothing was suitable for life in the island's tiny capital.'

 

March 1st 2010 Margaret Mee The first of a series of short video clips of Margaret Mee was launched on this site - see the menu-left

November 11th 2009 Margaret Mee, Rio de Janeiro. Brasil. An exhibition marking the Margaret Mee's One Hundred Years opened at the Centro Cultural dos Correios de Rio de Janeiro, a modern exhibition space set in the old Post Office building built in 1922. The date of the exhibition does not quite match the day when she would have been 100 - that was on May 22nd but the show arranged by Sylvia de Botton Brautigam contains a stunning display of paintings, photographs, personal memorabilia and video. Sylvia was one of the original team that established the now defunct Fundação Botânica Margaret Mee in 1988. [see left: Margaret Mee Amazon Trust Part 2] But it is wonderful to see how Margaret's ideals and inspiration are being remembered. Also it is worth recalling how examples of Margaret Mee's work appeared in a set of Brasilian postage stamps in 1992.

The stamps were issued at the time of an another exhibition in the same building and focused on the environment. The timing was chosen to coincide with the major United Nations Conference on the Environment and Development [UNCED] known as informally as the Earth Summit or Rio 92 and this is inscribed on the left side of each stamp. At the bottom of each is written Homage to Margaret Mee. The flowers depicted are - left to right - Canistrum cyathiforme, Nidularium rubens, Canistrum exiguum, and Nidularium innocentii

 

The cover for the exhibition catalogue uses a painting dated May 1988 from the Rio Negro the year she was taken there by Nonesuch Expeditions/ South American Pictures. The 1988 journey also known as her Fifteenth to Amazonia was dedicated to a search for the Moonflower cactus [Selenicereus wittii] Details are on the Menu / index - left

The flower is a Loranthaceae, a parasitic plant of the igapos / flooded forest the painting is from a private collection.

 

 

 

November 3rd 2009 Dr. Franz Ressel , known to friends as 'Pancho' died aged 80 in Santa Cruz, Bolivia. Franz Ressel was an enthusiastic supporter of Nonesuch Expeditions with a close friendship dating back almost fifty years. In 1961 he met the Bristol University Trans-Continental Expedition team when they were in Bolivia. An account of Franz' help and encouragement given liberally in so many ways will be published on this site.

 

 

 

 

July 19th 2009 The Incredible Journey Is an Oral History Project from the SS Great Britain team in Bristol. Tony and Marion Morrison who were on the spot filming in the Falkland Islands / Islas Malvinas are contributing memories from the time in 1969, when the bowsprit was raised from the bed of Sparrow Cove. And then again from the following year 1970 when they covered the actual salvage.. They will be adding photographs and sound recordings from their collection. The project will be completed in 2010 , forty years after the SS Great Britain was saved and towed back to Bristol

April 2009 After a break of three years Nonesuch News returns on a new site ready to contribute to three special anniversary years. This Nonesuch Expeditions site takes over all the pages from Nonesuchinfo and Margaret Mee's Amazon and will contain more information. It will continue the story of Brunel's SS Great Britain now restored in Bristol and will cover our special contribution to the 'Salvage' project being prepared for 2010 - forty years on from the actual salvage in the Falkland Islands / Islas Malvinas. Other pages will be devoted to the University of Bristol Trans-Continental Expedition almost fifty years since its departure for India and South America in 1960. And the News will be remembering that 2009 is the Centenary Year of the University.

 

April 2006       The 200th Anniversary of the Birth of Isambard Kingdom Brunel the visionary and brilliant engineer who conceived the idea of the Steamship Great Britain and much more. As a contribution to the celebration of the life of Brunel Nonesuchinfo is launching three Features about the Steamship Great Britain, designed by Brunel, and launched in Bristol, England in 1843. It is with thanks to the foresight of marine engineering consultant Dr. Ewan Corlett and an extraordinary salvage operation in 1970 that the Steamship Great Britain was saved . It is now one of the most fascinating museums in the United Kingdom

ISAMBARD KINGDOM BRUNEL AND THE STEAMSHIP GREAT BRITAIN

 

August 2005 Reverend Dr. Ewan Corlett

It is with immense sadness that Nonesuch News learnt of the death of Ewan Corlett on Monday August 8th 2005. The Reverend Dr. Ewan Corlett as he became known in his retirement was responsible for the first steps towards saving the Victorian Steamship Great Britain.

Montevideo , Uruguay , May 1970. Ewan Corlett was at the dockside to inspect the hulk on its way from the Falkland Islands/ Islas Malvinas to Bristol [England].
 

July 2005 Re-launch of the SS Great Britain , Bristol, England

Isambard Kingdom Brunel, the Steamship Great Britain and the City of Bristol in England are names that will be linked forever. On July 19th 2005 the SS Great Britain was formally 're-launched' after major restoration lasting over thirty years. The 'Britain' as the ship is known affectionately was built in this dock in Bristol and launched from it on July 19th 1843. After an eventful life as an active vessel, the 'Britain' arrived in the Falkland Islands / Islas Malvinas in 1886 disabled by a storm and shifting cargo. After being declared a wreck the 'Britain' remained in the Islands until a salvage operation was mounted in 1970. The ship was towed on a pontoon to Avonmouth the port for Bristol early in 1970 and returned to the original dock also on July 19th of the same year . More of this story will be told in a Nonesuch Expeditions feature

 

With great care .... The restoration has been made with great care for detail that gives some idea of the grand design created by Brunel in the early years of Victorian enterprise.

Here the restored stern with gallery windows is under the gilded Coat of Arms [armas / escudo] of the City of Bristol. The emblem dating from the 16th century links a flourishing maritime tradition with the strength of the city. The central image is flanked by two unicorns and depicts a sailing ship leaving the safety of Bristol castle.

Unicorns are legendary beasts with the body of a horse bearing a single, long, straight horn. They were reputed to have medicinal properties

 
The SS Great Britain is open to to the Public and a dockside museum tells the story of the ship
 

June 2005  A Bristol Road in India  Pusegaon, Maharashtra State, INDIA

 A new road in the small town of Pusegaon has been named "THE BRISTOL ROAD" to commemorate the historic reunion in late 2000 of three members of the team of six graduates from the Bristol University Trans-Continental Expedition [1960-1961]  England and friends they made in Pusegaon in 1960. Back in Bristol the University Vice Chancellor was Chairman of the Finance Committee and The Rt. Hon The Lord Mayor of Bristol was the expedition Patron so support from the City was exceptional.

' you wouldn't recognise the old road today'

Apart from studies in India and later in Bolivia the team had a mission to carriy the Bristol name to many countries around the world . The recently named Bristol Road in Puseagon is close to the traditional 'Government Bungalow' where the team lived for two months late in 1960. As Balasahib Jadhav a member of the Reunion 2000 Steering Committee in India said when he sent the picture ' you wouldn't recognise the old road today'.

 

October 1960  Pusegaon, Maharashtra, India

Here some of the team are in the garden of the   Government Bungalow with three students from the High School. The students were fascinated by one of the two Expedition vehicles, an Austin Gipsy provided by an agent in Bristol. Malcolm McKernan is typing notes [seated left], Peter Krinks is explaining the route from Bristol to India and Mark Howell [right] is recording the conversation for a TV film backed by TWW [Television Wales and West] the regional Independent Televison producer at the time. The Puseagon Pages have the story of the Reunion 2000 and copies of the reports Malcolm McKernan sent to the Western Daily Press in Bristol [England]

The team left Pusegaon late in December 1960 and drove south before crossing to Sri Lanka [then also known as Ceylon] and continuing by sea to Singapore

 
Footnote   Mark Howell was one of the two founder members of the Trans-Continental Expedition and one of the two Bristolians on the epic journey. The team's doctor, Don Pilton was the other. Later, Mark was one of the two founders of Nonesuch Expeditions [see ABOUT NONESUCH]. He was unable to join the reunion trip through ill-health and after a short illness died in December 2002. Other than the University Expedition, his business trips to Australia and Japan, and extensive travels in South America with Nonesuch Expeditions Mark had lived all his life in Bristol.
 

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