In this blogposting….
* A Request from David Nove
* Marrying a Scottish Girl
* Puns for Intellectuals
* Encounters with Idiots
Proceed at your own risk….

Ex-BBC Radio Newcastle presenter David Nove has emailed with a very special - and very specialised - request.

‘My wife has come across a photo in a collection of family stuff taken on 6 April 1905.  Because of its age some details are not clear.

The photo shows 23 men in work clothes some of them with sledge hammers.  In addition there's a man standing to the right of them in a homburg; he is wearing a suit with what looks like a tail coat.

A ship is visible in the background and there are some tracks which look like those for cranes to use.

Some writing is distinct.  The photo was taken in Walker.  The ship is the
S S Canute and the word ‘breakers’ appears.  There is another inscription that says ‘employees of J L’ with the rest unreadable.

The reason for this interest is that my wife recognises her Grandad in the picture.

I was wondering if you might know of the existence of a breakers' yard in Walker at that time and if so what was the name of the company.  Do you think it might possible to get hold of a list of employees?

Any help you can give would be much appreciated.’

I know we once interviewed the author of a book about the Walker shipyards, and others, on the Blue Bus programme but I can’t remember his name.

Can anyone help?

If you have any suggestions, or can point us in the right direction, please get in touch.

And - to be a little more mischievous - what memories have you of David Nove’s programmes on BBC Radio Newcastle?


Next, a couple of internet gems sent to me by Eric and Jean.

Three friends married women from different parts of the world....

The first man married a Greek girl.  He told her that it was her job to do the dishes and house cleaning.  It took a couple of days, but on the third day he came home to see a clean house and all the dishes washed and put away.

The second man married a Thai girl.  He gave his wife orders that she was to do all the cleaning, the dishes and the cooking.  On the first day he didn't see any results but the next day he saw it was better.  By the third day he saw his house was clean, the dishes were done, and there was a huge dinner on the table.

The third man married a girl from Scotland.  He ordered her to keep the house cleaned, dishes washed, lawn mown, laundry washed, and hot meals on the table for every meal.

On the first day he didn't see anything, and on the second day he didn't see anything either.  But by the third day, some of the swelling had gone down, he could see a little out of his left eye and his arm was healed enough for him to be able to fix himself a sandwich and load the dishwasher.

He still has some difficulty when he urinates


King Ozymandias of Assyria was running low on cash after years of war with the Hittites. His last great possession was the Star of the Euphrates, the most valuable diamond in the ancient world.

Desperate, he went to Croesus, the pawnbroker, to ask for a loan.

Croesus said ‘I'll give you 100,000 dinars for it.’

‘But I paid a million dinars for it!’ the King protested.  ‘Don't you know who I am? I am the king!’

To which Croesus replied ‘When you wish to pawn a Star, makes no difference who you are.’


Evidence has been found that William Tell and his family were avid bowlers. Unfortunately, all the Swiss League records were destroyed in a fire so we'll never know for whom the Tells bowled.


A man rushed into a busy doctor's surgery and shouted ‘Doctor! I think I'm shrinking!’

The doctor calmly responded ‘Now, settle down. You'll just have to be a little patient.’


An Indian chief was feeling very sick, so he summoned the medicine man. After a brief examination, the medicine man took out a long, thin strip of elk rawhide and gave it to the chief, telling him to bite off, chew and swallow one inch of the leather every day.

After a month, the medicine man returned to see how the chief was feeling. The chief
shrugged and said ‘The thong is ended, but the malady lingers on.’


A famous Viking explorer returned home from a voyage and found his name missing from the town register. His wife insisted on complaining to the local civic official, who apologized profusely saying ‘I must have taken Leif off my census.'


There were three Indian squaws. One slept on a deer skin, one slept on an elk skin, and the third slept on a hippopotamus skin. All three became pregnant.

The first two each had a baby boy. The one who slept on the hippopotamus skin had twin boys. This just goes to prove that the squaw of the hippopotamus is equal to the sons of the squaws of the other two hides.


A sceptical anthropologist was cataloguing South American folk remedies with the assistance of a tribal elder who indicated that the leaves of a particular fern were a sure cure for constipation. When the anthropologist expressed his doubts, the elder looked him in the eye and said ‘Let me tell you - with fronds like these, you don't need enemas.’


And finally, just so that we can all feel smug and clever, here is a list of purportedly genuine….

‘My daughter and I went to the McDonald's take-away window and I gave the girl a £5 note. Our total was £4.20, so I also handed her a twenty-pence piece.

She said 'You gave me too much money.'

I said, 'Yes, I know, but this way you can just give me £1 back.'

She sighed and went to get the manager who asked me to repeat my request.  I did so, and he handed me back the 20p, saying 'We're sorry but we can't do that kind of thing.'

The girl then proceeded to give me back 80p in change.

Do not confuse the girls at McDonald's.

We had to have the garage door repaired. The repairman told us that one of our problems was that we did not have a 'large' enough motor on the opener.

I thought for a minute, and said that we had the largest one his company made at that time - 1/2 horsepower.

He shook his head and said 'You need a 1/4 horsepower.'

I responded that 1/2 was larger than 1/4 and he said, 'NOOO, it's not. Four is larger than two.'

We haven't used his company since then.

I live in a semi-rural area. We recently had a new neighbour call the Highways Department to request the removal of the ‘DEER CROSSING’ sign on our road. The reason?  'Too many deer are being hit by cars out here! I don't think this is a good place for them to be crossing anymore.' 

My daughter went to a local KFC and ordered a Mexican taco. She asked the person behind the counter for ‘minimum lettuce.’

He said he was sorry, but they only had iceberg lettuce.

I was at the airport, checking in at the gate when an airport employee asked, 'Has anyone put anything in your baggage without your knowledge?'

To which I replied, 'If it was without my knowledge, how would I know?'

He smiled knowingly and nodded, 'That's why we ask.'

The red stop light on the corner buzzes when it's safe to cross the street.

I was crossing with an intellectually challenged colleague of mine. She asked if I knew what the buzzer was for. I explained that it tells blind people when the light is red.

Appalled, she responded 'What on earth are blind people doing driving?!'

When my husband and I arrived at our local dealer to pick up our car, we were told the keys had been locked in it.

We went to the service department and found a mechanic working feverishly to unlock the driver’s side door. As I watched from the passenger side, I instinctively tried the door handle and discovered that it was unlocked.

‘Hey' I announced to the mechanic, 'It's open!'

His reply? 'I know. I already did that side.'


Post comments on this blog or email me:  truckshunters@googlemail.com


Val said...

Good to hear David Nove's contacted you. My Mam and Dad loved his Sunday evening show, very often having requests read out. I think they still have a postcard he sent to them, of his photo, propped up on a shelf in their kitchen.

Sid said...

Ian... Is there any way that the picture David has could be put onto the blog or emailed to me so that I could see it.
So far I have come across two vessels using the name Canute.
One was a Royal Navy tug...HMS Canute.
The other, St Canute, was/is a steam tug and ice breaker/firefighter.
A picture of the vessel can be seen at http://www.exetermemories.co.uk/em/maritime_museum.php
I hope this helps.

Sid said...

"employees of J L"....
John Lindsey was a company that built tugs on the river Tyne at St Anthony's.