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Churchill in the News

18 November 2010

By Alfred De Montesquiou

CANADIAN PRESS (CP), Nov 4, 2010 - MARRAKECH, Morocco, Winston Churchill invited Franklin Delano Roosevelt here to relax after strategic talks during the Second World War, and Alfred Hitchcock shot some of "The Man Who Knew Too Much" in the hotel's lobby, which also has been a haunt of the Rolling Stones, Charlie Chaplin, Sharon Stone and many other Hollywood stars for nearly a century.

Now, after a three-year, $176-million makeover, the Mamounia is open again for business in the oasis gardens of Marrakech in southern Morocco.


A top interior designer has refurbished its rooms in Art Deco and Arabo-Andalusian styles, star-studded chefs have opened restaurants and a sprawling spa has been added to the eight-hectare gardens of palm and olive trees to lure again the rich and the famous to this legendary hotel set inside the medieval ramparts of a world heritage site.


"There are only three golden rules about a palace of this standing," says Jacques Garcia, the star French decorator who led restoration efforts: "Elegance, elegance and elegance."


Built in 1923, when Morocco was a French protectorate, the Mamounia merges the sober lines of Art Deco architecture with the intricacies of traditional arabesque decorations. The hotel long has been considered the masterpiece of this fusion of styles, unique to a handful of Moroccan buildings.


Its great marble hall leads to shaded courtyards where the trickle of small fountains echoes amid multicoloured tiling of rare refinement. The pool house copies a 17th-century princely pavilion. Here sculptures in the Moroccan Zellige mosaic style are carved all over the plaster walls, overlooking a 55-square-metre swimming pool filtered with ozone. Colonnades and corridors reminiscent of the Alhambra palace in Spain lead to the Churchill bar, complete with black and white photos of jazzmen, a panther-dotted carpet and red leather seating.


Read the entire article here at The Canadian Press


©The Canadian Press

11 November 2010
By Dan Coombs

UXBRIDGE GAZETTE, 10 November 2010 - THREE buildings at the heart of operations at RAF Northolt during the Second World War have been granted Grade II listed status on the eve of Remembrance Day.

The approvals were announced by tourism and heritage minister John Penrose last week.


The buildings are a 'C-type' hangar, the former squadron watch office and former 'Z' Sector Operations Block.


Group Captain Tom Barrett, station commander, said: "I am delighted that the importance of these buildings to the heritage of the nation has been recognised.


"RAF Northolt is a modern and effective operational station, but our success is built on generations of airmen and airwomen who served here before us."


The hangar was used throughout the war to house Winston Churchill's personal aircraft, in which he flew to many important meetings with other Allied leaders.


The watch office which also served as the aircraft readiness room during the Battle of Britain - the building from which RAF Northolt's pilots were scrambled.


The Operations Block, on the other hand, was part of the 'Dowding System', a method of communication developed by Air Chief Marshall Sir Hugh Dowding, using early radar, spotters and phone lines in concert to intercept enemy aircraft.


Read the entire article here at the Uxbridge Gazette

©Uxbridge Gazette

8 November 2010
An N.C. writer keeps a promise to Winston Churchill biographer William Manchester: He's writing the final installment in the late author's "Last Lion" trilogy.
By Pam Kelley

CHAROLETTE OBSERVER, Sunday, Nov. 07, 2010 - TRYON Paul Reid is a former Florida newspaper reporter who moved to the N.C. mountains a few years ago. He's also the most highly anticipated author you've never heard of.

Since 2004, Reid has been writing the third and final volume of "The Last Lion," the late William Manchester's majestic biography of British statesman Winston Churchill.


For legions of Churchill devotees and Manchester fans, the book can't be published soon enough. Readers regularly contact Reid, some from as far away as England and Pakistan, to ask about his progress.


Now he can give them good news. He's nearly finished. Most of the manuscript is in the hands of his editor at Little, Brown and Co. Reid plans to turn in the final pages by month's end.


There's no publication date yet. But typically, once the author delivers the book, it takes about a year to publication.


Reid took on the book at Manchester's request as his health was failing. He died in 2004 at age 82, just months after they decided to collaborate.


"I told Bill, and I meant it ... that I wouldn't let him down," Reid says. "If he wanted me to do this, I would do it. And it would be done well."


Reid, 61, seems at first glance an improbable choice to write an 800-plus page biography. He was neither a Churchill scholar nor a biographer. As a feature writer at the Palm Beach Post, his pieces seldom ran more than a few thousand words.


"We started hearing these stories about this guy, and nobody knew him," says Craig Horn of Weddington, chair of the Churchill Society of North Carolina. "He's certainly not known in Churchill circles."


Reid lacked Churchillian credentials, but Manchester, a former newspaperman himself, wanted a writer with a reporting background. And he trusted Reid.

Read the entire article here the Charolette Observer


©Charolette Observer


3 November 2010

A LIMOUSINE that allegedly belonged to Sir Winston Churchill made a guest appearance in Henley this week.*

The 1925 Rolls-Royce 20/25 limousine was outside the Kenton Theatre to greet people who had come to hear a lecture on the Enigma machine.


The Enigma was the portable encryption device used by the Germans during the Second World War and an example was on display in the foyer of the New Street theatre.


The Rolls-Royce was once owned by Frank Jenner, who had a taxi business in Westerham, Kent, and one of his regular customers was Sir Winston, who lived at nearby Chartwell.


The car is currently owned by Alan Dyson, who runs a vintage car company at Preston Crowmarsh, near Wallingford.

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1 November 2010
By QUENTIN LETTS, Daily Mail Parliamentary sketch writer


1. OLIVER CROMWELL 1599-1658 -Oliver Cromwell is an example to all backbenchers. He sat, listened, learned, biding his time.

2. WILLIAM COBBETT 1763-1835 - William Cobbett so loathed the Establishment that he called it 'The Thing'.

3. TAM DALYELL b 1932 - Ministers lived in dread of Tam Dalyell standing at the end of their long-winded spiels and asking: 'Why?'

4. GWYNETH DUNWOODY 1930-2008 - Although she died in 2008, Gwyneth Dunwoody had by then put the whips in their place.

5. LEO ABSE 1917-2008 - Welsh lawyer Leo Abse used the security of a safe Labour seat to push the state towards loosening laws on divorce and gay rights.
6. SIR WINSTON CHURCHILL 1874-1965 - It was from the Commons backbenches that Winston Churchill spoke up about the German threat in the Thirties. He warned the country that Hitler was not a man to be bought off by the policies of appeasement.

7. NANCY ASTOR 1879-1964 - Nancy Astor, the first woman to take her seat in the Commons, had a genuine connection with her constituents, once giving the diamond ring from her finger to a Plymouth woman after a German bombing raid.

8.  DOUGLAS CARSWELL b 1971 - Douglas Carswell has made enough of a nuisance of himself to ensure he will never become a Tory frontbencher.

9. STEPHEN POUND b 1971 - Stephen Pound is mischief on two legs, offering a ceaseless commentary on the antics of ministers.

10. DAVID DAVIS b 1948 - David Davis has matured into a strong voice for individual freedoms.


Read the entire article here at the Mail Online


©Daily Mail

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25 October 2010
Whether iconic British Prime Minister Winston Churchill knew it or not, he followed Peter Drucker's eight rules for being an effective executive

By Rick Wartzman


A few weeks ago, Winston Churchill went digital. The former British Prime Minister's estate announced that it was launching its own iPhone (AAPL) app featuring Churchill's "wit and wisdom." A related website, along with Facebook and Twitter profiles, has also been set up. About the only thing missing, from what I can tell, is a link to the work of Peter Drucker.








Ties between the two men go way back. In May 1939, Churchill reviewed Drucker's first major book, The End of Economic Man, for The Times Literary Supplement, praising him as "one of those writers to whom almost anything can be forgiven because he not only has a mind of his own, but has a gift of starting other minds along a stimulating line of thought."


But even more than by pen, Churchill and Drucker seem to be connected by deed-at least in the eyes of one Churchill authority. Daniel Myers, chief operating officer of the Churchill Center in Chicago, has in recent years been delivering to business executives a lecture that examines the British leader's actions as "an executive success story." More specifically, Myers details how Churchill illustrated Drucker's eight rules for being an effective executive.


Myers came across these principles when Drucker laid them out in a 2004 Harvard Business Review article. "I read it and said 'Wow,' " recalls Myers, whose educational organization boasts 3,000 members worldwide. "It's pure Churchillian."


Read the entire article here at Businessweek.com



Image courtesy of the Churchill Archives Centre

12 October 2010

Never, said Prime Minister Winston Churchill, was so much owed by so many to so few, and, on Wednesday, the nation will celebrate the RAF's victory over Hitler's Luftwaffe.

By Correlli Barnett

THE INDEPENDENT, Sunday 12 September 2010 - Even before the rescue of the British Expeditionary Force from Dunkirk (Operation Dynamo) began, Winston Churchill foresaw the worse-case scenario that could follow from the encirclement of the doomed Anglo-French armies. France herself might well go down in defeat, so leaving a half-armed Britain alone to confront triumphant German armed forces. That would make it all too likely that Hitler would decide to put an end to the war by invading England.


So on 26 May 1940 Churchill asked the Chiefs of Staff a direct question: "Can the Royal Navy and the Royal Air Force hold out reasonable hopes of preventing serious invasion?"


The Chiefs of Staff replied that as long as the Royal Air Force remained "in being", then the Royal Navy and the air force between them "should be able to prevent Germany carrying out a serious sea-borne invasion of this country". But if Germany obtained air superiority, then the Navy could hold off an invasion "for a time", but not "for an indefinite period". Once a large-scale invasion had been launched, Britain's land defences would not be strong enough to prevent the German army establishing a firm bridgehead, nor from subsequently heading inland. Therefore, concluded the Chiefs of Staff, "the crux of the matter is air superiority".


Hitler's generals and admirals came to exactly the same conclusion when, at the end of July, the Führer issued his directive for "Operation Sealion", a cross-Channel invasion of south-east England. They reckoned that, without German mastery of the skies, the Royal Navy could play havoc in mid-Channel with Sealion's unwieldy mass of river barges stuffed with troops and equipment. Such a venture must inevitably end in catastrophe.

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12 October 2010

LONDON (Associated Press) - Rare color footage of the bomb damage inflicted on London during World War II has surfaced on the eve of the 70th anniversary of the Blitz.

The dramatic footage shows the destruction of several London landmarks, including the flagship John Lewis store on Oxford Street.


The film was released Monday by Westminster Council to mark the start of the devastating German bombing campaign that began September 7, 1940, and continued until May 1941.


The film was found in the attic by the family of an air raid warden who shot it on the home movie equipment in use in the 1940s.


The footage also shows wartime leader Winston Churchill visiting bomb sites to assess the damage.




©Associated Press

4 October 2010
As the RAF faces an uncertain future, its Central Band's latest album celebrates the Service's role in a pivotal moment in our history - the Battle of Britain. Adam Sweeting reports.
By Adam Sweeting

UK TELEGRAPH, 15 September 2010 -As news reaches us of disreputable attempts by Army and Navy chiefs to fight off threatened budget cuts by dismembering the Royal Air Force, the RAF's Central Band comes thundering low over the horizon with an immaculately timed riposte. It's their debut album for Decca, Reach for the Skies.


The disc has been designed to precision-bomb the heartstrings of the nation by bringing together every lip‑trembling, blood-stirring anthem ever associated with Britain's gallant airmen, from Ron Goodwin's rumbustious theme from 633 Squadron to the elegiac Battle of Britain March. William Walton's Spitfire Prelude flies in formation with The Dambusters March and Reach for the Sky, and for light relief there's Those Magnificent Men in their Flying Machines.


Leaving no nostalgic tear unshed, the album lobs in a couple of Winston Churchill's greatest hits - his Battle of Britain tributes about the RAF's "finest hour" and the "Never was so much owed by so many to so few" speech - with appropriately reverent musical accompaniment.


"With a little help from Winston Churchill himself, we have produced an album of which we're all immensely proud, and one that we hope will continue to showcase the excellence of musicianship for which the RAF has always been known," said Decca's general manager, Mark Wilkinson, who is doubtless well aware that the Central Band was the first military band to make a long-playing record when it recorded Eric Coates's theme from The Dam Busters film in 1955.

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2 October 2010

"Let us therefore brace ourselves to our duty and so bear ourselves that if the British Commonwealth and Empire lasts for a thousand years, men will still say 'This was their finest hour.'"

-Winston Churchill

1940 was Britain's first full year of war. It was not only the year that the country's very existence was threatened, it was also - as Churchill said - its ‘finest hour'. Defeat and occupation by Nazi Germany were very real possibilities, but it was the momentous events of this year that helped to shape the course, and eventual outcome, of the Second World War.


In 1940, Britain needed leadership, determination, courage, effort, sacrifice - and luck - to survive.


Explore the new 1940 microsite of the Imperial War Museum and discover how the Museum's unique collections tell the story of 1940 and find out how each of the Museum's branches is marking the pivotal events of this remarkable year.

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