acepuppets

Archive for April 2016


I remember vividly the moment I fell in love with Bugsy Malone.  My brother got the part of Baby Face in a local drama group production of Bugsy Malone.  As a family we were all very proud and obtained a pirated copy of the film.  We wore the old video tape out watching Baby Face say his immortal words, ‘Pass this to Baby Face – Oh I am Baby Face’, and then promptly chase the big guys with a baseball bat. I was more distracted by Scott Baio who played Bugsy Malone and have been in love with him ever since. These are the reasons why I could watch Bugsy Malone a multitude of times.

Bugsy Malone – Synopsis

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Bugsy Malone is a gangster movie set in the 1920/30s when alcohol was banned in America.  Bugsy Malone however has beautiful twist of having a cast entirely made up of children.  The film is based around uber gangster Fat Sam and his cabaret bar, which is a private members club to avoid prosecution.  The main thread of the story is the, sometimes stalled, relationship between boxing promoter Bugsy Malone and club singer Blousey Brown.  Their relationship is hindered by lack of money, starlets like Tallulah (Fat Sam’s girlfriend) and Bugsy’s involvement with gangsters.  Dandy Dan and Fat Sam were mortal enemies who spent the whole film using splurge guns to kill each other with custard.  At the end everyone at the Grand Slam gets splurged and collapse on the floor.  Bugsy Malone and Blousey Brown escape with the cash, Bugsy earned, to follow their American dream.  The rest of the cast slowly rose from the floor singing, ‘You give a little love (we could have been anything we wanted to be)’, and continued throwing custard at each other.

Cast

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Bugsy Malone is a musical so there are plenty of great songs, which incidentally are performed by adults.  Apart from delicious boxing promoter Bugsy Malone and sassy Blousey Brown we also have seductive Tallulah and hapless Fat Sam who reside mainly in the Grand Slam.  We also have Fat Sam’s gang members who all have cool names; Knuckles, Roxy Robinson, Snake Eyes and Louis.  Apparently Michael Jackson was in the film as Razmataz the pianist.  Bugsy Malone enlists the help of Leroy Smith, who he trained to be a boxer, and a group of down and outs he recruited from a soup kitchen to help Fat Sam defeat Dandy Dan.  Baby Face proved to be the most dangerous member of the group despite having a cute name and being small.  In the Grand Slam there is a sparkling cast of dancing girls and singers.  One diva is remembered because she sabotages Blousey Brown’s audition on her return and proceeds to sing high pitched and off key.  When you look at the cast list it is made up of child actors who became very famous adult film stars.

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To top all of the great things I have told you about the film all of the cars were peddle cars that resembled real child size cars and the cast got to drive them.  We all wanted to drive one of those cars.  If you want to have an uplifting afternoon and like food fights you will most definitely like Bugsy Malone.


We are so lucky to live in the Cartmel Peninsula in the North West of England.  The area is populated with beautiful little towns that have their own characters and treasures.

Cartmel

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Source: Visit Cumbria

Cartmel is considered to be one of the best places to live in the country and boasts; a race track, riding stable, Michelin Stared L’enclume,  a magnificent priory and of course the world famous Sticky Toffee Pudding.  There are also many wonderful pubs to eat in, a brewery, artisan bakery and cheese maker and many lovely little shops that sell beautiful gifts.  The town is  protected by the watchful eye of the medieval priory that dates back to 667 AD.  The town successfully embraces the modern world without removing the medieval element of the town.  Chris Evans (BBC 2) describes it as a, ‘Thimble full of diamonds’.  and many more people are continuing to discover the secret that locals already knew – how wonderful Cartmel is.

Cark in Cartmel

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Source: Ian Taylor

Cark is very reminiscent of 1950’s Britain with the river Eea at its core.  It has a railway station, hairdressers, two pubs, artisan bakers, garden centre, access to the estuary, a small business park and of course the pièce de résistance – Holker Hall.  Cark was originally an industrial town built round a watermill that was used in the production of cotton.  The river is much smaller than it used to be but the high tides restores the river to its original height and makes the estuary look like a magical place.  The estuary is a place of scientific interest and school children come from all over the north west to conduct surveys of the river.  Annually scientists come to study the plants and animals in the estuary.

Holker Hall

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Source: Visit Cumbria

Holker Hall is a magnificent stately home with beautiful gardens.  It is owned ny the Cavendish family, who own lots of property and land all over the Cartmel and Furness area.  Houses owned by the Cavendish’s are painted a special blue colour which distinguishes them from privately owned houses. Many events are run at the Hall including the famous Garden Festival.  You can buy local produce from their farm shop, enjoy a high class meal and of course look around the hall itself.

Haverthwaite and Backbarrow

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Source: Steam Railway Lines

Haverthwaite and Backbarrow are separated by the A590 and were possibly Viking settlements.  Haverthwaite is home to the Lakeside and Haverthwaite Railway which takes you directly to lake Windermere where you can go on a lake cruise, visit the Aquarium of the lakes or enjoy a top notch cream tea at the Lakeside Hotel.  Over the course of the year the railway hold children’s events such as, ‘Thomas Weekend’, and ‘Witches and Wizards’.

Playdale Playgrounds and Lakeland Motor Museum

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Source: Playdale Playgrounds

In Haverthwaite itself Playdale Playgrounds designs and builds playground equipment which is exported all over the world – they have even won awards for exporting.  This timber yard turned playground equipment manufacturer has made play magical for children all over the country.  If you are into cars and yummy food then the Lakeland Motor Museum is the place for you.

Flookburgh

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Source: Sky Dive North West

 

Flookburgh is a small village dominated by the local fishing trade, it is believed that its name originates from the word, ‘Flukes’, a flat fish found in the area.  Some of the houses even advertise that they sell potted shrimps.  The square bustles with a sandwich shop, convenience store, chemist, pub, hairdressers and village hall.  Down a long straight road, known locally as the, Mile Road, you can find Willow Water, the factory where Cartmel Sticky Toffee Pudding is now produced, Duckys Park Farm,  the Haven Lakeland Holiday Park and Cark Airfield which is home to mega car boot sales, Sky Dive North West and the annual Steam Gathering.

Allithwaite

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Source: Cumbria Wildlife Trust

Allithwaite is a small village between Flookburgh and Grange, it is near to Humphrey Head, which is a limestone outcrop looking out onto Morecambe Bay.  According to folk law, the last wolf in England met a grizzly end after being chased to the end of the cliff with men wielding spears.  There is a street in Allithwaite called Greendales which may or may not be a reference to Postman Pat.  You can enjoy drinks and food in the local pub called The Pheasant and children can enjoy the well maintained playground near to the school.  The church and the school over look the rolling countryside.

Grange Over Sands

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Source: Wordsworth Country

Grange over Sands may have started off as a storage place of grain by the Cartmel monks.  It became a fishing village then a popular Edwardian tourist attraction which boomed during the Victorian era.  Before the River Kent was redirected, Grange was really a beach and ferries operated to jetties leading to the promenade.  The prom is well maintained by volunteers and hosts Prom Art during the summer months.  The railway station is at the end of the prom near to the ornamental gardens.  It has always been traditional to wave at the train going past as you walk along the prom.

Grange Lido

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Source: Bodian

At the far end of the prom is a dilapidated lido that was very popular up until the 80’s where it became difficult to maintain and now looks like a ghost of its former self.  Grange is a cornucopia of gift shops, hardware stores, cafes and pubs.  It is often referred to as, Heaven’s waiting room’, due to the high density of old people’s homes.  However these days there seems to be a resurgence in younger members of the community.  There are a large number of hairdressers and beauty salons in the town and the area in general.  Grange is home to magnificent hotels such as, The Cumbria Grand and the Nether wood.

There are many more wonderful things that I could tell you about my local area but I am at nearly 1000 words already.  You are welcome to come and see for yourself the wonderful Cartmel Peninsula.

 

 


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Our world is precious and provides us with everything we need to live a healthy life.  Sadly we often reward it with total disrespect which damages ecosystems and the landscape.  Unless we start changing our attitude to nature, and set our children a good example, the earth is going to start looking like a dystopian movie set.  We all know that children learn through play and that the early years is when they are most open to learning habits that will grow with them.

When children are taught about the environment they don’t need to be bombarded with statistics about how much plastic is choking the earth and how the rain forests are being obliterated to make way for burgers.  Initially all they need to know is how to care for the world around them.  A child’s world is their garden, the school, playground and where ever they are at the time.  We know that they are in love with nature because walks with a toddler requires collecting treasures such as; sticks, stones and feathers.  At that age you can spend a fortune to go into a theme park and they will enjoy the puddles more than anything else.

A love of nature can be nurtured by going for walks, looking at plants, birds and keeping quiet in order to spot a bunny rabbit. The way we, as parents and carers, react to; rainbows, icicles, frogspawn, birds and clouds helps children to see the beauty around them.  If children see the world as beautiful, they are less likely to disrespect it as they get older.  By planting and nurturing seeds children can see the effort nature has to go to in order to grow.  If children know the best conditions in which to grow plants they are more likely to support measures to ensure that the health of the environment will allow this to happen.

Schools teach children about how plants grow and are increasingly setting up gardening clubs or investing in school playground planters gives children ownership of plants. School playground planters can also allows schools to teach children about how plants decompose.  The Better Health Channel has written an article about the benefits of gardening for children