Month: March 2015

“The Vintage Triumph” and Triumphs in My Life

“The Vintage Triumph” and Triumphs in My Life

All Tri­umphs All the Time: Issue 150 of The Vin­tage Tri­umph mag­a­zine, 2015 

Har­ry Barnes was to have been our first edi­tor, but quick­ly decid­ed he couldn’t do it. I was elect­ed, pro­duc­ing issues 1-18 from 1974 to 1977. Look­ing at those pro­duc­tions, I’m struck that while Tri­umphs haven’t changed much else has in half a life­time.

Annu­al dues were $10—equal to $48 today, but didn’t buy as much. Imag­ine a world with­out com­put­ers! You print­ed off sheets of clean, “cam­era-ready” type. We couldn’t afford type­set­ting; those who didn’t have elec­tric type­writ­ers put a brand new rib­bon in their Rem­ing­tons and banged hard on the keys.…

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Churchill’s Common Touch (5)

Churchill’s Common Touch (5)

con­clud­ed from part 4…

Part 5: Loy­al­ty 

“Their loy­al­ty they kept….” For­mer Churchill sec­re­taries Eliz­a­beth Lay­ton Nel (1942-45) and Lady Williams, the for­mer Jane Por­tal (1949-55), at a reunion in 2006.

Churchill had “a rep­u­ta­tion for brusque­ness strength­ened by his han­dling of the com­mon folk,” his post­war body­guard Ronald Gold­ing con­tin­ued.

He had the habit of sum­ming peo­ple up after two sen­tences of con­ver­sa­tion. They were clas­si­fied, it seemed to me, as either “inter­est­ing” or “unin­ter­est­ing.” With the for­mer, con­ver­sa­tion ensued; with the lat­ter, Churchill would ignore them. On such occa­sions Mrs. Churchill fre­quent­ly came to the res­cue, engag­ing the luck­less in con­ver­sa­tion.…

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Churchill’s Common Touch (4)

Churchill’s Common Touch (4)

con­tin­ued from part 3…

Part 4: “Being Shout­ed At”

Grace Ham­blin in “The Fac­to­ry.” The por­trait is by Frank Sal­is­bury, 1942.

“I think being shout­ed at was one of the worst things to get over,” said Grace Ham­blin, sec­re­tary to Win­ston and then Clemen­tine Churchill from 1932, typ­i­cal of the com­mon Ken­tish folk who loved them. “I’d come from a very qui­et fam­i­ly and I’d nev­er been shout­ed at in my life. But I had to learn it, in time.”

In the midst of dic­ta­tion one day, Grace told me, Churchill com­mand­ed: “Fetch me Klop!” Klop?…

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