Pacific Post No 95 October 22nd 1945

PACE 2 iyiynu«T,uv/iuDLn « , i7tj Naval Operation Of Peace BATTLE OF HERRINGS A big naval operation is taking place in the North Sea. io shells, no torpedoes, are being fired, but upon the success f the operation depends the welfare of Europe this winter. P f l i DOWN ON THE ERA Market is Fhe Black rampant. Champagne £410«. a bottle. Use of a beaeh chair, 3s. 6d. Cigarettes 30s. a paeket. R1V1 by Douglas Williams v of ft IX the operation is successful, the >pulation of Europe will have winter od supplies increased by thousands of irrels'of good fat herrings. The Royal Navy is employing every railable minesweeper to clear the East nglian herring fishery grounds from *rman and British mines. Before the war, herring fishing and wing was a great thriving industry in titain. More than sixty percent, of se prodigious yearly catch was cured nd exported to Russia, Poland and the lediterranean. The war cut these sup- lies, and substitute foods had to be ttund. By the peacetime over-came, fas markets were lost and Britain’s erring industry faded to a shadow of is former importance. Teeming North Sea To-day, with the coining of winter, tarvation faces vanquished and liber-, .ted alike. Substitute foods found dur- Dg the world war are in abysmally hort supply, and the humble herring mce more comes into its own. The »orth Sea practically unfished for six Pears, teems with herring. The herring is one of the most mtritious of foods rich in' oil and heat Jroducing properties, easily transport- liiie and with good keeping qualities Mine cured herring is ideal food to lend to continental Europe and may tell bethe means of saving countless lives. The bountiful harvest of the sea| i there forgathering, butt£ >reap its full benefit herculean efforts have to be Mines have to be cleared first. Next importance are ships to catch the -As speedily as possible, hundreds fishing trawlers and drifters, requisi­tioned by Admiralty for war service, have been released, and shipyards are working overtime to re-convert them for fishing duties. Before the war in Europe was over the Royal Navy began te release personnel, and men are available to man the fishing ships. Admiralty has in fact done as much work in three months as it originally p* nned. for eight months. Net Makers Busy Then there are the nets. The net making industry of the British Isles has been largely employed during the war years in making camouflage nets for Allied Armies. Net makers are now working equally hard making nets for berring drifters. Hundreds of miles of fine cotton driftnet will be required to reap this great harvest of the sea. ¦The box makers and coopers too must play their part. Brine Is needed to cure the herrings. Salt manufacturers will have to work hard. It is traditional for Scottish girls from the North-East coast to journey South to Great Yarmouth, main port where (tie catch is landed, to cure the herring tervest. For many generations these womenfolk have done so. They work at incredible speed gutting, salting, and packing. Human ingenuity has yet to devise a machine to take the place of their nimble fingers. Trainloads of these girls arrived from the North and billeting authorities of much bombed Great Yarmouth had a headache to find them accommodation. Huge Yield Expected Transport, porterage, storage and a !hundred and one other details have also to be considered With fair weather and good fortune the Great Yarmouth herring fleet may land nearly one thousand million her­rings by the beginning of December. The bulk of this stupendous yield of the sea should been route to the continent by the turn of the year. So the battle against a thousand million herrings is joined. Most of the men and ships taking part have just finished a sterner fight. Let us pray that their efforts on this vital occasion are equally ¦successful. o».'w 111 ivAn East coast drifter steaming slowing irith neto ouj^ She will return to port trith n htr.m r**"r The Birthplace of Photography By CEDRIC DAY A little more than ninety miles from London, not far from the escarpment of Salisbury Plain, lies the near-perfect ancient English village of Lacock, which was overhanded to the National Trust by the last of the Talbots, the Lady of the Manor, Miss M.T. Talbot, M.B.E. Here,in clean stone and mossed roofs, is truly an unspoiled historic fragment of England, now inviolable, in a valley by the Avon, a green valley embowered in trees, with broad, lush meadows and gardens full of brightly-coloured flowers, and here is the first building in the world to be photographed. Beyond the village is a high ridge of hills, in summer richly verdant—chest­ nuts in bloom, oaks in curly leaf, ash trees tawny, edged with green, elms lofty against the blue sky. And curving past the Abbey and the village, under grey stone bridges that, symbolically, span the centuries, flows the Avon, green glinting water in a sunny land, a river of filmy weeds forever waving with the flow of the stream. Besides these waters once flourished terraced gardens tended by the white hands of holy women. Now only a stone -retaining wall marks the bounds of Lacock Abbey but, as though raised to show the rich country-side some grandeur of the frail works of man, the Abbey holds the view. This Abbey has been the seat often generations of Talbots over the past 400 years, and it was here that W. Fox Talbot conducted his photographic experiments a hundred years sago. First Negative He made the first photographic negative—a picture of a diamond-paned window in his ancestral home, taken from inside the building so that nothing should shake the camera. His grand­daughter. Miss M.T. Talbot, M.B.E .dis­covered the negative a few years ago. Everyone of the more than 200 panes of glass still show up with pinpoint sharpness. It was Talbot’s invention of the negative which laid the foundation of modern photography. The Abbey has always had a tradition 01 being a refuge and in World War II it sheltered evacuees, children, soldiers, sailors and airmen. The village lies near the Abbey, a village where time, it seems, has gently back.slid It has a population of about u thousand, half a dozen little shops, a smithy—and three inns, all as old as the licensing laws themselves. Every street provides a walk through English history amid houses and cottages dating from the 12th. century onwards. r|'HERE is no nougat anymore at Monteliniart. Wine in the mountain villages is plentiful at 10s. a gallon, abut cafe in Raunne charges you 2s. for a glass of rough bur­gundy. You can buy a dozen bottles of Noilly Prat vermouth at the factory in Marseilles for £5, but there is not a bottle to be had in any wineshop. These and a dozen other seemingly inexplicable contradictions make life in Southern France and on the Riviera extremely difficult both for residents and for summer visitors. The peasants and town-dwellers complain, as do French­men allover France, that they are short of everything, and yet wealthy visitors spending a fortnight’s holiday seem to get anything they want provided they can pay the price. It is a confused and complex pic­ture, and behind the summer scenery of hot sunshine and sparkling blue sea, of gaily awninged cafes and sunburnt bathing beauties, there is a grim back­ground of growing discontent and warn­ings of troubles ahead in the coming winter. Food Pirates’ Permits In no part of France does the black market flourish as it does in the Midi, where huge trucks plainly marked “Alimentation,” laden with wine grapes, vegetables and oil, go thundering over the Comiche roads bound for inland markets where their cargoes will fetch huge prices. No authority appears to check these food pirates. So eager are traders to buy, and such temptingly high prices do they offer the producers, that their activities automatically sweep the mar­kets clean and leave little for the nor­mal retail trade. G o into any of the picturesque restaurants nestling in the hills of the Corniche between Cannes and Monte CWiu uX ici juu ..with a 'meal vein er? w #up To pre^war standards, with sardines and anchovies, with plentiful butter, with steak or fresh fish, with omelettes, with real coffee and the finest wines, all of which are practically unobtain­able for the ordinary citizen, who cannot afford to pay anything from 700 to 1,500 francs ahead for his lunch or dinner. The innkeepers regard their clientele with a cynical contempt, and believe that nine out often customers that flock to these Lucullian repasts are just as deep In the black market as they are themselves. Petrol 60s. a Gallon The roads, and especially the magni­ficent Comiche highways winding through mountains high above the sea, are instill excellent condition, and the black market in petrol at 50s. or 60s. a gallon must be flourishing judging by the number of cars that roll by filled with seemingly care-free holiday-makers In vivid sports shirts, their women-folk glistening with diamonds and gold wrist-watches. Such tourist trade as the Riviera is enjoying Is, of course, almost entirely French as complications of travel, diffi­culties with exchange, and shortage of accommodation resulting from the in­vasion of Nice, Cannes and Juan-les- Pins by the American Army make it impossible for foreigners to take holi­days abroad. The great majority of the villas re­main untenanted owing to lack of domestic servants and complications in obtaining food. Visitors are content to pay £2,£3 or even £4 for a room in a small hotel, eating their meals as best they can in black market restaurants. Living on the Riviera this season is high, and any visitor who gets away wifh less than £10 a day is lucky. A bottle of champagne costs £410s., the use of a beach chair 3s. 6d., a packet of any kind of imported cigarettes £1 to 30s., and an aperitif 10s. Mine Dangers Many beaches, of course, are still closed owing to mines, and the other day on my way from Toulon westwards I was stopped several times on the byroad guards to await the detonation of mines being exploded with vivid flash and lick of yellow flame fifty yards ahead. The coast as far west as Cannes and the Esterel is little damaged by war, but from Frejus westwards past St. Tro- pez towards Toulon, in what was roughly the landing area of last year’s invasion, the devastation is considerable. All along the badly pot-holed coastal highway, villas are in ruins, with big shell holes gaping In their red-tiled roofs, gardens have run wild, and gates of big estates swing crazily on their hinges. Rusty barbed wire lines the beach and skeletons of bum t-out tanks and wrecked trucks lie in ditches. Here and there are tiny graveyards or more elaborate marble monuments erected at the roadside to heroes of the Resistance shot by the Gestapo in those hectic days just before the Allied attack. Stretches of ugly-looklng ground covered high with weeds and shrubs bear notice-boards menacingly ornamented with crudely drawn skull and, crossbones giving warning of minefields. Amid this desolation the brilliant flowers of the South still bloom in profusion, and the almond, mulberry, cypress and olive trees grow in untended luxuriance. Yachting, except for a few small sailing boats, has not, of course, yet returned. Apart from such obvious obstacles as mines at sea and in harbours, there is nc provision of fuel oil, and food supplies are almost impossible to obtain. A few yacht-owners like Prince de Faucigny-Lucinge at Monte Carlo live aboard their boats in summer, finding It cooler and less expensive than ashore. Gambling on the Riviera, has not yet been revived. Only at Monte Carlo, where the tables never ceased to operate all through the war, can roulette or chemin defer be played. (“Daily Telegraph,” London.) From almost any angle the artist or the photographer can find a picture of charm and peacefulness in Lacock. Naval Artist’s Exhibition The “Dying Merchant Seaman,,v a drawing of a fireman who died as a result of sabotage in Algiers Harbour, has been purchased by the National Art Gallery of New South Wales, and Is among seventy drawings to be on view at a joint exhibition by Mr. Hal Massing- ham, the new Director of the National Art Gallery, and Able Seaman Paul Beadle. The exhibition is to be opened at the Macquarie Galleries, 19 Bligh Street, Sydney, by Captain Anthony Klmmlns, R.N., Chief of Naval Information (Paci­fic), on Wednesday, October 24, at 1.30 p.m., and will remain open until November 5, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. The subjects cover a wide variety and range of work from slight notes in pencil, pen and wash, tc more fully worked compositions. There are studies of sailors and soldiers, figure composi­tions, drawings of children, animals and seashells. The “Dying Merchant Seaman” is by Able Seaman Beadle, who is at present on the staff of “Pacific Post” and is a London sculptor. He was trained at the Central School of Arts and Crafts under Bernard Meninsky, William Roberts and Alfred Turner, HeR.A. joined the Royal Navy in January, 1943, and served for sometime in sub- rines.
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