Going like the Clappers.

I’ve come to the conclusion that the congregation at my usual church are stiff and pretty much up their own bottoms these days. Out of control, my lot. Ripping out old wooden doorways and installing glass abominations in their place, gripping the  communion wine goblet so firmly, it’s virtually impossible to call it a first sabbath drink, and casting gems before pigs rather than pearls before swine, they can drive a man to the pub. Nice lot in the pub. Sometimes more saintly than those populating the pews. In fact, my boozing companion last week was a Roman Catholic chap, pretty high up in his church, a wonderful fellow, which is why the chat turned to the closing of Whitechapel Foundry, the makers of church bells for more than half a thousand years. One of the drinkers in our group had misheard, at least, I hope he misheard, a tv report that Bow Bells had been silenced. But no it is the closure of Whitechapel, one of the most famous bell making foundries in the world, with Big Ben and America’s Liberty Bell among its credits. Who will take its place? We didn’t have the answer.  I have a friend who is a noted campanologist, ringing peels of church bells around Britain. He might know? But not in time for this Blog and perhaps just as well. Because my main concern is for the VERY famous Bow Bells themselves. Ringing out every fifteen minutes at Mary Le Bow church in East London and in case your memory is a little dusty, these are bells that summoned back to London Dick Whittington, four times Lord Mayor of London in the fourteenth century, who might never have got the job if he hadn’t heard the glorious bells booming at him, Turn again, Dick Whittington, Turn again. Consulting with his cat, because our Dick was returning home a bit of a failure, Dick did turn again. And look what happened. At this point, a young barman interrupted the conversation declaring he’d always thought Whittington, was a pantomime character with an actor gambolling around him as an amusing but quite frivolous cat. No indeed. Dick and his cat were real. But perhaps the most important function of Bow Bells was to determine who was a Cockney, those indestructible East Londoners who survived the blitz, eat jellied eels, ponce around in clothes to which thousands of pearls have been attached and make the pronunciation of ham sandwich sound like harm sonwish. The true Cockney must be born within the sound of the bells. And that’s the problem. Bow Bells might not have been totally silenced, but noise pollution has diminished their sound distance to half that of the time when they clearly rang out urging Dick W to turn again. That means the number of Cockneys in this world is shrinking. And because of the advent of dreadful and tasteless coffee chains now spreading like a rash through town and country, so are pubs. Cockneys, pubs. So what else is shrinking. Church buildings for one. Beautiful old churches with magnificent Norman architecture are being shut down almost as fast as pubs, while the church hierarchy does nothing to prevent it, instead focusing on vital matters such as gay marriage and women priests. Strange that the numbers of churchgoers is also shrinking  and Christians have become so rare they are almost now a minority religion. But I digress. Bow Bells are for the moment under threat but safe. Pubs under threat and not safe. Cockneys virtually wiped out and jellied eels sinking to the rating of ‘delicacy’. At this point in our heated discussion a young man of some six feet four inches walked past, to the triumphal cry of one of our number that the human race was far from shrinking. True. But what sort of future is around the corner? Fewer pubs, fewer churches, fewer people eating a ‘full English’ Not to mention the limit put on Sunday’s gulp of wine at the altar. A land of Giants but with traditions long gone, pubs a thing of the past, the smell of bacon sizzling in the pan, as rare as someone kneeling at the altar. But worst of all, a muted Bow Bells still peeling out the call Turn again Dick Whittington. Sadly, just not enough Dicks to hear them, so the end of civilisation as we know it well and truly down the drain. ‘Another pint, please ‘Arry. I’ve just got time for one before I meet the Bishop in Costa to talk over the problems of the church and declining membership. I’m urging him to give half the collection to the Bow Bells fund. The bigger the reach of the sound of Bow Bells, , the more Cockneys  there are. Then more beer drinkers there are, then more pubs being saved. Ahhhhh dont hold your breath. The new land of Giants may well be bigger and taller than us. And that’s great.  But if the capacity to listen to Bow Bells has  gone,  then it will be more than my undershorts that shrink and poor old Dick won’t turn again, but head off to a land of milk and honey, or at least a land with thousands of pubs and people like me, short in the arse and short on worrying about the shrinkage of traditional Britain. Ah. Yes. You’re quite right. The sound of the landlord sounding a bell and calling Time Gentlemen, Please. Now that is a bell that isn’t missed.



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Mirador Television

Mirador Television

Mirador Television  was supposed to be on the internet this weekend.

As with all new ventures, there have been a few hiccups. So it will probably be next weekend that the service will be launched.

Mirador television is aimed at people who live in Lewes Town, Seaford, Newhaven, Uckfield and the villages and hamlets that more or less are situated within the parliamentary constituency called Lewes District. However, we are aware that the coastal strip from Hastings to Chichester isn’t served by a local TV service except for Brighton and Worthing. It’s our aim to expand as quickly as we can and start serving this entire coastal community which should have its own local voice, information provider and global story teller, relating the tale of the wonderful environment in which we live, the rich history of this entire coastal strip and its natural beauty, its industrious citizens and the huge contribution it makes to a healthy and enjoyable community life.

Mirador can be seen on http://www.miradortelevision.com from Monday September 25th and from then onwards.

It is a modest service to begin with but with support, it will grow. Hope you become a fan.

History of Mirador Television

Small scale TV, aimed at specific communities, thrives in almost every corner of the world except for the UK. Pretty shameful, isn’t it?

The idea for a service to Lewes and the surrounding area came after I spent time in the Balkan countries and the Baltics and saw how well they had developed very local TV. When Jeremy Hunt, then minister for media announced in 2013 a round of licences for local television, I was very excited and began preparing the ground for a Lewes TV station. Surprise, surprise. There was no franchise for Lewes or the coastal towns. Too small. What in the name of Sam Hill is small scale TV, then??????

But in the intervening years, the cost of equipment and the development of the Internet has meant small scale TV can come to tiny towns and a local service can be provided.

In fairness, the government worried that very local TV can’t survive financially. They were right to be cautious, but wrong not to  give entrepreneurs the chance to show their stuff.

Part of the problem is that watching television on the web is growing more slowly in the UK than elsewhere. But even so, web watching is beginning to change, attitudes and ways of watching video content are becoming much faster as each year goes by. So perhaps Jeremy and his officials did do us a favour.

We realise though that traditional TV viewing will be with us for some time, so Mirador favours a mixture of web and broadcast at least for the foreseeable future.

That’s what we are trying to provide.

Mirador Television is the third attempt to make local TV work. CHALK TV was formed in 2016. It was successful as a programme maker but ran into financial problems which caused some bitterness and halted the enterprise in its tracks. CHALK still has debts, not substantial, but still some obligations which it is trying to  fulfil. Out of CHALK came Eye to Eye. Eye to Eye was much more successful but again, ran out of money before cash could start coming in. But Eye to Eye will soon be financially viable and will act as a programme producer, making programmes for other UK TV stations and overseas TV.

Mirador, the name means Barbican, by the way is now gearing up to be a truly local TV service. It has to be done on the cheap. It won’t be classy and full of beautiful show effects. But it will, in an unusual and hopefully amusing way, help to keep the local community ticking over.

So I hope you will watch, I hope those who have been upset by the past failed attempts will be patient and the local community will get behind Mirador and make it what it can be, a vital part of the way of life in Southern Strip of England.




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A Fair Result?

Watched the Lions, New Zealand game on Saturday morning in Brighton. For those to whom rugby is an alien sport, forgive me for mild reminiscing.

First time I have had beer for breakfast in a long time. But it was scintillating rugby and with England and Argentina providing a game of suspense and challenge, I think for once the authorities have got their game plan right. Rugby is a great game and the internationals, once dour affairs as both sides tried to ground out a victory,  are now played in style and have improved immeasurably to provide a real showpiece for sport.

Oh. Lions and  New Zealand drew 15-15 and created an unprecedented series draw.

I was a rugby player in the dim and distant past, that is when my tummy would let me see my rugby boots. But it is a point of great pride that along with two other Vancouver journalists, the late David Abbott, a sometime BC Entertainment Hall of Famer and a chap called Harry Atterton started a rugby club in Vancouver BC called the Scribes.

The Scribes celebrated its 50th anniversary in April. Now its a flourishing club with club house, several teams and a fixed place in the BC rugby scene. Earlier this year, RT TV celebrated its 10th anniversary. I was part of the team that put RT together and recently wrote about starting the training of young journalists with nothing but a bare room and a waste paper bin. Rocket Radio, which sprang from radio Caburn was 20 years old this year. Another brain child of mine and a worthy addition to the media scene in Lewes. I have a history of initiating projects which last a long, long time. Perhaps some of them are not in the exact shape they were started in. but enterprises which have stood the test of time and are in operation even as I write.

Now for my latest venture, Local TV or really micro TV for tiny towns.  I’ve started a project which has had a rocky ride so far. Not much enthusiasm for it from the public, financiers or even TV people themselves. But I have now proved that a small TV station such as i2i TV can work. Now it needs seed capital. I’d like to add this venture to my long track record of lasting new ventures.

But I can’t do it myself. I need financial help. So come to my rescue, boys and girls. Boost i2i TV. Give a little something to our Crowd Funding Campaign. Go to our web site http://www.eyetoeyetv.com

Toss in a few bob. Be a part of a venture that will be celebrating its anniversary in 2027 and as you lift a glass of bubbly for a toast, remember that you were in at the start of a nation shattering experiment which in turn became the TV giant it will then be.

If you can’t get onto the eyetoeyetv.com page, go to Face Book and take a peek there.

Be at the start of of something big. Fund now. Celebrate later.

Oh dear, its after midnight. Now I shall have my first drink of the day before beddy byes.

Getting to be a habit. But with your halo, a good habit.


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A Pope with Balls?

The Pope has intervened in the case of little Harry, the English child so gravely ill the British courts have decreed that his life support system should be turned off against the will of the parents. I am too old now to be the parent of such a tiny child, healthy or otherwise, so I am not going to say what I think the rights or wrongs are. But what amused me, irritated me, made me cheer or gave a downright sigh of pleasure, was the pomposity of the British Establishment when they declared that the Pope should not oppose British judges. Popes have opposed  the authorities of more countries than you can shake a stick at over the years. Henry VIII was one of them. The idea that this Pope is stepping out of line, is ridiculous.  I hope that our judges (and I know several personally) are jolly good chaps in the main. But that doesn’t mean that they should be beyond question, or not have opposition to their decisions and their opinions. It is not an easy thing to decide someone should die. Along with my brother, on the advice of the medics, I had to agree to my sister’s life support system being  turned off. So I have some sympathy with the justices. But to suggest that a notable cleric such as the Pope should keep his moth shut is nothing but outrageous. If I was taking a position, especially based on Faith, on this issue, I would also make my voice heard. Trouble is no one knows who the hell I am and I want to keep it that way, so I can shout all I want and to no avail. But this Pope seems to have balls. Let’s hope they are effective

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If Paxo Says So, It Must Be True

Jeremy Paxman, behind the gruff, tough persona he creates for television, is a very likable chap. I worked with him in Northern Ireland for a while when he was still new to the game of TV. BBC friends, and for that matter others who meet him socially tell me he hasn’t changed much, although it is a number of years since I have chatted to him.

But he always had a good mind. And that was what set him apart from many other electronic media journalists. He considered carefully what his viewpoint was, researched it, got his facts right, then let fly.

The reason I mention this is because Jeremy recently came out and blasted the establishment mentality of the Beeb.

I must say I agree with his assessment. It is a difficult world to swim in, if you don’t subscribe to the  notion that the BBC rules, Right or Wrong. Don’t bother me with how many people watch us, it doesn’t matter and the BBC is bigger than any individual and probably most institutions, even those with granite walls.

All this because once you have worked for the BBC and left, they rarely take deserters back. That’s mainly a covert self preservation thing, because leavers can see with unclouded eyes just how it puffs itself up to hide what is mainly a sham underneath.

Paxo’s criticism didn’t go far enough in my opinion. The tribe of modern journalists, mostly young and reluctant to admit they are wet behind the ears, are full of opinions without taking much care to establish the facts. They also, in presentation terms, sneer at their interviewees, their viewers, fellow reporters who don’t work for the Beeb and anyone else that looks as if they might disagree with them.

I have always questioned the mantra of impartiality in journalism. As Andrew Marr’s ‘A Short History of British Journalism’ points out, early journalists were the pamphleteers in the time of King Charles I. They denounced the  Monarch and challenged the Divine Right of \Kings. But such was the penalty for being caught (rendered speechless from loss of the head) that they put up a pamphlet and ran like hell so the King’s men couldn’t catch them.

So impartiality was never the base of British journalism. But accuracy was, and although critics can point to countless inaccuracies in modern and ancient media, the basic standard was generally adhered to.

Today, the sneering youth of the BBC (other news outlets as well, but less so) pays little heed to accuracy. “This is what I think, and you will damn well listen.” Luckily, this sort of journalism raises its head as if it is the price of freedom, from time to time in the odd generation. But it rarely lasts. Nor will it this time. Public pressure (the public are no fools, despite the establishment convincing themselves to the contrary) will eventually see commonsense regained and standards return.

The trouble is that this generation of journalists carry around a piece of paper with a ribbon around it which declares academia found them capable of being the watchdogs of society. No one gave much thought to experience.

At i2i Television, we try to steer young journalists towards a decent set of standards. not doctrinal impartiality, but if opinion must, it must be on the basis of fact.

Bring back the tough old editors of the past who had little truck with degrees. Go and get me a cup of coffee , son. Then you can go and get a skinful like I had last night!

Thems’ were the days.

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Seeing Eye to Eye

I’m a real jerk. And what’s more I’m a real OLD jerk. I get up at 0500, struggle into my track suit, race up to the news agents, help the manager Brad (a very likeable and totally laid back Ossy) sort the papers. I am very professional at this now. My pay reflects the expertise I;ve gained in doing this for well over 7 years. With bonuses, it comes to less than the minimum wage. Exactly zero. But I wouldn’t give it up for all the tea in China.

It’s like Cannery Row. A long list of characters, from the late Fred, who made more money from the ponies, but didn’t dare admit it, to Dawn, a forty something blond who laughed a lot, amused everyone but who could add words to any dictionary of swearing.

There are more in this cast of characters and they will have to drag me kicking and screaming before I can abandon them.

But I digress After papers, I walk a couple of miles. Not much but doing it seven days a week adds up and my middle age paunch, which i have carried to the verge of old age, (old age begins at 90)  is slowly disappearing. My route takes me through Lewes Priory, the stone ruins of which are a 1000 years old. It’s history is a rich one, full of violence and national events of historic proportions. I pause for a moment or two to chat to the rabbits. Apart from the ethereal figure of a monk, the rabbits are the only chatterboxes. No one else is up.

During the pause, I take a few photos on my phone and send a short historical note with them on Facebook. I always think I am going to bore people rigid..But no, there is a core  of   solid followers, including an ex ambassador, who not only ping the like symbol, but make solid sensible comments.

It has only just struck me that I am blogging. In a very small and modest fashion. But blogging it is.

So on that basis, that I just may not bore you to death with Tall Tales of a Tiny TV that I will try and see Eye to Eye with you and comment on our micro TV station,i2i TV from time to time.

This is enough for today. I just wanted to introduce myself to anyone who cares to dip in.

Physically, I am short, fat, balding and thirty five. See I’m lying already. I’m double 35, but the rest is true. See you later.  Keith Hayes, Reporter K (I’d like to be 007 but I wold shoot my foot off more likely than hit an enemy)

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Eye to Eye TV

I must be confusing you with the various social media messages you are getting from me.

It is mostly because I am completely thick when it comes to social media and although the instructions are often clearly laid out, to me they are absolutely confusing. I had this WordPress Blog site some time ago but didn’t use it much.

Then my site host eHost had a blog attached, driven it says by WordPress. I tried to transfer this blog to eHost. Of course its possible if you understand the lngo. No such luck, I’m afraid. After two words I had no idea what I was supposed to do. Johnny Foreigner syndrome strikes again.

Anyway I hope this blog is still working. Let me know if you receive it.

Most of my friends  know now that we are running a micro TV service under the banner Eye to Eye TV.

It’s a micro TV enterprise. Its among the first in Britain and is ground breaking. We have already broadcast an 8 part series called Bloody Tales from a Tiny Town and now call our TV service Tiny Town TV.

You can see more about us on http://www.eyetoeyetv.com

We obviously need support and if you are inclined to lend it go to Indiegogo to take a look at the campaign donor support is https//igg.me/at/WHAT’S-IN-A-NAME

This is a short blog because I don’t know if it works If it does, stand by for more


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