Tony Shapps is still about

#1 by David Ollerearnshaw , Thu Oct 08, 2015 8:39 pm

Here's Concepts which Tony edits. Sorry its not come out the same on here.

ISSUE 418 11th August 2015

Hi David.

My father used to say that as you grow older the years seem to go by faster. Well I am not sure about that even though I have had the same sentiment expressed by quite a number of my contemporaries.

But, most certainly, when editing something like CONCEPTS and working at least a month, or two, ahead the next edition always seems to be upon me.....and then there's those other three newsletters that I also produce, ah, but that's another story!

Now on to this issue


DON'T FORGET TO CHECK if you are one of our winners in our monthly free draw. It only takes a few seconds to scan down and check

ALL CONTRIBUTIONS DIRECT FOR CONCEPTS SHOULD BE SENT TO ME, TONY, as text, pdf's or whatever. So may I look forward to being inundated?

This week's


is from Stephen Roschard who calls it 'Way Down Upon The Swanee River' and..

...says that he: "Dedicates it to the memory of American folk song composer Stephen Foster (EDITORS NOTE: 'I don't suppose his forename had anything to do with it?') who wrote many good tunes and really only got paid 'peanuts' for his efforts. This one, written in 1851, netted Foster all of about U.S. $15 so I understand, and I feel that he deserved more".

"Taken with Pentax 6x4 medium format camera on film emulsion about ten years ago. The negative was scanned and then reformatted in Photoshop Elements for submission to CONCEPTS with some trimming across top and bottom of the image when I straightened the image up!"

Stephen Roschard
White Springs, Florida


"Here we have two Stephens for the price of one. But I do agree that Fosters payments for his tunes was certainly parsimonious".

DO YOU HAVE A FAVOURITE PANORAMA? We'd like to see it. Why not email us a jpeg?


"...but we had it taped"


(Part Three)

CONTINUES MAURICE: Let this keen amateur who always tried to emulate the Big Boys take you, once again, on your EXPEDITION TO NORWAY. Resources were few and the mantra was always IMPROVISE. But never let standards drop.

This was 1958 and few films outside the cinema had sound tracks. As a schoolteacher I winced at some of the teaching stuff; captioned like early movies and usually in black and white. (“Silence in the back row, boys!”). My film was going to be in colour and have a real sound track! Its purpose was to promote the cause of purposeful youth exploration for the Brathay Exploration Group.

An authoritative commentary would allow us to focus not just on grand pictures but also drive home the educational and scientific value of it all. So, in collaboration with my sponsors, words were agreed and a voice (Peter, a schoolmaster friend) was signed up for the voice-over.


Thankfully my school, a Secondary Modern just outside Birmingham, had invested in a Ferrograph recorder (the Head and Deputy were also film enthusiasts!) and so my geography classroom became our recording studio. The next improvisation was sound proofing the projector so that Peter could pace his words correctly. So, with the projector and me holed up in the stock room we ran a wire plus cue bulb to Peter and his microphone in the classroom.

Fortunately that Ferrograph had impeccable speed control because, believe it or not, we ran the whole of the 20 minute film through against his voice in ONE TAKE! But with no money or time for a sound-cutting stage, it was a case of Needs Must. It worked. It had to work. But I would never trust that much again. As young innocents we were improvising on the very edge.

Actually there was one point at which we nearly lost the plot. Near the end, after 16 minutes of heavy concentration, Peter missed a cue. Maybe the bulb had not lit up. From the store cupboard I yelled “CUE!”, and he heard me just in time. On the latest DVD copies, away from the 20th century rattle of a film projector, you can just hear muggins, yelling “cue”. Ah well.
Having got this far on so much improvisation we were not going to compromise on the end product. We went to Colour Film Services in London, the leading 16mm colour specialists of the day. In all their work they expected the best. And they gave of their best. Even to us amateurs.

Maurice Dybeck.


"Integrity is doing the right thing, even when no one is watching"
- C. S. Lewis


Lost, but could be found
Hi Tony,

Regarding Joseph Semellier's comment concerning not having his camera instructions with him during his travels, that is one good reason for having a smart phone. You can access the instruction manuals (sometimes called User Guides) on almost all modern cameras, and you do not have to carry bulky paper copies with you. Also, when travelling, a smart phone is very useful for getting information about your current location, the local language, currency conversions, current events of interest, maps, all sorts of useful and up-to-date information. It is like having a computer with all of the libraries in the world in your pocket.

On another note, what is the best way to access a specific issue of Concepts (or AV Concepts), and to e-mail it to a friend? Have back issues been indexed?

John Rupkalvis

EDITORS NOTE: "Thanks for your email and for the suggestion vis-à-vis instruction booklets on holiday. The only snag I can see is that using a Smartphone abroad can be a very expensive experience. However for European Union members roaming charges will be banned from 2017 within the 26-nations of the EU.

Regarding your other point. simply send the recipients email address to me and I'll add them to the mailing list....just like that!


"Well, there's nothing ordinary about this Orrery"

It's not often that I write about a fairly pricey item, but this week is an exception. But first, let me give you the background.


Well in its simplest terms an Orrery demonstrates the monthly and annual movements of the Earth and Moon. The idea goes back a long way, originally being made by George Graham in 1710 for his patron the 4th Earl of Orrery; from whence derives the name.

An Orrery illustrates the constant direction in space of the Earth's inclined axis of rotation thus helping to illustrate seasonal variations of sunrise and sunset. Also shown are the equinoxes and solstices plus the Sun's annual path through the signs of the Zodiac - and much more.


But, apart from its scientific value it can also be a thing of beauty in itself. Created by Paul Kellar M.B.E. M.A. and now available (to order) from The Widescreen Centre it brings you a superb authentic-looking re-creation by actually combining two earlier designs in order to achieve the best working model.

All moving parts; planets, decorative balustrades, ornamental figures, engraved dials and zodiac plaques are manufactured from solid brass. The exception is the solid gem stone blue earth globe ball; (jewel globe: lapis lazuli for oceans, a variety of other semi-precious stones are used for countries, such as: turquoise, or jade, or tigers eye). The base is manufactured from stained American white oak- known as Quercus Alba - a wood that is used extensively in cabinet making. It runs electrically achieving full rotation in 5 minutes, and also allows manual hand turning in order to see planets, earth and moon rotation at a higher speed for demonstration purposes

Cheap it's not, but each Orrery is supplied with a signed certificate of authenticity and are individually numbered. And the price? £1699.00 yes you are reading that correctly. but then every part is hand-crafted to perfection.

Find out more at:

See you next time


Why not subscribe a friend to CONCEPTS TODAY by hitting the button below - it's as simple as that

NOTE: to view these images you need a pair of anaglyph red/cyan glasses - these are available free of charge from the editor -


features hand-drawn 3D paintings from
Jim Sharp who writes that...

..."Two 3D paintings have been recently exhibited in Liverpool at the Threshold V Art Festival. The painting titled 'Cone' (LEFT) changes into a cylinder when the 3D glasses are reversed. The 'Forest in Snow' measures 2 metres x 1 metre and when you look at it with the 3D glasses all the lines look like trees in a forest with snow on the ground".

"They have been chosen to be exhibited at the 'Illusions Parade' which is part of the Visual Science of Art Conference and the European Conference on Visual Perception organised by the University of Liverpool and will be held from 22nd August to 27th August. I am supplying other illusions for this event and have attached some pictures including some anamorphic distortion illusions".

The painting above (large) is called 'Anaglyph Box' and got through to the second round of the John Moores Contemporary art exhibition.

Jim Sharp

You can find out more about Jim by clicking on the button below:


"I have never ceased to be amazed at the skill and ingenuity of the readers of CONCEPTS, and Jim is certainly no exception".


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Step forward Matt and Scott it's both your lucky days!

If you will kindly forward me your names and addresses to: and writing 'PRIZE DRAW' in the subject line, and I will be delighted to forward you your prizes.


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ART IN RESIDENCE' offers you a fuller appreciation and comprehension of the world's greatest music - find out more by just pressing this button and eMailing Terry Barfoot for details

Click to obtain the Complete 2015 Summer Programming listing of the fascinating music and venues is now available


'SMASH' - the monthly newsletter of the Northwood & District University of the Third Age Table Tennis Group. You're never too old to play. A copy of their printed 4-page leaflet is available from Tony. Mail him with your address to:

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I still love the smell of film in the morning

David Ollerearnshaw
Posts: 922
Points: 1.453
Date registered 08.13.2015
home: Sheffield UK
ThankYou 62

RE: Tony Shapps is still about

#2 by Tom Photiou , Thu Oct 08, 2015 10:42 pm

I think The Widescreen centre and it's owner,here mentioned Sucks!
I dont normally ever criticise people in this way no matter what.
My reason for doing so is simply this,
Some years ago my Brother made a visit to London and visited the Widescreen centre. I wrote ahead to say he was coming to London and that he was looking forward to coming to the shop and that we always read his articles with interest.
He was armed with several hundred pounds,(and it was a lot back then as it is now), and he was absolutely shunned by both Tony and who ever else was working there.
They were not busy, they just didn't seem interested at all in helping so he left in disgust without parting with a penny. There loss but my Brother rang me from London in anger to make sure we never dealt with that company.And we never did. That level of service is very rare in the cine world.

Tom Photiou
Posts: 5.586
Points: 11.054
Date registered 08.14.2015
home: Plymouth. UK
ThankYou 552

RE: Tony Shapps is still about

#3 by Hugh Thompson Scott ( deleted ) , Fri Oct 09, 2015 1:18 am

I feel very sorry for your Brother Tom, obviously good manners was not a strong suit at the Widescreen Centre, what would it have took to come from behind the counter and ask "Is there anything in particular you are looking for, perhaps I can help." Well, like Father , like Son, Grant is just as lovable, he couldn't lie straight in bed, even has an alias, Mr Green. I always thought they were expensive, I have never bought from them, except some years ago I had some S/8 film developed. Credit where it is due, Tony Shapps did launch widescreen, but obviously the charm school owe him a refund.

Hugh Thompson Scott

RE: Tony Shapps is still about

#4 by Robert Crewdson ( deleted ) , Fri Oct 09, 2015 11:15 am

Tom, I think I made my comments about Tony Shapps in the thread 'What happened to good old fashioned customer service'. I still wouldn't deal with them either. I used to go to a music shop where you could spend 10 minutes waiting ,while the shop assistant ignored you, then after waiting, and waiting, he would come to serve you. I felt like grabbing him by his shirt.

Robert Crewdson

RE: Tony Shapps is still about

#5 by Hugh Thompson Scott ( deleted ) , Fri Oct 09, 2015 11:32 am

The impression left by Davids print off, is that Tony Shapps is a man with many fingers in many pies, he probably has a pile
of Donny Osmond records in a lock up with boxes of dolls that speak Japanese.

Hugh Thompson Scott

RE: Tony Shapps is still about

#6 by Tom Photiou , Fri Oct 09, 2015 1:35 pm

For us it was the fact that when my Brother went in and introduced himself and explained that he came up from Plymouth all he got was, "we'r a bit busy at the moment so I'll be with you as soon as i can".
There was no one in the shop, the phone wasn't off the hook, and as far as he could tell he was pricing something up. After ten minutes of waiting he walked out. There was no friendliness at all, it doesn't bother us as at all you do is simply go elsewhere, it was the fact that we had written to him many times and bought a few bits and pieces over the years.

Tom Photiou
Posts: 5.586
Points: 11.054
Date registered 08.14.2015
home: Plymouth. UK
ThankYou 552

RE: Tony Shapps is still about

#7 by David Hardy ( deleted ) , Fri Oct 09, 2015 3:14 pm

Tom ... I spoke to him over the phone a couple of times and did not "warm" to the man.
I got the feeling he only wanted my money and nothing else. His customer service and p.r.
left me cold so I bought nothing again from him.

David Hardy

RE: Tony Shapps is still about

#8 by Tom Photiou , Fri Oct 09, 2015 7:36 pm

My guess is he looked after his little click, men with money.

Tom Photiou
Posts: 5.586
Points: 11.054
Date registered 08.14.2015
home: Plymouth. UK
ThankYou 552

RE: Tony Shapps is still about

#9 by David Ollerearnshaw , Fri Oct 09, 2015 9:50 pm

Just looked at an old Movie Maker, a letter complaining about prices at Widescreen Centre. I did buy my Fumeo Marc 300 from them. I think but not 100% it was his son who delivered it from London.

I still love the smell of film in the morning

David Ollerearnshaw
Posts: 922
Points: 1.453
Date registered 08.13.2015
home: Sheffield UK
ThankYou 62

RE: Tony Shapps is still about

#10 by Tom Photiou , Fri Oct 09, 2015 9:54 pm

Oh yes, his prices were absolutely rip off, hence that's why i think he had a little click of mates.
He certainly looked down his nose when my Brother went in the shop all those years ago. What he never knew is how much cash he took in his pocket,
Quite snobby, i have words for people who look down on others but they are not usable on here

Tom Photiou
Posts: 5.586
Points: 11.054
Date registered 08.14.2015
home: Plymouth. UK
ThankYou 552


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