Walter Parks: West Ham United

Walter Parks: West Ham United


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Born: Isle of Dogs (1872)

Signed: 1895

Position: Defender

Appearances: Unknown

Goals: Unknown

Left: 1897

Internation Caps:

Died:

Walter Parks was a clerk at Thames Ironworks & Shipbuilding. He also played football for local sides St. Luke's and Castle Swifts. In 1895 Arnold Hills, the owner of the shipbuilding company decided to establish his own football team. Parks joined the club and appeared in their first F.A. Cup match against Chatham. The following season he also played in the FA Cup match against Ilford.


Legends of America

Lawman Summaries (name begins with) A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

“The execution of the laws is more important than the making of them.”

— Thomas Jefferson

The Old West was often a lawless place, where outlaws frequently reigned supreme. However, as more and more families, women, and working pioneers headed westward, they demanded law and order. Marshals and sheriffs were in high demand in some of the most lawless settlements, such as Dodge City, Kansas and Las Vegas, New Mexico, as well as the numerous mining camps that dotted the west, such as Deadwood, South Dakota Coloma, California and Leadville, Colorado.

Many wild and rowdy places were initially populated by men and often attracted seedier elements of society to their many saloons, dance halls, gambling parlors, and brothels. But, in any burgeoning community, there were also lawful businessmen and hard-working pioneers who craved a sense of stability and demanding law and order made efforts to hire peacekeepers. Where this was not possible or the lawmen were ineffective, invariably vigilante groups would form.

Though the vast majority of these Old West lawmen were honorable and heroic figures, ironically, many of them rode both sides of the fence and can be found on both our Lawmen List as well as our Outlaw List.

Old West Lawmen, produced by Legends of America, music by Scott Buckley

Agapito Abeyta – A lawman in Mora County, New Mexico, Abeyta was implicated in the murder of John Doherty.

Jack Abernathy holding wolf standing next to President Theodore Roosevelt

John R. Abernathy, aka: Wolf Catcher, Catch ‘Em Alive Jack (1876–1941) – Abernathy was the last U.S. Deputy Marshal in Oklahoma Territory, serving from 1906 to 1910. He was also known for catching hundreds of wolves.

David Adams – U.S. Deputy Marshal Muskogee, Indian Territory.

John Adams – Deputy Sheriff of Oklahoma County, Oklahoma.

John Hicks “J.H.” Adams (18??-1878) – Santa Clara County, California Sheriff, and U.S. Deputy Marshal. He was killed in the line of duty with Marshal Cornelius Finley in 1878.

Tom Adams – Special Officer in Carter County, Oklahoma.

W.E. Agee – Deputy Sheriff of Oklahoma County, Oklahoma.

Eugenio Alarid – A lawman and outlaw, Alarid was an officer in Las Vegas, New Mexico in the 1890s, while at the same time belonging to Silva’s White Caps gang.

Alfred Y. Allee (1855-1896) – A Texas Ranger, Allee was appointed Deputy Sheriff of Karnes County, Texas, in 1882 and was later made Deputy Sheriff of Frio County, Texas. He shot and killed robber Brack Cornett in 1888. He was stabbed to death in a barroom brawl in Laredo, Texas, in 1896.

Abe Allen – A U.S. Deputy Marshal for the Indian Nations working out of Judge Isaac Parker’s court in the 1880s and 1890s.

John Allen – U.S. Deputy Marshal working out of Fort Smith, Arkansas.

John Oliver Allen (1850-1928) – A cowboy and Texas Ranger, Allen was wounded four times in Indian skirmishes. Allen was born in Kaufman County, Texas on June 22, 1850. Raised on the frontier, he became a cowboy as a young man and enlisted in Rufus Perry’s Company D of the Texas Rangers in early 1874. Though he served less than a year in the Rangers, he was wounded four times in Indian skirmishes and would later say that in one battle, every ranger other than himself had been killed. After leaving the Texas Rangers, he later settled at Cookville, Texas and became a chaplain for the Texas Ex-Rangers’ Association. He died at Edinburg, Texas on June 7, 1928.

Andrew C. Alexander – U.S. Deputy Marshal in Arizona Territory commissioned on July 1, 1896.

Oscar William Alexander – A lawman in Oklahoma, he was killed near Hoxbar by the Love Brothers in Carter County.

Charles Allison – A lawman turned outlaw, Allison was appointed deputy sheriff of Conjos County, Colorado, but soon organized a band of outlaws. Robbing stages between Colorado and New Mexico, he was captured in 1881 by Sheriff Matt Kyle and sent to prison. He was released in 1890.

William David “Dave” Allison (1861-1923) – A career lawman, Allison served as a six-time elected sheriff in Midland, Texas an Arizona Ranger a Texas Ranger and various other positions in Texas and New Mexico. He was killed by two cattle rustlers in 1923.

Fielding Alston – Texas lawman Alston served as a lieutenant in the Texas Rangers in 1847.

Burton “Burt” Alvord (1866-1910) – A lawman and outlaw, he was a deputy sheriff in Cochise County, Arizona, under Sheriff John Slaughter in 1886. Alvord later led a band of train robbers.

Thomas Amos – While serving as sheriff in McCurtain County, Oklahoma in 1887, he tracked down and killed an Indian man named Pero, who he had a “dead or alive” warrant for in April 1887. In November, Amos and his brother-in-law, Washington Hudson, were ambushed and killed by two Indians avenging Pero’s death.

Bernard Anderson – Deputy marshal in the New Mexico Territory.

David L Anderson, aka: William “Billy” Wilson, Buffalo Bill (1862-1918)Most commonly known as Billy Wilson, Anderson was part of Billy the Kid’s Gang of rustlers. After serving time, he went to Texas where he became a U.S. customs inspector and the Terrell County Sheriff in 1905. He was killed in the line of duty in 1918.

Frank Anderson – U.S. Deputy Marshal in Indian Territory.

John E. Anderson – U.S. Deputy Marshal in Arizona Territory commissioned on August 17, 1878.

John P. Anderson – Policeman in Perry, Oklahoma Territory.

Peter Anderson (1845?-1890) – A full-blooded Potawatomi Indian, Peter Anderson was deputized for an Oklahoma County, Oklahoma posse to assist officers in apprehending a cattle rustler. He was killed in the line of duty.

William H. Anderson (18??-1878) – A U.S. Deputy Marshal in Dallas after the Civil War, Anderson tracked Bill Collins, a wanted train robber, to Pembina in Dakota Territory (North Dakota) where they shot and killed each other in a gunfight.

Robert Andrew – Serving as a deputy sheriff in Oklahoma, he arrested Ragged Bill and discovered the Doolin Gang Hideout.

Elias Andrews – U.S. Deputy Marshal in the Creek and Cherokee Nations of Indian Territory.

Captain Micah Andrews – Commanded the Texas Rangers in 1837.

William “Red” Angus (1849-1922) – Johnson County, Wyoming Sheriff. Involved in the Johnson County War that arose between the owners of large and small ranches in the area.

Orr William Annis (1859-1931) – A cattleman, businessman, and U.S. Deputy Marshal in Indian Territory and Sheriff of Payne County, Oklahoma from 1897-1901.

Arizona Rangers (1901-1909) – Organized in 1901 to protect Arizona Territory from outlaws and rustlers. After accomplishing their goals, they were disbanded in 1909.

William Edward Armorer – U.S. Deputy Marshal working out of Fort Smith, Arkansas, assigned to the Indian Territory.

Charles Armstrong – A Texas lawman, Armstrong served as a Texas Ranger and fought Mexicans on the border during WWI.

Henry Clay Armstrong, Jr. – U.S. Deputy Marshal working out of Fort Smith, Arkansas.

John Barclay Armstrong (1850-1913) – John B. Armstrong, III was a soldier, rancher, Texas Ranger, and U.S. Deputy Marshal.

William “Bill” Arnold (18??-1898) – William “Bill” Arnold was deputized as a posseman by U.S. Deputy Marshal Hess Bussey on the evening of March 17, 1898, and was killed in the line of duty.

George Washington Arrington, aka: John C. Orrick (1844-1923) – Texas Ranger and Wheeler County, Texas Sheriff.

Guadalupe Ascarate – A sheriff in New Mexico Territory, he was eventually replaced by Pat Garrett.

Albert S. Ashby – U.S. Deputy Marshal in Arizona Territory commissioned on February 23, 1881.

Charles Askins – Charles Askins was an American lawman, U.S. Army officer, and writer known for his skills as a gunman and work in the American Border Patrol. (Read more in this article submitted by Concealment Express)

Edwin Aten – Joined the Texas Rangers after his brother Ira Aten and was assigned to Company D.

Ira Aten (1862–1953) – Ira Aten was a Texas Ranger who was inducted into the Texas Rangers Hall of Fame.

Lee Atkins (1860-1894) – A newly appointed U.S. Deputy Marshal in Oklahoma, Lee Atkins, a Creek Indian, had not even seen service when he was killed by Amos McIntosh.

Christopher Columbus Ayers – U.S. Deputy Marshal and jailer working out of Fort Smith, Arkansas.

Jacob T. Ayers – U.S. Deputy Marshal working out of Fort Smith, Arkansas.

Willard R. Ayers (1847-1880) – Willard Rufus Ayers was a U.S. Deputy Marshal working out of Fort Smith, Arkansas. He was killed in the line of duty.

By Kathy Weiser-Alexander, January 2020.

Lawman Summaries (name begins with) A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


The History of Knott&aposs Berry Farm Amusement Park

Janey Ellis |

This year marks the 100th anniversary of Knott’s Berry Farm and it is a perfect time to reflect on the Farm’s unique history. It’s an incredible story of hard work and happy accidents that resulted in America’s first theme park.

In December of 1920, the Knott family drove their Model T Ford from central California to Buena Park for a fresh start with Walter Knott’s cousin Jim Preston, an experienced berry farmer. Together, they leased land from William H. Coughran and Walter began farming berries.

Photo courtesy of Orange County Archives

Despite a frost killing Walter’s first crop, he persisted, and in 1923 was able to build a roadside stand on Grand Avenue, selling his berries. Through hard work, the Knott family was able to buy their land in 1927 and build a home the following year along with a permanent Berry Market which replaced the simple roadside stand. Along with the market there was a nursery to sell plants and even a little Tea Room where Walter’s wife, Cordelia, sold sandwiches, jams and pies made from the Farm’s berries. They called it Knott’s Berry Place.

Photo courtesy of Orange County Archives

The Great Depression took hold of America in 1929, which caused land prices to drop, and even though the Knott family was barely making ends meet, Walter doubled down, buying more land to expand his farm.

Amid the Great Depression, Walter was making a name for himself with his berries, and in 1932 a man named George M. Darrow heard about a superior berry that was said to be created by a “Mr. Boysen.” Darrow figured Walter would know this Mr. Boysen due to their mutual interest in berries, however Walter admitted he did not, but suggested they look up Boysen in the phonebook. This led them to Rudolph Boysen in Anaheim. Boysen admitted to experimenting with berries, but left them behind on his previous property. Together the three men found Boysen’s long-forgotten berry plant in a ditch covered in weeds and without berries. Boysen said the plant was a cross between a red raspberry, blackberry, and loganberry. After securing permission from the new owners, Walter took cuttings back to Buena Park to plant and cultivate. One year later Walter had a welcome surprise — massive berries! In 1934, Walter had enough cuttings and berries to introduce the new boysenberry as a commercial product and Cordelia incorporated the new berry into her tea room menu. The berries, jams, and pies were an instant hit! This new berry had no name and, while Walter’s friends said he should name it after himself, he opted instead to honor the berry’s creator and dubbed it the boysenberry.

The Knott family struggled through the Great Depression, but in 1934 Cordelia had an idea that would change everything. On a June evening, Cordelia made eight fried chicken dinners for her Tea Room guests. Served alongside salad with rhubarb, biscuits, vegetables, mashed potatoes with gravy, and berry pie on the family’s wedding china, the dinner cost 65 cents. Walter recalled the moment was “the turning point in our economic life.” It was really the turning point that would transform a farm into a theme park.

Word spread of this delicious fried chicken and soon people were flocking to the little farm and Tea Room in Buena Park. The small dining room originally sat 20, and in 1935 they expanded it to 40, only to have to expand it again the following year to accommodate 70. Cordelia’s little Tea Room had become a full-fledged restaurant and when they expanded to seat 350 they figured people would no longer have to wait, but they did!

In 1939, in an attempt to give the people waiting something to do, Walter and Cordelia’s daughter, Virginia, set up a card table with small gift items for sale. As the restaurant grew, so did Virginia’s enterprise, receiving her very own gift shop which is still there today.

It wasn’t unheard of for hungry guests to wait over three hours for a table and soon a loudspeaker was installed. But aside from perusing Virginia’s offerings what was there to do during the long wait? Walter set about to come up with some ideas. He began with some antique music boxes, then he built a rock garden with a waterfall using volcanic rock from Death Valley. He built a small scene with a historic millstone and waterwheel with a sign encouraging those waiting to sing “Down by the Old Mill Stream.” Next to it, he added a recreation of George Washington’s fireplace from Mount Vernon. The waterfall, millstone scene, and fireplace are still at the Farm, located behind the Berry Market. He went on to built a small volcano to obstruct a pipe which was was “run” by a little devil turning a crank. He added a honeybee hive, petrified wood, fluorescing rocks that glowed under blacklight — anything he found entertaining, he figured others would too.

Photo courtesy of jericl Flickr

Inspired by his mother and her journey to California in a covered wagon in 1868, Walter decided to go even bigger with his ideas. This time he would build a Ghost Town to entertain the poultry-craving patrons. In 1940, construction began on what would become Main Street. Walter was on the hunt for all things old west, buying bits and pieces of old buildings, buggies, tools, and more. He used these to build a saloon, sheriff’s office, assay office, barbershop, and more! The centerpiece was the Gold Trails Hotel which was built using pieces from an old Arizona hotel. The Gold Trails Hotel was not a hotel at all — instead it housed a cyclorama of a covered wagon and told the story of westward pioneers. People waiting for their tables were so enchanted with Walter’s Ghost Town, the loudspeaker system had to be expanded to call them back for their table reservation.

Before he knew it, Walter’s Ghost Town had grown a life of its own and people were coming just to visit the Ghost Town. Walter hired a variety of actors to populate his faux western town and amuse the guests. With the creative aid of designer and painter Paul Von Klieben, Ghost Town expanded with colorful and amusing buildings. Sculptor Claude Bell also helped populate Ghost Town with concrete statues, including Handsome Brady and Whiskey Bill, as well as the charming dancers Marilyn and Cecelia. Both pairs became a hot photo spot for anyone visiting and continue to be one today.

Photo courtesy of Orange County Archives

In 1947 Walter named his expanding enterprise Knott’s Berry Farm and, in the same year, Pan for Gold arrived. Still a popular attraction today, guests could grab a pan like miners back in 1849 to sift for and take home real gold. The Wagon Camp soon followed and became a premiere place for free entertainment from country and western entertainers.

Photo courtesy of Orange County Archives

The 1950s saw a massive expansion of Ghost Town with the addition of the Calico Saloon, the Ghost Town & Calico Railroad (the last operating narrow-gauge railroad in America), and the schoolhouse. While many of Ghost Town’s buildings were created, the schoolhouse was a real one built in 1879 and relocated to the Farm from Kansas. Boot Hill cemetery was also added as well as the Bird Cage Theatre, its façade a replica of the one in Tombstone, Arizona. In 1954, the Bird Cage opened for vaudeville and melodrama performances where the likes of Steve Martin and Dean Jones got their start. And before the decade was out the Haunted Shack was added to the park.

Photo courtesy of jericl Flickr

Things really got moving when Wendell “Bud” Hurlbut arrived at the Farm. Hurlbut designed and built amusement rides and was invited to become a concessionaire at the Farm with his historic, Dentzel carousel and, later, a little car ride. Hurlbut’s friendship with Walter Knott grew and, with a lot of trust and a handshake deal, Hurlbut constructed two attractions that would elevate the Farm to new heights, the Calico Mine Ride and the Timber Mountain Log Ride. Hurlbut and an incredible team created the Calico Mine Ride with wondrous caverns of beauty along with rough and tumble miners of days gone by, which opened in November of 1960. The ride was also the first-ever to feature a hidden switchback queue, which has gone on to become standard in theme park design.

Photo courtesy of jericl Flickr

As Ghost Town continued to expand, Walter never faltered from his passion for history- and education-based attractions. He brought in Marion Speer’s enormous Western Trails Museum, the Mott family’s miniatures museum, a boxing museum within pugilist Jim Jeffries’ barn, and soon he would add another massive educational element, an exact replica of Independence Hall. Hurlbut along with others from the Farm went to Philadelphia photographing, measuring, and taking copious notes on every detail. Hurlbut even took a shaving from the Liberty Bell’s interior so Walter could recreate the bell right down to the material. Independence Hall opened July 4, 1966 to great fanfare and is still a source of inspiration and education today.

In 1967, Walter and Cordelia’s youngest daughter, Marion, began to assist her father with Ghost Town operations. Since 1941, guests could roam in and out of Ghost Town, walking around the area for free, paying only if they wished to ride or buy something. Yet by 1968 it was decided to enclose the park and charge a one-dollar entrance fee.

The following year, Marion announced Knott’s Berry Farm would expand, but move past the idea of just a Ghost Town. Inspired by the days of early California, Knott’s new themed land was dubbed Fiesta Village. While Fiesta Village planning was underway, on July 11, 1969 the Calico Log Ride (now Timber Mountain Log Ride) opened, the first log flume ride in the United States, with cowboy star John Wayne as the master of ceremonies.

Photo courtesy of Orange County Archives

With the success of Fiesta Village and the Calico Log Ride, Marion looked to add another themed area to expand the park and settled upon a gypsy theme, calling the new area Gypsy Camp. Gypsy Camp opened on May 28, 1971, and guests explored caves to find a magic shop, arcade, get their fortune told and enjoy music from colorfully attired musicians from an outdoor stage built above the caves. Ghost Town’s outdoor Wagon Camp proved to be too small and rustic to draw big performers so Marion added the John Wayne Theatre to Gypsy Camp. The new, 2,150-seat theatre provided a wonderful, indoor venue and even played host to the movie premiere of Wayne’s film Big Jake on June 19, 1971. Over the years, countless entertainers took to the stage and ice shows utilized its built-in, ice-skating rink. With larger stars filling the new John Wayne Theatre, the Wagon Camp became home to a stunt show, which continues to thrill guests to this day.

Photo courtesy of Orange County Archives

October had always been a slow time at the park, and in September of 1973 people from marketing and entertainment came up with an idea that would change Knott’s forever — a three-night Halloween event called Knott’s Halloween Haunt. Employees in monster make-up and costumes were told to run around Ghost Town and scare guests. The Haunted Shack was transformed into the “Monster Maze.” The Calico Mine Ride and Log Ride also got a frightful treatment. An instant success, the event returned the next year and sold out each night. In its third year the event received the nickname “Knott’s Scary Farm.” Since then, Scary Farm, the longest-running Halloween event at a theme park, has expanded to encompass the entire park with 1,000 monsters and multiple mazes.

Photo courtesy of Orange County Archives

Amid the success of Scary Farm, the Farm lost its matriarch, the woman responsible for turning a little berry farm into an icon of Southern California. On April 23, 1974, Cordelia passed away at 84 years old.

In between Scary Farm’s success and mourning for Cordelia, Gypsy Camp was floundering. By the end of 1974, Marion announced Gypsy Camp would be revamped and turned into an area called the Roaring 20’s. While the 1920s may have initially seemed like an odd choice, it was reflective of Walter’s decision to build a ghost town of the old west. Marion described it: “Just as my father’s Ghost Town was a memorial to his parents, we wanted our newest area to be a memorial to Mom and Dad. After all, the Roaring Twenties was their era.”

The Roaring 20s area opened June 6, 1975. As part of the re-theme, the John Wayne Theatre was renamed the Good Time Theatre. The new area was also the Farm’s first foray into the world of roller coasters with the Corkscrew, the world’s first modern 360-degree roller coaster. Unique attractions such as Knott’s Bear-y Tales, the Sky Cabin, and Wacky Soap Box Racers would follow. Before the 1970s were over, a second roller coaster was added, this time in Fiesta Village, with Montezooma’s Revenge.

Photo courtesy of Orange County Archives

In 1981, after 61 years of total family control, the Knott family hired Terry Van Gorder, the first non-family member to be president and CEO, however Marion and other members of the Knott family remained involved. By the end of the year, the Farm ditched their coupon-book ride tickets for an all-inclusive ride and entrance ticket. The year had yet another milestone moment on December 3 when, just one week before his 92nd birthday, Walter passed away.

The 80s would see another big addition to the Farm, Snoopy and the Peanuts Gang. However, their arrival at the park can actually be traced way back to 1960 when illustrator Pete Winters was tasked with coming up with a character icon for Knott’s. The result was a happy old prospector with a white beard simply called “The Old Timer” and he appeared on various employee paperwork, ticket books, park signage, and more. In 1973 the Farm decided to turn “The Old Timer” into a walk-around character and named him Whittles. Awkwardly proportioned, Whittles was simply better suited to the page and not as a real-life character. “It didn’t work out…He scared the children,” Russell Knott noted. This misstep didn’t end the Farm’s desire for an icon and walk-around character and they decided that maybe they should try and secure an already established, well-known, family-friendly icon.

Photo courtesy of Orange County Archives

Ron Mizaker was tasked with finding and securing the new icon and, as the characters from Charles M. Schulz’s comic strip Peanuts were already doing sponsorship work, Mizaker knew there was a possibility for them to join the Farm. Mizaker met with Schulz up in Santa Rosa, and midway through their meeting, Schulz said he needed to go to his daughter’s ice skating rehearsal at the ice rink that the Schulz family-owned, which was just across the street. Schulz invited Mizaker to join him. During the rehearsal, Mizaker informed Schulz of the ice rink within the stage of the Good Time Theatre and said, “Wouldn’t it be great if we did an ice show with Snoopy?” Schulz liked the idea and asked “Could my daughter be Snoopy?” Mizaker said they could work that out and that became the foundation of the deal to have the Peanuts gang join the Farm. Soon Snoopy and company arrived to meet guests and, in 1983, Knott’s decided to give the Peanuts their very own area at the Farm, expanding Knott’s once again, to create Camp Snoopy.

Photo courtesy of Orange County Archives

As the 80s continued, two new attractions arrived. The Bear-y Tales family left the Roaring 20’s area and was replaced with prehistoric creatures in the Kingdom of the Dinosaurs in 1987. The following year, tales of a hairy creature brought people to explore and get soaked on Bigfoot Rapids.

The thrills, mystery, and fun continued into the 90s. The Boomerang rollercoaster replaced the Corkscrew the unique, the intriguing Mystery Lodge arrived and Jaguar roared into Fiesta Village. The Roaring 20s received a revamp and was renamed the Boardwalk, paying homage to the sun, sand, and sea of Southern California’s beaches. Guests raced against each other in another new roller coaster, Windjammer, which replaced Wacky Soap Box Racers in 1997. The same year also marked the biggest change to the Farm since Cordelia served her fried chicken — after 78 years of family ownership, Walter and Cordelia’s children and grandchildren sold Knott’s Berry Farm to Cedar Fair.

Yet before the millennium, more exciting attractions would be added to the Farm’s growing skyline, with coasters Supreme Scream, GhostRider, and Pony Express, the first “cycle coaster” in the United States.

In 2000, to honor the creator of the beloved Peanuts, the Good Time Theatre was renamed the Charles M. Schulz Theatre and continues to showcase incredibly fun shows, often including members of the Peanuts gang.

Roller coasters continued to make their way into the Farm with Windjammer being replaced by Xcelerator and the additions of Silver Bullet and Sierra Sidewinder. But old favorites were not forgotten. In 2013, Ghost Town’s Log Ride was refurbished and reopened with new animatronic characters. The Calico Mine Ride followed suit in 2014 and Camp Snoopy received many new, family-friendly additions.

Vacant since 2004, the space that once housed Knott’s Bear-y Tales and Kingdom of the Dinosaurs welcomed a new, interactive attraction, Voyage to the Iron Reef, in 2015. The following year another incredibly unique and interactive addition arrived at the Farm, Ghost Town Alive! Originally, the character-driven story and its many actors was meant to last one summer to celebrate the 75th anniversary of Ghost Town, but what resulted is a wonderful, annual tradition. For the first time since their construction, you could walk into the charming peek-ins that Walter had developed to entertain those waiting for their tables at Mrs. Knott’s Chicken Dinner Restaurant and participate in your very own wild-west story with the various citizens of Ghost Town. Ghost Town Alive! has returned each summer and continues to charm guests young and old, becoming a delightful attraction itself.

More recently, new thrills arrived with Sol Spin and Hang Time, the first dive coaster in California. Ghost Town continued to receive updates and revamps as well when Big Foot Rapids being transformed into Calico River Rapids linking its storyline to the rest of Ghost Town. And this summer the Bear-y Family returns to the Farm with Knott’s Bear-y Tales: Return to the Fair.

It’s amazing that within one-hundred years a little, leased berry farm has transformed into one of the most popular theme parks in the United States, receiving awards, and winning over the hearts of everyone. Because of its age, Knott’s Berry Farm has a wonderful generational feel to it, where people can walk and enjoy the same sights that their parents and even grandparents enjoyed, while also continuing to experience new and thrilling things. There is certainly something for everyone and who knows what is in store for the next 100 years at Knott’s Berry Farm? Happy Anniversary, Knott’s!

To learn more about Knott’s Berry Farm’s incredibly history, be sure to read Knott’s Preserved!

Knott's Anniversary Ambassador

Janey Ellis is the writer behind the blog Atomic Redhead. There she shares interesting history, places to explore across Southern California and beyond, as well as her take on vintage fashion and home. She is very thankful to also have the wonderful opportunity to share her passion for amusement parks and history on the Knott's Berry Blog.


Published: 23:34 BST, 30 January 2014 | Updated: 00:20 BST, 31 January 2014

A month before West Ham became the first visiting team this season to keep a clean sheet at Stamford Bridge, Jose Mourinho remarked: ‘Boring is a team that plays at home and cannot score.’

He added: ‘It’s boring because you go to your stadium and fill your stadium to see victories. There is not a home fan in any club in the world who goes to the stadium and expects his team not to score or win.’

It was way back in, er, December 2013 — not quite Victorian London — and followed a goalless draw at Arsenal, a good point for Mourinho one to steady a wobble and spark an upturn in form for his team.

Rage: Jose Mourinho was left frustrated after he watched his side draw 0-0 with West Ham

Chelsea have seemed far more serious title contenders since. They may lack the goal power and swagger of Manchester City but they have been solid during the last five weeks with enough individual creativity to find a goal or two in most games.

Having happily drawn 0-0 at Manchester United and Arsenal, however, it will be intriguing to see what tactics Mourinho deploys at City on Monday. Surely he won’t, as he would say, park the bus.

Gary Cahill claimed Chelsea will not go to the Etihad Stadium showing such limited attacking ambition as West Ham did at the Bridge on Wednesday but he did admit they would try to be ‘cagey’ and ‘tight’ against a team who have scored 115 goals.

The casual slur about ‘19th century football’ could return to haunt Mourinho, regardless of the fact that it was inaccurate according to Matt Taylor — not the West Ham midfielder but the professor of history in the International Centre for Sports History and Culture at De Montfort University in Leicester.

Frustrated: West Ham's defending helped them survive the Chelsea onslaught

No go: Captain John Terry and his side fell behind Manchester City in the title race

‘During the 1870s, it was not unusual for teams to line up with six or seven forwards,’ Taylor told the BBC. ‘Their priority was to attack, with defending left predominantly to two backs. Over time, many teams chose to move one of their forwards into a deeper position. This became the centre half, who was to be the pivotal figure in a 2-3-5 formation — the pyramid system — that became standard from the late 1880s.’

Sam Allardyce was still congratulating his team on the point earned at Chelsea when he sent his post-match email to West Ham fans.

‘Our solidarity and our resilience meant it wasn’t luck, it was sheer brilliance,’ wrote Allardyce. ‘Chelsea resorted to moaning and groaning and waving their arms trying to intimidate the referee to get something out of the game they couldn’t get in general play.’

In the 21st century, it has become tactically acceptable to play with one recognised striker, or even with none as Mourinho did at Manchester United in August.

Really? Samuel Eto'o's goal was chalked off against the resolute Hammers

Brick wall: West Ham goalkeeper Adrian and his defence kept the Blues out at Stamford Bridge

He realised it would be suicidal to take risks at Old Trafford with the players at his disposal, just as he did at the Emirates in December. The question is: dare he copy the approach on Monday, five days after his comments about West Ham? City average four goals per game at home this season.

Since Mourinho tightened the team at Arsenal, Chelsea have conceded only two in nine games and will spend the weekend plotting how to thwart the Premier League’s most prolific team.

‘We won’t be as defensive as that,’ said Cahill, when asked if West Ham’s tactics might be worth copying. ‘It’s not often you can get away with it for so long. In the second half we bombarded them. I don’t think you can do that against City. Ultimately, big teams will find a gap and score.

Ready? Chelsea now take on Manchester City at the Etihad, where they average four goals per game

It was frustrating to say the least, just the amount of time West Ham took out of the game. Goal-kicks and free-kicks must have taken 20 minutes. Nine times out of 10 you don’t get away with that.

‘We need to get a positive result. We know how difficult it will be. We will try to keep it tight because they are banging in goals left, right and centre. We’ve shown we can go to the big clubs and get results.

‘It’s important to try to keep it tight. We’re doing really well at the back but it’s going to be the ultimate test. It will be a bit cagey. It will be like when we went to Old Trafford. Concentration will play a big part and maybe a bit of individual brilliance from someone.’

Or Mourinho could take the 19th- century option and play 2-3-5. That might surprise Manuel Pellegrini.

HERE’S WHAT IT WAS REALLY LIKE IN THE 19th CENTURY

Forged on the banks of the Thames, West Ham began as little more than an after-work get-together. In 1895, the Thames Ironworks decided their workers needed some distraction after a strike. The solution? Found a football club.

Spot the difference: This is what we think Sam Allardyce would look like if he was managing back in 1895 (left)

Thames Ironworks FC was announced in the firm’s own newspaper, with training taking place twice a week in a gas-lit room. Sessions involved rigorous exercise rather than keepy-uppies and there were even early attempts to play under floodlights.

That experiment failed when the lights broke and the ball needed to be whitewashed every 10 minutes. And even though the famous claret and blue kit was initially devoid of claret, the club relaunched in 1900 as West Ham United.

True Irons: The 1897 vintage line up for a rare team photograph

MOURINHO IN DECEMBER

'Boring is a team that plays at home and cannot score a goal. That’s boring, because you go to your stadium and you fill your stadium, in weather like we had on Monday, to see victories'

After 0-0 draw with Arsenal, December 23

MOURINHO IN JANUARY

'This is football from the19th century. Ten defenders in the box. Very basic. It’s difficult to play a match where only one team wants to play. The only thing I could use was a Black & Decker to destroy their wall'


Featured Video

The National Parks: America's Best Idea is a six-episode series produced by Ken Burns and Dayton Duncan and written by Dayton Duncan. Filmed over the course of more than six years at some of nature's most spectacular locales – from Acadia to Yosemite, Yellowstone to the Grand Canyon, the Everglades of Florida to the Gates of the Arctic in Alaska.

The National Parks: America's Best Idea is nonetheless a story of people: people from every conceivable background – rich and poor famous and unknown soldiers and scientists natives and newcomers idealists, artists and entrepreneurs people who were willing to devote themselves to saving some precious portion of the land they loved, and in doing so reminded their fellow citizens of the full meaning of democracy.


The David Donahue Memorial Tennessee Records Repository hosted on Tennessee GenWeb offers selected genealogical abstracts and transcriptions from the Western Methodist (1833–1834), the Southwestern Christian Advocate (1838–1846), and the Nashville Christian Advocate (1847–1919, plus 1929) denominational newspapers.

A free, searchable digital edition of this classic Methodist Episcopal history by Abel Stevens, covering four volumes in six books. From the Wesley Center Online.


CCC Achievements

By the time the CCC program ended at the start of World War II, Roosevelt’s “Tree Army” had planted more than 3.5 billion trees on land made barren from fires, natural erosion, intensive agriculture or lumbering. In fact, the CCC was responsible for over half the reforestation, public and private, done in the nation’s history.

CCC companies contributed to an impressive number of state and national park structures that visitors can still enjoy today. More than 700 new state parks were established through the CCC program.


Growing Up in London 1939-45

On Friday September first 1939, I and many hundreds of children were assembled at Napier Rd School in East Ham and marched along the High Street which was lined with hundreds of sobbing and worried mothers. We were going to the station to be evacuated to somewhere away from Londonbut no-one, not even the parents knew where ! I had my gas mask, a label pinned to my jacket and a carrier bag (not a suitcase) holding my pyjamas a change of underclothes and some sandwiches. I was ten and a half years old and without a brother or sister for comfort and support. the eldest child was about 14 and the youngest only 5, some were unaccompanied too ! Babies and pregnant mothers were mixed in with us and it was a non corridor train too!

The Evacuation was the greatest single movement of population in history, a decision taken only the day before in which ultimately 3,500,000 children would be taken away from their homes to avoid the inevitable bombing and gas raids we had been told would come on the very first day. It was an astonishing feat of organisation, but certainly not perfect. Some fortunate children were sent to Canada and America but they were certainly NOT from East London, us lot were considered too ‘lower class’ and rough ! They were carefully selected from ‘posh’ middle and upper class areas, and schools.

Our train from Paddington went to Bristol, then to Weston-Super-Mare, we ended up at a little village in Somerset called Uphill. There we were taken to a large school recreation field, lined up and prodded, checked for head lice and scrutinised by the potential foster parents before selection and allocation to our new Billets. The best and cleanest children were chosen first ! it was like being auctioned off. Some children didn’t understand---they thought they’d been sent away because they’d been naughty ! The Foster Parent received 8/6d or 42 and a half pence per child per week.

I was very fortunate to be eventually billeted together with another boy on a poultry and cider farm, in the country, and only 200 yds from a sandy beach on the Bristol Channel and we had a Labrador dog - heaven ! The owners were a childless couple who treated us wonderfully, Mr and Mrs Howe, they were very understanding she was a most attractive and kind lady. I still visit and correspond with her at the same address, she’s 94 now. But it was a slightly different world, we found at mealtimes there were things called serviettes in rings on the table, cutlery was arranged in a special order, and we said grace before each meal and had two baths a week ! We also had to go to church three times on Sundays !! But I regard my stay with them as a wonderful period of my life. Two days later on Sunday we heard the broadcast by the Prime minister Neville Chamberlain. By early summer 1940 there had been very few bombing attacks, the miracle of Dunkirk in May was followed by the start of the Battle of Britain. As a consequence many children had gone back home to the cities and their parents, including me.

But Germany had overrun Poland, Norway, Denmark, Holland, Belgium and France. Meanwhile the RAF were still only dropping leaflets, some 6 million ! They were not allowed to actually bomb German factories because they were ‘private property’ !! The Luftwaffe had no such scruples, they’d been developed into an excellent ground attacking force as close support for the Army, fortunately they had not developed any large bombers with defensive armaments they were just so confident that no one would stand up to them, they hadn’t reckoned on the RAF. and the British people.

The term ‘blitz’ comes from the German ‘blitzkreig’ or lightning war, and we were about to learn about it. The bombing of London started on Saturday September 7th when 967 German and Italian fighters and bombers attacked the capital at 5 p.m. the air fleet extended for miles across the sky and the ground shook with the noise. The main objective was the densely populated East End dockland including Silvertown, Woolwich, Millwall, West Ham, the prime targets included Beckton Gas Works, Woolwich Arsenal, the Docks--the Albert, Victoria, Surrey Commercial, West India and Millwall. They dropped 600 tons of high explosives and 17,000 incendiaries. The effect was catastrophic, large areas were blown apart and surrounded by a walls of fire. Temperatures reached 1,000 degrees cent. in places! And we were sure there was worse to come------G A S.

One third of Britain’s overseas trade passed thru’ the London Docks, it was the heart of all our trade and imports and by 6.10 p.m. the ‘All Clear’ had been sounded and survivors emerged from their shelters into the dust and smoke filled streets, some 1,000 Londoners were dead, another 1,600 seriously injured, the rest of us were numb with shock.

Later that evening whilst the firemen were still fighting fires, under cover of darkness the bombers again returned guided by the burning fires which could be seen by the pilots as they crossed the channel ! The attack lasted 8 hours while people crouched in terror in shelters whilst an aerial pounding descended all night, the like of which had never before been experienced, and will remain for that generation forever in their memories. Heroic rescue workers worked tirelessly to free buried people.

This first big attack on London lasted 76 consecutive days and nights, thousands were killed , injured, and made homeless. Many went to live and camp in Epping Forest and over 180,000 slept on the platforms of the Tube each night. Street shelters in brick were built in the roads of residential areas but were very unpopular due to their vulnerability to blast and lack of lighting or toilet facilities. Anderson shelters in house gardens were very effective, but were prone to flooding, dampness, and condensation.

By the end of the month some 250,000 Londoners had been made homeless. After one particularly heavy attack one fifth of all homes were without gas or water supplies. Life became very tedious with dirt, dust and smoke everywhere, unable to wash, cook, bath or use the toilet for days at a time. The Blitz affected all the senses, the taste of dirt, the smell of burnt timber, the artificial smell of homes with sealed and closed windows, the blackness of blackout, the glare of flares and the blazing orange and red skies after a raid. I can remember the all pervading smell of dust and powdered brickwork, the crunch of broken glass underfoot, the bomb blasted bare gardens and leafless trees as if winter had arrived too early, another new odour was of tree sap where all the bark had been blasted and stripped from the trees in streets and parks over large areas. You’d see a house sliced in half as though cut with a knife, upstairs the floor would jut out in mid air still with the bed and mattress and a wardrobe etc, and the curtains flapping away, it was like looking at a doll’s house. You would sometimes see furniture thrown out of damaged homes and it would be coated with millions of fine slivers of glass to remind you of just how lethal blast alone was.

There were of course major raids on other large cities like Portsmouth, Southampton, Bristol, Glasgow and Liverpool, the worst of which were on Coventry and Plymouth. These created fresh evacuations from these centres.

Colchester of course received attention from the Luftwaffe but they were relatively minor attacks compared to the devastating scale of the Blitz. But no less terrifying if you were the target ! A ‘major’ attack was one in which over 100 tons was dropped on the target in a single attack. The term ‘Bombers Moon’ was coined. The so-called ‘all clear’ really denoted that gas had been cleared. The siren at the end of a raid really meant ‘raiders passing’ .

In London Zoo all poisonous snakes and insects were destroyed in case they escaped The morning after a raid we would make our way to school noting which streets had been hit, and carefully looking for shrapnel from the ack ack shells, it was still very warm !! This was used as a kind of currency at school, the most prized of which was a shell nosecap. Later at school we would note that sometimes a boy would suddenly be absent, he’d be killed or wounded probably and we’d talk about our chance of getting injured, unanimously boys always agreed on the part most dear to us, and it was never an arm or leg ! They didn’t matter !

A.R.P posts were constructed every half mile or so, Police Stations and offices were sandbagged, bus and train windows were covered in a mesh fabric against bomb blast.

We had no sweets, no chocolate, no toys, no comics, no bananas, and no oranges. But the sky was always full of ‘planes, it was never still, the newspapers and radio mainly reported war news of course, us boys all became expert in identifying all kinds of aircraft, I was even better at it than my Uncle who was a Sgt. in an anti-aircraft battery. I had relatives in the Army, Navy, Merchant Navy, A.T.S and a NAAFI manageress. Most women wore a small lapel badge miniature of RAF wings or Regimental badge of their husband/boyfriend, these were called ‘sweetheart badges’. Most women still tried to look their best in spite of clothes rationing.

Everywhere there were Government posters saying ‘Save Fuel’, ‘Make do and mend’ ‘Buy savings stamps’, ‘Careless talk costs lives’, ‘Is your journey really necessary ?’, ‘Dig for Victory’, ‘Coughs and sneezes spread diseases’. But never any graffiti anywhere apart from the communists ‘2nd Front’ slogans which appeared in 1943 .

There isn’t time here for me to go into blackout, (4,500 were killed even before the raids began) the Americans, rationing, food shortages, queues, clothes coupons,or utility furniture. It was a daily nightmare for women at home.

Meanwhile the German newspapers and newsreels gloated over our civilian casualties and damage in our cities, safe in the belief that ‘they’ would never be bombed.

By the end of 1940 the German bombers had acquired a new and accurate navigation system which meant they could home in on the London docks. In the absence of an accurate radar detection system, our gunners had to rely on the pre-war ‘Sound Detection and Prediction System’. This relied on using sound collectors to determine the bearing and angle of approaching bombers’. The Germans used to combat this by ‘de-synchronising the rhythm of their two engines’ thereby disrupting the sound detection, we always recognised it. Although Radar was our secret weapon, it was still in its infancy for gun laying.

Anti-aircraft guns rarely hit anything at night but they were a great morale booster. We felt we were at least hitting back at them when we heard them firing, the noise was tremendous and the smell of cordite lingered everywhere as did the dust and smoke. But they rarely hit anything in those days, firing 20/30,000 shells before achieving one hit! But later in the war they became far more accurate with the aid of radar and the proximity fuse.

South of London there was a continuous line of hundreds of barrage balloons as far as the eye could see, they were like great silver elephants hanging passively in the sky.

There were 4 thousand searchlights, in and around London, most were mounted on large lorries for manoeuvrability, the light was a very powerful beam that could reach 15,000 ft. During a raid the sky would have hundreds of these bright fingers of light searching to illuminate a bomber so the guns could target the ‘plane, but they mostly missed.

The strain on civilians services was extreme, the medical staff, nurses, doctors and hospitals, the fire services were magnificent and suffered many casualties, so were the ambulance drivers (both men and women) the W.V.S. (heroines all) with their Emergency Washing Service, and none worked harder than the A.R.P. During the first 22 nights of the London blitz they and the Firemen were called out to 10,000 fires!

From September to January in 1940 the city and dock areas were raided every night, this had the effect of causing the population to be constantly tired and weary due to lack of sleep, people were working every day and doing fire watching duty at night. Dec 29 1940 was the night of the second Great Fire of London. It was our initiation to Goebbels ‘Total.War ‘, no longer a war against military targets it was now deliberately directed at ordinary people, the German General Jodel said ‘our aim is to produce a total breakdown in everyday life of the civilian population by aerial terror raids and fire bombardment’.

On that night of 29th December Air Marshall Harris, later Bomber Harris, was on the roof of the Air Ministry watching the raid, he said then and it was only 1940 ’they are sowing the wind, and in due course they will reap the whirlwind’. That happened eventually to the civilians of Berlin, Hamburg, Dresden and other German cities but in far greater measure in ‘43and’44and45. Colchester Fire Brigade were there in London that night assisting the Metropolitan and other Brigades, as they’d done many times before. Essex County Standard’s report states that ‘The glare from the fires in the London docks could be seen on the horizon from Colchester at ground level’.

I particularly remember how terribly tired everyone looked, the constant lack of sleep the patriotic pressure to keep working very hard, the nightime fire watching duties and the constant stress of rationing, the blackout and the worry of what was happening to your Husband, Father, Son, Sweetheart, Brother and even the girls in the services who were at risk, and they of course were all away and worrying about us back home.

A memory that remains still very powerful to me concerns the Post Office telegram boys. These were lads of 17 or so who rode small motorcycles and delivered the dreaded War Office telegrams to next of kin informing them that their loved one was missing or killed in action. At the sound of a motorcycle you would see every front room curtain move a little as the occupier nervously watched to see where the boy stopped, and they prayed it wouldn’t be for them, it was like the finger of death for some.

The stress, real stress suffered by women in those six years was enormous, many never really recovered. My best friend’s house was hit and destroyed by a bomb, his older sister was left blinded in one eye by glass. Later the family received a War Office telegram telling them the oldest son who was in the R.A.F. was missing over Germany, as was the sister’s Canadian fiancee. The Mother always believed for many years after the war that one day the son would turn up at their home, he never did. Black armbands were seen worn by many people everywhere.

Roof spaces and attics were cleared out as an anti-incendiary measure. When we had our first incendiary bomb through the roof of our house the firemen rushed upstairs with hoses etc. to put out the fire before it spread too far. My very houseproud mother was most upset because they didn’t wipe their feet first!

At work, when the siren sounded, (and that was a sound like the wailing of the dead to me! ) employers sent their workers to the shelters, but this caused great loss of production when a small raid would have very little local risk. So Churchill introduced the idea of roof spotters to give the alarm when bombers were actually in sight, i.e. at the last moment - consequently little time was lost. But most people found going to work helped to take their minds off what was going on outside.

One in ten bombs didn’t go off, sometimes through malfunction but mostly they were deliberately delayed or ‘time bombs’. When this happened it caused enormous disruption, everyone for up to a 100 yards area would be evacuated from their homes to an overcrowded rest centre. The sound of bombs falling varied from a scream or whistle to a very loud tearing noise.

Land or Aerial mines. These were enormous steel canisters 9.1/2 ft. long containing 2,400 lb high explosive, they were dropped by a very large parachute so generally arrived silently some time after the bombers had gone, usually when the fire and rescue workers had arrived. The blast from these devices was devastating, destroying hundreds of homes for hundreds of yards and maiming or killing anyone in the area. The Germans dropped many parachute or land mines which would hang caught up in trees for days before exploding their massive charges, they were deliberately intended to inflict terror and slaughter civilians in large numbers.

There was the 4,000 lb ‘Satan’ bomb and the 6,000 lb ‘Splitter bomben’ very nasty ! Also tens of thousands of incendiary bombs would punch through slate roofs with a noise like pebbles and the magnesium or phosphorous would burn very fast and intensely to set the whole roof afire in seconds. In a raid there would be the continuous noise of fire engines racing from street to street unable to cope with the spread of fires. Next morning the streets would be littered with unignited incendiaries, we boys often collected these!! Each aircraft, Dorniers Junkers and Heinkels, would carry over 700 incendiary bombs, so, with a 200 bomber raid they could drop 140,000 of these devastating devices, on the night of the 29th Dec. they set alight the Guildhall, St. Pauls, many banks, the Stock Exchange, the Central Telegraph Office, the docks areas, and some 20,000 homes.

In a way we were lucky, for, if the Germans had developed and produced the excellent Heinkel 177 a four engined heavy bomber earlier in the war, London would have been totally levelled, and the war could have been lost within weeks and London left as a pile of rubble and ready for the occupation.

Some nights in the docks, the warehouses were ablaze as burning butter, sugar, molasses and oils produced dense smoke and pungent smells everywhere as it oozed across roads and into the water of the docks, even the puddles were hot ! There was dust, smoke and raw smells of the explosives, sewerage and leaking domestic gas, it was the smell of violent death and destruction. On some nights also there was a very low ‘neap’ tide and firemen could not reach the river Thames with their hoses, but this was another deliberate tactic by the Luftwaffe.

Our regular nightime routine -any utensils had to be left covered to keep out the dust that would cover everything during a raid. Many people turned their gas supply off as a precaution.

Air raid shelter routine - before going to bed a bag would be left by the back door containing a torch, spare blankets, candles and matches, also your ration books and identity cards. These could be snatched up if we had to rush to the garden Anderson shelter suddenly in the night AND remember to leave the front and back doors Open to minimise the effect of blast. The shelters were cold and very damp, the steel curved sheets that formed the walls would soon stream with condensation when occupied forming great pools of water and mud on the earth floor.
In the winter the fire would be dowsed on going to bed, this would enable an old sheet to be draped across the fireplace to ensure that the inevitable soot fall or hot cinders (from nearby bomb blasts) would not spread across the room. Also before retiring to bed, clothes were left hanging in a way to allow easy removal, i.e. hangers in wardrobes all faced the same way. Most nights the raid would last for many hours or even all night. On those occasions you slept in your clothes and used a bucket.

We now know that there was much censorship about the real casualty figures, also no photographs were ever published which showed Londoners weary or depressed, as many people actually were. Also the press were discouraged from publishing too many pictures of bomb damage, only cheery cockneys were wanted who were supposed to shout ‘we can take it’! The worst hit areas were the homes nearest the docks where my family lived, especially the East end, Stepney, Bow, Poplar, East Ham, Plaistow and West Ham. The poorest homes were the most vulnerable.

On the 16th of April they struck again, this was the biggest assault on the Capital so far, for eight and a half hours almost 700 aircraft punished the city with 890 tons of H.Exp. and 150,000 incendiary bombs, the destruction and death was widespread. Three nights later they were back with 712 bombers, some did 3 missions that night, they dropped over 1,000 tons of bombs i.e. 8 to 12,000 bombs plus 153,000 incendiaries. A warden later wrote ‘it was concentrated to the east of us, mainly in East Ham and Walthamstow’ . The total of civilian deaths for that month was 6,065. The climax of the raids on London came on the 10th of May 1941 when hundreds of bombers pounded the whole area causing the highest casualties. Amongst the majestic buildings to be hit were the House of Commons, the Tower of London, the Law Courts, Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace, St. Paul’s and the Royal Mint. On that night almost 1500 died and 12,000 were injured. There was no gas, water or electricity for many days afterwards.

This was the last of the really heavy raids on London, but not of course the last raid, there were still many more new raids to come during 1942 and 43. By June ‘44 there would be the Vergeltungswaffe eins, vengeance weapon No. one, or V.1 Doodlebugs and then the V.2. Rockets, both were totally ‘indiscriminate bombing’ designed to slaughter civilians, not to destroy military targets. This was ‘terror’ bombing which did not put German aircrew at risk, a point which seems totally forgotten these days when one often hears severe criticism of the RAF over Dresden.

One day in around 1943 we, the boys of East Ham Building College were taken to the local swimming baths to be taught to swim, we were all only 14 yrs old. On entering the pool some of the few swimmers amongst us started to do the crawl, boys always felt it to be a man’s stroke but the instructor immediately stopped them, saying ‘you must only do the breast stroke, it will keep you going much longer if you are in the sea’ so after 4 years of war we wondered just how much longer did the Government think the war would last ?

By the end of May ‘44 the build up to D’Day had begun, all the roads to the docks were choked with military vehicles nose to tail, the open areas of Wanstead Flats were covered in tens of thousands of tanks and various vehicles, the soldiers were under canvas and fenced in with guards their destination was Top Secret. When they finally all moved off to the docks they were cheered all the way along the streets, that was very memorable.

I remember the very first V.1 raid clearly, it was June 13th 1944 (just 7 days after D’Day). The siren had sounded before midnight and we, my mother and I, were about to enter our garden shelter when I heard a very unusual aircraft sound, a once heard never to be forgotten sound (I was absolute mustard on aeroplane identification but this was something new).We looked up to see a plane caught in searchlights moving very fast and about 2,000 ft above us, it made a loud noise like a big single cylinder motorbike and had a bright flame at its tail from the ‘ramjet motor’. I will never forget that noise. After a few seconds the engine stopped and the searchlights lost it as it glided down, there was total silence for about 10 seconds then, a very loud explosion as it devastated a whole street in West Ham. The sound of an approaching V.1. would freeze your conversation, ’keep going’ you would say and you held your breath when the raucous rattle of the engine cut out and dived down to the ground, the silence was deafening as you coped with your own fear, perhaps this was the one that would get you ?? No, ‘Please God let it be someone else not me’. It was a most effective killing weapon, the Fiesler 103, designed by Herr Porsche , it cost only about £125 to make, was small, it needed no pilot and carried an explosive warhead of 2,000 lb of amatol. at 400 mph.
In just 2 weeks there were 2,000 V.1.’s launched against London. The A.A. belt of guns were moved to the south coast and equipped with new radar, predictors and the new proximity fuse shells, our gunners were now becoming very skilled and accurate.

In the next 12 weeks over 5,200 of these terrifying missiles would kill over 12,000 people, seriously injure over 20,000 civilians and destroy 23,000 and damage one million homes, mostly in London. In East and West Ham over 94 V.1s fell, and a total of 10,494 were launched against England, some from underneath Heinkel bombers over the North Sea.

One of the worst incidents occurred when on Sunday morning 18th June just 5 days into the attacks a servicemen’s church service was being held in The Guards Chapel Westminster complete with military band at 11am when a V.1 made a direct hit destroying the whole building with one ton of explosive and killing 119 servicemen and over 150 seriously injured, many of whom later died.

Hundreds of A.A. guns were set up along the Kent coast on the sea fronts and a great ring of barrage balloons across S. London. At this time there were great losses in production due to absenteeism and sheer lack of sleep.

But after five years of war the population was not so capable of standing up to this renewed strain on their morale. People were now leaving London in their thousands, this was obvious from the greatly reduced queues for food. People were running out of courage, nerves were affected, hands trembled, tempers were shorter, they couldn’t take much more ‘when will it ever end’ ?.

My bedroom looked towards Beckton and Woolwich Docks, I was 15 then and I would sit for hours looking and listening for the sound of a V.1’s roar from the South , East and Kent. On hearing one coming I would press a morse key and the buzzer outside would warn my mother and neighbours. We would then rush for the shelters, because the official air raid alert sometimes lasted for days due to the continued bombardments every few minutes. We called them Bob Hopes, bob down and hope for the best or clockwork sparrows!

One day a V.1 was upon us very quickly and very low, maybe 500’ft up and losing height, it crashed with a great explosion only 4-500yds away. I, with my schoolboy mate dashed out and cycled quickly to where it had hit a public house, the White Horse, a direct hit. The pub had been blasted previously and workmen had actually been on the roof, the scene was an inferno, people shouting, screaming and crying and dying, dust clouds everywhere, some men were buried alive and others had been blown through the metal fencing of Central Park opposite. That was the first time I saw dead people, we left quickly, there was nothing we could do in that Hell.

About this time our house was damaged again so we went to live with relatives in Southend, although I still had to travel up to College in East Ham every day by train and much of the time we were having to have classes in the air raid shelters. Southend was then still a ‘restricted area’ and you had to show your pass at the station to get past the barrier.

On 7th Sept ‘44 The Air Minister Duncan Sands held a crowded Press conference and announced ‘Except for a few last shots, the Battle of London is over’. The next day the first V.2 rocket fell on Chiswick killing many ! The V.1s continued to next March! The Government would not confirm that the V2 even existed, they claimed the explosions were due to gas main leaks, this denial went on until November!

The V.2. rockets were in my opinion the worst of all the terror weapons used by Hitler to slaughter civilians, it was deadly and frightful, it would arrive without any warning. A massive, massive explosion and blue flash which lit up everything even in daylight, this was followed by the eerie rumbling sound and whoosh of the rocket arriving, due to its faster than sound trajectory. The V.2. (or A.4.) was over 46ft long 5ft diameter weighed 14 t.with a 1 ton warhead and travelled at 3,600 mph., range 250 miles to an altitude of 60 miles. The first ballistic missile, it left a crater 50 ft across and 25 ft deep. There was no possible warning or defence for it!

By now we were advancing into Holland, the wars end was in sight and yet still Hitler’s murderous hand of death could touch you. This was the most frightening weapon that civilians had experienced and the effect on morale was devastating. People would actually talk almost nostalgically about the ‘good old doodlebug or V.1.’ The Press were stopped from publishing any obituary notices for fear of its effect on morale.

There was no defence against it at all, thank God the weapon had been delayed a year by the R.A.F.’s 600 bomber raid on the Peenamunde laboratories with a loss of 300 RAF aircrew in August 1943. Without that raid we could have lost the war. The V.2 usually killed about 100 to 150 people each time, the new electronic fuse caused detonation just above ground level maximising the blast effect. In Antwerp a V.2 hit a cinema full of troops, 520 died and 1,000 injured.

Of 517 V.2’s that fell on London, 41 fell on my town, 35 in Ilford and a total of 401 in Essex the top scoring county. The final rocket fell on 27 March ‘45 barely 5 weeks before the end of the war. No one who lived through the summer and autumn of ‘44 and the winters of ’44 and’45 will ever forget the ‘Vengeance Weapons’. Life was often punctuated by episodes of terror and fear during the bombing raids, but being very young you shrug it off because everyone else seems to at the time and for us it seemed the normal way of life.

In April 1945 I went to the Odeon cinema in Plaistow with my friend Derek, we were both 16, I cannot remember the films we saw, but I will never forget the Pathe’ newsreel, it was simply called ‘Belsen’. The audience sat in stunned silence as the now familiar scenes unfolded on the screen, ‘skeleton-like’ creatures moved like sloths amidst piles of what could only be emaciated dead human bodies, a bulldozer pushed them into trenches for massed burial. The shock of what we saw simply took your breath away, it was the first firm evidence of these atrocities anyone had seen.

I felt I was witnessing the ultimate horror of Nazism. We had suffered nearly six years of war, most people were just so tired of war now, and after all, what was it all about really? Well, now we knew. Those pictures have become commonplace repeats now, and perhaps they no longer shock us today as then, but there are actually fools who deny that it even happened, nevertheless at that time the effect was profound, to this day the impact is still unforgettable. As the Pathe News ended people shuffled out in total and I do mean total stunned silence, no-one spoke, the terrible and indelible images would be with us for a very long time. I have never forgotten that cinema visit.

By Tuesday May the 8th 1945 the war in Europe was over, we, the Americans, Russians and the British Empire had destroyed the Nazi-German fascists. On that day, I was due at work in St. James’s Square but Churchill had declared a Public holiday, I and my friend decided to go up to the West End to see the celebrations. We arrived in Piccadilly Circus, it was packed with thousands of civilians and servicemen and women. Every face was smiling, some with tears of sheer joy and relief, the overwhelming noise of laughing and singing, the street parties everywhere, the church bells were ringing, musicians were playing, people were drunk, kissing and dancing with anyone they took hold of, some were on taxi roofs dancing, some danced in the streets, no moving traffic, some were up on top of lampposts, in street fountains, it was as if the world had gone mad with happiness and joy after six years of war, it was ACTUALLY OVER ! As Churchill said ’there was never in our history a day like this’. And the joy and jubilation knew no bounds, it just went on and on, even as I think of that day after all these years I can still feel the emotion returning. You had to be there to really understand how it was. It was just the happiest day I can remember ever. Many hundreds of thousands flocked to the churches to pray and to give thanks to God. But there were many who stayed home and cried quietly with their memories, their photographs and their War Office telegram, they had nothing to celebrate.

Today most of the scars of destruction have gone, but the scars of memory live on for some, the crouching under stairs or in damp cold shelters whilst an aerial pounding fell all around you with the deafening noise and flashes of explosions, the realisation and fear that you were perhaps going to die, the dust and the terror that the next one would be yours. NOTHING like it had ever been experienced before on this scale, by any nation.

But today I do feel that during the war years the British People were at their best as never before or since. It was indeed their finest hour, for the first two years they stood alone in Europe, then they were on the rack for almost six years, most people neither sought nor gloried in war, and they gained nothing from it. We lost our Empire and accrued a Great National Debt and a ruined economy, but they were a self reliant and peaceful people on whom the sacrifices and burdens of war fell hard, they still deserve acknowledgement and respect,

I was just lucky like many to have survived and witnessed a little of it!

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John Chesnut Sr. Park was built in cooperation with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. It covers approximately 255 acres and is conveniently located near communities of Palm Harbor and Tarpon Springs, serving north Pinellas County.

This park was named in honor of John Chesnut, Sr., Pinellas County Commissioner from 1937 until 1953. Organizer of the Pinellas County Park Board, Mr. Chesnut worked tirelessly to make access to county parks easy for residents. In addition to parks, Mr. Chesnut worked to build the Belleair Beach Causeway and the first Sunshine Skyway Bridge. He also worked to make possible the Gulf Beaches water system. His son, John Chesnut Jr., also served on the Board of County Commissioners from 1976 until 1992.


Legends of America

Ingalls, Oklahoma by Kathy Weiser-Alexander.

Though more furious and more deadly than the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral in Tombstone, Arizona, the Ingalls, Oklahoma shoot-out between the Doolin-Dalton Gang and U.S. Deputy Marshals is not nearly as well known.

One of the many hide-outs used by the Doolin-Dalton Gang in the early 1890s was the small community of Ingalls, Oklahoma. Unfortunately, this small town was a haven for numerous outlaws, as residents tolerated them for their free-spending ways and the bad men behaved themselves in order to safeguard their hideout.

In August 1893, several members of the outlaw gang, including Bill Doolin, Bill Dalton, George “Red Buck” Weightman, George “Bitter Creek” Newcomb, Charlie Pierce, “Arkansas Tom” Jones, “Tulsa Jack” Blake, and “Dynamite Dick” Clifton, were taking refuge in the small town, most of them having been in town for weeks living at the city hotel and spending their time at the Ransom Saloon.

When U.S. Marshals got word of their location, Marshal Evett Dumas “E.D.” Nix formed a posse of some 27 deputy marshals and Indian Police and headed towards Ingalls. Camping out along a creek the night before, they were seen by a young boy, who the deputies held overnight. However, the boy slipped away early the next morning and ran into Ingalls, telling the outlaws, “The marshals are coming.”

The boy’s warning gave the outlaws time to saddle their horses at the livery stable, but rather than making a run for it they chose to return to their poker game at the saloon.

On the morning of September 1, 1893, the posse crept into town while the outlaws were drinking and gambling in the saloon. When Newcomb stepped out of the saloon and got on to his horse, he was fired upon by one officer. However, “Arkansas Tom” Jones, who was sick in bed at the O.K. Hotel, returned the fire from his second-story window, mortally wounding U.S. Deputy Marshal Thomas Hueston, who would die the next day. After firing just a couple of rounds, Newcomb was wounded but was able to escape.

Within seconds a full-out gunfight erupted with the outlaws shooting their way from the saloon to the nearby livery stable. Fugitives Red Buck, Bill Dalton, and “Tulsa Jack” Blake then mounted their horses and came out of the stable with their guns blazing. When Deputy Lafeyette Shadley shot at Bill Dalton, the lawman instead hit the outlaw’s horse, toppling Dalton to the ground. Dalton returned the fire, hitting Shadley, who would die two days later. In the meantime, Bill Doolin shot and killed Deputy Marshal Richard Speed. Outlaw, Dan “Dynamite Dick” Clifton and Charlie Pierce were also hit and wounded, but both were still able to ride.

All the outlaws escaped except “Arkansas Tom” Jones, who was trapped in the hotel room when Deputy Marshal Jim Masterson threatened to throw dynamite into his hiding place. Though there was talk of Arkansas Tom Jones being lynched, he was later sent to federal prison in Guthrie, Oklahoma Territory.

In the shooting frenzy, an innocent bystander named Young Simmons was also killed when he tried to take cover inside Vaughn’s Saloon. Another citizen, known only as Old Man Ramson, was also hit in the leg but survived. Also wounded was the saloon bartender, a Mr. Murray, who obviously an ally of the outlaw gang, fired on the deputies from his front doorway. He was shot in the ribs and the arm, arrested, and sent to prison. Two years after his release, Murray would pursue damages against the government for his injuries but lost his case due to U.S. Marshal Nix’s testimony defending his deputy marshals’ actions.

In the end, the outlaws won the battle but lost the war, as eventually, every member of the gang who had escaped from the Ingalls gunfight would be killed, most by U.S. Deputy Marshals.

Ingalls, Oklahoma, located about halfway between Stillwater and Yale, Oklahoma, is no longer shown on state highway maps. Only a few deserted buildings, stone foundations, and a stone memorial mark the site of the famous gunfight. Settled after the land rush of 1889 into the “Unassigned Lands” between the Chickasaw Nation to the south and the Cherokee Outlet to the north, Ingalls was a thriving community of 150 people in the 1890’s however, by 1907, the post office was closed. The site is located about 9 miles east of Stillwater, Oklahoma, and 1 mile south at Ingalls Road.

“Arkansas Tom” Jones was sick in bed at the Ingalls O.K. Hotel but shot from the window, wounding U.S. Deputy Marshal Thomas Hueston, who would die the next day.

U.S. Marshal Evett Dumas “E.D.” Nix’ account of the battle, as written in a letter to Attorney General Judson Harmon on July 30, 1895:

“One George Ransom owned a saloon in the town of Ingalls, and this man Murray worked for him as a bartender. The outlaws Bill Doolin “Bitter Creek,” “Tulsa Jack,” “Dynamite Dick,”Red Buck,” Tom Jones and numerous others made this saloon their headquarters, and Ransom, Murray, and other citizens catered to their trade, carried the news of the movements of the Deputy Marshals, furnished them with ammunition, cared for their horses, permitted them to eat at their tables and sleep in their beds. These facts were well known to the community, although a conviction on the charge of harboring or aiding and abetting criminals against the laws of the United States could never be sustained by reason of the fact that the entire community was under duress and would not testify for fear of losing their lives and property.

On the 1st day of September 1893, a party of U.S. Deputy Marshals who had been sent after these outlaws by me arrived in the vicinity of Ingalls, and the outlaws mentioned herein were at the time in the town and in the saloon of Ransom, where this man Murray worked. As usual, the outlaws had received notice of the proximity of the deputies, and they sent a messenger to the deputies inviting them to come into the town if they thought they, the deputies, could take them. The deputies accepted the invitation and, after posting their forces, sent a messenger to the outlaws with a request to surrender and were answered with Winchester shots. “Bitter Creek” ran out of the saloon in question and fired one shot towards the north where some of the deputies were stationed, and turning, received the fire of the deputies, which burst the magazine of his Winchester and wounded him in the thigh. In the meantime, a heavy fire was directed at the deputies by the balance of the outlaws from the saloon building, and the fire was returned by the deputies, which literally riddled the saloon. A horse was killed by the deputies which was tied in front of the saloon… The fire of the deputies becoming too hot for the outlaws, they escaped out of a side door and took refuge in a large stable mentioned. This man Murray came to the front door of the saloon either just before the outlaws left the building or just after, it is known which. However, when he first appeared in the doorway, he had the door open just a short distance and had his Winchester to his shoulder in the act of firing. This was previous to the deputies becoming aware of the fact of the outlaws had left the building. Three of the deputies seeing him in the position he was in, fired at him simultaneously. Two shots struck him in the ribs and one broke his arm in two places.

Eight or ten horses were killed and nine persons killed and wounded. One deputy was killed outright at the first fire and two more died the next day. Three outlaws were wounded and one captured. The one captured was afterward sentenced to fifty years in the penitentiary and is now serving his time.


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