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This is the anniversary of the greatest moment in the history of the BBC: the heroic ascent of Nelson’s Column in London’s Trafalgar Square by Blue Peter presenter John Noakes.
I mention it for two reasons. First so you can marvel at this extraordinary throwback to the days before Health n Safety and risk assessment ruined everything. The Seventies were so much more dangerous and exciting: how did any of us get out alive?
Nelson - Column - Feet - Noakes - Ladder
Nelson’s Column is 170 feet high and Noakes climbed it using just a metal ladder with no safety ropes. I’ve got sweaty palms just looking at it, especially the bit where Noakes has to negotiate the overhang. Noakes is quite obviously bricking it but because he’s being filmed and because it’s for children’s TV he has to pretend throughout that it’s all a jolly wheeze.
Second, I want to show what we have lost. It really isn’t rose-tinted nostalgia that makes some of us remember a time when...
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