Thursday, 21 February 2008

A wall in the attic


During my last year and a half at College in Leeds I had an attic flat in Victoria Road. One wall of the living room – where the roof sloped down - was about three feet tall and twenty plus feet long. I decided to cover it with a mural made of dozens of pictures from magazines, post cards, etc. To avoid putting thousands of pinholes in the wall or loads of pieces of sellotape (no Blu-tack in those days) I sellotaped the pictures to double spreads of newspaper (of the large broadsheet size not the small tabloid size they are nowadays). This Post card of Wordswoorth was one item on the wall.

I can recall a few pictures that were there including a super full face one of Katharine Ross with her lovely eyes. During my clearing out of the loft I have found a few other photos that were on that wall – a Yamaha 350 advert and a picture of Heinz Rosner.

Heinz Rosner (born January 14, 1939) is a former Grand Prix motorcycle road racer from the former East Germany. He had his best year in 1968 when he rode for the MZ factory racing team to finish the 250cc season in third place behind the Yamaha team-mates Phil Read and Bill Ivy. That same year, he claimed fourth place in the 350cc world championship. Rosner rode for the MZ factory for his entire career.

This was another of the pictures on the wall – Nijinsky with Lester Piggott. Nijinsky was foaled in 1967 by Northern Dancer out of Flaming Page. In the history of Racing perhaps only Arkle and Red Rum surpassed his popularity. There is simply no superlative to describe his unprecedented achievements in 1970. Shipped to Ireland, where he was trained by Vincent O'Brien in Ballydoyle, County Tipperary, Nijinsky became champion two-year-old of both England and Ireland in 1969. The next year, after winning the Two Thousand Guineas Stakes, the Epsom Derby and the Irish Derby, Nijinsky then defeated an illustrious field of older horses at Ascot in the mile and a-half King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes. These victories revealed Nijinsky and regular jockey Lester Piggott as perhaps the most formidable horse and jockey combination ever seen on a racecourse. Nijinsky died in 1992. In a poll in 2000, readers of the UK newspaper The Sun voted Nijinsky their "Horse of the Millennium."

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