*take nothing for granted!
Unless otherwise indicated all photos © Richard McKie 2005 - 2015

Who is Online

We have 115 guests and no members online

Translate to another language

Article Index

 

Ménage à trois, quatre...

Thanks to Stephen Ward, Christine and Mandy Rice-Davies lived lives that I could barely imagine when contemplating the flood of images that spread across the pages of the papers and the magazines my parents bought.

 

 Christine Keeler in 1963

 

I certainly tried my hardest to imagine.  I had my teenage fantasies - but my real life experience extended to getting an arm around a girl at the movies and, if I was very lucky, a kiss or two and maybe some heavy petting.

Even today it’s hard to get a feeling for the reality of their young lives.  

Christine had left school at 15 to get a job in a London shop.  By 17 she had already given birth.  But the baby was premature and died within a few days.  

After waitressing for a short time she found work in a Soho club as a topless showgirl and soon became the mistress the wealthy landlord, and secret brothel owner, Peter Rachman, moving into one of his properties.  Rachman was a Ukrainian refugee and alleged Jewish war hero and a well known figure in London society.

Mandy had also left school at 15 to become a model.  Her modelling break came as ‘Miss Austin’ at a London car show.  She subsequently found work at the same topless club as Christine and they became friends.

Mandy replaced Christine as Rachman’s mistress and Christine moved in with Stephen Ward. She claimed, and still claims, that their relationship was non-sexual, hinting perhaps at Ward’s sexual preference.  He was three decades older.  At a TV interview two decades, two marriages and many lovers later, Christine named him as the one man she would still like to be with.

The girls have been described as prostitutes but it seems that in their minds they were simply free with their favours in an environment where sex was something everyone was doing.

 


Ward, Christine Mandy and another

 

 

Nevertheless while living with Stephen, Christine took a number of society lovers, at least one of them at his behest. 

Ward was a popular man around town.  He had a successful medical practice as osteopath to the upper crust and was well regarded as an artist for the pencil drawings he did of celebrities, including Prince Philip, Princess Margaret and other socially prominent people.  

Ward apparently had a very engaging personality and held frequent parties where the upper class could meet the demi-monde including night club performers and other entertainers, and wealthy jovial, slightly shady, businessmen like Peter Rachman. 

Homosexuality was still illegal in Britain, as it was in Australia, and it was said that a percentage of upper class boys who had been through the English Boarding Schools were attracted to parties where they might make a gay connection with 'a bit of rough'.  Stephen’s parties were well fuelled with alcohol and other drugs and catered to every taste.  It appears that half of the London establishment younger set attended from time to time, including several royals and/or their partners. 

In 1960 Ward had secured a commission from The Illustrated London News to provide a series of portraits of national and international figures and became quite desperate to go to Moscow to draw (Chairman) Nikita Khrushchev, the then leader of the Soviet Union who seemed to be making changes there.

 

Add comment


Security code
Refresh


    Have you read this???     -  this content changes with each opening of a menu item


Travel

India and Nepal

 

 

Introduction

 

In October 2012 we travelled to Nepal and South India. We had been to North India a couple of years ago and wanted to see more of this fascinating country; that will be the most populous country in the World within the next two decades. 

In many ways India is like a federation of several countries; so different is one region from another. For my commentary on our trip to Northern India in 2009 Read here...

For that matter Nepal could well be part of India as it differs less from some regions of India than do some actual regions of India. 

These regional differences range from climate and ethnicity to economic wellbeing and religious practice. Although poverty, resulting from inadequate education and over-population is commonplace throughout the sub-continent, it is much worse in some regions than in others.

Read more ...

Fiction, Recollections & News

The Craft

 

 A Cloud prequel

 

 

 

Chapter 1 - Caught short

 

 

 

 

Christmas 2069 approaches and in the midst of the greatest retail spending frenzy for decades Bianca has been trying on clothes..  They're at Bergeroff Goodman, an up-market store. Bianca has been brought here by Margery who frequents such expensive places.  Unlike many other retail establishments in the world at this time of year, the store is not over-packed with shoppers.

Elsewhere many customers will expend their entire available credit and have even accumulated credit from earlier in the year to allow for this annual celebratory splurge.  Much of it will be expended on personal services, personal wellbeing, exercise, entertainment and of course religious practice and many will exchange gifts of credit towards these services with friends and loved ones.  But this store is very up-market and discrete.

This Monday lunchtime Margery is encouraging Bianca to buy a top quality black wool and mohair suit with a knee length skirt, similar to the one Margery is wearing.  Bianca had been resisting and equivocating when the call of nature gratuitously cut short their struggle.  The older woman had assumed Bianca's resistance was for financial reasons, insisting that a good suit is not an extravagance but an investment in Bianca's future. 

Read more ...

Opinions and Philosophy

World Population – again and again

 

 

David Attenborough hit the headlines yet again in 15 May 2009 with an opinion piece in New Scientist. This is a quotation:

 

‘He has become a patron of the Optimum Population Trust, a think tank on population growth and environment with a scary website showing the global population as it grows. "For the past 20 years I've never had any doubt that the source of the Earth's ills is overpopulation. I can't go on saying this sort of thing and then fail to put my head above the parapet."

 

There are nearly three times as many people on the planet as when Attenborough started making television programmes in the 1950s - a fact that has convinced him that if we don't find a solution to our population problems, nature will:
"Other horrible factors will come along and fix it, like mass starvation."

 

Bob Hawke said something similar on the program Elders with Andrew Denton:

 

Read more ...

Terms of Use                                           Copyright