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Holiday Task for Tough Uncles

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1967-12-28 Times.jpg


A seething mob of children poured into Olympia yesterday : a sign that the annual ritual for emptying the exhausted house and working off Christmas exuberance had come round again—the Daily Mail Schoolboys and Girls Exhibition.

This year's most popular items, besieged -all day by impatient queues, are the monsters and the parachute jumping. The monsters belong to the B.B.C. and Dr. Who. Monstrosities more hideous than the Hydra ; deformed creatures that have crawled out of a mad scientist's laboratory.

A Dalek glides menacingly forward, chattering in its metallic voice "Exterminate ", and groping with its proboscis. The cluster of cheeky boys in caps cowers back in pleasurable terror. Silver Cybermen roam, and the rills and the octopus play.

The most daring boys taunt and tug at the fur of the giant yeti, who looks the worse for wear by the end of the day, and in need of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Prodigies. " Ooooh, I'd die if he touched me ", shudders a granny, her flesh creeping visibly.

At the Army's parachute jump the children step into midair from a model fuselage, and fall a sickening 40ft. with a wire rope attached to their backs. As the queue nears the jumping-off point it becomes quieter, and turns a greener shade of pale. It is a long way down to the coconut matting. The upturned faces down there show scarce so gross as beetles. But the children cannot lose face by backing out. Four burly paratroopers strap them into harness, and launch them into emptiness. I sighed secretly in relief to learn that there is a weight limit of 12st. on the contraption.

For the sporting there are tennis, athletics, and cricket—a, mini-Griffiths hurtles down a half-volley to a Walter Mitty Graveney who strokes it away into the imaginary covers, relishing his follow-through. For the studious there is chess against champions—minute boys hunch over their boards like vtilturee, engrossed in gambits and end plays. For the frivolous there are the B.B.C.'s Dee-Jays ", oozing chatter and brittle charm.

Collectors' pieces

The acquisitive collect free pens and posters. The greedy suck a sticky succession of " brand new psychedelic toffee apples", and monstrous wedges of fudge. The shrewd stare thoughtfully at The " learn while you sleep " machine.

Plastic snakes to make mother break the world record for the sitting high jump are 2s. each and more subtle practical jokes cost rather more. The Navy hauls dangling children by jack-stay over a tank of water. The complex cockpits of the Lightning and the Vulcan are inspected critically.

The Corporation of London's Epping Forest stand is a haven of sylvan peace and beauty—almost: " Hoy, don't you touch those stuffed owls." And then there are the Mec-cano building competition, fashion competitions, and the paint-your-own-picture gallery. A proud mother purrs over a tiny Picasso in white tights making a hideous mess on white canvas.

It is, as usual, the ideal outing for the children, especially if there is a tough uncle in the family, who does not suffer from claustrophobia, ochlophobia, 'vertigo, indigestion, or monstrophobia, who is prepared to escort them.

The exhibition is open until January 6, except on Sunday, from 9.30 a.m. to 6.30 p.m., admission 4s. for all ages.

Caption: Miss Vanessa Redgrave, the actress, at the premiere of the film Smashing Time at the Odeon, Leicester Square, London, last night. Her sister, Miss Lynn Redgrave is one of the stars of the film.

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  • APA 6th ed.: Howard, Philip (1967-12-28). Holiday Task for Tough Uncles. The Times p. 2.
  • MLA 7th ed.: Howard, Philip. "Holiday Task for Tough Uncles." The Times [add city] 1967-12-28, 2. Print.
  • Chicago 15th ed.: Howard, Philip. "Holiday Task for Tough Uncles." The Times, edition, sec., 1967-12-28
  • Turabian: Howard, Philip. "Holiday Task for Tough Uncles." The Times, 1967-12-28, section, 2 edition.
  • Wikipedia (this article): <ref>{{cite news| title=Holiday Task for Tough Uncles | url= | work=The Times | pages=2 | date=1967-12-28 | via=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=19 April 2024 }}</ref>
  • Wikipedia (this page): <ref>{{cite web | title=Holiday Task for Tough Uncles | url= | work=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=19 April 2024}}</ref>