Tag Archives: Bedford Bypass Consultation

KLF: A Million Quid up in Smoke ..twenty years on!

27 Aug

An anniversary of sorts…20 years ago, 23rd of August 1994 Bill Drummond and Jimmy Cauty who were the KLF till they called it quits a few years earlier went up to the Isle of Jura and torched a £Million quid in the hearth of an old bothy. One million quid up the chimney and all filmed for prosperity by KLF collaborator Alan Goodrick and with a only a single journalist, Jum Reid to verify proceedings.


The low quality film was then toured with a Q and A session round various village halls and other odd places the year after to mixed results. Outright praise and total hostility. There’s still a view that it was a hoax using a small amount of real notes wrapped around false one, vehemiently denied by Drummond. Others suggest a direct assault on capitalism, counter views say it was an act of gross callousness given what a million quid could have done ten years after Live Aid achieved so very…little.

I’ve always been about 10% sceptical as to whether the full £million was torched. The picture below shows a gaunt Drummond and Cauty at Euston Station on their return and if you can then take a good stare at their faces. Both have said they will not talk again about the burning until after the 23rd anniversary (2017) but Drummond is on record from 2002 as saying he regretted the action…. more so because his own personal circumstances had changed!

My take is that as “pop stars” if they’d have bought BMW’s, houses and swimming pools or snorted it off mirrors or the pert arse of a groupie then no one would have batted an eyelid as that’s what musicians do but torching it in a derelict cottage cum barn on the edge of a sea loch…well that’s not on!

KLF Burn a Million Quid



Bypass Founders Day!

16 May

Today we celebrate the birth back in 1837 of Nathaniel J Bypass resident of Oldham, Lancs who one day had an epiphany of sorts… as he was a humanist it was more like a bloody good idea. 

Our founder Nathaniel J BYpass

Our founder Nathaniel J BYpass

Living on one side of the town with his good wife and son named oddly enough Bedford and regularly traversing the land to visit his pals on the other side of Oldham, a place called Glodwick, Nathaniel J Bypass had seen the town centre deteriorate with a profusion of taverns, charitable aims shops, and illicit gambling dens that he sought a means of visiting his pals whilst avoiding the High St (or Yorkshire St for those that know Oldham). Whilst doodling on a map he drew a semi circular line from his abode marked “here” to that of his friends ont tother side o town marked “to here”when the idea of a new road…. nay a highway that completely avoided the town centre landed in his head, this creation of Nathaniel’s would be forever known as…the Bypass. And so 180 or thereabouts years later visitors to Oldham can simply drive right round, past the Deaf Institute, the General Infirmary, maybe a view of the Athletic football ground and head to Mumps Bridge (even though it’s been knocked down but you can still see the brick bits, my dog Benjamin came from the dog pound nearby) and thence to Saddleworth Moor for a nice day out or a picnic in the car park before the Peak District Ranger comes and tells you off!
Nathaniel J Bypass and his creation prospered, eventually most towns ended up with a Bypass ™ or a campaign group either calling for one to be built or for the planned Bypass ™ to be stopped, Sometimes both!
Then it all went wrong for the Bypass family. Soon the concept of the “ring road” the “Circular” and the “Orbital Highway”arrived, essentially the same idea with a different name leading the Bypass family out in the cold. Nathaniel’s great great grandson Bedford J Bypass junior the 3rd fought hard through the courts for the Bypass ™ to be the only means of nipping round any city or town but lost the entire family fortune in the process. Stupid sod! Even the name Bypass vanished due to a succession of female offspring, like what happened to Henry the Eighth but without any axes being involved however by luck it was ascertained that on one of Nathaniel’s visits to his pals on the other side of Oldham in 1842 he’d fathered illegitimate twins one girl and a cheeky boy. This was revealed on the Chanel 37 programme “Who’s Yer Real Dad” which is a very low budget version of Who Do you Think You Are. The bloodline was shown by a series of paternity tests and claims for child support to have continued down the generations fading then resurging until his direct descendants after a chance meeting at the Everyman Theatre, Liverpoool found themselves leaving the North West under cover of darkness and living in Bedford determined to restore the family name and equally determined to ensure that the legacy of being able to trundle around the town watching a red sky forming is attributed to this wonderful man and that he eventually features in the Blue Peter Annual assuming they still do it!
And that’s how Bedford Bypass came to be! It takes us to better places!  Bedford Bypass