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French Open

The French Open called Roland-Garros, is a major tennis tournament held over two weeks at the Stade Roland-Garros in Paris, beginning in late May. The venue is named after the French aviator Roland Garros, it is the premier clay court tennis championship tournament in the world and the second of the four annual Grand Slam tournaments, the other three being the Australian Open and the US Open. The French Open is the only Grand Slam tournament held on clay, it is the conclusion of the spring clay court season. Before the Australian Open and the US Open were converted into hardcourt, the French Open was the lone non-grass tournament. Between the seven rounds needed for a championship, the slow-playing surface and the best-of-five-set men's singles matches, the event is considered to be the most physically demanding tennis tournament in the world. Named in French Championnats Internationaux de France de tennis and Tournoi de Roland-Garros, the tournament is referred to in English as the "French Open" and alternatively as "Roland Garros", the designation used by the tournament itself in all languages.

In 1891 the Championnat de France, referred to in English as the French Championships, began. They were only open to tennis players; the first winner was a Briton—H. Briggs—who was a Paris resident; the first women's singles tournament, with four entries, was held in 1897. The mixed doubles event was added in 1902 and the women's doubles in 1907; this "French club members only" tournament was played until 1924, using four different venues during that period: Île de Puteaux, in Puteaux, Paris. The Racing Club de France, played on clay. For one year, 1909, it was played at the Société Athlétique de la Villa Primrose in Bordeaux, on clay. Tennis Club de Paris, at Auteuil, played on clay. Another clay court tournament, called the World Hard Court Championships, is sometimes considered the true precursor to the modern French Open as it admitted international competitors; this was held at Stade Français in Saint-Cloud, Paris from 1912 to 1914, 1920, 1921 and 1923, with the 1922 event held in Brussels, Belgium.

Winners of this tournament included world No. 1s such as Tony Wilding from New Zealand and Bill Tilden from the US. In 1924 there was no World Hard Court Championships due to tennis being played at the Paris Olympic Games. In 1925, the French Championships became open to all amateurs internationally and was designated a major championship by the ILTF, it was held at the Stade Français on clay courts. In 1926 the Racing Club de France hosted the event in Paris, site of the previous French club members only tournament on clay. After the Mousquetaires or Philadelphia Four won the Davis Cup on American soil in 1927, the French decided to defend the cup in 1928 at a new tennis stadium at Porte d'Auteuil; the Stade de France had offered the tennis authorities three hectares of land with the condition that the new stadium must be named after the World War I hero pilot, Roland Garros. The new Stade de Roland Garros hosted. In 1928, the French Internationals were moved there, the event has been held there since.

During World War II, the tournament was held from 1941 through 1945 on the same grounds, but those events are not recognized by the French governing body, the Fédération Française de Tennis. In 1946 and 1947, the French Championships were held after Wimbledon, making it the third Grand Slam event of the year. In 1968, the French Championships became the first Grand Slam tournament to go open, allowing both amateurs and professionals to compete. Since 1981, new prizes have been presented: the Prix Citron and the Prix Bourgeon. In another novelty, since 2006 the tournament has begun on a Sunday, featuring 12 singles matches played on the three main courts. Additionally, on the eve of the tournament's opening, the traditional Benny Berthet exhibition day takes place, where the profits go to different charity associations. In March 2007, it was announced that the event would provide equal prize money for both men and women in all rounds for the first time. In 2010, it was announced that the French Open was considering a move away from Roland Garros as part of a continuing rejuvenation of the tournament.

Plans to renovate and expand Roland Garros have put aside any such consideration, the tournament remains in its long time home. From 2004 to 2008, plans were developed to build a covered stadium with a roof, as complaints continued over delayed matches. Various proposals were put forward to expand the facility or to move the French Open to a new, 55-court venue outside of Paris city limits. In 2011 the decision was taken to maintain the tournament within its existing venue; the expansion project called for a new stadium to be built alongside the historical Auteuil's greenhouses and expansion of old stadiums

Bonneval Abbey (Eure-et-Loir)

Bonneval Abbey known as St. Florentinus' Abbey, is a former Benedictine monastery in Bonneval, Eure-et-Loir, in France; the Benedictine abbey at Bonneval was founded in 857 by a knight called Foulques under the auspices of Charles of Provence, great-grandson of Charlemagne.. Dedicated to the Roman martyrs Saints Marcellinus and Peter, the abbey took the name of Florentinus after the transfer here of relics of the more local Saints Florentinus and Hilarius, martyred in Burgundy, in thanks for services rendered by the monks of Bonneval to abbot Aurelian of Ainay Abbey. During the monks' return trip from Roanne to Orléans so many miracles occurred and the saints became so popular that the abbey was known from on by their names, by that of Florentinus only. In 911, Bonneval Abbey was burnt down, it was not until 50 years that it was rebuilt, with the support of Eudes, son of Thibaut the Cheat. In 1110, Louis VI, King of France, took the abbey under royal protection for political reasons; the 12th and 13th centuries were the high period of Bonneval Abbey.

The Hundred Years' War had a damaging effect on the monastery. In 1420, Henry V, King of England, attacked it and once again it was pillaged and burnt down, it was not rebuilt until the end of the 15th century, under René d’Illiers, Bishop of Chartres, who among other things rebuilt the abbots' lodging over the sub-basements of the 13th century. In 1568, the Grand Condé, at the head of the Protestants, attacked the abbey, burnt down again. At the French Revolution the abbey's property and premises were declared a national asset and the remaining buildings sold to a businessman who installed a thread-making factory and a carpet factory. In 1845 it was turned into an agricultural settlement for abandoned children, in 1861 the lunatic asylum of the department of Eure-et-Loir; the abbots' lodging was restored at the end of the 19th century to its original Early Renaissance style under the leadership of the director, Dr Vincent Bigot. The abbey buildings now accommodate a psychiatric hospital, the Centre Hospitalier Henry Ey, named for the distinguished psychiatrist Henry Ey, for many years its director.

Two large pictures in the monastery refectory are now in the parish church of Notre-Dame in Bonneval, depicting the miracle of the loaves and the fishes and Jesus healing Simon the Leper, a copy of an original by Nicolas Poussin. The old abbey Saint-Florentin-et-Saint-Hilaire Bonneval Tourism Office: website Bonneval town website: history Friends of Bonneval website, association for the protection of the heritage of Bonneval

Rogues Gallery

Rogues Gallery is the twelfth studio album by the British rock group Slade. It was reached number 60 in the UK charts; the album was produced by John Punter, with bassist Jim Lea producing "Harmony", "I Win, You Lose" and "Time to Rock". For the album, the band set out to create an album of radio-friendly, potential hit singles which would be released as singles somewhere across the world; the US version of the album, released on the CBS label, replaced "All Join Hands" with the band's 1981 UK hit "Lock Up Your Daughters". After the band's 1984 breakthrough in America with the Top 40 singles "Run Runaway" and "My Oh My", the band were to go on tour that year with Ozzy Osbourne for six weeks. Prior to the tour, the band played. However, on the first night of the tour with Osbourne, Slade had to cancel the remainder of the shows when Lea collapsed after the first gig and was diagnosed with hepatitis. Coinciding with the breakdown of lead vocalist Noddy Holder's marriage, the band agreed to stop touring to allow Holder a break.

Meanwhile, the band would continue to record. Still contracted to RCA, the band set out to record their 12th studio album in 1984. After the success of "Run Runaway" and "My Oh My", producer John Punter was hired to produce most of the album; the lead single "All Join Hands" was released in November 1984 and reached No. 15 in the UK. However, the following single, "7 Year Bitch", released in January 1985, stalled at No. 60 after the song's title caused it to be met with resistance on radio. The third single "Myzsterious Mizster Jones" was released in March and peaked at No. 50. The same month saw the release of Rogues Gallery, which peaked at No. 60 in the UK and No. 132 in the US. In America and certain European territories, "Little Sheila" was released as a single in April, it reached No. 86 on No. 13 on the Mainstream Rock Chart. The album was a bigger success in a number of European territories. Speaking to Kerrang! Shortly before the album's release, Lea said: "I think this record has a more rounded quality than anything we've done before.

For a start, we've gone in and demoed the new material before recording properly. The album is still heavy, lots of guitars and six minute numbers, but everything sounds much more tuneful, meaning there are lots of potential singles on it. There are no long solos but there are some great guitar parts and fast breaks."In a 1986 fan club interview, guitarist Dave Hill recalled his feelings about the album: "I think it lacked something. I mean it was a good sounding LP. I think. I think that maybe too many of the songs on Rogues Gallery sounded like pop hits, so the album began to lean too much to being regarded as a sort of'poppy' album, there is nothing worse than that for me."In a 1990 fan club interview, he said of the album's recording process and result: "It became a bit of a saga, it took a lot of time and turned out to be a great album although I feel there was something missing - something, the Slade trademark was missing." The album was recorded at Portland Studios, RAK Studios and Utopia Studios.

It was mixed at The Workhouse. Before the album's release, the album's working title was Partners in Crime and the original sleeve design was conceived with this title. During Autumn 1984 and the Spring 1985, a full European tour was announced and tickets were put on sale. However, the band had not confirmed that they would tour, nor had any contracts been signed. Owing to Holder's existing stance on touring, the tour was soon cancelled. Had the 1985 leg of the tour taken place, Lea was considering adding a keyboard player to Slade's stage show. Noddy Holder spoke about the tour in a 1986 fan club interview: "Although it was me that cancelled it for the personal reasons - that tour was never confirmed; the agent and promoter started promoting it and selling the tickets, we hadn't confirmed that we were going to do the tour. The tickets had been on sale for two months and nobody bothered to tell us!" Upon release, Sounds noted the album was made up of "high quality power pop, glorious hooks, instant singalongs, ultra-catchy terrace-style chants and anthemic, hymn-like ballads".

In America, reviews were positive overall. Billboard recommended the album and commented: "Modern and metallic, Slade can hold their own on the present hard rock scene." Deseret News stated: "Slade is the epitome of a rock band: catchy melodies, infectious rhythms and the most enjoyable lyrical pacing in contemporary music. Rogues Gallery is one of the finest examples of rabble-rousing rock'n' roll to come along in years... a guaranteed winner." Record-Journal concluded: "The main problem with the album is getting past the first song. If you hang in, what follows on Rogues Gallery is some of the most enthusiastic hard rock in recent years, some of the least annoying."The Press-Courier wrote: "Veteran quartet is long of toothe but still capable of blowing out amplifiers and speakers." The Canadian Leader-Post felt that Rogues Gallery was a "neater effort" than the preceding Keep Your Hands Off My Power Supply, concluded: "They may be long in the tooth, but they haven't lost their bite." Rich Harry of The Morning Call said: "Slade let non of that I'm-old-there-fore-I-hurt guff gem up their fine new LP.

Resembling Geritol on plastic, the album is a fine pop primer for enjoying life while approaching the gloomy pit stop of middle age."AllMusic retrospectively reviewed the album, which summarised: "Unfortunately for everyone, t