THE BLACK DOG.

In 2017 I arranged a tour of Lincolnshire to see as many places which were associated with the famous Dambusters 617 Squadron with friends in the Bentley Drivers Club and during that tour one of the chaps presented me with a large toy black dog to acknowledge the hard work I had put into organising the trip.

It then became a tradition that we awarded the dog to a fellow member as we saw fit every year or so and everyone who received the dog looked after it until it was time for it to be awarded to another chap in the club, although this never became an official Bentley Driver Club award.

Last Sunday at our Christmas lunch the black dog was awarded to another fellow and at no time was the name of the dog mentioned, in fact it was referred to as the Guy Gibson award but I was later led to believe there was some uneasiness from a couple of the children and one of the adults attending as to the implication of the dog’s name.

Personally, I’m very much against this modern trend to change and remove things from history as proved by the situation here where people were concerned about the dog’s name and yet at no time was there mention of his name, they have already removed the dog’s name from his grave but everybody still remembers his name.

Those of you who read my blog on a regular basis will know that some time ago I had to say goodbye to my beloved dog Theo, I was heartbroken when he went and think of him still on a regular basis for he holds a very special place in my heart and I imagine that would be how Squadron Leader Guy Gibson must have felt about his dog.

What seems even sadder is that the dog was run over and killed on the very night when Guy Gibson and fellow members of 617 Squadron were risking their lives on the famous Dambusters raid.

Guy Gibson did not survive the war and as someone who has also lost a very cherished dog I can’t help imagining how he would feel if he could look down now and see how people are treating the dog’s memory just because he was innocently named Nigger.

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THE BENTLEY DRIVERS CHRISTMAS LUNCHEON.

This weekend myself, Angella and Members of the Eastern Region Bentley Drivers Club gathered on a decidedly chilly 28th November at the rather splendid 16th Century listed Tudor house, Seckford Hall in Woodbridge, Suffolk for our Christmas luncheon with a goodly number of members braving the elements in their older Bentleys.

Some of the early arrivals took the time to enjoy the lounge with its welcoming and warming wood burning stove before proceeding to the bar for drinks before luncheon with the usual toasts to Her Majesty the Queen and W O Bentley.

When luncheon was over Eastern Region Chairman, John Godwin addressed the room and proceeded to present the Guy Gibson Award to David Ward, the award itself is a large black toy dog which was first presented on an earlier Dam Busters Tour of 2017 and is given on the spur of the moment for “no particular reason at all,” but well deserved none the less.

A group photograph was taken in front of the Christmas tree with the Guy Gibson Award taking pride of place at the front before returning to the bar again.

On the basis that you can’t have too much of a good thing seven couples had elected to stay the night when the others had departed so continued the festivities until sometime later, including an impromptu quiz on World War Two and I think it fair to say, a good time was had by all.

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RIVIERA SWING.

Angella and I had the most fabulous time at Riviera Swing over the weekend, I must say thank you to all those who organised such a splendid event, especially Mark and Hoc for the three hours of dance classes on Saturday and Sunday.

It was brilliant to meet friends both old and new and are really looking forward to more of the same next year, we should have taken more photos but we were too busy enjoying ourselves so we just have the one to post.

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THE BATTLE OF BARKING CREEK.

I have just found a link which also tells the fascinating story of The Battle of Barking Creek, the first casualty of World War Two in a friendly fire incident.

My play is based on the facts of the Courts Martial which took place at Bentley Priory .

The following is a short film showing the story of the incident.

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TENS OF THOUSANDS PROTEST AT COP26.

Tens of thousands of people from all over the world have made their way to Glasgow to demand more action on climate change.

Leading activists such as Vanessa Nakate and Greta Thunberg will address the crowds in Glasgow, while elsewhere in the city, protesters from Scientist Rebellion blocked a road bridge over the River Clyde and have been arrested.

It is estimated there are 60.000 protesters taking part in the protest march, with another 100 climate change demonstrations planned for other parts of the UK while events are expected to take place in a further 100 countries including Kenya, Turkey, France, Brazil, Australia and Canada.

OBVIOUSLY ALL THE PEOPLE FROM THE UK AND ALL OVER THE WORLD WHO HAVE MADE THEIR WAY TO GLASGOW TO TAKE PART IN THESE PROTESTS HAVE ALL WALKED THERE OR COME ON THEIR BICYCLES, AFTER ALL YOU WOULDN’T WANT TO GET THERE BY OTHER MEANS AND ADD TO GLOBAL WARMING WOULD YOU?

Glasgow road closures today as 60,000 COP26 protesters to march through  city - Glasgow Live
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WORLD LEADERS MEET FOR COP26 SUMMIT.

Here are a couple of pieces which I have taken from the G20 and COP26 websites which make interesting reading.

Firstly from G20.

The G20 is the international forum that brings together the world’s major economies. Its members account for more than 80% of world GDP, 75% of global trade and 60% of the population of the planet.

The forum has met every year since 1999 and includes, since 2008, a yearly Summit, with the participation of the respective Heads of State and Government.

In addition to the Summit, ministerial meetings, Sherpa meetings (in charge of carrying out negotiations and building consensus among Leaders), working groups and special events are organized throughout the year.

Secondly from COP26.

In the run up to COP26 the UK is working with every nation to reach agreement on how to tackle climate change.

More than190 world leaders are expected to arrive in Scotland, together with tens of thousands
of negotiators, government representatives, businesses and citizens for twelve days of talks.

So to sum up, a few days ago in Italy 20 of the world’s leaders together with their government representatives have been having a jolly up in Italy, an event which takes place yearly and having just finished they have then flown to Glasgow to meet up with another 190 world leaders.

They are also bringing with them massive motorcades of ludicrous proportions and tens of thousands of negotiators, government representatives, businesses and citizens for another jolly up which will last for another twelve days.

The end result of this shindig of gargantuan proportions involving vast numbers of air flights, massive motorcades, especially of American tank like vehicles to transport the American President will be that those of us who have driven moderately and taken no flights at all will all be told that we have to stop this sort of behaviour as it is leading to global warming and the death of the planet and be forced to purchase vastly overpriced electric cars with no infrastructure to support them.

Perhaps to accuse all these well meaning world leaders of hypocrisy may be going a tad too far, I will leave you, dear reader to decide but I think the well know expression, if you live in a glass house, you shouldn’t throw stones seems to sum it up for me.

COP26: President Biden's 20-vehicle long motorcade arrives in Glasgow |  HeraldScotland

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INSULATE BRITAIN PROTESTERS OFFICIALLY BARMY.

Insulate Britain protesters have this morning proven themselves officially as mad as a box of frogs and personally I’m wondering if these people shouldn’t be locked up for their own protection.

Apparently they have decided that entering a live motorway and walking on the white lines towards the oncoming traffic is a sensible way to protest their cause, these people don’t seem to have the brains they were born with.

I have on numerous occasions pointed out that it is only a matter of time before one of them gets killed and at this rate it won’t be much longer before it happens, let’s hope they don’t cause a major accident and take some innocent motorists with them.

One assumes they are unable to see the potential danger of their actions rather like the Suffragette Emily Wilding Davison who in June 1913 at the Derby at Epsom walked in from of Anmer, the race horse owned by King George V, it is said she thought the horse would go round her and had not expected to die.

So here’s a piece of advice for the Insulate Britain protesters who whilst walking towards the oncoming traffic are not expecting to die, take it from me that rather like the kings horse who was unable to to avoid Emily Wilding Davison a 40 ton lorry is also unable to take avoiding action if you are barmy enough to walk in front of it.

BE WARNED!

Insulate Britain restarts M25 protest it delayed over safety fears of walking  into traffic in the rain

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FRANCE CAPTURES BRITISH FISHING BOAT.

Some time ago when we were in the EU the French fishermen were allowed to come into British waters and fish willy-nilly carting off vast amounts of fish, until we finally had enough of it.

We’ve always had trouble with the French, firstly they were always jealous that we had a bigger Empire, then the cheese eating surrender monkeys put up such a dismal fight against the Nazis that they were overrun in a matter of days and yes, I realise the German troops were drugged up to the nines on methamphetamine but you would have thought they could have put up a better fight than they did.

Of course then we, the plucky Brits had to go and rescue them, saving as we did the entire world and what thanks did we get from the French after the war, nothing that’s what, at least the Norwegians gave us a Christmas tree every year.

Then to make matters worse General Charles De Gaulle the leader of the free French who we sheltered after he fled to Britain during the war had the audacity to refuse us entry into the Common Market.

Unfortunately this sort of behaviour is like a red rag to a bull to us British so we fought for years until they finally capitulated and let us join and what a mistake that was and after years of subsidising virtually all of Europe we had finally had enough and we Brexited, taking our fishing rights with us.

Now le botte was dans l’autre foot, non, non Monsieur Frenchie vous n’avez pas le right to steal our poisson from Le Pas-De-Calais or as it is correctly known the Strait of Dover and yet an act of piracy has taken place, they’ve only gone and impounded one of our fishing fleet.

Some years ago this sort of action would have called for the immediate muster of a couple of gun boats to blockade the French ports, an action that could have led to war but nowadays we prefer the diplomatic approach, however if this should fail we may forced into some sort of cod war.

This being the case, I have this to say to the French, we have had many sea battles with you, the majority of which we have won an example of which is of course The Battle of Trafalgar with our cannon balls bouncing across the surface of the sea, long before Barnes Wallis used the idea, leading to the decimation of the French and Spanish fleet.

We are a proud seafaring nation and are up for a fight, are you?

Come on, if you think you’re hard enough!

Why Nelson's Triumph At Trafalgar Didn't Turn the Tide On Napoleon -  HistoryExtra

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INSULATE BRITAIN PROTESTER INKED.

I believe it was yesterday that a group of Insulate Britain protesters who had blocked the road yet again were squirted with ink by a member of the public, who presumably is sick to death of their actions.

There is little I can add that hasn’t been said already about these people who are gaining enemies daily and losing any support they might have had from the general public, I am still confused as to how stopping traffic and causing pollution can help their argument that the Government should insulate everyone’s house to stop global warming.

As most of these people appear to be of retirement age and certainly seem to have excessive amounts of time on their hands why don’t they do something constructive towards global warming, I suggest they all go home, purchase some insulation and go up into their loft and spend their free time constructively by laying the bloody stuff!

Insulate Britain protesters have ink thrown on them as they block roads in  Dartford and west London : r/unitedkingdom
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EMERGENCY AVOCADOS.

You may be surprised, as I was to discover there is such a thing as an emergency avocado but apparently this tropical fruit is one of the top most ordered items from Waitrose to be delivered by Deliveroo to people desperate for an avocado.

An unlikely item to be ordered by so many I would have thought but no, avocados were among Waitrose’s top five most requested items through the delivery app in every city in the UK and were the most in-demand in Oxford, Cambridge and Brighton.

Strangely the fruit was also popular in the north, with avocados in fourth place in Newcastle and second in Glasgow and Birmingham which one might not have expected although Waitrose suggested the emergency avocado trend was driven by people wanting to enjoy brunch on Saturday or Sunday.

So what conclusions can be drawn from this sudden upsurge in the desperate desire for an avocado and the demographic of the towns who favour this tropical fruit most highly.

All the towns mentioned have top Universities which are all part of the Russell Group except Brighton University which was formed as Brighton School of Art in 1858 and is now a public University based on four campuses in Brighton and Eastbourne, only achieving University status in 1992, however with the town’s high proportion of gay people it is also well known as the gay capital of Great Britain.

So it seems that students from a number of Russell Group Universities and gay people are all partial to an avocado for brunch on Saturday or Sunday, which rather surprises me as the report also found that nearly 70 per cent of Waitrose customers said reducing their climate footprint was very important and are concerned about the environmental damage caused by intensive farming of avocados. 

As the old saying goes, there are lies, damned lies, and statistics and who knows what to believe, it could just be that Russell Group University students and gay people don’t give a damn about the environment as long as they can get their emergency avocados and lie when asked to fill in a questionnaire about the environment, I will leave it to you to decide!

ARCHAEOLOGY OF FRUITS & VEGETABLES - Avocado - Chef's Mandala

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