My how time flies, in 2001 I was cast as Doctor Paul Knapman who was the Coroner for the original inquiry into the Marchioness river boat disaster, a character who seemed particularly dislikeable and was responsible for the removal of the hands of victims for fingerprinting in an attempt to identify the bodies which later proved to be unnecessary.

Some 20 years later the Director, Lance Steen Anthony Nielsen has produced a book which contains the cast details and a copy of the full play which tells the story of The Marchioness Inquiry, 11 Years Down the River.

On August 20th 1989, a collision on London’s River Thames between the dredging vessel Bowbelle and the pleasure boat, Marchioness, resulted in the loss of 51 lives. It would take eleven years of tireless campaigning before the families were finally given a public inquiry into the disaster. The hearings revealed a culture of individual, corporate and institutional failures to address ongoing safety issues, which could have prevented the disaster.

Based on the revelatory transcripts of the formal investigation into the disaster, this is the text of the dramatic reconstruction of that public inquiry and is available now.

May be an image of text that says "11 YEARS DOWN THE RIVER THE MARCHIONESS INQUIRY A dramatised account of the formal investigation Devised and Edited by Lance Steen Anthony Nielsen ന ነርርርን play is dedicat ed o 20th August Also to W andinspiration"

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Extinction Rebellion are at it again, how very tedious these irritating people are, but then I suppose that’s what they want.

The group says thousands of people are expected to take part in their “Impossible Rebellion”, which plans to “target the root cause of the climate and ecological crisis” which makes me wonder why they are protesting in London and not in the countries that produce the most pollution.

Should they need some assistance locating the most polluting countries I have managed with a quick search on the interweb found them and they are;

China 30%

USA 15%


Russia 5%

Japan 4%

Quite how they would get to any of them to protest whilst not using a car or plane or any form of petrol or diesel driven vehicle I have no idea and it’s a hell of a long way to China on a bicycle.

One has to assume that these people have such high principals that they all live in freezing cold garrets as they would not allow themselves to use a gas fired boiler to heat their dwelling, nor to use said boiler to heat water for a quick shower, no wonder they are so miserable and angry.

I must say I get quite angry every time they have one of these protests and the amount of pollution they cause by stopping the traffic for surely this is the way to cause global warming.

Extinction Rebellion targets City of London over climate role | Extinction  Rebellion | The Guardian

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There has been a suggestion that schools should scrap the title of Head boy and Head girl, I imagine this is yet more from the woke members of society in an attempt to make everyone equal, although Lord alone knows why you would want to do that.

Personally when I was at school I never aspired to be Head boy nor even a Prefect as I felt more at home with the naughty boys at the back of the bus, although in my school days being naughty never went much further than a crafty fag round the back of the cricket pavilion.

I was quite happy for those at school who desired to be a Prefect and have the privilege of being in the Prefect’s Common room during break time with the added bonus of being allowed to smoke whilst there but as friends of mine were in there I just joined them anyway which gave me all the perks but none of the responsibility.

During my time at school the Prefects were allowed to cane other boys although I have little recollection of the punishment being administered, this of course may have been because of my exemplary good behaviour.

Should they abolish the titles of Head boy and Head Girl with what are they going to replace them with an everybody is equal badge, I certainly hope not for how else will we prepare pupils for the big wide world and the reality that everyone is most definitely not equal.

Castlecombe Primary School - Head Girl and Head Boy

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Harry and Meghan have released a statement which starts

“The world is exceptionally fragile right now.

As we all feel the many layers of pain due to the situation in Afghanistan, we are left speechless.

and continues by stating the bleeding obvious about the current world situation, although what use a statement from Harry and Meghan is with regard to putting things right, I have no idea.

Apparently these two are considered Royalty in America even though they have left the Royal Family and are not thought so in the United Kingdom, perhaps this should be pointed out to those who reside over the pond.

The most amusing thing I heard about their statement was from British news host Simon McCoy who laughed out loud at their statement on air.

The presenter sniggered when his co-presenter Kirsty Gallacher detailed that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex had been left speechless by the Taliban takeover.

Kirsty explained that Harry and Meghan have broken their silence to say they are speechless about the situation in Afghanistan, to which, Mr McCoy failed to cover his amusement and giggled on air before apologising.

Quite amusing that two people who in their own words are speechless and seemingly lost for words have managed to produce quite a few, should you have nothing better to do, I have included the full statement for your edification and delight.

“The world is exceptionally fragile right now.

As we all feel the many layers of pain due to the situation in Afghanistan, we are left speechless.

As we all watch the growing humanitarian disaster in Haiti, and the threat of it worsening after last weekend’s earthquake, we are left heartbroken.

And as we all witness the continuing global health crisis, exacerbated by new variants and constant misinformation, we are left scared.

When any person or community suffers, a piece of each of us does so with them, whether we realize it or not. And though we are not meant to live in a state of suffering, we, as a people, are being conditioned to accept it. It’s easy to find ourselves feeling powerless, but we can put our values into action — together.

To start, we encourage you to join us in supporting a number of organizations doing critical work. We also urge those in positions of global influence to rapidly advance the humanitarian dialogues that are expected to take place this fall at multilateral gatherings such as the U.N. General Assembly and the G20 Leaders’ Summit.

As an international community, it is the decisions we make now — to alleviate suffering among those we know and those we may never meet — that will prove our humanity.”– THE DUKE & DUCHESS OF SUSSEX

meghan harry
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Posted on 16/08/2020 by The Diary of a Country Bumpkin

It seems like only yesterday but how quickly a year has gone by since we had to say goodbye to our dog Theo who was the most wonderful dog in the world and I loved him to death.

He was the daftest dog sometimes and yet the cleverest, he could tell you he wanted a biscuit or he wanted to go and do a tiddle, or it was time for dinner.

We took him to have his hair cut the day before and he seemed a bit reluctant to go but he usually comes back full of the joys of spring and walks about with his majestic walk as if to say, “look at me, how smart am I?”

This time however he didn’t have his usual spark and was having more trouble than usual walking, his arthritic back leg seemed a little worse and he was having trouble with his front leg.

We knew this time was coming but you hate to have to admit it, he lay on his chair and was very subdued and during the next day he became quieter and started showing signs that he was in pain.

Having phoned the vet and made the appointment we stayed with him talking to him and stroking him until it was time to go.

I thought he would be unable to walk into the vets but when we got there he did his best and walked in with dignity and piddled on the floor by the reception desk, well if you have style it’s always good to announce your arrival with flair.

We were with him all the time and he went very quickly and quietly and I burst into tears, I’m not very good at the stiff upper lip thing.

What a majestic dog he was, he had a good life and a long life amongst people who loved him and you can’t ask for much more than that.

Goodbye Theo, we love you. xx


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The Afghanistan has now taken the dubious honour of having the worst army of all time, much to the relief of the Italian army of World War Two.

No longer will there be jokes about the Italian army having tanks with one forward gear and five reverse, for the Afghanistan army having been trained and equipped by the British and Americans, with considerably more men and much better equipment didn’t even need a vehicle with one forward gear as they ran away the minute they saw the Taliban coming.

They say they were demoralised as they hadn’t been paid and I suspect this may well have been the case however I feel if this were the British army the Sergeant Major would have made damn sure the men fought and fought well and argued about their pay after they had won the battle.

How on earth could the well equipped Afghanistan army with considerably more men and better equipment not beat a ramshackle Taliban whose main weapon is an anti aircraft gun mounted on the back of a pick up truck with the vast majority of them travelling on motorcycles carrying AK47 machine guns?

It seems that the Afghan President Ashraf Ghani had fled the country with four cars and a helicopter full of cash, the four cars were full of money and they tried to stuff another part of the money into a helicopter, but not all of it fit so some of the money was left lying on the tarmac, which may go some way to explain why the army weren’t paid.

How very sad that the population of Afghanistan should just let the Taliban walk in and take over their country, one feels that if a similar thing had happened in Great Britain our army would have gone down fighting and should they have lost us older folk would have been taping a carving knife to a broomstick ready to join dads army ready to lay down our lives to save our country.

Sadly, it seems that if the people of Afghanistan are not willing to fight to defend their country and its current way of life, unfortunately they deserve everything they get.

Taliban ‘wants to develop good ties with Turkey’

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Went to Hyde Hall with the Bentley Drivers club for a picnic, very nice to meet all the old and some new members, luckily I took my wind up gramophone and some dance and swing 78’s which were well received.

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The founder, motor enthusiast and creator of one of the world’s most desirable high performance grand tourers, W.O. Bentley, died aged 82 on this day 13th August 1971.

W. O. Bentley - Wikipedia
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I recently came across the following which was an article in a bastion of the British upper classes since 1901, the Tatler magazine.

Huzzah! The trailer has dropped for the 2nd season of ‘The Great’

Back in February of this year, we were riding a joyful wave of top-notch period dramas. Admittedly, Bridgerton and The Great – one fictional the other a revisionist history – were only comparable through genre, but what they also had in common is that they were both confirmed for a second season. Now, quite incredibly, they’ve wrapped on filming the second season of The Great – and a trailer has dropped evidencing all the hilarity, irreverence and haughtiness we’ve come to expect after watching the first (plus a highly pregnant Catherine).

Upon checking with wikidodah my thoughts were confirmed that Tatler is a British magazine published by Conde Nast Publications focusing on fashion and lifestyle, as well as coverage of high society and politics. It is targeted towards the British upper-middle class and upper class and those interested in society events. Its readership is the wealthiest of all Conde Nast’s publications and was founded in 1901 by Clement Shorter.

I am slightly disappointed that a British magazine so well established as Tatler and seemingly aimed at the highest standards should use the expression; a trailer has dropped as this seems to be more of the sort of thing we might find in a magazine published in the Americas, perhaps the modern Tatler reader is more au fait with the multicultural London accent than one might have imagined.

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I am going to the Thames Traditional Boat Festival at Henley-on Thames in a couple of weeks time where two of my favourite things are featured, the Dunkirk Little Ships and the Battle of Britain Memorial flight, I can’t wait!!

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