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Bonkers Blog August 2015

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31 August - Ramblings

Regular site visitors will know better than to look at BiB on the last day of the month expecting to read something significant. With Month View being by far the most popular BiB viewing mode it’s not worth putting much of an effort into something that gets lost the very next day. However, here's a filler for those who think I must have snuffed it when nothing appears.

Copped off
TweetYesterday afternoon the air around Lesnes Abbey was filled with the sound of motorcycle engines. It quite often is.

For the past month I have kept a camera with a long lens on it ready for such eventualities but the sight lines from home are not good and yesterday the light was so poor I didn’t even try.

However Brian Barnett high up in his tower block sees everything.

Tower block
Brian sent his motorbike pictures to Thamesmead police via Twitter.

A waste of time as Brian soon discovered. On the August Bank Holiday weekend, Bexley is left very much under-policed while “most of the team” battle with the muggers and pickpockets attracted to Notting Hill.

One of the ladies manning the Peabody tent on Friday told me that her handbag was much lighter returning from her visit to Notting Hill than it was when she went.

Shoreham. We have become a load of wimps
B17To wander right off topic, what is all this nonsense about flying displays? Shoreham was a tragedy and I know that part of the A27 because my mother lived nearby.

I can understand Hunters being grounded until the cause of the crash is discovered, but no aerobatics over land and now no trailing smoke effects? What a bunch of ninnies we have become!

I lived in Farnborough (Hampshire) from 1949 until 1958 and only just beyond its borders from then until 1984.

Little boys in 1949 were either Spitfire or Hurricane supporters as they flew over schools and homes.

When the jets took over, the boy gangs split into Hawker Hunter fans or Supermarine Swift supporters. Anyone expressing a preference for the American Sabre was ostracised completely.

They were all supersonic in a dive and the double boom was a familiar sound as they zoomed out of the sky over housing estates, schools and the town in general. No one cared. I saw a Gloster Meteor come down once narrowly missing the railway line. It was just one of those things.

Every little boy knew the names of the test pilots, Neville Duke, John Derry, Bill Waterton, John Cunningham, Roland Beamont. There were no pop stars to worship so we made do with real men.

In the week leading up to the 1952 Farnborough Show there was a new plane on view. A black de Havilland 110; with its twin boom design it bore a resemblance to the older Vampire and it captured the imagination of many a little urchin as it flew over our homes at little more than tree top level.

On the Saturday my parents attended the show while I, a not quite nine year old, was left with dozens more freeloaders with our noses pressed into the wire fence. I suspect Dad took Mum in on one of his trade passes, it was an expensive day out even then.

When the DH110 came over, I and no doubt every little Farnborough schoolboy, noticed it was white and not the usual black one. (Google says it was silver but I remember it as white.) And as everyone has been reminded over the past week it broke up and one of the engines hurtled into the spectators.

The little gang of aircraft spotters went home and in my case thinking not a lot of it. Mum and Dad came home and spoke of it obviously but I do not recall any hysterics from anyone. If I am not muddling it up with another accident the local technical college was turned into a temporary mortuary.

Planes were always falling out of the sky. One of the Red Arrows forerunners ploughed into Blackbushe airport (the scene of the recent Bin Laden family crash) or somewhere nearby while the rest of the team carried on. A de Havilland Dove (which my father occasionally flew in) went into the hill at the western end of Farnborough’s runway.

The only crash that seemed real to me was when I exchanged a wave with a low flying helicopter pilot and three minutes later he and the rest of the crew were dead.

I’d better not tell you about the time me and the gang scaled Farnborough’s perimeter fence and had our hair singed by a Royal Navy Buccaneer which dropped some sort of napalm bomb as part of its display.

If little boys are not allowed to be thrilled by aeroplanes, what hope is there for engineering in this country?

Tower Hamlets etc.
If you have waded down this far you probably deserve to learn something possibly interesting about Will Tuckley.

As you know, the police have told both Mick Barnbrook and me that they have referred the allegation of Misconduct in Public Office to the Crown Prosecution Service and there is likely to be a long wait.

Nobody should be under any illusion that Will Tuckley is likely to be prosecuted. Something will inevitably be arranged to get him off the hook, just as it was when councillor Peter Craske was in the frame.

It’s just a matter of what excuse the authorities decide to come up with and all that the general public will get out of it is further proof that authority in Britain has become corrupt from top to bottom.

I may be paranoid but I think the police in Greenwich who have, as far as I can tell, been very thorough with their investigation, may now be covering their backsides against the inevitable.

Whilst they have willingly confirmed during telephone conversations that Will Tuckley’s name is with the CPS they are strangely reluctant to put that in writing. Mick Barnbrook managed to get a promise to do so which came to nothing, and I have asked by email three times and got no reply to them all.

Maybe they are just very busy.

By the way, there is nothing very significant for tomorrow either. Anyone got a scandal that needs to be aired?


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