The Anonymous Widower

Violence Against Women

The BBC is rightly having a campaign against domestic violence and violence against women in general.

It also appears to me, that women seem to get killed and attacked, a lot more than they did a couple of decades ago.

Is there too much violence against women in TV dramas, so men with small brains think it is acceptable? Surely, it is also wrong to have a TV drama called Killing Eve?

I have only watched a couple of TV dramas or films, in the last couple of years; Some Like It Hot and SAS Rogue Heroes.

December 1, 2022 Posted by | World | , , , , , | 2 Comments

Crossrail’s Fans At Canary Wharf Station

I have just watched today’s episode of The Fifteen Billion Pound Railway on the BBC.

In one storyline, they negotiate a giant ventilation fan into Canary Wharf station.

Installing the fans is a fascinating tale, where in the end the last movements are performed using hover-pads and several strong men.

I am reminded of a tale I heard in my youth.

  • At the age of 15 and 16, I spent two summers working at a company in North London called Enfield Rolling Mills.
  • The boss of the company was John Grimston, who was a friend of my father and ERM were the largest customer of his printing business.
  • I got a superb introduction to working in a large factory, where I installed simple valve-based electronic control systems on heavy machinery.

The most important rolling mill in the company, was a mill, that reduced copper wirebars to wire about half a centimetre in diameter.

  • The machine had been acquired from Krupp, as war-reparations after the First World War and was still marked with Krupp’s trademark of three interlocked railway tyres.
  • Enfield Rolling Mills had a trademark of four rings.
  • The hot wire zig-zagged from one side to the other and it was turned by men using tongs.
  • The machine was powered by a massive flywheel driven by an electric motor.

At some time in the 1950s, the flywheel needed to be replaced, by a new 96-ton wheel.

The Chief Engineer of the company was an Austrian Jew, known to all as Shimmy, which was a contraction of his surname Shimatovich.

  • He had spent some time in a Nazi concentration camp and walked with a distinct stoop.
  • He was widely recognised as one of the experts on roll grinding and very much respected by management, staff and workers alike.
  • He had supposedly calculated, that if the new flywheel had come off its bearings at full speed, it would have gone a couple of miles through all the housing surrounding the factory.

There was very much a problem of how the new flywheel would be installed until Shimmy announced at a Board Meeting. “We will do it the way, we’d have done it in the concentration camp. We will use men! But our men are fit, well-fed and strong.”

So one Sunday morning, a large force turned up and rolled the flywheel off the low loader and into position using ropes, blocks and tackle and other equipment, that would have been familiar to ancient builders, after which it was duly fixed in place.

The job was completed just before one and the Managing Director of the company then asked if anybody would like a drink and indicated that everybody follow him to the company’s social club.

They arrived just as the steward was cleaning the last of the glasses and getting ready to lock up. On being asked to provide a large number of pints of bitter, he announced he was closed.

On this the Managing Director, by the name of Freddie Pluty, who was a strong man picked up the steward and sat him on the bar.

He then asked the two large workers at the front of the queue. “Are you going to hit him or shall I?”

They got their drinks.

 

June 12, 2022 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Worried For Clive

On a bus on Saturday, I sat next to a lady of about my age and we got talking about Russia’s illegal attack on Ukraine.

We then started talking about BBC’s news correspondent in Ukraine; Clive Myrie.

We were both worried about Clive.

This article on the BBC is entitled Racism In Russia: Stories Of Prejudice and it details a stories of a black student and others in the country. I also remember, when I went to see Ipswich play in Moscow, that a black fan told me he had been abused on the Moscow Metro.

I do wonder that if Kyiv falls, that Clive will not have an easy time.

Let’s hope Clive was born lucky!

March 1, 2022 Posted by | World | , , , , , , | 4 Comments

How Defunct Coal Mines Could Heat UK Homes

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on Mining Technology.

This is the introductory paragraph.

In a country with no operational coal mines, the UK Coal Authority has proposed to once again turn these operations to heating homes and businesses. But this time, they will not provide coal for burning. The plan, to take warm water from flooded mines, would turn an environmental problem into a community solution, and the idea is spreading.

The reason, I’m posting this is two-fold.

There was a report on this edition of Countryfile, which should be available until the end of 2022. The relevant section starts at 38.5 minutes into the program.

Charlotte Adams is featured in this report and the Countryfile program. I first came across Charlotte and her fascinating work at a lecture in 2018, which I wrote about in Can Abandoned Mines Heat Our Future?

 

January 23, 2022 Posted by | Energy | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Alison’s Last Mountain

I’m putting this BBC video up on the blog, for various reasons.

One of which is that it going to be deleted soon.

It is the story of the death of Alison Hargreaves on K2 and the trip by her family back to the mountain.

 

October 29, 2021 Posted by | World | , , , | Leave a comment

A Basset Hound On Pointless

This basset hound appeared on Pointless.

How did Alison hold it thee for the whole game?

The basset hound got eliminated in the head-to-head.

September 30, 2021 Posted by | World | , , , | Leave a comment

My First Request For Music On The Radio Was Successful

At seventy-three, I’d never askd for a tune to be played on the radio.

The presenter on Radio 5 Live, asked listeners to suggest a track, that would be suitable for the times.

So, I texted in.

Surely, the best track for these times is We’ve gotta get out of this place, by the Animals!

I was very surprised, when they played it!

As many do, I’ve got the name of the song wrong, as it’s actually We Gotta Get Out of This Place.

I certainly saw The Animals, at least twice.

The first time was when I was about sixteen, at the Regal Edmonton, where they topped the bill, with the Nashville Teens being the second group. I can remember Eric Burdon singing House Of The Rising Sun, highlighted by a red spotlight.

I also saw them at Cook’s Ferry Inn, when they chose a replacement for Alan Price and I may have seen them whilst at Liverpool University.

Those were the days!

December 29, 2020 Posted by | World | , , , | Leave a comment

Will The Return Of Strictly Cause The Number Of Cases Of The Covids To Drop?

The phrase Bread and Circuses, was apparently first used by Juvenal, who was a Roman poet

During the covids, Asda, Morrisons, Sainsburys, Tesco, Waitrose and others have delivered the bread.

And now the BBC is bringing on the circuses with the start of the new series of Strictly from tomorrow.

If the rate does drop, the Government should buy up the latest James Bond film and show it on a Friday night.

 

 

October 16, 2020 Posted by | Health | , , , | Leave a comment

Why The Covids Are Worse In The North

Dr. Chris Smith is BBC Radio 5’s tame virologist and he talks more sense than most on the Covids.

Asked by Adrian Chiles, why the Covids are worse in the North, he made following points.

  • The Covids are following a similar pattern to flu.
  • Flu tends to like colder climate, so is more prevalent in the North.
  • He also indicated, that because London had a bad dose of the Covids earlier in the year, London may be closer to some form of herd immunity.

If you can catch-up with what he said, it’s probably worth a listen.

October 9, 2020 Posted by | Health | , , | 5 Comments

The Schoolgirl Who Helped To Win A War

The title of this post, is the same as a programme to be shown on the BBC News Channel, this weekend.

Seeing the trailers on the BBC this morning, I am reminded of my mother, who was my mathematical parent. The girl in the story is Hazel Hill, who was the daughter of Captain Frederick William Hill, who worked on armaments research.

My mother would be a few years older than Hazel and won a scholarship to one of the best girls schools in London at the time; Dame Alice Owen’s, which  was then in Islington.

I get the impression, that contrary to perceived opinion, that in the 1920s and 1930s, girls with aptitude were well-schooled in practical mathematics.

I’d be very interested to know, where Hazel Hill went to school.

I shall watch the programme.

July 10, 2020 Posted by | World | , , , , , | 1 Comment