Like most from Britain, my knowledge of the incidents at the start of the Second World War is limited.
I’d never heard the story of the Defence of the Polish Post Office in Gdansk.
The story and the defenders are commemorated with this monument. It reportedly shows the last defender handing his rifle to Nike; the goddess of victory.
I spotted this as I walked into Spitalfields Market today.
The Internet provides the answer as to why a gate is named after Spitfire W3311. This article contains this extract.
The gate is called Spitfire Mk.Vb W3311 Gate because the Spitalfields fruit and veg traders clubbed together to buy a Spitfire fighter plane in World War II. They named it ‘Fruitation’.
London is full of little stories like this! But I suspect others are too, although London seems to mark them more!
The title of this post comes from the documentary about the story, made by Pierre Sauvage, who was born and sheltered in Le Chambon.
This story about a woman, who wants to be a mechanic, shows that sexism is alive and well in some parts of the motor trade.
I always remember a story from myt father, who did some sort of job, that meant he drove all round East Anglia during the Second World War. He was having problems with the old Ford he was driving and pulled into a garage in a small village near Sudbury in Suffolk. Nobody was about, but he did see a pair of legs sticking out from under a car. So he called out and in a few moments, as he would say, a gorgeous tall blonde extracted herself from under the car and stood over him. She asked what the problem was and he told her. She said he’d better sort it out with the boss in the office. He found the boss and the problem was sorted, whilst he had lunch in the cafe next door. On returning he asked the owner, who was the mechanic, as even in wartime, you didn’t come across female ones very often. He was told she was Lady something and she was the best mechanic he’d ever had.
The idea is basically very simple. a fake house front has been created on the ground and a large mirror at 45° has been placed so that if you say sit in the windows of the house, you can see yourself sitting in the reflection.
It was fascinating and many of those exploring it, seemed to feel they were children again.
One of the best things, was seeing the expression on a three-year-old’s face as he walked towards the mirror, seeing himself sticking out of the wall.
I can see that this simple idea being replicated all over the world.
My mother used to work at Reeves just round the corner and she used to tell a tale about how an enormous German bomb in the Second World War, destoryed a lot of the area. I checked at the library and the whole site, where the Dalston House has been built was a bomb site. They have a copy of the LCC Bomb Damage Book, which is a must-read book, for anybody, who lives or is thinking of living in an area of London that suffered bombing.
And to make everything even better, there is no entry charge to see this unusual work of art.
You just turn up and play! But they do limit the time you spend walking up and down the house to five or six minutes!
The memorial to those killed in the Bethnal Green Underground Disaster is now almost complete.
According to the Stairway To Heaven Memorial Trust website, only the staircase needs completing.
This report from the BBC shows that the Japanese do things differently.
A prominent Japanese politician has described as “necessary” the system by which women were forced to become prostitutes for World War II troops.
Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto said the “comfort women” gave soldiers putting their lives at risk a chance “to rest”.
He also said last year, that Japan needed a dictatorship.
I would hope that any British, American or European politician, who made statements like this, would be promptly booted out of office.
When I got to Nuremberg, it started to rain and I quickly found that the city was booked solid because of a massive exhibition.
I had particularly wanted to go to Nuremberg, as one of my customers years ago, had been an observer at the War Crimes Trials in the city. He was an Austrian Jew, who escaped before the war and had then spent the war years in the Royal Engineers. He had some amazing tales.
But because of the lack of a decent hotel, I decided to move on to Munich. Next time, I’ll book the Victoria Hotel, which is right by the station.
As I fly into a snow-bound Britain, I realise that you might be asking where global warming has gone as you shiver in the coldest March for 50 years and wonder what you will do if gas has to be rationed. I have been involved in the climate debate for more than a decade, but I am still amazed at how wrong we get it. Let us try to restart our thinking on global warming.
Yes, global warming is real and mostly man-made, but our policies have failed predictably and spectacularly.
He then goes on to say that Kyoto has failed.
But he does produce a solution that could be a win-win situation for everyone.
He says that we should spend money on research!
He is right!
Just look what has happened to products like computers because money has been spent on research!
I have heard some wacky ideas to generate energy and cut carbon dioxide emissions over the last few years. Some of them might just be the things we do to save the planet.
But then engineers and scientists have a track record in digging us out of the holes that politicians and others have got us into.
Where for instance would Britain be today without the genius of Henry Royce, Lord Hives, RJ Mitchell, Alan Blumlein, Alan Turing and Sydney Camm. Under a Nazi jackboot perhaps?
But they and others answered Churchill’s plea and gave the country the tools to finish the job.
A similar massive effort today on a world-wide basis would I believe solve the problems of global warming and create a world fit for our descendents.
The same approach could be used on all of the major problems of the world like cancer, providing clean water, housing and food production.
I knew little of the history of Gibraltar in the Sec0nd World War, although I did know little bits about its role in naval activities and as a place, where evading servicemen aimed for, to get back home.
But I knew nothing about, what happened to the people of the colony during the war.
As I walked towards the centre of town after landing, I noticed this statue on a roundabout.
It is called the Evacuation Of The Gibraltarians and there is more about the true story here in Wikipedia.
I feel, the story goes a long way to explain, why Gibraltarians want to determine their own future.