Thursday, 29 August 2013

Cyril Coltart RN

My Uncle Cyril was a very respected naval commander with years in the submarine service in both World Wars. Because I now find that the National Maritime Museum Greenwich has an album from him I have used Facebook to pull together many of the leads and I clip in this post below. Hopefully it will work for you. Buried in it is a photo of Uncle Cyril wildfowling in Iceland in 1941 from HMS Hecla!

Today is for Uncle Cyril: Cyril Coltart RN. Why? Because I wised up to
and then found many internet references including
(second Captain of HMS Glasgow in 1938. Dotted around our Military Matters album here and also the Railway Philately page are other links to him.

Sunday, 25 August 2013

Trust, Society and Religion

As I woke up. I was listening to . This soon activated my brain as I completely disagree with his thesis. Sacks appears to say because we abandoned "religion" and thereby trust, societal collapse is all our fault. Effectively the original Genesis fall story. By contrast I largely blame the present situation on those very religious institutions. Examples from the personal and general. The biggest general failure has been religion's inability to deal with Science with many elements still wanting to believe in a crude creationism. A very specific failure throughout my life which continually impedes on us all is the "chosen race's" treatment of its neighbours and subjects in the "Holy Land". This does nothing to recommend religion to people of a sensitive disposition.

At a personal level ( I will spare you specifics but shout loud this is not a matter of "abuse"), more than once over  a forty year period I have felt specifically betrayed by Church of England power brokers. Matters of betrayals of confidence and bad process. However my personal gripes are as nothing compared with the very well publicised instances of sexual abuse. Sacks worries about lack of trust: clerical sexual abuse and then cover ups are the acid of that.  And to end: nothing new under the sun.

William Blake (1757–1827).  The Poetical Works.  1908.
Poetical Sketches
Prologue, intended for a Dramatic Piece of King Edward 
the Fourth
O FOR a voice like thunder, and a tongue
To drown the throat of war! When the senses
Are shaken, and the soul is driven to madness,
Who can stand? When the souls of the oppressèd
Fight in the troubled air that rages, who can stand?        5
When the whirlwind of fury comes from the
Throne of God, when the frowns of his countenance
Drive the nations together, who can stand?
When Sin claps his broad wings over the battle,
And sails rejoicing in the flood of Death;        10
When souls are torn to everlasting fire,
And fiends of Hell rejoice upon the slain,
O who can stand? O who hath causèd this?
O who can answer at the throne of God?
The Kings and Nobles of the Land have done it!        15
Hear it not, Heaven, thy Ministers have done it!

And sung by Loreena McKennitt / Douglas Campbell

Friday, 9 August 2013

Niall Cowley, bullying and Traditional Britain

There is a side of me (maybe the image which is inherently a right wing old fashioned conservative man which means I should (and indeed sneakily have) liked
(It also has a Facebook page). However there is that phrase "still waters run deep". One simple thing puts me off Traditional Britain altogether (notwithstanding all my Unionist tendencies), the first image on their site says so much. All MEN looking gloomy and serious. Now if you check out and remember him recently on BBC breakfast, he was pure 1916 Dublin intellectual but his cause anti cyber bullying has my vote 100%.

Is this hubris?

and from the COHERENCE section:
"A more coherent and user-friendly network: a network with the visible coherence of the London Underground delivered over the North’s wide geography".

Surely we have been here before? What was Network North West? Who remembers that? Why was it binned? Why do I feel these reports repeat the same platitudes over and over again and the change achieved is not a function of their verbosity? Can you pull out the industry produced Future Rail North East which called for Leamside and Stillington re-openings twenty years ago? As for the opening sentence how realistic is it at all? What is the point of local rail in Chester having the same marketing makeover as in Berwick? Berwick shows in the summary's map when no local trains by Northern operators even serve the place. That is the extent of the knowledge of those who write these things.

And I lift from the Northumbria Rail Franchise lobby discussion on Facebook:

Rail North strategy out for consultation - a visionary approach for the future or a recreation of the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway? It's a bit sniffy about reopenings like AB&T or Leamside!!!!!
A long-term rail strategy for the north of EnglandWe want rail in the North to grow. The reason for this is simple: growing rail will support a growing economy. More than this, a growing rail network will help the North’s economy meet its full potential.Download the complete Long-Term Rail Strategy ...

  • Robert Forsythe Exactly as you say. I keyed Blyth into the text as a search and got one return mentioning the port!!!!. The North East is just not connected to this process and despite trying to hold a debate, I think this document shows how in the last three years the North East has failed to promote itself and will reap the result come the next franchise.
  • Robert Forsythe page 72 I thought Middlesbrough going electric WAS part of the Northern hub plan, it does not look as if it has any schedule at all. I thought Northallerton Middlesbrough electric was the one concrete infrastructure gain that Northern Hub would deliver us.

Thursday, 8 August 2013

Sublime in its awefulness

If you open  (successfully) you will find an analysis of the 12 Transport Ticket Society books that I have. This might seem unaccountably boring but it is anything but. This morning a large white envelope came through the door. I have been a member of the TTS for years but this does not mean my finger is on the pulse of everything and in publishing their occasional books the TTS timeline can be fluid. What has just been achieved is the publication of the 2008 and 2010 presidential addresses. The latter by Matthew Davis is a very useful guide to contemporary credit card sized tickets used on the national British network.

The other that fell out of the envelope prompts my post title "Sublime in its awefulness". They say of war that it is an awful lot of frightened boredom and a few minutes or hours of active hell. In most wars, most of a population do their best to carry on. This naturally includes transport systems and Marco Moerland in his 2008 presidential address made it his task in 74 pages to look at the impact Hitlerism made on transport tickets. Wow. What a poignant and staggering result as step by step these little pieces of paper chart civilisation's disintegration and recovery. There is a definite political edge to the presentation with the author's view and therefore treatment that World War Two lasted from November 1918 to October 1989. I learnt that the Warsaw ghetto ran its own tramline, that Rotterdam had Nazi styled tram police and there are many examples showing the territorial aggrandisement of the Reich. A Stuttgart tramway map ticket is turned over to become a bullying piece of propaganda. Russian towns started having to issue German language tickets. Pen portraits of key personnel in the abuse and their transport impact are given.The impact of the chaos is shown even in Britain and in the immediate post war recovery and division of Europe. Many of the arrangements were quint-essentially ephemeral. The TTS is an organisation dedicated to ephemera and here in this volume is an apex of that dedication.

Guilty Tickets by Marco Moerland is published by The Transport Ticket Society. ISBN 978-0-903209-76-2. Priced £14.95 or 18 Euro.