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Kaga simpson
Peacehaven, East Sussex
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601 of 617  Sat 20th Jul 2019 2:52pm  
Member: Joined Sep 2014  Total posts:2960

The importance of oil during the war cannot be overstated. Between Sept 39 and Feb 41, 79 tankers were sunk, with the loss of 630,000 tons of oil. We had only two months supply, and military requirments were increasing. An emergency meeting was called. After much talk a guy named Southwell, Anglo-Iranian oil engineer, stood up, his words sensational. “Increase exploitation in Britain’s oil wells”. What oilfields? Even The Oil Control Board had no idea what was going on. There had been searches for oil in Britain. A new oil industry was built with Churchill’s consent, a great undertaking during a war. But skilled people were needed so they sent for the Yanks, 50 of them to work and teach the Brits. Soon they were producing between 700 and 1,000 barrels a day - this oil was astonishing high quality, ideal for Spitfire and Hurricane planes. There were problems with the roughneck Yanks, but quickly sorted out. Where? Just 50 odd miles from Coventry, in Sherwood Forest.
Our Kaga
Earlsdon Kid
Argyll & Bute, Scotland
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602 of 617  Sat 20th Jul 2019 3:47pm  
Member: Joined Apr 2017  Total posts:42

Oil storage was also a high priority and I recently watched a TV programme which visited the Invergordon Inchindown Tunnel complex. Link: “Inchindown Admiralty Underground Oil Storage Depot”
Our Kaga
Kaga simpson
Peacehaven, East Sussex
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603 of 617  Sun 21st Jul 2019 8:25am  
Member: Joined Sep 2014  Total posts:2960

Further to my post #600, the 'doodlebug' as we so named it, was a flying bomb - you could see it, you could hear it, but if you were in its flightpath you had about ten seconds to know your fate, not time enough to shelter or run from it. All depended on its fuel running out. But they came from the same drawing board and the same launch pad, they could have a different flightpath, but mainly the fuel was much the same, and much the same range, so most of them ran out of fuel around Croydon, South London. I was not aware of this at the time, but my cousin was, so for this one reaching Pimlico it could be more than expected to run out - so she froze for a second or two, when she realised it had passed the danger point she collapsed, with relief, but grabbed me spontaneously. It was intuitive companionship, known as 'Blitz Spirit'. As the Bishop of Coventry said in his address, this evil raid has brought us together in a great bond.
Our Kaga
Kaga simpson
Peacehaven, East Sussex
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604 of 617  Sun 21st Jul 2019 4:00pm  
Member: Joined Sep 2014  Total posts:2960

The Chinese district of London had Chinese Air Raid Wardens, so this woman had a chink in her curtains. So she had a chink at her door telling her to get rid of the chink inside. George Formby wrote a song, Mr Wu.
Our Kaga
Kaga simpson
Peacehaven, East Sussex
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605 of 617  Mon 22nd Jul 2019 9:47am  
Member: Joined Sep 2014  Total posts:2960

This small world of ours. If he hits that moke one more time I will take the whip off him and ram it up . . . - so said the lad next to me. The rumour ran round the camp like wildfire that we were to be moved, from this dismal rocky hard ground at the foot off the mountains out into the wilds - we were to be moved to about two miles outside the town of Tel Aviv and close to the beach. A week later and I was to be part of the advance party, about twenty of us in two lorries to clean up the site. About two weeks later we had cleaned up the site, all we needed was a little shale for some paths. We drove to a quarry with the right document - officer, sergeant, a dozen guys. The Arab in charge waved us to one side and made us wait - it was about 80 degrees in the shade. He rode away whipping his ill-fed scrawny donkey. A lorry turned up - he appeared still thrashing his moke, ignored us, but allowed the other to load. The officer asked him to sign the form and let us load up. He rode away. The sergeant strode away, up the rim of the quarry. The officer ordered the lorry to back up and us to fill it. We had got it loaded by the time the Arab rode back, still hitting the poor moke. He was fuming and refused to sign the document as the sergeant strode back. "Sir, may I?". He took the document. "You, you and you". The sergeant ordered half a dozen of us, "Bring your shovels, the rest your rifles". To say we were perplexed was an understatement. We walked to the lip of the quarry, the Arab followed on his donkey. The guy next to me said "If he hits that moke . . .". "Let him through, Emmerson", said the sergeant. The Arab came into the circle. "Take the whip off him", said the sergeant. We grinned - the officer looked worried. "Now sign this bl---y form", and he glanced over the rim of the quarry. He signed, the sergeant broke the whip into small pieces, handed it back to Emmerson who threw it over the rim of the quarry - we drove back to camp. During the time I was at that camp a baby girl was born in Tel Aviv. Around fifty years later I met this now woman who had married an Englishman and my son was courting their daughter, and his friend married and lived in Bethlehem.
Our Kaga
Kaga simpson
Peacehaven, East Sussex
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606 of 617  Thu 25th Jul 2019 7:05pm  
Member: Joined Sep 2014  Total posts:2960

I felt the breath leave me, a flood of anger wells up inside me. Two men were talking, one old, the other middle aged. I left the race stands and hurried down to where they were talking. Dodging through the crowd I circled behind the younger one, came from behind him just as the old guy was handing him money. I snatched the money with my left hand, stood hard on the young one’s foot, brought my right hand sharp and caught him with my elbow in the throat, then put my hand on the old man's shoulder and steered him away. "Look, Charlie he’s a con man. Handing him the money, you woudn't see your money again”. He began to protest, we were now lost in the crowd. "He tells you he had a certainty but he couldn't tell you its name, he would put the bet on for you." Charlie nodded. It was Easter Saturday. We had rain during the night, but now the sun was shining between the clouds, I was in the best of spirits, and so it seemed was the rest of Coventry. The town was packed, in Pool Meadow there were half a dozen coaches lined up to take people to Birmingham races. The coach was fairly full, but I found a seat next to an old guy. He told me he was treating himself to the races, he had never been before, but today was his 65 birthday. He had retired the day before after 40 years with a firm, tomorrow he was having a family party. I was not interested in the first two races so bought a large beef sandwich, freshly cooked, that you could dip in the pan that cooked it. I wandered down to as near the stables as possible - you could sometimes pick up information. It was between the second and third race when I spotted Charlie about to hand over his money. Charlie had lost his money all but £5 in the first two races. I told Charlie what I was backing in the third race and it won. I asked him what he had backed - he said he had a pound on it because it was a small price and £2 on a horse because it had a nice name. I said “Look, I'm backing the same jockey to win again, Scobie Breasley” - called the 'head waiter' because he waited till the last second before he drove it over the line. “Then I will back it too”, said Charlie. It won at very good odds. We boarded the coach - Charlie was over the moon. I really did like this old man, he insisted I came to his party next day.
Our Kaga
Kaga simpson
Peacehaven, East Sussex
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607 of 617  Fri 26th Jul 2019 5:52pm  
Member: Joined Sep 2014  Total posts:2960

Charlie lived near the Forum in Poets Corner, he was a real old Coventry kid. It was not all about racing - he told me when Poets Corner was built, what was there before it, when he was a boy, over the fields, the black and white building called Magpie Hall. So much that today I can't remember.
Our Kaga
Midland Red
Cherwell
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608 of 617  Fri 26th Jul 2019 6:12pm  
Moderator: Joined Jan 2010  Total posts:5340

There is mention of Magpie Hall here Thumbs up
Our Kaga
Kaga simpson
Peacehaven, East Sussex
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609 of 617  Sat 27th Jul 2019 11:08am  
Member: Joined Sep 2014  Total posts:2960

I watched Boris Johnson like some overgrown school kid bowing in front of the Queen, and thought I did that one time in front of the teacher as some sort of practice - someone of royalty was visiting the city the day or week before the Blitz. I think the schools had a day off and then the King came a couple of days after - Coventry had upped its stakes.
Our Kaga
Kaga simpson
Peacehaven, East Sussex
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610 of 617  Tue 30th Jul 2019 9:55am  
Member: Joined Sep 2014  Total posts:2960

Midland Red, Harrier. I answered both your message, did you receive?
Our Kaga
Heathite
Coventry
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611 of 617  Tue 30th Jul 2019 12:41pm  
Member: Joined Aug 2012  Total posts:579

From an internet search . . Another building, which, until its demolition in 1950, stood on the north of Hinckley Road just beyond the village, was called the Old Manor House or Magpie Hall in the late 19th and 20th centuries. The house was occupied as six cottages in 1843 and later. This building may have been the house owned by Benedicta Mills, formerly Alexander Lapworth's, in 1756–7, and, therefore, the capital messuage sold to Edward Lapworth in 1590. The possible origins of its manorial status have already been discussed. At the time of its demolition the Old Manor House was a T-shaped building consisting of a long timber-framed wing on a north-south axis, and, projecting from its east side, a brick-walled range at right angles to it. The timber-framed portion was of four bays, of which those at the north and south ends were of 16th- or early-17th-century date. The two central bays, however, are thought to have formed a two-storied cross wing to the single-storied and formerly timber-framed medieval hall which lay concealed in the brick range to the east. This hall, probably of early-15th-century date, measured 32 ft. by 22 ft. and contained a central cruck truss which had arch-braces supporting a cambered collar-beam. A massive stone chimney stack with brick shafts formed part of the 16th- or early-17th-century addition at the north end of the cross wing. Fragments of this stack were left standing in the garden when the old building was demolished and a new house (No. 45 Hinckley Road) was built on the site.
Our Kaga
Midland Red
Cherwell
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612 of 617  Tue 30th Jul 2019 1:35pm  
Moderator: Joined Jan 2010  Total posts:5340

On 30th Jul 2019 9:55am, Kaga simpson said: Midland Red, Harrier. I answered both your message, did you receive?
I replied using the forum email system Thumbs up
Our Kaga
Kaga simpson
Peacehaven, East Sussex
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613 of 617  Sat 3rd Aug 2019 9:05am  
Member: Joined Sep 2014  Total posts:2960

I hurried along Hales Street when I bumped into Jill. “Hi Jill”. “Hi John, just the guy I want to talk to”, she said. “Oh, I'm late for the coach, could we meet later?” “Okay, when?” “Tonight, 8 o'clock, we can go for a drink”. “Yeh, under the clock in Broadgate”. I laughed, and sprinted away to Pool Meadow. The coach was pulling out but Harry saw me, stopped and opened the door. Harry grinned and said, “Wondered where you'd got too”. I found a single seat, and sat down. But my mind drifted back to Jill. Jill was the girlfriend of one of my club mates at the body-building gym, but Jimmy was a guy who kept looking in the mirror. We all thought Jimmy was a 'queer' (called ‘gay’ now) - was illegal then and they didn't have much credibility. From the coach I dashed over to the kiosk, bought a race-card, and scanned the faces of the crowd. I was looking for a certain guy, Phil Bull. Phil (Timeform) would become one of the biggest names in racing history in the future, but right now was a schoolteacher that loved racing in his spare time and timed horse races. He came through the turnstile in a rush. I walked over. “Hi Phil, you have a minute? How do you rate 'Under the clock'?” He fiddled in his bag. “List of all horses I just made out”, he said, thrusting a list into my hand, and rushed off. 'Under the clock' was top rated by Phil on the time, me on the form - I would bet more. They flashed by together - 'dead heat'. I had won with half my stake so was well pleased. We met in Broadgate. I told Jill about 'Under the Clock'. We went to the White Horse. Jill was nervous how to talk to me. “Is it about Jimmy?” I asked. She nodded. “Then I will be blunt, we all know Jimmy is 'queer' but he is scared his father will find out and hit the roof”. She stared for a few moments, then said “So has he been using me as a cover?” I didn't answer. “I thought something like that, but wasn't sure”. She was silent for a moment, then said “So, you’re not ‘queer’, why don't you make a pass at me?” A few weeks later, gone were the spontaneous and uninhibited encounters. I said “Look, do you want to part?” “Well, I . . “ “I know, you like to visit London but you don't want to live there”. She stared. “Yes, that's it, that's how I feel”.
Our Kaga
Kaga simpson
Peacehaven, East Sussex
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614 of 617  Fri 9th Aug 2019 4:48pm  
Member: Joined Sep 2014  Total posts:2960

I'd woken to a brighter day than we had had for months - I punched the air, said to myself out loud, “Yeh, bring it on”. Today I would be going to the first day of the spring meeting at Epsom, and the first race would be the fastest five furlong sprint in the world. I had breakfast in a cafe in Spon Street but I needed to catch sight of Jane, a waitress in the Casino coffee cafe at the bottom of the Precinct. The last few months, and debris had floated down the Precinct like ice floes on a winter river, the surface of the road in pot-holes, almost washed away by run-off water, leaving pools of water inches deep. Sand and pebbles filled the gutters - for twelve years we had endured this. Jane smiled at me with a set of gleaming perfect white teeth, under a bouncing mop of red curls. I ordered tea, we talked small talk. I got up to leave - she asked, did I know a winner? “Yeh, Larkspur, 2 o’clock today”. Epsom Racecourse was the finest horse track in the world, built on the top of the English downs looking across the valley half a mile away - the horses would run a mile and half round the undulating course, finishing along the last half mile to the winning post in front of the grandstand. All race distances were in this mile and a half, except the five furlong sprint - this started a furlong before it joined the last half-mile. This was downhill for four furlongs then a slight uphill finish to the winning post. Today, they announced, would be the first time of use of a photograph in close races. There was the usual roar as the flag went down. Spread across the track they thundered along, the crowd excited, the noise was immense. Larkspur gentle edged forward two lengths in front with twenty yards to go, his race won. Then he ran out of puff, the fav came up and snatched it on the line to me. Then the tannoy announced a photo finish, but the bookies had the fav odds on to win. Then I spotted Alec Bird. “Alec, what do you think?” “Larkspur held on”, and he was correct, Larkspur won. Alec was one of the great gamblers of all time - the son of a bookmaker, he turned to gambling. Later I learnt he became a photo finish specialist. He also bought a castle somewhere up north, complete with moat, and retired to fishing the moat.
Our Kaga
Kaga simpson
Peacehaven, East Sussex
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615 of 617  Tue 13th Aug 2019 5:59pm  
Member: Joined Sep 2014  Total posts:2960

Never since the world began has so much been achieved, such an abundance destroyed, so many hearts lifted, so many hopes denied, as in the 20th century. The entire fabric of our lives has been changed. For 19 centuries, man, animals, and the wheel. Then, machines, engines, electronics, x-ray, heart-surgery. Man flies faster and farther than the birds, explores the secrets of the fathoms of the sea, explores the moon. But what price glory? Two world wars, the flowers of the nation’s manhood twice planted in foreign soil. The waste, the futility, the sin of it. The years of misery and danger. Strikes and slump, poverty and unemployment. They arose to be faced by a war-tired people. The first decade, an army airship reared its clumsy head, a grim symbol in the sky of death and destruction. King George V was crowned amid scenes of beauty and splendour. The last horse-drawn bus left the streets, then the great sea disaster - 'Titanic'. Ragtime arrived from USA. Man’s conquest of the air, trams, cars, buses arrived, and the ladies made themselves known, the suffragettes, Charlie Chaplin in films. Then the butchery of the Great War. Not easily could the sins of war be wiped away. Strikes and slump, poverty and un-employment followed.
Our Kaga

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