David J. Farley of Plympton, Plymouth, United Kingdom

David J. Farley of Plympton, Plymouth, United Kingdom

Monday, August 14, 2017

Big Ben Is About To Fall Silent For Four Years - Here's Why

The chimes of the world’s most iconic clock are to be silenced for the next four years while major conservation works are carried out.
Big Ben’s famous bongs will sound for the last time at noon on Monday, August 21, before they are paused until 2021 - ending more than 150 years of almost continuous timekeeping.
The Elizabeth Tower, home to the Great Clock and Big Ben, is undergoing a complex programme of renovation aimed at preserving the landmark for future generations.
A man with arguably one of the best job titles in the world, Keeper of the Great Clock Steve Jaggs said: “Big Ben falling silent is a significant milestone in this crucial conservation project.
“As Keeper of the Great Clock I have the great honour of ensuring this beautiful piece of Victorian engineering is in top condition on a daily basis.
“This essential programme of works will safeguard the clock on a long term basis, as well as protecting and preserving its home – the Elizabeth Tower.
“Members of the public are welcome to mark this important moment by gathering in Parliament Square to hear Big Ben’s final bongs until they return in 2021.”The works will see the clock dismantled piece by piece, with each cog examined and restored. The four dials will be carefully cleaned, the glass repaired, the cast iron framework renewed, and the hands will be removed and refurbished.
The Great Bell, popularly called Big Ben, weighs 13.7 tonnes and strikes every hour. It is accompanied by four quarter bells, which chime every 15 minutes, which will also cease to keep the workers in the tower safe. 
The clock is operated by a custom built Victorian clockwork mechanism, which relies on gravity to trigger the renowned bongs. To stop the bells, the striking hammers will be locked and the bell disconnected from the clock mechanism, allowing the Great Clock to continue telling the time silently - but it will still chime for important national events, including New Year’s Eve and Remembrance Sunday
Big Ben has marked the hour with almost unbroken service for the past 157 years. The bongs last fell silent for maintenance in 2007, and before that between 1983-5 as part of a previous large scale refurbishment programme. 
Scaffolding for the current conservation project started earlier this year, when scaffolding was put up and the first works will see the Ayrton Light (which shines to show that Parliament is sitting) renovated.
The team will then work its way down the building, removing scaffolding on the way.  Most of the clock faces will be covered with the maintenance is underway, but one will always remain visible.
Article courtesy of http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk 

Friday, July 28, 2017

This Green thing !

This has done the rounds before but it still brings a smile to my old face. I hope your sense of humour will appreciate it too !

Checking out at the supermarket, the young cashier suggested to the much older lady that she should bring her own grocery bags, because plastic bags are not good for the environment.  

 The woman apologised to the young girl and explained, "We didn't have this 'green thing' back in my earlier days." 

The young clerk responded, "That's our problem today. Your generation did not care enough to save our environment for future generations." 

The older lady said that she was right - our generation didn't have the "green thing" in its day. The older lady went on to explain: 

Back then, we returned milk bottles, pop bottles and beer bottles to the shop. The shop sent them back to the factory to be washed and sterilised and refilled, so it could use the same bottles over and over. So they really were recycled. But we didn't have the "green thing" back in our day. 

Grocery stores bagged our groceries in brown paper bags that we reused for numerous things. Most memorable besides household rubbish bags was the use of brown paper bags as book covers for our school books. This was to ensure that public property (the books provided for our use by the school) was not defaced by our scribbling. Then we were able to personalise our books on the brown paper bags. 

But, too bad we didn't do the "green thing" back then. 
We walked up stairs because we didn't have an escalator in every store and office building. We walked to the grocers and didn't climb into a 300-horsepower machine every time we had to go two blocks. 

But she was right. We didn't have the "green thing" in our day. 

Back then we washed the baby's nappies because we didn't have the throw-away kind. We dried clothes on a line, not in an energy-gobbling machine burning up 13 amps. Wind and solar power really did dry our clothes back in our early days. Kids got hand-me-down clothes from their brothers or sisters, not always brand-new clothing.

But that young lady is right; we didn't have the "green thing" back in our day

Back then we had one TV, or radio, in the house - not a TV in every room. And the TV had a small screen the size of a handkerchief (remember them?), not a screen the size of Gloucestershire. In the kitchen we blended and stirred by hand because we didn't have electric machines to do everything for us. When we packaged a fragile item to send in the post, we used wadded up old newspapers to cushion it, not Styrofoam or plastic bubble wrap. Back then, we didn't fire up an engine and burn petrol just to cut the lawn. We used a push mower that ran on human power. We exercised by working so we didn't need to go to a health club to run on treadmills that operate on electricity. 

But she's right; we didn't have the "green thing" back then. 

We drank from a fountain when we were thirsty instead of using a cup or a plastic bottle every time we had a drink of water. We refilled fountain pens with ink instead of buying a new pen, and we replaced the razor blade in a razor instead of throwing away the whole razor just because the blade got dull. 

But we didn't have the "green thing" back then. 

Back then, people took the bus and kids rode their bikes to school or walked instead of turning their mums into a 24-hour taxi service in the family's £40,000 SUV, which cost what a whole house did before the"green thing." We had one electrical outlet in a room, not an entire bank of sockets to power a dozen appliances. And we didn't need a computerised gadget to receive a signal beamed from satellites out in space in order to find the nearest pub. 

But isn't it sad the current generation laments how wasteful we old folks were just because we didn't have the "green thing" back then? 

Please encourage another selfish old person who needs a lesson in conservation from a smart
-arsed young person to read this post.

We don't like being old in the first place, so it doesn't take much to piss us off. Especially from a tattooed, multiple-pierced smart-arse who can't give change without the cash register telling them how much !

Monday, April 24, 2017

Drones flying into prisons to be examined by new Police team

The Prison Service and police are to pool intelligence to stop drones flying drugs and mobile phones to prison inmates in England and Wales.
They will forensically examine captured drones to try to find out who was flying them.
The invention of easy-to-fly, remote-controlled aircraft has caused a huge security headache for prisons.
But critics have called the plan a "red herring" to distract people from "chaos and crisis" in prisons.
The national initiative will see police and prison officers share information about the quadcopters and methods used.
Prisons Minister Sam Gyimah said: "We are absolutely determined to tackle the illegal flow of drugs and mobile phones into our prisons and turn them into places of safety and reform.
"The threat posed by drones is clear but our dedicated staff are committed to winning the fight against those who are attempting to thwart progress by wreaking havoc in establishments all over the country.
"My message to those who involve themselves in this type of criminal activity is clear: we will find you and put you behind bars."

Staff corruption

The Prison Service could not give details about how many officers would be involved, but reports suggested £3m would be spent on the new task force.
John Podmore, former head of the service's anti-corruption unit, said whilst there was an issue with contraband in prisons, targeting this money at drones was a "PR stunt".
"I have seen no evidence that there is a real problem with drones," he told BBC Radio 4's Today programme. "I think the number of incidents last year was 33.
"There are some 10,000 mobile phones found every year in prisons. My question to the Prison Service would be, how many of those were found hanging from drones?"
Instead, Mr Podmore thought the service should be looking the wider issue of contraband smuggling, including the "main route [of] staff corruption".
Mike Rolfe, national chair of the Prison Officers Association, said prisoners had told him that they had seen two or three drones a night delivering packages over the walls.
However, he said he agreed with Mr Podmore that the initiative was an attempt to distract people from "the real issue [of] jails in complete chaos, in a crisis and flooded with drugs, mobile phones and weapons".

Recent successes

BBC home affairs correspondent Daniel Sandford says prison walls are now not much of a barrier for those wanting to smuggle contraband into jails.
There have been some recent successes in finding and punishing those who are behind the drone flights, says the Ministry of Justice.
In December, Dean Rawley-Bell, 21, was jailed for four years and eight months after he used a drone in attempts to smuggle drugs and mobile phones into Manchester Prison.
Renelle Carlisle, 23, was sentenced to three years and four months in October after he was caught outside Risley Prison in Warrington with a drone in his bag, trying to smuggle drugs inside.
In July, 37-year-old Daniel Kelly was jailed for 14 months for trying to supply contraband to offenders in Elmley and Swaleside Prison in Sheppey, Wandsworth Prison in London and the Mount Prison in Hemel Hempstead.

Article courtesy of BBC News

Friday, February 17, 2017

Queen's Police Medal Awards

Over half of the Queen’s Police Medals
have been awarded to officers below the rank of superintendent.
Nine rank and file police officers have been 
awarded the prestigious Queen’s Police Medal
by Her Majesty The Queen as part of her 
New Year’s Honours – 3 times the number 
honoured in the 2016 Birthday Honours.
In one of her final actions as Home Secretary,
Prime MinisterTheresa May recommended 
that more officers below senior 
ranks should receive the Queen’s Police Medal, 
to recognise the vital role they play in protecting 
the public and address an imbalance over to 
whom the medal is awarded.
Police leaders responded by putting forward 
a number officers from junior ranks from 
across England and Wales who have shown 
outstanding courage and distinguished 
service in the line of duty. More than half 
of the 17 Queen’s Police Medals announced 
today have been awarded to officers below 
the rank of superintendent.
Home Secretary Amber Rudd said:
These deserving recipients of Queen’s Police
Medals have gone above and beyond 
the call of their duties and it is absolutely 
right that we recognise all of those who serve 
our communities and keep us safe.

I am especially pleased by the response 
from policing leaders, who have made sure 
that a shift in nominations has led to a much 
more representative group of officers
receiving the medal. I look forward to seeing 
many more brave and talented individuals 
at every rank of our police forces being 
honoured in this way in the future.
The Queen’s Police Medal was instituted 
by its royal warrant in 1954 and is awarded 
to officers of any rank for acts of courage 
and/or conspicuous devotion to duty. 
It superseded the King’s Police Medal, 
which was originally created in 1909.
Minister for Policing and the Fire Service 
Brandon Lewis said: There are exceptionally 
skilled, dedicated and professional 
officers in all areas of our police forces, 
from frontline constables to senior leaders. 
Honours such as the Queen’s Police Medal 
have been awarded for over 100 years to 
recognise some of their exceptional individual 
I am delighted that more rank and file 
officers have been awarded the medal 
this year, for dedication to their duties and 
acts of exceptional courage. I hope
the example they have set continues to 
inspire the very best from officers and 
police staff in 2017.
The recipients of the Queen’s Police Medal 
  • PC Ifor Williams 
  • (Avon and Somerset Police)
  • Sergeant Timothy Slade 
  • (City of London Police)
  • PC Jacqueline Oliver
  • (Metropolitan Police Service)
  • Chief Superintendent Martin Lloyd Fry
  • (British Transport Police)
  • PC Leslie Roger Eke 
  • (Thames Valley Police)
  • PC Christopher Smith 
  • (Dorset Police)
  • PC Louise Pye 
  • (Sussex Police)
  • PC Shirley Vivienne Lindsay 
  • (Avon and Somerset Police)
  • Inspector Ian David Hanson 
  • (Greater Manchester Police)
  • Detective Inspector Carol Ellwood 
  • (Humberside Police)
  • Chief Superintendent Gordon Briggs
  •  (Metropolitan Police Service)
  • Chief Superintendent Victor Olisa 
  • (Metropolitan Police Service)
  • Chief Superintendent Jagdev Singh Atwal 
  • (Derbyshire Constabulary)
  • Assistant Chief Constable David John Allard 
  • (Ministry of Defence Police)
  • Temporary Assistant Chief Constable
  •  Angela Williams (West Yorkshire Police)
  • Commander Simon Martin Letchford 
  • (Metropolitan Police Service)
  • Chief Constable David Graham Jones 
  • (North Yorkshire Police)