Thursday, 4 June 2009

Looking Back - Tiananmen Square Massacre

On this day in 1989, tanks rumbled through the streets of Peking (later to become Beijing) to quash a democratic protest. When they reached Tiananmen Square the Chinese army randomly fired on the unarmed demonstrators. At least several hundreds of civilians, many of them students, were shot dead in a bloody military operation. The injured were rushed to hospital by any means available including private bicycle-rickshaws.
The demonstrators, seeking democratic reform, had been protesting in Tiananmen Square for seven weeks, refusing to move until their demands were met. The protest began with a march by students in memory of Hu Yaobang who had died a week before. Soon they were joined by millions of supporters, eager to show their anger at widespread corruption.
When peaceful attempts to persuade the demonstrators to leave failed, the government threat to do whatever it saw necessary to clamp down on 'social chaos' was carried out and the military offensive began.
The events in Tiananmen Square were described as the greatest challenge to the communist state in China since the 1949 revolution. It was suggested that the communist leader Deng Xaioping personally sanctioned the attack to shore up his leadership.
The precise number of dead may never be known but hundreds and possibly thousands perished in the slaughter.

Carres Grammar School - A Blast From The Past

A few evenings ago I received a surprise telephone call from an old school friend by the name of Tim Harrod. I must confess that though the name was familiar speaking over the telephone I could not put a face to the name. He then emailed me two school photographs and when I saw them I instantly recognised him. We had quite a long chat that evoked old memories and he mentioned many names of boys from our year that I had forgotten, bearing in mind it was 52 years since I last saw them. The first picture is the Spring 1954 A-form photo. Although Tim and I were in the same year, he was in the A-Form and I was in the B-Form, which explains why I could not immediately place him.

Back Row L-R: Siddans, Ford,Clingan,Emmence,Peterson,
Middle Row L-R: Couling,Pickard,Jones,Jarvis,Manton,Dowse,
Front Row L-R: Navesey,Moore,Harrod,Brittain,Stockton[Sir],
The second photograph is the Under 14 football team taken in 1955. Tim and I are third and fourth from left on the back row. The initial reason for his call was to inform me that he and one or two others are hoping to arrange an informal reunion of pupils from around our era. The venue that has been earmarked is Sleaford Cricket Club where a cricket festival is being held 29-31 July 2009. If anyone reading this article is interested please email me at and I will pass the information on.

Back Row L-R: Dawson,Flatters,T.Harrod,Garlant,Whittaker,Brittain,Wilcox,

Front Row L-R: Vincent[Sir], ? , Bailey,Dickinson,Moore, ? ,R.Harrod

Unfortunately, at the time of writing, I cannot recall the names of the two mystery boys identified by a (?), but I hope to be able to fill these in at some point in the future. If any of the pupils who appear on the photographs, or indeed, if anyone has any information about any of them, please contact me on the email address given above, I would be delighted to hear from them.

Old Sailor

An old retired sailor, puts on his old uniform and heads for the docks once more, for old times sake. He engages a prostitute and takes her up to a room. He's soon going at it as well as he can for a guy of his age, but needing some reassurance, he asks, "How am I doing? The prostitute replies, "Well, old sailor, you're doing about three knots". "Three knots?" he asks. What's that supposed to mean?" She says, "You're knot hard, you're knot in and you're not getting your money back!"


Someone who talks in someone else's sleep.

A man who watches everyone else when a beautiful girl enters the room.

A small body of water that draws other small bodies wearing dry shoes into it.

A state of household serenity which occurs before the birth of the first child and occurs again after the last child has left for college.

Church Signs

Who Am I?

Ten more tantalising clues in our latest 'Who Am I?' puzzle. Ten clues that should lead you to the identity of a well known person.

01 I was born on 14 May 1956.
02 My place of birth was Salford.
03 When I was 5, along with my brother Stephen, I played a street urchin in 'A Taste Of Honey' in Salford.
04 I graduated from Trent Polytechnic with a BA(Hons) degree in law.
05 I began my career as a trainee solicitor with Salford City Council in 1978.
06 I stood against Neil Hamilton in Tatton in 1987.
07 I was elected labour MP for Salford in 1997.
08 I was Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Minister of State at the Department of Health, Alan Milburn.
09 As a member of Tony Blair's government I launched the 5-a-day campaign.
10 On 3 June 2009 I announced my resignation from the cabinet at the next reshuffle.

Who do you think our mystery well known person is.

George Gets It Wrong Again

George W Bush has had his exit strategy from a Beijing news conference foiled by locked doors. Click on the following link to watch the video clip: