Friday, 14 August 2009

Looking Back - British Troops Sent Into Northern Ireland

On this day in 1969, the British Government sent troops into Northern Ireland in what it said was a 'limited operation' to restore law and order. It followed three days and two nights of violence in the mainly Catholic Bogside area of Londonderry. Trouble also erupted in Belfast and other towns across Northern Ireland. It came after a speech by the Prime Minister of the Irish Republic, Jack Lynch, regarded by many as 'outrageous interference' when he called for a United Nations peace keeping force to be sent to the province. He also called for Anglo-Irish talks on the future of Northern Ireland. The Prime Minister of Northern Ireland, Major James Chichester-Clark, responded by saying neighbourly relations with the Republic were at an end and that British troops were being called in.

The British Home Secretary James Callaghan was in a plane on his way to talks with Prime Minister Harold Wilson in Cornwall when he received a radio-telephone call asking for troops to be deployed. Shortly after 1700 hours local time, 300 troops from from the 1st Battalion, Prince of Wales's Own Regiment of Yorkshire, occupied the centre of Londonderry, replacing the exhausted police officers who had been patrolling the cordons around the Bogside. They had been on standby for the past couple of days.

The trouble had begun three days earlier during the annual Apprentice Boys march, which marks the 13 boy supporters of William of Orange who defended Londonderry against the forces of the Catholic King James II in 1688. The Royal Ulster Constabulary were forced to use tear gas - for the first time in their history - to try to bring the rioting under control.

The army's warm welcome was short-lived, as was the British Government's intention to pull out the troops within days. British troops were destined to be in Northern Ireland for far longer than anyone could possibly imagine.

The World Aerobatic Championships

The World Aerobatic Championships are held every two years and bring together the best aerobatic pilots in the world. The Championships last 10 days as pilots battle it out for the top titles in air sport. Silverstone Circuit in Britain will host the 25th FAI World Aerobatic Championship in 2009. The event runs from 25th- 29th August.
The Championships include two separate competitions, The 'Technical Championship' and the 'Freestyle Championship'. There are four rounds in the technical Championship, requiring pilots to fly a series of aerobatic figures with precision and complex manoeuvres.

Qualification Round - All pilots have to fly the same sequence of figures accurately, in the correct order, in the specified direction and in a small area of sky without stopping. A safe flight in this round qualifies the pilot to participate.

Round 1: Free Programme - A round in which pilots fly a sequence that he/she has composed him/herself. This programme is designed by each pilot to show his/her capabilities as well as that of the aircraft type.

Round 2 and 3: Unknown Programmes - Each pilot will then fly two 'unknown' sequences. These unknowns are are composed from figures submitted by the competing countries. Each nation tries to fox the other's pilot by choosing figures difficult to fly at the first attempt.

The Freestyle Championship - This flight is much more like airshows, very different and flown with smoke and music. Pilots perform their own routines for about three-and-a-half to four minutes, using any manoeuvres - anything goes! The only limit is the pilot's skill and imagination. Each performance is judged for technical and artistic merit.

The Russian Aerobatic team are training for this year's World Championships, over Sherburn-in helmet near Selby in North Yorkshire. The team are considered world leaders in the sport, and will be one of the highlights of the competition taking place in Northampton. Click on the video link shown below to watch them in action.

Animal Crackers

Child Support Agency

The following are all replies that Manchester women have written on Child Support Agency forms in the section for listing 'Fathers details', or putting it another way ..... Who's the Daddy. These are genuine excerpts from the forms.

01 Regarding the identity of the father of my twins. Makeeshia was fathered by Maclearndon McKinley I am unsure as to the identity of the father of Marlinda, but I believe that she was conceived on the same night.

02 I am unsure, as to the identity of the father of my child as I was being sick out of the window when taken unexpectedly from behind. I can provide you with a list of names of men that I think were at the party if this helps.

03 I do not know the name of the father of my little girl. She was conceived at a party at 360 East Bolton Avenue where I had sex with a man I met that night. I do remember that the sex was so good that I fainted. If you do manage to track down the father, can you please send me his phone number? Thanks.

04 I don't know the identity of of the father of my daughter ..... he drives a BMW that now has a hole made by my stiletto in one of the door panels. Perhaps you can contact BMW service stations in this area and see if he's had it replaced.

05 I have never had sex with a man. I am still a Virginian. I am awaiting a letter from the Pope confirming that my son's conception was ejaculate and that he is the Saver risen again.

Brainteaser - Thursday's Answer

You needed to be top of the class in History at school, to correctly answer yesterday's brainteaser. Here is the correct order in which the monarch's reigned:

John (1199-1216)
Richard III (1483-1485)
Henry VIII (1509-1547)
Mary I (1553-1558)
Elizabeth I (1558-1603)
Charles II (1660-1685)
Anne (1702-1714)
George VI (1936-1952)
A very difficult brainteaser - well done if you got any of them right!

Thought For Today

Of course there is no formula for success except perhaps an unconditional acceptance of life and what it brings.
Arthur Rubinstein

Watch Out Girls - You've Got Competition

A group of boys from Leeds have wowed judges at an international cheerleading competition in Coventry.
The Peewee Boyz, who are thought to be the only boys' cheerleading group in Europe, won third prize at the International Cheer Championships in July.
To watch the lads in action click on the video link below: