The fascinating life of a true adventurer
Steve canavan related the story about the aviator Bert Hinckler who famously landed a light plane on Helvelyn in 1926 (The Gazette, January 2).
Steve has only related part of this interesting tale.
Having climbed all the Lakeland peaks I can confirm Helvelyn (pictured) is the only one with a smooth and grassy peak suitable for a safe aircraft landing.
Hinckler was an Australian from Bunderberg in Queensland (famous for sugar and still today, Bunderberg Rum).
He was a member of the Royal Naval Air service and received the Distinguished Flying Medal for his actions during the First World War.
He made many pioneering records attempts in the 1920s, and he attempted the first flight from England to Australia for a prize of £10,000 in the 1920s which did not succeed owing to mechanical failure .
Hinckler succeeded in the first solo flight to Darwin in Australia in 1928 and then on to his home town of Bunderberg where he became a local and national hero .
In 1933 he attempted a record attempt to Australia, to beat an earlier record, and for reasons not known crashed and died in Tuscany. His funeral was with full military honours on instructions from Benito Mussolini and he was buried in Tuscany.
He was held in such high esteem in Bunderberg that his home in London was dismantled brick by brick and re-built in Bunderberg where it stands to this day (I have actually seen it) as a museum to Bert Hinckler a truly pioneer aviator.
It’s decision time and the clock’s running
I suppose for some people it’s that time of year again when they receive letters reminding them their warranties are about to come to an end.
I received one such letter telling me the five-year warranty on my TV was about to end shortly.
It seemed only a couple of years since I purchased the TV from a well known high street electrical superstore.
On checking my warranty documents everything was correct. Well you know what they say, doesn’t time fly when you are watching TV...
I could if I wished at a small cost extend the warranty giving me peace of mind for a further 12 months.
I once read in a magazine that some TV manufacturers deliberately fit some kind of timing mechanism into the TVs circuitry making the TV inoperative before or shortly after the manufacturers’ warranty expires. Well I suppose it’s decision time with the clock ticking away.
A very nasty person has been eradicated
Based on a mass of intelligence, President Trump decided to kill one of the most dangerous men in the Middle East. Qasem Salesman, the head of Quds Force, has been for over a decade the chief architect of Iran’s military strategy.
Evidence was obtained by America that indicated he was planning more attacks on Americans in Iraq. International law permits the use of violence by a state to defend its interests.
Iran was responsible for the recent killing of an American contractor in Iraq and for the shooting down of a US drone. Oil tankers have been seized and others bombed on the orders of Soleimani.
In September 2019, Iran struck a Saudi Arabian oil facility and halted its production. For many years, Iran has supported and supplied with arms the terrorist group Hezbollah. The latter has been praised by Jeremy Corbyn.
The killing of Soleimani is far more significant than that of bin Laden in 2011. Soleimani is a symbol of Iran’s power across the region. His photo circulated on Twitter and there was fawning adulation of the murderer across social media.
In reality, he was the force behind violence in Syria, Lebanon, Iraq and Yemen. His hatred of Israel was manifest. President Trump was clearly provoked by these incidents and by the Ayatollah’s comment on Twitter that told Trump ‘you can’t do anything’. He was referring to the attack on the US embassy in Baghdad. The President decided to show Iran, ‘You don’t mess with me’.
What happens now is conjecture. There will be an Iranian response and it will be in an unexpected place for the reach of Iran extends world-wide. She also has a maze of proxies. Faced with internal dissent as sanctions bite and oil prices fall, Iran cannot afford not to react.
Talk of war is overblown. Neither Iran or Russia or China or America want war. But a very nasty person has been eradicated.
Meanwhile, the reaction of pacifists such as Corbyn and Thornberry, whose ignorance of international affairs is staggering, was predictable. They have castigated Trump, America and the West but have not said a word about Iran or the terrorism it fosters. Thank goodness these people will never get the keys to No. 10.