Oh Dear!

I was in charge, a few years back now, of parts of the Mechanical & Electrical installation of a very large project named Broadgate in the City of London. The actual site was huge, as it spread all over the area which was the Liverpool Street Station, with three large office blocks actually built on top of ten railtracks over the station proper.

The project part which I am discussing was the installation of the pipes or conduits which were to carry large, bulky high voltage cables across eight of the rail tracks. A huge concrete slab had been built over the whole station; which acted as the basement for the building structure, and we had to supply the power from the roadside to the switchgear which was across eight of the tracks. The pipes, which were made of steel, were six inches in diameter, and the task was to sling some twelve parallel pipe sections at 900 across the eight tracks and platforms.

We had from midnight Friday, until five a.m. Monday morning to get a gang of contractors to accomplish the following:-


  • Erect a scaffold across all eight tracks and five platforms which would be safe and secure to carry all the workforce necessary to do the job.
  • Drill and fix two hundred support fastenings into stressed concrete panels which formed the base of the slab across the station.
  • Screw together, support, sling, fix and fasten all the pipework across all the platforms and double rail tracks which would carry the cables to the substation.
  • Test the structure with appropriate weights to ensure structural integrity.
  • Remove all the scaffolding, tools and equipment, and hand back the station to British Rail.

I, as the Manager for this particular sector of the works, worked out the method statement for the whole weekend, talked it through with the Contractor, and finally approved it.

The one thing which you should realise was that, to shut the whole Station down for a whole weekend was a big, big, big deal; there was a great deal of cost involved for British Rail, coaches would carry hundreds of passengers to and from a station down the line into the terminus area, lots of items were arranged, and nothing was going to go wrong!

In the world in which we live, I can just imagine the Gods up on Mount Olympus watching as we mere mortals made our plans, and reviewed our strategies, and silently laughing their socks off!

I live in the North-East of England, so I made tracks for the road north at four p.m. on the Friday; but before I left, I dropped my head around the contractor’s door, and just reminded him that I was expecting a clean run throughout the weekend. He nodded, and assured me that the team was on the ball!

I got back on site early on the Monday morning, checked on my paperwork, put my workboots and coat on, and trotted down on to the platforms to check on the progress of the job. Now, anyone who has ever walked on a railway station platform knows how long they are, so you can maybe picture me as I walked up the platform away from the old booking hall, aiming for the point where the pipes were to be fixed to the slab ceiling, which was some 130 yards up the platform. Wearing my hi-viz coat, helmet, boots; all dressed up for the party, I reached the actual spot where the cables were due to rise from the ground ducts and run across all eight rail tracks in the newly-installed pipes.

I looked up, and found, absolutely nothing. Nix, nada, zilch, zero! Just a blank slab some ten feet above me where there was supposed to be twelve runs of six-inch steel pipes! So I checked my positions, made absolutely sure I was in the right position, looked up again, and still saw absolutely nothing at all.

So I trundled slowly back down the platform, up the stairs and along the huge site until I got to the electrical contractor’s site office, walked in, sat down, accepted a coffee, then asked my buddy how the weekend had gone; and to my utter amazement, he grinned and replied that the whole job had gone off like clockwork. I gently asked if he was satisfied with the progress of the job, and once again he reassured me that everyone was delighted with the progress, as the station was actually handed back to British Rail some twenty minutes early!

So, not wanting to appear totally manic, I asked him if he would maybe drop back down to the platform with me, and talk me through the job as it had happened. So he put his hard-hat on, his coat, and off we trundled. Down on to the old booking hall, on to the platform, chatting all the while. We walked up the length, but then he stopped, pointed up and said, “There you is, Mike! Don’t they look wonderful?” And they did look pretty smart, all twelve six-inch steel pipes, correctly supported and clamped to the base of the slab, running all the way across the rail tracks and platforms.

I really hated to say the words which destroyed his morning, but I had to. “Paddy,” I murmured, “Paddy; yes, you’ve taken the entire weekend, yes, you handed the Station back twenty minutes ahead of time, but you have placed all twelve pipes some thirty yards short of the actual position as required on the drawings!”

Oh Dear!

Methinks Rudyard is quite relevant, sometimes!

It was not part of their blood, It came to them very late,
With long arrears to make good, When the Saxon began to hate.

They were not easily moved, They were icy — willing to wait
Till every count should be proved, Ere the Saxon began to hate.

Their voices were even and low. Their eyes were level and straight.
There was neither sign nor show, When the Saxon began to hate.

It was not preached to the crowd. It was not taught by the state.
No man spoke it aloud, When the Saxon began to hate.

It was not suddenly bred.

It will not swiftly abate.

Through the chilled years ahead,

When Time shall count from the date That the Saxon began to hate.

Lies, blatant lies, and Statistics!

The last time I checked, there is, or rather there used to be, a Free Press in America. But now, after reading certain publications and certain recorded statements, I am not so sure any more. In Britain, we are used by now to the BBC, along with many of the newspapers, in their website pages and news bulletins, removing any hint of the possibility of the ethnic origin or religious make-up of, say, a rapist, a thief or a terrorist, except when the perpetrator is WHITE. They are referred to as ‘of Asian extraction’, or ‘Algerian-born British man’; etc., etc.. The fact that 99.99% are called Mohamed, or some variation on that particular paeadophile’s name, makes no difference. It remains unsaid and unacknowledged that they are Muslim.

But I still had high hopes for ‘the Land of the Free’. After all, you’ve got a bloody Constitution, written down and everything, which says Freedom of Speech is the freedom to speak without censorship or limitation.

So when a Buffalo newspaper describes a multiple drive-by shooting in a Black neighbourhood, it included a series of facts.

  • One of the dead victims was on probation and forbidden from being inside any establishment serving alcohol.
  • Two of the eight who were shot served state prison time on weapons or assault charges.
  • Five are convicted felons.
  • Six have been arrested by Buffalo police since 2008.

Various prominent Black citizens took it upon themselves to charge the newspaper editor with stirring up racial tension, as the shootings were presumed to be random.

But a deeper investigation of the records of the injured and dead discovered that:-

  • James Robbs Jr., 27, who served more than a year in prison for felony attempted assault, has a felony case pending after he was arrested July 2 with his father, James Sr., 49, for weapons and drug possession. Buffalo narcotics detectives raided a Schuele Street address and allegedly uncovered a loaded .38-caliber revolver, a rifle, marijuana, and crack cocaine residue, as well as scales and packaging material. Robbs was sentenced to prison in 2001 after he shot at another man but missed and shot an innocent bystander, a 51-year-old woman, in the ankle. Shortly after the shooting, an eyewitness led police to where Robbs was playing basketball.
  • Tillman Ward, 27, also has a felony case pending against him for weapons possession after authorities apprehended him at a July 6 traffic stop and discovered an indictment warrant accusing him of possessing a loaded firearm.
  • Tiffany Wilhite, 31, who was killed in the massacre outside City Grill, was serving a five-year sentence of probation for felony reckless endangerment in connection with a January 2009 fight outside a Broadway-Fillmore neighborhood bar where she used her Jeep Cherokee to run down four women, breaking one of the victim’s pelvis in four places.
  • Willie R. McCaa III, 26, who was also killed, had survived a March 2008 shooting outside an East Side store. He was scheduled for trial last week in State Supreme Court on charges he and another man robbed a man at gunpoint in May 2008 at Kensington Avenue and Godfrey Street.Demario L. Vass, 30, remains in critical condition in Erie County Medical Center with a gunshot wound to his head. Vass served five years’ probation for a felony drug conviction in August 2001. He was also arrested on misdemeanor drug charges in January 2008 for allegedly having marijuana as well as packaging and scales. The disposition of that case was unknown.
  • Shamar Davis, 30, served eight months in jail in 2004 after being convicted of felony attempted criminal possession of a weapon. Davis was caught with a 9mm gun during a New Year’s Day 2003 traffic stop shortly after police responded to the former Sensationz nightclub for a 4 a.m. shooting. Records show Davis has steered clear of trouble since then, however, except for a minor brush with the law in April 2006.
  • Shawn-Tia McNeil, who would be 28 today had she survived the attack, was sentenced to a conditional discharge for a 2002 misdemeanor assault. But, according to police records, she was arrested in November 2004 for an alleged felony assault with a baseball bat. The disposition of that case was not known.

A public meeting was held, and the News Editor was requested to attend. Many in the crowd expressed outrage that the police records of the shooting victims were reported at all. They called the report a gross departure from how The News traditionally treats crime victims and that it was disrespectful to the victims, their families and the African-American community.

Among statements made during the meeting were “”I feel that we were victimized twice,” said Cheryl Stevens, mother-in-law of Danyelle Mackin, one four victims who was killed in the shooting. Another made was “”What you did to us was you poured salt on the wounds that had not even healed. So, I’m asking — and this is for all the families — we want an apology,” added Stevens.

So the Black so-called Community not only wants and requires all knowledge of the colour of the dead not to be reported, it also wants an apology from the Editor for stating the truth, which was the colourful and lengthy criminal records of those same victims.
General population in America is   White………..80%    Black and Hispanic………………15%

The prison population in America is White…..33%          Black and Hispanic………………61%.

Sanctuary Seekers All.

 

Not too many British people recognise or can actually translate or place the German word ‘Kindertransport’. It sadly came into being in 1938, with the British Government’s ruling on the allowed immigration of German Jewish children onto British shores. The initial appeal for the migration of 10,000 Jewish children into the then ‘Palestine’was ignored, but heavy pressure brought by influential Opposition as well as Government supporters brought about a House debate, and a change of policy.

The rules were strict, harsh and never-to-be-deviated-from. The children, who eventually came from Germany, the old Czechoslovakia, Denmark, Estonia, Austria and other German-annexed lands, were to travel without any relative, small children were simply to be given to an older child to be looked after, were allowed only a small suitcase each, and the clothes which they wore! A bounty of £50 was charged by by the British Government, who had insisted that only private individuals and charities would take care of the children upon arrival, with no official activity, approval or cost to the taxpayer to be invoked.

They came in their hundreds, and then in their thousands; as the Continental Jewish families began to realise that Hitler and his Germany had little time for Jews, and life was rapidly becoming intolerable, especially after the horrors of Kristallnacht spread like a fast cancer across a Germany which was all too accommodating to the anti-semitic calls of a rabid Nazi Party and their armed stooges.

They arrived by air, they stumbled across the quays of Harwich, they arrived blinking at Liverpool Street Station, the last ship carrying the Kindertransport children left the Netherlands on May 14 1940. Some 99.9% of the parents and families of those Ten Thousand ‘Kindertransported’ children perished in the ovens of the Nazi Death Machine; that same Machine which of course was never known about, never revealed, and never-ever discussed by a totally innocent German population.

This is what the term ‘refugee’ is! This is what was meant when ‘asylum’ was given!

The figures in the statue represent a small group of five ‘Kindertransport’, blinking in the sunlight as they arrived at Liverpool Street Station.

You can also tell of the manner in which this simple tribute, sculpted by Frank Meisler, himself one of the ‘Kindertransports’ is looked upon by the inhabitants and passers-by by the litter and garbage which is so casually dumped upon the base of a tribute such as this!

X-posted from A Tangled Web

If They Build It, It Will Break!

The post quote comes, modified of course, from Which Movie? Prizes and Points are available!

Couple of posts previous, I asked if the Commonwealth Games was in doubt, and for lack of a picture, I posted the demolition of the old Yankee Stadium.

But the picture of the collapsed footbridge adjacent to the actual site of the games is much, much worse. From initial reports, as well as an examination of photos available, the problem seems to have been caused by a ripple failure of the cable clamping devices which supported the actual walkway from the arched structure. If any one of the anchors to the cable supports collapse, extra weight is then distributed to the remainder of the cables, anchors etc. If they are designed, built and installed correctly, those cables should withstand the extra force, but if they have been built to a price, and not a quality, then the Games has inherited a huge problem.


News reports coming in as I write indicate further problems, with a section of the suspended ceiling in theWeight Lifting’ hall falling directly on the the sport area.

Earlier reports indicated problems with the track and field events, I wonder if there will be many National Teams heading Delhi-wards, or will there be a massive, world-wide attack of bad backs, strained groins and pulled muscles?

No Thunder, No Hellfire, No Brimstone!

So, the Leader of 1.1 billion Catholics has visited this country on the first Papal State visit ever, and, goodness gracious me, the skies have not erupted in anger. As the ‘Enemy in Scarlet’, the ‘Romish man from hell’ came on a combined State and pastoral visit, what we saw was an elderly gentleman, a German who spoke only slightly-accented English, a Vicar of Christ who met with his counterparts in religion from Anglican, Jewish, Methodist and many others in perfect harmony. His meeting with our Queen did not shake the very ground, nor should it, because it was the Head of one Church and State meeting the Head of another Church and State. Elizabeth Windsor has met many, many leaders in her time on the throne, and the one thing which is certain is that she had no qualms about her meeting with Pope Benedict, the 256th man who has held that august title since St. Peter.

His drive through Edinburgh was greeted warmly, and his reception at Bellahouston Park in Glasgow was beyond reproach. There were not many empty seats, as had been prophesied, there weren’t as many at that mass as when John Paul came a’calling, but Benedict is not John Paul, and makes no claim to be.

The Pope met with four thousand children in Twickenham, and the only scandal resulted from cars being given tickets for being overtime parked. He travelled to London, met with politicians and came away unsullied. He also delivered a speech which told this present Government that they should allow conscience a freedom which was crushed under Labour, especially in the fields of adoption. He conducted a joint service with the Archbishop of Canterbury, and once more the skies did not shudder with lightning of the damned!

The service at Westminster Cathedral, as with the service in Birmingham, came and went with many accepting that a huge amount of organisation had achieved a visit which, while not exactly like clockwork, came up with a good facsimile. I watched part of the service televised from Birmingham and watched as some 90,000 Catholics greeted the leader of their Faith with respect, warmth and admiration. I don’t know about the reaction of the very small children who were held up to the small, white-clad man in the Popemobile so he might bless them, but I reckon we’ll put that one aside.

We also learned that he had met with five of the many victims of abuse, perpetrated by both priests and nuns, and apologised for their trauma, their fear and their injury. We also heard that he expressed his deep sorrow for the unspeakable crimes suffered by those abused by the Catholic priests.

He will leave Great Britain this evening, secure in the knowledge that those who protested were allowed to protest, as is their right under the law. He will leave this Nation a little wiser, having penetrated just a little beneath the brittle outer shell of Official Britain, to find that many ordinary people like the present Vicar of Rome, and despair of the loud mouths who shout, chant and howl their hatred into the distance!

The only quote I shall remember is from one who recalled the last time a Pope came to Britain, and a certain Dr. Ian Paisley was shouting out his bile whilst waving his bible; but the gentle John Paul 2nd smiled, and blessed him anyway!

It’s That Bastard Who Cut Me Up, Get His Number!

One of the fundamental bases of the British Judicial system is the right to a jury trial. If the local tearaway, or junior (junior in terms of years , not in depths of knowledge) criminal is hauled up before the local Magistrates, he can either accept the Bench as his place of trial, or he may elect for a Jury trial in a Crown Court. If the accused reckons he stands a better chance of convincing a Jury rather than a magistrate, fair enough; the trouble being that if he has put the Judicial system to a fair amount of trouble, he then stands a much greater chance of being clobbered by that same system if found guilty. But, and it is a big ‘But’, the accused always has the right to choose his method of trial, and some may argue that a panel of twelve ordinary people may have a better and more less-jaundiced look at the evidence than perhaps a Magistrate who sees the same old stuff day in and out.

Now there are many things which can go wrong with a jury trial, including a very-well prepared and vocal Defence Counsel who, by virtue of intense scrutiny and questioning, demolishes the statements of people who are witnesses, and are, after all, only other members of the public. True, that does not happen very often, but it does happen. There are many other arguments against Juries, but the mind of man has yet to derive a better alternative, so we should live with it! So perhaps the Crown Prosecution Service ought perhaps to think again when they rejoice at the first Non-Jury trial in some four hundred years, which actually resembled the Star Chamber of that ill-starred monarch, King Charles 1st! I accept that there were special circumstances, such as persistent jury ‘nobbling’ as well as a tendency for bail to be allowed a little too easily, but I do not accept the arguments for continuing the Judge alone sitting on any case, no matter how high the potential that a criminal gets off if a Jury trial is undertaken. The Accused should always see his accuser, and the Jury represents us, and the Crown, as his accuser. They should see and watch the demeanour of the accused, and he should be allowed to see his accusers in Court.

Which is why I am so disturbed to read of this practice, which apparently is being ‘trialled’ in Sussex. They are asking ‘concerned’ members of the driving public to report, online and totally anonymously, incidents of bad or dangerous driving, possible driving while under the influence. Worthing Borough Council have decided to get people to ‘inform’ on road users who, on Page 5, in Vibe’s own wonderfully grammatic style, those who insist on getting right up your bumper, still use their mobile phones while driving, not wearing seat belts, are really annoying and dangerous to others. You can report these types of behaviours and others like speeding, under age drivers, drink or drug driving.

So the good residents of Worthing are all qualified to state, categorically, that Driver A is below the legal age limit, whilst Driver B is driving under the influence of either drink or drugs, WITHOUT having any further information, legal training or guidance in the Law! Driver C can be reported for ‘dangerous driving’ while Driver D is driving without documentation!

The last time I read about things like that, our good friend Erich Honnekker was running the German Democratic Republic, and his buddy Erich Mielke was running the STASI.