Finally, a free moment to write a Blog entry! I've been rather busy over the last week and today was no exception. Following-on from a flying job on the Eastern edge of London in the morning, I met-up with our new Thanet South Conservative Member of Parliament, Laura Sandys, at Miles bar, overlooking the Marina in Ramsgate. Between the two of us and the others present, we both listened and had a useful hour's discussion surrounding the key local issues and concerns relating to the harbour.
I arrived home to find a book in my post. This was a signed copy of 'Beaufighter Over the Balkans' by Steve Stevens DFC. Steve is now in his nineties. I got talking to him when he enquired about booking a banner for the Christian party before the General Election. He's a fascinating character who caused havoc flying missions against enemy shipping, gun emplacements and tactical targets in low-level, surprise rocket attacks in occupied Yugoslavia. I must admit that it's a privilege and a pleasure not only to have him send me a copy of his book but to have spoken with him several times on the telephone, pilot to pilot and hear him reminisce on some of the remarkable 'scrapes' he found himself in. My father's best friend was a famous Mosquito pilot who lived quietly in Broadstairs until his death. John Brown was mentioned for his role in 'Operation Hydra', the famous raid on the Peenemunde rocket site in 1943.
You may have read about the robbery at Westgate at Paydens, earlier in the week. I 'Tweeted' about it just after it happened. In fact I missed the raid by a matter of minutes and arrived at the Post Office with a prescription to fill at the same moment as the police, which did come as a surprise. Like everyone else, I'm horrified that such a violently aggressive incident should take place in Westgate and I returned when the dust had settled a little to enquire if everyone was alright. Ironically, Inspector Pearson tells me that crime is generally down in the area, which is encouraging but an incident like this one at Paydens, is bound to colour people's perceptions and fear of crime. It very much sounds as if the robbers were young, very stupid and possibly local and so I very much look forward to reading of swift results by the police in bringing them to justice.
Finally, if you haven't noticed, the foundations for the wooden seaplane pier in St Mildred's Bay have been completely uncovered by wave action and a shifting of the sands. I've never seen the whole length of the pilings exposed before and now you can clearly see how wide it was, extending from where the small bridge in front of the car park was further out onto the sands, allowing the aircraft to be winched in and out in 1915.