World War Two anniversary: how news broke that ‘Britain and Germany are at war’

September 3rd, 2015

Ceremonies will take place in Europe today to mark the 75th-anniversary of the start of the Second World War.

War came formally to Great Britain at 11 o’clock in the morning of September 3 when a dejected Neville Chamberlain informed the public that London had told Berlin that unless it delivered a pledge to withdraw its forces from Poland a state of war would exist.

“I have to tell you now no such undertaking has been received so consequently this country is at with Germany,” stated the prime minister.

In Poland, the presidents of Germany and Poland have met at the small Westerplatte peninsula near the city of Gdansk at which the very first shots of the war were fired when the Nazi battleship Schleswig-Holstein opened fire on the tiny Polish garrison defending it.

Polish and German bishops also met in the town of Gliwice in southern Poland to commemorate a “false-flag” raid on a German radio station by German troops posing as Poles on August 31, 1939.

Hitler used the raid as a pretext to launch his invasion of Poland on the next day, and two days later Great Britain and France, abiding to pledge to support Poland, declared war on Germany.


World War Two

Polish army will be drafted in to settle Nazi gold train mystery

September 1st, 2015

Meanwhile authorities have blocked public access to the site following a suspicious forest fire over the weekend.

At a crisis meeting on Tuesday morning, police, the town council and the local forestry commission agreed to seal off the area.

Police and technicians have now erected signs warning would-be explorers not to trespass in the area.

The embankment by the Wroclaw-Walbrzych main line considered to be the favourite for the train’s location in the town of Walbrzych, southern Poland, was badly scorched along with 219 square yards of forest and bush.

The blaze was only contained when five fire engines were scrambled to the scene after the alarm was raised at around 8pm on Sunday night.

Locals come to take a look at the believed location of the the Nazi 'Gold Train'at Walbrzych

On Friday a Polish official confirmed that an object had been found which may be the fabled Nazi ‘gold train’.

Piotr Zuchowski, head of conservation at Poland’s culture ministry, said his officials had seen radar images of a train discovered by two treasure hunters who had been tipped off to its location by one of the men who hid it.

“A man on his deathbed gave the people looking for the train the information they needed to find it,” he said, describing the find as “unprecedented”.

The Polish culture ministry later said on Tuesday it would no longer comment on the train, saying in a statement that all questions should now be referred to the Dolny Slask authorities.

Both Walbrzych and Dolny Slask authorities have previously said they remain sceptical about the train and had seen no conclusive evidence of its existence.

Since the end of the Second World War rumours of Nazi gold train disappearing without trace have flourished in the town of Walbrzych, in south-west Poland, close to the border with the Czech Republic.

Although the train’s cargo is as yet unknown, Polish officials have confirmed that the two treasure hunters will be in line for a finder’s bounty.

Mr Zuchowski said: “If it is confirmed, the train is carrying valuable items, the finders can expect a 10 per cent finder’s fee, either in the form of a reward from the ministry or from the owners of the property.

“Of course any items of value will be returned to their original owners, assuming we can find them.”

Meanwhile experts have claimed that the apparent discovery of a Nazi train thought to be packed with looted treasures could be the first of many, suggesting just a fraction of Hitler’s vast tunnel complex in the country has so far been discovered.

Walbrzych in western Poland has been gripped by the decades-old mystery of missing Nazi gold trains since officials said on Friday they are ’99 per cent certain’ that a hidden train has been discovered by treasure hunters.

Matt cartoon, 1 September


World War Two

How Donald Duck helped win Second World War – and beat Mickey to the job

August 30th, 2015

A BBC Radio 4 documentary is to explore how Disney helped the Allied war effort with a series of films dedicated to educating Americans on what they could do to help at home.

Other films showed public information such as how to collect war bonds, and attempted to explain how Nazis were indoctrinated.

The documentary, presented by former Disney cartoonist Gerald Scarfe and to be broadcast on September 2, will explore the question: “Why did Donald Duck get drafted?”

How Dad’s Army nearly became a casualty of BBC battle

It has been made to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the end of World War Two, and will interview historians as well as featuring archive audio from Clarence Nash, the original voice of Donald.

The final show will detail how Walt Disney Studios helped the US government spread their messages by using favourite cartoon characters in newly-created films.

They included The Spirit Of 43, which saw Donald praise the benefits of income tax, The Fuhrer’s Face, in which Donald has a nightmare he works in a Nazi artillery factory, and Commando Duck, in which he destroys a Japanese command base.

“He was a duck who was very typical of an American,” said Clarence Nash, in a clip featured on the show. “He would express his opinions real well, you know?”

Brian Sibley, who has written books on Disney and Mickey Mouse, told the programme: “Mickey Mouse was very important to Disney. It was his lucky talisman, he’d built a studio really on the back of the success he’d had with Mickey Mouse.

“I don’t think he wanted him tarnished, really, with having him involved in propaganda.

“Certainly not the way in which Donald Duck was involved.

“He was irascible, he was apt to fly off the handle, lose his temper.

If you wanted a character to stand up to Hitler, you couldn’t have one better than Donald Duck.

“Mickey was always used for slightly more reserved roles. He would be an ARP warden with a tin hat, telling people to ‘put that light out’. That kind of thing.”

At the time, the use of Donald was described as the equivalent of “MGM giving Clark Gable”. Polls shortly afterwards found 37 per cent of the American public did indeed feel more inspired to pay their taxes.

Disney himself is said to have been inspired to contribute after serving as an ambulance driver in First World War France, fibbing about his age.

He was rumoured to have been put on Hitler’s “personal hit list” as a result of the studio’s wartime efforts.

A Radio 4 spokesman said: “This documentary explores how the iconic Californian studio became a war plant in the 1940s, which churned out ground-breaking military training films and propaganda shorts, educational posters and leaflets, along with insignias for troops to help boost morale on the frontline.”

The programme will be broadcast on Radio 4 on Wednesday, September 2 at 11am.


World War Two

Nazi gold train’s existence revealed in deathbed confession

August 28th, 2015

Mr Zuchowski told a press conference on Friday that the dying man was involved the operation to hide the train 70 years ago. The identity of the man, and the two treasure hunters – believed to be a Pole and a German – who claimed the find last week has not been revealed, and remain part of the mystery still surrounding the train.

The minister said he is now “99 per cent” that the train has been found, after seeing photographs of an object taken with ground penetrating radar.

“This is unprecedented. The train is over 100 metres long, and is armoured. We do not what’s inside but its armour indicates it has a special cargo,” said Mr Zuchowski. “There is probably military equipment but also jewellery, works of art and archive documents which we knew existed, but never found.”

And the suggestion that the train carried stolen personal items, rather than solid gold blocks, has sparked a keen interest among specialists in returning looted property to their lawful owners.

“We are still very keen to establish the facts surrounding the content of this train, but certainly the discovery alone is of great interest,” said Mary Kate Cleary, Art Recovery Group’s research and due diligence director.

The entrance to the Riese tunnels where the treasure may have been found

“The Nazis engaged in a systematic campaign to loot works of art and cultural property from public and private collections in Europe with close to 80,000 objects confiscated in Poland alone. If even a fraction of that number can be recovered from this train then we could be witnessing one of the most significant finds in modern history.”

The authorities and the finders have kept the exact location of the train secret, owing to fears that it could be booby trapped and that any explosives on it could have become unstable, and so pose a danger to other treasure hunters who have reportedly descended on Walbrzych in the hope of getting to the train first.

Despite the news blackout on the location Radio Wroclaw, a radio station in southern Poland, claimed the train was located somewhere beside a four-kilometre stretch of the Wroclaw-Walbrzych main line near Walbrzych. This would tie in with one of the original rumours of a gold train, which said the Nazis had parked a locomotive with trucks in a tunnel off the main line and then concealed the entrance.

Although just what the train might have been carrying is still unclear, Mr Zuchowski said the two treasure hunters are in line for some kind of reward for their efforts.

“If it is confirmed, the train is carrying valuable items, the finders can expect a 10 per-cent finder’s fee, either in the form of a reward from the ministry or from the owners of the property,” said the vice minister. “Of course any items of value will be returned to their original owners, assuming we can find them.”

Ms Cleary, the art restitution expert, welcomed the Polish government’s promise of returning the items to their owners. She added that recovery operations of this scale require international cooperation.

“We encourage authorities to make public the details of any artworks, cultural property or archival documents so that we can begin efforts to identify and return them to their rightful owners,” she said.

Archaeologists have said that any excavation process could take months.

The tunnels are thought to be under Ksiaz Castle

Along with the fear of landmines, unstable explosives and booby traps the train could now be buried under tonnes of earth and rock.

Some historians have warned that it might also have been carrying secret supplies of chemical weapons.


World War Two

Did a deathbed confession reveal the location of Nazi gold train?: live

August 28th, 2015
  1. A deathbed confession revealed the existence of the train. We don’t know who made that confession.
  2. The train’s location was then pinpointed with ground-penetrating radar.
  3. The train is along a 4km stretch of track on the Wroclaw-Walbrzych line.
  4. The train’s contents are not certain. However, it could contain gold, art, jewellery and documents.

13.42

More from Piotr Zuchowski, the head of conservation.

He also said.

Quote We do not know what is inside the train.

Probably military equipment but also possibly jewellery, works of art and archive documents.

13.36

Piotr Zuchowski, head of conservation at the culture ministry, described the find as “unprecedented”.

Quote The train is 100 metres long and is protected.

The fact that it is armoured indicates it has a special cargo.

Nazi gold train announcement

13.34

Poland’s culture ministry says that whatever is on the train will be returned to the rightful owners, if they can be found.

13.26

13.22

According to Radio Wroclaw, the train is located along a four kilometre stretch of track of the Wroclaw-Walbrzych line near Walbrzych.

13.18

Wow!!

13.14

OK – we have news now from the press briefing.

Matthew Day, our man in Poland, says they have announced that evidence of the existence of the train came from photographs taken using GPR.

What is GPR?

Wikipedia tells me:

Ground-penetrating radar (GPR) is a geophysical method that uses radar pulses to image the subsurface. This nondestructive method uses electromagnetic radiation in the microwave band (UHF/VHF frequencies) of the radio spectrum, and detects the reflected signals from subsurface structures. GPR can have applications in a variety of media, including rock, soil, ice, fresh water, pavements and structures. In the right conditions, practitioners can use GPR to detect subsurface objects, changes in material properties, and voids and cracks.

13.03

While we wait for the details from this press conference, here is a look at Polish tunnels…

12.55

It looks like even this press conference – which we thought was happening at 12.30pm – could be a myth.

We’ll let you know…!

12.48

Some people have speculated that the train could be below Ksi?? Castle in Wa?brzych.

Ksiaz Castle in Walbrzych, Poland

12.46

Legend has it that a train set off from the western city of Wroclaw (then known as Breslau) during the final days of World War II before mysteriously disappearing around Walbrzych (Waldenburg at the time).

Walbrzych officials have said the train was found on city land but are keeping its exact location under wraps – ditto for the identities of the two men.

12.30

We believe the press conference will be held by Piotr Zuchowski, Poland’s head of national heritage.

Yesterday he said:

Quote I’m certain the train exists, but it might contain dangerous materials from World War Two.

12.09

As we wait for the press conference to start, you may like to read this background article on the legend of the train.

Has a lost Nazi ghost train carrying gold finally been found? Two treasure hunters think so

12.05

There remain so many unanswered questions with this story.

What we are hoping to find out is:

- Does this train exist, and if so has it definitely been found?

- What does it contain?

- What happens next?

An old miner shaft at the Old Mine Science and Art Centre in Walbrzych, Poland

12.01

A press conference is due to be held at 12.30 UK time (1.30pm in Poland) with the latest details.

So to recap:

  1. Poland’s deputy culture minister says he is “convinced” the train exists.
  2. He has warned people not to search for it, because it could be booby trapped or mined.
  3. Experts are warning that the gold could be tooth fillings, rather than pristine gold blocks.
  4. The identity of the two men claiming the 10 per cent fee remains unclear.
  5. The location – or even existence – of the train remains unclear.

12.00

Hello, and welcome to The Telegraph’s live coverage of the possible discovery of a legendary Nazi gold train.

Part of a subterranean system built by Nazi Germany in what is today Gluszyca-Osowka, Poland


World War Two

Nazi gold train ‘found’ in Poland: live

August 27th, 2015

Latest

07.00

How could you hide a train for 70 years? Trains are big things.

For more answers to some of your questions, here’s a handy explainer.

06.00

Summary

Here is a brief summary of what we know (and what we don’t) so far after a regional mayor’s office in southern Poland confirmed that a train of a “military nature” had been found.

  1. “Significant discovery” made in the Polish city of Walbrzych
  2. Zygmunt Nowaczyk, deputy mayor of Walbrzych, said “the discovery was in the town’s district”
  3. Two unidentified men are claiming through a lawyer that they have found the legendary Nazi gold claim
  4. Arkadiusz Grudzien, a spokesman for Walbrzych council’s legal office, said: “The train is of a military nature. There is no mention of valuables: just military equipment”
  5. The lawyer for the two men, Jaroslaw Chmielewski, said: “This is a find of world significance, on a par with [discovering] the Titanic”
  6. The Polish state treasure and culture ministry has been informed in case the find contains anything of value

04.15

Patrick Ney, director of the British Business Centre in Warsaw, wrote a blog a couple of years ago about the tunnels the Nazis built in south-west Poland. He wrote:

Quote Somewhere, under the hills and mountains of Lowers Silesia, lie seven underground complexes. The Project Reise network, built by Organisation Todt, comprise hundreds of kilometres of underground tunnels, bunkers and research facilities. Unseen from the air by the thick Silesian forests above them, and protected by the dense rock, thousands of slave labourers toiled with basic equipment to create the network, attached to the magnificent Baroque castle of Ksia?, as either a research station or as one of several Fuhrer headquarters.

Apparently there are Nazi artefacts littering the tunnels to this day:

02.33

Part of a subterranean system built by Nazi Germany in what is today Gluszyca-Osowka, Poland. According to Polish lore, a Nazi train loaded with gold, and weapons vanished into a mountain at the end of World War II.

It was reported last week that Polish authorities held a crisis meeting in which they warned treasure hunters against trying to unravel the mysteries of the train, warning it may have been boobytrapped by the Nazis:

Quote Jacek Cichura, the local governor in Walbrzych, where the train allegedly was found, said the meeting was to explore how authorities can safely handle the train if it is located.

“Our priority is the safety of the public,” Mr Cichura said. “If the gold train actually exists, then it is probably mined. There is also the possibility of methane.”

00.50

The Telegraph’s Matthew Day has put together this helpful explainer on what we know – and don’t know – about the rumoured Nazi gold train find:

Quote How did the “gold train” legend begin?

Not long after the war a Pole spoke with a German miner who was about to leave the area because it was to become part of post-war Poland. The miner spoke of how a train laden with treasure had been parked in a secret siding in the last days of the war. Since then people have been looking for that train. There is no documentary evidence supporting the “gold train” legend.

23.57

The hills around Walbrzych are home to some of the Project Riese tunnels – the code name for a construction project of Nazi Germany in 1943–45, consisting of seven underground structures. The purpose of the project remains uncertain.

23.48

The legend goes that as the Nazis treated from the Red Army in 1945, several tons of gold held in the German city of Breslau (now Wroc?aw in Poland) were piled onto a train. Reports state the train may contain the gold fittings from the Amber Room of Frederick I of Prussia – considered the Eigth Wonder of the World.

However, the train never reached its destination and went missing in south-west Poland.

If this has indeed been found in the countryside around Walbrzych, it would be of priceless value and one of the most important historical discoveries ever.

23.31

Is this where the train is buried?

23.25

Arkadiusz Grudzien, a spokesman for Walbrzych council’s legal office, said:

Quote The letter (from the ‘finders” lawyer) does not give the exact location but there is no doubt the location is within the limits of our district.

The train is of a military nature. There is no mention of valuables: just military equipment.

23.10

It could take up to six months to dig the train up, some experts have said – assuming it’s buried.

23.02

At a press conference Zygmunt Nowaczyk, deputy mayor of Walbrzych, said “the discovery was in the town’s district”.

The Polish state treasure and culture ministry have been informed in case the find contained anything of value, Matthew Day reports.

23.00

The train, according to legend, is 500 feet long, armoured, with gun platforms and a cargo of precious metals. Not so easy to hide.

Hunt begins for legendary £1billion in Nazi gold

22.43

An old miner shaft at the Old Mine Science and Art Centre in Walbrzych, Poland

All we know for sure so far from today’s developments is a press officer in the Polish town confirming a military train has been found and the Walbrzych’s deputy mayor saying there was “formal information”.

22.07

The Telegraph’s Matthew Day visited Walbrzych last week. Marek Marciniak, the owner of a cafe adjacent to Walbrzych town hall, told him:

Quote People are talking about it. They are talking about in the town. My clients talk about it and we’ve had a lot of journalists coming by.

And when I go home and flick on the television I see a lot of news about the about the ‘gold train’.

Ksiaz Castle in Walbrzych, Poland

Mr Marciniak, like many others, is quick to stress everybody has heard stories about the train and its gold before, and how people have tried and failed in the past to gain their fame and fortune by finding it. What sets this time apart from the others, he pointed out, is that the two claimants have taken a legal step by filing a claim with the local authorities in Walbrzych in the hope of attaining a finder’s fee of 10 per-cent of the value of the find.

21.56

The legendary Nazi ghost train that disappeared without trace into the mountains around Walbrzych in April 1945 with a cargo of gold as it fled the advance of the Red Army.

21.36

The two men who have apparently found the Nazi gold train said through their lawyer that they would only reveal the location of their alleged find if they were guaranteed to eventually receive a finders’ fee of 10 per cent of its value.

Workers Inspects Gold Bars Taken From Jews By The Nazis And Stashed In The Heilbron Salt Mines

21.31

A deputy mayor in Poland says lawyers for two men who claim to have found a Nazi gold train have told him that it is somewhere in the southwestern city of Walbrzych.

Zygmunt Nowaczyk said on Wednesday that the lawyers have not offered any proof of the alleged discovery. Nonetheless, Mr Nowaczyk said he will pass on the information he has to the national government because if found, the train would be state property. Speaking at a press conference, he said:

Quote The city [of Walbrzych] is full of mysterious stories because of its history. Now it is formal information — [we] have found something.

21.30

Hello and welcome to our live coverage it emerges that “something significant” has been found in the Polish city of Walbrzych, where searchers are looking for a lost Nazi gold train.


World War Two

On the hunt for the Nazi gold train: Inside the Polish tunnels hiding the bullion

August 23rd, 2015

Mr Marciniak, like many others, is quick to stress everybody has heard stories about the train and its gold before, and how people have tried and failed in the past to gain their fame and fortune by finding it. What sets this time apart from the others, he pointed out, is that the two claimants have taken a legal step by filing a claim with the local authorities in Walbrzych in the hope of attaining a finder’s fee of 10 per-cent of the value of the find.

Ksiaz Castle in Walbrzych, Poland

This is a measure nobody before has taken, and has fuelled speculation that this time somebody may have actually found something.

But just where the train might have been found remains unknown. The two who have claimed to have found it have kept the location under wraps, saying, through their lawyer, that they may reveal their secret to the president of Walbrzych next week. But until then the location stays secret.

The local press have claimed one place the train could lie is the village of Walim. Stretched along a valley some 12 miles west of Walbrzych and overlooked by the forested Owl Mountains, Walim has emerged as a contender for the location because its hills are home to some of the Project Riese tunnels.

One of the biggest construction projects in the history of the Third Reich, Project Riese involved digging miles of tunnels in a series of complexes across the Walbrzych region, which was until 1945 part of Germany. Thousands of slave labourers died hewing the rock for reasons that still remain unclear. Some say the tunnels were for a secret command centre, others claim they were for underground factories for Hitler’s secret weapons, or even hid research on an atomic bomb.

An old miner shaft at the Old Mine Science and Art Centre in Walbrzych, Poland

To this day not all the tunnels have been explored so believers in the gold train legend say the locomotive and its cargo may still lie hidden in a secret siding.

On his office computer Pawel Brzozowski, Walim’s director of culture and tourism, pulled up an old German map of the village. It showed a now non-existent railway line running into Walim. He explained the theory was that there may have been a special track laid that led into a Reise tunnel.

“In May we found that somebody had carried out illegal digging on one of the hills near the cemetery not far from the track may have been, and this indicates that somebody has been searching,” he said.

Some of the tunnels and caverns in Walim’s hills are large, big enough, perhaps, to house a train. Mr Brzozowski said he hopes the legend and its gold lies buried somewhere in the hills but maintains a dose of scepticism.

“It would be important for us, if it was found,” he explained. “It could bring people here, and already people are asking about it. We are just waiting to see what happens. But some people laugh about it because there have always been stories about the train.”

Further up the valley at the entrance to Walim’s Reise tunnels, now a tourist attraction, Marcin Pasek, shakes his head at talk of finding the gold train. A tunnel guide for five years he has heard the legend many times and it still fails to ring true for him.

“I have my reservations about this,” he said with a slight laugh. “There has been talk but no evidence. Maybe there was some treasure but why leave it on a train? In the past Nazi loot has always been found in boxes: never on a train. Or maybe somebody has found a train, but perhaps it’s just an old abandoned train with no treasure.”

While his scepticism about the discovery claims appears to strike a chord with many people in the Walbrzych region there is also abundant hope the train and its precious cargo will soon be uncovered. That would bring a surge of publicity to a region unknown to many in Europe, and provide a an economic boost to town to a that has suffered of late.

Mines around Walbrzych have closed, jobs lost and the population has dropped 170,000 to 110,000 in just 25 years.

“We hope it’s true. For this region it would be good news,” said Mr Marciniak, the cafe owner. “But even it isn’t, the legend will live on,” he added with a smile. “Nobody ever sees the Loch Ness monster but people still go to Loch Ness.”


World War Two

On the hunt for the Nazi gold train: Inside the Polish tunnels that may hold the bullion

August 22nd, 2015

Mr Marciniak, like many others, is quick to stress everybody has heard stories about the train and its gold before, and how people have tried and failed in the past to gain their fame and fortune by finding it. What sets this time apart from the others, he pointed out, is that the two claimants have taken a legal step by filing a claim with the local authorities in Walbrzych in the hope of attaining a finder’s fee of 10 per-cent of the value of the find.

Ksiaz Castle in Walbrzych, Poland

This is a measure nobody before has taken, and has fuelled speculation that this time somebody may have actually found something.

But just where the train might have been found remains unknown. The two who have claimed to have found it have kept the location under wraps, saying, through their lawyer, that they may reveal their secret to the president of Walbrzych next week. But until then the location stays secret.

The local press have claimed one place the train could lie is the village of Walim. Stretched along a valley some 12 miles west of Walbrzych and overlooked by the forested Owl Mountains, Walim has emerged as a contender for the location because its hills are home to some of the Project Riese tunnels.

One of the biggest construction projects in the history of the Third Reich, Project Riese involved digging miles of tunnels in a series of complexes across the Walbrzych region, which was until 1945 part of Germany. Thousands of slave labourers died hewing the rock for reasons that still remain unclear. Some say the tunnels were for a secret command centre, others claim they were for underground factories for Hitler’s secret weapons, or even hid research on an atomic bomb.

An old miner shaft at the Old Mine Science and Art Centre in Walbrzych, Poland

To this day not all the tunnels have been explored so believers in the gold train legend say the locomotive and its cargo may still lie hidden in a secret siding.

On his office computer Pawel Brzozowski, Walim’s director of culture and tourism, pulled up an old German map of the village. It showed a now non-existent railway line running into Walim. He explained the theory was that there may have been a special track laid that led into a Reise tunnel.

“In May we found that somebody had carried out illegal digging on one of the hills near the cemetery not far from the track may have been, and this indicates that somebody has been searching,” he said.

Some of the tunnels and caverns in Walim’s hills are large, big enough, perhaps, to house a train. Mr Brzozowski said he hopes the legend and its gold lies buried somewhere in the hills but maintains a dose of scepticism.

“It would be important for us, if it was found,” he explained. “It could bring people here, and already people are asking about it. We are just waiting to see what happens. But some people laugh about it because there have always been stories about the train.”

Further up the valley at the entrance to Walim’s Reise tunnels, now a tourist attraction, Marcin Pasek, shakes his head at talk of finding the gold train. A tunnel guide for five years he has heard the legend many times and it still fails to ring true for him.

“I have my reservations about this,” he said with a slight laugh. “There has been talk but no evidence. Maybe there was some treasure but why leave it on a train? In the past Nazi loot has always been found in boxes: never on a train. Or maybe somebody has found a train, but perhaps it’s just an old abandoned train with no treasure.”

While his scepticism about the discovery claims appears to strike a chord with many people in the Walbrzych region there is also abundant hope the train and its precious cargo will soon be uncovered. That would bring a surge of publicity to a region unknown to many in Europe, and provide a an economic boost to town to a that has suffered of late.

Mines around Walbrzych have closed, jobs lost and the population has dropped 170,000 to 110,000 in just 25 years.

“We hope it’s true. For this region it would be good news,” said Mr Marciniak, the cafe owner. “But even it isn’t, the legend will live on,” he added with a smile. “Nobody ever sees the Loch Ness monster but people still go to Loch Ness.”


World War Two

A history of the world in funny puns

August 21st, 2015

For many of us, it's a punderful life (pun: a joke exploiting the different possible meanings of a word or the fact that there are words which sound alike but have different meanings) and to mark the UK Pun championships, we present a history of the world in puns. So here goes. Once a pun a time . . . it all started with THE BIG BANG, a theory which describes how the Universe began in a rapid expansion about 13.7 billion years ago. It is thought that all of space was created in this first moment. Expert and scientist Stephen Hawking (and who can put down his book about anti-gravity?) has even appeared in a cameo for American sitcom The Big Bang Theory. Here are some space puns:  •  How does the Solar System hold up its trousers? With an asteroid belt • What kinds of music do planets sing? Neptunes • An astronaut broke the law of gravity and earned a suspended sentence • That was a poor joke about infinity – it didn't have an ending Gallery compiled by Martin Chilton Picture: Alamy

dinosaurs

Ancient Egypt

noah's ark

Stonehenge

Socrates

Julius Caesar

Jesus

Vesuvius

hadrian's wall

King Arthur

Battle of Hastings

The Black Death

Gutenberg

Columbus

Renaissance

Spanish Armada

Gunpowder Plot

Great Fire of London

Acts of Union

Boston Tea Party

French revolution

Waterloo

Stephenson

the gold rush

Darwin

Abraham Lincoln

Marx

Vincent van Gogh

Olympics

Freud

Queen Victoria

Ford Model T

WW1

Russian Revolution

Wall Street Crash

WW2

Einstein

Cuban Missile Crisis

James Bond

Moon landings

Nixon

Mao

berlin wall

Dolly the Sheep

Google

Football

Harry Potter

Obama

YouTube


World War Two

Children play with live World War Two bomb on Welsh beach

August 20th, 2015

And stunned dad Gareth, 34, tweeted his surprise when he learned of the news and shared photos of Erin, six, and Ellis, four, and their close call online.

Gareth posted: “So the bhoy my kids were jumping on all weekend turns out to be a WW11 bomb. Oops.”

Kelly said: “The tide was up so we discovered what we later learned was the bomb – we just thought it was a bhoy.

“We were more interested in the barnacles on it and the kids were looking at them while Gareth noticed that it had a chain on.

“I even made the joke that it was a big bomb at the time but did not think anything of it.

“It’s only afterwards when the reality has set in that we were actually very lucky.

“We were close to disaster – it’s shocking.”

Despite the close call Gareth and Kelly, who run a waste management firm and also coach the town’s rugby union team, they insist that they would return to the beach.

Kelly said: “I wouldn’t be worried about going back but we will definitely be more cautious when we do.

“I’ve heard of things being washed up on the beach before but nothing like this.

“We’ll definitely think twice before messing with something like that in future and we went down for a look to see it get blown up.”

Cllr Meryl Gravell, executive board member for leisure for Carmarthenshire Council, said: “I would like to reassure the public that we have taken the appropriate action, we apologise for any inconvenience whilst the beach is temporarily closed.”


World War Two