Posts Tagged ‘London’

Battle of Britain Spitfire flypast over London cancelled after Shoreham crash ramps up insurance cost

September 6th, 2015

A Battle of Britain commemoration flypast by 20 Spitfires over London has been cancelled after the Shoreham air disaster made the cost of insuring the event unaffordable.

The organisers of the flypast, which they had hoped would happen on September 20, were told they would need third party insurance cover of £250 million, which would have required a premium of around £50,000.

It raises the prospect that air shows scheduled for next year may find the cost of insurance prohibitive as a result of the Hawker Hunter crash at Shoreham, in which 11 people died.

Paul Beaver, who was organising the event, said: “The intention was that 20 privately-owned Spitfires would fly over London to mark the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain. We had started the planning in March, and had applied to the Civil Aviation Authority and even the Prime Minister to get the go-ahead.

“The route we were going to take would have made sure there was always somewhere for an aircraft to land if it got into difficulties, and usually the individual owners’ aircraft insurance, which provides £5 million of third party cover per aircraft, would have been enough.

“But after Shoreham we took soundings from an insurance expert who advises the air shows, and he said the feedback he was getting from underwriters was that we would need to take out £250 million of insurance cover, which made the whole thing untenable.

“I really hope the underwriters take a pragmatic view when the air show season starts next year, because if they don’t it will make life very difficult.”

An unrelated flypast of massed fighter planes will still go ahead on September 15 over the south of England which will be attended by Prince Harry.

Top (L-R): Matt Jones, 24, Matthew Grimstone, 23, Jacob Schilt, 23, Daniele Polito, 23, Mark Trussler, 49, James Mallinson, 72. Bottom (L-R): Maurice Abrahams, 76, Mark Reeves, 53, Richard Smith, 26, Dylan Archer, 42, Tony Brightwell, 52.

World War Two

Giant WWII bomb dug up by builders in London

March 27th, 2015

Second World War bomb blown up in Hackney’s Clissold Park
Dramatic footage of WW2 bomb raid emerges

The Met is warning the disruption could last for a long time yet as experts attempt to safely dispose of the potentially volatile device.

A Met Police spokesman said: “The device is huge – it is a big fuss. Self-evidently from the nature of the operation, it is a big one, it is being dealt with but it could be problematic.

“We are on the case along with partner agencies but this could take a very long time. We will be issuing a further statement shortly.”

A member of the Royal Logistic Corps Bomb Disposal team at the scene (Jamie Lorriman)

A spokesman for London Fire Brigade, which has crews at the scene assisting bomb disposal units and the police, said the operation was likely to be a protracted one.

He said: “A large number of people have been evacuated from that area including homes and businesses as a precaution.

“We are assisting at the incident and it is likely to be a protracted one that could go on for some time.

“Whether that is due to the nature of the device or some other difficulty we’re not sure. We are on the scene to ensure it is as safe as possible.”

Police and Royal Logistic Corps Bomb Disposal Unit securing the area (LNP)

A Scotland Yard spokesman added: “At this early stage, the unexploded bomb is thought to be approximately 5ft long and 1000lbs in weight.

“A cordon and a wider exclusion zone of 400 meters has been put in place as a precaution, whilst we deal with the incident.

“We are working with colleagues from the London Fire Brigade, London Ambulance Service and Southwark Council who are also on scene.

“There a number of road closures and traffic diversions in the area.”

A wartime digaram show different German bomb sizes

World War Two

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Massive Nazi bomb threatens to destroy London homes

March 24th, 2015

Army experts are therefore having to dig around the bomb in order to gain access and defuse it.

They have surrounded it with an ‘igloo’ of special sandbags in order to absorb some of the impact should it accidentally go off.

But locals were left in no doubt as to the seriousness of the situation with police them they could be killed if they attempted to remain in their homes.

A police officer explains the situation to a local (National)

In a leaflet the Metropolitan Police said: “The Army bomb disposal team have advised that, if the bomb explodes, buildings in the 200-metre zone will be significantly damaged and those close to the bomb will be destroyed. Remaining in your home is placing your life at significant risk.”

Local Southwark councillor Lucas Green denied claims that the police were causing unnecessary panic insisting: “This area lived through the Blitz once and it still remembers how to handle itself in a similar situation.

“There’s the danger that people may think everything is OK. But the serious work begins now.”

Southwark council re-homed around 100 people on Monday night, while the Red Cross helped to provide food and other supplies to vulnerable people who had been affected.

Second World War bomb blown up in Hackney’s Clissold Park
Dramatic footage of WW2 bomb raid emerges
Was you street bombed during the Blitz?

Map of Nazi bombs dropped on London

While it is unclear how long the operation to make the device safe will take, it is understood the plan is to load it on to an army truck and take it away where it can be safely detonated.

The bomb was found on the old site of the Southwark Irish Pensioners Centre.

Mr Green tweeted: “Seems our OAPs are hard as nails, drinking tea on top of a 1,000lb bomb for 70 years.”

The bomb was discovered in Bermondsey (Sgt Rupert Frere RLC/Crown Copyright)

A member of the Royal Logistic Corps Bomb Disposal team at the scene (Jamie Lorriman)

Local resident, Mary Chrisfield, 84, who was just eight years old when The Blitz began, said she could never have imagined she would be directly affected by the bombings 80 years after the war ended.

She said: “I remember my uncles reading about The Blitz to me from the newspaper. There was still damage visible when I moved to Bermondsey in 1950. I remember the front of St Joseph’s Cathedral was in ruins.

“I’ve lived through the time of the Blitz and people telling me about it in the years after. I never thought reading about it in the newspapers all those years ago that I would be affected by it directly.

“It is strange to think that the bombs are still here but even stranger to think they are impacting on London all this time later.”

London Fire Brigade said that between 2009 and 2014 it was called to seven unexploded Second World War bombs and five unexploded hand grenades.

Police and Royal Logistic Corps Bomb Disposal Unit securing the area (LNP)

Meanwhile an alert was sparked close to Gatwick Airport after workmen discovered another unexploded shell.

The 70-year-old ordnance was discovered underneath a tree by workmen digging up a stretch of land between the North and South terminals at the West Sussex airport.

A cordon was thrown around the area and the Perimeter Road North was closed to traffic while the Explosive Ordnance Disposal team carried out a controlled explosion.

A police spokesman said: “At 9.30am a Second World War munition, possibly an unexploded shell, was discovered close to the police dog training ground at Gatwick Airport.

“A tree appeared to have grown around the device, suggesting it had been there for a considerable time.”

Inspector Andy Richardson, from Sussex Police, said: “The passenger shuttle between the north and south terminals was temporarily disrupted for a while but flights were not affected.

A wartime digaram show different German bomb sizes

World War Two

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The Illustrated London News artwork auction at Christie’s

October 6th, 2014

Works from the collection of The Illustrated London News will be made available at an auction at Christie’s on Tuesday October 7, 2014. The diversity of original illustrations and artworks from the world’s first illustrated weekly news magazine – published from 1842 to 2003 – offer a fascinating insight into the way the publication documented key events of the time to its British and North American readership, varying from a special issue on the Royal wedding of Queen Elizabeth and Philip Mountbatten to coverage of First and Second World Wars.

ABOVE: Front cover of the Festival of Britain edition, 1951, by Terence Cuneo (1907-1996)

Picture: Illustrated London News/Christie’s Images

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In pictures: Underground London during the Second World War

May 3rd, 2014

Since he unearthed an old map of 26 “ghost” stations in 2009, former banker-turned-entrepreneur Ajit Chambers has been working on a business proposal to transform what he calls “TfL’s sleeping porfolio of assets, worth billions of pounds to the British economy.” Here, we take a look back at how the London Underground network was used during World War Two, including a few of the areas Mr Chambers now wants to re-purpose.

Workmen putting the finishing touches to the old King William Street tube station after it was converted into an air raid shelter to hold 2,000 people in March 1940. It had air-conditioning and a first aid station, all at a cost of about £20,000.


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