Tuesday, 28 October 2014

First female pilot to be honoured in her home town Ipswich

This is the type of announcement that causes me internal conflict!
On the one hand this is a worthy individual and her statue an exciting addition to our collection of sculptors but on the other hand I find £60,000 rather a large some to raise via public appeal. 
I think this is a contender for some Lottery money. However feel free to say that the money is a drop in the ocean and you would be willing to stick your hand in your pocket to contribute. I can honestly say I wouldn't. I prefer giving to real live people that need it today. 
But hey, don't let me spoil this lovely announcement - I'm still proud of her.

An appeal is to be launched to commission a statue of Ipswich-born aviator Edith Maud Cook in her home town of Ipswich.

Edith Maud Cook was an adventurous young woman, born to a modest family in 1878. An experienced balloonist and parachutist, she undertook her first flight at the controls of an aeroplane when she flew a tiny Bleriot XI at Pau Airfield in southern France, in January 1910,  and, in doing so, became Britain’s first female pilot.

Suffolk Aviation Heritage Group, which is leading the project, has commissioned some sketches by Suffolk aviation artist Geoff Pleasance of how the statue could look and is exhibiting these at Ipswich Borough Council’s Tourist Information Centre, in St Stephen’s Church. The exhibition, which is on until Christmas, gives the public an early opportunity to comment on the ideas. 

The project to honour Edith Cook in her home town began in 2007 and last year outline planning consent was granted for a statue to be erected in Fore Street, in sight of her birth place. The statue is to be produced in bronze by renowned Suffolk sculptor Sean Hedges-Quinn, the man behind Ipswich's Sir Alf Ramsey and Sir Bobby Robson statues.

It is hoped that the costs of around £60,000 can be raised via public appeal.

Edith went on to make many more flights during the first half of 1910, before her death in a parachuting accident in July of that year, aged just 31 years. Her achievements, both as a highly experienced balloon parachutist and a pioneering aviator, were largely forgotten for almost a century.

The project is supported by the Ipswich Women's Festival Group, which included Edith on their Ipswich Women's History Trail. Copies of the trail are available at the Tourist Information Centre, priced at 75p.

Further information:
David Stainer, Tourist Information Centre Manager, tel: 01473 258070, david.stainer@ipswich.gov.uk

Thursday, 9 October 2014

Good Luck Giles - I Know Who I Want Steering The Ship

Much is made of Nigel Farage's disposition and the way he portrays himself as 'one of the lads'.

People talk about how he has a pint in his hand and goes to the pub, like it's akin to a first class degree in relationships. Whoopee - Cameron goes to the pub too but he doesn't use it as a badge that says 'I'm normal'!

When I get on a plane, I don't want to be greeted by a pilot who's 'one of the lads' and gives you a wink as you enter his den. I don't want to listen to an incoherent accent that I might not understand when it comes to any emergency instructions.

No, I want a composed, poised, confident, well educated, well spoken, well trained experienced pilot who focuses on the destination and when things go wrong he or she knows exactly what to do in a calm and effective way, making decisions that could save lives.

If people want Nigel Farage they'd better know what he would do when it comes to landing in a storm, with one wing dipped downwards and the other upwards requiring an emergency re-take off feet from the ground of Luton, whilst passengers are screaming that we're all going to die. (Sorry, just reliving a dreadful experience - but gratitude to a wonderful pilot who didn't speak for 15 minutes while he focused on saving all our lives).

I don't want a captain of a ship who decides he is 'one of the boys' by doing a sail-by to salute onlookers in an endeavour to impress the ladies, resulting in hundreds of people dying.

I just don't want 'one of the boys'. I don't need someone who shows us he drinks, burps and calls everyone else a politician when he is the biggest one of all, an MEP, no less and rakes it in more than the next guy.

People have said to me that I'm a 'real' person as a politician and would make a great PM.

No, I wouldn't! I'm far too outspoken, cockney, maverick, passionate (not a bad thing but has to be in small doses - I don't do small doses). Once the novelty wore off, people would be screaming for me to step down. I'd probably end up causing a riot somewhere! I know my limitations.

Be careful what you wish for people of Clacton - I was there Saturday in Wheeley and you were fantastic.

I was invited in for a cup of tea, more times that day than the whole of my canvassing years in Ipswich put together.

And Giles - if you read this - go and see that lady called Joy whose details I gave to the campaign centre in Wheeley. Fantastic woman who needs help and gave me a lovely big hug when I left her house.

I am trusting the people of Clacton to understand what they really are voting for when they vote UKIP - it will not be a UKIP government or even more than a handful of UKIP MPs but you might just let the worst of all scenarios be a reality next year.

Milliband is not even 'one of the boys'. In fact is he even of this planet? Clegg is a nice enough guy but not half as clever as his beautiful wife.

And as much as I love Boris, Theresa May is now looking more of a leader and PM in waiting than he is.

There's only one man who fits the description of the Captain who can steer the ship in the right direction.

Luckily, that's who we've got.