Driver Jack Parkes jailed for Mark Scott death crash

Mark Scott

A reminder to all young drivers in Deeside that every time you take your car out on the road you are cocking a loaded weapon. Drive sensibly and carefully, especially if you have just passed your test, you are not invincible.

Sadly the skid marks from this accident are still a visible reminder of this tragedy.

BBC News – Driver Jack Parkes jailed for Mark Scott death crash.

Proven Wind Power – Blown to Bits

Wind power has taken another blow, as the P and J reports:

The owners of more than 600 small wind turbines have been told to shut them down amid fears of catastrophic mechanical failure.

Experts said last night that blades could fly off the Proven 35-2 generators, which are dotted all over the north, in the worst-case scenario.

The troubled manufacturer of the turbines has suspended all sales and warned its biggest investor – the London-based Low Carbon Accelerator (LCA) fund – that it will not be able to cope with its current losses unless it gets another cash injection.

Proven Energy revealed drive shafts in the 35-2 model had an “acute” defect and told owners that the machines – which can produce up to 12.1kilowatts and cost up to £70,000 – should be left stationary, with the “parking brake” applied. The advice to stop the turbines follows so-far unspecified problems with three machines.

The manufacturers had this statement

Proven Energy has become aware of a potential manufacturing defect in its Proven 35-2 wind turbine (The Proven 7 and Proven 11 are unaffected). We are investigating this, however, our work to date has now shown that a significant number of shafts may be affected across multiple manufacturing batches.

With that in mind we are now advising all Proven 35-2 owners to place their wind turbines on brake as soon as it is safe to do so. Under no circumstances should you apply the parking brake whilst the wind turbine is rotating at normal operating speeds since this will place extra stress on the shaft. We will ensure that you receive regular updates in the interim period.  Please accept our apologies for any inconvenience caused.

LCA have said:

Details of the company’s financial troubles emerged earlier this week when investor Low Carbon Accelerator (LCA) announced that Proven is “incurring losses that it cannot sustain without a further injection of cash.”

LCA has more than £11m invested in Proven, but said it “anticipates having to make a substantial or total write-down of its investment.”

Might be a little tricky getting a return on that investment. Never mind I’m sure there will be a subsidy along shortly.

Press and Journal – Article – Turbine firm issues safety alert over blades.

‘Perfect’ Highland soldier killed on patrol in Afghanistan is named

Corporal Michael John Pike
Corporal Michael John Pike

Sad to report that the soldier killed on Friday 3rd June was from Huntly in Aberdeenshire.

Father-of-two Corporal Michael John Pike, 26, of 4th Battalion, The Royal Regiment of Scotland, died on Friday. His commanding officer described him as

“the perfect example of a Highland soldier- loyal and fiercely courageous”.

He added

“The loss of Corporal Mike Pike has been felt deeply by all ranks of the Battalion. He was an enormously popular, charismatic and engaging character; a natural leader in every way. As a junior commander he was entirely dedicated to his soldiers, leading from the front with every step and they would follow him anywhere.

“A natural practical joker, his innate sense of fun was a constant source of amusement and relief for the whole Platoon. He was marked out by his constant wry smile whether leading his company from the front at PT or pushing his section on when under pressure; simply unflappable.

“As one of the brightest stars in the Battalion, he had already been earmarked for having potential for the very highest promotion. Whether as a commander or as a friend he was the perfect role model.

“As a soldier, he was one of the most professional I have known, and he was the very epitome of a Highland soldier: fierce in battle, compassionate to all and unswervingly loyal to his friends – a code he lived by to the very end.

“Our thoughts and prayers are entirely for his family, and especially Ida, Joshua and Evelynn in Germany; above all else he was a deeply loving and caring family man. His loss has left a hole in the Battalion, in his company and especially his platoon. However, I have a strong suspicion that he would not want us to dwell on his loss, I suspect that he would simply put his kit on, make a joke about it and carry on in the same dedicated, professional manner.”

My thoughts are with his family and friends at this sad time.

BBC News – ‘Perfect’ Highland soldier killed on patrol in Afghanistan is named.”

Two men hurt in serious ‘spillage’ road accident

UPDATE: I have just heard that the driver of the Corsa has sadly died in Hospital. My thoughts are with his family and all his friends on this sad night. May he Rest in Peace.

Sadly the driver of the Black Corsa above was a friend of my eldest son’s. He is now badly injured and in hospital. My thoughts are with his family.

This is the third accident for friends of my son in as many weeks, and luckily the first two only involved damage to walls and cars.

As you can imagine with my son just coming up to 17  his mum is worrying herself sick about how he might drive. Happily, at least at the start, he will be restricted to my trusty and very slow Skoda Fabia 1.9SDI.

I hope that some of the kids in this area will start to take a look at accidents like this and learn. If they don’t, then soon, they will be attending the funeral of one or more of their mates. This is not the way to learn about how to drive.

Whilst the article refers to a possible spillage, in 90% of these accidents, speed has been a contributory cause.

Drive carefully.

BBC News – Two men hurt in serious ‘spillage’ road accident.

I’ve Voted, Have you,3 hours left to Vote for Change

Vote Conservative

It’s time to get out and exercise your democratic right, It’s time to vote. Of course I would prefer if you voted Conservative but any vote is better than none. There is nothing worse than listening to someone who says ,

“Oh I didn’t Vote, they are all the same”,

arguing political points.

As Boris tells us

This is it. As I write these words Gordon Brown should be teetering on the edge of the political oblivion he so richly deserves.

One shove, one nudge, one tiny prod in the right place – and we will at last be rid of this bankrupt embarrassment of a Labour government. Just one last push and this great country will be spared another five years of Gordon Brown.

We will avoid the drift and dither of a hung parliament. We will give a Conservative government the chance to offer dynamic and energetic government and by tomorrow morning we will begin the work of undoing the damage done by Labour.

Who is there left to administer this final judicious kick to the Labour Party’s ample posterior?

It could be you

Time for Change, Vote for Change, Vote Conservative on May 6th, Vote Alex Johnstone in West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine.

Vote Conservative today, get Change Tomorrow

Vote Conservative today, get Change Tomorrow

Time for Change, Vote for Change, Vote Conservative on May 6th, Vote Alex Johnstone in West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine.

The Conservative Party | Video | Webcameron.

I have Voted , Have you?

Vote Conservative

It’s time to get out and exercise your democratic right, It’s time to vote. Of course I would prefer if you voted Conservative but any vote is better than none. There is nothing worse than listening to someone who says ,

“Oh I didn’t Vote, they are all the same”,

arguing political points.

Time for Change, Vote for Change, Vote Conservative on May 6th, Vote Alex Johnstone in West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine.

A bracing reminder of the price we pay for Political Freedom

National Memorial Arboretum

If you want a reason to Vote then read the following column by Benedict Brogan in the Telegraph, a little snippet:

On Monday, partly out of frustration with this uncertainty, I escaped the campaign for a few hours and went to the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire. It being a May bank holiday, visitors were welcomed by squalls of rain and hailstones whipped up by a bitter north wind. We quickly learned the trick of keeping within sprinting distance of shelter as we followed the paths leading up the tumulus to the memorial recording the names of our most recent war dead.

Despite the weather, however, there were squadrons of people climbing the long white steps to the circle of Portland stone from which, when the rain eased, it was impossible not to admire the green of England in the spring. Families, couples, solitary visitors running a slow finger over a recognised name, groups of squaddies just returned from duty or about to go on tour – all taking turns to peer through the gap in the wall, which is designed to capture the sun at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, and beam a shaft on to the bronze wreath in the centre.

More than 15,000 names are inscribed there, and as is right for a country that has no plans to give up its ambitions to be a global player any time soon, there is room for another 15,000. The stonemason is even now adding the names of those who died on active service last year. He has got as far as Upton S R, the crisply engraved letters recording our debt to Warrant Officer Sean Upton, 5th Regiment Royal Artillery, blown up by an IED while on patrol in Helmand last July. His wife Karen, with her children Ewan and Hollie, was the first war widow to receive the Elizabeth Cross, the Queen’s and the nation’s recognition of the terrible sacrifice we require of our military families. Despite the wind, the acoustics of the circle amplified quiet exchanges and observations from all around us: “That’s Jack”, “He was just 19”, “We were mates”.

The memorial is not a place for talking politics. Those I fell into conversation with appeared to be uniformly certain to vote, and agreed that the greatest duty of the nation and its politicians was to remember the cost of freedom. Some found it odd – no more – that Afghanistan, a war we have now been fighting for longer than any foreign conflict since the Napoleonic Wars, has barely rated a mention during the campaign.

Hopefully on Friday David Cameron will be setting up, as his first task in Office, the War Cabinet to try and sort out the mess that is Afghanistan.

Time for Change, Vote for Change, Vote Conservative on May 6th, Vote Alex Johnstone in West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine.

Election 2010: a bracing reminder of the price we pay for political freedom – Telegraph.

Time to Vote: Vote for Change

Today is the the day. The day we get to exercise our democratic right to vote, the day we get our chance to tell the country how we should be governed.

But to do this you have to vote, if you don’t vote you can’t later say “I told you so”. You can’t complain, because you didn’t bother to vote.

Remember that in many case you won’t get this right for another five years.

So remember get out there and vote, it takes two minutes and is totally painless.

One final thing…

It’s Time for Change, Vote for Change, Vote Conservative on May 6th, Vote Alex Johnstone in West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine.