Archive | February 2012

Bournemouth Honours Red Arrow Pilot

Thousands of people in the Bournemouth area have signed a book of remembrance honouring the Red Arrow who died during the recent air festival.

Floral tributes have also been laid outside Bournemouth Town Hall.

On August 20, at approximately 13:45pm, the  Red Arrow pilot crash landed into a field near Bournemouth airport and died from his injuries.

The pilot was Flight Lieutenant Jon Egging, aged 33, from Rutland.  His Red Arrow Jet suffered a Mayday situation and went down over some fields just over Throop, after completing a spectacular aero-dynamic performance at the annual BournemouthAir Festival 2011.

The Red Arrows flying high at Bournemouth Air Show (Photo copyright Ibart PetitLoup Majkut (Bartosz Majkut)B

The incident is under investigation as details unfold about the final minutes of the accident.

A source close to the Arrows, who was deeply saddened by the news and wished to remain anonymous, said: “They were all lovely and would always do everything in unison. It’s so sad and really is tragic.”

The Red Arrows performing at Bournemouth Air Festival on Saturday just before Flt Lt Jon Egging crashed and lost his life (Photo copyright Ibart PetitLoup Majkut (Bartosz Majkut)

Becoming an arrow

The Arrows, known as some of the best acrobatic pilots in the world, and the public face of the Royal Airforce had performed at the show the day before and earlier on Saturday.

The Red arrows demonstrate to millions of people around the world every year and have completed more than 200 displays in more than 50 countries, including the Bournemouth Air Festival every year.

A birds eye view of Bournemouth Air Festival 2011 before the tragedy – who knew what the weekend would bring (Photo courtesy of iBart Photography)

Reports reveal that this was Jon’s first season but that Liuetenant Egging (known as Eggman), was a very professional and admirable pilot.

The Red Arrows help more than 500 UK charities a year, contributing many thousands of pounds to a wide variety of important causes. Airshow wristbands (that happened to brand the Red Arrow and Royal Airforce colours, red, white and blue) were selling out yesterday evening as people gradually became aware of the unfolding fatality.

There was a sense among serviceman that although death is a tragic thing, in the military it is a risk and one to bear as part of duty and many uniformed officers were re-iterating the professionalism and hourability kept at that level of rank but regretted the human cost and sent deepest sympathies and thoughts out to family and friends.

Flight Sergeant Ko of the Air Training Corp and young training Air Cadet said: “The Red Arrows are all professionals so if needs be they could put on another show tomorrow with the extra aircraft so I don’t think  it’ll hinder their performance.”

Human Reaction

Many air show goers were in disbelief when they heard the news and I spoke to Jim Robinson and partner from Poole and heard their reaction,

“Maybe it was a mechanical failure because they are highly trained pilots. Or maybe it’s to do with the government cut backs, you never know. That’s tragic.”

Chris, an Eco cleaning business owner, from Canford Cliffs, said: “We’ve been at the airshow all day but this is really sad about that pilot.” He added: “It’s tragic, but death is an enevitable thing and as part of the military, they have that professional attitude and know the dangers of what they do. It would be good if they did something tomorrow in respect”

Last night, when it had been confirmed that one of the renowned and talented Red Arrows had died, a memorial shrine was set up  outside the Red Arrows display on Pier Approach in Bournemouth. Security owner, former DCO (Detention Custody Officer) and watcher of the display, Gaz Jafri, 27, told of all the heartfelt reaction he had been seeing from the public throughout the day.

Security officer Gaz Jafri, 27, guards the Red Arrow and Royal Airforce display overnight

He said: “I’m physically touched about people crying and speaking about how much they love the Red Arrows.”

“They are the elite of the elitist and the best in the world.”

“As far as I understand, he had just come back from Afghanistan, so having survived that and then being involved in the tragedy that happened today is very sad.”

“We’ve been instructed by the Royal Airforce to continue the show, however, due to the tragedy we’ve been told that the Red Arrows will be grounded tomorrow as well as the Black Hawk.”

To listen to live interviews from the Air show click here 01 Track 01 6

To watch a video taken of the memorial site click here memorial

A facebook site has now been set up following the memorial of Flt Lt Jon Egging Bournemouth memorial for Flight Lieutenant Jon Egging of which there is already 10,168 people following up from 7,650 yesterday afternoon.

In Pictures: Bournemouth Gardens Flooded

Once again on the first day of Bournemouth’s infamous air Festival, the Met office forecast heavy rain.

Instead of seeing planes fly high in the sky, Bournemouth Pier was a picture of brollies and Pac-a-macs.

Bournemouth lower gardens were this morning a scene of emptiness.  Instead of the thriving, buzzing, vibrant centre of Bournemouth, the Uk’s number one tourist hotspot.

Flooded Bournemouth Gardens

 

Every year hundreds of people flock to the seaside on the 19th August for the four day air show spectacular and like last year some were sadly dissapointed by the cancelled flights.

Authorities were faced with unexpected floods and dissapointed day trippers.

An empty garden

 

Local Buisness’s were out of profit as they opened their doors to a handfull of wet and weary  punters in search of  a walm coffee and a place to escape the  endless showers.

In one incident  outside Hot Rocks Surf Resturant, Pier Aprroach,  a five meter square patch of the bricks from the concrete flooring came away from the ground.

One of Bournemouth Pride’s Lions stands strong among the floods

 

A scene that resembled the aftermath of an earthquake  was attended to by Council workers who baracaded the area, whilst local citizens helped stop wandering tourists walking into the lakes of flowing water burst from the banks of the Bournemouth Gardens gentle stream.

Posters advertising the Air Show brochures

 

Commuters struggled to get to work on time and locals were re-directed on every route towards the air festival amongst a scurry of hopefuls, who bravely ventured out to see at least some activity. They were met with more rain.

One young boy, Niall Cole, 15, all the way from Salsbury, rides the bus home from work and got stuck in Bournemouth for two hours before being picked up by his dad. He said: “I’ve been sat in the rain at the bus stop waiting over an hour for my bus! I don’t think it’s coming, I’m not happy.”

Day trippers scramble to get to cover through the rain

 

Local surfer, Weverson Possotti, 20,  told of his experience this morning: “the one day that Bournemouth gets waves and I couldn’t go surfing”. He explained he got up early to go surfing, only to be told by the lifeguard that it wasn’t safe to swim in the sea with needles that had been found on the beach, after water from the gardens had flooded from the stream into the sea.

It has been alleged that Asda, near Landsdowne in Bournemouth also suffered some damage during the heavy rains. Onlookers commented that the roof had caved in in parts. An Asda representative could not comment. Other local businesses had to close their doors for days after the damage of heavy rain, including Tshirt print on Old Christchurch Road, who had to close after all their t-shirts were ruined when the roof came in and flooded the shop.

Bare foot day trippers walking away from the air festival

 

It remains to be seen if planes will fly this evening and for the rest of the weekend, but with the majority of the air force inside having lunch at the bar, the chances of the air show happening today are very slim. It seems on this occasion traditional British weather has let us down once again. I wonder  what tomorrow will look like?

Tractors were driven in to deal with the flooding
How many air show programmes will we sell today?
Workers struggle to re-fill a hole in the ground caused by water erosion

Phantom Opera

If you’ve seen Andrew Lloyd Webber’s,  Phantom of the Opera, at Her Majesty’s Theatre you may have seen one of the most spectacular operas on the West End. Perhaps then you may not be expecting a local village amateur drama group to deliver quite the same entertainment quality.

 

In a quaint little town in the Oxfordshire countryside last week you may have seen something entirely different.

 

The Sinodun Players’ rendition of Terry Practchett’s Maskerade, adapted for the stage by Stephen Briggs, was not quite as thrilling, nor as magnificent, nor as spectacular as the actual Phantom of the Opera but Prachett’s parody of this famous story was quite simply fabulous!

In the opening scene a shreiky Christine (Natalie Lester) didn’t quite resemble something of the beautiful Christine at Haymarket. Her slightly fuller co-star Perdita (Samantha Fields) or Agnes Nitt (her alter witch ego) and Cinderella-like chum who unlike the affected pre-madonna Christine who could not hold a tune, Perdita proves to be the actual star of the show when she belts out one of Dr. Undershaft’s operatic favourites, holding her tune perfectly.

When the Ankh-Morpork Opera house owner and befuddled former cheese Merchant, Seldom Bucket (Peter Smithson), starts to receive letters signed from the Opera Ghost his nose ruffles. Unbenounced to him the Opera house had always had a ghost but it didn’t used to kill people.

When Granny Weatherwax (Dida Moore), the indomitable and inquisitive first half to the duo of the Witches of Lancre, (minus one), accompanied by the curious and crude Nanny Ogg, (Ginny Avery),  spend their time causing mischief trying to unravel the mystery which echos the storyline of the Phantom of the Opera, they find out that at this theatre, the producer really “hates opera”!

Salzella, (Graham Watt) the mysterious, supercilious and sadistic producer succeeds his counterpart opera lover, Dr Undershaft (John Jones), after he is found strangled and strung up! In more spine-chilling yet patronising and rather amusing notes the Opera Ghost strikes again with messages saying “Beware! hahaha…. Signed the Opera Ghost.”

The Maskerade leaflet

Directed by Paul Cleverly, this stage adaption was highly professional, with an ever changing set, including clever adaptions of classic stage props as well as a digital screen backdrop used for special effects for when Nanny Ogg and Granny Weatherwax embark on their coach journeys.  Accompanied by fantastic costumes and a slight hint of song from the actual musical the play was a well-rounded culmination of humourous satire alongside a more serious moral of hiding behind invisible masks and seeing through the seems.

Although, some of the acting at times could have been over done and pantomime-ish the performances given were mature yet appropriate to their roles whilst the storyline, mirroring the Phantom of the Opera was set in Pratchett’s fictional, fantasy Discworld, quite rightly explained within the play as, “Fiction- where reality meets fantasy”. Nanny Ogg, especially held her own in delivering a crudely comic role, contrasting with Granny Weatherwax’s serious demeanour and quest to “Do good!”

Nanny Ogg: “They were rattling their knobs”

Granny Weatherwax: “Not at our time of life Nanny Ogg.”

The underdog character of Walter Plinge, (Joel Webster) finally triumphs towards the end to uphold his new position, standing up straight as the new Operatic producer. A suspiscion falls on him at the beginning of Act Two that perhaps he is the Opera Ghost until Granny Weatherwax unmasks him – revealing things are not always as you see them.

In a tense yet hilarious fight scene between Walter and the actual baddy of the story, Salzella,  the latter is stabbed and reveals that actually he doesn’t really like Opera at all in his final, fake, knife-stabbing moments.

The engaging parody of the theatre within the theatre helped create the atmosphere in the wings of the Corn Exchange in Wallingford. The chandelier hung, as the audience waited for the terrible moment it came down. It remained stable till the end of the show, that was perhaps my only disappointment. But could it really beat the Chandelier at Her Majesty’s Theatre. Probably not. But then this was not the Phantom of the Opera. This was simply great acting, a fantasticly delivered storyline in one of Pratchett’s fabulous fantasy worlds and quite frankly, downright good entertainment!

The final evening saw Steven Briggs in the audience to watch his stage adaption unfold and all ticket sales and donations went to the Alzheimer’s Society (inspired by Mr. Pratchett himself and the reason for the performance). For further donations, please go to www.justgiving.com/maskerade. Alternatively visit the Corn Exchange Website on www.cornexchange.org.uk/PublicPages/

The Phantom death sets the mood of “Maskerade”
The Sinodun Players rehearsing at The Corn Exchange, Wallingford
Ex-Cheese merchant and Ankh-Morpork opera owner Seldom Bucket receives a nasty letter from the Opera Ghost
Nanny Ogg and Granny Weatherwax set out to solve the mystery of the Opera Ghost 
Nanny Ogg and Granny Weatherwax journey through Pratchett’s Discworld amidst Paul Clerverly’s carefully designed set
The Opera Ghost corners Perdita 
Nanny Ogg finds the Opera Ghost in Box 8
Granny Weatherwax suspects Walter Plinge as the killer

 

A dual to the death reveals Salzella as the real Opera Ghost and Walter Plinge as the unlikely hero of the sordid tale

The Beginning of the End?

The ongoing debate about the demise of newspapers continues but today marks a very important day that we may remember in history as the beginning of the end of print! Today, News of the World published their final edition of their 168 year old red top and Hannah Smithson went to find out what Bournemouth locals thought about the end of the paper, the phone hacking scandals behind it and the future of Journalism as we know it!

The final edition of The News of the World on Sale at Bournemouth Pier, News and Gifts

NOTW4

With a slight reluctance to comment, shopkeeper and seller of News of the World at Pier, News and Gifts in Bournemouth, Albert Bence, 19, from Landsdowne eventually revealed to me that most of the News of World papers had been sold that day and they were almost sold out. He included his views that in fact it will just turn into The Sunday Sun and said “It will just be the same journalists on that paper”.

Moving on to interview a couple from the older generations, Mrs Elizabeth Chick, 70, and Mrs June Partington, 75 from Farnborough had popped down to Bournemouth for the day but admitted you’d have to be blind if you weren’t aware of the closing of the News of the World today and the phone hacking scandals behind it. Mrs Chick voiced her opinion and said: “She’s the editor so she’s still responsible”. When asked if she thought Rupert Murdoch himself was aware of the phone hacking that went on in the midst of one of his biggest selling newspapers, will a loyal readership of 7.5m she replied: “He knows every moment, every little thing that happens to him.” Mrs Partington doesn’t believe they should of closed the newspaper because of the phone hacking scandal but thinks: “they should have got rid of the top ones.” Both ladies insist that they would hope this is not the end of newspapers as they claimed they didn’t even have the internet at home and were all for newspapers staying, insisting they have grown up with them.

Is this the beginning of the end of newspapers, I asked Steven Sims, 33 and local restaurant owner in Bournemouth. He responded: “There is nothing quite like sitting down with a cup of tea and a newspaper.”

He admitted that he thought this was someone of his generation speaking and that perhaps younger generations that have grown up with ipads and Kindles wouldn’t echo his same sentiments.

On the phone hacking scandal he recognises: “Even if it was talking about footballers wives or Jordan’s new boyfriend, it is scandalous!”

“It’s breaking the law and you’re not telling me that the people at the head of this newspaper didn’t know that.”

It has been announced today that News Corp’s Rupert Murdoch, James Murdoch and Rebekah Brooks will accept invitation to appear before MPs examining phone hacking next Tuesday.

Mr Sims continues to explain that Rupert Murdoch must have known about the phone hacking but says: “Ultimately, I suppose, it has to stop at the editor.” When asked if as a reader and citizen if he found out that Rebekah Brook came to work on The Sunday Sun whether he would feel put out he said: “Absolutely”.

On the prospect of Rupert Murdoch taking over BSkyB, Steven, a long time business man reveals that it is just basic business and said: “He would be monopolising a market”, “Where’s the equality and freedom of opinion” and agrees that David Cameron needs to step in and said: “I don’t care who your drinking buddy is, when you’re Prime Minister of a country it’s your duty and responsibility to step in”

Recent reports from the BBC say, Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation withdraws bid for control of BSkyB amid pressure over phone-hacking scandal.

On a final note when asked whether this will spark a debate over good and bad journalism and whether the public should trust the press in future, Mr Sims said:

“There’s a lot of hypocrisy, yes your average every day person would say, bad journalist, they adapt the news to meet their story but we will all still rush to buy a newspaper.”

“News as a whole never will end and the act of opening a newspaper and purchasing from your local store or having dropped through your letterbox something that’s printed on paper with black ink, yes those days might disappear and you might open up your emails to read the news or you might load up your kindle and read it off of there, yes I dare say in the next 30 years that’s where we’re going but will news ever end…? I don’t think that’s possible is it.”

‘Just Facebook’

“You don’t get to 500 million friends without making a few enemies”

 

Most would agree it would be tough to think back seven years ago and imagine our lives without Facebook. It seems that in less than a decade the creation of the infamous social network site has now come to dominate our lives considerably and change the way we communicate. Suffice to say, it must have been inevitable that one day someone would have to make a film about it.

“The Social Network”, finally hit the big screen in October last year. Holding down the top spot at the box office for weeks, the long awaited film about the creation of social networking site, Facebook, on its opening weekend in the US, took a mega $23 million, and after, is thought to have raked in over $5 million in UK box office sales. David Fincher soon took the Golden Globe for Best Director, along with eight Oscar nominations, including best picture. So I decided to ask a few of those in Bournemouth, who had eagerly awaited the film’s debut just what they thought of the notorious “Social Network” story. The Social Network

Ben Martin, 21, a second year Journalism student saw it the night it came out and reviews: “It could have been really boring but David Fincher is a great director and the script was really interesting.” On Mark’s character he added: “They made him too nice. I think he was a bigger asshole than that. There was too much scope to feel sorry for him.” He likens them to “the geeks you’d find in a brat pack film- they’re maladjusted, socially inept and misogynistic. It was very realistic.” Justin Timberlake he thought, was “right on the mark” for Sean Parker.

Tom Clements, 19, Music Production student, disagreed and thought: “JT should stick to making music not movies.”

Flora Byford, 18, first year Journo, thought Jesse Eisenberg’s portrayal really “captured the awkward geeky teenager” and revealed she didn’t realize how intelligent you had to be to set up an internet site. “The whole film showed just how big Facebook is, it’s completely worldwide and I think it has overtaken most people’s lives now.”

Scripted by Aaron Sorkin and directed by David Fincher, the tale of friendship, trust and endeavour culminates around a non-linear chronology which constantly cuts between two lawsuits, revealing the tale of jealousy and betrayal behind the success of the site and which gives the film its strap line: “You don’t get to 500 million friends without making a few enemies.”

There is an irony within the film that the creator of Facebook Mark Zuckerberg, (Jesse Eisenberg), the computer geek behind “The Social Network” is in fact rather socially inept himself, which is clear in the opening scene when his girlfriend (Rooney Mara) breaks up with him, claiming she’s not dumping him because he’s a geek but because he’s an “asshole”.

The mastermind behind the creation, a Harvard University computer nerd, is brutally rebuffed and in spite begins to blog online and sets up a crude website called fasemash.com. After receiving “22,000 hits in two hours”, the site comes to the attention of the Winklevoss twins (Armie Hammer), who approach Mark with their idea of setting up an internal Harvard networking site called Harvard Connection.

Mark has an almost identical idea that he maintains doesn’t use any of the same programming codes as the Winklevoss’s and so with the help of best friend Eduardo Saverin (Andrew Garfield), Dustin Moskovitz (Joseph Mazzello) and Chris Hughes (Patrick Mapel), sets about to send The Facebook global.

The Facebook expands from Harvard campus to Stanford where it comes under the radar of Sean Parker (Justin Timberlake), the dazzling and scatty entrepreneur behind Napster, who over lunch becomes involved and advises: “Drop the ‘The’. Just Facebook. It’s Cleaner.”

Eventually the success of Facebook sees people logging on across the Atlantic, including a rowing scene at Henley Ragatta, where the Winklevoss twins decide no longer can they maintain their silent suffering but must take legal action against Zuckerberg.

Two lawsuits later, in a scene that sees Zuckerberg having transcended from his hallowed Harvard halls to Facebook’s head office in California, where he receives Facebook business cards entitled, “I’m CEO bitch”. Garfield is much more likeable and by the end we are rooting for him when he vows to get revenge in a bitter endnote: “I’m not coming back for 30 per cent, I’m coming back for everything.”

The Social Network v The Kings Speech

The contest between The King’s Speech and The Social Network at the Golden Globes saw a contest between old and new. The former nominated for 7 awards and latter 6 with Colin Firth receiving Best Actor and Director Tom Hooper stealing away Best Director at the Academy Awards. However, The Social Network I admire for doing something new and taking on a genre all of its own- period drama v contemporary history- a phenomenon in itself.

Yes, No or Unsure about AV

The Yes and No campaign for the Alternative Vote was launched yesterday in parliament, in lead up to the referendum on May 5th. With The King’s Speech stars Helena Bonham Carter and Colin Firth backing the Yes campaign, BUzz investigates whether we should be saying Yes or No to AV?

What is AV?

The Alternative Vote is like the FTPT (First-Past-the-Post) ensuring all MPs have a real mandate whilst delivering greater choice and eliminating the need for tactical voting. It is used to elect representatives for single member constituents, giving voters the choice to rank candidates on offer.

How does it work?

Voters, instead of marking an”X” on their ballot papers are able to mark ‘1’ by their first preference candidate and a ‘2’ by their second preference and so on. If a candidate receives the majority of first-preference votes then they are elected. If there is no majority on first preference votes then the candidate with the majority of second-preference votes who finished last on the first count is re-destributed. The process is repeated until someone gets over 50% of the votes. All MPs would therefore have the support of the majority of their voters.

Where in the world AV?

Whether AV will be passed as the new voting system for the UK  remains to be seen at the May referendum. Currently Australia, Fiji and Papua New Guinea are the only countries in the world to use AV. It is supposedly, a fairer way of gaining a higher spread of votes but often can lead to a hung parliament.

Who is supporting the Yes campaign?

King’s speech star’s Helena Bonham Carter and Colin Firth bought politics onto the red carpet when they announced their support for the Yes campaign for the alternative vote. Bonham Carter who won a Bafta on Saturday night for best supporting actress in her role as Queen Elizabeth in The King’s Speech, publicly announced her support for the campaign. Firth, who recently withdrew his support for the Liberal Democrats admitting he’d been dissapointed with their role in the recent coalition, said he saw this as an opportunity for change and added he’d be “voting yes”.  Other celebrity supporters of the campaign include John Cleese, Stephen Fry,  Joanna Lumley and left wing supporter Eddie Izzard.

What about the No campaign?

No campaigners are concerned about the alleged £250 million being spent on the cost of the voting reform, with critics expressing their disgust at the priorities of the current government. Some critics are struggling to see how the expense of such a change is justified when reports of underfunding of the NHS leaves vulnerable patients in unacceptable conditions in hospital. ComRes pole figures suggest that 40% of those questioned agreed with AV, 30% disagree and 30% don’t know.

The May referendum is set to cost £85million, not including additional expense for counting machines. Some are questioning Nick Clegg’s priority of protecting the country from cuts and concentrating on boosting the economy and public services in Britain and instead focusing on creating a voting system that will keep his party in power.

The bill introducing the referendum is expected to recieve royal assent tomorrow.