Northumberland Ghostly Hitch-hiker ?

Perched on the side of a rural road, a ‘phantom hitchhiker’ gave pals Rob Davies and Chris Felton a spooky surprise.

The ghostly sight of a man all in beige seeking a lift near Belsay in Northumberland left the Gateshead radio presenters in for a sleepless night.

The pair claim the man was dressed in RAF gear as he emerged late at night – and they have since discovered that he was stood close to where an air force jet crashed during the Second World War.

Rob, from Whickham, and Chris, from Birtley, had been out recording a piece on the anniversary of the Battle of Otterburn and were heading home along the A696 just after 11.30pm on Wednesday when they spotted the unusual figure.

Rob, 27, said: “We saw a man standing at the side of the road. We both actually jumped at first because we didn’t see him until very late.

“He was dressed in a beige colour from head to toe. He was sticking his arm out for a lift, but we could not stop in time due to being at 60mph.”

Rob claims the man’s eyes did not reflect the car’s lights and added: “Chris, who was driving, decided to turn around for him but we both agreed that he looked a bit odd. We were two miles north of the nearest village and there was nothing for miles.

“We said we would pick him up if he was real and just make sure he was dropped at the nearest village, and joked he might be a phantom hitchhiker.

“I started filming on my iPhone as it seemed a bit odd. We couldn’t remember how far back he was, but we saw him again and slowed.

“He was dressed in what I can only describe as RAF gear and was holding something under his arm, which looked like a helmet or some kind of bag.

“We had to turn again so we could pick him up.”

However, when they did so…

Full story & photo of alledged ghost at: http://spirit-of-place.boards.net/thread/37/northumberland-ghostly-hitch-hiker

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Fulwell Acoustic Mirror, Sunderland

A page about this interesting World War I relic – it was supposed to give forewarning of Zeppelin attacks – has been posted on the Spirit Of Place website –

http://spiritofplace.weebly.com/fulwell-acoustic-mirror.html

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‘Just take the fucking picture’ – the charm of the royal family

While the Battle of Britain lasted three months, testing the resolve of millions of Londoners and the RAF, waiting for a photograph to be taken for just a few minutes was enough to test the patience of the Duke of Edinburgh.

Prince Philip was at a photocall at the RAF Club to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the  battle when he became irate at how long it was taking to pose for a photograph with some war veterans.

Alongside Prince William, Prince Edward and Edward’s wife Sophie, the Duke of Edinburgh pointed at a man and said, “Just take the fucking picture!”,  while others laughed at Duke’s outburst.

Of course they laughed – nice one, putting the pleb in his place.

I just wish the photographer had replied : “just sit down and shut up, you over-privilaged old git. Come the revolution, you’ll be first up against the wall… closely followed by the rest of you grinning idiots. Say cheese…”

http://northstar.boards.net/thread/219/picture

 

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Lampreys return to North East England as water quality improves

A species  of rare and protected fish has been spotted in the region’s rivers following improvements in river water quality.

The Environment Agency, working with local angling groups and Natural England, has been surveying North-East rivers searching for Lamprey.

So far one spawning site on the River Wear and a total of 20 adult sea lampreys have been counted.

In North Yorkshire, Natural England has a project underway in search for sea lampreys on the River Ouse.

River and sea lampreys are also expected to return to spawning grounds on the lower River Wharfe, Swale, Nidd and Ure.

Experts say the rare, jawless fish are a good indication of the high quality of the river water and scientists are continuing to search for more lampreys on the Wear and the Ouse river catchments.

Paul Frear, Environment Agency fisheries officer, said:

“We welcome the return of the lampreys back to Yorkshire and the North East. The lampreys are like swallows. They return to the same spot to spawn within the same few days every year.

“These illusive fish are extremely selective with their spawning sites and will only nest where the water quality is good. Their appearance is a ringing endorsement of the water quality in these areas.”

Scientists say lamprey are extremely unusual. The most primitive fish in the world, it uses its mouth like a suction-cup to attach itself to the skin of a fish and rasp away tissue with its sharp probing tongue and teeth.

They outwardly resemble eels because they have no scales and an adult lamprey can range anywhere from 13cm to 100cm. They have large eyes, one nostril on the top of their heads, and seven gill pores on each side.

Claire Horseman, from Natural England, said:

 “We are hoping that the lamprey projects being undertaken by Natural England and the Environment Agency will help us better understand the migratory behaviour of these primitive species and the challenges that they face along their migratory route. With this increased understanding we can work towards restoring lamprey populations to their former status.”

During the Middle Ages lampreys were widely eaten by the upper classes throughout Europe, especially during fasting periods, because their taste is much meatier than that of other fish.

The deaths of two English kings,  Henry I and John, are said to have been from overindulging on the fish.

Source ; http://northstar.boards.net/thread/218/lamprey-return-region-quality-improves

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Viking rowing boat to launch at Whitburn beach

An environmentalist’s dream of launching a Viking rowing boat is to become a reality next weekend.

Bob Latimer commissioned Northumberland boat -builders to construct a traditional St Ayles skiff, a wooden rowing boat designed to hold six people.

Work is now complete and the vessel – the Latimer Ledja – is to be officially launched on Sunday 12 July, from 11am at Whitburn beach.

Mr Latimer, from Whitburn, said:

“Barring bad weather, the launch will take place on Sunday so we’re hoping for a good day. We’ve invited another skiff from Amble to come along on the day.

“After the launch, from 12.30pm to 1pm, we’re planning a half hour ‘have a go’ sessions, when new ‘skiffies’ will be welcome to have a row.”

Between 1pm and 3pm on Sunday there will be a ‘social row’ into the River Wear or north towards Souter Lighthouse and Marsden Rock, after which pasties and cakes will be served.

The Ledja has been made at Boulmer near Alnwick, Northumberland, by fisherman Jeff Matthews and volunteer Ray Angus.

Full story :  http://northstar.boards.net/thread/180/viking-rowing-launch-whitburn-beach

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Mexican Demons attacked in covert operation

A few weeks have elapsed since Mexico became the first country in the world to be subjected to a covert mass exorcism – but we are still awaiting proof that its demons have fled to pastures new.

The Great Exorcism (exorcismo magno) took place in May, and was presided over by Cardinal Juan Sandoval Íñiguez, the Archbishop Emeritus of Guadalajara – and a man who was accused last year of inciting violence against Mexico’s gay community.

According to this report, high levels of violence, as well as drug cartels and abortion in the country, were the motivation behind the exorcism which was “carried out quietly” in the Cathedral of San Luis Potos, no doubt to take Satan and his hordes by surprise.

Íñiguez presided at the closed-door ceremony, which was also attended by Archbishop Jesús Carlos Cabrero of San Luis Potosí, Spanish demonologist and exorcist Father José Antonio Fortea and a smaller group of priests and laypeople.

The event was not made known to the general public beforehand. According to Archbishop Cabrero, the reserved character of the May 20 ceremony was intended to avoid any misguided interpretations of the ritual.

Fortea said that:

The exorcism performed in San Luís Potosí is the first ever carried out in Mexico in which the exorcists came from different parts of the country and gathered together to exorcise the powers of darkness, not from a person, but from the whole country.This rite of exorcism, beautiful and liturgical, had never before taken place in any part of the world.

Full story ;  http://northstar.boards.net/thread/174/mexican-demons-attacked-covert-operation

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A beach hut, which plays an atmospheric soundtrack inspired by the coast

A beach hut, which plays an atmospheric soundtrack inspired by the coast, has begun its journey around the country in the North-East.

Electronic pop star Martyn Ware, who was a founder member of both Heaven 17 and The Human League, has developed audio for the project and was in Seaham, County Durham, today (Wednesday, July1) for its launch.

Next week the installation will move on to Orford Ness, Suffolk and finish up in Porthgain, Pembrokeshire.

Visitors are invited to enter the mini sound booth where they can record their thoughts about what the coast means to them.

Mr Ware, who is from Sheffield, said:

 “I was very happy to do it because I have done a lot of projects concerned with preserving the acoustic ecology and recording people’s memories.

“In the case of this area and the post-industrial location, maybe people’s memories of sound that used to occur in the industrial parts of town, when there used to be a big community here, has changed.”

The recordings that people make in the hut will be used as contributions towards One and All, an online digital artwork combining audio visual and interactive landscapes.

It has been commissioned by Trust New Art, the National Trust’s contemporary arts programme, and sounduk.

Full story :  http://northstar.boards.net/thread/116/project-launched-record-sounds-coastline

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