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Sunday, June 3rd 2018, 12:55am

The Philippine Navy is quite content to welcome the 30th Flotilla. Perhaps they might call at Cavite in the future.


Sunday, June 3rd 2018, 11:08am

Once they get bedded in, I'm sure the 30th Flotilla will visit their friends in Cavite. I'm sure they might even pay a visit to to Japan one day.


Saturday, July 14th 2018, 5:26pm

5 October
Delegates to a conference organised by Sir Julian Huxley at Fontainebleau agree to formation of the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

6 October
Sir Henry Gurney is appointed High Commissioner of Malaya.

10 October
The Hoover Company today opened a new factory for the mass production of washing machines at Merthyr Tydfil in Wales.


Saturday, August 4th 2018, 10:16am

12 October
The Topical debate programme Any Questions? is broadcast on the BBC Home Service for the first time today. There is a rule that no questions can be asked on topics that have been discussed in the Houses of Parliament during the last two weeks.

The first prototype Gloster Meteor F.Mk.VIII fighter, serialled VT130, made its maiden flight today. This improved Meteor has an extended nose by 30 inches to improve directional stability and a new tail unit to maintain the centre of gravity. A retractable gunsight and a Martin-Baker ejection seat are also fitted. 450 are on order for delivery from 1950 onwards.

16 October
The Army has begun field tests with a batch of twenty 7x43mm chambered FN FAL automatic rifles.


Saturday, September 1st 2018, 11:58am

20 October
BCAC announced today that the Royal Thai Air Force has ordered 24 ex-RAF Buccaneer maritime patrol/strike aircraft to replace their ageing Handley Page Hereford fleet. The aircraft will be overhauled at Filton and delivered early next year.

27 October–6 November
The London Motor Show at Earls Court. A record 562,954 visitors witness a wide range of new products from British manufacturers.

Several new models have been unveiled or displayed for the first time at a major British exhibition.

The Allard Motor Company showed its new M and N Model cars, which are larger versions of the four-seat L which has been on sale for the last couple of years.

Aston Martin Lagonda Ltd. came under the onwership of Sir David Brown last year and has launched a new car at the the Motor Show. The Aston Martin 2-Litre Sports (also known as the DB1) is a two-seat sports car. The prototype was entered at the 24 Hours race at Spa in 1948 as a way of testing its durability and the car won the race outright with drivers St. John Horsfall and Leslie Johnson. The 2-Litre Sports has a more conventional body and uses the 90hp 2.0 litre Claude Hill engine for a top speed of 93mph.

Austin has several new models this year.
The Austin A90 Atlantic was launched at the show as a sporting four seat convertible. The Atlantic was designed by Italian Austin stylist Dick Burzi. It has a top speed of 91 mph and can accelerate from 0-60 mph in 16.6 seconds. Fuel consumption is 21.7 miles per imperial gallon. It has independent suspension at the front but leaf springs at the rear. The underpinnings are based on the A70 Hampshire saloon.

The Austin A70 Hampshire is a large four-door saloon car. It is a conventional body-on-frame car with similar styling to the smaller A40 Devon. The most common A70 is the saloon but estate and pickup versions are also built. The 2.2 litre (2199 cc) straight-4 pushrod engine provides 67hp and was first mounted in the earlier Austin 16 hp. Acceleration from 0-50 mph takes 14.5 seconds and the maximum speed is 83.3 mph.
The UK price is £648 which includes a heater.

A prototype A40 Dorset Tourer has been built and was on display but the car is not marketed in Britain, being a product for the Australian market and manufactured locally there.

Ford had little new to show but its Anglia, the 1946 Model being an upgrade of the original 1939 design, is currently Britain's lowest priced four wheel car at £309 including taxes.

The little Donald Healey Motor Company had their new Healey Sportsmobile, a two-seat sports car introduced in 1948, powered by a 2443 cc Riley 4 cylinder engine giving a maximum speed of 99mph, making it one of the fastest production cars available today.

The Humber company, another stalwart of the industry had one new model on display for its official debut, the Humber Hawk Mark III. It has a completely new chassis and body but retains the engine and transmission of the Mark II. The new body was styled by the Loewy Studio. The chassis is new with a coil sprung independent front suspension. The rear axle is also a new design with hypoid gearing. The body can be finished in a wide range of colours, both as two-tone and metallic.

Jaguar Cars Ltd. had two new models to launch which caught the eyes of many of the well-heeled buyers at the Show.
The Jaguar Mark V is a saloon car which retains the 1936 driveline including the Jaguar overhead-valve pushrod straight-6 2.5 litre and 3.5 litre engines. Claimed power output is 104hp for the 2664 cc Mark V and 126hp for the 3486 cc engine. The chassis is new with independent front suspension by double wishbones and torsion bar. It also has hydraulic brakes and an all pressed steel body. There is also a drophead coupé version. The 3.5 litre car has a top speed of 90.7 mph and can accelerate from 0–60 mph in 20.4 seconds. The price of the 3.5 litre Mark V is £1,263 including taxes.

The XK120 is Jaguar's first sports car since the SS 100, which ceased production in 1945. The "120" in its name refers to its 120 mph top speed which makes the XK120 the world's fastest standard production car at the time of its launch. It is available in two open versions, as the roadster and also as a drophead coupé and also as a closed coupé. The first cars, all roadsters, are hand-built and have aluminium bodies on ash frames. To meet demand it is necessary for mass-production versions so from 1950 all will have pressed-steel bodies with aluminium doors, bonnet, and boot lid. The engine has an alloy cylinder head and twin side-draft SU carburettors and the dual overhead-cam 3.4 litre straight-6 XK engine is advanced for a mass-produced unit. It developed 160hp. All XK120s have independent torsion bar front suspension, semi-elliptic leaf springs at the rear, recirculating ball steering, telescopically adjustable steering column and all-round drum brakes. The price of the roadster is £1,263 including taxes.

Jowett Cars of Bradford launched a sports car aimed at the man with a budget. The Jowett Jupiter is a two-seat closed coupe sports car using the power train of the current Javelin model. The Jupiter uses a tubular steel chassis. The suspension uses soft torsion bars and anti-roll bars front and rear with independent suspension at the front. The engine is mounted very far forward ahead of the front axle line with the radiator low behind it over the gearbox. Adjustment of the anti-roll bars easily influences oversteer and understeer to provide fine suspension tuning. The flat four overhead valve engine of 1486 cc is more highly tuned than in the Javelin and develops 60hp giving the car a maximum speed of 85 mph and a 0-50 mph time of 11.7 seconds. The price is £986 including taxes.

MG Cars provided yet another sports car for the punters to decide between. The 1948 TD Midget combines the earlier TC's drivetrain, a modified hypoid-geared rear axle, the MG Y-type chassis, a familiar T-type style body and independent suspension using coil springs from the MG Y-type saloon. Also new is the rack and pinion steering, smaller 15-inch (380 mm) disc type road wheels, a left-hand drive option and standard equipment bumpers and over-riders. The car is also 5 inches wider with a track of 50 inches.

Morgan launched a new car, the Plus 4, a larger and more powerful version of the 4/4 model made between 1936 and 1939. The engine is a 2088 cc engine based on that used in the Standard Vanguard fitted in a strengthened and longer 4/4 chassis. Hydraulic brakes, all drum, are fitted. Body styles available are a 2 seat sports, 4 seat sports and more luxurious 2 or 4 seat drophead coupé.

Morris had a large stand as befits one of the country's most popular car brands. Their latest new product is a four-door saloon version of the Morris Minor.

Another large and popular firm, Standard, have launched an estate version of the Vanguard to provide growing families with more space.

Triumph has updated their Roadster. The 1948 model is the 2000 Roadster with the 2088 cc Standard Vanguard engine and transmission. Top speed is 77mph and 0-60 takes 27.9 seconds.

Vauxhall has been fighting hard to maintain a sizable market share against Austin, Morris and Standard and have launched two new models this year.
The Vauxhall Velox (L-Type) is a medium sized four-door six-cylinder saloon. It was introduced as a successor to the Vauxhall 14. The body has American-type styling. The engine is a newly developed straight six cylinder engine of 2275 cc, with overhead valves. The 54hp provides a top speed of 74 mph. Fuel consumption is 22.3 miles per imperial gallon. Power was delivered to the rear wheels via a three speed manual gear box with synchromesh on the top two ratios. Optional extras include a heater from which warm air was evenly distributed between the front and back areas of the passenger cabin and which can also be set to de-ice the windscreen in winter or to provide cool air ventilation in summer. Also available at extra charge is an AM radio integrated into the facia. The price is £550 including taxes.

The Vauxhall Wyvern is a medium sized four-door family car introduced as a successor to the Vauxhall 12. The engine is a four cylinder motor of 1442 cc delivering 33hp. Top speed is 60mph and fuel consumption id 30.9 miles per imperial gallon. The column mounted gear change is linked to a three speed manual gear box which incorporates synchromesh on the top two ratios. The Wyvern's body is of integral construction and is identical to the Velox. Independent torsion bar suspension is fitted at the front with a traditional semi-elliptic set-up for the rear axle. Optional extras include a heater from which warm air was evenly distributed between the front and back areas of the passenger cabin and which can also be set to de-ice the windscreen in winter or to provide cool air ventilation in summer. Also available at extra charge is an AM radio integrated into the facia. The price is £479 including taxes.


Sunday, September 16th 2018, 10:39am

8 November
The King today issued Letters Patent granting the title of Prince or Princess of the United Kingdom, with the style Royal Highness, to the children of The Duke of Edinburgh and The Princess Elizabeth, Duchess of Edinburgh. Their first child is due later this month.

14 November
Princess Elizabeth today gave birth to a son.


Saturday, October 20th 2018, 10:44am

17 November
The University College of Ibadan was founded on a newly built campus today. The origins of the university are in Yaba College, founded in 1932 in Yaba, Lagos as the first tertiary educational institute in Nigeria. Yaba College has transferred to Ibadan to form the University College of Ibadan.

21 November
Air Staff have raised a requirement for a beam-riding air-to-air guided missile as OR.1056.

23 November
A major search operation has begun in the North Atlantic for a missing cargo vessel, the SS Hopestar. On 14 November, Hopestar was reported to be 450nm off St John's, Newfoundland. The ship was reported that she had been damaged by heavy weather during a Force 9 gale. The last report from Hopestar was at 12:00 that day, when she was at 43°00′N 56°08′W. Hopestar was on a voyage from Newcastle upon Tyne to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where she was to collect a cargo of grain to return to Britain with. Both Royal Canadian Air Force and US Coast Guard ships and aircraft are involved in the search.

25 November
The missing ship SS Hopestar has been declared to have foundered with the loss of all hands. The search for survivors is continuing.


Saturday, October 20th 2018, 2:46pm

Hmmm... very suspicious that nothing is mentioned about the cargo she was carrying (OTL according to wiki, she "was in ballast at the time"). Must have been carrying something bad that the press is not allowed to know about. :)


Saturday, October 27th 2018, 12:09pm

26 November
The search for survivors from the SS Hopestar has been called off after no sign of debris or survivors after several days of intensive aerial and surface searches. It is still not known exactly what happened to the ship, some have speculated a refit to install a third boiler last year may have led to structural weakness which caused a breach in the hull during the heavy weather she was sailing in.

1 December
The Caribbean Housing Finance Corporation Limited has revealed several successes since its formation in 1926 to fund new private housing for Jamaica’s growing middle-class and white population and more recently to help fund social housing for local communities. The company currently has around 9,800 mortgaged properties in Jamaica and has provided funding for 10,800 social dwellings owned by the Government. The Jamaica Housing Development Company Limited has been responsible for building social housing since its formation in 1938, around two-thirds of completed housing has been funded by the Caribbean Housing Finance Corporation. Around 15,600 homes have been built so far in total but ambitious plans for a new planned town with 25,000 homes were shelved in 1945 due to lack of finances.


Sunday, November 4th 2018, 12:57pm

8 December
Patrick Blackett wins the Nobel Prize in Physics "for his development of the Wilson cloud chamber method, and his discoveries therewith in the fields of nuclear physics and cosmic radiation".

9 December
At Chatham five of the new and advanced 1948 Class long-range submarines were today commissioned into the Royal Navy with the 9th Submarine Flotilla at Chatham. HMS Oberon, Odin, Olympus, Osiris and Otter have replaced five of the older P Class submarines commissioned nearly two decades ago.

10 December
T. S. Eliot wins the Nobel Prize in Literature "for his outstanding, pioneer contribution to present-day poetry".


Monday, November 12th 2018, 5:42pm

14 December
The well-known biscuit producer McVitie & Price Limited has merged with another Scottish family bakery, Macfarlane, Lang & Co., Ltd. and Crawfords Ltd. to become the United Biscuits Group, the largest producer of biscuits and crackers in Britain.

15 December
The Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh's one-month-old son is christened His Royal Highness Charles Philip Arthur George of Edinburgh.

The Royal Egyptian Navy today formally commissioned four new sloops which have recently been built in Britain. The El Malek Farouk, Mohammed Ali El Kebir, Ibrahim el Awal and the Al Seddiq will form the 2nd Patrol Squadron at Alexandria. The ships are based on an export version of the Bay Class sloops currently being built for the Royal Navy.

18 December
Two new sloops, HMS Discovery Bay and HMS Manatee Bay have commissioned and formed the 3rd Seaward Defence Flotilla at Kingston, Jamaica. These are the first of 14 sloops planned for the Seaward Defence Programme.


Sunday, November 25th 2018, 11:43am

19 December

The SS Phoebe Ann had plied the Tyneside coal trade between Jarrow and London since 1909, this scruffy little collier had performed hard service and was still going strong.
Tim Beales, the ship's boy, was bringing the Skipper, Captain Mike Judd, and the helmsman their mid-morning cuppa. He had just started to climb the ladder to the wheelhouse when the ship leapt and trembled as if a giant hand had punched and lifted her bows. A sound like all the waves from all the storms he had ever rode out filled his ears, a roar that rumbled his insides. He was flung backwards, and lost his grip, falling overboard.

The fore-end of the laden craft was shrouded in spray and sank like a stone. The stern too was going under fast at a crazy, nearly vertical angle. Tim swam away as fast as he could, when he looked back the Phoebe Ann had disappeared.

Luckily a Grimsby trawler, the Cleveland Success, had only been five miles away and had witnessed the explosion. They altered course and sped towards the scene. They fished young Tim out of the water, and another survivor, Ernie Coulson, who had just managed to escape the engine room and jump overboard before she went down. Within two hours they were safely ashore, the quayside soon packed with a throng as news of the rescue spread.

The police notified the Ministry of Transport and Shipping and soon the Admiralty had been informed of the nature of the loss of the Phoebe Ann, a minesweeper from Harwich being sent to investigate the site of the sinking, Trinity House also sending a vessel to the area.


Monday, November 26th 2018, 1:51am

Most distressing, and most mysterious... surely not a leftover mine from the Great War? What does this portend?


Thursday, November 29th 2018, 3:56pm

20 December

Speculation was rife in the press and among the fisherman of Hull and Grimsby, there was much talk about the likely fate of the SS Phoebe Ann.
From initial information gained from the two survivors and the crew of the nearby trawler, the Cleveland Success, it appeared to the Royal Navy investigators that the cause was probably a mine. Since the arrival of a minesweeper, one of the available vessels in the area, the Navy had begun a search for the wreck. The inshore survey craft HMS Aveley had been drafted in and the salvage ship RFA Racer was heading from Portsmouth to hopefully further the investigation alongside a commercial salvage tug and support from Trinity House.

At the moment the Navy was refusing to speculate as to the cause and all anybody could do was wait until divers had inspected the wreck.


Thursday, November 29th 2018, 5:09pm

Major Schellenburg follows the press reports carefully and keeps Berlin informed of any verifiable facts.


Friday, November 30th 2018, 3:57am

One thing's for sure, it's not mine.


...I'll see myself out. :P

* * * * *

The British without doubt have plenty of vessels and personnel capable of doing the job, but as a professional courtesy, the French Navy would offer both the light hydrographic ship Ingénieur Elie Monnier and some aqualung-trained divers.


Saturday, December 1st 2018, 11:08am

Lol, nice joke Brock!


December 21

There was a small party on the fantail of the Aveley .
"You ok 'Rattler'?"
The diver, ensconced in his cumbersome gear, face barely visible though the open porthole of his mask, replied. "Aye, ready as I'll ever be."
Leading Seaman Knowles flipped down the faceplate, screwing it down tight. The brave Welshman now fully enclosed gave a thumbs up. Knowles replied the same and 'Rattler' was helped to the side of the boat. Soon he was clambering down into the water, a trace of bubbles as he descended the line that headed down towards the wreck of the Phoebe Ann.

Lieutenant Fraser rubbed his hands in the cold, off the starboard beam just visible 5 miles away in the murk was the Jurassic coast, the coast of Yorkshire.
"What do you think he'll find down there Sir?" Knowles asked.
"A fair mess I should think. I hope he doesn't hang around down there, its liable to be very cold down there." Fraser checked his watch.
"Don't worry Sir, there is only one better diver in the Navy than Rattler. That's me" Knowles grinned.

Thirty minutes later the head of the diver's suit emerged in the swell, like an alien being from an underwater world. Helped aboard a waiting ship's whaler, he was brought back aboard.
"Its a proper mess down there Sir."
"What condition is the wreck in?" Captain Harbell asked.
"Well Sir, the ship was cut clean in half, the bow is fair mangled. I couldn't see the stern section, its too murky down there. It must be further to the north."
Harbell pondered a moment, "would you say the damage was consistent with an external explosion?"
"I couldn't swear to it Sir, its so dark down there, I was groping around. The damage was extensive, some of the plates were clearly torn."
Harbell patted him on the shoulder. "You'd better get below and warmed up. You did a good job. This is going to be a big job." Turning to Fraser, "The Racer should be here by tonight. That gives us a couple of days to do what we can as long as the weather holds."
"Do you think it was a leftover mine Sir?" Fraser asked.
"You don't think we got all of them back after the last war do you? We probably missed more than a few. Could have been ripped loose in a storm and drifted inshore, a blow with unstable explosive and poof. Who knows. Just poor bad luck."

The Admiralty, London


In an attempt to seal up the northern exits of the North Sea, the Allies developed the North Sea Mine Barrage. During a period of five months from June 1917 almost 70,000 mines were laid spanning the North Sea's northern exits. The total number of mines laid in the North Sea, the British East Coast, Straits of Dover, and Heligoland Bight is estimated at 190,000 and the total number during the whole of the war was 235,000 sea mines. Clearing the barrage after the war took 82 ships and five months, working around the clock...

The Commander in Chief The Nore and Channel, Admiral Harold Burrough, read the latest Admiralty paper on the subject of mines. It was conceivable that mines had been missed, but not mentioned were the thousands of German mines laid for coastal defence. All the time French and Belgian farmers were digging up unexploded ordnance left over on the former battlefields. The war had left its marks everywhere. Of course it was possible it had been foul play, but who would want to sink an old collier and besides the IRA had never amassed such a bomb as to blow a ship out of the water. And such a bomb would be bound to be spotted. It was a mystery but in time it would be solved.


Saturday, December 8th 2018, 11:59am

23 December
No less than five minesweepers were searching an area around the wreck of the Phoebe Ann, so far nothing else had turned up and no other mines found.
The salvage operation was put on hold until after Christmas and better weather but several bodies had been recovered and were buried at a service led by the Mayor of Hull, the families agreeing the shipmates should rest together.

In the German-phobic parts of Scarborough, who remembered the shelling of the town in the Great War, rumours of German mines spread. Of course the Admiralty remained tight-lipped but conceded it was possible a left-over mine had broken free of its moorings in a storm and drifted by chance into the path of the Phoebe Ann. Whether its identity could be ascertained was another matter. Ship owners were still worried over the safety of their vessels however and were pressing the Admiralty for a wider minesweep along the entire East coast.

26 December
Bertrand Russell gives the first annual Reith Lecture on the BBC Home Service. His lecture was entitled Authority and the Individual. The Reith Lectures will be a series of annual radio lectures given by leading figures of the day commissioned by the BBC to mark the historic contribution made to public service broadcasting by Sir John Reith, the corporation's first director-general. Lord Reith maintained that broadcasting should be a public service which enriches the intellectual and cultural life of the nation. It is in this spirit that the BBC each year invites a leading figure to deliver a series of lectures on radio to advance public understanding and debate about significant issues of contemporary interest.