Mike Hamence Sabinillas
In the late 1940s on Cambridge’s Newmarket Road near the aerodrome there was a quarry which had become a rubbish tip known as ‘Duce’s Pit’. Hundreds of scrapped cigar shaped overload fuel tanks from WWII American fighter bombers based in Cambridgeshire had been dumped there.
We street kids made flimsy catamarans out of the tanks and messed about with them on the River Cam. One day I got in the way of the Cambridge University Eight training on the Cam. The long, sleek boat came slicing round a bend in the river, its oars dipping and rising in smooth, easy unison. Pedalling furiously along the towpath, pacing the boat on their rickety-rackety push bikes, the Eight’s coaches in their college caps bawled encouragement through cardboard megaphones. I paddled frantically to get out of the way. Too late the coxswain saw me and called, "Easy oars!" but the bow’s oar caught me squarely in the chest. I clutched at it then tumbled backwards into the murky green waters. Moments later I stood sobbing and shivering on the towpath, surrounded by the infuriated coaches and their jumbled bikes. Shaking his megaphone at me one of them bawled, "Keep orf our bloody rivah"!
Editor says: Aha! So you’re the one that started all the trouble, are you?! Thanks for letting us know, Mike. Pictured are Cambridge as they won this year’s boat race after a protesting swimmer stopped the race while Oxford were ahead.
Graham Richards by email
More than half-a-million expat British pensioners living in 49 countries around the world, including British Commonwealth nations, are denied parity in basic pension payments granted to pensioners living in every other part of the world. Their pensions are "frozen" at the same amount received on the first payment.
As an example of this disparity an expat pensioner living in Canada will have his pension frozen. If he lived across the border in USA he would enjoy yearly incremental increases. If people presently living in the UK are planning to spend their pension years with family in foreign lands such as Australia, New Zealand or South Africa for example, they need to be made aware of the discriminatory actions to be taken against them and should be advised to pressure their local MPs to protect the intended benefits of their future pensions.
Discrimination against selected pensioners, who, like all other British taxpayers contributed to social security, is indefensible and should be challenged as vigorously as possible.
Pensions Minister Steve Webb opposed this discrimination while he was in opposition to the Labour Party and should be taken to task for his unacceptable turn-about now that he is empowered to do the honourable thing but is refusing to do so.
Joseph Murray Benalmadena
I was wondering if any of your other readers have come up against this problem.
I run a very small business on the coast and, due to the economic situation found I needed a bank loan to keep afloat. The bank granted me the loan and met me at the Notario where I had to sign for it. I was not given the paperwork to study before signing and I now find that I am being charged almost 12% interest. I should have taken a translator I suppose but it was all done so quickly I didn’t have a chance. I now feel like I have been ripped off. Has anyone else found this?