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Old 1 Nov 2023, 06:26 (Ref:4183911)   #1326
John Elwin
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Yes, yes, yes… and old criminal lady… and you carrying guns and rockets but found innocent… We know, you, Mike Harte, you cant fool us anymore, you're a serial entertainer. You're NOT under arrest and MUST keep on telling us nice stories. NOW!
You celebrating Dead People's Day already, Gerard??
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Old 1 Nov 2023, 10:26 (Ref:4183928)   #1327
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I'm sorry to disappoint you, Gérard, but despite all my globe-trotting, probably just like the Hon Peter Mallett with his career, there have been few moments of excitement that you would find amusing. On the whole, a lot of it was just tiring, waking up in hotel rooms that soon felt just like the one you had slept in last week or month. Sometimes I would only realise that I was in a certain country was because my appointment diary told me were I was.

As you seem fascinated by guns, there were two incidents during that time, one which was the only time that was actually scary. I had to go to South Africa on a business trip in 1981. Back then, a BA 747 couldn't manage the journey without a refuelling stop and on this trip they stopped in Nairobi for a top up. When we landed, all the passengers had to de-plane for the refuelling and we were "escorted" to the lounge by very young soldiers brandishing guns that I assumed were AK47s, and prodding in the back the slow-coaches along with the muzzles of the guns. I got the feeling that we were resented, and they wouldn't have minded if one of the guns went off and a few less got back on the plane.

I was due to stay in South Africa for at least a fortnight, but after a few hours there, whilst apartheid was still very much in evidence, I managed to do everything I needed to do within 2 days, so got out on the 4th day with a sense of relief. Luckily we didn't need to de-plane when we stopped in Nairobi on the way back.

The other incident happened later that year when I arrived in Tokyo. Back then, most of the major international airlines used the fairly new Narita airport, an airport that had stirred up a huge amount protesting in Japan. In fact, so much so, that the whole place was surrounded by the army, with the road in to the area lined with tanks and concrete chicanes.

Anyway, they had a peculiar "visa" policy back then, requiring a form to be completed on the aircraft before landing unless you were staying less than 4 days, in which case you were required to go to a dedicated booth prior to passing through immigration. I had to join the queue for this as I was only going to be there for just over 48 hours, and by the time I got to the luggage carousel, one of my suitcases was not there. After hanging around for a period, I went to the handling agents desk to report the missing case, and their staff took my passport and ticket - the ticket being the most important as it contained the next three flights on the trip - to a desk out of my sight. After a while, the agent came back looking a bit sheepish, if that's possible for a Japanese, to say that they had completed the paperwork, but, very regretfully, my passport and tickets had also now disappeared.

I was told that they would search for them, but in the meantime, I could go to my hotel and that I should report the loss of them at a police station near the hotel. Later that evening, I got two calls from the airport, one that my suitcase had been handed in to the police in Tokyo by a man who claimed that he took it by mistake thinking that it was his and they would deliver it to the hotel promptly. The second call was to say that my passport and tickets had been found by a cleaner in a wastepaper bin by the agents desk; they assumed that he had knocked them in due to clumsiness. However, they couldn't be delivered to me for whatever reason, and I had to collect them from the airport the next morning.

Back then, the quickest and easiest way to get to and from Narita to the city centre was on the Airport Express coach, because they had special lanes to travel on in the city, but it still took about and hour and half - Haneda is so much easier as it's virtually in the centre of Tokyo, and its now been completely extended and is now the main airport for Tokyo. Where was I? Oh yes, we got the military checkpoint outside of the airport, but because I didn't have any paperwork with me, I was taken off the coach and given an armed guard in the back of a caged vehicle into the airport, and was only "released" when the authorities inside the terminal confirmed that I was only there to collect my bits and pieces.

Hope that all that wasn't too exciting for you, Gérard?
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Old 1 Nov 2023, 11:55 (Ref:4183935)   #1328
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It's was always me that normally got stopped and searched at border crossings for years, however although I haven't altered much in appearance I don't automatically get picked out these days as the border patrols don't seem to judge a book by it's colours. The border guards at Almeria airport actually give me a wave
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Old 1 Nov 2023, 13:18 (Ref:4183942)   #1329
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It's was always me that normally got stopped and searched at border crossings for years, however although I haven't altered much in appearance I don't automatically get picked out these days as the border patrols don't seem to judge a book by it's colours. The border guards at Almeria airport actually give me a wave
A lot of those checks are done by facial recognition cameras now , not just done by the people standing there .
Over 20 years ago the security people at various high security places used to like telling me about some of the high security places I had been in recently .

So probably the cameras have been rolled out in a lot more places now .

Just remember , BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING YOU .
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Old 1 Nov 2023, 13:29 (Ref:4183944)   #1330
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It's was always me that normally got stopped and searched at border crossings for years, however although I haven't altered much in appearance I don't automatically get picked out these days as the border patrols don't seem to judge a book by it's colours. The border guards at Almeria airport actually give me a wave

I've often pondered about going through customs, considering the, possibly, thousands of times that I have had to do so over the years. I ponder on it because I can only recall being pulled aside for a check once, and that was in Kai Tak in Hong Kong - I have gone through the Red Channel quite a few times when I had anything to declare.

Actually, it was not uncommon for checks to be made in Hong Kong as they were very hot on a number of things, but they found nothing of concern in my bags. However, on an adjacent bench, a young couple had multiple problems over new clothes that they were bringing in, I recall, having come in on the same flight as me from Bangkok.

Talking of Kai Tak airport, it was without doubt the most exciting place into which to land, especially in a 747. I had a thrilling ride on one occasion when I was permitted to sit on the jump seat during the prelude to a typhoon, and the runway was already awash with rain water. The captain was the pilot flying, and try as he might to get the aircraft down quickly as near to the beginning of the runway, he was unable to do so, and almost immediately the main undercarriage touched he realised that he wouldn't be able to stop in time, so effected a go around. A first for me, although I've experienced countless "touch and goes" in my time.
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Old 1 Nov 2023, 15:14 (Ref:4183949)   #1331
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How dodgy does the first picture look ? compared to the second ?
The first was at a charity event a couple of weeks back complete with fake tattoos, the second is what I normally look like with my wife now who has been with me for over 50 years
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Old 1 Nov 2023, 15:21 (Ref:4183953)   #1332
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Excellent stories Mike.

Most of my trips were in Europe, so less exciting unless storms blew in.

However, I did have a trip to Hong Kong when Kai Tak was the destination.

Fascinating to watch the washing hanging on lines on the balconies of the upper flats passing the window, with the wing tips looking almost close enough to pick up the odd shirt here and there.
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Old 1 Nov 2023, 15:36 (Ref:4183955)   #1333
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Kai Tak must have been one of, if not the only, airport where the passengers could look out of the windows and actually see into the rooms of buildings as the were landing.

For the ones sitting on the flight deck, another experience was aiming for a painted red and white "checkerboard" that was erected on a hill before banking fairly sharply to the right to line up with the runway whilst also descending fairly rapidly.
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Old 1 Nov 2023, 17:12 (Ref:4183967)   #1334
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I remember our captain announcing as we came into HK in 92 that "the real estate will be fairly close on the starboard side......" and being amazed at just how close we seemed to be - and of course how indifferent the locals seemed to be a sthey carried on hanging their washing as we blew by......


This was on a round-the-world trip to celebrate my redundancy package from BT - we went on to Australia, Hawaii, and LAX to tour out to the Grand Canyon....a great trip.


A couple of months later a mate was going out to the States on a car-buying trip - the £ was valued at 2$ then, and he regularly bought Brit and European sports cars from the NY area, shipping them back to Liverpool where he was a Docks copper - and he invited me to join him. I was really impressed when the immigration official asked me if I was the same R Murtha who had entered the States in LAX earlier in the year. These days of course we are used to all our information being readily retrievable, but 30 years ago it seemed like magic!


I bought two Alfa Spiders (and a Sunbeam Imp) on that trip, and still have one of the Spiders.....
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Old 1 Nov 2023, 20:33 (Ref:4183984)   #1335
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Hope that all that wasn't too exciting for you, Gérard?
Great stories, Mike, enjoyable reading. Now, you know Japanese when they have fun, they have fun… By the way, your english laguage is excellent!
@ Richard: you spiders, I mean Alfa…, are fuel injected or carburetted?

@ Gordon: do you know why they wave at you? May be you look like a rock star. Or a well known french DJ, David Guetta. International class!
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Old 1 Nov 2023, 21:00 (Ref:4183987)   #1336
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Gordon, I think that at some of the provincial airports in Spain, such as Almeria and the old one that served Murcia in St Javier, the Policia Nationale take are far more relaxed attitude.

At St Javier, passing through it maybe a couple of times a month, one or two would always greet me with: 'Hola, Senor Miguel', which would leave other passengers, if I was on a commercial flight somewhat perplexed, especially if they didn't bother looking at my passport but insisted on glancing at everyone else's!
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Old 1 Nov 2023, 21:07 (Ref:4183989)   #1337
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Great stories, Mike, enjoyable reading. Now, you know Japanese when they have fun, they have fun… By the way, your english laguage is excellent!

Well, I do have to admit that it is native tongue, and it was well and truly beaten in to me at a young age.

Luckily, attitudes to foreigners in Japan is changing, brought on by more outward looking younger people. Unfortunately, the more mature amongst them, especially in the provinces, still do not like those from other countries, something my son experienced with his in-laws, even when my daughter in law was on her death bed.
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Old 1 Nov 2023, 21:49 (Ref:4183993)   #1338
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Gordon, I think that at some of the provincial airports in Spain, such as Almeria and the old one that served Murcia in St Javier, the Policia Nationale take are far more relaxed attitude.

At St Javier, passing through it maybe a couple of times a month, one or two would always greet me with: 'Hola, Senor Miguel', which would leave other passengers, if I was on a commercial flight somewhat perplexed, especially if they didn't bother looking at my passport but insisted on glancing at everyone else's!
I agree, Almeria is only a small airport and you normally see the same border guards. I wish it would return to how it was in1972 though as it was just like a large garden shed, also they just unloaded the luggage beside the plane that you simply picked up and walked into passport control. The main building was enlarged several years back and a carousel was added, obviously we haven't taken luggage for years so we get out quicker.
What is interesting if the price of flights today as we tend to book the dirt cheap offers as we can come and go when we like and not fly during peak holiday times. However my wife has kept a day to day diary since her school days, and looking back a return flight from Gatwick to Almeria in 1972 was £150 ! We often fly now for £75 or less !!.! and people moan about how much they are !! Either the airlines were making a fortune back then or they are running close to a disaster now !
We have used the old San Javier airport that you used to think that you were about to land in the sea ! but as you know is now back to a full time military base and all flights were transferred to the new built one at Corvera.
It was actually built and laid up in mothballs for about ten years (probably with a load of our EU money) and had to be updated with all the new computerized systems and other things before it opened in2019 with "loads a money"

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Balls of steel (knob of butter) They're Asking For Larkins. ( Proper beer) not you're Eurofizz crap. Hace más calor en España. Me han conocido a hablar un montón cojones! Send any cheques and cash to PO box 1 Lagos Nigeria Africa !
Old 1 Nov 2023, 22:44 (Ref:4183997)   #1339
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Yep, Gordon, yet another Spanish politician's vanity project. It was actually constructed without receiving planning consent from Madrid because the flightpaths into and out of it are at times part of military airspace. It is in a triangle between St Javier and another Spanish Air Force base plus another another air field that is under the control of NATO, and which is used for special forces training including parachuting.

That was the reason behind the may years that it laid idle and I have often wondered how they managed to finally get the go ahead. Especially as AENA, the airport management company, spent nearly €90 million on upgrading St Javier, creating a second runway to allow all day commercial flights plus expanding both the terminal and a much larger car park.

Oh well, at least non commercial aircraft can still use it; useful for the odd football team that still sometimes go to La Manga for "training"
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Old 1 Nov 2023, 23:26 (Ref:4183998)   #1340
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Yep, Gordon, yet another Spanish politician's vanity project. It was actually constructed without receiving planning consent from Madrid
Mike , you're not suggesting that anything "untoward" happens in the Spanish political system are you !!!
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Balls of steel (knob of butter) They're Asking For Larkins. ( Proper beer) not you're Eurofizz crap. Hace más calor en España. Me han conocido a hablar un montón cojones! Send any cheques and cash to PO box 1 Lagos Nigeria Africa !
Old 2 Nov 2023, 06:53 (Ref:4184021)   #1341
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Nothing as grand as your globe trotting trips but we are safely back in UK now . Spent yesterday loading up 10 FJ cars ready to be shipped to NZ. My Lotus 22 is one of them . Dig in to work now for 3 months then very much looking forward to getting on a plane to some warm weather and good racing . Just London to Brighton this Sunday which is something I have always wanted to do . Weather not looking to bad . ?
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Old 2 Nov 2023, 07:39 (Ref:4184024)   #1342
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Just London to Brighton this Sunday which is something I have always wanted to do . Weather not looking to bad.
Depending on how many HP you have to manage with, more than seven could help, and more important the way you'll drive into the wind and negociate steep climb up.
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Old 2 Nov 2023, 10:17 (Ref:4184035)   #1343
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Mike , you're not suggesting that anything "untoward" happens in the Spanish political system are you !!!

What me? Would never dream of it!

The whole project become really messy and complicated. Originally, Paramount was considering granting a licence, but no financial backing, for theme park that would be situated near the new airport. A developer got all excited and created grand plans for a new conurbation with housing estates, shopping malls, golf courses and, of course, the splendid international style airport that would serve the hundreds of thousands of tourists that would flock to this 8th wonder of the world.

The fact that Paramount were, from the outset, not willing to put their hand in their pockets put the mockers on the project right from the outset. A bit of land was dug for the housing and the mayor of Murcia wanted the airport created before anything else. But no serious backers could be found, so funds started coming from the regional, Murcia, government but that ran out. They then approached Brussels and got massive loans and grants from the EU.

Whilst all this was going on, Paramount, probably seeing what a mess the whole thing was, withdrew their commitment to grant a licence and not soon after, the developer went bust. With so much money already invested by both the EU and Murcia, Murcia was really left with no option but to step in and take over management of the airport project especially as the EU, sensing that the airport might never be completed, threatened that they required Murcia to repay the grants.

During all this, Murcia was still negotiating with Madrid about getting the necessary permits to allow the flight paths into and out of the airport to enter military airspace which Madrid had been emphatic that they wouldn't grant especially because of the NATO special forces being trained in the area.

At this point, I moved back to the UK, and have basically lost interest in what was going on in the area. However, another stumbling block was that AENA had spent something like €90 million on the upgrade to St Javier, and AENA had no intention in allowing the new airport to open and a more than adequate facility to be closed even if they were granted the management of the new airport.

I have to assume that some accommodation was reached with both Madrid and AENA in the end, but, as with so many things and especially airports, in Spain they are really white elephants. Even now, there are no extra daily aircraft movements in the new place compared to St Javier. Just a lot of money down the drain, and more passengers choosing to use an already crowded Alicante rather than drive the extra distance to Corvera.
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Old 2 Nov 2023, 10:20 (Ref:4184036)   #1344
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Just London to Brighton this Sunday which is something I have always wanted to do . Weather not looking to bad . ?

Ah, a repeat of Genevieve, no doubt. Enjoy yourself, Iain.
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Old 2 Nov 2023, 10:44 (Ref:4184038)   #1345
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Just London to Brighton this Sunday which is something I have always wanted to do . Weather not looking to bad . ?
What vehicle will you driving/riding? Do you have the entry number and your start time? Will look out for you around the Handcross area Sunday morning, good luck
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Old 2 Nov 2023, 11:11 (Ref:4184039)   #1346
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Old 2 Nov 2023, 11:29 (Ref:4184040)   #1347
Alan Morgan
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Alan Morgan should be qualifying in the top 10 on the grid
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Originally Posted by justracing View Post
What vehicle will you driving/riding? Do you have the entry number and your start time? Will look out for you around the Handcross area Sunday morning, good luck
I think Delta will be in a De Dion Bouton, start number 260

https://www.veterancarrun.com/vcr-en...ntry-list-2023

My wife and I are planning to cheer him on at Staplefield

...must dig out that copy of "Genevieve" before the weekend.
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Old 2 Nov 2023, 11:30 (Ref:4184041)   #1348
justracing
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justracing should be qualifying in the top 10 on the gridjustracing should be qualifying in the top 10 on the grid
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Originally Posted by Alan Morgan View Post
I think Delta will be in a De Dion Bouton, start number 260

https://www.veterancarrun.com/vcr-en...ntry-list-2023
Many thanks
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Old 3 Nov 2023, 14:13 (Ref:4184174)   #1349
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Lancsbreaker has a real shot at the podium!Lancsbreaker has a real shot at the podium!Lancsbreaker has a real shot at the podium!Lancsbreaker has a real shot at the podium!
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@ Richard: you spiders, I mean Alfa…, are fuel injected or carburetted?

The one I still have is a 1978 model, supplied in the States with the Spica injection system, as well as a load of anti-smog kit. I've always planned to convert it back to Webers......


The other one I bought was accident damaged, which I broke up for spares - that was on twin 40s....
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Old 3 Nov 2023, 16:42 (Ref:4184193)   #1350
GORDON STREETER
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Kent+Mojacar Spain, but not always ?
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GORDON STREETER is going for a new world record!GORDON STREETER is going for a new world record!GORDON STREETER is going for a new world record!GORDON STREETER is going for a new world record!GORDON STREETER is going for a new world record!GORDON STREETER is going for a new world record!GORDON STREETER is going for a new world record!
I decided to move house
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