Northamptonshire veterans and their relatives are being offered a 70th anniversary opportunity to visit the beaches and fields where the decisive campaign that ended the Second World War was fought.
British soldiers landed in France on June 6, 1944, and helped to secure the beachheads for Allied forces.
Many of these men were also involved in the bitter fighting that followed the breakout from Normandy into the German heartlands and eventually on to Berlin.
This June, 70 years after the fateful D-Day landings, a historical research group is travelling to northern France to retrace the steps of the heroes who contributed so much to the final victory.
We strive to deliver exceptional value tours to major European battlefield sites, providing an informative insight into key historical events.
We are continuing a long tradition of taking friends and relatives to military cemeteries within the areas we visit.
Battlefield Memorial Tours builds on more than 40 years of experience, ensuring that today’s visitors can gain an understanding of events that happened during the two World Wars. The trip to Normandy will run from June 5 to 9.
For more information, visit the website at www.battlefield memorialtours.co.uk or contact me on 01629 650780.
Battlefield Memorial Tours organiser
God only knows where I’m going
T-shirts are a fascinating source of ideas, opinions and beliefs.
Some make us chuckle and some do not endear us to the wearer,
But then we are all different. I rather like the inscription on one T-shirt I heard of recently “God knows where I am going”.
This is a delightful ambiguity which begs the question that could apply to all of us.
Have we wandered from our way or found our path? Have we lost the plot or are we on the right road?
These are questions that we need to ask ourselves from time to time in case we are going round and round in circles and feel that we are getting nowhere.
Some people we encounter never seem to deviate from their path in life. They always look as if they are on a mission with a face like flint and never give a sideways glance at anything.
They are convinced that they are on the right track, whatever that track may be.
Other people we know echo the old proverb “if you stop to be kind you must swerve often from your path”.
We instinctively feel more comfortable with people like that because they have often been to the same places as we have ourselves in our journey through life.
These are the people who have time for others and go out of their way to help others when the need arises.
They do not keep themselves to themselves. They are often the first to listen to those who admit they do not know where they are going when life gets on top of them.
In the complexities of being alive we need help with what to choose what to do or where to go.
Jesus claimed that he was the way to God and to real life, but when we look at the journeys he took and the people he encountered we hesitate to follow him.
He would sympathise with us in our dilemmas.
The important thing to remember is that he is always with us whatever may happen to us.
Even when we walk through the darkness of illness and pain and loss we are not alone.
He is with us even when he seems to be absent.
We are limited by horizons which are viewed by what we can see at any one time.
Jesus can see further than that. He can see a bigger picture for us. That is why we can trust in him. He has experienced all the places we have been in but he also knows what we are capable of and our eventual destiny.
“God knows where I am going”. Many a true word is spoken in jest. What is written in our hearts is more important at the end of the day than what is written on a T-shirt!
CANON GEORGE BURGON
Ministers living in a dream world
I am writing because it strikes me that a large number of the Government’s ministers are living in some kind of dream world where everything they say is actual fact and everything everybody else in the world says is all lies.
Take Ian Duncan Smith, a man who is often criticised for using misleading information to justify his arguments and is now claiming that all his cuts in benefits are actually helping the poorest in society; an interesting argument that cutting working tax credits for the lowest paid so that they can no longer afford to feed their families is doing them good.
Well, I’m sure they don’t see it that way. I know I don’t.
In fact, it doesn’t make sense, taking bread from children’s mouths and heat from the elderly and then to claim you’re doing it for their own good is a little bit like living in cloud cuckoo land.
He isn’t the only one.
Michael Gove claims that when hospitals deliberately mislead patients over waiting lists that they not be misleading them, but that they just have the figures wrong. OK then, give out the right figures and then you wouldn’t be lying.
Now we come to the defence minister. After pre-election promises to help the military, all they have done is attack the military.
They have hacked away at the armed services to a point where today we have a military that is struggling, and will find it hard to carry out its tasks in the future, at a time when we should be cheering from the rooftops because our armed services are among the bravest people about. They get thrown on to the scrapheap without so much as a pat on the back.
And yet the minister claims everything is hunky dory, that everyone in the armed services is happy and understands why they’re getting the chop.These ministers have two things in common, they take our cash and hope we don’t notice and they all live in Dream Land.
Twenty pence to spend a penny
I needed to visit Kettering a week ago and also popped in the Newlands centre.
I appreciate these days that you usually have to pay to park in most – not all – shopping centres, but 20p to use the toilet as well, with no change given, come on! I heard several people moaning about it.
It amazes me that Kettering Council has the nerve to oppose the Rushden Lakes plan, claiming it will take people away from their town.
It seems to me that you should be looking at your own ways to attract and keep shoppers, not put them off.
A14 and rail work beggars belief
It beggars belief that the Highways Agency and Railtrack have been allowed to both shut the road bridge into Kettering and reduce the A14 to one lane at the same time causing delays, frustration and costs to hundreds daily.
Is it possible for ANY strategic thinking in this country?
New contracts should benefit all
The European Parliament has voted through new rules on the awarding of public procurement contracts.
Readers will no doubt remember the disappointment in our region when Derby-based company Bombardier lost out to Siemens in a bid to build rolling stock for Thameslink.
Since then, Labour MEPs have been pushing for reforms to EU procurement law.
The Thameslink decision was based on the fact that Siemens could offer a lower cost, but under the new rules, governments will be encouraged to use “most economically advantageous criteria”, which mean they should take social and environmental concerns into consideration.
The rules also allow procurers to insist collective bargaining agreements are respected and exclude operators who break environmental and labour laws.
I don’t support everything in the new directive but it does represent a significant improvement that will allow governments and local authorities to strategically use public procurement contracts for the benefit of everyone.
Labour MEP for the East Midlands