Remembering the Dambusters

Dambusters Flypast: Eyebrook: Battle of Britain Memorial Flight commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Dambusters raid. The Lancaster bombers practised at the lake owned by S&L, British Steel, Corus, TATA Steel'Thursday 16th May 2013
Dambusters Flypast: Eyebrook: Battle of Britain Memorial Flight commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Dambusters raid. The Lancaster bombers practised at the lake owned by S&L, British Steel, Corus, TATA Steel'Thursday 16th May 2013

This week, we commemorate the 70th anniversary of the celebrated Dambusters raid, one of the most daring operations carried out by the RAF during the Second World War.

On the evening of May 16, 1943, after two months of preparation, 133 hand-picked airmen in 19 specially adapted Lancaster bombers set out on a bombing raid with the aim of breaching three dams in the Ruhr Valley and thereby slowing down the production of arms by Nazi Germany.

Of the 19 crews which had set out on the raid, eight did not return.

In total, 53 men were killed and three ended up as prisoners of war.

The Dambusters raid was just one of many thousands carried out by RAF Bomber Command during the Second World War.

Of the 125,000 men who served in Bomber Command, a total of 55,573 lost their lives, which gives you some sense of the tremendous bravery it must have taken to go out on bombing raids night after night knowing how low your chances of survival were.

The Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund is committed to ensuring that the remarkable bravery and sacrifice of these young aircrew, who gave their lives defending our freedom, will always be remembered.

As the RAF’s leading welfare charity, the RAF Benevolent Fund has been at the heart of the RAF since 1919, supporting serving personnel, past and present, and their families too.

Last year we spent £21.7m delivering support to more than 68,000 members of the RAF family and we intend to be there for serving members and veterans for many years to come.

In this important year the RAF Benevolent Fund needs your support.

Visit to find out more.

Air Marshal Christopher Nickols of the RAF Benevolent Fund

UKIP will get my vote next time

I’m an ex-National Serviceman, with a considerable amount of life experience.

I have been a Tory voter all my life, likewise our families, but we are completely disallusioned with David Cameron and his sidekick George Osborne who are supposed to be well educated.

Both lack good old fashioned common sense and are completely out of touch with the main Tory voters in this country.

The only reasons we voted for a Conservative councillor in the recent elections was because he basically had common sense reasons for wanting to be a local councillor to the benefit of the local population, and there wasn’t a UKIP candidate who was standing in the area.

However, when the General Election comes, unless things change drastically for the better we shall be voting UKIP for sure.

This so called differing Tory leader is dishonest and untrustworthy, particularly over the EU vote and immigration control, and wastes valuable funds on excessive Third World donations, funds fruitless war endeavours with the loss of valuable young lives, all to the detriment of our infrastructure.

The road maintenance and planning is a disgrace, as is the futuristic so-called planning of our power sources.

Finally, we have never had such a poor Conservative Parliamentary Party in my opinion.

They haven’t a clue how to run this great country and are going all one way fast – down.

UKIP are far more in tune with the populace’s requirements to make a prosperous Great Britain again.

Douglas Baker


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Pleased to be the opposition

Thanks to everyone who voted for Labour candidates in the county council elections.

The number of Labour councillors across the county increased from 6 to 11, making Labour the official opposition.

In Kettering, we were successful in winning the Windmill and Northall divisions, where our new county councillors Eileen Hales and Mick Scrimshaw will help us build a firm foundation for further progress.

Eileen and Mick are experienced, excellent community-focused councillors who will make a difference both locally and in County Hall.

Eileen also won the Kettering Borough Council by-election in the Avondale Grange ward and Malcolm Jones won a seat on Rothwell Town Council for Labour.

Although our other candidates were not successful in winning seats they played a crucial part in the democratic process by giving people the opportunity of voting for the Labour Party.

A major concern must be the low turnout of around 30 per cent, which gives us all pause for reflection.

Our task now is to build confidence and to increase turnout next time round.

John Padwick

Chairman of the Kettering constituency Labour Party

Privilege to be elected again

I would like to thank all those who voted in the elections on May 2 and allow me to serve for another term on Northamptonshire County Council.

It is a real privilege and pleasure to be able to represent people’s interests in such a remarkable town as Corby for a further four years.

Please do get in touch if I can help you in any way.

I will do whatever is within my power to enhance the services, and continue to fight for street lights to be switched on and investment on public buses for our estates.

In opposition we will face serious challenges over the coming years that will be difficult to overcome.

But nevertheless we will continue to fight for what is right.

As a county councillor I will be available and accessible and can be emailed or called on 07912 774785.

Cllr John McGhee

County Councillor

Kingswood division

Sanction rates are simply abject

It is crass of the editor to castigate those who question the appointment of a Victims’ Commissioner costing £30,000 for five months work.

I understood that police commissioner Adam Simmonds was spending pulic money and was democratically accountable.

Above all, victims require that those who perpetrate criminal acts are caught and punished by an efficient justice system.

The police have a duty to solve crime that is reported to them, but in Northamptonshire more than 70 per cent does not result in any criminal sanction and remains undetected.

The latest crime figures show an increase of 61 per cent in residential burglaries in Kettering alone.

Increasing burglaries and an appalling detection rate are not mitigated by a publicity stunt.

The money could have been distributed to existing groups and charities such as Victim Support.

I note Mr Simmonds believes the undetected figures do not reflect the “time and effort” the police invest in trying solve the crime reported.

The police can classify a crime as solved when an individual is charged, summonsed, repremanded, issued with a final warning, given a penalty notice for disorder, cannabis possession and when a court is asked to consider other offences – and still sanction rates are abject.

Mr Simmonds is concerned that community resolution statistics are not considered but these could have been reported on a voluntary basis to the Home Office but Northamptonshire Police refused.

He is also deeply upset that when one party dies before the case comes to court this is not reflected in the figures. Oh come on, Mr Simmonds!

In the survey of public confidence 82.6 per cent – what was the sample size? – stated they were content with the police.

What other profession could command this ammount of confidence when it solves so few crimes.

I suspect that the satisfaction figures are influenced by the propensity of the media such as the Telegraph to print police propaganda.

I find it odd that the chief constable has time for the photo op announcing the Victims’ Commissioner but not to comment on the crime figures!

Please can we have a more critical and dissentient journalism.

Stephen Black


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Stop at Bedford to cut fare price

A little tip for rail travellers in Kettering.

I recently had to travel from London to Kettering and back on the same day.

Instead of buying a return ticket from London to Kettering for £45.50, by buying two tickets, I did the same journey for only £32.40.

You need to buy a return ticket from London to Bedford, and another ticket from Bedford to Kettering.

As long as the train actually stops at Bedford, this is no problem as it’s viewed as if you got off and got back on again at Bedford.

For some reason, known only to the rail company, this represents a massive 28 per cent discount.

What is more surprising is that the counter staff at the stations are actually forbidden to inform you of this saving.

You have to specifically ask for it all by yourself.

Seems crazy to me, but I will always check this out now before buying my tickets.

Gary Stark


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Hoping for better luck next time

Thank you to all the people of The Raunds division who very kindly voted for me in the county council elections.

Although I didn’t win the seat, it was very close.

Better luck next time!

Pauline Ellis

Labour Party candidate

Raunds division

Thanks to voters and the helpers

I would like to thank all those who both voted for, and assisted me during the elections.

Alan Pote

UKIP candidate

Rothwell and Mawsley