#RoadSafetyWeek official single #LookOutForEachOther

Road Safety Week is the UK’s biggest road safety event, coordinated by the charity Brake, and involving thousands of schools, communities, emergency services and employers. It exists to help stop the five deaths and 61 serious injuries that happen every day on UK roads.

We all use roads to get around and most of us use them in different ways: often a mix of walking, catching the bus or driving, and maybe cycling, running or skating too. Of course, however we use roads, we are all people underneath just trying to get about, but some road users are especially vulnerable and need protecting by those of us in charge of vehicles.

Yet sometimes it can feel like roads are angry places where different road users are in different tribes and competing for space and priority. A simple lack of consideration and care can have awful consequences. It can mean people feel less able to get out and about and less likely to choose walking and cycling: kids not being allowed to walk to school, commuters not feeling able to cycle, families being more inclined to always use the car. It can also lead to tragedy: people suffering horrific injuries or even being killed because of someone going too fast, too close or not looking out.

Wouldn’t it be better if, instead of being stressful and risky, streets were places where everyone looked out for and protected each other, particularly the most vulnerable?

Casualty star Rebekah Gibbs dies, aged 41 from Cancer

The 41-year-old played paramedic Nina Farr for more than 100 episodes of the BBC medical drama between 2004 and 2006.

Her agent Belfield and Ward tweeted the news

“Darling Rebekah Gibbs, a true inspiration and dazzling light, never to be forgotten.”

She left Casualty to have a family and was diagnosed with cancer after the birth of her daughter in 2008. Gibbs was just weeks away from giving birth when she first noticed a lump in her breast.

Speaking to the BBC in 2010 when she had celebrated two years of being cancer free, she said that she didn’t take anything for granted.

Warren Clarke, star of Dalziel and Pascoe, dies aged 67 – He will be greatly missed

Clarke, who was born in Oldham, starred in the controversial 1971 film A Clockwork Orange, by Stanley Kubrick. He recently appeared in the BBC One dramas Call the Midwife and Down to Earth, about a family moving to rural Devon. The actor was due to appear in a remake of Poldark. The series, which is due to be released next year, was his last role before his death.

Clarke, with his heavy set build and hangdog facial features, was a perfect fit for grumpy police detective Dalziel, who was translated to the screen from the books by Reginald Hill. Clarke started his acting career on the stage of the Liverpool Playhouse and in Huddersfield Repertory.

In his early days as an actor, he had roles as two characters in Coronation Street in the late 1960s, before establishing his movie career as one of the thuggish droogs who enjoyed ‘ultraviolence’ along with their ringleader Alex, played by Malcolm McDowell, in A Clockwork Orange. His film roles included Antony and Cleopatra (1972), S.O.S. Titanic (1979), Hawk the Slayer (1980), Masada (1981), Top Secret! (1984), Ishtar, (1987) and football Hooligan drama I.D. (1995).

More recent performances have included a guest role in Midsomer Murders, a part in BBC1 hit Call The Midwife and a stage portrayal of Winston Churchill in Three Days In May. The BBC’s Dalziel and Pascoe, a Yorkshire-based police drama, ran between 1996 and 2007 and regularly had audiences of more than eight million. The show featured Clarke as the politically incorrect Dalziel, while Colin Buchanan played Pascoe, a sociology graduate.

Christmas Domestic abuse does not just cover violent acts

abuse at xmasChristmas for most is a time for enjoying yourself, having fun and spending quality time with family. However, for some, the emotional strain of the season can contribute to a rise in domestic abuse, approximately one quarter of all women and one sixth of all men encounter some form of domestic abuse within their lives and only half of these incidents are ever reported to the police.

Domestic abuse increases during December and January often due to financial pressures, stress of Christmas and excessive alcohol consumption and drug abuse. Christmas time can put additional pressures on couples which may cause abusive behaviour.

Domestic abuse does not just cover violent acts, but also other forms of abuse. Over the last few years the Police have seen incidents emerging from families who, prior to the economic downturn, would have gone their separate ways. But because of the present economic climate, some couples and families are forced to live together even when the relationship has broken down.

Financial abuse can occur when one partner steals from another and controls what their partner spends, often taking their partner’s income for their own use. This is another form of control which is often seen in an abusive relationship. Christmas time can put more strain on a couple’s finances.

The Government defines domestic violence as “Any incident of threatening behaviour, violence or abuse (psychological, physical, sexual, financial or emotional) between adults who are or have been intimate partners or family members, regardless of gender or sexuality.”   This includes issues of concern to black and minority ethnic (BME) communities such as so-called ‘honour killings’.

Women  can call the Pathways Project on 01543 676800.   Pathways is committed to offering support to women and children and can let people know what help is available.

Men who are, or think they may, commit domestic violence should call RESPECT on 0845 1228609.   Its key focus is increasing the safety and well-being of victims by promoting, supporting, delivering and developing interventions with perpetrators.

Independent Domestic Abuse Services for help, support and information www.idas.org.uk
   Telephone: 03000 110 110.
Rape Support Line: 0300 111 0777.
In an emergency always call 999

11 November – World War I Ends

At the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, the Great War ends. At 5 a.m. that morning, Germany, bereft of manpower and supplies and faced with imminent invasion, signed an armistice agreement with the Allies in a railroad car outside Compiégne, France. The First World War left nine million soldiers dead and 21 million wounded, with Germany, Russia, Austria-Hungary, France, and Great Britain each losing nearly a million or more lives. In addition, at least five million civilians died from disease, starvation, or exposure.

On 28 June 1914, in an event that is widely regarded as sparking the outbreak of World War I, Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the Austro-Hungarian empire, was shot to death together with his wife by Bosnian Serb Gavrilo Princip in Sarajevo, Bosnia. Ferdinand had been inspecting his uncle’s imperial armed forces in Bosnia and Herzegovina, despite the threat of Serbian nationalists who wanted these Austro-Hungarian possessions to join newly independent Serbia. Austria-Hungary blamed the Serbian government for the attack and hoped to use the incident as justification for settling the problem of Slavic nationalism once and for all. However, as Russia supported Serbia, an Austro-Hungarian declaration of war was delayed until its leaders received assurances from German leader Kaiser Wilhelm II that Germany would support their cause in the event of a Russian intervention.

On 28 July, Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia, and the tenuous peace between Europe’s great powers collapsed. On 29 July, Austro-Hungarian forces began to shell the Serbian capital, Belgrade, and Russia, Serbia’s ally, ordered a troop mobilisation against Austria-Hungary. France, allied with Russia, began to mobilise on 1 August. France and Germany declared war on each other on 3 August. After crossing through neutral Luxembourg, the German army invaded Belgium on the night of 3-4 August, prompting Great Britain, Belgium’s ally, to declare war against Germany.

For the most part, the people of Europe greeted the outbreak of war with jubilation. Most patriotically assumed that their country would be victorious within months. Of the initial belligerents, Germany was most prepared for the outbreak of hostilities, and its military leaders had formatted a sophisticated military strategy known as the Schlieffen Plan, which envisioned the conquest of France through a great arcing offensive through Belgium and into northern France. Russia, slow to mobilise, was to be kept occupied by Austro-Hungarian forces while Germany attacked France.

The Schlieffen Plan was nearly successful, but in early September the French rallied and halted the German advance at the bloody Battle of the Marne near Paris. By the end of 1914, well over a million soldiers of various nationalities had been killed on the battlefields of Europe, and neither for the Allies nor the Central Powers was a final victory in sight. On the western front – the battle line that stretched across northern France and Belgium – the combatants settled down in the trenches for a terrible war of attrition.

In 1915, the Allies attempted to break the stalemate with an amphibious invasion of Turkey, which had joined the Central Powers in October 1914, but after heavy bloodshed the Allies were forced to retreat in early 1916. The year 1916 saw great offensives by Germany and Britain along the western front, but neither side accomplished a decisive victory. In the east, Germany was more successful, and the disorganised Russian army suffered terrible losses, spurring the outbreak of the Russian Revolution in 1917. By the end of 1917, the Bolsheviks had seized power in Russia and immediately set about negotiating peace with Germany. In 1918, the infusion of American troops and resources into the western front finally tipped the scale in the Allies’ favour. Germany signed an armistice agreement with the Allies on 11 November 1918.

World War I was known as the “war to end all wars” because of the great slaughter and destruction it caused. Unfortunately, the peace treaty that officially ended the conflict – the Treaty of Versailles of 1919 – forced punitive terms on Germany that stoked German nationalism, fomented ill-feeling and laid the groundwork for World War II


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Lichfield Cathedral Choir – We Will Remember You

Joss Stone Feat. Jeff Beck – No Man’s Land (Poppy Appeal Single 2014)


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