Thursday, 8 October 2015

Writing - The Featherstone Massacre and MH370

As regular followers will know I am at times a political animal. Born and brought up in a Labour household, in a working class region and highly Labour leaning region; that is hardly surprising. I wrote a piece on Keir Hardie recently then came across an article describing a turning point in his clarion call for the setting up of a Labour Party.

I am also at a very interesting stage in the writing of a Flight to Nowhere. The research has changed the direction in which my story is heading.

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Featherstone, Yorkshire was the scene of the Great Miners Lockout in 1893. Featherstone is an ancient place, it is in the Doomsday Book, and has been a centre for mining coal since the earliest times, around 700 years. There are even sites where the ruins of bell pits pockmark the land, which was then transformed in the 19th century when deep mines were sunk. The coal mined was used for factories and battleships. One of the pits, Ackton Hall, was owned by Samuel Lister, 1st Baron Masham and it was at his pit on the 7th September that during the lockout of miners who were protesting for the need of a living wage, soldiers brought in by Masham shot and killed two and wounded 16. It was by the cemetery where the men were buried that Keir Hardie made an impassioned speech calling for the setting up of a Labour Party.

It is rather ironic that 122 years ago people were dying for the right to a living wage and yet we still don't have a living wage.

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MH370 - Boeing 777

Moving on to today's writing matters my current project, Flight to Nowhere, is progressing well. However, as I have worked towards more technical matters, modern developments have forced me to dig deeper for more up-to-date information. This has re-energised me in the delivery of this, what will be the 9th Steele novel. 
One of the areas that I delved into are the developments into the autopilot system on Boeing aircraft. No longer is there a chrome switch with the legend 'Autopilot' beneath and a red tell-tale light above, now there is an amazing on board computer that is the Flight Management System. It is into this piece of kit that the routes, with waypoints, beacons etc are preprogrammed and which pilots select when they are setting off to a destination. The pilot doesn't have to do any programming and the only information required is the runway data at the destination airport. That is a gross over-simplification but nevertheless fascinating, the planes are virtually capable of flying themselves.

You'll need to read 'Flight to Nowhere' to find out more!

October 8th National Poetry Day #NationalPoetryDay

My own contributions are on yesterday's blog but the 2nd collection, Words from the Raindrops is available from Amazon

Paperback £4.99
Kindle £4.60

God Bless