Wednesday 10th October 2018

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From: The Ballard of Reading Goal

Oscar Wilde

Yet each man kills the thing he loves,
By each let this be heard,
Some do it with a bitter look,
Some with a flattering word,
The coward does it with a kiss,
The brave man with a sword!
Some kill their love when they are young,
And some when they are old;
Some strangle with the hands of Lust,
Some with the hands of Gold:
The kindest use a knife, because
The dead so soon grow cold.
Some love too little, some too long,
Some sell, and others buy;
Some do the deed with many tears,
And some without a sigh:
For each man kills the thing he loves,
Yet each man does not die.”

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For No One

Barclay Jame Harvest

Please lay down your pistols and your rifles
Please lay down your colours and your creeds
Please lay down your thoughts of being no-one
Concentrate on what you ought to be
Then lay down your bullshit and your protests
Then lay down your governments of greed
Take a look at what lies all around you
Then pray God we can live in peace

Everyone’s a loner ’till he needs a helping hand
Everyone is everybody else
Everyone’s a no-one ’till he wants to make a stand
God alone knows how we will survive

So please lay down your pistols and your rifles
Please lay down your colours and your creeds
Please lay down your thoughts of being no-one
Concentrate on what you ought to be

Everyone’s a loner ’till he needs a helping hand
Everyone is everybody else
Everyone’s a no-one ’till he wants to make a stand
God alone knows how we will survive

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XM655 was the antepenultimate Vulcan to be built, and is the youngest surviving example and the only operable Avro Vulcan with the more powerful Bristol Olympus 301 engines. Commissioned at Cottesmore in 1964, XM655 initially flew with Nos. 9, 12 and 35 Squadrons, before moving to the Waddington Wing in 1967 to join Nos. 44, 50 and 101 Squadrons.

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The Avro Vulcan (later Hawker Siddeley Vulcan from July 1963) is a jet-powered tailless delta wing high-altitude strategic bomber, which was operated by the Royal Air Force (RAF) from 1956 until 1984. Aircraft manufacturer A.V. Roe and Company (Avro) designed the Vulcan in response to Specification B.35/46. Of the three V bombers produced, the Vulcan was considered the most technically advanced and hence the riskiest option. Several reduced-scale aircraft, designated Avro 707, were produced to test and refine the delta wing design principles.

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The Vulcan B.1 was first delivered to the RAF in 1956; deliveries of the improved Vulcan B.2 started in 1960. The B.2 featured more powerful engines, a larger wing, an improved electrical system and electronic countermeasures (ECM); many were modified to accept the Blue Steel missile. As a part of the V-force, the Vulcan was the backbone of the United Kingdom’s airborne nuclear deterrent during much of the Cold War. Although the Vulcan was typically armed with nuclear weapons, it was capable of conventional bombing missions, a capability which was used in Operation Black Buck during the Falklands War between the United Kingdom and Argentina in 1982.

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The Vulcan had no defensive weaponry, initially relying upon high-speed high-altitude flight to evade interception. Electronic countermeasures were employed by the B.1 (designated B.1A) and B.2 from circa 1960. A change to low-level tactics was made in the mid-1960s. In the mid-1970s nine Vulcans were adapted for maritime radar reconnaissance operations, redesignated as B.2 (MRR). In the final years of service six Vulcans were converted to the K.2 tanker configuration for aerial refuelling.

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After retirement by the RAF one example, B.2 XH558, named The Spirit of Great Britain, was restored for use in display flights and air shows, whilst two other B.2s, XL426 and XM655, have been kept in taxiable condition for ground runs and demonstrations at London Southend Airport and Wellesbourne Mountford Airfield respectively. B.2 XH558 flew for the last time in October 2015, before also being kept in taxiable condition at Doncaster Sheffield Airport.

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