Not a cheap place to go for one’s Bank Holiday Monday family outing. Four of us at £20 each, no concessions.
The Oulton Park Gold Cup meeting is the North’s answer to the Goodwood Revival historic racing car event, so there were some historic cars such as John Polson’s 1934 Talbot Alpine:
Or Martin Overington’s 1929 Bentley Blower. Note the expert panning photographic technique – so the car comes out reasonably sharp but the background is blurred, emphasising the impression of speed. I was quite pleased with this one.
A more recent Bentley: the Speed 8 which won Le Mans in 2003.
The highlight of the day was probably the Rally Stage Demonstration, where for £35 a pop professional rally drivers take members of the public round 3 laps of the rally course internal to the main Oulton circuit. It was great to watch the cars doing their power slides with tyres screeching. Jonny had a go as a passenger in a Ford Escort Cosworth:
Esther enjoyed the grass best. Either eating it or throwing it over people.
Another panning shot – this time Peter Lanfranchi driving a 1961 E-Type Jag in the HSCC Guards Trophy event.
It’s somehow fitting that on 9 August 2007, 62nd anniversary of the dropping of the atomic bomb which devastated Nagasaki, I’m blogging about my visit to the city. It does though bring it home how far behind I am with this blog. I started this series of cruise-related posts so the kids could follow us on our holiday, but I’m still writing it even though we were in Nagasaki on Tuesday 1st May. This has become an “I’ve started so I’ll finish” job. At least there will be a record for posterity, made while the trip is still fresh (or freshish) in my mind.
After the atomic bomb museum we returned by tram to Oura-kaigan-dori station close to where the Statendam was docked, then took another tram for the short journey to Glover Garden.
Glover Garden is named for Thomas Blake Glover, a Scottish industrialist who came to the city as a young man to seek out his fortune when Japan opened its borders to foreign traders in 1859, ending a long period of self-imposed isolation. The garden features the western style homes from the period, including Glover House.
The garden is on Minamiyamate hill overlooking the harbour, with panoramic views of the city.
It was inevitable that the first thing we’d do on arriving in Nagasaki would be to take a tram to the area where the atomic bomb dropped in 1945.
There is a park there, and a monument which marks the hypocentre – the spot directly below where the bomb exploded, at 11:02 on 9 August.
There is a statue to the women victims, who accounted for 70% of the dead.
We visited the atomic bomb museum but weren’t allowed to take pictures. There were a number of bomb-damaged clocks on display all stopped at 2 minutes past eleven.
Before visiting the museum I didn’t really have a clear picture of the Japanese perspective on the bombing and it’s aftermath, but I can now sum it up as:
“Using an atomic bomb is a terrible and evil thing. We have suffered a terrible fate that should never have been inflicted on anybody. War is a terrible thing. We do not seek retribution, we seek an end to war so that no-one should ever have to suffer this again”.
This is understandable because the impact of the bomb, on the ground, was clearly a horrific and terrifying event that shattered them and shocked them, and they have continued to suffer the effects for decades.
However, their closeness to the direct effects of the bombing means that they have been denied the outsider’s perspective – a preparedness to consider the possibility that the bombing might have prevented a worse calamity. Whether such a viewpoint is reasonable or not, it seems to have been closed to the Japanese to the extent that their Defence Minister Fumio Kyuma was forced to resign last month for suggesting that the bomb was an “inevitable way to end the war”.
Next to the bomb museum is a Peace Memorial building containing the names of all the people who died.
There is also a Peace Park which contains many statues or other works of art presented to Nagasaki by various nations to express their sympathy and sorrow.