Photos of readers

Peter Jones from Australia sent an interesting pair of photos. His explanations are indented:

Being the shy, retiring (& now 13 years into retirement from an academic career in several universities’ Comp Sci or Elec Eng) Celtic male, I hesitated.

But, I wanted to help out with a contribution to the readers piccies’ tank to sort of pay Prof Jerry for my at least daily site visits for education, enlightenment and entertainment.

In addition, to read the many contributions from GCM, MC, commenters etc. Often my eyes flood at reading some sad stories, wishing I could send some hugs.

In June 1946, aged 2, surviving time in bomb shelters in Wales, UK my mum took us 2 kids to the newly opened London Airport out in the open countryside at the village of Heathrow. We took 3 days to fly out to the West Indies via Lisbon, the Azores & Bermuda. I don’t recall it but my older bro at the age of 9 does. My dad had been a ground engineer working on bombers and had joined British South American Airways (BSAA) as “War 2” ended – later part of BOAC and now BA. He had already flown out ahead of us. The plane, I think, was converted from a bomber for civilian use by a firm in Canada.

From; Avro 691 Lancastrian 3 (13 passengers) G-AGWG ‘Star Light’.

First flight 29/11/45 Ministry of Supply and Aircraft Production. Date delivered 6/12/45 and registered 14/12/45 to BSAA ‘Star Light’. Written off 12/11/47 when crashed on landing in Bermuda. The picture is actually one that was next from the conversion.

On visiting Grand Cayman, 6 years ago, I toured Pedro St. James Castle. This is their oldest existing building, originally built in 1780.

And found this example of my first “tablet” used in primary school in the 1950s. Note the Oakleys for protection against nuclear radiation. And, yes, that is pen & paper in my shirt pocket for notes, even though I have been into digital computers since 1966. My kids question my rationality on that score “Dad, put it up in the cloud, secure, searchable etc.”


I now live in Australia, using the monicker “Peter (Oz) Jones” here as two common names (there were 3 Peter Jones at my health clinic) don’t help. Why was I not given a complex Welsh name???


  1. GBJames
    Posted June 27, 2020 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

    As a man with three first names (the surname came to me from a Welsh ancestor), I sympathize.

    • merilee
      Posted June 27, 2020 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

      What’s your middle name, Greg?

      • GBJames
        Posted June 27, 2020 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

        Bernard. It was my dad’s given name.

        • merilee
          Posted June 27, 2020 at 6:25 pm | Permalink

          Not as bad as my college classmate, Gary Leonard, who was a perfectly normal girl!

          • Diana MacPherson
            Posted June 27, 2020 at 8:13 pm | Permalink

            The counterpart to a boy named Sue!

            • merilee
              Posted June 27, 2020 at 8:28 pm | Permalink

              They actually assigned her to the boys’ dorm Freshman year (before dorsm were coed).

        • Ken Kukec
          Posted June 27, 2020 at 7:33 pm | Permalink

          Awfully WASPy soundin’ for a half-a-bohunk, Greg, you ask me. All you’re really missing is the terminal Roman numeral. 🙂

  2. Jacques Hausser
    Posted June 27, 2020 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

    For a left-handed schoolboy like me, this damned slate was a nightmare, my sleeve erasing everything I did just write. And the teachers were not exeedingly tolerant in 1949…

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted June 27, 2020 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

      Sinister. 🙃

      • merilee
        Posted June 27, 2020 at 6:47 pm | Permalink

        My lefty teaching colleagues hated writing on “overheads”.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted June 27, 2020 at 7:39 pm | Permalink

        One might go so far as to say “gauche,” n’est pas? 🙂

        • Diana MacPherson
          Posted June 27, 2020 at 8:14 pm | Permalink

          🙂 I’m glad you got my subtle joke. I’m sure most here did.

          • sugould
            Posted June 28, 2020 at 11:20 am | Permalink

            (I’m sure all the Lefties did!)

    • Peter (Oz) Jones
      Posted June 27, 2020 at 7:15 pm | Permalink

      Hello Jacques
      I was at a Catholic convent school in the West Indies, and learnt mental arithmetic & spelling with each mistake earning me a swish of a cane along the fleshy inner part of my proffered arm – ouchie!!!

      We often wondered if the nuns were actually bald under their headress . . .

      Later we upgraded to paper, a quill and ink pots to dip the hair plaits of the lass at the desk in front – naughty boys.


      • Ken Kukec
        Posted June 27, 2020 at 7:48 pm | Permalink

        When I was a Catholic schoolboy in the US in the Sixties, corporal punishment was much more along these lines:

        • merilee
          Posted June 27, 2020 at 7:55 pm | Permalink

          I think this may be the only way I can imagine YOU as a Catholic schoolboy, Ken, among the “penguins”.🤓

        • Diana MacPherson
          Posted June 27, 2020 at 8:16 pm | Permalink

          Me too and I went to a public elementary school in the 70s. It was recently that I realized how backward they were.

        • rickflick
          Posted June 27, 2020 at 9:49 pm | Permalink

          We all know Catholics who went through this stuff. We all sympathize, but then shake our heads and chuckle a bit under our breaths. I’m glad I wasn’t raised…anything. I raised myself.

  3. Randall Schenck
    Posted June 27, 2020 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

    A very interesting reader in today’s post. And one who has been retired nearly as long as I. I have to do some reading on that aircraft you provide such a good photo of there.

    • Randall Schenck
      Posted June 27, 2020 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

      I had no idea they made a passenger plane out of the bomber.

      • Peter (Oz) Jones
        Posted June 27, 2020 at 7:05 pm | Permalink

        Hello Randall
        My imagination of what readers actually look like are usually wide of the mark. It was good to see your info & piccies.

        Yes, it crossed my mind later that we were probably sat in what was the bomb bay. And I wondered why my dad risked his family in such a journey, but then it was probably safer than huddling in the family bomb shelter hearing the bombs dropping on the docks in Barry, S. Wales?

        • Randall Schenck
          Posted June 27, 2020 at 7:14 pm | Permalink

          Well, flying was still a pretty risky business back then but everything is relative. My grandfather started flying in 1927 the same year my father was born. For both of them the rewards were greater than the risk so they continued to do it most of their lives.

          • Ken Kukec
            Posted June 27, 2020 at 7:55 pm | Permalink

            Same year Lucky Lindy flew the “Spirit of St. Louis” across the pond, IIRC.

          • rickflick
            Posted June 27, 2020 at 8:15 pm | Permalink

            Flying safety has improved steadily over the years. The airlines are extremely safe. As a private pilot I take encouragement in the fact that for us “little guys”,

            “the fatal-accident rate was less than 1 per 100,000 flight hours, … There were 386 people killed in private-aviation accidents in 2016, compared to 631 in 1997, according to NTSB data.”

  4. rickflick
    Posted June 27, 2020 at 6:06 pm | Permalink

    Cozy looking stone building your in. Is that your current abode?

    • Peter (Oz) Jones
      Posted June 27, 2020 at 7:00 pm | Permalink

      Hello Rick
      No, that was in Grand Cayman, just below Cuba. My older bro has a holiday home there & I was there on one of my bro catchups. It reminds me of my childhood in the West Indies, although sadly the corals are nowhere near as brilliant.

      We play some Bob Marley too.

      It’s a shame that it is so far away and now with Covid-19 no flights out of Oz anyway.


      • rickflick
        Posted June 27, 2020 at 8:08 pm | Permalink

        Bro catchups sound like something we all should do (when possible). I dove on Grand Cayman and the Brac, 10 years ago. Wonderful dives.

  5. Posted June 28, 2020 at 1:54 am | Permalink

    That’s the coolest readers story I’ve read in ages – and MY OWN was featured last week.
    What an incredible time you’ve had and just think of the air-miles you’ve accumulated. 😉
    I grew up in Australia, I’m happy you, and my parents – now in their 80s are there – rather than here.
    Stay inside, mate!
    all the best,
    D.A., J.D., NYC

    • Peter (Oz) Jones
      Posted June 28, 2020 at 2:08 am | Permalink

      Thanks David
      I do feel fortunate to be in Australia.

      Both because of all the help I am getting from our public health system and for the co-operation of the political parties in keeping our death toll from Covid-19 as low as it is.

      It is so sad to see how badly many parts of the world are suffering.

      Hope you manage to come visit your folks soon.


  6. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted June 28, 2020 at 4:00 pm | Permalink


    I think my comment was entered so deep the software the characters were formatted one per line.

    • ThyroidPlanet
      Posted June 28, 2020 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

      Yep. Too deep.

      Oh well – Ken Kucec – hope you found the extra YouTube link helpful.

      • ThyroidPlanet
        Posted June 28, 2020 at 4:02 pm | Permalink



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