War Memorial Gary Trouton

October Editorial

October 2004

Ray takes a look at the Olympics and makes a plea for more care from local drivers

Hello again,

Well the Olympic Games are over for another four years and how close my predictions came to the truth. In my August editorial I said I thought some demon would prevent Paula Radcliffe from claiming her just rewards; but I would not have wanted that demon to be quite so public in her destruction. Poor lass, I hope she now has a long, relaxing holiday before trying once again to come back into the limelight. But again, I predict that the lure of £300,000 for a re-match with the new Olympic champion Mizuki Noguchi in the Tokyo marathon in January and a further £500,000 for competing in the London marathon in April will prove too strong for a prolonged period of rest and recuperation. Let us all hope I am wrong.

But what did you think about Kelly Holmes? Wasn't she magnificent? The first Great Britain athlete to achieve a double since 1922! We must not forget our one-man boxing team, Amir Khan, who reached the final before being beaten by the reigning champion. But why did a single boxer needed such a large management and back-up team? In total, the Great Britain team won 30 medals; 9 gold, 9 silver and 12 bronze. To beat our record haul from Sydney with a much smaller team was a magnificent effort all round. Thank god for the Big Lottery Fund! Did you know that our current government spends less on sport than on the Welsh language broadcasting service?

So for the Thompson household, the spikes and tracksuits have been carefully stored away until needed for Beijing in 2008 and the lightweight football boots and woollen socks have been retrieved from the loft in preparation for the football world cup which will have started before you read this! Who was it that said 'once you retired your time was your own'?

I have received a number of requests from Stoke Ferry residents begging me to remind drivers of the speed limit which exist within the village. Of particular concern is the rat-racing that seems to have become prevalent in Oxborough Road and the High Street. Many years ago, when serving in Singapore, I had the sad task of performing the official recognition of a two year-old child who had been knocked down and killed by a taxi in Jalan Kayu, just outside the gates of RAF Seletar. The task was made doubly hard for me because, the day before, the same child had been in my own home playing with my youngest daughter, who was also at the time two years old. Someone had left the gate to the busy street open and, when the inquisitive two year old decided to explore, she was immediately in the busy street and probably invisible to the majority of drivers. She was killed instantly by a taxi.

There are several small children living in Stoke Ferry High Street and in Oxborough Road. Despite every effort by their parents and guardians, there will be times when these children escape from adult vigilance and decide to explore the more exciting world beyond the front door. Their size and un-predictable movements can place them in danger in any thoroughfare used by motor vehicles. This, of course, also applies to the numerous domestic animals in the village.

Please do be aware that small children and animals can move quickly and are often difficult to see, particularly at dusk. Don't have the death or injury of a toddler or a beloved pet on your conscience; adjust your speed to a sensible and controllable level when driving in areas likely to be inhabited by these precious members of our community. You, the driver, have the most dangerous weapon of mass destruction available outside a military armoury.

Ray Thompson

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