On this day: the Munich Air Disaster in 1958

In Times Gone By...

Munich Air Disaster

The aftermath of the crash.

On the 6th of February, 1958, a British European Airways aeroplane crashed at Munich Airport on its third attempt at take-off.

On board flight 609 were forty-four people. Twenty were killed at the scene of the crash, while three more later died in hospital.

Airspeed Ambassador G-ALZU At Munich Before Accident

Shortly before take-off.

The crash is famous because eight of the people killed were Manchester United players, but I have to say it doesn’t thrill me that playing football apparently makes your life worth more than somebody else’s.

Airspeed Ambassador G-ALZU Burning At Munich 1958

The plane burning on the runway.

The cause of the crash was eventually blamed on slush on the runway. It was not until ten years after the crash that the Captain was cleared of playing a part in the disaster.

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LSD: A Trip Down Memory Lane

Atomic Flash Deluxe

LSD25 Manufactured by Sandoz Laboratories - Basel, Switzerland LSD25 Manufactured by Sandoz Laboratories – Basel, Switzerland

Taking LSD was a profound experience, one of the most important things in my life.  ~~Steve Jobs

In 1956 this unnamed American housewife took LSD at the Veteran’s Administration Hospital in Los Angeles. This woman’s husband was an employee at the hospital and referred her to this study, which was reportedly done for a television program on mental health issues.

When Swiss chemist Albert Hoffman first synthesized LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide) at the Sandoz laboratories in Basel, Switzerland on November 16, 1938, he felt that the compound wasn’t useful for the project at hand. He set it aside in the slush-pile. Five years later, April 16, 1943, Hoffman felt compelled to take another look at his abandoned discovery. John Beresford writes:

Hofmann is not sure – the chemist in the old Sandoz lab had what he called a “Vorgefühl.” The usual English…

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Bermondsey summers

A beautiful piece by Pete Johnson about summers in the 1950s and ’60s when English children could be so much more inventive than today, when imagination was the key.

beetleypete

What is it about memory, that makes us remember summers as being better in our youth? Ask most people about the weather, and they will almost always agree that the summer was better when they were young. Six weeks of unbroken sun, school holidays spent outside, with perhaps the occasional thundery shower, that helped to clear the air. Given that this might span a time period from 1958, to 1998, it cannot really have any basis in fact. Although I do not have the real statistics to hand, (and cannot be bothered to look them up) I am sure that we didn’t always have fabulous summers, with weeks of Mediterranean heat, and unbroken blue skies. So why is it that this is how I remember them?

Before we moved to Kent, when I was fifteen years old, I spent my summers on the streets of Bermondsey, a South London district…

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