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Section 143
Romeo 2
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'Tales of Mystery and Contamination'


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The Mustard (gas) fields of Wiltshire | Unexploded WW2 Bombs in London | BSE | How to make money out of contaminated land | Bracken can damage your health
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The Mustard (gas) fields of Wiltshire

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The Independent 8th June 1998.

The village of East Gomeldon in Wiltshire has 350 acres of fields underlain by spent Mustard gas and phosgene shells and mortars.

The site was used for artillery practice and it is believed that around 2,000 shells are awaiting "harvesting" of which 300 may have some chemical agent (arsenic, phenol, phosphorous) in them.

The shells lie upto 18 feet deep, and it is reckoned that it would take 10 engineers 4 months to remove them them.

The fact that it would cost around 1 million to clean-up the area has absolutely no bearing on the fact that although the villagers would like it to be cleaned up, no action is planned !

 

Unexploded WW2 Bombs in London - 'a blast from the past'

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Evening Standard 20th November 1996.

OK, OK, so we all know that you can chew on nitroglycerine to alleviate the affects of a heart attack, but the news in Wednesday's Standard, about wartime TNT, may well have caused a few!

In response to a written Parliamentary Question from Simon Hughes, (Hansard vol 282, col 863 15th October 1996), Armed Forces Minister Nicholas Soames released a site listing of known Unexploded Bombs (UXB's) in the London area.

A full reply will be forthcoming shortly, (as Simon Hughes had not only asked where these beasties were, but also what the risks associated with them were, had any relevant groups such as planners, surveyors etc been contacted, and finally what action was planned to deal with the situation).

In the mean time, if you would like to know whether the area you live in you is the sort of place where you don't have to tune into Alan Freeman's "heavy metal enriched" Friday Night Rock Show, on Virgin Radio, to get a "Blast from the Past", the Evening Standard has kindly allowed us to reprint the UXB London listing they published.

To see how they deal with this in Germany, have a look at the following case-study on the WW2 mustard gas factory at Ergethan..

 

BSE - Sell the sizzle not the steak !

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'Run-off from the Gutter' 26th July 1996

Britain's power stations, not usually known for their marketing expertise, have now, with Government prodding, latched onto the merits of the above phrase.

It seems that the only way we will get rid of the current beef mountain caused by all those BSE infected cows, cattle, kine and bovines, is to burn them in Power Stations !

Hey you know it makes sense, after all they had been put to a potentially contaminative use (recyling sheeps spinal cords). OK so biogas may well be a renewable resource but it does help destroy the ozone layer.

Well at least we now know why there is such a funny smell when a fuse blows...

 

How to make money out of contaminated land

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'The Financial Times 8th July 1996'

The site of the Millennium exhibition will be at an disused gas-works in Greenwich. Although the funding of this project still appears to be in dispute (and is to some extent overshadowed by fears of a global meltdown of computers when the poor things interpret the years difference between 1999 and 2000 to be the same as that of 1999 and 1900). One thing is sure - you can make money from the astute purchase of a piece of contaminated land.

The Millennium project will cost in the region of 500 million, with British Gas (the owners of the Greenwich site) chipping in around 50 million as their contribution.

12 years ago Mr Philip Marron bought the Pilot Inn, which stands in 300 acres of derelict Greenwich gas-works land, for 55,000. The realisation that in just over 3 years time it will be in the centre of the largest entertainment attraction has meant that the Pub's value has soared, currently it has an insurance value of 750,000 !

 

Bracken can damage your health

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The Scotsman 2nd July 1996

Should we have a long hot summer, then hill walkers and sheep farmers might face a health risk from the millions of spores that will burst forth from the bracken fields of Scotland.

The spores are thought to be implicated in causing cancer, high consumption of bracken fronds in Japan appears to have a link to higher than normal rates of stomach and oesophagus cancer.

The last good "crop" of bracken spores was in 1989, when sheep farmers were advised to wear face masks in areas of dense bracken growth !


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