A Return to Gibraltar – 70 years on!

My dear friend Charles Walker has recently had the holiday of a lifetime – a cruise with his daughter and son-in-law which took in Gibraltar (aboard Cunard’s Victoria) where Charles was stationed during part of WWII with the RAF.

This is the Llanstephan Castle that was in use as a troop ship that took Charles to Gibraltar during WWII.

This is the Llanstephan Castle that was in use as a troop ship and took Charles to Gibraltar during WWII.

Charles is now 92 but whilst physically he is most definitely feeling his years he remains as bright as a button. Indeed, he was a Lib Dem Town Councillor in Maghull until he was 90 having only taken up politics at the age of 74!

His service with the RAF was as an aircraft electrician and I have previously posted a list of the many aircraft he worked on during his National Service on this site.

Charles (known as Uncle Albert to his friends) had always wanted to go back to see Gibraltar so his lovely daughter Carole fixed it up for him. Not only that but she also persuaded the Wing Commander at RAF Gibraltar to meet and greet Charles and show him around. I don’t think you need me to tell you how delighted Charles was with all this.

Here are a couple of photos of his visit:-

Charles Shaking hands with Wing Commander Greg Smith

Charles Shaking hands with Wing Commander Greg Smith

Charles looking back on Gibraltar (in the distance) from his cruise ship Victoria as he leaves after his holiday of a lifetime.

Charles looking back on Gibraltar (in the distance) from his cruise ship Victoria as he leaves after his holiday of a lifetime.

I am so pleased that Jim Sharpe of the Champion newspaper (Aintree & Maghull edition) ran a story about Charles and his WWII and indeed 2013 exploits in Gibraltar in the most recent edition of that paper.

Finally, here is Uncle Albert with his Gibraltar flag that was presented to him by the taxi driver who took around the Rock.

rsz_12_13_-_ua_with_gib_flag_2_1

Help Bill, he needs all the publicity he can get!

I thought to myself, there’s going to be trouble when we had a few editions of the Champion newspaper with not many Bill Esterson’s photos in them and off to Press Complaints Bill’s paid hacks would probably be.

But all is well as the Champion has used 3 photo’s of the shy and retiring MP in this week’s Aintree & Maghull Edition.

I suppose I will be in trouble now for not including a Bill photo……………

Political cartoons

The cartoon of Sefton Council’s Labour Leader and a red herring that I posted about recently was very well drawn and it took me back to my time as Leader of Sefton Council when I agreed a Council budget one year with the then Labour Group Leader Dave Martin, who has sadly since died.

The Council was ‘balanced’ at the time so no one party had overall control like Labour and Peter Dowd do now.

The Champion under its then editor Martin Hovden produced a Morecombe and Wise type cartoon of me and Dave Martin sat in bed together. If it was meant to offend it didn’t and I recall we both laughed about it. Strangely all kinds of folks kept asking me if I was upset about it as they clearly thought I would be.

Cartoons of those in power have long been used to great effect and I quite like them but whether Peter has laughed at himself with a red herring I have yet to find out.