Tag Archives: Olympics

Army begins setting up missiles on the Heath

Army setting missiles up on the heath
Apparently there’s a (hopefully not too practical) demo for the media at 2pm? Photo by @alexbrooks on Twitter:

Councillor Kevin Bonavia has sent a copy of the MoD leaflet over. You can view it here.

Don’t forget – they haven’t taken a decision on whether to deploy missiles on the heath yet. I’m sure they’ll come to their senses after a short period of consultation. Because that’s what usually happens.

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Come and consult with the missiles

As currently being reported on the Blackheath Society’s site, the MoD will be holding a touchy-feely “come and look at our missiles day” on May 4th.

As part of a National exercise for Olympic security from May 2nd – May 10th, a Ground Based Air Defence Unit will operate on Blackheath from 2nd May.    Residents are invited to meet the team on 4th May from 16.00 – 19.000.   These timings are subject to change.

See their very exciting website called Operation Olympics Defence Support to London 2012.  Not Operation Appease The US with a Frankly Unworkable Security Plan.  Yay for the Olympics.  What utter nonsense.

See other missile-madness related stories from this blog.

PS – Liked Ed’s comment on the Big Screen story:

Will the big screen show the missile launches too?

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The Big Screen – more info

UPDATE: There’s a newer post about this event here.

The timetable for the Olympics “big screen” on Blackheath has been released:

27 July 7.30pm-12.30am
London 2012 Olympic Opening Ceremony

The Lewisham Big Screen will show live coverage of the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games.
27 July – 12 August
Live coverage of the London 2012 Olympic Games

Watch live coverage of the London 2012 Olympic Games on a big screen on Blackheath
28 July 12 noon-7pm
Lewisham Live

Music, dance and song from Lewisham’s talented young people
29 July 12 noon-10.30pm
Sing Out!

A day of song and music from choirs around the borough – and the BBC Singers
30 July 6-11pm
Blackheath Halls presents The Icarus Club

The Icarus Club – promoting and encouraging singer/songwriters and instrumentalists
31 July 2-4pm
21st Century Tea Dance

Positive Ageing Council and the Young Mayor present the 21st Century Tea Dance
1 August 1-5pm
PING! workshops

Music and sport – a London 2012 combination
2 August
Mayor’s Quiz Night

Quiz night in aid of the Mayor’s chosen charity – The Lavender Trust
4 August 12 noon-10.30pm
Super Saturday

Super Saturday – stalls, performers, entertainment galore
7 August
Big Dance

8 August 7-9.30pm
The Big Conversation

Join the Big Conversation – and find out what’s important to you
9 August 1-5pm
Southern Exposure PG Fim Marathon

26 films from 26 young directors
10 August 12 noon-10.30pm
Speakeasy

A day of stories, performance poets, readings and verse
11 August From 12 noon
Showtime

A day of street performances
12 August 7.30-10.30pm
London 2012 Closing Ceremony

See also: https://blackheathbugle.wordpress.com/2012/01/17/the-greatest-hyperbole-on-earth/

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Olympic Route announced

Olympic Torch Relay Route Announced
Doesn’t pass directly through the village. From Saturday 21st July – Monday 23rd. More details here. I love the fact that it’s sponsored by Coca-cola. Beyond parody.

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The missiles will be armed, but the guards won’t…

Letter from local Lib Dem councillors:
Emphasis mine:

Dear Resident

Surface-to-air missiles on Blackheath

Many residents will be concerned to hear that a Rapier surface-to-air missile system might be deployed on Blackheath during the Olympics. Following on from a briefing by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) and the Metropolitan Police at last night’s Blackheath Assembly meeting, we can confirm that Blackheath is being considered as one of six potential missile bases.

Blackheath has been selected because of its height and vantage point over London and the Thames corridor. The actual site has been located as the area immediately outside Holly Hedge House (the TA centre). The defence system consists of a missile launcher, radar sensor and tracker and will be guarded by unarmed military police. An enclosure will be erected around the equipment, the size of which is currently being determined.

At present, information is being gathered by the MoD and fed to the Secretary of State for Defence, who will make the ultimate decision about what is sited where, by early summer. We have got a guarantee that there will be further consultation with residents before a decision on final deployment.

We have ascertained that the footprint used will be as small as possible and there will be no restrictions on using the heath or any road closures associated with this.

We felt that the liaison officers from the MoD and the Police were as open as possible within the constraints of national security and we will be pressing them to continue this process of consultation right through to the event.
If you have any specific concerns you wish us to raise with them please let us know.

Is it advisable to tell the public that the military police guarding the missiles will be unarmed?
My parody limit has been reached… I honestly can’t tell any more.

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Missile ranges

If the MoD site is wrong, and Wikipedia is right, then the actual range of a Rapier missile on Blackheath is 6.8km, not 500m (spotted by @ripienaar).
Range of a 6.8km missile on Blackheath

Made using http://obeattie.github.com/gmaps-radius/

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GBAD and other acronyms

Response from Heidi Alexander to the Blackheath Missile Crisis:

Dear Blackheath Bugle,

Heidi has asked me to paste below a briefing note which I hope will answer the questions you raised in your blog post. She won’t be able to be at the Blackheath Assembly tonight because of votes in Parliament on the Health and Social Care Bill but Kevin Bonavia will have copies of the briefing to distribute this evening.

If anybody has any comments or questions about the briefing note it would be really helpful if they could be sent direct to Heidi with their postal address included.

Jamie Milne – Office Manager

London 2012 – Possible Military Defence Arrangements – Blackheath

I am sorry not to be able to attend the Blackheath Local Assembly this evening. The House of Commons is debating the Health & Social Care Bill this afternoon and I need to be present in Parliament to express my opposition to the Government’s proposals at the vote.

I know that many people have questions about the recent news that the Ministry of Defence (the MoD) are considering the use of Blackheath as part of their air security plan for the Olympics. They are exploring using Blackheath as a location for a Ground Based Air Defence System (GBAD). Continue reading

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Missile questions for our MPs

UPDATE: The response to this post from Heidi Alexander MP can be read here.

So we are to have missiles in our beautiful shared garden.

Clive Efford (Labour, MP for Eltham) criticised the Defence Minister for placing missiles in Olxeas Wood. But what about the ones planned on Blackheath?

Heidi Alexander (Labour, MP for Lewisham East) tweeted the following today:

MoD were looking at Blackheath suitability for potential olympic missile defence site last week. No decision yet taken. link
Have asked MoD for face to face briefing. link
I know it sounds surreal but sadly true. Nothing has been decided yet though. link
MoD describe it as some form of ground based air defence system. That’s all I know at the moment. link

Lewisham East Constituency

A commenter on my facebook page suggested the possible location of the missiles:

“The radar trial took place on Thursday just north east of the army cadet centre. the launcher was sans missile ( thank goodness)” — John Morris

As can just about be seen on the Ordnance Survey Election Maps, if the missile site is located north-east of the Territorial Army Barracks, this places it firmly in Heidi’s constituency.

However, assuming it is a Rapier missile, it has a range of 500m (seems very short to me?), meaning that it could also potentially kill people in the neighbouring “Greenwich and Woolwich Borough” constituency, the MP of which is Nick Raynsford (Labour).

I’d dearly love to attend the assembly meeting tomorrow, but I’m unlikely to be able to make it. If Heidi Alexander is at the assembly on Tuesday, here are some questions, you might like to consider asking:

* Who owns the land that the missiles will be placed on?
* Were any special orders required to place the missiles on the land?
* Who owns the missiles?
* Is there any way that you could have prevented this from happening?
* When did you first hear about it, and how was it presented to you?
* Do you think it is an appropriate course of action, taken by a supposedly sovereign nation, during peace time?

Guardian 13th Nov 2011: US officials worried about security at London 2012 Olympics

Washington’s need for reassurance is exasperating British officials and anti-terrorism officials, who have privately raised concerns about the meddling, as well as the size of the US “footprint” in the UK during the games next year.

BBC News 14th Nov 2011: Ground-to-air missiles ‘may protect’ London 2012 games

Mr Hammond was asked by his predecessor to confirm whether there would be a “full range of multilayered defence and deterrents” in place for the 2012 Games including surface-to-air missiles.

He replied: “I can assure him that all necessary measures to ensure the security and safety of the London Olympic Games will be taken including – if the advice of the military is that it is required – appropriate ground-to-air defences.”

UPDATE: Reply from Councillor Chris Maines on my facebook page:

I can confirm that there will be an opportunity to ask questions at the Blackheath Assembly tonight – a senior police officer will be present. However, this is an MOD issue and they are a difficult organisation to engage in full consultation. Since my briefing last week I have raised question at cabinet committee level although it seems as a matter of national security it is difficult to get definative responses, Cllr Chris Maines – Chair, Blackheath Assembly

UPDATE:
BBC News article including quote from Heidi Alexander about the missiles
Olympics missile sites considered for Blackheath and Shooters Hill

On Facebook, Kevin Bonavia (local councillor) says that an MoD representative will attend the Assembly tonight.

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Missile base on Blackheath?

Missiles on Blakheath
Possibly something to bring up at the Blackheath Assembly tomorrow.

Eltham MP Clive Efford blasts Olympics missile plans for Blackheath and Oxleas Wood

PLANS to blast terrorists out of the sky above Greenwich during the Olympics have been attacked by an MP who says he was not consulted.

The Ministry of Defence is proposing placing batteries of surface to air missiles near Oxleas Wood cafe in Shooters Hill and on Blackheath during the Games. Some of the equipment was brought in last week as part of site evaluations.

Anyone know where it is? Time to get a kite up with a little camera on it, I think…

UPDATE – If you’ve got any idea where it is located, feel free to play Pin The Tail on the Missile Base.

Rapier missile photo from Wikipedia

UPDATE 2: The Daily Mail says they are using Rapier missiles. Added a photo from wikipedia, Here’s a link to a less outdated version of the missile, so that you all know what to look out for…. (thanks Rupert)

UPDATE 3: Attempted to make it clearer that the image at the top of the screen is “for illustration purposes only”…

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100 Horses on Blackheath

100 horses on Blackheath
I’m guessing for Olympics preparation… As spotted by twitter user @shaawasmund.

UPDATE:
Seems it was the move of the King’s Royal Artillery to a new home in Woolwich. (Didn’t think we had a king)…

Another photo here, by @Lambpie1973:
Horses on Charlton Road

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