48 tons of silver recovered from shipwreck off the coast of Galway

19 07 2012

1,203 bars of silver bullion weighing a total of 48 tons has been recovered from theshipwreck of the SS Gairsoppa which was sunk in February 1941 300 miles off the coast of Galway, Ireland

Florida based deep ocean exploration firm Odyssey Marine Exploration made the recovery which at 1.4  million troy is the heaviest ever recovery of precious metals.  At a depth of over 3 miles this is also the deepest ever recovery.

Greg Stemm, Odyssey chief executive, said it was a complex operation in international waters.

“Our capacity to conduct precision cuts and successfully complete the surgical removal of bullion from secure areas on the ship demonstrates our capabilities to undertake complicated tasks in the very deep ocean,” he said.

“This technology will be applicable to other modern shipwreck projects currently being scheduled as well as our deep ocean mineral exploration activities.”

Apparently the precious cargo has now been transported to a secure location in the UK.

The Gairsoppa was a merchant ship torpedoed by a German U-boat during  WWII while it was being used by the British government under their War Risk Insurance programme.

An insurance payout of £325,000 – the value of the bullion in 1941 – was made by the government to the owners of the cargo which allows the state to claim ownership of all goods recovered.

Some sources, including Lloyd’s War Losses, indicate a total amount of silver cargo worth £600,000 may have been lost in 1941, indicating the existence of a second load of government-owned silver.

Odyssey expects to now move their efforts in an attempt to recover a further 600,000 ounces of silver believed to be on the wreck of another ship, the SS Mantola, located 100 miles from the first wreck.

The company said the silver recovered to date from the Gairsoppa represents about 43% of the insured silver bars, or a fifth of the total silver cargo which its research indicated may have been on board.

Odyssey is conducting the project under contract with the UK Department for Transport and the rest of the search is expected to be completed in the autumn. The company will retain 80% of the net value of the cargo after recovering its expenses.

 

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Happy St Totteringham’s Day

14 05 2012

So we did it… far, far later in the year than I would have liked but you know what they say, better late than never.

A 3-2 win against the “Baggies” yesterday saw us snatch third place therefore guaranteeing us Champions League football again next year.

Perhaps more importantly, well for me at least, a win yesterday means that T*ttenham finish fourth….

Now excuse my ignorance here but I am fairly sure that 4th is below 3rd in the table. What’s that? It is you say.

Well in that case allow me to wish you a very happy St Totteringham’s Day.

Well I am so glad to see that the much talked of “Power Shift” in North London is still in effect and that Spurs best team in living memory has done oh so well.

Except they didn’t…Hahahahahahahahaha. Let this be a lesson to all of you fans of the chicken on a basketball lads; premature gloating,boasting and a chip on the shoulder that McCains would be proud of get you precisely nothing.

All of a sudden I am hoping that Chelski play a blinder in the Champions League final and give Bayern an absolute thumping. Not because I like Chelsea, really I don’t, but just to ensure that you mugs get everything you deserve in the form of some nice Thursday night football.





BrewDog Abstrakt 06 – 11.5% Imperial Black IPA

9 05 2012

I mentioned a while back about the release of BrewDog Abstrakt 06, well I have finally gotten round to drinking one of my bottles and as such I can give you all my two pennies worth.

 So where to begin… well if you have read anything about Abstrakt then you will know that it is series of special edition, limited volume concept beers being brewed by BrewDog.

06 is oddly enough the sixth in the series… you see how that works.

 The price per bottle is a little steep – I paid €12.99, but don’t that put you off, you really do get what you pay for!

Nice black coloredbody with a reasonable creamy head. Good lacing which lasts  well through out.

There is a big aroma of pine, dark chocolate, orange and molasses.

Pine and lots of orange flavor combine with the plentful doses of chocolate and slightly floral kick. Nice citrusy aftertaste, sort of like sumac. A full body and well hidden alcohol make up the texture of this beer.

I know that this is billed as an Imperial Black IPA but if I were to try and pigeon hole this I would have to go with a very heavilly hopped Imperial Stout.

Good beer that is worth the money, can’t wait to see how these age.

4.7/5





The World’s End – Camden

9 05 2012

Here be Demons

I have never really understood why but an awful lot of people rave on and on and on about The World’s End as if it were the be all and end all of pubs.

Well it isn’t.

I honestly wonder if they are venturing through some portal into another dimension as in reality the WE is a tedious, boring, overly large tourist trap that plays annoying trendy music at pretty much any hour of the day or night.

However there is one distinction that I have to highlight. The World’s End is now the official recipient of my very own “Shittiest Beer Ever” award.

Three of us hung around this giant turd of a pub long enough to have 2 pints each as we had dinner reservations just round the corner and couldn’t be arsed to walk any further.

We each ordered a different pint and they were all absolute crud. Now I should take a moment to clarify here, we aren’t talking some rare amber nectar brewed by silent monks in the hinterlands of Nepal. No, we had Guinness, Old Speckled Hen and London Pride, not exactly the hardest beers to keep correctly.

The pints we received ran the whole gamut of foul… from an oily, dirty sheen on the ‘Hen to a slightly fishy taste and smell from the Guinness.

In summary: stay well away.

0.25/5





King’s Arms – Bury St Edmunds

7 05 2012

When I was working in Bury St Edmunds the King’s Arms was our favourite spot to head to for lunch and a few pints on a Friday.

It is a reasonably quiet pub owing to it’s location just off of the main shopping area in town and as such has a nice relaxing vibe that is perfect for winding down after work or chilling out of a weekend.

The pub itself is of a reasonable size and is pretty much what you would expect for a traditional pub in a bustling market town; there is one main bar area with a good amount of seating, a smaller dining area off to one side and a lovely little beer garden which magically seems to always be in full sun….

Food was always good with the usual pub grub that one would expect done to a high standard and served with commendable speed, always a plus when you are on a “working lunch”!

The selection of beers is, or was as the case may now be, excellent. Usual suspects from Greene King, Ruddles and Morland accompanied by a nice choice of two or three guest beers on tap.

All things considered the King’s Arms is well worth a visit if you are passing through this charming little market town.

The King’s Arms, 23 Brentgovel Street, Bury St Edmunds Suffolk
http://gkpubs.co.uk/pubs-in-brentgovel/kingsarms-pub/




Lancashire Cheese & Onion Tart with Black Pudding and Bacon

7 05 2012

 Back when I was at school it was obligatory to study home economics and if I am really honest it was great fun and I really learnt a lot.

One of the recipes that always sticks out in my mind is Lancashire cheese and onion tart, I can remember vividly the excitement at pulling it out of the oven, tucking into a big savoury slice and then taking the rest home to Mum and Dad.

Well that is nearly 20 years ago now and over time I have refined that original recipe quite a bit, the bacon was an obvious addition and sprang from using up leftover rashers, the black pudding however had a little more thought behind it.

Ingredients:

  • 250g plain flour
  • 160g butter
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 1 large egg
  • 4 egg yolks to glaze
  • 400g black pudding
  • 10 rashers of smoke bacon
  • 2 large onions
  • 350g Lancashire cheese
  • 300ml double cream
  • 200ml milk
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • Chopped thyme
  • Black pepper

Method:

In a food processor blend the flour, butter and salt until the mix resembles breadcrumbs. Add the water and egg. Mix until it becomes a dough. Wrap in cling film and rest in the fridge for at least 1 hour.

Roll the pastry into a greased tart ring 28cmx 4cm and blind bake for 20-25 minutes at 180°C . Take out your baking beans and bake for a further 5 minutes for a golden brown base. Brush with egg yolk.

Fry off your bacon until cooked and your onions until softened and lightly brown

 Mix together the cream, milk, eggs, yolk, black pepper,onions, thyme and half of the cheese

Pulse the black pudding in a food processor until you have a paste.

Roll the black pudding paste out between two layers of cling film so that you have a sort of black pudding patty which will cover the base of the tart

Pop your black pudding onto the pastry and cover with a layer of bacon

Spoon over the cream, cheese and onion mixture and sprinkle over the rest of the cheese and add a few slice of tomato if you want to.

Bake in a pre heated oven 180°C for around 40 minutes until set. You can then finish it off for 5 minutes or so under a hot grill to crisp up the cheese.





125th anniversary Arsenal kit unveiled

2 05 2011

I don’t normally let my love of football run over into any of my posts but this time I just couldn’t resist.

2011 is the 125th anniversary of the founding of my beloved Arsenal F.C. and to mark the occasion the club are releasing redesigned kits with a special rendition of the club crest.

Feast your eyes on the home kit below…

And here is a close up of that crest with a bit of blurb about the various elements of it…

Last but not least we have the image of the away kit from the guys over at Arsenalinsider

With more than a passing resemblance to the 1995 away kit I can honestly say I am not keen on sporting that particular number at coming matches…








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