2 1 min 9 yrs

I urge you to visit the Obituary of an Engineer; a man who made, restored, repaired all manner of things, and rejoiced in all things steam-driven and mechanical.

One thing alone gives the viewer an advantage, the video in the Telegraph’s piece is not polluted with any advertising at all!

His summing-up of modern Britain is both succint and very very true:-


“Our fate is a microcosm of the country’s attitude to value-added manufacturing,” Minns reflected. “We make nothing, and we don’t care. We’re not even a nation of shopkeepers, we’re a nation of shelf-stackers — Napoleon must be screaming with laughter.”


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2 thoughts on “No sadness, but a celebration!

  1. Jonathan Minns , who has died the day after his 75th birthday, was an engineer infused with the spirit of Stephenson and Brunel; entranced by steam and the marvels of mechanical antiquities, he restored a derelict Victorian water pumping station at Hove, Sussex, and transformed it into the “British Engineerium”.

    Now that’s real public service.

  2. Not just Napoleon! – so many battles fought and so many wars waged, – mostly, but not all, – for good causes.

    So many of the young from several consecutive generations who were sacrificed in the last century, has finally taken its toll on us as a nation. Those that had the potential to inspire, and were to become our leaders were sacrificed for what we all thought was for the benefit of humanity in general. How wrong could we be?

    The ideals which they believed in and died for have been so carelessly abandoned by their successors is why we are no longer a nation of ‘shopkeepers’, – a term which many sneer at, but who were the bedrock of most of our national entrepreneurial skills, – nor are we at the intellectual forefront, where once we were among the world leaders.

    That any sense of ethics or morality among our ‘leaders’, which we once took for granted, was one of the first of the cultural virtues to disappear, is hardly surprising, as these are among the many things passed down from generation to generation. With a much reduced ‘older generation’, who is there to ‘pass thhe flame’ to the next generation?

    The sacrifices of the twentieth century were more than just personal or individual sacrifices, – they were a part of a national sacrifice! We all felt and shared the pain, and we still do, as many will do later this month, it is perhaps one of the few ‘communal threads’ that we still have.

    If we had known then, what we know now, would we have been quite so willing to commit the virtual ‘national cultural suicide’ that has been the ultimate result? Far from being among the ‘world leaders’ that our politicians keep trying to persaude us that we are, we are fast becoming just another overcrowded, heavily indebted, culture free conglomeration whose only direction is downward.

    If it were at all possible to reverse that doom laden prediction, where do we look for, and more important, who do we look for to lead us back to the quality of life we once used to enjoy, to a nation that regains a genuine sense of community, where most folk have a sense of self-worth and personal integrity is valued?

    Now that paragraph will bring in the ‘Old boy rant’ comments from those that have nothing to compare today with, – don’t make the mistake of thinking that ‘easier means better’, – it doesn’t.

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