80th Anniversary of The Battle of Crete 20th May 2021

The 20th May 2021 is the 80th anniversary of the first airborne invasion in history. But for the COVID-19 pandemic, I would be on the island attending the commemorations on this wonderful, unforgettable island. Alas most of our Cretan friends, who took part in the struggle for freedom in the dark days of the 1940’s have passed into history.

Official Programme : 50th Anniversary of the Battle of Crete
My ‘ Koumbaros ‘ The Cretan Runner, George Psychoundakis BEM. Happy memories of the days George and I shared his island and some of his wartime experiences.
Stephen Verney ( Stephanos ), reuinted with my dear friends Chryssa Ninolaki and her brother Tassos Ninolakis, who worked closely together in the resistance and took great risks every day. ( 1995 Kato Stalos )
Andonis Paterakis, his son George, Chryssa Ninolaki and their friend at Koustoyarako in the mountains of southern Crete. ( Photo c 2001 ).
The late Maureen Moss who became the last secretary of the United Kingdom Crete Veterans Association, seen here at the Service of Commemoration at Souda Bay in 2011.
H.R.H. Prince Richard of Gloucester attended the commemorations on Crete in 2011
Tributes placed on the Galatas War Memorial in May 2011
Battle of Crete exhibition, Chania 2011.

Photographs : Tony Knight photography & MEDIA 44 – (0)1962 – 852124

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BUDDHIST MONKS IN WINCHESTER ‘ BIN THAT BAT (Monk’s Alms Collection)

Buddhist Monks in Winchester High Street

Monks collecting alms may be a daily occurrence in Thailand, but in Winchester, it probably a first. The monks made a keenly awaited visit to Winchester at the invitation of the local Thai community.

Runge Knight makes her offering of alms.

The monks began their walk through the city, meeting small groups waiting to present them with their offering of alms for daily living , receiving the customary blessing for their acts of merit.

Giving of alms for daily living items

The prolonged Covid-19 pandemic has made it more difficult for Buddhists to attend the Cittaviveka Monastery at Chithurst between Petersfield and Midhurst to make their offerings. Visiting times and conditions are restricted and may be viewed on the monastery’s website.

King Alfred Statue, The Broadway, Winchester ,

Pra Ajan Gavelesko and fellow monks pause by the King Alfred statue in Winchester Broadway.

In the Abbey Gardens, Winchester
Pligrims themselves, the groups of monks pose beside a ‘Pilgrim’s School sign outside Wolvsey Castle, Winchester
Beside the River Itchen, Winchester

Words and pictures : www.Tony Knight photography & MEDIA

BUDDHIST MONKS OUTREACH VISIT TO SOUTHAMPTON

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A small contingent of Monks from the Cittaviveka Buddhist Momastery at Chithurst near Petersfield have made a pastoral outreach visit to members of the Buddhist community in the Southampton area.

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A familiar daily sight in Thailand,but highly unusual in Southampton, a line of 4 monks in their familiar olive coloured robes processed through the city’s Above Bar.

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During the short visit, alms and necessities for daily living were donated by those present.

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Communal chanting, a token ‘ presentation ‘ of alms and a promise to return to the community when possible concluded the short community nexus.  The monks then withdrew to consume their daily meal under the protecting boughs of the surrounding oaks.web MONKS SOTON Tony Knight photography & MEDIA 1513 copy

Photographs & words :  Tony Knight photography & MEDIA

 

CHRISTMAS AT BICESTER VILLAGE OUTLET, Oxfordshire

Bicester Village Outlet takes on a special feel at Christmas

Bicester Village Outlet takes on a special feel at Christmas

Gone are the long sunny days as Autumn turns towards Christmas and the prospect of presents.  Whatever the weather the windows of the famous brands sparkle and scintillate, reflecting the golden decorations, which make shopping at Bicester Village so magical.

Access from London and the provinces is simple, with good road and rail links.

Bicester Village Outlet is just a few steps from the railway station platforms.

Bicester Village Outlet railway station.

Frequent services to Bicester Village.

Frequent services to Bicester Village.

Festive displays of tempting goods.

Festive displays of tempting goods.

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Christmas Reindeer

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The shopping village takes on a woodland glade appearance.

The shopping village takes on a woodland glade appearance.

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Departing guests take Christmas home with them.

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Words and photographs : Tony Knight photography& MEDIA

 

Picture Report : FLIPPIN’ PANCAKE TIME AGAIN – WINCHESTER ROTARY CLUB’S INAUGURAL PANCAKE RACE 2019

Winchester Cathedral choristers join in the fun of the pancake race.

Winchester Cathedral choristers join in the fun of the pancake race.

It was a case of youth triumphing over age as the St Bedes Primary School team ran away with the trophy in Winchester Rotary’s inaugural pancake race, outside Winchester’s ancient and famous Cathedral’s west front.

The winning team from St Bedes Primary School display their trophy

The winning team from St Bedes Primary School display their trophy

The first pancake race was organised by the Winchester Rotary Club and was staged in front of Winchester Cathedral, who benefitted from funds raised.

Twenty teams enrolled for the race on a straight course lined with spectators, cheering their teams on, in the windy weather, which made tossing pancakes a tricky task.

Winchester Cathedral choristers first relay spewed along the track.

Winchester Cathedral choristers first relay speed along the track.

Former Winchester Mayors : Councillors Dominick Hiscock, Therese Evans, Jane Rutter and Richard Izzard prepare for their relay race.

The ' Old Mayor's ' warm up their frying pans !

The ‘ Old Mayor’s  team ‘ warm up their frying pans ! All together…….

The Winchester, Winnall TESCO supermarket team

Tesco and Sainsburys supermarket teams battle it out.

Tesco and Sainsburys supermarket teams battle it out.

Sainsburys limber up

Sainsburys Badger Farm Team

Sainsburys Badger Farm Team

Don't smile - your'tash on the move !

Don’t smile – your’tash is on the move !

What's cooking ? Rotary members look after the prizes

What’s cooking ? Rotary members look after the prizes

The Trophies were printed on a 3-D printer, innovative technology make for unusual prizes. Each one took about 15 hours to print.

Cutting edge technology used to produce the commemorative medals and trophies.

Cutting edge technology used to produce the commemorative medals and trophies.

Former mayor Cllr. Dominick Hiscock at speed.

Former mayor Cllr. Dominick Hiscock at speed.

Local services were also represented.

Worthy Down AGS ( SPS ) Adjutant General’s Corps put up a strong team.

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A determined effort, as this competitor struggles against the gusty wind to keep his pancake on board.

 

Councillor Richard Izzrad flips his pancake.

Councillor Richard Izzard flips his pancake with skill.

Rotary membe, professional videographer Steve Feeney films and interview with the Dean of Winchester, The Very Rev'd Catherine Ogle.

Rotary member, professional videographer Steve Feeney films an interview with the Dean of Winchester, The Very Rev’d Catherine Ogle.

ROTARY VIDEO is on U-TUBE ” WINCHESTER PANCAKE RACE 2019 “

Flippin good show !

Flippin good show ! Nicky from the Sainbury’s team completes her run.

Great fun, posing for the press photographers and tv crews.

Great fun, posing for the press photographers and tv crews.

Taking a break !

Taking a break !

Hi Ho ! It's off to gthe pancake race we go.

More usually known for their superb choral singing in the Cathedral, today It’s Hi Ho, Hi Ho ! It’s off to the pancake race we go.

Words and photographs : Tony Knight photography & MEDIA

 

 

 

 

 

 

KATHINA 2018 – CITTAVIVEKA, CHITHURST BUDDHIST MONASTERY.

The 2018 Kathina ceremony took place at the Cittaviveka, Buddhist Monastery at Chithurst, West Sussex on Sunday 11th November. The wet weather which had threatened the morning’s events, rolled away as guests arrived.

Guests made their donations of rice and food, making their way into the Dhamma Hall for refuges and precepts.

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This beautiful floral peacock took 2 days to assemble and was the center-piece of the tributes

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Always popular with the gathering is the moment they get to give offerings of rice. This year over 40 monks and nuns passed along the rows of eager adults and children.

The rice Pindapat and meal offering.

The rice Pindapat and meal offering.

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After the rice offering, the monks and nuns selected food for their meal.

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Tributes of money given during the day was announced during the afternoon as £10,000 for the benefit of the upkeep of the Monastery.

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An opportunity for the young to learn to how pay their respects too.

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The offering of the Kathina Cloth is preceded, by processing three times around the outside of the Dhamma Hall.

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Small tokens of respect are given by the children to the Monks and Nuns in the Dhamma Hall during the presentation of the Kathina.

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Monks and Nuns and guests assemble in the Dhamma Hall.

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During the day many friends met to celebrate together.

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Words and pictures : Tony Knight photography & Media.

LOOK BACK : KATHINA 2017 at the CITTAVIVEKA Chithurst Buddhist Monastery, Midhurst, Sussex UK.

Cittaviveka was the first Ajahn Chah monastery to be established outside of Thailand. Started by Ajahn Sumedho, its establishment coincided with Ajahn Chah’s visit to Britain in 1979. The property includes Chithurst House, its adjacent Dhamma Hall, and Hammer Wood with many meditation kuṭīs (huts). There is also the Rocana Vihāra for nuns and Āloka cottage for their female guests. 2424 web T CHITHURST KATHINA copy

Members of the Buddhist community from across the south of England celebrated the annual Kathina festival in October 2017.  Food was laid out on tables in the ground, as people arrived with food

Monks emerge from the Dhama Hall for the rice and meal offerings accept

Monks emerge from the Dhamma Hall for the rice and meal offerings accept

Those attending lined the outside of one wing of the cloister, around the edge of he lawn, into the other end of the cloister, and wound its way into the grounds as monks passed by collecting alms.

Monks collecting contributions of rice

Monks collecting contributions of rice

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Children play an important part, join in the rice offerings

Children play an important part, joining in the rice offerings making it a family event.

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A meeting of friends.

An important part of the day is the offering of the Kathina cloth, which is carried around the Dahmma Hall three times in procession.

The offering of the Kathina cloth

The offering of the Kathina cloth

A few minutes rest in the cloister

A few minutes rest in the cloister

The celebrations are an opportunity for friends to get together

The celebrations are an opportunity for friends to get together

Those attending, defer to the monks, who prepare to enjoy the culinary offerings

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The monks circulate around the tables choosing their favourite treats.

Monks enter the Dhama Hall

Monks on their way to the Dhamma Hall

Entering the Dhama Hall.

Entering the Dhama Hall.

After enjoying the donated fruit, cakes, sandwiches and other goodies, celebrants join the monks in the Dhamma Hall.

Celebrants gather in the Dhamma Hall to hear the monks chanting

Celebrants gather in the Dhamma Hall to hear the monks chanting

The Dhamma Hall is an inspiring conversion of a former cow shed, which has been enlarged and beautifully crafted from fine English Green Oak to provide a space for quiet contemplation and rejuvenation of mind and spirit.

The Buhdda, which is the focus of prayers and offerings

The Buhdda, which is the focus of prayers and offerings

Accepting offerings of rice

Accepting offerings of rice

The Kathina celebrations are held at Chithurst Monastery annually in October or November.

STOP PRESS : The 2018 Kathina celebrations will take place at Chithurst         Monastery on Sunday 11 November 2018.

Words and pictures : Tony Knight photography & MEDIA

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comarkuk@ntlworld.com

 

 

Sir Harold Hillier Gardens – Winter and Autumn 2018 – A time for reflection in the Garden.

The Sir Harold Hillier Gardens are truly  ” Garden for All Seasons. ”

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The gardens are beautiful throughout the year, even when in repose in wintertime, but snow adds an extra dimension to any visit.

Just walking through the garden is peaceful with robins tame and trusting who will feed from the hand, if you keep still and don’t frighten them.  This friendly little Robin adds a splash of colour against a blanket of snow.

 

Searching for crumbs near Jermyns House in the snow this Robin is a colourful little friend.

Searching for crumbs in the snow near Jermyns House, this Robin is a colourful little friend.

Jermyns House in the snow.

Jermyns House in the snow.

Signs of spring brought a sense of optimism, until the ‘ Beast from the East ‘ struck, temperatures plummeted and sub zero temperatures brought snow over several weekends.  This change in the weather caught out some early bloomers, which shone bravely through the layer of snow.

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With sun low in the sky in late October 2018, music wafted through the trees. In the pre-Halloween trail for children and adults, with an open invitation to make the music themselves.

With sun low in late October 2018, music wafted through the trees. In the pre-Halloween trail for children and adults, issuing an open invitation to make the music themselves.

Making music in the Sir Harold Hillier gardens in Autumn.

Making music in the Sir Harold Hillier gardens in Autumn.

As the soil temperature falls, muting the colours with the trees and plants in the garden entering their winter sleep, the Centenary Border has a last burst of colour. The gardens are about to display a few quiet months, presenting a different aspect.

Whenever you visit there is something special, as you walk through the slumbering beds. Yet even then buds are visible on the Rhododendrons, waiting for the returning sun to awaken the spring growth around them, encouraging them to burst forth and heralding another colourful pageant to play throughout the coming year.

What could be more satisfying, returning home with tingling toes and hands, looking forward to sitting by the fire with hot buttered toast and tea, looking forward to next spring in the gardens !

The Centenary Border, Sir Harold Hillier Gardens in Autumn.

The Centenary Border, Sir Harold Hillier Gardens in Autumn.

Words & photographs : Tony Knight photography & MEDIA.

SPITFIRE GIRL MARY ELLIS MEMORIAL SERVICE – of Mary, Memories and Merlins. ” Playing in the Clouds “

Mary Ellis, Air Transport Auxiliary pilot.. once again Playing In The Clouds !

Mary Ellis, Air Transport Auxiliary pilot.. once again Playing In The Clouds !

After the service were Spitfire tributes – hear audio whilst you read this report.

AUDIO LINK: Mary Ellis Memorial Service SPITFIRE DISPLAY over Northwood House, Cowes Isle of Wight, 24th September 2018

The elderly woman behind me in the Church of St. Mary the Virgin, Cowes, sang with gusto, in her clear, rousing soprano.. ” We plough the fields and scatter… ” She is a link between my generation and the formidable, wonderful woman, for whom the congregation had gathered to pay tribute – ‘ Spitfire Girl ‘ Mary Ellis.

Throughout the service, memories rolled back the years to Mary’s first flight as a young girl, as a passenger in a bi-plane of Alan Cobham’s Flying Circus in the1930’s; hearing an appeal for women pilots on the BBC ‘ wireless ‘; joining the Air Transport Auxiliary.  Mary had also told of landing a four engine aircraft only to be confronted by the ground crew, disbelieving that she was the pilot.

Tribute

Tribute

 

Group Captain Anne-Marie Houghton, who shared here memories.

Group Captain Anne-Marie Houghton, who shared here memories.

Group Captain Anne-Marie Houghton recalls Mary telling her that on 6th June 1944 she had flown above the English Channel and on her return journey noticing that the flotilla of ships, seen earlier in the morning, had departed in the afternoon – D-Day had begun the push for freedom on the Continent. Group. Capt. Houghton realised that on the same day – 6th June, she too was flying in the same airspace, on the same date, as Mary had many years before.

Guard of Honour

Guard of Honour

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Cllr. Lora Peacey-Wilcox of the Isle of Wight Council.

Paying their tribute, Alec Anderson and Peter Com, both National Malay and Burma Veterans Association members.

Paying their tribute, Alec Anderson and Peter Cobb, both National Malaya and Burma Veterans Association members.

A Toast to Mary. Mary's nieice, Rosemary Martin is on the right of the photograph.

Mary’s niece, Rosemary Martin, on the right of the photograph, raises a glass of Champagne to her aunt’s memory.

Rosemary Martin, Mary’s niece, felt that her aunt would have been ‘ astonished ‘ at the gathering as she was very modest. ‘ ‘  Mary was never frightened and did just get on with things. ‘  Reverend Andrew Poppe told the congregation that Mary’s contribution was ‘ immense. Her place in the history of the nation and the knowledge of what she did in those heady days of World War 2 have brought her to the forefront…. she was a beacon of what women can do. ‘

Captain Anthony Brindle KSG remembers being taught to fly by Mary's husband Don Ellis

Captain Anthony Brindle KSG remembers being taught to fly by Mary’s husband Don Ellis

Biggin Hill Spitfires fly past in tribute

Biggin Hill Spitfires fly past in tribute

The distinctive sound of a Merlin engine heralds of a Spitfire.

The distinctive sound of a Merlin engine heralds the arrival of a Spitfire.

The gathering of press and guests gasped and fell silent – the Spitfire, piloted by Dan Griffiths approached at speed and climbed into a loop above Northwood House, Cowes, Isle of Wight.  He then gave a display that thrilled and excited all there. Weaving, looping and rolling around the sky, all too soon the display was over and having been     ‘ playing in the clouds ‘ as Mary had been won’t to do, he victory rolled the Spitfire a final time and gave our ‘ Spitfire Girl, ‘ Mary the traditional farewell, dipping each wing in turn.  Her beloved Spitfire then disappeared into the clear blue skies.

 

Dan Griffiths in his Spitfire from Biggin Hill

Dan Griffiths in his Spitfire from Biggin Hill

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Photographs and words : Tony Knight photography & MEDIA.

44 – (0)1962 – 852124

M 07532 – 697 -902

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RED ARROWS JOY AT BOURNEMOUTH AIR FESTIVAL 2018

Mention the Red Arrows Royal Air Force aerobatic team and heads turn.  The very name is enough to raise the temperature.

The Red Arrows make a dramatic pass

The Red Arrows make a dramatic pass

The Red Arrows are much anticipated regulars each year at the Bournemouth Air Festival and have just completed 3 days there again.  The event is the largest the team attend in the UK and the wonderful weather this year saw the crowds turning out in force.

This couple from the West Country were ready for a great show.

This couple from the West Country were ready for a great show.

On Saturday 1st September as noon approached, with anticipation rising the commentator, Red 10 in the group introduced the Team to the crowds strung out along the East and West Cliffs and in the beach area.  Precisely as the seconds ticked over to 12pm – the Red Arrows, smoke trailing behind them burst low over the crowds to begin their spectacular display.

The Red Arrows arrive over Bournemouth beach on time to the second !

The Red Arrows arrive over Bournemouth beach on time to the second and launched into their breath taking display.

Red Arrows fans begin early.

Red Arrows fans begin early.

For 20 minutes, the Red Arrows commanded the skies with their world famous display.

These amazing manoeuvres held the collective breath as they closed on each other with split second timing.

These amazing manoeuvres held the collective breath as they closed on each other with split second timing.

A singleton caught against blue contrails.

A singleton caught against blue contrails.

Many young fans also dress in flying suits in tribute to their heroes.

Many young fans also dress in flying suits in tribute to their heroes.

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Weaving around their 7 colleagues, as they paint their way across the sky.

My brother's a Spitfire pilot.

My brother’s a Spitfire pilot. A small boy watches his brother in the cockpit.

BOMBER COMMAND VETERANS

Veterans of conflicts long ago are still remembered with pride and at least one managed to attend at the age of 95 years.  I was privileged to meet George Dunn, DFC, who was signing books commemorating the work of Bomber Command.

George Dunn DFC.  

George Dunn, DFC took part in 45 sorties over Berlin flying in Mosquitoes and another 30 in Wellingtons over other German targets.  He also flew on a mission to the V1 rocket factory at Peenemunde. During his distinguished service George flew Mosquitoes, Spitfires, Hurricanes and Mustangs.

As he signed copies of the books commemorating the work of Bomber Command, the questions about his part in World War Two, came thick and fast. He looked hale and fit and certainly was enjoying the fine sunshine and was clearly happy to be there.

Jo Lancaster, DFC.

Unfortunately Jo Lancaster, who is almost a centenarian, was unable to attend the signing session in person.  His illustrious career spanned action over Berlin, Settin        (  now Szczecin ) on the Baltic, Cologne and Brest.  He took part in the first 1,000 bomber raid in May 1942. Hel also flew Lancaster bombers.

Jo became a test pilot and  became the first pilot to eject in an emergency from a British aircraft when the Armstrong Whitworth flying wing developed a fault over Warwickshire in 1949. He also played a significant part in the flight testing of Lancaster, Avro York, Meteor, Javelin, Hunters and Shackleton aircraft.

Bomber Command veteran Flt.Lt. George Dunn, DFC, with author and publisher Steve Darlow at the book signing.

Bomber Command veteran Flt.Lt. George Dunn, DFC, with author and publisher Steve Darlow at the book signing.

photographs & words : Tony Knight photography & MEDIA

44 – (0)1962 – 852124

comarkuk@ntlworld.com