Isle Of Whithorn Wind Turbines

Jan Leeming

Shoreham 2007

Shoreham Airshow 2007
Me looking brave before taking to the air (and the wing) of the plane. Wow, it was cold !! But the whole experience was totally exhilarating.



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Jan's Blog

Computers and the internet are amazing things. One of my concerns with putting together this site was that it could remain current, yet with all my travelling I've often much to say, but little time to say it. Years ago when reading the news it would take me days on end to reply to the kind letters people sent. Now, with the magic of the modern age, I can keep you up to date with what I'm doing and other events in my life.


Date: 18th September 2010


As those of you who read the blog regularly will know, I'm temporarily homeless whilst the living room ceiling is replaced so decided to go all over the country and visit friends many of whom I haven't seen for decades.

Having contracted food poisoning just before I left home (which persisted for a week) and feeling rather lousy I'm glad I chose to go to my girlfriend Sue in Leeds who allowed me to chill out and go to bed till normal service was resumed.

Then I had a rather arduous journey from Leeds to the Isle of Whithorn.  Never having driven past Carlisle before, I packed my passport but it wasn't asked for!!!!

Jeannie and Mike Marshall are a delightful couple with whom I worked in the late 70's.  Mike is an extremely capable and inventive Director/Producer who used to work for the BBC back in the good old days.  He invited me to be one of the presenters of 'The Food Programme' a series looking at the production of food and lots of eating the stuff in restaurants good, bad and indifferent all around Scotland and the North of England.  Let me explain - Mike was based in Aberdeen so most of his output was Scottish based.  The other presenters were Donny B. Macleod (a fellow presenter on Pebble Mill) and the food and wine expert Derek Cooper.  Those two used to have me in stitches and give me 'face-ache' with laughter.  We really had a good time and the programmes were great.  For example, one weekend we went to Ambleside in the Lake District to a delightful hotel run by Bronwen Nixon (sadly murdered a few years after we filmed at her establishment).

Brownwen used to have themed weekends and we went to film 'A Georgian Night Out' in which the guests dressed in Georgian costume etc. and  partook of a seven course meal. Part of the weekend was filled with lectures - one of which was on the subject of Georgian Silver - from which I remember the note that Georgian Silver is warmer to the touch than modern day silver (more of the precious metal) and it really is true.

So all this is a preamble to why I am in the absolutely gorgeous Isle of Whithorn where Jeannie and Mike have retired - well those two will never retire and Mike is always actively involved in Community pursuits.

On my journey here - a fabulously sunlit day - I marvelled at the scenery - absolutely stunning.  Whithorn is on a sort of 'spit' jutting down into the Solway Firth and the little harbour with the evening sun on it made me want to stop the car and take a photo but the camera was deep in my case.  Their home looks out on the Firth and across to the English Lake District and is in an area of unspoilt beauty.  BUT FOR HOW LONG.

After we'd reminisced about the good old days when programmes were well made, we were paid a pittance but had enormous FUN, Michael told me that he was getting up a petition to try and stop the Scottish Government proceeding with the development of a 90 Turbine Wind Farm in Wigtown Bay.  I simply couldn't believe what I was hearing.

OK - so we've all got to do our bit for the environment and, of course, nobody wants those monstrosities anywhere near them (NIMFY - Not in our Front Yard)  but what really gets my goat is that they are not particularly efficient. If they were, then so much desecration of our countryside would be forgiveable and understandable.  Tourists come here for the sheer beauty and unspoiled nature of both the Sea and Landscapes.  Tourism is also their biggest industry next to agriculture in what is a very frail economy.

Like so much of what is happening in our society today, I bet if you scratched the surface you'd find some lobbyist at the Houses of Parliament beavering away because somewhere, someone or some corporation has a huge financial vested interest.  And by the way, most of the money that goes for the development of these monstrosities is subsidised by us through our electricity bills and in this case, the money will be going to Denmark!!!!

Let me give you a few of the facts

1. At the very best wind farms are only 30% or so efficient in terms of producing the energy they are supposedly capable of producing - simply because 'the wind doesn't blow all the time or for that matter strongly enough".  The Solway Firth is the least windy area of Scotland!

2. Making the darned things - Transporting them - and commissioning them brings an immense payload of CO2.

3. You still need conventional coal, nuclear or hydro-powered stations to supply energy when the wind doesn't blow.

4. There are alternatives such as tidal and wave energy which are being developed but which need to be brought on stream far more quickly.

Tomorrow I am going from the Isle of Whithorn to Workington where I am setting off a Charity Walk for the Altzheimers Society.  If there were such a thing as a tidal barrage (already successfully proven technology in France) and with the Solway Firth's second biggest tidal range in Britain, there would be the possibility of a road link from the South West of Scotland to Cumbria and my 4 hour journey could be substantially reduced.

Want to find out more and the whole of the horror story, click on this link

And I am bitterly disappointed that David Cameron did a volte face on the promised Referendum on the EU.  'Nuff said'!

Look at Supermarkets and as someone said on Classic FM the other day - has anyone paid full price for a packet of blueberries or raspberries throughout the summer - NO - so why can't they sell at the correct price.  They don't because they get better deals if they buy in bulk and the customer is 'persuaded' to buy more than they need.

I stopped off at the Carlisle Motor Services on my six-hour drive.  I picked up the 'healthiest' sandwich I could find only to see a sticker on it 'Go on, for 99p treat yourself to some chips”.  Good start to sorting the Obesity problem in this country.

I have limited time on the Internet and don't know when I'll get into my Blog again - as my lovely new Ipad is not yet up to speed to allow me to write on my Website.

So until the next time.  Au revoir.  Jan

This is the harbour at the Isle of Whithorn - isn't it delightful!  The Wind Turbines are planned for immediately behind this idyllic scene.


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