Severn Valley Railway Autumn Steam Gala

This years Severn Valley Railway Autumn Steam Gala takes place from Thursday 21 September until Sunday 24 September. During the gala The  home-fleet of engines will be in steam, including: ex Port Talbot saddle tank GWR 813, 1450, 0-6-0 15xx class 1501, GWR 28xx class 2857, 7714, GWR 78xx Manor class 7802 Bradley Manor, GWR 78xx Manor class 7812 Erlestoke Manor, West Country class Pacific 34027 Taw Valley, Battle Of Britain classPacific locomotive 34053 Sir Keith Park & Ivatt class 4 43106. In addition the Railwayman’s Arms Wil be selling a number of guest beers during the gala, including Repton 4%, 1501 4.3%, Bluebell 4.6% and Erlestoke Manor 5% all brewed by Bewdley Brewery (try saying that after a few pints). After the Autumn Steam Gala the Battle of Britain class Pacific locomotive 34053 Sir Keith Park will also be departing from the Severn Valley Railway. The home fleet will appear alongside visiting locomotives for the Autumn Steam Gala Which this year include:

Southern Railway Maunsell ‘Schools’ class locomotive No. 926 Repton
The 1913 Great Eastern Railway (GER) Wordsell Y14′ class 0-6-0 Locomotive No. 564 (LNER J15 class)
‘P’ class locomotive No. 323 ‘Bluebell’ courtesy of the Bluebell Railway
Small England’ No. 2 Prince courtesy of the Talyllyn Railway

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The International Day of Peace

The International Day of Peace, sometimes unofficially known as World Peace Day, is a holiday observed annually on 21 September. It is dedicated to world peace, and specifically the absence of war and violence, such as a temporary ceasefire in a combat zone for humanitarian aid access. The day was first celebrated in 1982, and is kept by many nations, political groups, military groups, and people. In 2013 the day was dedicated by the Secretary-General of the United Nations to peace education, the key preventive means to reduce war sustainably. To inaugurate the day, the United Nations Peace Bell is rung at UN Headquarters (in New York City). The bell is cast from coins donated by children from all continents except Africa, and was a gift from the United Nations Association of Japan, as “a reminder of the human cost of war”; the inscription on its side reads, “Long live absolute world peace”. The United Nations General Assembly declared, in a resolution sponsored by the United Kingdom and Costa Rica,the International Day of Peace, to be devoted to commemorating and strengthening the ideals of peace

The First observance of the International Day of peace took place in 1982 and The theme of the first International Day of Peace was the Right to peace of people. In 1983 a Culture of Peace initiative was launched by the UN Secretary General entitled “a Culture of Peace in the 21st century” to unite the strengths of organizations, projects and peoples in order to make Peace a practical reality for the children of this and future generations. In 1996 A proposal was made to expand the International Day of Peace to include Reconciliation, for which a massive number of emblems (White Doves) would be distributed after a formal presentation at the United Nations, was put forward by Vincent Coyle, of Derry, Northern Ireland, and was debated at Seanad Éireann.

In 2001 the opening day of the General Assembly was scheduled for 11 September. In 2004 A diplomatic stir occurred when Lions Clubs International sponsored a competition for six posters to be used for International Day of Peace commemorative stamps issued by the UN Postal Administration. A poster by 15-year-old Taiwanese school student Yang Chih-Yuan was announced as one of the winners, but according to Taiwan media reports, Taiwan Lions Club and the government of Taiwan, the poster was withdrawn due to pressure from China. However It was decided that the rejection of the student’s painting on political grounds did not reflect the ideals of the International Day of Peace and The government of Taiwan (Republic of China) later issued a stamp containing the image.

In 2005, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan called for the worldwide observance of a 22-hour cease-fire and day of nonviolence to mark the Day. In 2006, then Secretary-General Kofi Annan rang the Peace Bell for the last time during his Term in office. That year the UN asserted the “many ways it works for peace and to encourage individuals, Groups and communities around the world to contemplate and communicate thoughts and activities on how to achieve peace.” The United Kingdom held the primary public and official observation of the United Nations International Day of Peace and Non-Violence in Rochdale, Greater Manchester. This was organized by Peace Parade UK In 2007, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon rang the Peace Bell at United Nations Headquarters in New York calling for a 24-hour cessation of hostilities on 21 September, and for a minute of silence to be observed around the world.

In 2009 the International Year of Reconciliation was announced. The day was marked by a massive number of white doves being distributed after a formal presentation at the United Nations, of the Charter of the United Nations, which is designed to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war, by bringing about by peaceful means, and in conformity with the principles of justice and international law, adjustment or settlement of international disputes or situations which might lead to a breach of the peace, and practising tolerance and living together in peace with one another as good neighbours, thus developing friendly relations among nations and promoting international cooperation to resolve international economic, social, cultural and humanitarian issues.

In 2011 the UN Peace Day’s theme was “Peace and Democracy: Make Your Voice Heard”. Many organizations held Peace Day events worldwide in 2011 including school activities, music concerts, global comedy clubs (www.thinkPEACE.net), peace doves, prayer vigils, peace conferences, and UN activities. Organizations like Peace One Day, Wiser and Culture of Peace have been active participants in Peace Day activities for years. In 2012 the theme was Sustainable Peace for a Sustainable Future commemorating and strengthening the ideals of peace both within and among all nations and peoples. Also in 2012 Peace One Day announced at their O2 Arena concert, a new international campaign called Global Truce 2012, a grassroots initiative and international coalition with non-governmental organisations and Students’ unions in every continent, which increased participation and action on Peace Day 2012, the day of Global Truce. Particular focus in this campaign included a cessation of hostilities on the day and a reduction of domestic violence and bullying in society. The Peace One Day Celebration concert on Peace Day in 2012 was held at Wembley Arena to celebrate Global Truce 2012.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon dedicated the World Peace Day 2013 to Peace education in an effort to refocus minds and financing on the preeminence of peace education as the means to bring about a culture of peace. Animator and children’s book author, Sue DiCicco announced a global campaign to increase awareness of Peace Day and promote peace education within schools and community groups through the Peace Crane Project. Gorey Community School in Co. Wexford, Ireland, was chosen as School of Peace for 2013. Peace One Day also launched a new theme for Global Truce 2013: Who Will You Make Peace With? And thinkPEACE promoted a Peace Day Comedy program, “Stand-Up For International Peace,” To bring awareness to Peace Day, this was held in over 50 global comedy clubs. In 2014 there was a March of Peace in Moscow, Protesting against the war with Ukraine and a concert of INTERNATIONAL DAY OF PEACE was organised by MasterPeace which took place at Amsterdam’s Ziggo Dome. The theme of the 2014 International Day of Peace was the Right of Peoples to Peace, reaffirming the United Nations commitment to the UN Declaration on the Right of Peoples to Peace, which recognizes that the promotion of peace is vital for the full enjoyment of all human rights. In 2014, the thinkPEACE Network held a Peace Day Comedy program, “Stand-Up For International Peace,” which was held in over 50 global comedy clubs. The Waves Of Kindness Global Initiative also celebrated the United Nations International Day Of Peace though global meditation events.

The Director of UNESCO to Vietnam, Katherine Müller, said in Global Education Magazine: “I personally identify with UNESCO’s values in the sense that I truly believe Education, Culture, Social and Natural Sciences, and Communication and Information are some of the most powerful drivers for sustainable development and peace, as a sustainable future cannot exist without sustainable peace. Raising awareness, capacity building, promoting understanding and respect for diversity, and fostering opportunities for interaction to find ways to ensure a culture of peace are all actions that will motivate people to become interested in setting peace as a priority for sustainable development”.

In 2015 The theme of the 2015 International Day of Peace was “Partnerships for Peace – Dignity for All”. In 2016 The theme of the 2016 International Day of Peace was “The Sustainable Development Goals: Building Blocks for Peace” and for 2017 the theme isTogether for Peace: Respect, Safety and Dignity for All.This theme is based on the TOGETHER global campaign that promotes respect, safety and dignity for everyone forced to flee their homes in search of a better life. The Peace Crane Project announced the goal of collecting 1,000 cranes from students around the world to display in various venues to celebrate.

Glastonbury Festival

The first Glastonbury Festival was held at Michael Eavis’s farm in Glastonbury, United Kingdom on 19 September 1970. The Glastonbury Festival of Contemporary Performing Arts is a performing arts festival that takes place near Pilton, Somerset, England, best known for its contemporary music, but also for dance, comedy, theatre, circus, cabaret and other arts.The festival organiser, Michael Eavis, a farmer in a Somerset valley, stated that he decided to host the first festival, then called Pilton Festival, after seeing an open air Led Zeppelin concert at the Bath Festival of Blues and Progressive Music 1970; fourteen people invested everything they had to build the stage. The first festival was in 1970 and was influenced by hippie ethics and the free Festival movement. Today the modern festival retains vestiges of this tradition such as the Green Fields area which includes the Green Futures and Healing Field.

After the 1970s the festival took place almost every year and grew in size, with the number of attendees sometimes being swollen by gate-crashers. Leading pop and rock artists have headlined, alongside thousands of others appearing on smaller stages and performance areas. The festival has spawned films and albums, and receives extensive television and newspaper coverage. The size and nature of the festival, held over three or four days in the open air, with performers, crew and paying festival goers staying in tents, caravans and motorhomes, has meant that the weather is significant. Glastonbury is the largest greenfield festival in the world, and is now attended by around 175,000 people requiring extensive infrastructure in terms of security, transport, water and electricity supply. The majority of staff are also volunteers, helping the festival to raise millions of pounds for good causes.

International Talk like a pirate day

International Talk Like a Pirate Day (ITLAPD, takes place annually September 19. It was created in 1995 by John Baur (Ol’ Chumbucket) and Mark Summers (Cap’n Slappy), of Albany, Oregon,U.S., who proclaimed September 19 each year as the day when everyone in the world should talk like a pirate.The holiday, and its observance, springs from a romanticized view of the Golden Age of Piracy. The idea was inspired by a sports injury when, During a racquetball game between Summers and Baur, one of them reacted to the pain with an outburst of “Aaarrr!”, and the idea was born and they chose Summers’ ex-wife’s birthday, as it would be easy for him to remember.

At first it was an inside joke between two friends, however the holiday gained exposure when Baur and Summers sent a letter about their invented holiday to the American syndicated humor columnist Dave Barry in 2002. Barry liked the idea and promoted the day. and later appeared in a cameo in their “Drunken Sailor” Sing Along A-Go-Go video. Growing media coverage of the holiday after Barry’s column has ensured that this event is now celebrated internationally, and Baur and Summers now sell books and T-shirts related to the theme on their website.

The association of pirates with peglegs, parrots, and treasure maps, popularized in Robert Louis Stevenson’s novel Treasure Island (1883), has had a significant influence on parody pirate culture. Talk Like a Pirate Day is celebrated with hidden easter egg features in many games and websites, with Facebook introducing a pirate-translated version of its website on Talk Like a Pirate Day 2008 and publisher O’Reilly discounting books on the R programming language to celebrate. In September 2014, Reddit added a pirate theme to their website. English actor Robert Newton is the “patron saint” of Talk Like a Pirate Day. He specialized in portraying pirates, especially Long John Silver in the 1950 Disney film Treasure Island and the 1954 Australian film Long John Silver and the title character in the 1952 film Blackbeard the Pirate, Newton was born in Dorset and educated in Cornwall, and it was his native West Country dialect, which he used in his portrayal of Long John Silver and Blackbeard, that some contend is the origin of the standard “pirate accent”. This was parodied in the 1950s and 1960s by British comedian Tony Hancock.

The archetypal pirate word “Arrr!” (alternatively “Rrrr!” or “Yarrr!”) first appeared in fiction as early as 1934 in the film Treasure Island starring Lionel Barrymore, and was used by a character in the 1940 novel Adam Penfeather, Buccaneer by Jeffrey Farnol. However, it was Robert Newton’s use of it in the classic 1950 Disney film Treasure Island that popularized the interjection and made it widely remembered. It has been speculated that the rolling “rrr”, a distinctive element of the speech of the West Country of England, has been associated with pirates because of the West Country’s strong maritime heritage, where for many centuries fishing was the main industry (and smuggling a major unofficial one), and where there were several major ports. As a result, West Country speech in general, and Cornish speech in particular, may have been a major influence on a generalized British nautical speech. The statement “Arrr!” Is a meaningful reply, not just a grunt or mumble. In West Country parlance it means “yes and is historically common in nautical circles.

The US state of Michigan has also officially recognized the occasion. Krispy Kreme also used to give out free doughnuts to people who talk and/or dress like pirates on September 19, although As of 2017, they  stopped giving out free donuts. Long John Silver’s has a similar promotion. Google Search and Facebook both have the option to choose “Pirate” as a language choice.Antivirus provider Avast has, since 2011, permitted users to select “Pirate Talk” as a language option. The option was added on International Talk Like a Pirate Day of that year. In 2006, it was described as a holiday for members of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster religion (Pastafarians). World of Warcraft also holds an event with special achievements for the holiday. In 2012, Minecraft  also added a “Pirate Speak” language option with many humorous word choices.

World Water Monitoring day

World Water Monitoring Day takes place annully on 18 September. It was established in 2003 by America’s Clean Water Foundation as a global educational outreach program that aims to build public awareness and involvement in protecting water resources around the world by empowering citizens to carry out basic monitoring of their local water bodies. Roberta (Robbi) Savage, ACWF’s President and CEO created WWMD and Edward Moyer was the first WWMD Coordinator. It was initially chosen to be a month later (October 18) to recognize the anniversary of the US Clean Water Act, which was enacted by the US Congress in 1972 to restore and protect the country’s water resources.

However In 2007, the date was changed to enable participation in parts of the world where temperatures reach freezing at that time. In 2006, ACWF transferred coordination of the event to the Water Environment Federation (WEF) and the International Water Association (IWA). The collective goal was to expand participation to one million people in 100 countries by 2012. In January 2015 the management of World Water Monitoring Day was again transferred – this time to Phillipe Cousteau’s educational non-profit EarthEcho International.

In 2008 students from Indonesia to Arkansas took part in water sampling to bring attention to the importance of water quality by means of a A simple test kit which enables participants, to sample local water bodies for a set of water quality parameters including temperature, acidity (pH), clarity (turbidity) and dissolved oxygen (DO). Results are then shared with participating communities around the globe through the WWMC website.

International Day of Democracy

the International Day of Democracy takes place annually on 15 September, with the purpose of raising public awareness about democracy and promoting and upholding the principles of democracy. It was created in September 1997 after the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) adopted a Universal Declaration on Democracy. That Declaration affirms the principles of democracy, the elements and exercise of democratic government, and the international scope of democracy.

The international conferences on new and restored democracies (ICNRD process) also began in 1988 under the initiative of President Corazon C. Aquino of the Philippines after the so-called peaceful “People Power Revolution” overthrew the 20-year dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos. Initially an inter-governmental forum, the ICNRD process developed into a tripartite structure with participation of governments, parliaments and civil society. The sixth conference (ICNRD-6) that took place in Doha, Qatar, in 2006 reinforced the tripartite nature of the process and concluded with a declaration and Plan of Action which reaffirmed the fundamental principles and values of democracy.

Following up on the outcome of ICNRD-6, an advisory board set up by the chair of the process – Qatar – decided to promote an International Day of Democracy. Qatar took the lead in drafting the text of a United Nations General Assembly resolution and convened consultations with UN member states. At the suggestion of the IPU, 15 September (date of the Universal Declaration on Democracy) was chosen as the day when the international community would celebrate each year the International Day of Democracy. The resolution entitled “Support by the United Nations system of efforts of Governments to promote and consolidate new or restored democracies”, was adopted by consensus on 8 November 2007. The IPU urged parliaments to celebrate the International Day of Democracy through some form of special activity, to be held on or as close to 15 September as possible depending on circumstances As an opportunity for parliaments to:

  • Emphasize the importance of democracy, what it involves, the challenges it faces as well as the opportunities it offers, and the central responsibility that all parliaments have as the key institution of democracy;
  • Examine and discuss how well parliament performs its democratic functions, possibly on the basis of a self-assessment, and identify what steps it may take to strengthen its effectiveness.

To mark the first International Day of Democracy on 15 September 2008, the IPU will hold a special event at the House of Parliaments in Geneva. National parliaments are invited to organize their own democracy-related activities on that day to highlight the role of parliament as the cornerstone of democracy. In 2013, IPU promoted the International Day of Democracy through its Member Parliaments in 162 countries around the world. As a result, a number of parliaments from all over the globe announced their events to be held on or close to 15 September. The theme for 2013 was “Strengthening Voices for Democracy” and IPU launched an online contest to hear and gather stories from local democracy champions that managed to make their voices heard. These stories were to inspire people to take action in their own community.

In 2014 The theme for the International Day of Democracy Was “Engaging youth on democracy”. During this event theIPU urged action and changes in mindset if disillusioned and alienated youth the world over are to be engaged in political decision-making. The IPU President Abdelwahad Radi stated “It is a cliché to always link youth to the future. Young people not only have the power to define the future, but also decide on the present. However, they are largely absent from formal decision-making politics and this has to change.”

The IPU stated that youth participation had a special meaning for it and that a programme to promote young men and women’s involvement in the democratic process is getting underway, in follow-up to the resolution adopted by the IPU Assembly in 2010. The IPU announced it would organize the first Global Conference of Young Parliamentarians on 10 and 11 October 2014 and all parliaments were invited to attend. A photo contest titled “Engage for Change” is also held, encouraging youth to show what action they would take to bring about positive change in society by sending a photo that shows them working for positive change in their community, region, country or the world. The theme for The International Day of Democracy 2015 was: Space for Civil Society.

Free Money Day

Free Money Day is an annual, global event held annually on September 15 since 2011 as a social experiment and to promote sharing and alternative economic ideas. Free Money Day commemorates the anniversary of the Lehman Brothers’ 2008 filing for bankruptcy. Participants offer their own money to passing strangers at public places, two coins or notes at a time. Recipients are asked to pass on one of the notes or coins to someone else. Sixty eight events were held in 2011. On a previous Free Money Day, according to the official website, 138 Free Money Day events were held in 24 countries. In 2012, it was planned to give $3,500 in cash to strangers globally. The money is given without obligation; it is hoped that the event and the transactions will stimulate conversations about the role of money in society, increase awareness about debt and make people think about their “relationship with money”.

People also invented their own methods to give away money. Coffee shop and video rental owners did not charge people for their services and asked them to give the amount to a stranger. In one case a person left a ₤ 10 note on a toilet seat and tweeted that “it would be the happiest bathroom visit someone will ever have”.

The event is initiated / organized by the Post Growth Institute and the global coordinator is Donnie Maclurcan, a co-founder of the Post Growth Institute. In describing the motivation for the event, Maclurcan is quoted as saying “We are looking to alternative economic futures where we don’t need to keep growing economically… One of Post Growth’s missions is to promote a steady-state economy or one that remains at a stable size rather than growing more.”