21 May 2018
Our Club meeting of 21st May was privileged to welcome as speaker, retired Chief Superintendent Andy Morris QPM, who spoke of his role in the creation of ‘Police Scotland’.
This is now the national police force of Scotland and was formed in 2013 with the merger of eight regional police forces, as well as the specialist services of the Scottish Police Services Authority, including the Scottish Crime and Drug Enforcement Agency. The plan to create Police Scotland was confirmed by the SNP Government in its announcement of 8th September 2011.
It was clear that enormous change had to be managed in a very short time frame, within strict political constraints - and with intense media interest. The constraints included £1.1bn of savings over 10 years, 17,234 police officers maintained, no forced redundancies and no outsourcing.
We heard a story that was remarkably detailed and frank - and one that added understanding to the headline stories familiar from media reporting.
Andy indicated that such a complex undertaking was not accomplished without concerns over the loss of local knowledge and effective incident management. We heard of the recognition that some reputational damage has resulted and that worries over morale remain.
A great deal has been accomplished and Scotland does have an effective national police force. It was exceptionally interesting to understand something of the many decisions that were needed along the way - and the mechanics of making it all happen. It was too a little sobering to be permitted an insight to some of the things that did not go right first time - and of the many lessons learned including the on-going work remaining in many areas.
This was an exceptionally interesting talk about significant changes made to a vital service that underpins the freedoms and security of our society. Following many questions a vote of thanks was proposed by Eric Dewhirst.
World Land Speed Record..
02 April 2018
Speaker at the 2nd April meeting was club member Eric Dewhirst, who gave an update on BLOODHOUND SSC - the UK project aiming to take the World Land Speed record to over 1,000 mph.
This 44 foot long and 8 tonne vehicle has been tested at 200 mph on Newquay airfield and in the Autumn of 2018 is scheduled for a 500 mph ‘warm-up’ at the Hakskeen Pan in South Africa.
The car has three engines - a turbofan jet from a Typhoon Eurofighter, a hybrid rocket to add boost - and an 800 horsepower V8 Cosworth racing engine, just to power the fuel pumps!
The Hakskeen Pan was chosen as it is level and flat, with a smooth surface of sun-hardened mud. Some 12 miles long, 6,000 tonnes of rocks and stones have been cleared by hand by a team of 300 people over a four-month period.
To break the land speed record (763.343 mph set in 1997 by Andy Green) Bloodhound aims to exceed 1,000 mph over a measured mile - and this has to be done in both directions. The plan is to cross the start of the mile at 1050 mph - faster than a speeding bullet! More than 132,000 horsepower will be absorbed to achieve this.
The accelerations, forces and stresses on car and driver will be huge, with a pressure suit needed to avoid loss of consciousness.
Perhaps the most critical components on the car are the wheels - each weighing 95 kg and spinning at 10,200 rpm at full speed. Tyres would simply fly to pieces, so wheels are of solid aerospace-grade aluminium / zinc alloy. The wheels have been forged in Germany and machined to the finest of tolerances by Castle Precision Engineering in Glasgow.
The record run will take 3.4 seconds to cover the mile and will use up some 2 tonnes of fuel in each direction - 56 gallons to the mile!
An heroic and hazardous, privately-funded venture, at the extreme edge of mechanical engineering. In concluding, Eric emphasised that there is also another very important aim to the project - and that is to capture imaginations and inspire young people into careers in science and engineering. Several thousand schools, FE colleges and universities are involved - and all design information, drawings and calculations are freely available to students.
In Eric’s view, a vital need for the future of our country in this technological age.
Following questions a vote of thanks was proposed by Ian Kennedy.
26 March 2018
On Saturday the 18th November, 2017 - a freezing day - members of Rotary were warmed by the huge generosity of shoppers at the Co-op in Anstruther. Collecting tins rapidly filled up to help fund the purchase of ‘Shelter Boxes’.
These are the ingenious and precious boxes that contain a tent, bedding, a stove, cooking pots, water purification equipment and even a knitted Teddy - enough to sustain a family when disaster strikes. They are in use around the world. The boxes relieve suffering and save lives. A wonderful total of total of £716.29p was donated. Thank you to generous shoppers and to managers and staff at the Co-op for making it possible.