On 28th of August 1640 The Battle of Newburn on Tyne took place.  An experienced Scots Army under Alexander Leslie, the Earl of Leven defeated a smaller and less experienced English force, led by  Edward, Lord Conway, during the Second Bishops’ War, as a result of Charles I’s attempt to impose the Anglican  Prayer Book in Scotland. Conway, heavily outnumbered, was defeated, and the Scots went on to occupy  Newcastle, obtaining a stranglehold on London’s coal supply. Charles I had no choice but to agree to a truce, under which the Scottish army in northern England would be paid daily expenses, pending a final treaty of peace. Much more on this battle can be found here


I’ve been settling into my new home in Fenham over the past couple of weeks and we finally have the internet, so I thought I’d post a couple of images from a wee walk I took to the west of Newburn back in April.

I’d set out on a low tide to get down onto the rocky riverbed of the Tyne, to get a better look at the underground fire at Clara Vale. The fire’s still going strong and may do for a few years yet to come; its intrusion into Ryton Golf Club a potent example of the legacy of region’s coal mining heritage.

A short walk north of the fire, up a former wagonway, I came to the site of the Margaret Pit at Heddon. Taking advantage of the seasonally low amount of undergrowth I was able to have my first real explore of the site since my childhood. A large amount of the pit has remained amazingly intact since its closure in the 1930s: pit heap, engine house and a number of other structures. It’s a real hidden gem of a site just yards from the popular Wylam Wagonway footpath, which just goes to show rarely we notice a big chunk of the past is sitting right on our doorstep.
VIDEO: Chris Hedges Looks at Violence Against Blacks With Revolutionaries Eddie Conway, Ojore Lutalo - Truthdig

As a foreign correspondent, Chris Hedges is superb, but I am scratching my head wondering how he could get this so wrong here at home. How can he believe that these wonton criminals are innocent victims? As Marlin Newburn stated ’ they’re living their preferred lifestyle’. The corporate criminals he speaks out against fund the phoney black live matter movement of criminals and how he can’t see it baffles me.

Wascally Wabbits

“I tell you they are up to something”
Mellissa Leathers Powell was worried. Clan Steel Viper had been good to her, but in days long past she too had gone to war under the Bunny Banner and what they looked to be doing made perfect sense, for anyone but a Bunny.

Khan Scholmer looked at the situation, his keen tactical mind working faster than the Wassat Aggressor battle computer that oversaw his far flung clan in their war with Spirit of Bunny. He was struggling to deal with the push in the lowlands. Charles Newburn lead one thrust with Raven and both Sandras, while the Khan himself had needed his personal command to stop Mainer from trying to punch what he figured was Holy Damn and Christine Mainer through the Viper Line and into their rear to destroy the support echelons.

“Look, we placed you in the Ardens because we needed your 50’s to close any movement under the big trees into our rear. Mainer stuck Hendrik and those crazy Bears in their Shocklites in the passes above to make sure we can’t push around the flank ourselves, its purely a defensive manoever. As long as they control the heights, you would get slaughtered leading anything Hoplite size or bigger through there. If they want to try the forest against you, their loss.”

Melissa saw the logic, but that is not how Bunnies worked. “Khan Schlomer, the Bunnies don’t defend, they attack those forces that threaten them, willing to risk loss to retain strategic initiative”

The Khan was about to argue, when Mainer started another push, and his mecha began to die. Climbing into his cockpit, he ordered Melissa. “Probe them, see if they are up to something, and if you see anyone beyond Fritz and Hendrik, I will free up the reserves”

Melissa had her mechanics march her Ogguns around making lots of signal traffic while she snuck her Shocklites close. Once the cover began to thin, and her computer told her that she was approaching 50% detection probability, she lit her own sensors and went to full charge.

Missiles screamed from her shoulders as she caught the Black Bear squad looking the wrong way, tracking her Oggun’s false radio chatter. Given the first shot, and its devastating kills without missile shields online, Melissa struck like the Viper itself, steel hard, viper swift. The Black Bears burned under her missiles and beams.

Charging the gorge, she dumb fired a salvo of Force Rockets to draw a response from anyone in the canyon, as she saw Hendrik was moving up too fast for her to get sensors into the gorge, and Hendriks missiles were sweeping her drones from the sky.

Missile defenses live, the feared Shocklites of Hendrik Smith hammered Mellisa without mercy. Given the commanding heights, his missiles travelled slightly swifter, and had a far clearer sensor lock than Melissa’s, which in a missile duel was a death sentence. Jurassic Blasts flared the stone around her enough that she had to sprint after ejecting. No counter missiles or shield emissions marked her salvo into the canyon, no signs of life. Maybe there was nothing to see.

Twice more she struck, to be turned back again by Hendrik, and savaged by the angry Black Bears of Fritz eager to avenge their earlier defeat. What secrets the Bunnies guarded, remained kept.

Holy Damn keyed his implants to adjust his brain chemistry. 28% of his body remained fragile flesh, subject to stress and fear, not the cold logic of his cyborg components. Hendrik and Fritz warded the heights, and he snaked his big machines through the channel of this gorge, unable to turn, unable even to raise his arms to fire, helpless against even a Red Ant. Fear rode the cockpit with him, and helpless rage. Missiles hammered the rock above him, raining down debris. He slammed the override on his squadron, keeping them from going into self protective mode, and going visible.

Blood time would come, now was silent time. Silence and trust for now, that he would be protected. Blood time will come, Holy Damn would bring Hell.

Melissa took probe after probe trying to dislodge her from the forest, and she tried as well to work around the flanks, but the duels led nowhere conclusive. Finally a wave of jamming cut in, and Melissa snarled, It was bagpipes, they played Scotland the Brave on all frequencies, an annoying habit of the Brotherhood of the Northwind Highlanders that she wished would stop being imitated. She called for help, because nobody bothers trying to shut down your ability to report unless you really, really will want to report right frigging quick.

Holy Damn had Hendrik and Fritz both in their 50 tonners at full charge, pressing hard to force a path through for his behemoths, the fear was fading, eaten by the rage. Shutting off his implants, he let the calm of steel be replaced by the rage of flesh; most of his flesh had long been seared away, but all the fire of the man he was burned in the little flesh that was left, and it was enough to BURN THE WORLD.

Nothing but the skirl of the pipes and the howl of incoming ordinance sounded in her speakers, did the Steel Viper know what was breaking loose in their rear?

Holy Damn was loose!

Raging in the Steel Viper rear, among the support elements, he went on a tear. Pressure from the front from Charles and Sandra kept the Vipers eye on the front door, while the Bunny raged behind them. Company after company tried to respond, but one by one he tore through them.

Khan Schlomer caught the updates, the Viper was in a trap. Strong forces to their front and flank they must counter or be overwhelmed, penned in by the light forces in the passes, and with heavy forces raging unchecked in the rear, any strength the Steel Viper withdrew from one front would lead to the collapse of another. The coils of the trap drew tight about the Steel Viper, there was nothing left but the cold reality that only the strongest strike of the Viper would win his Clan free.

“Seyla” he whispered.

Strategic advantage lay with the Bunnies, but courage and steel could still win the day. Victory or death, let it be descried by one last strike of the Viper.

“Form on my position, the Steel Vipers will advance”

Would it be enough?

Staggering Bun Bun upright, Mainer watched as the Spirit of Bunny heavies began to tear into the coils of the Steel Viper at all sides. The Viper was fast, fierce and deadly beyond reason.

“You are swift and strong, Steel Vipers, but we are Wascally Wabbits, and in the end, that will get you”

Staggering his battered machines back to the field repair bay, he left the battle in the hands of his pilots, the time for Colonels and Khans had passed, now it was steel, fury, and the wiles of the Bunny that would decide the day.

John T Mainer 28840

Hail to the Steel Viper Clan, well fought, but we are wascally wabbits and hard to pin down.

Watch on

Chilled🍻🔥 (at Newburn Riverside)

Manfeild's running man returns

Having previously pounded out a combined 144 hours’ and 990 kilometres around the Manfeild circuit, surely a 48-hour, 320km effort at the venue next will be “a stroll in the Park” for vaunted Feilding long-distance runner Perry Newburn?

The master of epic foot-pounding endurance undertakings smiles at this suggestion and assures that is emphatically not the case.

Every step he takes in his running shoes, whether it’s a mere training run or a full-out serious effort - which, for Newburn, has meant everything from a half to a full marathon (he’s done more than 40) to last year’s record-setting run across America - requires the self-same high degree of mental and physical preparation.

“It’s all relative. When I say I’m going off for a marathon people think it is easy for me compared to other things I’ve done. But it’s not. When you’re used to running long stretches, day after day, something like a marathon requires a different approach.”

So it will go for his next feat. Starting at 8am on Monday, August 24 and concluding at that time on the 26th, a bid to clock up 320 kilometres with occasional stops for food and 20-minute ‘power naps’ is a fund-raiser for South Street Vocational (IDEA Services) to enable clients to undertake an end-of-year trip.

It’s something of a personal mission. Mr Newburn’s son has a severe intellectual disability caused by a rare chromosomal disorder.

When Sean attended Feilding High School, dad ran to gather money for a special needs unit there - now his boy is 22 and with IDEA Services so the focus switches to that provider.

The distance and duration of his next effort are pre-set: Not so the fund-raising target.

Main contribution is expected from people coming along to enjoy a sausage sizzle and join Mr Newburn for a lap or more - walking or running, their choice.

It’s simply gold coin donation and, the more that is raised, the better the outing for Sean and fellow clients.

“We’d like them to have a good end of year trip so I’d like to think I could at least get $500 for them … if we get that, it’ll be great but obviously a $1000 or more would be so much better,” he said.

“They’re a neat group of people and they deserve our support. ”

Running the 3.3km main track means coping with cambers and, of course, the fact that even though he will have a support crew on hand at all times, with the venue locked down overnight from 5pm to 8am for security reasons (except for pre-arranged access), he will still be largely on his own after dark, something he doesn’t mind. “I love running at night-time.”

Manfeild Park general manager Julie Keane says Manfeild affords Mr Newburn a safe, traffic-free haven for his incredible endurance battle overcoming enormous physical fatigue, not only muscular but mental.

“The massive effort to beat significant sleep deprivation alone is truly amazing; and though in his past epics here he had many people come along to offer support and run with him, ultimately this was a very much a Man Alone undertaking.”

Mr Newburn only discovered his talent for ultra distance work at age 49, when he determined to make good to run a marathon before his next birthday.

His achievements since have become more impressive. Circumnavigating the country, a distance of 5000km cracked in 70 days. Two laps of Lake Taupo, a total 310kms, in 42 hours. He also achieved a national record 487kms in the first of his 72 hour outings at Manfeild, in 2013.

Then came the absolute monster, coast to coast across America last year, nearly 5000km, achieved in 51 days, 16 hours and 40 minutes. He worked through six pairs of running shoes and broke the previous Masters record by almost a day.

With his 61st birthday coming up next month, he’s at an age when some might think about winding down, but that’s not a consideration: “I love being out there. I’m not about to stop.”