The Blind Beggar is a famous pub on Whitechapel Road in Whitechapel, East London, England. It is was here that the first modern Brown Ale was brewed for Manns Albion brewery. It was built in 1894 and takes its name from the legend of Henry de Montfort, a son of Simon de Montfort (who led the rebellion against King Henry III of England).
The Blind Beggar pub is notorious for the murder of George Cornell (one of the rival Richardsons gang) by Ronnie Kray. On 9 March 1966, East End gangster, Ronnie Kray, one of the Kray twins, walked into the saloon bar of the Blind Beggar Pub and in full view of the customers, shot George Cornell through the head, as he was sitting at the bar,
It is also the location of William Booth’s first sermon, which led to the creation of The Salvation Army. The pub is also a popular starting point for the Monopoly Pub Crawl, and was previously owned by Bobby Moore.
Henry de Montfort legend
in 1265, Henry De Montfort was wounded and lost his sight in the Battle of Evesham. He was nursed to health by a baroness, and together they had a child named Besse. Percy’s Reliques of Ancient English Poetry, published in 1765, tells the story of how he became the “Blind Beggar of Bethnal Green” and used to beg at the crossroads. This story of how he went from landed gentry to poor beggar became popular in the Tudor era.
My visit to the Blind Beggar Pub
As the Blind Beggar Pub is in my book, Dominion First Blood, I decided to visit the pub and got chatting with a friendly local, Bob Fox, retired from the 2nd Royal Regiment Infantry. We had a couple of pints of beer together and he reminisced of the days when Mad Frankie Fraser (a notorious member of the Richardson gang) used to visit the pub and pointed out where George Cornell was shot.
This friendly pub (the gangster days are gone now!) is run by Landlord David Dobson. It has an excellent selection of ales and craft beers and friendly staff.
In my book, Dominion First Blood, the Blind Beggar is the local pub of East End gangster Vinnie “the Terminator” Carson.
Our hero, Bulletproof Pete is helped by childhood friend Vinnie (two SAS heroes) and Lucia, a sexy vampire. What can possibly go wrong?
CHECK OUT THE VIDEO TRAILER for DOMINION FIRST BLOOD
Amongst the recent furore about far right violence in Charlottesville, USA involving Neo-Nazis, KKK and White Supremacists, comes a story so compelling that it restores your faith in human nature – that there are good people in this world who do good things.
I’m talking about the remarkable story of Sir Nicholas Winton, son of a British banker, who during World War II organised the evacuation of 669 Jewish children destined for Nazi concentration camps, from German occupied Czechoslovakia.
One Man Can Make a Difference-How one Englishman saved 669 Jews from the Holocaust
Nazi anti-Semitism had reached boiling point on 9 November 1938. Throughout German occupied territory, including Czechoslovakia, a wave of violent protest broke out against the Jews. Synagogues were burned, businesses attacked and windows smashed in what became known as Kristallnacht – the ‘Night of Broken Glass’.
Kristallnacht set warning bells ringing. As a result, Britain agreed to open its borders to refugee Jewish children.
Sir Nicholas, a Jewish stockbroker, knowing time was running out for Jewish families, made arrangements for trains to carry Jewish children out of occupied Prague to England, fighting bureaucrats every step of the way.
How did he do it? He placed adverts in newspapers and organised foster families for Jewish children in Britain. He rescued 669 mostly Jewish children who traveled on eight trains, known as Kindertransport, across four countries. From Prague / Bohemia they travelled through Sudetenland, (annexed by Nazi Germany), then through Germany itself (no doubt a perilous passage) and then escape from the Hook of Holland to Harwich, then to London. Sir Nicholas and his team fought British custom officials to allow all the children in despite their incomplete documents. Many of the parents were to perish in Auschwitz concentration camp. The last batch of 250 children never left Prague as the war had just started. Only two survived.
Unknown Hero. He met his wife Grete in 1948, but remarkably never told her about his wartime heroics. In fact nobody knew about his unheralded acts of courage until she found some diaries in the loft some fifty years on listing all the Jewish children that were rescued.
He was made an MBE and knighted by the Queen in 2003 and became known as the British Schindler.
His son Nick said of his father’s brave legacy: “It is about encouraging people to make a difference and not waiting for something to be done or waiting for someone else to do it.”
My book Dominion First Blood, although a work of fiction, stands as a warning against Nazi ideology and all it stands for. In my story, Professor Picard is a young Jewish boy who flees Nazi Germany with his parents to occupied France – narrowly escaping death. While his parents join the French Resistance he hides in the loft reading books. Back to the modern day, Earth is invaded by desperate aliens who have adopted the Nazi ideology. Mankind seems doomed but one man stands alone to fight the alien menace.
Our hero, Bulletproof Pete is helped by childhood friend Vinnie and Lucia, a sexy vampire. What can possibly go wrong?
CHECK OUT THE VIDEO TRAILER for DOMINION FIRST BLOOD
Some friendships last all our lives, others are short lived, some end tragically, like my South African friend Colin, whom I worked with for several years. One week we were having a nice Friday night drink in Waterloo, the following week I got a call from his girlfriend, saying he had died in a motorcycle accident on the Saturday, helping others as a motorbike marshall. He was always involved in some sort of charity, helping others, but he was also a risk taker. I remember one story where, although he was a good canoeist, he went canoeing when the Thames was in full flood. At nighttime. He had to be rescued from an island in the middle of the Thames in the middle of the night, surrounded by high water.
The moral of that story is value your friendships, for you never know when they might be cut short.
Many friendships start in early childhood. My oldest friend is Mark – we were friends since 5 years old, playing lego in the garden, building secret camps in the woods (though not so secret as one of them got knocked down- we were followed). Letting fireworks off from our bicycle handlebars and other such silly pranks, bike rallying and having horrendous crashes landing in the stinging nettles (many of those). Getting our first motorbikes. Mine was a single cylinder Honda CB125 and I think Mark had a Yamaha two stroke- more than one motorbike crash (though not seriously injured), going on a tour of Hayling Island on our bikes, sleeping in our sleeping bags without a tent (not recommended) and sleeping in the new Forest and getting bitten to death by midges. I remember playing Dungeons and Dragons in my late teens and having a character called Glemen, a very high level and powerful character (i wonder if someone is still playing him somewhere in the world). I have left out some of the more serious pranks in case I get into trouble. Around the age of twenty we drifted apart and found different friends.
Other friends we start in our twenties and you soon start to learn who are drinking buddies and who are in fact, real friends. Gordon and Mark have been my friends since my early twenties.
In my book Dominion First Blood Peter (the main protaganist) and Vinnie his lifelong friend, share many experiences together. Although they are completely different characters, one from the depths of rural Wales and the other, a gangster from the East End of London, they form a common bond which has lasted them all their lives.
If you love science fiction action adventure and books about friendships then you will love my new book DOMINION First Blood out now on Amazon. Here’s the video trailer
An alien invasion would make World War Two look like a walk in the park.
Because there would be very few places to hide. From the aliens that is. In World War Two parts of Europe: Switzerland, Portugal, Spain, The Americas, Most of Africa and parts of Asia were not invaded by the AXIS powers. Refugees, and others, with spirit and bravery, had a chance to escape to a safer place, where the evil Nazis could not persecute them. Armies had the option of retreating back to their own lines, to fight another day.
NOT IN AN ALIEN WAR.
If you think back to the Independence Day film, the aliens had a strategy. Satellite spaceships invaded earth and controlled all the major cities and population cities, then destroyed them. The satellite ships were controlled by a Mothership, directing the alien forces, firstly destroying the ability to communicate, satellites etc. Then destroying the ground forces, and airforce and navy. Ninety percent of our military would be wiped out within the first 48 hours of an alien invasion.
Then the aliens would destroy the infrastructure; power, water, gas supplies would be cut off, things everyone takes for granted, at least in the developed world. Could you imagine a world without electricity? I don’t think most people can, to be quite honest. The major cities would be evacuated – traffic jams running for miles, with people running out of petrol.
How would people survive? I think most people would struggle without electricity and fresh water. Its the people who have survival skills that will survive. Start watching Bear Grylls and Ray Mears.
Major cities would be evacuated, but some isolated communities may stay in their homes, if they are well hidden. But even if you did manage to stay in your own home there would be no electricity, no gas no water. That makes alternative energies so attractive; solar power, wind power, recyclable water systems – self-sufficiency. In the Philippines a lot of people drill a borehole down to the water table to pump fresh water for washing and drinking.
Most people would be hiding out in the woods, building makeshift camps (I remember doing this as a young boy with my friends building camps and getting chased by Crown Estate Forest Rangers, but that’s another story).
How long could you survive in the woods?
You could build a log cabin from fallen trees (like I used to). You would need a supply of fresh drinking water, a stream or suchlike. Without this you would survive less than a week. Food? There is deer, rabbits, foxes (not good eating) and squirrels, but you have to catch them first. So you would need to develop hunting skills, and how to skin an animal. Most people would be squeamish about this. And of course how to create a fire. Firesticks are very useful, but they can be tricky – you would need to find good dry tinder to get a fire going. Somebody with survival skills with a good knife, a firestick and a cooking pan could survive for months, maybe years.
In my new book I discuss the existence of a secret worldwide organization to fight an alien invasion. It has secret underground bases, new technology, new weapons to fight the alien menace. This would be critical for humankind to stand any chance of survival and fight back against the aliens.
In my new book “DOMINION: First Blood” (out NOW on Amazon), the world suddenly becomes a very scary place. The alien invaders totally dominate – crushing all resistance. But the human’s fight back, with ingenuity, and cunning. An SAS super-hero called Bulletproof Pete teams up with sexy vampire Lucia – the humans ally themselves with a race of ancient vampires in a bitter war against the aliens. But no-one can defeat the human spirit.
See the video trailer for my book “DOMINION: First Blood”
IF YOU LOVE SCI FI ADVENTURE FILMS LIKE INDEPENDENCE DAY – RESURGENCE
THEN YOURE GOING TO LOVE
MY NEW BOOK
RELEASE: MARCH 2016
• FEATURING SAS SUPER HERO – BULLET-PROOF PETE and sidekick VINNIE THE TERMINATOR
• THE SEXY AND MAGNETIC VAMPIRE LUCIA
• ACTION-PACKED BATTLES USING AMAZING TECHNOLOGY
• HEART BREAKING MOMENTS
• HAIR RAISING SCARES AND BIG LAUGHS!
• “WARNING: THIS BOOK WILL KEEP YOU UP ALL NIGHT!”
An old and terrible threat comes back to haunt Mankind. A race of ancient aliens are hell-bent on dominating Earth and replacing humans with their own kind. An ageing but brilliant archaeologist makes a shocking discovery in modern Iraq. A secret meeting occurs between Vampire elders and the US President.
Our modern day SAS hero Captain “Bullet Proof Pete” and childhood friend “Vinnie the Terminator” join forces with their American allies to defend Earth at all costs against the alien menace – but our hero is torn apart by guilt for leaving his wife and family.
The US President stands alone – all seems lost. But then our hero turns up with important new information. They are joined by Vampire Demons Cassian and the magnetic Lucia – igniting a sense of new hope.
Psychic Lucia joins Pete and Vinnie in the cruel, guerrilla war against the aliens and informs our hero of a shocking revelation that changes everything.
• IF YOU LOVE ALIEN BATTLES
• IF YOU LOVE VAMPIRES
• IF YOU LOVE FILMS LIKE THE AMAZING INDEPENDENCE DAY
• THEN YOU WILL LOVE THIS BOOK
DOMINION FIRST BLOOD BY RICHARD MANN
• OUT NOW ON AMAZON
• REGISTER ON MY WEBSITE NOW!
“I imagine they might exist in massive ships, having used up all the resources from their home planet. Such advanced aliens would perhaps become nomads, looking to conquer and colonize whatever planets they can reach.”
“To my mathematical brain, the numbers alone make thinking about aliens perfectly rational.”
“The real challenge is working out what aliens might actually be like.” “We only have to look at ourselves to see how intelligent life might develop into something we wouldn’t want to meet.”
“If aliens ever visit us, I think the outcome would be much as when Christopher Columbus first landed in America, which didn’t turn out very well for the American Indians.”
Professor Stephen Hawking
I agree with Stephen Hawking in that aliens would probably not be friendly. The aliens in my book Dominion First Blood are nasty aliens who foolishly adopt the Nazi ideology – much to the detriment of the human race.
Although this is a work of fiction (and I hope you enjoy it very much) there are elements of truth running behind it.
Did aliens visit ancient Sumeria (Modern day Iraq) at the earliest point of human civilization?
Many scientists are astounded at how Sumerians progressed so quickly from mud-hut living fisher folk to temple building mathematicians. Did aliens experiment with early human DNA to build better humans? (There are many books on this subject). ‘The ‘Sumeri’ aliens are called exactly that by the vampires simply because they arrived and ‘integrated’ at that time with the Sumerian civilization 6,000 years ago.
Do aliens really exist?
Truth is sometimes stranger than fiction. As technology advances and more and more ‘M Class’ planets (those capable of sustaining life) are found every year then the probability increases that aliens do exist. In fact, there are 140 billion habitable planets in our galaxy alone. In 2011, the FBI declassified decades’ worth of secret government documents. These documents contain thousands of reports of UFO sightings and alien activity. These include Mass UFO sightings, personal abductions and government cover-ups.
Most interesting among these were reports of huge triangular shaped objects flying over Belgium airspace in 1990. There were hundreds of reports of these objects, frequently described as enormous and triangular in shape – known as “The Belgian Wave”, which lasted for two years. Air Force supersonic F-16 jets chased these strange objects, which were simultaneously tracked by both airborne and ground radars. The Belgian Government cooperated fully with civilian UFO investigators, an action without precedent in the history of government involvement in this field. These triangular objects have been reported all around the world, along with increased activity in abductions and mysterious alien implants.
Hypnotic regression of abductees seems to suggest an alien agenda of aliens experimenting on humans to breed half-human, half-alien hybrids. Any official question to governments about these mysterious sightings and events is normally met by a stony silence or a grumpy rebuff.
What becomes clear is that sightings by a few people can be ‘covered up’ by government disinformation etc., but that sightings by hundreds or thousands of people, including photographic evidence, (as has happened), cannot be covered up. I came across another story so spine chilling that I will not repeat it here, but it suggests the war against aliens has already started.
The circumstantial evidence for alien activity appears to be overwhelming. The US Government has been collecting evidence from UFO crash sites around the world for decades. I understand why they keep it a secret, and I think they should keep it a secret, for obvious reasons.
Should SETI (the organization set up to Search for Extra-terrestrial Intelligence) be actually trying to contact aliens in the first place? Should we stop sending signals to outer space trying to contact aliens? Professor Stephen hawking seems to think so (and I would agree with him). In the movie Battleship SETI sends a signal to outer space which is picked up aliens who then proceed to invade our planet. Oops.
Certainly, our current technology has not advanced to the point where we could defend ourselves against an alien invasion. But, how would humankind fare in an alien invasion? What do the experts say? Military strategists from the Air Command and Staff College in the United States have a multitude of plans if aliens did invade. They have war gamed every scenario imaginable. Unfortunately, most of that is classified as Top Secret information, i.e. they want to keep quiet about it. Reading between the lines, I do not think humankind comes out of it very well. (I recently came across a story so spine chilling that I will not repeat it here, but it suggests the war against aliens has already started.)
Is it likely aliens would ever invade our world? The conclusion by scientists was that an invasion was likely. Why?
1) They want to breed with us, because they can no longer reproduce themselves; or
2) They want Earth’s resources – Water, metals, forests and biology; or
3) They want the Earth as a new home for themselves (and presumably evict us Earthlings.) This could be because their own planet is no longer habitable. (Maybe they polluted the atmosphere or destroyed their own with wars – does that ring a bell?)
There is a United Nations office called the UN Office of Outer Space Affairs committee in New York, which is charged with the responsibility of making first contact with aliens with its own alien ambassador, Mazlan Othman, a Malaysian astrophysicist. Her office is tasked with sending a message in all major languages to the alien visitors. The universal language of mathematics would also be used by transmitting prime numbers to the aliens.
Aliens are likely to be highly intelligent and advanced scientifically. In the 1930’s Germany was the most advanced technological country in the world, developing their war machinery in secret collaboration with the Russians, deep inside Soviet Russia. The allies were oblivious to this – Of course, the allies did not know about the advanced German technology until it was too late. In the second World War the British and French were completely overwhelmed by the technically superior German war machine – leading to the evacuation at Dunkirk. The allies were completely unprepared and complacent about the Nazi threat – leading to a scramble to re-arm, which the British did with amazing speed and innovation.
Would aliens be friendly? We only have to learn the lesson of Nazi Germany to understand that the answer would be no. There appears to be no relationship between technological advancement and moral or ethical behavior.
In a war against aliens, the whole world of politics and alliances would be thrown on its head. Former enemies would become allies, NATO soldiers fighting alongside Russian troops – just as it was during the Second World War (perhaps even sharing a shot of vodka during the fighting). Imagine American troops fighting an alien menace alongside the Taliban and Al Qaeda (unthinkable I know), because it is not a war of ideology, but of human survival – the future of humankind itself. Perhaps in a moment of reflection everyone needs to look beyond his or her own navel, and self-interest, and think about what is best for human kind.
Nevertheless, even if old enemies did join forces – will that be enough? Who will help the human race in its darkest hour?
Look for friends in unlikely places.
Do vampires exist?
Do you know anyone who, when they speak to you, just drains you of energy, with their vindictive and bullying attitude? (Maybe someone at work). Perhaps just their physical presence send shockwaves and shivers through your body, making you feel weak and defenseless. To all intents and purposes that is a vampire, because they suck the energy out of you. Some people just feed off the psychic (and physical) energy of others. Vampirism has existed for thousands of years; cultures such as the Hebrews, Mesopotamians, Ancient Greeks and Romans had tales of demons and spirits, which are considered precursors to modern vampires. However, in history that is more recent the folklore for the vampires seems to originate almost exclusively from early 18th century southeastern Europe, and the famous tales of Count Dracula in Transylvania.
Another example of truth being stranger than fiction is that the X-37B stealth aircraft mentioned in the story is real. Its design resembles a mini shuttle and is only 29 feet in length and 15 feet in width. The unmanned, reusable vehicle logged an unprecedented 675 days in space, but very little is known about this Top Secret space plane which seems more ‘James Bond than a machinery of reality’.
The US military keeps very quiet about the X-37B – but it has been orbiting the earth for the last two years and landed recently at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.
This fictional story discusses the existence of a worldwide military organisation to prepare for, and fight, any alien attack, namely Sirius. This worldwide network may, or may not, exist but it would certainly be prudent to prepare for an alien invasion, and is within the realms of probability. All the ‘Sirius’ weapons discussed in the story may seem like the stuff of science fiction but in fact are based on real technology, for example rail gun and laser technology as well as the Adaptiv armor which hides vehicles from infa red.
Although we would appear to be defenseless against an attack by an alien force, all is not lost, because we humans have something they do not, we are greater than the sum of our parts. In great adversity we find the spirit, the wit, to win our way through – somehow.
Although this is purely a fictional story it does raise issues about our existence, how we look at the world, our neighbors, and our attitude to how we should treat others that are not like ourselves. Issues of race, ideology, religion, sexual orientation, wealth and class are irrelevant when your own existence is at peril.
More than anything this story is about the friendship between Peter and Vinnie, childhood friends, and the desperate need for peoples of all races, to come together to fight evil, whether the source of that evil is from this planet, or from a different one.
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