Ian Sparticus HARDY 9 Tallawarra ave PADSTOW 2211 0418219472

about 14,200 words

CRUSADE FOR JUSTICE. by Ian Sparticus Hardy.

THE MAN WHO NEVER EXISTED This is the true story about my family and our extraordinary journey that has taken place over 50 years and is still unfolding to this day. It all revolves around, The Official Secrets Act of the United Kingdom, that was unwittingly signed by my Dad without the benefit of hindsight and if he had realized just how this single event would later affect us all then I am sure he would have declined to sign it. The Nuclear Research Group A.E.I,

a secret cover or front company that on the outside appeared to be an Electrical factory but in actuality was a Top Secret Research Laboratory. An honest man who was a devoted loving husband and loving father to five children. However if you believe

the United Kingdom’s spin, Dad never, ever, existed. Well I can assure you he existed, but sadly he is now only in spirit, gone but not forgotten, silent yet vocal as he guides me through the writing of our story. Staff Sgt Norman Hardy, Royal Engineer s/n 22043729, my dear deceased Dad born in Manchester. United Kingdom on the 09/03/1930, he was born the

second son of Mr. Jack Hardy, my grandad who was a WW1 soldier, who with his brother in-law Christopher Hall, enlisted in the military and set off for France in WW1, grandad was gassed by mustard gas in the trenches of the Somme in France and survived but Christopher grandma’s brother, lost his life. The reason I include the details about my grandad is this, I tried many times to talk Dad into going public with his story, but he just refused and could nor would bring himself to reveal the secrets that he carried and I think it had something to do with his beliefs and what he believed about his country, it was the whole thing with his Dad being in the military and Uncle John, Dad’s brother who was a soldier and fought in the Deserts of Africa, then Dad later enlisted in the Royal Engineers.

So I guess he came to reason that rather than embarrass the United Kingdom by going public he would stay silent, which is exactly what he did. But neither Mum or any of us the children ever signed the Official secrets act, or expected to be so physically affected by Dads work, yet we all were by different degrees both mentally and physically, so this is my reason for writing our story, to try to force or shame the United Kingdom into admitting a mistake was made and accepting as a moral responsibility, the damage done to our family then to apologize officially as It cannot be solely blamed on the company AEI as they are not responsible for the charter of The Official Secrets Act only the United Kingdom’s Government is. Yet trying even to get them to comment is like trying to turn lead into gold.


I will begin the story from when I, the eldest son, Ian Sparticus Hardy, was born into the world at our home in Middleton on the 14/02/1958 Valentine’s Day, mum always said that I was a love child and being the first son I felt like I was one. Mum said Dad took me down stairs after my birth to show me off to the rest of the family my three sisters Uncle Eddie and Aunty Betty, he raised me in the air and Mum said at that very moment whilst I was being held high in the air I piddled and like a water pistol it went straight into Dad’s cup of tea that was sat on the fireplace mantel piece, so my life had begun. Dad had already been working for Metropolitan Vickers from 2/3/1953 as a Fitter employed in the Electronics W.W.6, on the assembly of specialized equipment for the Admiralty (Anti-Submarine). Also as a Fitter in the Railway Signals Dept, on the manufacture of various train control equipments, ending on the 20/5/1957. Moving then as a Fitter employed in the Physical Metallurgy, Nuclear Research Department S.17 as an Assistant to Metallurgists and the building of Vacuum furnaces, general and specialized lab set ups, the machining of Special Nuclear Alloys and carrying out the experiments and tests to order,

until 15/7/1957, then he was promoted to Laboratory Technician level 5 Employed as above until 14/10/1957, when he was promoted to Laboratory Technician level 6 Employed as above, until 1/2/1960, then promoted to Staff Laboratory Technician, Transferred to Beryllium Laboratory, employed as above but under Toxic Hazard conditions. Also employed in operation of Vacuum Arc Melting Furnaces and specialized welding operations with the Vacuum Bell Jar and also normal Argon Arc welding, until 30/3/1964. Then Staff Laboratory Technician, Section name was then changed to Special Alloys. Employed as above, also several months of Experimental Welding of Erosion Shields and Stellite

to Turbine Blades, until 24/8/1966. Dad also worked on the Blue Bird’s Engine he modified it, then he went on to do a specialised welding job for the Dungeness Nuclear Power Station, welding Neutron sources for something involving the reactor, then finally he worked at Lucas Heights Atomic Reactor at Menai, an inner suburb of greater Sydney Australia. So here I am the eldest son of five children, I have three elder sister’s Lynn who is the eldest, then Anne and Jill. My younger brother Colin would be born on the 04/01/1960. One of my first real recollections is when I am five years old it is my birthday, I can hear the loud roar of my dad’s Norton Commando 600cc motor bike, pulling

into the drive way of our home at 23 Rothmay drive, Middleton, he has my present sticking out of the side car of his bike, I ran outside as I always did to the arms of my waiting Dad his leather overcoat wet from the rain but it did not matter it was my Dad, he would pick me up and sit me on the tank and let me play with the light and horn but not on this day as he has a surprise, it’s a five foot long grey painted Aircraft carrier made from oak wood and made to scale, with twenty model jets all delicately painted with decals on each wing, it was just incredible the deck of the carrier also had a movable lowering hangar for the jets to be placed below deck the detail was just magical, underneath on the bottom of the carrier on each corner there are special cups that dad has designed especially for me and in each cup there is a large stainless steel ball placed so that the Aircraft carrier could move on the ground like a carrier would do at sea, as I think back now I have a bit of a chuckle about what if ? The United Kingdom’s government had found out about their Top Secret Research Laboratory S.17 being used for building my birthday present and that half of its top research people had played a crucial role in building a small boy’s birthday present. There would have been hell to pay I am sure of it and looking back now it is quite amazing to me. I used to lie on top of it and roll down the hill on it, being an adventurous boy, it was the natural thing to do, and I often wonder what ever happened to it after we left for Australia. My Dad was a genius and I say this not because he was my Dad but due to the fact that he was able to see into the future or a future thinker, as a lot of the things he made for me as a child like the three sided boomerang, later were reinvented many years later, it was funny though as I had already had many of the future toys as a child. Our home was always filled with the sounds of laughter, from either us kids, Aunty, or Dad and Uncle Eddie who would always be doing something funny or interesting as Uncle Eddie was also a genius having passed the Royal Air force Cadets with the highest scores ever up until then, however he later changed to the H.M.S Navy due to his father, my granddad Edward Moran having been in the Navy, so he then became Lieutenant Eddie Moran, so the combination of him and Dad together created the perfect storm so to speak, I remember one night when Uncle Eddie stayed over and Dad was just administering the finishing touches to my train set, suddenly my train set became the universe to both of them and I never got to play with it that night as Dad and Uncle Eddie sat playing with it till the wee small hours of the morning, designing new ideas for rail engine loads and also they staged a few rail crashes on my special ¼ inch thick moulded bridge made from a super light weight Aluminium alloy, that Dad had made me whilst at work in the S.17 lab, I was a very lucky boy in that respect Uncle Eddie was a maths wizard and could mathematically solve any problem and if he could not change it to fit with maths,

like Dad he would reinvent it or modify whatever it was to fit and work. I remember when I was only 4 he tried to teach me addition, subtraction, division and multiplication from our new set of encyclopaedias, he sat me on his knee with the encyclopaedias opened on the arm rest and he was getting very frustrated that I could not grasp the inner dimensions of Einstein’s theory’s or so it seemed, I remember crying a lot that night as each time I would get the answer wrong he turned a darker shade of red, thankfully mum saved me from any further torture as it was time for bed, but he loved me

and I loved him, it’s a shame he is gone. It was around this time that Dad was moved into the Highly Toxic Beryllium Laboratory another Secret Laboratory of the AEI POWER GROUP. Mum told me that she had begged him, not to go into this Lab but he could never say no to his superiors. Dad was always a very diligent worker and if he was ordered to do something by a superior, he would do it without question. This did happen quite regularly as the two letters written approximately two years apart will show. Rather than try to condense the two I feel it is better to just let you read them both in their entirety. The first one is to Dads Eye Surgeon. This is the Letter my Dad wrote to Dr. R. Loudon his Eye Surgeon. Dated 30th November .1971 Dear Sir, Enclosed is an account of the work in progress in the Secret Research Laboratory S.17 in (v) building, during the period 1957 to 1966 and my actual involvement in each project. Most of this information will no doubt be irrelevant, but is included in case it has some bearing on the condition of my eyes. If there is any basis what so ever for submitting a claim to England then I should be most grateful to consult yourself and any other opinion you suggest for advice in this matter. The fitting for the lens was done as arranged by Mr. Mc Monnies. But there is a delay due to sending to America for the lens. METROPOLITAN VICKERS, SECRET RESEARCH DEPARTMENT, LABORATORY S.17’s (V) BUILDING, NUCLEAR METALLURGY SECTION. Initial duties were as Laboratory Technician assisting Metallurgists Dr P.R.V. Evans and Mr. C Moore. The first project was one of conducting feasibility tests in methods of producing Uranium Fuel Element plates. The plates were manufactured by several methods, the main one being the flat pressing one. This entailed the setting up of a mild steel frame filled with Uranium powder in between High

speed steel plates. The whole was compressed under a 200 ton press and heating was supplied by High Frequency Induction. I myself with Dr Evans did all the setting up before the pressing. On completion of pressing operation I would then dismantle the set up myself and cut the Uranium plate from the mild steel frame to make a specimen for Dr Evans. The High Speed Steel pressing plates {which had to be absolutely flat, and which were indented slightly during pressing} would then be surface ground flat on a grinder by me to prepare for the next operation. All this work was performed with bare hands and without any Air Extraction Equipment. Another method of producing Plates was by Cold Pressing of Uranium powder with 2% wax added. These I removed from the pressing mould and placed in a Vacuum Furnace to do De-Waxing and sintering operations. All the Uranium plates from both hot and cold pressings were then surface ground to a specific square and thickness by me. Project 2 was now started by Dr Evans, still in connection with the Fuel Element program me. Apparently, some Uranium Fuel Elements when in use in the Reactor


were subjected to a thermal Cycling between 300'c and 700'c, this caused the Uranium to grow in size and eventually burst the Stainless steel containers in which they were sealed and so contaminated the C02 gas in the Heat Transfer unit. After building a Test Rig Furnace in the Laboratory to simulate actual Cycling conditions. We made up a series of Alloys of Uranium and Cycled them on the equipment for set periods, with checks for size and deformation of the specimens at intervals. This work was done mainly by me and Dr Evans and Mr. C Moore. The object of this project was to produce a stable alloy which would not change during Thermal Cycling. At this stage due to the Pyroforic nature of the Uranium and after a small fire on the Surface Grinder; I was given the task of converting the Surface Grinder so that Uranium could be cut under water. This was accomplished by a steel tank covered by a Perspex box, with sliding doors for access and to accommodate the traverse of the machine. All cutting and grinding operations were done in this manner from then on by me. (Later we discovered that even this did not meet the standards of safety required at other Laboratories engaged in this work). After 12 to 15 months of work on the Fuel Element projects, in an open Laboratory the whole job was suddenly closed down and sealed off. All Uranium was packed into containers and sent to another Laboratory at Aldermaston a Severe Decontamination program me began to eliminate Radiation and Toxic Hazard. This state of affairs came to light due to a Mrs. Isabelle Hardwich a Scientist who had, had a low blood count came to work in part of our Laboratory and as a safety precaution she requested that it be monitored by the Radiation Section. Apparently this work should have been carried out under Hazard conditions but due to a lack of information this was not done by the Metallurgists and the work just went ahead. All staff involved were sent for Urine and Blood Count Tests and pronounced fit. I had a low blood count and had further tests by Dr Wilkinson a Manchester Specialist. The medical staff assured me that everything was alright even though I had actually handled more Uranium and for much longer periods (weekends etc) than any other Technician in the Section. All this happened before the strict Medical Supervision which Dr Wallace mentioned in his letter which you have. After Decontamination was completed Dr Evans went to America and I was transferred to another Metallurgist Mr. E. Lloyd who had in use various projects in progress which were mostly conventional metallurgy,( i.e. Tensile tests, corrosion experiments etc ) and most of my initial work was making specimens and assisting in these tests. Then a new project started on Special Welding of materials like Zirconium, Niobium and Molybdenum in controlled

atmospheres. My first job was designing and making a Vacuum Bell Jar Unit

for this purpose. The Unit comprised of a 24 inch diameter x24 inch deep x 3/8 inch thick glass jar which was used as a cover over a table with a fixed Welding Electrode and traversing mechanisms. The interior was pumped out with a Rotary and Diffusion Vacuum pumps and then filled with high purity Argon (99.995) to about 1/3 rd of an atmosphere. The specimen then to be welded was then traversed radially or laterally in a jig as required. A High Frequency Injector was used to start the Arc. The atmosphere was further purified by starting the Arc on a small block of Zirconium which acted as a (Getter). A welding helmet was worn during these operations and all welding over the years it was in use was done by me. Zirconium glows with tremendous intensity when melting and this is another possible cause of the premature cataracts? Only conventional Argon Arc welding glass was used and this may not have been good enough for this extensive use with Zirconium. Mr. Lloyd was moved to a subsidiary company and I was transferred to the Beryllium Laboratory Staff. This was when the period of strict Medical care which Dr Wallace mentioned began. The Beryllium Laboratory was equipped to operate under full Toxic Hazard conditions, with a carefully monitored atmosphere, fume cupboards, showers and changes of clothing and shoes etc, to avoid contamination of any kind. I must add it was a pleasure to work in such conditions. During the years in the laboratory, my duties were varied, working for several Graduate Metallurgists on various projects. The Vacuum Bell Jar was transferred with me and I continued to weld on and off, on various projects.

The biggest of these was on preparing Zirconium/Hiobium electrodes for a new wire conductor, this involved quite a lot of long welding operations on Zirconium. The Beryllium Lab was closed down during an 18 month period of De-Contamination in which I took part. All scrap and contaminated waste was sealed in special steel drums cast in concrete prior to dumping in the Irish Sea, The Vacuum Bell Jar Unit was De-Contaminated and still used for

welding Zirconium and other work. When the laboratory was finally cleared I was transferred once again This was to work with Dr D.G.JONES a metallurgist on a new project, which was experimenting in the conventional Arc welding of Erosion Shields on Turbine Blades. The work was a success and this was my position until migrating to Australia in September 1966.Well Dr Loudon, I have tied these recollections together as well as can be remembered and I trust you will forgive my spelling errors etc. The two main points on reading over my notes are the handling and work with Uranium Metal and Oxide, without the proper safety condition now in operation and the special welding done in the Bell Jar Unit with the Zirconium as the possible cause of my eye condition .One never thinks about these things when they occur, but it does seem a little more than coincidence that I was deeply involved in this unconventional type of work more than anyone else in the Laboratory and then for this premature condition to come suddenly out of the blue. Yours truly, Norman Hardy. Footnote, It was later discounted by most of the Dr’s on our side that welding could cause Dads condition. Tests carried out on the welding glass lenses show they were adequate. Also it was found in medical literature that cataracts occurred amongst the Ukrainian mine workers exposed to Uranium in the mines. It was approximately two years later that the second letter was made and by this time Dad’s life and ours had been turned upside down and was beginning to have serious effects on all of us. Below are pictures of the experimental tools Dad saved from the sealed S.17 and S.15 laboratories the 5 inch X ¾ inch Tungsten Carbide Plate was one of a pair used to press the Uranium Oxides into stainless steel cans and was used instead of High speed steel plates because it did not become dented as the high speed steel ones did after each pressing, I later asked him why he kept these experimental tools and his answer was simple he could not bear to see the Tungsten Carbide Plate and the other tools the solid Tungsten Carbide reamer the only one in the world which was made by my Dad and a solid Tungsten Carbide welding tip also made by him thrown away.

SECOND LETTER. The second letter Dad had written was to a Mr. Woods who was helping with Dads case against the company for gross negligence, here is his later letter which covers his job with a little more detail, I would also like to add that Dad did not include all of the secrets he was privy to as he was a little concerned due to the fact that he had signed the Official Secrets Act and therefore could be arrested and subject to prosecution. This letter you are about to read are my Dads own recollections, that he spoke to Mum as wrote down his words as he was at this point blind. The letter had to be written for a Negligence case against the United Kingdom. All details in the letter are still to this day covered by the Official Secrets Act of the United Kingdom. Dated 13 December 1973 9 Tallawarra, Ave Padstow 2211 Australia.

METROPOLITAN VICKERS, SECRET RESEARCH DEPARTMENT, NUCLEAR LABORATORY S.17’s (V) BUILDING, BERYLLIUM LABORATORY S.15’s (S) BUILDING, METALLURGY SECTION. Dear Mr. Woods, as requested, I will try to recollect details of the work in progress in the Physical Metallurgy Laboratories, during the period relating to the claim, ref: 1957 to 1966. Transferred into the Research Department, I was given the job of assisting Dr P.R.V. Evans. The Plates were approximately 2 ½” x 2 ½” x 3/8” and all work was done in an open Laboratory in S.17’s “V “building, with bare hands and no fume cupboards or protective aids whatsoever. Tea was brewed and sandwiches and meals were consumed in the Laboratory at tea breaks and lunch time. There were three main methods of production investigated; the first one was by the Cold Pressing of Uranium powder and Oxides in a jig with 2% wax added. These pressings were removed and carefully loaded onto refractory tiles in a stainless steel cradle. The whole was then inserted into a high temperature furnace (which we

manufactured) with a water cooled de waxing head inside. After de-waxing at low temperature under vacuum, the temperature was increased to accomplish the sintering of the specimens. These were removed after an overnight cooling period, but on two occasions we had a fire, caused by the specimens igniting due to premature opening of the vacuum furnace. These were controlled by quickly evacuating the furnace with the vacuum pumps. Another method of producing plates was by flat pressing of the Uranium powders in a mild steel matrix, between high speed steel plates. This was set up on a 200 ton press, inside a high frequency induction coil which provided the required pressing temperatures. After pressing operations, the specimens were removed and I would then saw the mild steel matrix away from the Uranium with a hacksaw and then cut the specimen to the required size and thickness on a surface grinder. The high speed steel plates were indented during each pressing operation and would be surface ground flat by myself before the next pressing. The third method was the centrifugal casting of plates in a high frequency vacuum furnace. Four plates were cast from a central stem. On removal they were hack sawn off the central stem and then made into specimens on the surface grinder in S.17’s (V) building. All this work was done as stated before without any air extraction or protection. Dr Evans then began another project which was investigating the possibilities of making a stable alloy of Uranium, which would not grow in size when subjected to thermal


cycling conditions between 300*c and 700*c. Mr. Colin Moore a graduate metallurgist came into the team and we were moved into a new lab in S.17 (V) building with the vacuum sintering furnace. We proceeded to make a test rig to simulate conditions of thermal cycling in the reactor. This was finished and specimens of different alloys were made which were 1” x 1” x 1/8” in size. These were made on the surface grinder. The specimens were mounted on a stainless steel hook and welded into a stainless steel can in a vacuum arc melting furnace (see sketches). After mounting the cans were sawn open, examined and measured for deformation, etc, before re-canning and continuing the cycling tests. An old surface grinder was acquired and I adapted this to our needs with jig and slitting wheel. After a small fire on the grinder, Dr Evans and I suggested that an underwater cutting set up would be advisable. This I designed and made (see attached sketch) and covered the fire hazard. Later a Dr Napton from Aldermaston came on a visit and informed me that even this would not be acceptable at Aldermaston and that even the grinding spindle would have to be effectively sealed. It was then suggested that I wear rubber gloves when handling the wet specimens of Uranium, because of toxic hazard. Tea and food were consumed in the laboratory and even the vacuum pumps were exhausted into the laboratory atmosphere. A Mrs. Isabelle Hardwich, a scientist who was experimenting on electron beam welding arrived to take over part of the laboratory. She requested that the laboratory first be monitored by the Radiation Section and this was done. It was after this was done that the laboratory and surrounding buildings were discovered to be red hot. After this, all the Uranium was packed into containers and dispatched to Aldermaston. A severe decontamination program me was implemented both in (V) building and (S) building. Unfortunately, my knowledge of the Isotope values of the materials handled is vague and it did not seem my place to question this factor, when Dr Evans and Mr. Colin Moore who were graduate metallurgists never doubted the competence of the people responsible for the projects, namely Dr. T. Raine and Mr. L.D. Brownlee. They were as surprised as me when we were required to undergo medical tests for possible ill effects. These tests were in the form of urine tests over a period of time and blood tests by a Dr. Wilkinson a Pathologist in Manchester. As stated before, I had a low blood count and required further tests later which were taken by medical staff at work and the samples sent to Dr. Wilkinson. Later we were pronounced fit and well, but at a safety conference we were told by Mr. P.P. Starling the Research Manager, that the company had been guilty of gross neglect in this matter. Dr. Evans left to go to a post in Chicago U.S.A and later Mr. Colin Moore left the company. I was then transferred to work with another graduate metallurgist, Mr. Eric Lloyd in laboratory S.15’s (S) building. The work initially was of a conventional nature, e.g. tensile tests on Molybdenum and Zirconium alloys. Then began the project which is the other facet, of the claim put forward for radiation this was the making of the vacuum bell jar welding unit, (see sketch). This unit was for special welding of Molybdenum and Zirconium in controlled atmospheres. After making the unit and testing, we began extensive welding of Molybdenum specimens, both lateral welds and end caps on

cylindrical specimens. The bell jar was evacuated with rotary and diffusion pumps and then flooded to 1/3rd of an atmosphere with 99.995 argon gas. Before each weld, the fixed Tungsten electrode was arced on a block of Zirconium to act as a “Getter” and further purify the atmosphere for the welding tests. After this project finished, Mr. Lloyd was transferred to Metro Cutanit, a subsidiary company. Once again I was transferred, this time to the Beryllium Laboratory. This Laboratory was operated under full toxic hazard conditions, with filtered extracts, fume cupboards and the surface grinder was completely encased, with glove ports for operation. The bell jar unit was installed and used for many projects. All welding was done by me. A project was started on Zirconium, Niobium to make a super conductor wire. Electrodes of these metals were required to be melted into ingots in a consumable arc melting furnace. The electrodes were made up of 12” x 1” x ¼” Flat strips of each of the metals and were required to be welded along the length of each side. These involved long welding periods on the vacuum bell jar unit. Only the conventional welding glass was used and on reflection, I am now of the opinion that this was not good enough for these metals. Having had a lot of special welding experience on stainless steels, e.g. the welding of the Neutron sources for the Dungeness Power Station, I now remember that when welding the Zirconium, all the details of objects in view are extremely clear, whereas on the conventional metals it is only the immediate proximity of the weld pool which is visible in any detail. The melting of Zirconium in vacuum arc furnaces of the consumable and nonconsumable is a far different proposition than in the bell jar unit, for the following reasons. In the arc furnaces of both types the metals are melted to purify and obviously give off the impurities, which condense on the water cooled walls and also the 2” viewing port glass. This acts to some degree as a filter. As you will appreciate also, the consumable type furnace electrode is arc melted into a deep, water cooled copper crucible and the arc is only visible at the end of the melting operation whilst “topping” the ingot. Having used both types of furnace quite extensively, one can make an honest and feasible comparison with the bell jar unit. The reason, that these observations have been included, in anticipation of an argument that other Technicians and Graduates used these furnaces with no present ill effects. Only I used the Vacuum Bell Jar Unit and it can be seen clearly from the enclosed sketch of the unit, that the whole operation “is in the open” so to speak. Well gentleman, that is all that I can recollect that could have any bearing on the present state of my vision, After five operations over the last three years to remove both lenses and rectify post operative complications, I am left with one good eye with a soft Hydron lens fitted, which enables me to pursue a comparatively simple job as a maintenance fitter. Your honest appraisal of the situation and probable cause would be greatly appreciated. Yours sincerely, Norman Hardy.

Footnote. I am the eldest son of Staff Sgt Norman Hardy, Royal Engineer, deceased, and would like to add a few words on behalf of my Dad. Your actions caused my Dad to become a broken man,

you broke him into pieces piece by bloody piece, until nothing else remained that resembled the strong Dad that I loved and knew he was but a memory. It haunted Dad the fact that children around S.17 would play in storm drains the very same drains that waste was daily washed into as a company policy, if it’s unseen there is no problem. Also the dumping of thousands of Toxic Beryllium and Radioactive filled drums into the Irish Sea, would often play on his mind as he felt partly responsible. Even after all the pain and anguish we all went through, he still would not hear a bad word said about the United Kingdom, go figure, it caused an almighty bump in our relationship as father and son, as he had become so beaten by what had happened to him that I started to resent him for not fighting back with every ounce of strength that I knew he could muster. However I came to understand this love he had for his country it was a genetic thing and he just loved his country of birth. This love caused him to be greatly hurt when his solicitor came back from UK coining the phrase The Man Who Never Was, saying that Dad no longer existed in the records, he had been expunged. Dad was the eternal optimist and would always make things seem better than they were, believe me when I say this, that his eye sight was terrible and without a thick magnifying glass in hand he could not read or see any detail or writing. Then after 7 years of hope and tortured waiting, expecting to get some form of assistance from the United Kingdom it came as a crushing blow to Dad and Mum that the country we loved, had in all honesty abandoned him and us half way around the world out of sight out of mind is how they saw us. So that is why I am so strongly intent on pushing or shaming the United Kingdom into accepting they were negligent in the operation of the laboratory and therefore culpable for covering up what took place long ago. All I firstly wished for us was an official apology to my Mum for all she was put through and secondly for us the children, we never signed any Official Secrets Act so why are we held to the same restrictions that Dad was. All attempts at going public by myself came to zero as the reach of the United Kingdom and its tentacles stopped all of my attempts at telling Dads story, I went behind his back out of frustration to A Current Affairs 7 in 1979 and they wanted to interview my Dad at home, an appointment was arranged for the next day with a reporter and a camera crew, but late that night I received a phone call from the leading reporter saying that it had come from above the producer that the story was to be canned and would not be aired, he was quite upset and stated that he was sorry, I asked him has this ever happened before and he said no. I then tried The Friends of the Earth movement here in Australia following the reporter’s advice, but it was the same ending with a similar outcome. It was not until Twitter and Scribd with the easy access to the internet that a door was opened allowing me to publicly reveal what took place at the secret research laboratory S.17 and S.15 in Trafford Park, it came too late for my Dad who sadly had passed away, but he is inside me in spirit and I can hear him laughing inside me as I write his and our story, so I know his spirit lives on he sometimes even corrects me if I get parts of the story wrong, I love you Dad. We called Twitter, Dads white horse, his unbridled beast of free speech it is on there that I placed all the pictures of his experimental tools used at the S.17 Research Lab including the 5” inch X ¾” inch thick solid Tungsten Carbide Plate used to press thousands of Uranium Fuel Plates. These he brought from the United Kingdom to Australia in 1966 for his job at Lucas Heights Nuclear Reactor at Menai in Sydney, along with documents and other pictures on Twitpic /sparticusian. So at last he has a global audience his and our story is slowly getting seen around the world in blogs and other posts so for me it is a victory for the ordinary man against the might of an Empire. THE CONTACT LENS DRAMA.

After Dad had his eye surgery he was fitted with a soft Hydron contact lens, not like lenses now though that you can leave in for days, these had to be removed each night, washed, then boiled in special container then placed inside special cases, one night Dad had been drinking as he started to do more often due to his predicament and fell asleep in the lounge room, we all were there and mum woke him telling him to go to bed, but to first take his lens out and clean it, well he stumbled to his feet and sat at the kitchen table and tried to take his lens out but could not do it, so mum began to help him as she had on many occasions before, when she looked in his eye the lens was gone, well there was ructions and all of us then, with a magnifying glass and torches in hand on all fours we all started to look for the elusive contact lens, we spent hours on all fours searching every inch of the carpet but with no luck, so we all went to bed upset that night, the next morning Dad got up came into the lounge and sat next to Mum feeling sad and down about losing his expensive contact lens and saying he was sorry, they kissed and made up, then Mum looked down at the floor and stuck on top of the front of Dads shoe was the soft Hydron contact lens, it had gone a little hard being sat in the open air all night but it softened up again once it was washed then boiled and cleaned. This was just one of the many funny but serious things that drew us closer together as a family. It seemed that no matter what befell us as a family it just made us closer together. AUSTRALIA OUR NEW HOME.

Our story begins after Dad left the Research Laboratory, in preparation for our journey to our new home 12,000 miles away in Sydney, Australia. We all had to say goodbye to our neighbours and friends, this was a sad time and I remember asking Uncle Arthur if I could stay with them and not have to go on the ship I don’t know why but I kind of had a premonition or déjà vu with a good dose of impending doom. But the feeling soon gave way to a child’s great expectations of our new home across the sea plus Dad was a good salesmen also by telling us story’s at night before bed about the Kangaroo’s , Kookaburra’s and Koala bears so we were sold. AUNTY BETTY DIE’S.

Just before we left the United Kingdom my Aunty Betty passed away, she had taken me on my own as she had done many times before to a Middleton Cinema theatre to see a movie with her. After the show finished we would always buy fish and chips before boarding the bus home, I used to stay over at her flat next door to our own home. I remember being a bit of a pest and running and hiding from Aunty on the way home nothing out of the ordinary for me,

but she must have been frantic. Unknown to me she was having a heart attack on the bus coming home and she somehow held on until she reached our street, then half way up our street where she could see our home, she stopped where she could see the front of our house, then sat on a wall and said to me, would you be a good boy and run ahead and knock on the door for me, so I began to run on home turning to look at Aunty Betty as I ran, I remember it was very foggy and I looked down the street and saw a man in a full length coat and hat walk under a street light and as I looked back at Aunty she leaned forward slowly crumpling off the brick walled fence and fell to the cold concrete pavement, I yelled too her and ran faster home reaching the door and with an almighty bang I crashed into it kicking and screaming that something was wrong with Aunty, Mum instantly ran to her telling me to stay inside, by this time our neighbours hearing all the noise came to see what was wrong. We all ran to Auntie’s side, then mum sent Lynn, Anne and myself to find Dad while they waited for the Ambulance. Dad and Uncle Arthur was at the Red Lion pub their local, so we had them brought to the front door and by the time we got back to Auntie the Ambulance was there tending to her, where they picked her up putting her onto a stretcher then taking her to the Hospital, where she was pronounced D.O.A. So it was a happy and a very sad moment in time for all of us as we were a very close knit family, Auntie lived right next door to us so she was always in our lives. I remember after the funeral Dad took me to her flat and I remember being very angry at Dad for going through her things, but looking back at it now we were her only family, so she would have wanted us to have her things. NORTON COMMANDO 600cc. So this is where I started our journey at 23 Rothmay drive, Middleton, Lancashire United Kingdom. My dad Norman and mother Jean started our lives as a family here, Dad rode a Norton Commando 600cc bike my fondest memory is that bike, Dad would pick me up in his arms, I was about 5 or 6 and he would sit me on the petrol tank with my hands on the handle bars and he would put his riding goggles and helmet on me and off we would go roaring through Middleton, I thought I was driving, it was incredible, he would take me to school on it and all the other kids would ogle at us as we roared up to the school, I could see it on their faces that they wished it was them, but it was me. The other thing that I remember is Mum and Dad being so much in love that they stood out everywhere we would go. People would always look and smile at them in shops or on buses or anywhere. Dad was a toolmaker by trade, after being demobbed from the army, he was Staff Sgt Norman Hardy British Royal Engineers, he was so proud of that, after leaving there he took a job at Metropolitan Vickers later Dad would move to the subsidiary AEI POWER GROUP

in Trafford Park Manchester. He worked on many various tasks like the Bluebird car that broke all the speed records at that time, The Admiralty

Submarine and Anti Detection Equipment I think he said it was, he then moved up the ladder to a Top Secret Research Laboratory called S.17 on Nuclear Research. He built a small scale Nuclear Reactor which on two occasions was opened prematurely and the specimens caught fire contaminating the lab and surrounding buildings, there were other fires at other times during his many experiments. It was only after a Dr Isabelle Hardwich requested a Geiger reading be taken as she had been exposed before that they discovered that the building was red hot. This was quickly sealed off to personnel and later was cut to pieces, all machinery the reactor a 200 ton press and many other secret machines that my Dad invented and built, were all chopped up and put into 44 gallon stainless steel drums then cast in concrete and dumped into the Irish sea. After this my Dad was offered a position at Lucas Heights Atomic reactor in Sydney Australia. So our journey to Australia was about to begin for us all anew. GUYFORKS NIGHT. Our Bonfires and cracker night were legendary in our street at 23 Rothmay drive, as Dad and Uncle Eddie would build the most intricate and the biggest fires and would always have the loudest fire crackers, also Dad would always make a paper mashie guy forks man out of a pair of coveralls then carefully filled with balls of squashed news papers in the end it looked like a real person complete with a head he would always be put right up on top of the bonfire it was always a real treat for us kids watching Dad doing his controlled firecrackers that always seemed bigger than anyone else’s crackers Dad was a real commando, I will always him and forever remember cracker night in the United Kingdom. MARS BARS AT AUNTY JOYCE’S’ I remember us all staying with our neighbours the night before we left as all our furniture had been packed into big wooden crates ready for shipping to Australia. Colin and I stayed with Uncle Arthur and Aunty Joyce who worked at a Cadburys chocolate factory and always had boxes and boxes of chocolates and Mars bars stashed in wardrobes and cupboards and it did not take long for me to find them. I awoke covered in chocolates all melted on my chest and face, I never ate chocolates or Mars bars again. After being sick all morning, we all said our tear filled goodbyes and headed for the railway station for our train ride to Southampton, SOUTHHAMPTON SS AUSTRALIS.

It was an old steam train that took us to meet our ship the SS Australis, once named SS America used as a troop ship built in 1940 weighing 33,500 tons and cruised at an average top speed of 24.68 knots and could reach 25.3 knots, I only know this because they had little booklets all over the ship with her history, sadly she was wrecked while being towed to her

new home as a floating hotel motel, it is very sad as I think back to the way I remember her and saddened to think that she went aground on the West coast of Fuerteventura in the Canary Islands while she was being towed by a tug boat to Thailand and encountered a storm in January 1994. BOARDING OUR NEW HOME. We left from Southampton on board the SS Australis, she was Greek owned part of a fleet from the Chandris Lines, she was a two funnelled ocean liner, the funnels were a light blue with a large white X on each side of her funnels, the rest of the ship was brilliant white, it was every kid’s dream. I remember we boarded late and we went straight to sleep, the next morning we awoke to look out of the port hole to see England getting smaller and smaller, I remember feeling a bit scared and unsure, but dad assured me we would see Kangaroos, Kookaburras, snakes and lizards and he said we could have a dog, what kid would not want that. So we were on our way and our journey had begun, I remember seeing the Rock of

Gibraltar lots of people had crowded together to watch the rock pass by as it was pretty close, Dad lifted me up so I could see it better, he held me tightly and did tell me something about the rock but I cannot remember what he said, but it was a nice memory seeing this thing called the Rock of Gibraltar it go by as everyone watched it seemed important for a small boy. The ship was huge I got lost several times in the maze of corridors and the Captain would regularly have search parties out looking for me, they always found me in the end it then became a game and I did it for fun hiding from them. Another time the Captain had a tuxedo night for chosen family's ours was one, they pick certain families to sit with the Captain at his dining table, being young and full of energy I soon got bored so a few of us kids went up on deck to the upper observation corridor that ran the length of the Australis the waves were very big and coming over the rail as it was blowing a gale so we invented a game we would get a deck chair lay it on its side and the wind would blow it down the outer corridor then one went over the rail and in to the ocean we thought it was magnificent so we got more and threw them over the side, unknown to us that they were falling past the port holes where the captain was sitting, they thought it was a man overboard but it was just a bored 8 ¾’ yr old having a bit of fun. Dad belted the crap out of me with a strap but I deserved it. I would like to add that I know it seems like Dad and Mum never watched me but this was not true I was just very good at becoming invisible and taking off but Mum would always be not to far behind hunting me down along with the stewards in charge of our deck, Dad and Mum became quite good friends with our stewards. THE COTTON SPOOLS.

I remember once on the ship Mum and Dad after putting us to bed and thinking we were fast asleep, had gone out for dinner, my younger brother and I awoke to find we were alone in the cabin at dusk, Mum had a box of cottons on spools not the little ones these were big machinists spools with plenty of cotton and stronger than normal cottons, so Colin and I got the box out on the cabin floor and I hung out of the porthole with Colin holding onto my feet I had a toy car that I tied to the end of the cotton spool then using a pencil through centre of the spool as an axle I lowered then dropped the car into the sea, I let it run free I was now leaving the boat and on the way to the bottom of the sea and I imagined being sat in that little car on its way to the bottom ,this was the first time I had ever seen a real dolphin jumping out of the water alongside the ship and seeing a flying fish truly it could fly not for long but it could fly, they were the happy times I remember so well, all mums cottons are at the bottom of the sea between England and Australia. I was a bugger Mum would say, I always seemed to be drawn like a moth to a light and to things that I shouldn’t be doing and would regret it when caught. But things never seemed to change as the spell had already been cast. THE SUEZ CANAL INCIDENT.

It was after the cotton spool incident that we arrived at the entrance to the Suez canal, it was so amazing this great sea feeding into this tiny straight river of water with just a few meters on each side of the ship, as we sailed through little boys would jump in the canal and wave and shout from the water, Sixpence, Sixpence, they had little pockets made from slitting the skin inside their mouths, folds cut in their cheeks on the inside of the mouth, where they would place the coins you threw to them, but if you threw a penny, it was too big to fit and they would throw it back at the side of the ship. One little boy had only one arm, the other was gone above his elbow it looked like it had happened only recently, he seemed to be having trouble so I threw him my sixpence and he dived down deep to retrieve it but seemed to take forever to come back up, then the water burst forth and he popped up waving his sixpence and shouting thank you thank you, it’s a memory I will never forget. Some older boys started playing up one got an almost empty Eno’s tin with a small amount of Eno’s still in it, he poured some water into the tin with the Eno’s and banged the lid back on tight and threw it down onto the shore where a soldier was standing, as he picked the tin up the pressure of the fizzing Eno’s blew the lid of the tin as the soldier was holding it, he didn't hold it for long bang it went and the soldier yelled you bloody foreigners to the noisy laughs of the people watching from the ship they then rained coins down onto him he dropped to his knees to pick them up smiling and waving to us and onwards towards Australia we sailed. The Australis was one of the last ships to pass through the Suez Canal as the Israeli Egyptian war began with ships being sunk in the canal stopping further access so we were very lucky. THE TITANIC


Remember the scene in Titanic, where he stands on the bow of the ship with his arms outstretched to the wind, well that was me I used to go to the front of the ship and climb up on rail and put my arms into the air and shout out loud I can fly ,then we would go down to the swimming pool I loved it when it was stormy seas the water would roll back and forth in the pool the waves would roll bigger and bigger, sometimes it would plonk you onto the deck and the pool would be half empty it was so much fun. We would then sneak down into the giant hall where all the passengers would all go for dinner. The stewards running around like mad, setting up the tables they would let us in the kitchen for ice cream, it was one big party every day. I loved sneaking into the Dining Hall before anyone had got up for breakfast and grabbing plate full’s of the fresh baked bread rolls with Strawberry jams and little packets of butter, I would then retreat to one of my secret hiding places, in one of the many supposedly locked but unlocked fire cupboards, where they have the huge fire hoses and the great big circular valve taps that feed ocean water directly from the ocean below us, a couple of times I tried to open the valve tap but it was too tight for one so young, lucky for me I think as the Captains patience was wearing thin, he had stewards secretly tail me every morning but I always lost them being smaller and quicker, it was funny looking back now I was a tyrant..

THE FIRST AND SECOND TUG BOAT INCIDENTS. I checked Dads slides and I am sure it was in Greece, as we came into the harbor a tug boat would always come out to tow or push us into a mooring, I would always without failure be up the front on the railing throwing things down at the tug boat, I would start with a cup of sugar cubes and slowly progress 5 to the cup until I got caught and reprimanded by the Captain he was really losing his patience with me and tried his hardest to get me to be a good little boy, he even let me go to the bridge of the ship so I could watch them steer the ship with the big steering wheel. It seems they have rules of engagement for sea battles and this was not one of them, but I always new sugar cubes were good for more than just cups of tea. After this incident there was one more tug boat incident, We were birthed right up against this long dock, I checked Dads slides as he has little notations on the edges of the

slides and it appears to have been Greece, the tug boat was called Batman, well you can understand why I was captivated, so I became the Joker, throwing every object that was not nailed down towards the boat below, the people of Greece must have thought a ship had sunk in their harbor, during a brief lull in the battle we had reached our mooring, I had

now moved to the back of the ship looking down onto the dock it was dusk still light, two men were right down below on the dock checking and securing our ships mooring ropes, up on the ship I was looking for ammunition, along the railing that goes around the entire ship are big light globes every foot that unscrew, much bigger than normal globes, anyway I unscrewed one and leaned over, saw where the men were and chucked it down and it went pop bang, both men jumped a foot in the air, looked up at the ship shouted something foreign but I had hidden out of sight, then as they turned back I unscrewed another light globe and down it went, this went on till half the lights on the ship had gone leaving a big dark gap in the ships dress lighting, the two men were cowering right where I wanted them, but suddenly I was surrounded by angry crew, they had noticed the lights going out one by one by one and investigated, I found out after that they have a steward and a part of his job is making sure that all the Australis’s dress lights are working as the ship looks odd with breaks in the chains of lights at night, well the Captain turned blue, I had damaged his ship and I think he wanted to keel haul me, but I was only 8 and so instead, I was ordered to attend a kindergarten class on B or C deck where they could monitor me and see if they could learn my secrets, but it only lasted a week and I was released after driving the teacher batty. Well they had me playing silly games with much younger kids and I do not think they liked me much as I would play a little rough, although one kid bit me on the arm, so I naturally bit him back and I think it was this incident that had me released from the Captains chains of kindergarten. I could not wait to leave the class, I was straight back to my new playground the upper deck and the lower engine room, in the engine room it was so interesting ladders and stairways that seemed to go down forever, it was not the place for a small boy to play but I could not resist but take a look and once I did it became a regular visiting spot and hiding place. I was a terror, Mum told me once in England we were at my Uncle Arthurs place, mum told him that a neighbour’s dog had bit me, Uncle Arthur said to mum did the dog die, to the laughter of all concerned, I think the United Kingdom was glad when mum and dad left as it meant I had to go also. On board the ship Australis, each day was a child’s paradise it was a place of utter enjoyment almost like an Aladdin’s cave full of wondrous and amazing things, I must have spent a large part of the voyage lay down on the deck with my head through the railings just looking down at the crystal blue water of the oceans. We started in the North Atlantic ocean then passed by the Bay of Biscay around the Strait of Gibraltar and into the Mediterranean sea, then we went through the Suez Canal and into the amazing Red sea then into the Gulf of Aden, then taking us into the Indian ocean turning towards Australia and Perth our first port of call, then past the Great Australian bite to our second port of call in Adelaide, sailing on to Melbourne and finally Sydney Harbor taking us almost a whole month to reach our wonderful new home. PORT SAID, EGYPT.

We had arrived in Port Said and the Captain gave us a speech about what not to do, like buying cushions or padded things as the poor vendors who flock to where the ships birth

would have boats filled with souvenirs and they would make them from waste, things like bandages from hospitals that they had salvaged and had tried to clean but should not have been used as padding or filling inside the items to be sold, I guess they just could not afford to buy padding, quite resourceful but against the international quarantine laws, so as people re boarded stewards would check what we were bringing back on board and remove any suspect items. We also were warned not to venture far from the ship as it could be quite dangerous for foreigners who did go out on their own, as we were told we could be robbed or worse killed by bandits. But good old Dad not scared of anything took Mum Colin and I for a first eye view to the streets of the city, as we walked along a little boy came over to us asking for coins so Dad gave him some, when all of a sudden a soldier wearing big steel capped boots kicked at him but missed and he ran off into a laneway, a poor starving mule was watching the events unfolding and the soldier not content with just chasing the little boy away proceeded to boot the poor mule, it upset all of us and I could see Dad wanted to intervene but because Mum Colin and I were with him, he held back, how lucky for that soldier, anyway the mule suffered no serious injury and looking back on it now I suppose he thought he was doing the right thing. It was so hot and the smell from the polluted harbor water, just overwhelmed us and I was sick and threw up all over the street, so we headed back to the safety of our, for now new home. We were searched on re-boarding and a photo album with padded sides was confiscated because of disease concerns from the padding filling that the steward showed us was from waste bins at nearby hospital in the form of old bandages and old hospital documents so Dad and Mum were thankful and the stewards were really happy that I was back on board I am sure. Lynn, Anne and Jill had stayed on board the ship and were glad to see us arrive back. Lynn always liked to be left alone without Mum or Dad as she was 15 and very beautiful and liked her freedom and had heaps of young boys chasing after her all of the time and would always run behind Dad if any got too close and he would frighten them away, Lynn was after all his first little Princess. It was great fun living on the ship playing amongst all the amazing things especially the below deck swimming pool, it was in a big walled room with a door that during rough weather is supposed to be locked and the pool drained, but rules are overlooked sometimes and if it was a bit rough at sea the waves would roll from one end of the pool to the other and if you were close to either end you would be lifted out of the pool and would be left standing on the deck until the water would pull you back in again, it could get very rough and near impossible to get out of the pool safely and looking back I was always the only one in there I wonder why, I think I was stuck in there quite a lot on the way to Australia. AUSTRALIA OUR FIRST SIGHT. Our very first sight of Australia was incredible, as a flock of giant white albatrosses circled the ship as if greeting us, with our first look at the looming land and first port of call Perth of in

the distance growing larger with each hour. At the bow of the ship where the anchors are located it was a fabulous view straight down to the crystal clear aqua blue water below and jumping in the ship bows wake a school of dolphins guided us on, it was truly a magical moment that I will never forget and the smell of the fresh salt air was wonderful. I remember the bright sun was affecting Dads eyes and he was starting to get blurred vision and headaches, sitting on the master bed inside our stately outside cabin on the Upper Deck with his hand to his eye staring through a hole he had made with his closed fist, saying he could see clearer through the tiny hole, so it could not be too serious, if only he knew then what we would soon find out later, I remember years later the solicitor saying to Dad that it was a shame that we had migrated to Australia as if we had have been in the United Kingdom when his eye condition eventuated he would probably have received compensation. Getting back to the story of the ship, we were lucky enough to get a stately cabin because of Colin and I being so young and needing to be supervised at all times, well most of the time as I was very good at escaping and then darting away to freedom with mum not far behind in hot pursuit. Our cabin could accommodate 4 passengers and had private bath and toilet. Colin and I had bunks and I was on the top bunk. Lynn, Anne and Jill had a cabin together on a C deck a lower level where they keep all of the bad convicts. They had a lot of fun and are going to write their own recollections and it will be included as soon as they finish, mum also is going to have a go so keep checking for revised copy. WE AT LAST REACH AUSTRALIA. The first memory that I have of Sydney is being on the ship and entering the Heads to Sydney harbor, dolphins came to the sides of the ship and swam us in all the time jumping whilst making clicking and squeaking sounds, it was an incredible sight for an 8 year old boy. Then I remember a strange feeling that I had not experienced to this extent before, it’s what is called de javu or having been some place before and Sydney harbor coming in through the heads, I had seen it before and I was petrified with absolute terror and fear, to the point of hiding on the ship as I did not wish to leave the safety of the Australis but the fear abated as I could hear the other passengers cheering at the sites outside so I joined the family on deck to watch and see the wonderful scenes of Sydney harbor, the Sydney harbor bridge as we docked was right next to us, we then all had to go through customs at Woolloomooloo it was boring, I think I cried all afternoon crammed inside this tiny hall waiting to be processed, then at last it is night time we are all exhausted. THE HEATHCOTE MIGRANT HOSTEL.

We are on a bus to our new home the East Hills Heathcote migrant hostel for 10 pound poms. We arrive and are taken to a large hall that was our dining hall, it sounds exotic but it

was more like a big army canteen with yellow cod fish and chips most nights, we then were escorted to our huts Mum, Dad, Colin and I are put in one hut together and Lynn, Anne and Jill got their own hut. We slept well that night as it was a very long and hot day, but finally we are here Kangaroo's, Kookaburra's, lookout here we come. We awoke to the shrieking sounds of the Sulphur Crested Cockatoos and Laughing Kookaburras, we are all refreshed and head for the canteen it was porridge for breakfast followed by large helpings of eggs and bacon, our new home was starting to look great. Dad was getting ready for his appointment at the Lucas Heights Atomic Reactor Group at Menai, while Colin and I decided we would go out and explore East Hills desert. Our first day was started with a jar in hand and off we went hunting for lizards and snakes, we ventured into the desert at Holsworthy and we did see our first frill necked lizard it dropped from high in a tree and its neck opened like a parachute as it gently floated to the ground then ran on its back feet with its front legs and head high in the air darting away to safety, it was scary at first but I soon learned how to pick them up. The snakes were a little bit different as they can spit and bite giving a fatal bite unless treated with anti venom, the first snake we saw was a Copperhead snake, it was lay under a piece of fibro out of the sun and it was about 4 ft long and slithered away when we got close, but we saw it perfectly. It was then that we attracted the attention of a couple of soldiers who were on patrol exercises they said we should not be there as it was dangerous, we did not know it was the restricted Holsworthy firing range for the Australian Army, so the two soldiers put us in their vehicle and we were escorted back to the hostel in restraints, seat belts. Seems like only yesterday but it took place long ago, it was October 1966,the date I remember because all the money changed from pennies and pounds to dollars and cents, the main reason I remember it is Valentine

my first aussie dog half Alsatian cross Dingo, he was part human I am sure of it, he saved my life once on the hostel. We had all gone swimming in the local creek it was called Dead man’s creek it ran off Williams creek anyway we were all splashing around in the water and right beside the creek someone had dumped an old lounge suite, I got out of the water and began jumping up and down on the lounge using it like a trampoline as I jumped off a huge Red Belly Black snake came out from inside the lounge and reared up just like a cobra, it's mighty head flat and slightly bent as if readying to strike, when Valentine jumped between us

and attacked the Red Belly Black snake, giving me time to move back out of range of its strike, Valentine had the snake by the tail end it was trying to get across the creek half in the water an half out, so I screamed Val and he let go of the Red Belly’s tail. It then swam across to the other side of the creek while everyone ran from the water watching in amazement, to this day I don't know how or why I was not bitten, but Val saved my neck and our bond just grew from that moment on, we became inseparable we even slept together in the same bed, I have slides of us in bed that my dad took 41 yrs ago.

THE BLUE RINGED OCTOPUS This was also around the time that we all went to Cronulla beach as a family, it was beautiful so blue and the sand looked like gold dust. Mum and Dad were lay on a blanket getting a tan, Colin and I went exploring in the rock pools, when we found a small blue and brown octopus I scooped him up in my hand and raced back to mum and dad to show them what we had found, dad gave me a paper cup to place the octopus in with a little sea water, I asked if I could keep it and they relented and said okay, so we started to head home on the train, Colin and I began to examine our new pet taking him out of the cup and holding him in the palms of our hands it was then we noticed that it had lightning blue rings as well as brown with lighter off yellow white over most of its body and as I prodded it the blue rings would fire up like lightning mum shouted at me to put it back in the cup, we arrived back at East Hills station and began to walk across footbridge that crossed the Georges river when mum was just struck with a strong premonition and urge to tell me to throw the Blue Ringed octopus into the river which I did but reluctantly, and we walked on towards home. Three days later an Australian soldier who had been at Cronulla and had picked up a strange Blue Ringed octopus just like I had done a few days before only this time it was fatal they had just discovered and had first fatality from the Blue Ringed octopus in Australia, An individual blueringed octopus tends to use its dermal cells to camouflage itself until provoked, at which point it quickly changes color, becoming bright yellow with lightning like electric blue circular ringed lines that flash bright when prodded. It hunts small crabs, hermit crabs and shrimp and may bite attackers, including humans if picked up or provoked or stepped on. Now I have thought many times about how Colin and I both managed to place the Blue ringed octopus in the palms of our hands and we both prodded it to see the rings glow bright blue several times yet neither of us was harmed and I still wonder now as I did then just who was watching over us that day, I think maybe it was my Aunty Betty who had died just before we left for Australia. 66 WATSON RD PADSTOW.


Dad starts work at the Lucas Heights Nuclear Reactor at Menai and we move from the hostel to 66 Watson rd Padstow, and Jill my sister gets a horse called Star who Valentine competed with for our attention, when Star would have his feed we had to put another bowl down for Valentine and he would eat just like Star even eating grass to show us he was as good, it was funny Val was an incredible dog. . We at last are off the hostel and are in a house at Padstow, it’s close to the shops, and has everything close by especially Salt Pan Creek. Where Valentine and I spent many hours and had many adventures. Our new home is right next door to my new public school, Padstow North Public so there are no excuses for being late. It is very different than the schools in the United Kingdom, here it’s so open and everywhere you look there are animal’s bird’s lizard’s snakes and the like. Our back yard was huge we kept Star my sister Jill’s horse there, he shared it with Valentine when I was at school, which turned out to be not that often as I had a lot of trouble adjusting to the new system and school. I got on ok with most of the other children but seemed to be always with the older kids as I seemed to fit in better with them and having an older sister in same school helped as some were her friends also. Our first time at Padstow picture theatre, we had all gone to see the old westerns The Lone Ranger they were kids shows, I escorted my first real girlfriend Terri Millard blonde blue eyes, my first real kiss, I got for a Jaffa a ball of chocolate covered in orange coating the kiss was nice too. Yet we separated after the movie never to go out on a date again as I met Joanne. We went to the school dances and so on it was nice but as things at home spun ever more out of control so did I. At school we used to play piggy back fights all the boys in my grade would gather on the fields this is when I met Robert Neubert and Andrew Scippione who as it just so happens is the current Police Commissioner of my state of New South Wales, we always teamed up because I was classed as a white wog and they were Italian's so it stood to reason we would be together we always won. During this time Dad was working at Lucas Heights Nuclear Reactor, his eyes were starting to change the colour was starting to fade and soon they were white and he was blind, it changed all our lives as the atmosphere changed from always happy to one of uncertainty that we all felt from Mum and Dad. Fun seemed to become just a memory due to Dad’s condition everyone had to be quiet as Dads eyes caused him to get severe headaches so we could not make any noise. The memory of this time still makes me feel uneasy, Mum and Dad went through hell, and it was only their love for each other and us that kept us together. Mum had to work full time 6 days a week and started work at Metter’s making electric stoves and refrigerators, while dad recovered from the experimental surgery, he was one of the first to undergo freezing of the eyeball in order to cut the lenses away from his eyeball, not the simple form of cataract removal today but what they call Extra Capsular Extraction, taking both sides of the capsule where normal cataracts only take the lens from inside the capsule, leaving the capsule intact. Well the first op was a semi success the second was a disaster, rupturing his right retina causing a prolapse of the vitreous fluid or in other words his eyeball burst open leaking fluid like a balloon filled with grease being popped. My dad never complained, he just accepted it and moved on making do with what he had left. But I recall when he received word from his beloved country the UK that they would render him no assistance what so ever the stresses started to have an effect on Dad and he began to drink more heavily than ever before,

placing a huge strain on mum and dad’s relationship. Yet there love for each other even during all of this, stayed true, their love was evident to us all and it kept us going keeping us together. Dad started his case for compensation against the UK AEI POWER GROUP, Owners of S.17 secret research lab at Trafford Park. There were many very late nights in our home where Mum and Dad would be sat at the kitchen table Dad talking and Mum writing his recollections of his secret work. Dad told me that it was only because of Mrs. Isabelle Hardwich that the radiation hazard was discovered as she had already been exposed prior and had a low blood count so she requested a radiation hazard team come in and take readings that the alarm bells were sounded. Bringing about sweeping changes in the way things were done afterwards. Yet even these changes were of little use and the Beryllium laboratory went the same way as S.17 and ending up with the same fate and being dumped into the Irish Sea. Dad told me years later what they had to do each day after and before finishing and going home. He said and I quote that the fire hoses were used to wash all the benches table tops, machines lathe beds all of it was washed onto the floor then washed into the drains that then emptied into the local storm water drains that the local children played in daily. This was also policy in the Beryllium lab also Dad said, he did not do this of his own accord but was directed to do this by his seniors, the Metallurgists. The other thing that Dad said was the two occasions that fires happened in the small scale Nuclear reactor this also was doused with water which went down the drains, finding its way to the children’s feet playing in the storm drains. It was shortly after this that Dad said the S.17 secret research lab was sealed off to all personnel except the radiation hazard team. Dad was able to retrieve all of his tools and one of a pair of solid Tungsten Carbide Plates that was used to press 1000's of Uranium Fuel Plates used to simulate thermal cycling in a nuclear reactor. The other plate was put along with all the machines and buildings, under hazard conditions chopped up into pieces small enough to fit inside special stainless steel 44 gallon drums sealed inside huge concrete blocks then placed onto ships by crane, taken out to the Irish Sea and dumped without a ceremony. Operation De-Contaminate was in full swing, among the drums were scraps from the Beryllium Lab and Uranium that had been under thermal cycling and highly radioactive, all the Uranium Oxides were carefully placed in special containers and shipped to a lab at Aldermaston. Dad also worked at the new Dungeness Nuclear Power Station doing special welding for the AEI POWER GROUP. Dad also made components that he said were used in the bombs at Maralinga in Australia, this was before we came here. So I understand why the United Kingdom’s Government would not want this story to ever see the light of day. But what hurt me the most was my Dads stubborn loyalty to this country that had used him as a virtual guinea pig it must have been the soldier in him and his family history, his dad who was Jack Hardy

gassed at the Somme in France WW1 and Dads brother my Uncle John


Who fought in the Deserts of Africa, we still have Granddad’s and Grandma’s brothers medals. Dad actually loved the Queen and at night here in Sydney when they used to show the national anthem at the close of the TV at 12 each night, my Dad would stand at attention I kid you not. He was a loyal servant to Her Majesty, listen to this I went through his boxes that were placed in our garage after he died and inside one, I found his 3 favourite dresser table picture frames, in the two smaller frames are my Mum Jean and in the larger frame is a God damn picture of the Queen. Finding them brought back all the forgotten memories of the many arguments we had, about when I tried to get him to go public in the early 1980’s but he would not do it. So I went behind his back and contacted the current affairs channel 7 in Sydney, a reporter was at my door within 30 minutes of me hanging up the phone, I told them my dad's story briefly and that he wanted to tell his story, they were very intrigued to say the least, so an appointment was set up for the following day complete with a camera crew to film his interview, when late that night I got a phone call from the lead reporter saying that he was very sorry and angry but that it had come from above the producer, that the story could not and would not go ahead. My Dad was right he said it would never be allowed on the News and he was right. I asked the reporter if this had ever happened before and he said no never and that it must have come from the government. He kept in touch telling me to try the Friends of the Earth Movement in Sydney, a Greenpeace group that do a lot of good work world wide, which I did try but they were shut down also and just to show you how dirty Governments can get when their interests are harmed or hindered, in 1985, the Rainbow Warrior, was sunk by magnetic mines codenamed Operation Satanique, it was an operation by the Action branch of the French foreign intelligence services, under the Direction of the Generale de la Securite Exterieure (DGSE), carried out on July 10, 1985. The flagship of the Greenpeace fleet, the Rainbow Warrior then sat on the sea floor in the port of Auckland, New Zealand, carried out to prevent her from interfering in a nuclear test in Moruroa. But it shows you the extent that the security agencies will go to, in order to keep a secret, secret. So the tentacles of the United Kingdom reach far and wide and after all this, for two years afterwards all of my mail from overseas was ripped open and things missing from inside, that had been sent to me from the USA. I t is quite amazing that Dad took pictures all the way from the UK to Australia and many from here after we arrived in Sydney, it still brings a tear when I see Valentine in slides. OUR HAUNTED NEW RENTED HOME 3 ADA ST PADSTOW. We move house to the other side of Padstow, about 2 miles away from Watson rd, but for me it was great as it is closer to my playground of Salt Pan Creek. It was so beautiful then when we first arrived as the water was unpolluted and crystal clear you could see the schools of fish swimming deep below, but sadly now it is a dirty brown colour, a shame that it could change so much in just 40 or so years. The house belonged to an elderly couple and the wife

of the owner a Mr. Peterson died from cancer in the master bedroom and my sisters took this room as it suited the three of them, we were not told about the death when we moved in but it soon became very apparent that they were not alone and the room was always very cold even on hot days, all of my sisters saw her ghost at different times and we were glad to only be there for a short period. I increase my lizard collection with a giant sized Blue tongue lizard bringing my collection to 3 with 1 smaller Bearded dragon, they were not in cages they just ran around the house, my sisters hated them and Mum just tolerated them. Dad decides it is time for me to have a racing push bike and I soon get one for my birthday, but it is tinged with great sadness, as Valentine my constant companion disappears from our back yard, one day I go to school and come home to find his lead that was tied to a tree in our back yard cut and Valentine was gone I was so upset I never slept for a few days in expectation of him coming home but he never did. Dad and I searched for months every night walking for miles shouting Valentine’s name but he never came home, as I found out later in my life from Mum after Dad died why, Valentine had attacked a neighbour’s dog and stole its bone, so Dad always the one to please the authorities, gave him to a friend of his, who owned a farm, but never told me as I am sure he knew I would not have rested until I got him back, but I still wonder if that was true or if he was just put down. So after I slowly got used to Valentine being gone, the fun and games began again and I started to play at my new secret spot the Padstow railway train bridge that spanned Salt Pan Creek.

PADSTOW RAIL TRAIN BRIDGE. My friends and I would climb up on the tracks and place one, two, five and ten cent coins on the rail track and lay prostrate on the ground in full view of the rail, so we could watch where the coin would land as sometimes they would stick to the wheel momentarily falling off further away, some however did stick permanently and were lost, but mostly not and the train would flatten them out so you could still see the images, but the coins would be three times larger and as thin as a sheet of paper, we would later take them to school and sell them for a profit. After the steam rolling of coins we would climb inside the bridge as it is a box girder bridge, where the middle became our club house. The walls of the inside of the bridge is where we all wrote our names mine and Colin’s, Mark Cooper’s, Bill Krangtse’s, David Jefferies, David Barnier, Mark Lucas, Mark Punton, Ron Baxter, Steven Guy and Danny Willard this place became our world every weekend and we always met up there, where we would bring drinks and lollies and have a lot of fun by sticking our heads up through and between the rail sleepers and watch the train approach only pulling our heads down as the train roared over head it became a dare as to who could keep his head there the longest. Also we would walk across the sleepers to the Riverwood side, one day we were crossing and I was last in line, when the train approached us and out of fear we froze, unable to move as

you had to look down at sleepers because of the gap between them and if you did not you would go between them and possibly fall to your death, so here we were frozen watching this train hurtling towards us and unable to look down out of fear of the trains approach, when sparks flew from the trains steel wheels as the emergency brakes were applied, stopping the train just in time and only a few feet away with just enough room for us to safely cross, we could see the scared to death look on the face off the train driver he was horrified and was shaking his head in disbelief as it could have been a terrible tragedy. This still did not stop us, crazy full of mischief 10 year olds, but afterwards there were a lot of frequent visits of rail police to our favourite spot, they had seen our cubby house and boarded up our secret easy access point and we did then stop going there in the end, but we found a new place just down the creek about 2,000 yards and it is called the Padstow sewerage

pipes that span the aqueduct and the creek 70 feet below, you could climb up from the Padstow side and you could run across once you got the skip hop at the correct ratio, if you didn’t you would trip on the 5 inch high lip or strengthening rings or ribs every so many feet on the pipe, once I tripped and almost slid off and down the side of the pipe, but Colin god rest his soul, helped me back up. There are 5 large pillars that support the pipe and you can climb off the pipe and sit on them as they are quite large and flat I think we sat up there for many hours just fishing and playing kids games also it was great if we needed to hide from authority as they were never silly enough to follow us across, yes I know it was very dangerous and we could have been hurt but hindsight always makes things much clearer after the event looking back now it was very stupid but as bored to death kids it was our only excitement. THE BATTLE OF SALT PAN CREEK. This time was one of the most fun times we had Colin and I, let me fill you in a bit, the FJ Holden was one of the foremost classic car’s of its era and there were millions of them in Sydney when we arrived and because they were so common they became the main car thief’s target and Salt Pan Creek was one of the dumping grounds for them after being stripped of their engines wheels and doors, leaving just a shell. They had a dished roof shaped like an old Volkswagen roof so we got the idea of cutting the roof of one with hacksaws and it took us a couple of weekends to do it, after cutting the roof off and jumping all over it and after getting sick of sitting in the roofless shell we decided to chuck the roof in Salt Pan Creek and watch it sink, so we all grabbed a corner and heaved it into the water waiting for it to sink but it floated, someone stood in it and it still floated before long 5 of us were sat in the middle of the creek on the upturned roof of the FJ Holden. We used a fence paling as an oar and navigated the entire Creek up to the Henry Lawson car bridge, it was magic we felt like the great sea farers discovering the new lands it was funny thinking back, but then it was serious

stuff, so here we were floating in the middle of Salt Pan creek when next thing rocks started splashing all around us coming from the Riverwood side it was the local Riverwood gang of kids, we had a lot of rivalry going on then and we had strayed into their waters so they tried to sink us using lumps of sandstone hurled with great force, we were just lucky Mark Lucas was in charge of the oar as he was a good cricket player so he belted any boulders that came too close and we made it safely to the Padstow side of the creek. We all helped lift our new

battleship out of the creek and hid her in the mangroves covering her with black mud ready for our next weekend. The weekend came quickly and we were all back down Salt Pan Creek as soon as we could get there, as we arrived there had been another car dumped so we got the hacksaws and soon had another battleship dry docked and ready to be launched. So we divided into two Navy’s the Aussies and the Pommies, World War 3 was about to begin, we made and loaded dozens of mud bombs and filled buckets with small rocks to use as our ammunition, we had galvanized garbage bin lids as shields to block incoming rocks we said a few words to each other climbed aboard then pushed of towards the centre of the Creek, once there we talked about the plan and how we would do battle when splash! It was the Riverwood gang who had been lay in wait for us to reach the middle, where we were now within cannon range then splash! again it had begun, they never expected us to be armed and we quickly had them on the retreat as we had them flanked we watched them run off into the distance so we cheered Padstow, Padstow, next thing I was hit with a large black mud ball thrown by Mark, so I chucked 6 back getting him a couple of times then the showers of small rocks bounced of my garbage bin lid protecting my head then bouncing and falling into the creek, Mark soon had run out of stones and we then had them at our mercy, we hit them back with overwhelming force their car roof vibrating in the water from bouncing stones but they had garbage lids also to protect their heads from well aimed stones and soon all our ammo was used up so tired wet and black from mud we all headed for the shore and again hid our ships in the mangroves ready for the following weekend. It came quickly and this time we decided to change the rules a little bit adding tomahawks also having boarding parties like the old swashbucklers with swords except we had tomahawks in each hand, not to hit each other with but to hole each other’s ship hull while at sea. So we arrive at our naval yard the aqueduct retrieve our ships say a few words to each other then push off the idea was to keep out of each other’s range from blows with the tomahawk, so far so good then we lose our oar and turn to see the Aussies closing in then just as they are in jumping range we both leap into each other’s boats hammering away with the tomahawks soon seeing a spurt of water in each ship, soon we realize that we were in the deepest part of the creek and sharks had been seen even this far up in Salt Pan, so we are soon floating in the creek without our ships imagining shark fins all around us Colin started to cry so we grabbed an arm each and had to hurriedly swim to shore expecting any moment to be eaten alive by sharks but instead all we got was stung by jellyfish and they hurt. What a day that was it went down in local folklore as the battle of Salt Pan Creek.

THE LEGEND OF MICK SHERWOOD. I was only 10 and I would always leave home early to walk to the train station at Padstow, it was during one such walk that I met and began to talk whilst walking each week day morning with Mickey Sherwood, he was like a Greek Adonis, I kid you not. He was 10 years older than I, built like an athlete a male models looks with natural blue black hair and he could box like any great boxer he was a legend and people would come from all over Sydney looking for him to claim his crown but he out boxed them all he would walk and I had to run to keep up with him. He worked firstly for a bricklayer then he worked with my Dad at Abmal in the Lead works Dad told us a typical Mick story that happened in the Lead Mill at Abmal where they made car batteries, they have a huge crucible below the furnace that melts the lead and then its poured into this huge crucible then poured into ingots, this time there was an accident and 2 or 3 tons of hot liquid lead was poured onto the floor below quickly setting rock solid, a crew of 6 men were sent in to dig the lead up and place it back into the furnace to be re melted but progress was slow and nonexistent, then in comes Mick and another fellow who worked there, built like Mick he was a Ukrainian called Victor , Dad said the two of them stripped of their shirts and then using sheer strength, bare hands and a jemmy bar tore every single piece of the hot solid and heavy lead from the floor while the rest of the lead mills other workers looked on, within 2 hours they had cleaned all the lead from the floor and back into the crucible, to the cheers of all the workers, then the foreman sent them both home on full pay for the rest of the day. Each Christmas for a few years after Mick would call at our home to say merry Christmas to Mum and Dad and us. The next time I saw him he had become a Debt collector for a city bookmaker, Mick was something else, sometimes the older boys would target me on the train going to school, it stopped after Mick came one day with me and scared the crap out of them after that I became good friends with them, Mick looked after me often sticking up for me even though he was years older than me he treated me like his best friend, one time I went to Karen Dowers birthday party a friend of my sister Jill and Mick was invited, when I got there I could hear all this noise moaning and screaming in one of the bedrooms, so I went to check it out and it was Mick in bed with two married women who had sneaked away from their husbands to be with him, I went in and said hello what a sight that was him in the middle naked smoking a cigar a gorgeous woman on either side, you really had to be there to understand. But that was Mick Sherwood the lady’s man and they loved him. Just about every time I saw him it was a different beautiful woman on his arm, he truly was gifted in every way imaginable except one, he was like a child in a man’s body and very easily taken advantage of. I know it is hard to believe but it is true he was a very innocent soul inside this hulking warrior’s body. I still do not know what it was that drew us together as friends but friends we became, which made it all the harder to watch what happened to him later on in life. The start of his decline was a pub brawl against a gang of bikers at the Sundowners hotel, the bikers had a girl in the parking lot it was about 7 men, one on a bike the others were holding down a girl and the one on the bike was trying to ride the bike over her body she was screaming for help, the bouncers just stood watching and would not intervene when Mick saw what was going on and unlocked the hotel door and went outside on his own to help the woman, he knocked the first 3 bikers out cold but while he had his back turned one pulled a 15 inch long bayonet from his leather boot and from behind thrust it through Mick’s body coming out just above his naval, Mick just turned with the bayonet impaled through his body and knocked the rest of the bikers out and reached down and helped the girl to her feet, an ambulance was called for Mick and he was rushed to hospital with the bayonet still inside him, he did survive but not long after he was in a car

accident and cut a nerve on one side of his face below his right eye that made his face drop causing his right eye lid to droop making his eye weep all of the time, he thought the girls would still make a fuss over him but it was the opposite. He eventually overdosed on Methadone at some place in Queensland. A true Legend had died that day and none of us could believe it so we all agreed it never happened it was simpler that way.

9TALLAWARRA AVE PADSTOW. We are finally moving into our newly purchased home, no more moving and best of all its only 500 yards from Salt Pan Creek. Lynn decides to throw a party to celebrate and she invites all of her new friends, she has made and they invite their friends so it becomes a big event, it was probably the biggest party our new avenue had ever seen, it was an extravaganza cars parked all up our avenue, it went on until the early hours of the morning music blaring. Dad’s eye surgeon Dr R. Loudon is preparing to operate on Dads eyes so it is a trying time for all of us, Mum holds us all together during this difficult time as she always did and still does now. I am from my memory about 10, we have settled into our new home, Mum and Dad have made it very comfortable as we begin our lives in Tallawarra avenue it is the aboriginal word for a slippery wet place the reason for its name was the natural freshwater spring that bubbles up at the front of our home across the street behind Mrs. Hogan’s house. In it are hundreds of the best fresh water eels you will ever see, I used to catch them and take them up to the toy shop at Padstow shopping centre, Terry’s Toys, he was Japanese a lovely gentle man, he reminds me of the Kung Fu show where grasshopper is being taught by the wise one he was like that, always giving me Confucius said this and Confucius said that I think he was a very lonely man looking back now, and he loved to cook and eat fresh eels, in return he would pay me or let me choose a toy or other item from his amazing shop. It was there that I bought my first air rifle and scope, then later he sold me a 10 shot 22 calibre Anschutz rifle with a Telescopic sight 10 shot automatic, it was a kid’s dream I would go down the creek and sit all day shooting bottles floating in the water and sadly I shot a few birds, that memory now horrifies me, to think that I was capable of inflicting such harm on a defenceless creature upsets me now I truly regret that. To think I could have done such terrible things hurts intensely as now I love birds and could not hurt or harm a feather, I know one day I will have to explain my actions as a child but will meet that when the time comes as I am sure it will. Dad has his eye surgery the first operation is a minor success giving him some sight back, the second operation was a disaster leaving Dad with only one good eye. He was hurting as we all were, our lives were about to change dramatically the happy days are few and far between and this just sent me off the rails and I became what the welfare call an uncontrollable child or neglected which was cods wallop, my

Mum and Dad were under extreme pressure paying off a new home and they never stopped loving us. Yet even with the love and attention I seemed to fall between the cracks and became engulfed in a world of confusion becoming increasingly drawn to the negative aspects of life. Soon I was missing so much school playing all day every day at Salt Pan Creek that it became an issue with the authorities and they sent me to see a child psychiatrist with Mum and Dad, doing all these hearing tests in this booth that had been sound proofed from the outside world and I had to wear special headphones and then they started to play sound frequencies high and low trying to trick me like in a card game of poker with a bluff to see if I could hear ok, but they could not know then how good my hearing was and it was here they discovered that I had above average hearing and a thing called Bi lateral bat ears, so I passed the test with flying colours. The controller suggested a job in the future as a submarine sonar reader as my hearing was so acute. Then it was diagrams and what did I see in the picture being shown to me, well the guy was in fits of laughter with my responses and in the end they said there was nothing wrong with me it was Dad who had the problem, well I was chuffed and over the moon to find out that it was not me with the problem as they first thought. But Dad never spoke the whole way home. Later on in my life I had a corrective procedure to fix the bi lateral bat ears so allowing me a more peaceful quiet life, yeah right.

PENNIE OUR 2nd AUSSIE DOG. We decide to get a new dog she was a gorgeous black curly long wiry haired floppy eared cross I am not sure what breed she was but she was a great Dog and followed me like she was glued to me. Dad stops working for the Atomic Energy as his eye condition worsens, he leaves Lucas Heights, he ends up with a much more mundane job at Abmal later to become Chloride Batteries. Dad should not really have had to work and should have been taken care of by the United Kingdom or the AEI POWERGROUP under the workers compensation scheme but they just acted as if we never existed, so Dad and Mum had to struggle on to pay the house off that he and Mum had bought for all of us, it cost $11,000 then in 1968 and now 2009 it is worth $450,000 plus, a pretty good buy I would think. So Dad and Mum start working, Mum gets a job full time at Metters making fridges and stoves, I also worked there once when I left school after being released from the boys home and Dad works part time at all of these companies as a private self employed fix it man for Bliss welded products, Goyen Controls, Repco and Lincoln Electrics as Dad was in high demand for his skill as a Toolmaker, who were at that time as rare as gold teeth, he was able to delegate the reading of micrometers and verniers to the 3rd year apprentices, he works full time at Abmal using his coke bottle bottomed glasses and magnifying glass and somehow he manages to bluff through but he did make some mistakes using his trusty verniers and micrometer, he was able to correct this but it upset him as he would never make such mistakes before his eye condition. He later took on a much bigger role as the AMWSU as the Union Delegate, allowing him much more freedom and he was instrumental in changing the safety laws on a dozen or so major issues,

also when they became Chloride Batteries a United Kingdom owned company the conditions changed for the worse, starting with the polluting of Salt Pan Creek with Mercury and Lead that was allowed to flow untreated into the drains that led into the creek, this I only know about because I briefly worked there with Dad and I was given the job of painting the concrete reservoir with special rubberized black paint, used to increase the effect of solar rays to help neutralize the acids before being filtered of heavy metals so allowing it to go into Salt Pan Creek as treated sewerage, so Dad called a strike meeting and it became the longest strike in Australia of 6 weeks at that time the longest known strike, uniting all of the unions from all industries creating a strike fund where all workers gave money to help pay the men’s wages while on strike. Policy was later changed thanks to my Dad and the company did give in and conditions changed dramatically and Dad started his stay safe at work news magazine for the workers using poems he wrote to add a little laughter, Here is one he wrote on eye safety called, SAFETY SEARCHLIGHT. The spotlight for the month of July, Has searched and come to rest on the EYE. It seems, we should all be thinking a lot, About this precious and vital spot. If running to Sister Olive you go, Hit in the EYE by a U.F.O. While getting first aid, it’s no use sighing, For a Vinson’s Powder won’t stop you crying. Or a cheery word from Tom Mclean, Will not really help to ease the pain. Guard it well lads, the OPTIC NERVE, Without it you could not even perve! So, why miss out on the shapely lasses, Because of forgetting your SAFETY GLASSES.! If you see your mate, committing this crime, Then remind him about this little rhyme. This would surely be progress in any weather, And in safety mates, LET US PROGRESS TOGETHER. By Norman Hardy Union Delegate.

My Dad was a multi talented man and wore many hats and could have succeeded at any type of job or trade he wanted to do. Dad’s case for compensation is going very slow, as there were no computers or speedy internet connections, everything was done by air mail and it could take weeks to receive a reply from the solicitors who in turn were awaiting replies from the United Kingdom. So for seven years it became a waiting game, a constant state of apprehension that we could palpably feel, so imagine how Mum and Dad felt. HAILEYS COMET. My birthday is coming up and Dad is now blind after his surgery, even though he is blind he decides it is time for me to learn about astronomy and he buys me a 4 ½ inch 300 x power Astronomical Telescope with several sizes of lenses and he puts it together blind then he taught me how to use it correctly and when I looked at the moon for the first time I was just awestruck at the moons sheer beauty, then it was Hailey’s comet it was absolutely incredible, with Dad telling me all about how they formed and what made them come on the orbits that they do. I became quite good at setting the Telescope up by myself and spent many nights just looking at Saturn, Venus and Mars. I kind of escaped into the outer Universe for awhile. THE MINI BIKE After the first visit to Minda Remand Centre, Dad builds me a mini bike it is an old dragster push bike frame similar to a BMX frame he then takes the normal back wheel off and replaces it with a pumped up scooter wheel with a thick sprocket attached to it, he then buys me a Briggs and Stratton 75 cc lawn mower engine and adapts it to fit onto the Dragster frame, he uses an 18 inch long 2 inch wide by ¼ inch thick steel bar and mounts the bar to the dragster frame and then he mounts the mower engine to the bar, he then connects the chain attaches wider handle bars also a set of motor bike throttle and grips, a small fuel tank with an on off tap a head light and a horn, a unique clutch he designed and then he sat me on it with the back wheel off the ground and pulled the starter rope and the engine roared to life he told me to rev it and to get use to the vibrations wow it vibrated like hell it was awesome so now I was ready for my first test drive down the creek on the aqueduct, I walked it down then sat on it pulled the starter rope and it fired up just the way it should and slowly I disengaged the clutch and it stalled as I let the clutch out to quickly but next go I was off flying all day up and down the track at Salt Pan creek. After a few months I got bored with just the creek track and started to go on the main streets around Padstow and soon I was in trouble with the law and being chased by Police patrol cars but because I was on a small bike I could fit through narrow gaps and would get away from them but in the end they tracked me down and I was banned from the roads. MINDA REMAND CENTRE. After leaving public school for high school Colin and I were separated, I was deemed a bad influence so I was sent to East Hills Boys High School and Colin and Jill went to Sir Joseph Banks High School which was coed, this just added to my problems as having Jill at my school was a kind of guarantee that I would turn up at school, being by myself just gave me the key to the city so to speak, allowing me to get side tracked every day going to school, I would have every intention of going but would get side tracked and in the end the inevitable happened and I was taken from Mum and Dad’s custody aged 13 and placed at Minda remand centre for children waiting to go before the children’s court, what a joke that was, my friend

who had the bed next to me in our wing Wayne King he was a strange boy never spoke much and would look at you with a cold steely look as if peering into your very soul, come to think of it he never smiled much either, just the same facial expression all the time. We worked in the kitchen he was in charge of the knives and forks after each meal; he would wash them and do a count while the wardens counted us. It was not a bad place don’t get me wrong but I think on a personal level it needed much more work in the teaching of children how to become caring instead of bitter and resentful urchins as so many had become and showing the troubled children that there is another world other than what had led them to Minda. I was released back to my parents after a month in Minda we went home and the very next day on the front page of the Daily Mirror was a picture of Wayne King, who unknown to me was the youngest murderer in New South Wales. He had been an adopted child I think and there was some friction with his Grandmother and one night while her husband was at work he climbed out his bed room window in his pyjamas walked across the road to her place picked up a large round pebble, then knocked on the front door as she opened the door he went into a frenzy hitting her on the head repeatedly then went inside and got a carving knife from the kitchen draw and stabbed her 27 times leaving the knife in her chest and walked back home covered in blood then climbed back into his room and went to sleep in his bloodied clothes. The police just followed the trail and found him fast asleep in bed. He received a gaol sentence of 14 years with an 8 year non parole, to be served at the men’s prison of Long Bay as he posed a risk if placed in with other children. Not long after being sent home to Mum and Dad I was again in trouble for truancy and taken again back to Minda remand only this time I was sent to reform school at Mittagong, about 80 miles outside of Sydney. After about 6 months Colin has a serious accident while riding my racing bike as it had a loose handlebar neck so if you turned too quickly the wheel turned one way and the handle bars would turn the other way and Colin was riding down a hill in front of a bread van and he must have panicked turned quickly and he went in front of bread van and was knocked high into the air landing on his head on the road, he was very seriously injured with a cerebral haemorrhage and almost died. He was in Bankstown Hospital and I asked if I could go see him but I was refused, the very same day while playing soccer I was running and kicking the ball towards the goal when I jumped in the air to avoid Jimmy Johnson who was much bigger than I, but we collided in the air his boot connecting with my leg just above my knee joint and there was an almighty cracking sound and my leg just sprang like an unwinding spring snapping my right femur above the knee, so I ended up in hospital at Bowral then because it was my femur they needed to send me to a more skilled hospital so I was transferred that same day to Bankstown Hospital and ended up in the same ward as Colin truly, Mum was there when I was brought in on a stretcher, then we were told that I would be in there for 3 months! in a Thompsons splint with traction meaning weights ropes and pulleys it was terrible my bed was always raised at the foot end 12 inches higher than the head end then two weeks in they x-rayed my leg and found it was crooked so I had to undergo surgery to re break the bone again so they could set it straight and after 3 months the traction and splint was removed and my bed levelled then for 2 months I slept holding onto the sides of my bed as it felt like I was sliding off the end of the bed Poor Mum cried both of her sons in hospital with serious injuries, Colin was never the same again.


His personality had changed forever, he was still Colin but he was different, not known to us until much later in our lives Colin had become schizophrenic hearing voices that tortured him. AFTER ANGLEWOOD SPECIAL SCHOOL. After leaving Anglewood my leg was still stiff at the knee after being in traction for so long the knee joint had dried out and it took a good year before I could bend it like before it was broken, I never went back to school they sent a letter asking me to continue my education but I told them no and after I came home Mum and Dad had no influence in that regard as I had kind of grown older and thought I knew everything, so I had to a job so I began looking and soon found one at Academy Plastics doing injection moulding, I did enjoy it immensely and soon was able to set up the die in the machine by myself. It was about this time that I began to experiment with LSD and along with my friends each weekend we would all get together and drop acid and trip at night in the Padstow shopping centre it was a weird time in my life and it did change my perception of all things forever. COLIN DIES. He told me a few weeks before he died that it was as if someone was stood next to him and were shouting in his ear, I felt so powerless and it was this that drove him near to insanity, I tried to help him in his last few months of life by getting him to see a Dr in Padstow but the Dr was not very good or just did not care and Colin’s time had run out, as the voices were driving him crazy. So he began to drink bottles of Port or Claret, as it seemed to give him some kind of relief from the constant voices. People would make fun of him at the pub calling him Cosmo or Cosmic Col, it hurt watching him fall deeper and deeper into this hell he seemed trapped in. So on his last day on earth he fixed all the little holes in his aviary so his birds would be safe and protected, then he took care of all his loose ends, then he carefully checked that we were all busy doing things, mum was cooking in the kitchen dad was in bed sick I was on the computer and he came into my bed room and asked me what I was doing, I was playing a game that was new then it was Wolfenstein 3d so I asked Colin if he would like to play it but he declined and said he had other things to do, so I carried on playing as Colin walked away, me not knowing it would be the last time I would see my little brother ever alive again. He walked out into the back garden then went into the garage which was my workshop for my Perspex business and closed the door, he then simply tied a piece of nylon rope up to the exposed rafter tied it around his throat and bent his knees until he breathed no more, he hung like that for 1 hour and 40 minutes. When mum had gotten dinner ready and had set all the plates up mine, Dads, Colin’s and hers, noticing Colin was absent she asked me where he was then asked me to shout him, Dad thought he had gone to Padstow shops so Mum then said go check outside so I went outside calling out his name, but without answer so I walked around to the garage finding the door was locked, so I went looking for the key and found Colin had placed a magazine over the key to hide it on my computer desk he must have done it when he came in to see what I was doing, so I grabbed the key and as I walked past Mum she was putting plates of food on the dining room table, asking me to

hurry and find Colin so I walked to the garage door put key in lock and turned the key pushing the door open and standing with knees slightly bent with arms at his sides was Colin, at first I thought he was just standing there so I called out to him then the reality of what I was seeing struck me I ran to his side and tried to lift him but he was a dead weight so I ran inside and called Dad to help me without saying anything to Mum we raced outside but Mum must have known and followed us to the garage where upon seeing her child she wailed like I have never heard anyone cry before it was primordial it cut right through my soul, Dad and I supported Colin as I cut the taught noose around his throat accidently nicking his neck as the noose had closed so tightly and as he fell we sank to the floor Colin landing in my lap, as we landed he gasped out his last exhalation of air that was trapped in his lungs Colin was gone and was no more, I sat with Colin like that for what seemed like an eternity with Mum just wailing, her soul laid bare, nothing we said or did could console her or stop her grief. Dad then told me to ring the Police or Ambulance so I rang triple 000, then within 20 minutes the Police arrived to take charge of the scene of Colin’s suicide, asking us to leave the garage until they finished, after 30 minutes they came in and asked if we would like a few minutes alone with him to say our final last goodbyes which we did, afterwards they took Colin’s body away for autopsy. We were told that it was wrong to have cut the rope as they needed to take measurements before to make sure there had been no foul play involved. But as Dad said we could not leave him like that so we cut him down. Dad then told the Police he was solely responsible for Colin being cut down so if anyone was to be charged it would be him. Colin’s funeral was very nice and a lot of people came so he had a good send off.

AFTER COLIN’S FUNERAL. Life began to slowly fall back into place once again, I had gone prematurely grey within two weeks and Dad was still sick in bed with severe back and neck pains and was seeing specialists at the St Vincent’s Hospital where he was prescribed heavy duty S8 medicines for the pain. Even this did not seem to work very well and Dad was bed ridden most of the time only rising for the grand children’s birthdays then he would go back to bed, after Colin died Dad never talked much and two years later it was Dads turn he had lost his fingernails and his toe nails also he had lost all his body hair, I awoke on Dads last day at 5.00 am and came into the kitchen to find Dad staggering and trying to make his coffee so I marched him back to bed and made it for him, taking it into him and I kissed him goodbye told him I loved him as Mum was just awaking I kissed her to and left to go to Auburn to see my Dr, my elder sister Lynn was driving me as my car was off the road for mechanical work, we were gone for about 50 minutes arriving back home to find Mum sat on the front step crying as we pulled up, we ran to Mum asking her what was wrong and she said its Dad he’s gone so we raced in to find Dad sat but lay on side of the bed with his back arched high arms out stretched with a gasping look upon his face a half finished coffee that I had made him before I left sat on his

bedside table, it was terrible to see. So Lynn and I carried his body into Mums room as his room was a mess, with his documents and papers everywhere so Lynn and I decided to give him the respect in death that he was refused in the latter part of his life. Mum and Dad had separate rooms because Dad tossed and turned so much at night from the pain she could not sleep so they then decided it would be better for Mum to sleep in spare room until Dad got better, so we lay him on Mums bed and called 000 once again as we had for Colin. Our lives forever are about to change once more. I just never imagined Dad would die in such a way.

THE MAN WHO NEVER EXISTED Staff Sgt Norman Hardy s/n 22043729, British Royal Engineers. My Dad was a brave man an honest man, a husband a father a grandfather. The autopsy was inconclusive in regards to his exposure to radiation, yet oddly no one in our family had mentioned Dads work or anything to do with his work but it was mentioned in the letter from the coroner, the other weird thing that happened was the removal of Dads eyes and brain without permission, this we only found out about 2 years later when we received a letter from the coroner’s office saying that Dads eyes and brain had been disposed of, this created more questions than it answered and further answers we never got. FINISH LATER.

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True story about nuclear accident in United Kingdom that is still under the protection of the OFFICIAL SECRETS ACT,my Dad worked for gov and was blinded by accident then abandoned. Allof us his 5 children were exposed also.
A Word from the Writer
AllI ask is you read it this is only very rough as I am not a writer and would like someone to help with it.There is more written and with pictures from the laboratory but I can not figure out how to upload from word as each time I try it fails.