British Grand Prix 2019: Lewis Hamilton takes record sixth win in front of home fans at sold-out Silverstone

We had the honour of having a simply amazing day at the Formula One British Grand Prix at Silverstone this Sunday. For all the criticism the sport faces for being pay-to-view since it moved to Sky, and not the spectacle it once was on television – to be there live, among the carnival atmosphere, is an experience like no other.

Formula Three and Two, along with Porsche’s, took to the track before the main event, with musical performances on the main stage, and a display by the Red Arrows over the circuit also wowing spectators. The Brit, Jack Aitken, securing a home victory in the F2 race.

Across the course of the morning, we went down to the national pitstraight (the old F1 pit straight), and took a look at the collection of classic F1 cars on display (including Jenson Button’s 2009 Championship winning Brawn GP car), and a number of classic MGs and Bentley’s. Around the garages we had the good fortune to meet Mick Schumacher, son of 7-time Formula One World Champion Michael Schumacher, who had just finished 6th in the Formula 2 race. Also, seeing the likes of Eddie Jordan, Valtteri Bottas, Sebastien Vettel, Carlos Sainz Jr and, as photographer, Charles Leclerc and Roman Grosjean, making their way to the main paddock.

Having roamed the length of the circuit, from the National Pit Straight and Copse to the Village section, for the earlier races, we camped down at Club Corner for the main event. Excitement ranged from the close racing across the field, Giovinazzi’s spin at the final chicane causing a safety car that gifted Hamilton the lead to the joy of the crowd, to seeing Vettel’s misjudged move on Verstappen causing both to drop down the order, and ultimately the home favourite taking the chequered flag for a record breaking sixth British Grand Prix win, to the jubilation of the capacity, 150,000 in attendance.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The full thumbnail gallery can be seen by clicking here.

With Silverstone just having agreed a 5-year extension to host the event, putting to bed fears that 2019 may have been the last one, hopefully we will have more opportunities to experience the excitement, sights, deafening sounds and oily smells again before too long!

Formula One next heads to the German Grand Prix at Hockenheim on 26 to 28 July.

2019 Formula 1 British Grand Prix – Race Results
1 Lewis Hamilton – Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport
2 Valtteri Bottas – Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport + 24.928s
3 Charles Leclerc – Scuderia Ferrari + 30.117s
4 Pierre Gasly – Aston Martin Red Bull Racing Honda + 34.692s
5 Max Verstappen – Aston Martin Red Bull Racing Honda + 39.458s
6 Carlos Sainz – McLaren F1 Team + 53.639s
7 Daniel Ricciardo – Renault F1 Team + 54.401s
8 Kimi Raikkonen – Alfa Romeo Racing + 65.540s
9 Daniil Kvyat – Red Bull Toro Rosso Honda + 66.720s
10 Nico Hulkenberg – Renault F1 Team + 72.733s
11 Alexander Albon – Red Bull Toro Rosso Honda + 74.281s
12 Lando Norris – McLaren F1 Team + 75.617s
13 Lance Stroll – SportPesa Racing Point F1 Team + 81.086s
14 George Russell – ROKiT Williams Racing +1 lap
15 Robert Kubica – ROKiT Williams Racing +1 lap
16 Sebastian Vettel – Scuderia Ferrari +1 lap (+10-second time penalty)
17 Sergio Perez – SportPesa Racing Point F1 Team +1 lap
18 Antonio Giovinazzi – Alfa Romeo Racing (DNF – Did Not Finish)
19 Romain Grosjean- Rich Energy Haas F1 Team (DNF – Did Not Finish)
20 Kevin Magnussen – Rich Energy Haas F1 Team (DNF – Did Not Finish)

As it stands…

2019 Formula One World Driver Standings
1 Lewis Hamilton – Mercedes 223
2 Valtteri Bottas – Mercedes 184
3 Max Verstappen – Red Bull Racing Honda 136
4 Sebastian Vettel – Ferrari 123
5 Charles Leclerc – Ferrari 120
6 Pierre Gasly – Red Bull Racing Honda 55
7 Carlos Sainz – McLaren Renault 38
8 Kimi Räikkönen – Alfa Romeo Racing Ferrari 25
9 Lando Norris – McLaren Renault 22
10 Daniel Ricciardo – Renault 22
11 Nico Hulkenberg – Renault 17
12 Kevin Magnussen – Haas Ferrari 14
13 Sergio Perez – Racing Point BWT Mercedes 13
14 Daniil Kvyat – Scuderia Toro Rosso Honda 12
15 Alexander Albon – Scuderia Toro Rosso Honda 7
16 Lance Stroll – Racing Point BWT Mercedes 6
17 Romain Grosjean – Haas Ferrari 2
18 Antonio Giovinazzi – Alfa Romeo Racing Ferrari 1
19 George Russell – Williams Mercedes 0
20 Robert Kubica – Williams Mercedes 0

2019 Formula One World Constructor Standings
1 Mercedes 407
2 Ferrari 243
3 Red Bull Racing Honda 191
4 McLaren Renault 60
5 Renault 39
6 Alfa Romeo Racing Ferrari 26
7 Racing Point BWT Mercedes 19
8 Scuderia Toro Rosso Honda 19
9 Haas Ferrari 16
10 Williams Mercedes 0

Photographs and article by Tom McBeth



Visit Pula Arena: Stories of travel and adventure in Pula, Croatia

Pula Arena / Amphitheatre de Pula, Pula, Croatia

Pula Arena, also known as Pula Amphitheatre, is a large Roman amphitheatre situated in the coastal town of Pula in the former Istrian region of modern-day Croatia.

Designed by the same Emperor Vespasian who designed the world-famous Colosseum (Flavian Amphitheatre) in Rome, and built in the first century AD, Pula Arena had a capacity of 20,000 spectators watching gladiatorial battles. Today, with a more modest capacity of 5,000, film and music festivals still play host to capacity crowds.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


During our visit to Pula in autumn 2017, it was clear that the arena is the focal point of this city, and region. Modest in size compared to its bigger brother in Rome, it stands out among the quant city streets of this Croatian gem.

The arena, like the region itself, is extremely affordable, at around £5 per person to enter (with concessions for children and the elderly). There are cafes around the outside of the Arena, but not inside. There is a gift shop. Tours are available, though more-so during peak holiday times.

Whilst we had gone off season, as we had with Rome, the architecture remains comparable, whereas the queues and access is far more palatable. We saw few people inside, but those there included people walking their dogs, others sat on the steps eating lunch, all treating the Arena more as a park, than the historical monument it is. There are no upper floors to the arena, the structure itself is something of an outer shell, but there is an underground wine cellar full of trinkets and information boards.

Pula is an incredible accessible city, with flights direct from the UK via WizzAir, making it a tremendous weekend break destination.

Enjoyed learning about Pula Arena? Why not read…

In Pula, why not visit?

Recommended guides for Croatia…

External links…

‘Visit’ series: Part 1

Surviving war in Europe: one person’s story of the Bosnia War

Bosnia-Herzegovina is a lush, green playground of mountains, crystal clear rivers and architecturally stunning settlements. But, along with its neighbours, the country’s past is complicated and littered with conflict. The Ottoman, Austria-Hungary and German empires have all had claims to the land at different points in history and have influenced the culture and architecture.

Bosnia-Herzegovina is perhaps most famous for Archduke Franz Ferdinand’s assassination in the capital, Sarajevo, which sparked World War One in 1914. Following annexation by the Nazi’s during World War Two, Bosnia-Herzegovina experienced a period of stability under the communist regime of Josip Broz Tito’s Yugoslavia.

Near the border with Croatia, some 30 miles into the Herzegovina region, sits the beautiful city of Mostar. Famous for its UNESCO protected, old-yet-new Stari Most bridge, where locals and professionals, including the Red Bull Cliff Diving series, take the rite of passage by diving the 70-plus feet into the turquoise water of the Neretva river below.

This beautiful and deceptively steep bridge is a symbol of the unification of the Bosnian and the Croatian sides of the city, as it had been since its original construction in the 16th century. But, as with many things in Bosnia-Herzegovina, it has seen more than its fair share of turmoil.

Gabriela has lived in Mostar for most of her life. She has seen the changes, and remembers the days of communist rule.

“Yugoslavia was an independent country and life was much better than in other communist countries. We could travel anywhere. School was free, health care was free, there was no crime. It was a social country. Everybody had a job, a flat, but of course members of the communist party had better opportunities. After Tito’s death everything changed.

“There was a difficult period I remember in the 1980s. My mother complained there was not enough coffee or oil to buy, but we were young and it was not a big problem for us.”

Tito had led Yugoslavia since 1953, and before that as Prime Minister since 1944, and his death and transfer of power had not been planned for. Following his death in 1980, a power struggle gripped Yugoslavia and ultimately led to a rise in nationalism, and the presidential reign of Slobodan Milošević in 1989.

Milošević’s view of a ‘Greater Serbia’ came at the expense of every other region within Yugoslavia, resulting in wars breaking out in Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Kosovo.

Gabriela explains: “When the war started, I was just 23 years old. I had just got married. I had a good office job as a German translator and I was enjoying life. I only remember good days, having lot of fun with friends, but of course it was not always perfect.

“In 1992 the war started. I first stayed in Mostar when the town was attacked by Serbian forces that occupied the left bank of the city. My flat was at the right bank, so it was safer.

“To start with, the Bosnian and Croatian army fought together against the Serbs, and after a few months the Serbian army was forced to leave the city. We all thought, ‘that’s it, the war will end soon!’. But we were wrong. I never thought it could get any worse.”

The war saw a significant overlap in who was fighting who. Complicated by the Croatians, largely Catholic Christians; Serbs, largely Orthodox Christians; and the Bosnians, largely Muslims (known as Bosniaks) each living across these now newly drawn borders, meaning the countries were keen to take ‘their people’ and ‘their towns’.

Learn more about our trip few Bosnia-Herzegovina by clicking here.

Gabriela continues: “So, May 9, 1993, the Croatians started the war against the Bosnian army. What a mess. They wanted Mostar. The whole city. So, they started to expel all the Bosniaks [Bosnian Muslims] from the city. We saw trucks collecting the Muslims coming nearer and nearer to our flat, so we decided to spend the next few days at my husband’s aunt’s house. She was married to a Croatian man so it was safer at her place.

“We arranged papers from the police so we could leave the city, helped by a good Croatian friend of my husband, who helped us escape. At that time, I had also given birth to my son who was less than three months old when we left.

“We first left for Split, then Zagreb [both in Croatia], where my uncle came and took us to Germany where we stayed until the war ended.”

In 1995, the Dayton Peace Agreement was signed, and the war ended. Thousands had died; Sarajevo had endured a four-year siege; over half the country had been displaced and hundreds of religious buildings had been destroyed. The worst examples of ethnic cleansing and genocide had also been committed in Europe since World War Two; and the 427-year-old Stari Most bridge, both a historic landmark and metaphor which joined the two sides of Mostar together, was destroyed by Croatian artillery fire.

Asking Gabriela what affect the destruction of the bridge had on the locals, she is emotional, “9 November, 1993 the Old Bridge was destroyed by Croatian artillery. You ask me how I felt. For every Mostarian it was like we lost a family member. It was the symbol of our city. It was the place where we spent so many days in our youth.

“In our flat in Germany we could listen to a radio station from Bosnia. That day the whole family sat listening to the news when the radio announcer said that the Old Bridge had been hit and totally destroyed. At first, we couldn’t believe it. Nobody said a word but everybody was crying. As I said, it was like we lost a family member.

“We came back to Mostar in 1997. There were still so many ruins and the ‘Old Bridge’ was not there. First it was a wooden bridge before finally, in 2004, it was rebuilt. It’s very important the bridge was there again.”

UNESCO and the World Bank, among others, provided the $15.5million needed for the reconstruction of the bridge, using the same construction techniques of its original 1567 build. Work began in 2001, and the Stari Most bridge reopened in 2004, and now, once again, locals dive into the Neretva river below, to transcend into adulthood.

But this is only a small fix for this complex country. Progress is slow, in part due to the Dayton Peace Agreement, negotiated in 1995, showing signs of its limitations, particularly with present day politics in the Balkans holding a delicate truce. A three-president system, one each to represent the Bosnian, Croatian and Serbian populations, allows each to veto any decisions, meaning it has been used as a tool to hinder one-another’s proposals and plans, stalling everything from road repairs and welfare, to European Union membership.

Unemployment rates are over 30% and there are a significant number of war-wounded. Also, as with most countries in Central to Eastern Europe, there is a skills shortage, with the likes of doctors leaving for better pay and opportunities in richer European countries.

Even to this day, Bosnia-Herzegovina is still scarred by the conflict, littered with bomb-damaged buildings in the towns, landmines in the countryside, and the appropriate motto, ‘forgive but never forget’, graffitied across the country.

Gabriela has hope. “People are good, and good at coming together, but the politicians? We still have separate schools in Mostar [for Croatians and Bosnians], and I think all kids should attend school together. If the kids are not going to be in the classrooms together, the future cannot be good.

“Do Bosnians miss Yugoslavia? I don’t know, maybe some. Some would say no because we just had to choose if we were Croatians or Serbs. In 1974 we were allowed to say we were Muslims, but it was just religion, not nationality.”

Despite having been through so much, Gabriela is pragmatic, but realistic about the town she loves and the damage that has been caused to a country once famed for its multicultural tolerance.

“Today Mostar is a divided city. I always say it’s like the city lost its soul. The real Mostarians were expelled during the war and they never came back. My husband and I, we wanted always to come back, but it was very difficult the first years after the war.

You know the older people always spoke about the Second World War and I never thought that I would have to survive a war in my life time. But it happened. And you know, as strange as it sounds, you get used to it. Life without electricity or water in your flat, hiding from bombs… but I don’t know if I would survive it again.

“I hope there is no war again.”

by Tom McBeth

A plaque has been unveiled to remember a Lincoln family who lost five sons in WW1

A plaque has been unveiled to remember a Lincoln family who lost five sons in WW1.

Article published on Lincolnshire Live.

A memorial plaque commemorating five men who were killed in the First World War has gone on public display in the Arboretum.

People braved the weather, on Thursday afternoon for the unveiling.

A custom-made bench, donated by Chris Kennedy, managing director of Roll and Scroll, Grantham, has also been put in place to honour the family, as well as the city’s invention of the tank.

After the unveiling, the Last Post was played followed by a minute’s silence.

Five of the eight Beechey brothers who fought in the First World War lost their lives between 1915 and 1917, with another seriously injured.

Barnard (38), Charles (39), Leonard (36), Frank (30), and Harold (26), along with their mother Amy, who also had six daughters, lived in nearby Avondale Street.

Another son, Christopher, was badly injured and moved to Australia, not seeing his mother again before her death in 1936, at the age of 81.

Monks Road Residents’ Association and Cooke and Connell fundraisers designed the plaque which was unveiled on Thursday, May 9.

John East, chairman of the Monks Road Residents’ Association said: “Many local residents felt the Beechey family’s sacrifice should be commemorated and we feel the Arboretum, where the family regularly walked, is the perfect spot.”

In April 1918, when thanked for her sacrifice by then-Queen Mary, Amy Beechey replied: “It was no sacrifice, Ma’am. I did not given them willingly.”

The Beechey family was one of only three in the country where five siblings died in The Great War.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Here’s what happened to the eight Beechey Boys:

Barnard Reeve Beechey, born April 26, 1877, was a sergeant in the 2nd Battalion the Lincolnshire Regiment.

He was killed in action on September 25, 1915 at the Battle of Loos in France.

Charles Reeve Beechey, born April 27, 1878, was a private in the 25th Battalion Royal Fusiliers.

He died of wounds on October 30, 1917 in East Africa.

Leonard Reeve Beechey, was born on August 31, 1881 was a rifleman in the London Irish Rifles.

He died of wounds on December 29, 1917 during the Battle of Cambrai in France.

Christopher William Reeve Beechey, was born on June 1, 1883. He served in the 4th Field Ambulance, Australian Imperial Force at Gallipoli.

Seriously injured in the war, he returned to Australia after he was invalided out of service. Died in 1969, aged 85.

Frank Collett Reeve Beechey, was born on October 12, 1886. He was a second lieutenant in the 13th Battalion, East Yorks.

He died of wounds on November 14, 1916, aged 30, during the Battle of the Somme.

Eric Reeve Beechey, born April 28, 1889, was a corporal in the Royal Army Medical Corps and was posted to Malta and Salonika where he was an army dentist.

He survived and returned home to work as a dentist.

Harold Reeve Beechey, born March 1, 1891, was a lance corporal in the 48th Battalion Australian Imperial Force.

He was killed in action at Bullecourt, France, on April 10, 1917, aged 26.

Samuel St Vincent Reeve Beechey, born August 13, 1899, was a second lieutenant in the Royal Garrison Artillery and briefly served on the Western Front.

He survived the war and became an apprentice chemist.

Article and images by Tom McBeth

A new store is opening soon and they need your help!

Thrifty’s are to open a store in North Street in Horncastle, and are seeking donations of items ranging from clothes to bric-a-brac.

The charity is described by The Woodhall Spa Group of Churches as an independent shop which will raise money for local charities and good causes, including a defibrillator fund for the town.

Thrifty’s will allow the local community to decide what charities and causes will be supported.

Thrifty’s is set to open on Monday, 20 May.

Julie-Ann Clark, who runs the project, says: “After many years working within the charity sector we have seen first-hand the power of helping others and giving back to the community.

“We believe that reusing and repurposing is not only essential for the environment, but compassion and helping those around us is important for the survival of humanity.

“This is why we decided to take the plunge and open our very own Thrift shop.”

Thrifty’s will host a cake sale on 13 June to raise money for the Alzheimer’s Society.

by Tom McBeth

Work has begun on a new £6million Lincolnshire leisure centre

West Lindsey District Council has announced that work has begun on a new leisure centre in Market Rasen, due to be completed next year.

The leisure centre, which will be run by Everyone Active when it opens in spring 2020, is due to cost £6.3million.

The council have said it will be home to a range of state-of-the-art facilities for the local community, including: a 3G Pitch, fitness and dance studios, sports hall, gym, changing and meeting facilities.

Cllr Jeff Summers, leader of West Lindsey District Council, said: “Today signals the start of work on our new leisure facility, which demonstrates the confidence the district council has in the town and in this development as it has put in considerable investment into the facility.

“It is the most significant investment in the town for many years and forms the beginning of a new initiative to energise the economy for Market Rasen.”

Cllr Stephen Bunney said: “I’m really pleased that there will be a new Leisure centre for the residents of Market Rasen, it’s something that the town needs.”

Town mayor Cllr John Matthews said: “Today is a monumental day in the progress of Market Rasen.

“This is not only breaking ground but a breakthrough in services for the town and I really hope the new centre brings a lot of enjoyment and wellbeing for many a year to come.”

The development comes as part of a council restructure of its leisure contracts.

by Tom McBeth

Lincolnshire town receives over £300,000 to tackle homelessness

Boston Borough Council have announced they have been given £305,000, as part of a government initiative, to address street sleeping in the town.

The money will be used to employ six members of staff, including two additional outreach street workers, aimed at providing intensive support to those on the streets, or in danger of ending up homeless, assist those at risks to stabilise their lifestyle and avoid homelessness in the future.

Of the money, £160,000 is to come from Rapid Rehousing Pathway funding from the Government’s Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government. Whilst £145,000 is coming direct to the borough from the Rough Sleeper Initiative Fund.

Last October, Boston residents expressed concerns about the number of rough sleepers living in tents along the riverbank.

The government’s rough sleeping strategy aims at halving rough sleeping in the UK by 2022, and ending it by 2027.

by Tom McBeth

Free stuff for sustainable travellers in Lincoln this May!

This month, users of public transport in Lincoln are being offered free travel mugs and bottles as part of a drive for sustainability in the city.

Access Lincoln is offering people an extra incentive for considering sustainable transport this May with anyone completing their online travel plan able to claim a free travel mug or water bottle.

The plan is designed to users save time and money, lead healthier lifestyles and protect the environment, by informing them of travel times, cost, emissions and calories burned for all modes of travel.

Alison Mackfall, Access Lincoln project co-ordinator, said: “Whether you’re journeying to work, college or school, or visiting the city for any other reason, our online travel planner can find the best way to get you there.

“Taking the bus, cycling or walking can often be the quickest, easiest and cheapest option for getting where you need to go.

“And it’s not only healthier than being sat in the car – it’s better for the environment too.

“Our travel planner will put together a tailored, step-by-step plan for your journey – and it’s free of charge.

“It will only take you a few minutes, and will likely save you time and money – it’s a win-win.”

Access Lincoln is a Lincolnshire County Council initiative supported by Lincoln BIG and funded by the Department of Transport.

by Tom McBeth

‘Forgotten’ Lincolnshire airfield looking to honour Polish World War Two airmen

‘Forgotten’ Lincolnshire airfield looking to honour Polish World War Two airmen

Article published on Lincolnshire Live

RAF Ingham, north of Lincoln, is looking to create a heritage centre to honour and remember the sacrifices of those who served during World War Two.

The base became operational in 1940 with the arrival of 300 Polish Squadron, until it ceased use in 1946.

Four Polish bomber squadrons were attached to the base of three grass runways and three hangars during the Second World War.

The airfield held talks and tours as part of the Polish Heritage Day event on Sunday, which was instigated by the Polish Ambassador to the UK.

Geoff Burton, chairman of the RAF Ingram Heritage Group, said:

“After a few years of research, we held a small exhibition in 2010 with around 200 people attending, including veterans, and this led to the creation of the heritage group.

“Those we want to recognise were not just those who flew the aircraft, but those with personal stories.

“Many will be in their mid-to-late 90s now, and it’s important to capture their experiences.

“It gives a wonderful insight into their lives during the war.”

Mr Burton tells the story of a gentleman at the Heritage Day, a 97-year-old Polish man with Argentina heritage, who was an air gunner during World War Two.

Fighting alongside the RAF from Ingham, he was the only survivor in a crash in the war where he only woke up because he was on fire.

After he recovered, he joined the Polish Air Force.

Mr Burton added: “We’re open every Sunday morning from 9 until 12. If anybody’s interested in volunteering, visiting, or organising a talk, it’s very much an open house.”

The base will be hosting the Lincolnshire Heritage Open Weekend on 15 September.

RAF Ingham is close to RAF Scampton, famous for the 617 Squadron that flew the Dambusters mission.

by Tom McBeth

Rare animal eggs bred at wildlife park near Lincoln

Source: Woodside Wildlife Park

Staff at Woodside Wildlife Park near Lincoln have recovered four eggs laid by a pair of endangered crocodiles.

The Siamese crocodiles, Scar and Hayley, are part of an international breeding programme.

Head-keeper, Ben Pascoe, said: “We’ve had the two crocodiles, of only four breeding adult species in the UK, for the last two years and it will be a massive thing for us if we get some baby crocodiles.”

Mr Pascoe explained how the crocodiles were lured into a pool before it was drained, allowing keepers to move the eggs to an incubated and controlled environment.

“We got in, took the eggs, got out, then Hayley came over and checked for them.

“It sounds cruel from a mothering perspective, but they’re used to having eggs taken in the wild, so within twenty minutes she was back under the water like nothing had happened.”

“Of course, it was potentially dangerous, the male is around eight feet long and has a bite twice the strength of a Bengal tiger.

“It’s a waiting game now, but the eggs are currently in incubators so we have our fingers crossed.”

The wildlife park, which opened in 2001, has expanded rapidly over the last five years and is now home to over 200 animals including tigers, red pandas, lynx and birds of prey, with a penguin enclose due to open at the end of May.

Mr Pascoe said: “We are only a small wildlife park, but we are continually working with larger collections, and contributing to various international breeding programs, for a number of critically endangered species around the world.

“Like with our crocodiles, the aim is to help with conserving the species, but it’s a long game.

“The next generation won’t be released into the wild, hopefully the one after, but it could take 50 years or more.”

Siamese crocodiles, found in parts of south-east Asian countries including Thailand and Cambodia, are critically endangered, with less than 1,000 mature adults remaining in the wild.

by Tom McBeth