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Small UK Village Celebrates Centenary of Its Part in Aviation History

On its outward journey in 1919, the 193-meter-long R34 airship flew from Scotland to New York

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UK, Village, Aviation History
Pulham in Norfolk became the return point in the first ever return flight across the Atlantic Ocean by an airship. Pixabay

A village in the UK with a population of less than 1,000 was marking on Saturday the centenary of its part in aviation history.

Pulham in Norfolk became the return point in the first ever return flight across the Atlantic Ocean by an airship, the Xinhua news agency reported.

On its outward journey in 1919, the 193-meter-long R34 airship flew from Scotland to New York, but on the return leg it unexpectedly redirected to Pulham where its arrival was greeted by thousands of people. It became the first airship that made the East-West crossing of the Atlantic by air.

Sheila Moss King, who has organised the centenary event, said the arrival of the airship on July 13, 1919 had earned Pulham its place in aviation history.

UK, Village, Aviation History
A village in the UK with a population of less than 1,000 was marking on Saturday the centenary of its part in aviation history. Pixabay

The crew’s 75-hour return flight to Britain was a little less eventful than the 108-hour outbound journey from East Lothian in Scotland to Long Island, she said.

“They weren’t sure if they were on the right course and they flew through the most terrible storms with the airship tipping up and down,” Moss King noted.

A band struck up the song “See the Conquering Hero Comes” as the crowd gave the crew a heroes welcome in Norfolk and got an absolute drenching when the water used as ballast was released.

“It was in the news, it was on the radio – people all around the world would have heard of Pulham,” she said, adding it took 500 people to land the airship.

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Records show that in New York the crew was showered with gifts and were greeted by US President Woodrow Wilson.

There was even an offer of $1,000 for the airship’s cat, named Wopsie, but it was turned down, and the cat returned to England.

Descendants of the airship crew and airfield workers gathered in the village on Saturday at the start of a two-day centenary celebration. In the nearby town of Diss, an R34 memorabilia exhibition has opened.

The outline of the airship has also been marked close to where it landed a century ago. (IANS)

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Groundwater Contamination 12.7 Times More Likely in Non-ODF Villages: UN Report

The relative risk of faecal contamination of piped water supply traceable to humans was 2.4 times more likely in non-ODF villages

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Groundwater, Contamination
The objective of the study was to assess the relationship between living in an ODF environment and the contamination levels of faecal bacteriological indicators. Pixabay

Groundwater sources were likely to be contaminated by 12.7 times in the villages that have not become open defecation free (ODF) as compared to those free from open defecation, reveals a study by UNICEF.

The study titled “The Environmental Impact of the Swachh Bharat Mission on Water, Soil and Food” also showed that the soil and food in the non-ODF villages were prone to have contaminated by 1.1 times and 2.16 times, respectively.

It was released by Union Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat and Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar here on the occasion of World Environment Day.

The objective of the study was to assess the relationship between living in an ODF environment and the contamination levels of faecal bacteriological indicators found in water, soil and food sample taken from ODF and non-ODF villages.

Groundwater, Contamination
Groundwater sources were likely to be contaminated by 12.7 times in the villages.

About 725 samples were collected from 12 ODF and 12 non-ODF villages, spread across West Bengal, Bihar and Odisha between December 2018 and January 2019.

Finding of the study also showed that the relative risk of faecal contamination of piped water supply traceable to humans was 2.4 times more likely in non-ODF villages.

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In case of stored household water, the relative risk to human was 2.48 times more likely in non-ODF villages as compared to ODF villages. (IANS)