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Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Second Life’s Tribute to ‘The Few’ – RAF Station Biggin Hill 1940

Seventy years ago this week a deadly aerial combat was being fought out in the summer skies above southern England. The brave young pilots of the RAF were desperately fighting to prevent German Air Force bombers from delivering their destructive cargos to London. The Battle of Britain as it is now known was reaching its climax. Prime Minister Winston Churchill had made his stirring ‘so much owed by so many to so few’ speech and the Luftwaffe raiders were attempting to destroy the British fighter defence in the air and on the ground. Success was an absolute prerequisite for Operation Sea Lion, the imminent sea borne invasion of Britain planned for 14th of September.

Standing defiantly in the path of the nazi onslaught on the southeast edge of London, the RAF station at Biggin Hill was a prime target. A home to Spitfire and Hurricane equipped fighter squadrons, it was to become the most famous fighter base of the war. The free world watched with awe as it endured 12 devastating attacks, with the international press reporting the heroic deeds being performed to keep the airfield operational. Perhaps the most incredible bravery came from 3 women – Elspeth Henderson, Elizabeth Mortimer and Helen Turner, members of the WAAF who remained at their posts operating the telephones despite being told to go to the shelters. They all received the Military Medal, the first women to be so recognised with the award.

Celebrating the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Britain, the RAF station at Biggin Hill ( has been recreated in Second Life as a tribute sim and appropriately it is commanded by a woman. Avatar Group Captain Gaius Luminos is also an SL businesswoman, a Senior Partner at The DrLife Skin Company and Owner of Chichi of London Women’s Fashion Stores. She explains that the purpose of the sim is to recreate classic air operations including Sorties, Dogfights and manoeuvres from The Battle of Britain conflict of the Royal Air Force and The Luftwaffe, circa 1940. She is a keen SL aviator herself and interested in the RL history of the Battle of Britain. Role played aerial combat is available both on the sim, and across the huge mainland Blake Sea area with which there is a convenient border.

The sim is an authentic 1940's vintage period build and pilots are welcomed to join the associated group and participate in combat flying and RP day to day station operations. Administrative ground staff and engineers would also be welcome, however all are requested to operate the correct equipment for the period and adopt appropriate clothing including dress uniforms and flying overalls. Retail space, hangarage and officers accommodation is also available for rental on the sim.

Thanks to the sacrifices made by those young pilots, German air superiority was not achieved, the invasion plans were thwarted and ultimately Germany would lose the war. This tribute to 'The Few’ and the ‘Other Few’ (the supporting personnel) who saved the Free World from Nazism is a volunteer operation, and relies on contributions to help keep their memory, their sacrifice, and their gift of freedom to us all alive. Please find time to pay a visit and show your grateful support!

Ed Follet

Monday, 30 August 2010

Carnival Night Tonight At The West End Club!

The West End Club looked brilliant, giant cactuses, sunny rugs and splashes of red decor, thanks, no doubt, to hard working Clive with his skills of getting things just right, it was Latin night and boy! did everyone get into the spirit of things with their bright costumes, Brie did a great job of dj’ing while Nahiram, as host, made sure we all shook our maracas to some hot music from people like Enrique Iglesias and other Latin songsters! I think Clive may have to build an even bigger club as it’s getting hard to find a place on the dance floor lately, people are loving it there and the atmosphere is just magic. Don’t miss out tonight, just like in Notting Hill there is a Carnival, but this is not on the chilly old streets of London, this is in the West End Club, so get your colourful gear out again and be ready to shake a tail feather, it starts at 1pm (SLT) 9pm (UK) tonight!

Janey Bracken

Friday, 27 August 2010

Balloon Ride Over New London Village

Up, up and away, the balloon climbed into the skies above the Doctor Who New London Village, taking me on a guided tour around the sim. I’d spotted the hot air balloon and jumped on board and I’m glad I did, it took off smoothly and I really enjoyed the ride. The tour covered lots of interesting parts of New London and swept along Memorial Way, which has pictures of all the previous Dr Who actors. Then up I flew to Big Ben, over the top of the Tower of London (the information centre) and down to the brilliant Tower Bridge, gliding between the walk level and the upper level of the bridge. I sailed over Baker Square, near where our News Shop is, and then passed the Radio Theatre below. There was a scary moment when I thought the balloon was going to crash though! I could hear it creaking and it all looked a bit dodgy till suddenly I landed safely back on the launch pad. It was great fun and a good way to see all the wonderful sights of the New London Village.

Janey Bracken

Thursday, 26 August 2010

Antiquity London - United Kingdom of Great Britain 1805

“After waking early and bathing, I step into my dark brown muslin gown, it isn’t new, but it is fit enough to walk the London Streets, the long skirts just an inch or two short of brushing the muddy sidewalks, but long enough to keep my ankles from view and not cause any scandal should I expose too much of my white stockinged calves. A Lady has so much to think of, giving the right impression is uppermost in my mind as I put on my caped redingote outer-garment, buttoning it to ensure that my d├ęcolletage is covered against the cold autumn chill. I am ready to meet my companion for the day, Lord Drax Ember, a fine gentleman, who will accompany me as we walk to the docks area of London, it isn’t a safe place for a lady to venture, not on her own, and Lord Ember’s tall muscular frame and bold manner would frighten off any street urchin or vagabond should they consider accosting me!”

Well, I need many lessons on how to become a fine Lady of the 1800’s and I just found the ideal place to learn, the wonderful and intriguing Antiquity London – United Kingdom of Great Britain 1805, owned by Nikoli Nicholls. Looking for London places, I was delighted to find this role-playing period location and I first noticed how brilliant the buildings are, there you are, walking right back in time. I told my friend Drax about it and we changed into period clothing (we have to shop for more of the right period!) and went over to see this fantastic sim. We spied people in the East India Dock area and we headed over there. Speaking to the Harbour Master we were told that there was a tavern just along the way where we could get refreshments. Thanking the Harbour Master, we made our way to the cosy Inn where we were greeted by Julie Oliphaunt the barmaid. Julie asked us what we wanted and Drax ordered some ale as I settled for a glass of honey tasting mead. Julie was also in deep conversation with a sea-faring gentleman, pz7 Engineer, who had just reached dry land. As we sat watching, a couple of stray dogs entered the tavern, (Riyu Olkhovsky and Jaiden Magic), they made themselves comfortable as they lay on the straw strewn floor near the bar. Julie poured some water from a large jug into two bowls and placed them in front of the dogs, then patting the dogs kindly as she spoke to them. Role-playing at its best and a great deal of fun and imagination by the inhabitants of Antiquity London! What a great place! Virtually London (lite) will be bringing you stories and features about this unique community and its settings. The Antiquity region covers a lot more than the London sim, take a look at the wonderful Antiquity Gazette for a fascinating insight into this amazing community within Second Life.

The description in the SL Search menu says “A historical role-play set in the reign of George III (1760-1820). In 1805 the English countryside was full of intrigue, lavish extravagance and of course beautiful clothes, horses and nobility. The Year 1805.” Also the information reads “The Kingdom of Great Britain is comprised of a few different sims brought together with common role play goals” This is an extremely well structured society with the gentry, ordinary folk, the Navy and even pirates, so it is a pretty exciting SL community to be in.

I’ve already enrolled with a Ladies Acadamy to have lessons on just how a lady of the 1800s should act, but that’s another story!

(The picture above, which includes the lady with the white gown, featured Bleze8 Pizzaro, LouisaUlrika Poida and FrederickII Ormstein)
Janey Bracken

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Our News Shop Locations

I’ve been busy installing a bit of a picture slide show in our Metaverse London News shops. The idea is for us to put some favourite photos on display and also some pictures from the recent articles we have covered, so you may see yourselves there. You can get the links to our blogs and our CNN reports in the shops too, plus there is a web browser display for Viewer 2 users so you can read the latest Virtually London (lite) in-world. We are no longer based in Virtual London (Kensington) and our shop in Tropical Harmony has moved to Midnight Sands where we have a lovely spacious premises. Our other shop is in the brilliant New London and you can also play the Truthball there with your friends (a ‘getting to know you’ game where you are suppose to answer the Truthball’s questions honestly!) We have some comfy sofas installed in both shops, so if you and your friends want to use them to stop and chat, feel free. The News Team will be popping in and out too, so you may bump into us! So make a note of our new SLURLs and have a look at my new slide shows when you pay us a visit!

Janey Bracken

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Beatles Tribute In Little London

Little London rocked Sunday night when the tribute Beatles performed in the virtual capital. The sim was packed out with people and the Beatles look-alike avatars took to the stage, making a colourful picture in their Sergeant Pepper uniforms. George Harrison was played by Buster Atlass, Ringo Starr by Dinee Ghia, Delilah Questi was John Lennon and Doc Sideways was Paul McCartney. Events Manager Steve Rumsford had arranged a fantastic evening and the audience danced the night away to all the old Beatles hits, see ireport at CNN for more details and pictures. It was a night to remember!

Janey Bracken

Monday, 23 August 2010

Hibiscus Wins Photo Competition

Well didn’t our Hibiscus do well!! Yes Hibiscus Hastings, photographer extraordinaire, won the photograph contest held by Janis Short at her Hangout club. And no I didn’t vote for either Hib or Ed (Follet) as I thought it wasn’t the right thing to do, as they are friends and co-writers. The standards had been really high, and second prize went to Bondaisy Rau and the third prize was split between Ed and Isobel Byron, Simon Seurat and Nahiram Vaniva and Kurt Ameratsu. Well done all the winners, I reviewed the pictures a few days ago and each one had really good merits, making the contest very competitive.

DJ Janis is off on her hols travelling to real life London to meet her SL husband Morrissey. Janis put a sign outside the club, which says ‘Gone Fishing, back 30/8/10’. It looks like she wrote it quickly using her lippy, just before she left to catch her plane. Janis was so excited about her trip and we all hope she has a wonderful time! Look out London, dj Janis is in town!!
Janey Bracken

Friday, 20 August 2010

Have Your Say! Make Sure Your Comments are Published!

We are still receiving the odd comment under the Anonymous tag that hasn't been considered appropriate for publication. Whilst being Anon is fine if the comments are constructive (without being an attack on an individual), people are welcome to add their points and recommendations as always as Anon. Please note, if your comments have not been published, then they have been counted as unsolicited mail and regarded as something that should be taken up personally between the parties concerned. We love to hear your views, good or bad, either on the subjects of the articles, or about the blog itself, so please continue to comment and have your say!


Janey Bracken

DJ Janis Jets Off To London This Weekend

The West End Club rocked last night as dj Janis played her last gig there before she takes a well deserved holiday. Janis, who is from the USA, is off to London town for a real life vacation to see her SL husband Morrissey. A record crowd turned out to enjoy her red white and blue themed evening and Janis was clearly excited about the prospect of her trip! To make the evening complete Brie Janick made it in-world, which was great as Brie hasn't been too well again the last few days. All in all it was a fantastic evening and the clubbers wore some wonderful costumes. Have a lovely time Janis and enjoy every minute of your time in London!
(P.S and I hope you don't need that umbrella!!)

Janey Bracken