15 October

Anniversary of the Land Speed Record

Biggles Sidecar

So we are drinking a...

Biggles Sidecar

The Land Speed Record was set this day in 1997 by Andy Green in Nevada's Black Rock Desert.

The Royal Air Force fighter pilot reached a speed of 1,228 km/h (763 mph) in Thrust Supersonic Car (ThrustSSC for short) and by so doing so also became the first to break the sound barrier. The record was set 50 years and a day after Chuck Yeager first broke the sound barrier in the Earth's atmosphere. The British built jet-propelled car powered by two Rolls-Royce Spey turbofan engines, the same engine used in the British version of the F-4 Phantom II jet fighter. The car is now on display at the Transport Museum in Coventry, England.

We are toasting Andy and the British team behind both ThrustSSC and the successful record attempt with a cocktail we feel is apt, a Biggles Sidecar. A Gin Sonic would also be apropriate.

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Thrust SSC (photograph by Ben Sutherland

The anniversary of Britain's Great Storm

This day in 1987 the most dramatic weather ever hit Blighty. The Great Storm embarrassed weather forecasters, downed 15 million trees and brought about, however briefly, a new spirit of the Blitz. In fact, it was the worst storm Britain had experienced since the imaginatively titled Great Storm of 1703.

Weather forecaster Michael Fish was widely parodied after saying, "Earlier on today, apparently, a woman rang the BBC and said she heard there was a hurricane on the way... well, if you're watching, don't worry, there isn't!" Well, technically the Great Storm wasn't a hurricane. Winds reached hurricane force (12 on the Beaufort Scale), but because the weather system didn't come from the tropics, it didn't count as a hurricane. It was, however, a pretty extreme piece of weather.

We are raising a glass to Michael Fish, "the last of the true weatherman", with an aptly named cocktail by Ryan Chetiyawardana, the Three Storms Flip. Although we are rather hoping there won't be a third Great Storm.

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