40 years ago there was a St.Valentines dance in the Stardust ballroom on the Northside of Dublin.
When everything was going full swing a fire broke out. But there was big a problem, a really big problem.
The fire doors were chained shut and the staff did not have keys to unlock them. There was absolute panic, kids running left and right windows were barred and soon the fire had turned to an inferno, 200 kids were injured and 48 were killed. The grief and people openly crying in the area you could cut with a knife.
Nothing came of the numerous inquests which were held, one strange thing that did happen was that Mr.Butterly who owned the dance hall got compensation for having his dance hall burned down.
Please believe you me when I tell you never take your safety for granted, look out for yourselves.
So at this time thousands of magicians would land in Blackpool in England for a big convention. Its the biggest in the world and by God it is the best.
So I was there a few years ago and it was flying. There was dealers and demonstrations everywhere and the main lecture was to kick off. It was to be held downstairs beside the main magic dealers hall, I went off to it and I found that there was more than 4 times the number of people there than the hall should haves safely held. The killer was that there was some building work going on and the fire escapes of the room were boarded up.
I felt claustrophobic and left for safety, some of the lads told me afterwards that the lecturer was crap.
Now I went home and after a few months I found the phone number for the Lancashire police. I explained about the problem.
Her reply was NO No NO you have the wrong department you have to ring Billy Jack or Joe, not us.
So I just said that she should ask someone about the Stardust fire in Dublin. Then ask yourself if anything like that happened in Blackpool, how would you feel knowing that you could have prevented it.
I saw a guy going around with a clipboard the next year.
Good on me.
My old classmate in school was a radio officer in and out of Belgium.
While he was on the bridge he spotted a ship heading out to sea with its bow doors open.
He got on the the emergency channel and told them to close the bow doors because the wash from his ship would flood his car deck. A few months later the same thing happened and the call went out, crisis.
Then he got the news that "The Herald of free enterprise" had capsized with loss of life.
At the inquest my classmate told that he had warned the captain twice about the bow doors being open, other ships had warned him as well.
The clincher was that calls on the emergency channel are recorded, so the captain was caught.
I had to wonder why the door was left open in the first place.
"To clear the exhaust fumes from the car deck, and a simple light on the bridge would have prevented it"