Nuclear firefighters: Workers in protective clothing tackle the blaze at Windscale (later known as Sellafield) in Cumbria in 1957.As frantic attempts are under way to make safe the nuclear power station hit by the tsunami in Japan, it is not surprising that questions are being asked about the safety of Britain's 19 nuclear reactors ‘There are no warning signs anywhere along the coast.Tests from some other parts of the shoreline shoot up to 50.Anti-nuclear campaigners blame these high levels on traces of plutonium (as well as other dangerous elements such as caesium and americium, which are used in the production of nuclear fuel) in the mud.Instantly captivated, for more than 70 years he remained the county's most unwavering supporter.Educated at Harrow, following National Service he enrolled on the first Home Office Course for Housemasters in Approved Schools.David Cameron, making his first appearance at Prime Minister's Questions, told MPs of the tragedy while the Queen added her condolences as the sense of shock and disbelief spread in communities still recovering from the devastating effects of flooding last year and a fatal school coach crash only last month.Sir Ian Blair, the former Met Police commissioner, saidat the Hay Festival: "We have the most draconian anti-gun laws in the world...
Back then, the long, sandy beach at the nearest town of Seascale was popular with swimmers.
During the hunt for the killer, tens of thousands of people living and holidaying around the picturesque western fringes of the Lake District were ordered to stay indoors as Bird switched cars and opened fire in a series of small villages and country lanes with a randomness and ferocity that has left investigators puzzled.
At the height of the manhunt the nuclear power station at Sellafield was locked down for the first time in its history, while Cumbria police deployed all their armed teams along with helicopters and dozens of vehicles to give chase.
Witnesses spoke of their terror as Bird drove through Whitehaven with the shotgun hanging out of the window of his taxi.
Police said that, after leaving the town, the gunman travelled south along the coast, shooting people in Gosforth, Seascale and Egremont before turning inland and ending up in Boot. Rod Davies, landlord of Gosforth Hall Inn, said the close-knit Cumbrian communities were shaken by the tragedies.
Throughout his years there, presiding over his charges like a rather indulgent paterfamilias, he proved an inspirational guide for many generations of young people.