22 June 1948: Empire Windrush Arrived in Britain

In 1948, Britain needed a fresh influx of people to help rebuild the country after World War Two had battered Britain’s towns and cities. The arrival of British citizens from the Caribbean on 22 June 1948, at Tilbury Docks, Essex, on the Empire Windrush, was a defining moment in Britain’s post-war history. It signalled a welcoming of citizens of the British Empire to embark on … Continue reading 22 June 1948: Empire Windrush Arrived in Britain

8 May 1945: Victory in Europe

On 8 May 1945 Europe celebrated the end of World War II, although it would be mid-August before the world saw peace with VJ Day (victory over the Japanese) when war in the Far-East was declared over. The German surrender was anticipated for days and General Jodl, the German Army Chief of Staff, finally signed their unconditional surrender at 2.41 a.m. on 7 May 1945. … Continue reading 8 May 1945: Victory in Europe

RAF Plane Crash: Irish Sea Rescue Attempt

On the morning of 27 September 1950 an RAF twin-seater Meteor 7 aircraft crashed into the Irish Sea, off Strumble Head, Pembrokeshire. It was on its way from Jurby, Isle of Man to Driffield, Yorkshire. An RAF rescue attempt was launched immediately with assistance from those in the vicinity. It was briefly reported in some newspapers, where it was stated that one body was recovered … Continue reading RAF Plane Crash: Irish Sea Rescue Attempt

London’s Millicent Fawcett Statue: the First Female Representation in Parliament Square

One hundred years ago Britain passed the Representation of the People Act which gave certain women over the age of thirty the right to vote. Women, and some men, had fought for years for suffrage equality but it took until towards the end of World War One before this was achieved. This week a statue was unveiled of the suffragist campaigner Millicent Garrett Fawcett in Parliament … Continue reading London’s Millicent Fawcett Statue: the First Female Representation in Parliament Square

The Fashion Museum, Bath: Royal Women

A few days ago I visited the Fashion Museum, Bath. They are currently running an exhibition of royal women’s fashion, including the wedding dress of Edward VII’s Queen Consort, Alexandra. It opened at the beginning of February and will remain on display until 28 April 2019. It was a must-see event for me and if you’ve previously read my post on the exhibition at Kensington … Continue reading The Fashion Museum, Bath: Royal Women

Hampton Court Palace: Vote 100 – The Palace Under Attack

Hampton Court Palace: Celebrating 100 years since women won partial suffrage in Britain 6 February 2018 marked 100 years since the Representation of the People Act. This afforded nearly all men, and women over thirty who met property requirements, the right to vote in Britain. The Act was a huge paradigm shift for British democracy and can be seen as a victory for both the … Continue reading Hampton Court Palace: Vote 100 – The Palace Under Attack

Thoughts on George V

George V became king of the United Kingdom, the British Dominions and Emperor of India in 1910 on the death of his father, Edward VII. George offered the country stability after the long reign of his grandmother was followed by the much shorter reign of his father. That said, his reign wasn’t without complication and during it George witnessed the Great War, political change with … Continue reading Thoughts on George V

Suffragettes – Pictures Say a Thousand Words

One hundred years after the Representation of the People Act, which gave some qualifying females the right to vote in the UK, the exploits of the women at the vanguard of the suffrage movement still capture the the country’s imagination. Thankfully, we have a robust photographic and news archive that can take us back to pre First World War Britain when the uprising of militant … Continue reading Suffragettes – Pictures Say a Thousand Words

The Glen Cinema Disaster: 71 Children Dead on Hogmanay 1929, Scotland’s Forgotten Tragedy

On 31 December 1929, Hogmanay, seventy-one children died and more than fifty were injured when young cinema-goers panicked after thick smoke billowed around the darkened auditorium during a children’s matinee performance of The Dude Desperado at the Glen Cinema, Paisley, Scotland. Calls of ‘fire’ prompted terrified children to flee towards the exits. Survivor Sadie Elias said she had chosen the Glen Cinema as it had … Continue reading The Glen Cinema Disaster: 71 Children Dead on Hogmanay 1929, Scotland’s Forgotten Tragedy

Titanic: The Hero Musicians

The night of April 14/15 1912 will be remembered as the night the ‘unsinkable’ RMS Titanic sank. The ship struck an iceberg soon after 11.30 p.m. and it was gone by 2.20 a.m., with not enough lifeboats for the passengers and crew, women and children were placed into lifeboats that were scandalously nowhere near filled to capacity. More than 1500 people lost their lives,  only … Continue reading Titanic: The Hero Musicians

Harry Potter: A History of Magic – the Exhibition

Harry Potter: A History of Magic exhibition at the British Library, for those that don’t know – a stone’s throw from King’s Cross Station, has been open since 20 October 2017 and will close 28 February 2018. It celebrates the twenty years since the release of J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. Photography is prohibited, as it is at many institutions that house … Continue reading Harry Potter: A History of Magic – the Exhibition

British Home Children

For over a hundred years, starting in 1869 until the 1970s, Britain sent children abroad; to Canada prior to the Second World War and later to Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and Rhodesia. Over 100,000 children were sent to Canada alone. The children ranged in age from four to fifteen and would be sent from seemingly well-meaning philanthropic or religious organisations, such as Dr Barnardo’s, … Continue reading British Home Children