31 August 1997: the Death of Diana, Princess of Wales

It used to be said that every person could say that they knew where they were when they heard the news that US President, John F Kennedy, had been assassinated. Nowadays, they can say the same about when they heard the news that Diana, Princess of Wales had died after a car crash in a Paris underpass. Diana, Princess of Wales was the former wife … Continue reading 31 August 1997: the Death of Diana, Princess of Wales

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

Diana: Her Fashion Story Revisited

Yesterday I had the pleasure of returning to Kensington Palace, London, to see the exhibition of the late Diana, Princess of Wales’ dresses, Diana: Her Fashion Story. You may have read my previous post, Diana: Her Fashion Story – The Kensington Palace Exhibition as I originally visited the exhibition in November 2017. This special exhibition is closing in February and so I was keen to … Continue reading Diana: Her Fashion Story Revisited

The Royals: Christmases Past

With only three more sleeps until Christmas Day here are some pictures of Britain’s royal family’s Christmases past. I’m loving the vintage vibe of this shot. The Queen is more in focus than Prince Philip (order of precedence anyone?) and as usual, the Queen’s hair is perfectly coiffed and she is wearing a set of her beloved pearls in her ears and around her neck. The … Continue reading The Royals: Christmases Past

In the News: Lost Bletchley Park Christmas Card Found

A Christmas card sent to one of the codebreakers at Bletchley Park has been discovered.  The card reads ‘Wishing you a very happy Christmas & New Year, Evelyn Sinclair’, it was sent to workers at Bletchley Park in 1938 by the wife of the head of MI6, Admiral Hugh Sinclair, known as ‘C’. The card is not at all festive, it is a photograph of … Continue reading In the News: Lost Bletchley Park Christmas Card Found

King George V: the First Christmas Speech 

King George V gave his first Christmas speech to the nation just after 3 p.m. on Christmas Day 1932, however, the King, a reluctant speaker, had previously rejected the idea for almost 10 years! With radio being the new and exciting medium for entertainment in homes, in 1923 the King was asked by John Reith, Director of the BBC, to broadcast to the citizens of … Continue reading King George V: the First Christmas Speech 

Christmas Cards: 1905 – 1910

Here’s another selection [box] of Christmas cards dated from 1905 – 1910. If you would like to see cards dated the turn of the twentieth century, click here. The above card unsurprisingly has no snow! It’s from a collection archived at the State Library of Queensland, Australia. It depicts the Post Office, St George, Queensland – and its workers and their families? Or are the … Continue reading Christmas Cards: 1905 – 1910

Christmas Nostalgia: all I want for Christmas is my Two Front Teeth

This week in my little corner of the universe I got walloped with a big dose of nostalgia. Every year the Rotary Club comes up our street collecting for Christmas. They have Father Christmas on the back of a float, Christmas music, lots of lights and a small army of charity collectors waving collecting tins on peoples’ doorsteps. I always like to contribute as one … Continue reading Christmas Nostalgia: all I want for Christmas is my Two Front Teeth

Queen Elizabeth II’s First Christmas Speech

On 25 December 1952, Queen Elizabeth II made her first Christmas broadcast to the nation as sovereign on BBC radio. The tradition of the Christmas broadcast began in 1932 with the Queen’s grandfather, King George V. In 1952, at 15.07 p.m. the Queen broadcast from the study at Sandringham House, Norfolk. Families around Britain would listen to the Queen huddled around their radios, for some … Continue reading Queen Elizabeth II’s First Christmas Speech

Christmas Cards: Circa 1900

It’s December! Season’s greetings! Christmas is coming and I thought I’d share some charming Christmas cards to begin the festivities. I’m going to attempt an historically themed #Blogmas – but we’ll see how that progresses throughout the month. Above is an English language Christmas card in the early art nouveau style – there is no reference to country of origin, however, it is included in … Continue reading Christmas Cards: Circa 1900

World War One: when War Reunited a Family

In Killed by Enemy Action: a Family Tragedy I wrote about my uncle Joseph Boyland, who was machine-gunned walking along Scotland Road, Liverpool, in September 1940. That was a story about a family devastated by the consequences of war, yet a generation earlier war had brought the Boyland family together.  John Boyland, Joseph’s father, fought for the Liverpool King’s 5th Regiment during World War One. … Continue reading World War One: when War Reunited a Family

Killed by Enemy Action: A Family Tragedy

On Tuesday 17 September 1940, Joseph Boyland, Joey to his brothers, was machine-gunned walking down Scotland Road, Liverpool. He died the following day at the city’s Royal Infirmary. Aged fourteen, he had left school and was about to ‘go to sea’. The Merchant Navy was a common occupation for young men in Liverpool at the time. The Liverpool Evening News briefly reported on 18 September … Continue reading Killed by Enemy Action: A Family Tragedy

Commemorating the Centenary​ of the End of the Great War #Armistice100

World War One ended at the eleventh hour, of the eleventh day, of the eleventh month of 1918. The Great War, as it was known then, was believed to be ‘the war to end all wars’. Of course, it wasn’t, and just twenty-one years later the world was at war once again. This weekend the world remembers and commemoration events large and small will ensure … Continue reading Commemorating the Centenary​ of the End of the Great War #Armistice100

Black History Month: Nursing in the NHS and Me

With the proliferation of #BlackHistoryMonth hashtags haunting various social media sites [I’m sure haunting is the correct term during October], you may have noticed that October is Black History Month in the UK.  It is the time that we celebrate our diversity, learn about other cultures and the people who have settled in Britain in the near and distant past. While we embrace our differences, during … Continue reading Black History Month: Nursing in the NHS and Me

Norwich Cathedral and the Grave of Edith Cavell

Friday 12 October was the 103rd anniversary of the death of Edith Cavell. Edith was executed during the First World War for helping allied soldiers escape German-occupied Belgium. She is rightly seen as a heroine who sacrificed herself for the greater good of her country. You can read my anniversary post about her here. Edith’s body was repatriated after the war and buried in Norwich … Continue reading Norwich Cathedral and the Grave of Edith Cavell