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

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

Diana: Her Fashion Story – the Kensington Palace Exhibition

  Today I write this from Kensington Palace. It sounds grander than it actually is; I’m in the bustling cafe and trying to ignore the general cacophony of families and friends enjoying a day out. I am hugely excited to be using this space to share my enjoyment of the historic surroundings and an exhibition showcasing one of the palace’s erstwhile residents. I specifically visited … Continue reading Diana: Her Fashion Story – the Kensington Palace Exhibition

Spanish Flu: The Deadliest Pandemic the World has Ever Seen

As World War One drew to a close, a new terror materialised that would more than double, and some suggest treble, the 16 million people killed during the conflict. A deadly global pandemic was facilitated by an airborne virus, the movement of troops around Europe, global commerce and migration. More died in a single year than four years of the black death, or bubonic plague … Continue reading Spanish Flu: The Deadliest Pandemic the World has Ever Seen

Typhoid Mary: The Tragedy of Mary Mallon

On 11 November 1938, a 69 year old Irishwoman died on North Brother Island, New York. She had been held in isolation for 23 years, yet she had not been charged or convicted with any criminal offence. Mary Mallon was born in Cookstown, Ireland in 1869. She immigrated to America when she was a teenager and found employment in domestic service. She developed an aptitude … Continue reading Typhoid Mary: The Tragedy of Mary Mallon

A Suffragette, Hate Mail and a Grave

Last week I visited the grave of militant suffragette Emily Wilding Davison. I’ve wanted to visit it for a while and had driven close to it once or twice, but I didn’t want to inconvenience my fellow traveller with a diversion that amounted to a two-hour addition to our already considerable driving time from Surrey, England, to Scotland. Having found myself with a spare morning … Continue reading A Suffragette, Hate Mail and a Grave