25 December 1840, The London Evening Standard: A Report

Regular readers of my blog know that I often draw inspiration from the British Newspaper Archives. This does involve a small subscription, however, you can search and view a permitted three articles for free here. As it is the season of goodwill, I decided to share with you part of a report published on Christmas Day 1840 showing the festive food the poor of London were … Continue reading 25 December 1840, The London Evening Standard: A Report

Christmas Cards: the Royal Selection

What are your family Christmas traditions? The British royals, like all families, have their own. They exchange inexpensive presents on Christmas Eve and go to church on Christmas Day morning. They then sit down to a traditional Christmas turkey dinner before watching the Queen’s speech at 3 p.m. One of the big royal family traditions that everyone looks forward to, is the release of their personal Christmas … Continue reading Christmas Cards: the Royal Selection

The Victorian Christmas

Christmas was barely celebrated in the early part of the nineteenth century. It was not considered a public holiday and traditionally the giving of gifts was practised at New Year. However, come the end of the century, it was the biggest annual celebration in the British calendar. Workers had gained a two-day break (including the 26 December, Boxing Day) and the advent of the railways … Continue reading The Victorian Christmas

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

Christmas Cards: Season’s Greetings from Edwardian New Zealand

I’m delighted to share with you these colourful Christmas cards from the antipodes! This brief selection dates from 1900 – 1919 and the originals are stored in various repositories in New Zealand. A parrot instead of robin redbreast? A parrot is not usually associated with the northern hemisphere Christmas. The exotic bird on this card would give a shot of brightness to the grey and dreary … Continue reading Christmas Cards: Season’s Greetings from Edwardian New Zealand

A Forces Christmas Card: 1917

Seated is my grandfather, William James Gray, not to be confused with my uncle of the same name who you can read about here. Nearly every photograph we have of grandad Gray (and there aren’t many), show him seated. He was almost 6 foot 4 inches tall according to his Attestation Paper, although my mother always said he was 6 foot 5 inches. He was often … Continue reading A Forces Christmas Card: 1917

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 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