December 2012 – The British Newspaper Archive Blog

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The Origins, History and Traditions of Hogmanay

‘Hogmanay the Terrible was a Celtic tyrant who employed haggis as a means of ridding himself of his enemies…’ We totally love these old newspaper stories about the origins of Hogmanay! ‘Hogmanay the Terrible’ and ‘St Hogmanay who accidentally invented the bagpipes and then journeyed to the Holy Land as a penance for it…’ – what’s not to love? We can’t wait to share these wonderful stories with people at Hogmanay and New Year parties – roll on the bells!

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‘Wives – Want to Keep your Husband Happy?’

‘Don’t expect new dresses all the time’: Old-fashioned newspaper advice on how to be a good wife… We’ve been working with some modern newspapers on a story about the advice that old newspapers used to publish about how wives might strive to keep their husbands happy. Amazing as it may seem to us now, such advice columns were a regular feature in UK newspapers during the 1800s and early 1900s. The ‘Mail Online’ has published our story, and we thought

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‘Strange Affair at a Lighthouse – Three Keepers Disappear’

Newspaper report from 1900 on the mysterious disappearance of the crew at the Flannan Isles Lighthouse On 26 December 1900, the relief crew for the Flannan Isles Lighthouse (located in the Outer Hebrides, 20 miles west of Lewis), arrived at the lighthouse station only to find that the three keepers had vanished. The beds were unmade, the clock had stopped and an overturned chair in the kitchen were some of the details that were logged by the relief crew in

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The Origins, History and Traditions of Boxing Day

We think that this is the perfect day for, once again, refreshing the old, pugilistic memory about the origins, history and traditions of ‘Boxing Day’. Evening Telegraph – Wednesday 26 December 1928 Image © D.C.Thomson & Co. Ltd. Image created courtesy of THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. http://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/viewer/bl/0000563/19281226/034/0003 York Herald – Thursday 27 December 1883 Image © THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. http://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/viewer/bl/0000499/18831227/039/0007 Morning Post – Wednesday 04 January 1899 Image © THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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The Christmas Truce in “No-Man’s Land” on the Western Front – 25 and 26 December, 1914

A letter about the Christmas Truce of 1914, written by a subaltern at the Front We found this wonderful newspaper report – based on a subaltern’s letter – in the Archive about the impromptu Christmas Truce of 1914. Western Daily Press – Wednesday 06 January 1915 Image © Northcliffe Media Limited. Image created courtesy of THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. http://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/viewer/bl/0000264/19150106/037/0005

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The Pixies Prepare for Santa Claus, Children Write Their Letters to Santa Claus, and Santa Listens in From the Rooftops

What can we say! We just love this image of the pixies getting ready for the arrival of Santa Claus! Evening Telegraph – Saturday 18 December 1937 Image © D.C.Thomson & Co. Ltd. Image created courtesy of THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. http://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/viewer/bl/0000563/19371218/156/0007 And we also love this very imaginative image of two kids writing their letters to Santa. Bath Chronicle and Weekly Gazette – Saturday 11 December 1937 Image © Northcliffe Media Limited. Image created courtesy of THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD.

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Kissing Under the Mistletoe and Origins of the Christmas Tree

We love these two newspaper articles that seek to explain ye olde tradition of kissing under the mistletoe, and the origins and history of the Christmas tree. Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser – Saturday 26 December 1891 Image © THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. http://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/viewer/bl/0000206/18911226/176/0014 Nottingham Evening Post – Thursday 27 December 1928 Image © Northcliffe Media Limited. Image created courtesy of THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. http://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/viewer/bl/0000321/19281227/008/0003

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‘Etiquette of Christmas Parties’ – as Reported in a Newspaper from 1863

An etiquette guide for how to behave at Christmas Parties, from ‘The Leicestershire Mercury’ of Saturday 26 December 1863 Oh, we’re sure that none of the visitors to the BNA need to read an etiquette guide for how to behave at Christmas parties. But, just in case some of you out there would like a quick refresh on the correct behaviour required, here is a Christmas Party etiquette guide from 1863. We’re sure that the etiquette described is, er, pretty

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‘For unto us a child is born’ – Handel’s Messiah performed. Blog #5 by Edmund King

‘For unto us a child is born’ – Handel’s Messiah performed. Attending, for the fifth time at the Royal Albert Hall, on the 2 December 2012, a performance of Handel’s Messiah, sung from scratch by 3,854 souls under the direction of Brian Kay, I wondered about the endurance of this work, and the love that people have of singing in it. For me, one of the most moving pieces is the passage ‘For unto us a child is born’, anticipating

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Historical Newspaper Stories About the End of the World

Well, so far, so good – looks like we’re going to mate it okay (touch wood!). We really hope we’re not tempting fate here, but we thought today would be the perfect day for searching in the Archive for some ‘end of the world’ stories’. And, boy, there are 1,000s of stories about the world ending! Obviously, we find this very reassuring – I mean, Christmas is stressful enough without also having to fret about the end of the world.

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