August 2013 – Page 2 – The British Newspaper Archive Blog

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Ed King talks about the wise, quirky and scary advice offered by UK vicars in the early 20th Century

In our previous blog post today, we highlighted some of the wonderful nuggets of wisdom that vicars in the early 20th century passed on to their flock. We also created a FREE page, in which one fiery vicar from Northumberland outlined his ‘Old Testament’ view of how to deal with drunken neighbours – ‘thrash them’, he advised. Ed King, the former Head of the Newspaper Collection at the British Library at Colindale, has an expert knowledge about advice columns in

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Wonderful Advice Given by Vicars in the UK, From 1904 to 1939

We do love the many wonderful advice columns that can be found in the British Newspaper Archive. Perhaps it was all the time we spent poring over the problem pages in teenage magazines when we were stroppy and spotty adolescents that led to our ongoing obsession with agony aunts, agony uncles and, er, agony vicars. Yes, agony vicars! For our favourite type of advice column in the BNA at the moment are the gems of wisdom that were offered by vicars

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The Death of Lon Chaney, ‘The Man of 1,000 Faces’ – 26 August 1930

Lon Chaney (aka Leonidas Frank Chaney), the silent film star famous for his roles in ‘The Hunchback of Notre Dame’ and ‘The Phantom of the Opera’, died from lung cancer in Los Angeles on 26 August 1930 – he was 47. To mark the day, here is a newspaper obituary of Chaney that was published in the ‘Nottingham Evening Post’ on the day that he died. Nottingham Evening Post – Tuesday 26 August 1930 Image © Northcliffe Media Limited. Image

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The Duke of Kent Is Killed in an Air Crash in Scotland – 25 August 1942

On 25 August 1942, Prince George, Duke of Kent, was killed when the Sutherland Flying Boat in which he was travelling to Iceland crashed into a hillside in Caithness, Scotland – he was 39. The Duke of Kent was the younger brother of George VI and Edward VIII, and had been fifth in line to the UK throne. Sadly, his wife, the Duchess of Kent, had given birth to their third child, Prince Michael of Kent, just seven weeks before

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Poetry corner – ‘Gather ye rosebuds while ye may’

Carpe diem and memonto mori… Robert Herrick was baptised in Cheapside, London, on 24 August 1591. To celebrate the day of his baptism/birthday (the exact date of Herrick’s birth is not clear), here is Herrick’s most famous poem: ‘To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time’. Leeds Times – Saturday 29 August 1846 Image © THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. http://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/viewer/bl/0000336/18460829/053/0006

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Captain Matthew Webb Swims the Channel – 24 and 25 August 1875

On 24 and 25 August 1875, Captain Matthew Webb, a master mariner from Dawley in Shropshire, became the first person to swim the English Channel. He swam from Dover to Calais, and completed the swim in 21 hours and 45 minutes. Included below are two newspaper stories (published the day after his epic swim) that report on this historic feat. Dundee Courier – Thursday 26 August 1875 Image © THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. http://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/viewer/bl/0000162/18750826/020/0003 Staffordshire Sentinel –

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Exhibition About the History of Football in England at the British Library – 21 August to 17 December 2013

If you’re in London between now and 17 December 2013, then you might like to visit the British Library to see this terrific exhibition about the history of football in England. The exhibition is to mark the 150th anniversary of The English Football Association. We especially like the sound of the 20 diagrams that are needed to explain the offside rule. Tsk, 20 diagrams needed to explain the offside rule – that does seem a terrific number. The feminist interpretation

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The Newspaper Library at Colindale Closes in November 2013

‘The good news is that only the method of access will change…’ Over the last few months, several people have asked us about when the newspaper library at Colindale will be closing. It’s recently been confirmed that the Colindale Library will close in November. This excellent article by Alexander Barton on the ‘Digital Journal’ website contains further information about the closure of Colindale. http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/356568  

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Tortoise Bling! The Wearing of Live, Bejewelled Tortoises in Paris in 1898

The BNA is a cornucopia of weird and wonderful stories. Truly, the Archive leaves us open-mouthed with its never-ending supply of stories – it really is like having your own online Scheherazade. The latest story that made us shake our heads in wonder and amazement is this report about the craze for ‘tortoise bling’ in Paris, during the finals years of the 19th Century. Our ‘O’ Level French is a wee bit weak and outdated, but we think this is what

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‘Who Do You Think You Are?’ – the Poaching Ancestor of Gary Lineker

We really enjoyed watching last night’s episode of ‘Who Do You Think You Are?’, in which the family tree of Gary Lineker was explored. We were especially interested in the Victorian newspaper stories that contained court reports on James Pratt, Gary’s gggg-grandfather. We did a quick search for James Pratt in The Archive, and found several stories about him – one of which we’ve included below: a court report from ‘The Leicester Journal’ of September 1871. James Pratt was a

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