Archive for the “News from the past” Category

“Lonely Hearts” killer unearthed in the newspaper archive

Posted on February 9th, 2016 by Violet

In case you’re tempted to take out a “Lonely Hearts” ad this Valentine’s Day, be warned: according to the newspaper archive you’d be wise to stay vigilant. Search the newspapers In fact, as the Aberdeen Journal suggested in 1949:  Aberdeen Journal – Monday 07 March 1949© THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.   Unfortunately, […]

It’s a Woman’s Life! A celebration of the ATS, inspired by Dad’s Army

Posted on February 5th, 2016 by Violet

As the film adaptation of the beloved BBC television series Dad’s Army is released today, many critics have applauded the film’s new take on women’s involvement in the war. Far from being the running gag of the little woman heard but never seen, Mrs Mainwaring has stepped up to take centre stage, leading a group […]

A plot to kill the king: The Spa Fields riot of 1816

Posted on January 29th, 2016 by Violet

A calamitous plot to kill the king, uncovered by Regency Spies (published by Pen & Sword this month) author Sue Wilkes… In the late 18th and early 19th centuries, places like Chalk Farm and Spa Fields in London were the scene of mass meetings of Radicals campaigning for parliamentary reform. Subscribe for just £12.95 –> In 1816, […]

Why British Empire was a good thing… according to contemporary newspapers

Posted on January 26th, 2016 by Violet

A recent study showed that 44% of people in Britain people think that “we should be proud of British colonialism”. Considering the Empire’s sketchy past of violence and massacres, this was a shock result. Subscribe for just £12.95 –> At the time, as today, people were mainly supportive of British rule overseas, though it would be fair to […]

“This is the head of a traitor, Edward Marcus Despard!” The plot to kill George III, by Regency Spies author Sue Wilkes

Posted on January 22nd, 2016 by Violet

While researching her new book Regency Spies (published by Pen & Sword this month), Sue Wilkes uncovered the story of a desperate plot to kill George III and overthrow the British government… Colonel Despard (1751–1803) has gone down in history as the leader of a wildly impractical, hopeless scheme. Despard was the leader of a […]

The cure to “Zeppelinitis”: German airships attack Britain for the first time on this day in 1915

Posted on January 19th, 2016 by Violet

On the night of the 19th January 1915, two German Zeppelins appeared out of the dark on the Norfolk coast and conducted the first airship attack on British soil. They had set out for Humberside, but strong winds had seen them divert to the areas around Great Yarmouth, Sheringham and King’s Lynn. It would be […]

But will it make her “more acceptable to the other sex”? Women are granted degrees in Britain on this day in 1878

Posted on January 15th, 2016 by Violet

On 15 January 1878, a meeting was held at the University of London to decide whether women should be awarded degrees by the institution. The next day, the meeting was documented in the London Evening Standard. In an article discussing the importance of education for all, the typo in the subheadline was hopefully someone’s idea of […]

Historic #gymspiration from the newspaper archive!

Posted on January 11th, 2016 by Violet

So you’re all set for your morning jog when suddenly you realise that it’s raining. It’s getting cold. You can’t find your trainers and you forgot to charge your iPod. Thinking of giving up and crawling back under the sheets for a few extra minutes in dreamland? Well stop right there! We’ve had a look in […]

Coupon Monday: Rationing is introduced in Britain on this day in 1940

Posted on January 8th, 2016 by Violet

On the 8th of January 1940 rationing was introduced in Britain. With over 70% of the food supply imported before WWII, the government decided to safeguard against any plots to starve Britain into submission by introducing the rationing scheme. The Ministry of Food’s explanation for the scheme was published in a number of newspapers: The new […]

How to live to 100 : History’s centenarians reveal their secrets

Posted on January 4th, 2016 by Violet

And so, as with every New Year, we welcome the quinoa-packed saucepans, virtuous jars of coconut oil and the herbal remedies which, we hope, will push out the carbs and caffeine binges of last year. The supermarket queue displays a thousand promises of health, wealth and well-being from slim, smiling models. But in a world where a simple […]