Headlines from History – The British Newspaper Archive Blog

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‘Where the People Boat’ – A Look at the History of the Boating Lake

In May 1905, The Sphere reports how ‘A remarkable scene may be witnessed any Sunday on the big lake at Battersea Park where the people boat.’ And in the early twentieth century, this scene could be found at boating lakes in cities and towns across the country, providing in particular the working classes with leisure opportunities previously unknown to them. In this special blog, using articles and illustrations all to be found within the British Newspaper Archive, we are going to take

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The Cult of the Cruise – A Look at the History of the Cruise Holiday

In May 1844, the below advertisement appeared in the Cheltenham Chronicle: A Six Weeks Tour, by Steam, to Athens, Smyrna, and Constantinople, calling at Gibraltar and Malta – with the option of visiting, en route, Vigo, Oporto, Lisbon, and Gibraltar.  The Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company’s well-known splendid Steam Ship ‘Tagus,’ 900 tons and 300 horse power, will start from Blackwall on Thursday, 20th June, for the above ports. Time occupied in the Passage, out and home, about six weeks

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Top Dogs of the British Newspaper Archive – Presenting a Selection of Our Favourite Canine Snaps

The British Newspaper Archive is a veritable visual treasure trove, and we have come across a selection of wonderful and historic doggy portraits which we can’t help but share. The Sphere | 23 November 1938 So read on to discover our very special selection of canine photographs, from ‘Herbert’s Wonderful Dog’s to the ‘Most Wonderful Dog in the World,’ from Cruft’s contenders to Battersea rescues, our Archive features some of the best historical dog photography around. Register now and explore The

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Pickles the Dog – An Unlikely Hero of the 1966 World Cup

On 20 March 1966, an audacious robbery was orchestrated at Westminster Central Hall. On show were rare stamps with a total value of £3 million; but these were not the target of the very literal daylight robbery, undertaken under the noses of no less than six security guards. For also on display was the Jules Rimet Trophy, the solid gold prize presented to the winners of the football World Cup, which was to be held in England that summer. Sunday

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The Extraordinary Story of Tirptiz the Pig

In this our latest animal-themed blog, we take a look at the extraordinary story of Tirpitz the pig. A shipwreck survivor, and charity fundraiser, we look through our newspapers to tell her remarkable and unlikely story. Register now and explore The Archive Tirpitz and friend | Daily Record | 24 March 1916 The tale of Tirpitz begins on board the SMS Dresden, a light cruiser of the German Imperial Fleet. Pigs were often kept on board battleships to supply fresh meat, but

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‘The Feathered Battalions’ – The Brave Pigeons of Wartime

Every Army, Air Force, Navy and Secret Service in the world has its feathered battalions, and when the story of the war is written finally it will be found that many a battle has been won, many a ship preserved and many a life saved through the help of the feathered soldiers. These were the words of Victor Newton as he wrote for the Aberdeen Press and Journal in 1943, describing ‘how pigeons play their part in war.’ And so, in this

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Brave Dogs and Cats of the British Newspaper Archive – ‘An Example to Human Beings’

This month at the British Newspaper Archive we are celebrating all things pet related – and what better way to start than by taking a special look at some of the bravest cats and dogs that we have found in the pages of our newspapers? Irma the Alastian receives the Dickin Medal for rescue work during the Blitz | Illustrated London News | 20 January 1945 From the role that dogs played on the European front during the First World War, and

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From ‘Disorderly Persons’ to Drag Queens – A Look At Gender Identity Across Three Centuries

We continue to celebrate Pride Month here at the British Newspaper Archive with this special blog exploring gender identity from the 1700s right up until the 1960s. Using newspapers taken from three different centuries, this blog will show how gender identity has always been fluid, and how members of the LGBTQ community have faced both persecution and prosecution for expressing their identity through how they dressed and presented themselves. ‘Extraordinary Discovery – A Woman Dressed in Man’s Clothes’ | Illustrated Police

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18th Century Molly Houses – London’s Gay Subculture

  June is Pride Month. At The Archive, we are delving into the newspapers and pulling out the breadth of LGBTQ history available. Register now and explore The Archive 18th Century Gay Subculture 18th century London was home to a flourishing gay subculture with Molly Houses at the centre of the social scene. ‘Molly’ was a slur used for effeminate, homosexual men and the term was adopted to describe the clubs, taverns, inns, or coffee houses where they met up

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‘The Well of Loneliness’ – An LGBTQ Book on Trial

In 1928, novelist Radclyffe Hall published her seminal LGBTQ work The Well of Loneliness. Following the story of Stephen Gordon, an upper-class woman who finds love with one Mary Llewellyn and is consequently shunned by society, the work was groundbreaking in its lesbian subject matter. Radclyffe Hall | Graphic | 30 April 1927 Although it was received favourably by many publications including the Daily Herald and Lady’s Pictorial, Sunday Express editor James Douglas began a campaign on 18 August 1928 to have Hall’s book banned – naming The

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