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The Birth of the Camping Holiday

Following on from our look at the history of hiking, and how it became phenomenally popular in the 1930s, in this blog we will look at the birth of the camping holiday. Bank Holiday Under Canvas – Newquay, Cornwall | The Sphere | 19 August 1933 So read on to discover when and how the camping holiday became popular, and what it was like to camp in the early twentieth century, at a time when camping represented a new found sense of

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Hiking in the 1930s – Exploring the ‘Phenomenon of Post-War Youth’

The popularity of walking or ‘hiking,’ as it is termed, is amazingly on the increase. ‘Sabbath day journeys’ are undertaken by the youth of both sexes, armed with knapsacks. Starting from Waterloo to the Surrey hills and commons, where they walk, either in clubs or in private companies, or alone, all day, to return by train at night. So relates The Sphere in the September of 1930 in an article entitled ‘Knapsackery on the Surrey Hills.’ Regarded as the ‘Phenomenon of the

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An Exploration of the History and Importance of Play

Through all the changes of time the games and amusements of children have remained curiously unaltered. Child nature is the same the world over, and in all centuries, and little boys and little girls to-day play much as they did when William the Norman landed in England. So writes M.L. Stollard for the The Scotsman on 21 August 1936. But what games did the children of the past play, and when was such play deemed important by the adults around them? ‘Children’s

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‘A Heavy Premium on Childhood’ – Exploring Attitudes Towards Factory Half-Timers

In October 1823, the Public Ledger and Daily Advertiser asserted: The charge and duty of Government are not merely to increase the numbers of men, but to promote and increase their happiness. Industry is the most powerful engine of this happiness, because it is the spring of all their riches. Government, then, should encourage labour, and by due reward, endeavour to avail of, and augment its useful products… The article, entitled ‘Political Economy,’ goes on to recommend how ‘the power of labour

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‘For the Amusement and Instruction of the Young’ – The Birth of the Children’s Corner in Victorian Newspapers

With an increase in literacy rates and a growing emphasis on the importance of family, by the mid Victorian era the concept of the children’s corner in newspapers was born. Leeds Mercury | 18 June 1898 Often placed amongst the densely packed columns of the daily or weekly local and national newspapers, the children’s corner represented a new development for Victorian editors of the day, and a new market to which they could appeal. And in this special blog, as we

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Horror and Hysteria – The 1811 Ratcliff Highway Murders

In December, 1811, all London was convulsed with terror at the tidings of the horrible slaughter wreaked at 29 Ratcliff Highway and 81 New Gravel Lane, and soon, from the Prince Regent’s table at Carlton House to the tap-room of the lowest dram-shop in Wapping, the hideous subject engrossed all. Ally Sloper’s Half Holiday, 27 August 1887 These murders, now generally referred to as the Ratcliff Highway Murders, represent one of the bloodiest chapters in British crime history, and might have

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Guest Post: Researching Infanticide in Victorian Salford by Martin Baggoley

As part of our history of law and crime month on The Archive, we are delighted to featured a very special guest post by author and former probation officer Martin Baggoley, who has written extensively on the history of crime and punishment. In this guest post, Martin describes how he used The Archive to research the tragic topic of infanticide in Victorian Salford, a desperately sad chapter in Britain’s crime history. So read on to discover the methods that Martin

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‘In Durance Vile’ – Exploring Life Behind Prison Bars Over A Century Ago

Following on from our look at life on board the prison hulks of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, in this special blog we are going to take a look at what life was like behind prison bars over a century ago. Dartmoor Prison | The Sphere | 10 December 1927 Using our newspapers, we will try to understand what life was like for the men and women sentenced to prison time in the United Kingdom in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries:

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‘Colleges of Villainy’ – Life Onboard the Prison Hulks

On 15 July 1910 the Sheffield Evening Telegraph recorded the anniversaries of the day. One particular entry was this: Prison hulks first seen on the Thames…1776 But what were the prison hulks, and what was life like on board these ‘floating hells,’ as they came to be known? Prison hulk Warrior at Woolwich | Illustrated London News | 21 February 1846 As part of our history of law and crime month here on The Archive, we will take a look at what life was like on

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Rose Heilbron – Legal Superstar of the 1950s

‘If you want something to write, write about Rose Heilbron. She’s the greatest lawyer in history.’ These were the words of Jack Comer as he left the Old Bailey in September 1955, having been defended by 39-year-old Rose Heilbron QC, and subsequently acquitted. Who was Rose Heilbron? Born in August 1914, she was the first woman to win a scholarship at Grey’s Inn, one of the first two women to be appointed to the King’s Bench, the first woman to

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