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Ten Television Series That Shaped the 1960s

This September at The Archive we will be taking a look at all things 1960s, from the culture of a decade that changed everything – fashion, music, film – to its key events and figures. And in this special blog we will be looking at the ten television series that we believe shaped the decade. At the beginning of the 1960s, three quarters of the population of Britain had a television. By 1964, only four years later, that number was

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Day Trippers and Holiday Specials – How the Railway Revolutionised the British Seaside

‘Up to about forty or fifty years ago travelling was a solemn act, not to be enterprised nor taken in hand unadvisedly, lightly, or wantonly,’ so writes the Belfast News-Letter in September 1888. But all of this had changed; from the inception of the railways ‘day excursions’ had become ‘entirely modern pleasures,’ the British seaside and countryside opened up to visitors who could travel there easily by train. This was the railway revolution, which opened up the seaside to ordinary, working class people.

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‘Furnishing the Beach Hut – How to Make the Most of a Seaside Holiday’

This August at The Archive we will be taking a look at the history of the Great British seaside, from bathing machines to bathing costumes, and today in this special blog we will explore one of the seaside’s most familiar sites: the beach hut. The Sphere | 30 November 1957 Using our newspapers, we will take a look at how the beach hut became popular, and how in the 1920s and 1930s newspaper columns brimmed with advice on how to furnish

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Celebrating Britain’s Early Women Olympians

In 1900 women were allowed to compete in the modern summer Olympic Games for the very first time. The first woman to win an individual gold medal at the summer Olympic Games was British tennis player Charlotte Cooper Sterry, winner of five Wimbledon titles, on 11 July 1900 in Paris. Want to learn more? Register now and explore The Archive And so, in this special blog, we will take a look at the achievements of the likes of Charlotte Cooper

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Exploring the Real ‘Chariots of Fire’ – As Reported in Our Newspapers

Nearly one hundred years ago athletes Harold Abrahams and Eric Liddell took the Olympic Games and the world by storm, their heroics on the track immortalised in the 1981 film Chariots of Fire. But how were Abrahams’s and Liddell’s record-breaking feats reported on in the newspapers of the time? Were they celebrated in, say, the same way we celebrate our sporting heroes of today? In this special blog, we will explore the headlines behind the real Chariots of Fire, and in the

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‘A Pageant of Peace’ – Overcoming Adversity and Austerity at the 1948 London Olympic Games

With the scars of the Second World War still visible across Great Britain, in 1948 the eyes of the world turned to the country who were set to host the fourteenth Olympiad. Would Britain be able to manage, just three years after the end of the crippling conflict that still saw rationing in place, and bomb sites across its towns and cities? The 14th Olympiad opens at London | Illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News | 11 August 1948 In this special blog,

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‘Pluck, Tenacity and Inspired Guidance’ – Exploring the Birth of the Paralympic Games

The first Paralympics took place in Rome in 1960. But this was not the beginning of competitive sport for people with disabilities; indeed, the origins of the Paralympics can partly be traced to the aftermath of the Second World War and the work undertaken at Stoke Mandeville Hospital. Archers at Stoke Mandeville Hospital | The Sphere | 21 August 1948 And nor was it the culmination of such work; the Paralympics in Rome were only open to those with mobility or

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‘The Ascent of Woman’ – Celebrating Early Women Mountaineers

In the early nineteenth century, Frenchwoman Mademoiselle d’Augeville became the ‘pioneer of women climbers‘ (The Sketch, 6 September 1911) as she made her ascent of Mont Blanc at the age of 44. And by the end of the century, she had paved the way for a generation of women mountaineers, who were astonishing the world with their climbing feats. From the Andes to the Himalayas, and all along the Alps, women were truly in ascendance, overcoming prejudice as they climbed

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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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