Headlines from History – The British Newspaper Archive Blog

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Fashion findings – autumn knitting

As autumn gets truly underway, the warm clothes come out and the knitting needles start clacking. Knitting has a long tradition. This versatile skill could be utilised at anytime — and often was. Printed in the Illustrated War News in 1914, a group of women were photographed knitting in a wine cellar during bombardments in Rheims. Womanly sympathy with the soldiers is taking the practical form on the Continent, and in our own country, of knitting “comforts” for them, but the

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Facing the past in Ruby Wax’s Family Tree

In this week’s episode of Who Do You Think You Are? Ruby Wax confronted the hidden past in her family tree.  The episode proved cathartic for Ruby who came to a better understanding of her parents’ lives, particularly her mother’s.  The personal revelations perfectly illustrated that it is one thing to know ‘history’ in general terms, it is quite another when that history has directly impacted your family. When family cannot or will not speak about events it is possible

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Take a look inside the ILN offices

The Illustrated London News, the world’s first illustrated newspaper, debuted in 1842.  Over the decades, the publishers expanded into the ‘great 8’ titles: Sketch, Sphere, Tatler, Graphic, Bystander, Illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News, and Britannia and Eve.  In 1928, the Illustrated London News published an illustration of the interior of their own offices at Inveresk House, ‘a hive of journalistic industry’. Discover more about the history of the Illustrated London News In the image, you can see the offices of the individual

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Headlines from History – October crimes and punishment

Kray twins portraits

Throughout the month of October, The British Newspaper Archive will take a closer look at stories of crime, courts, and punishment in the papers.  We have pulled together some headlines from the month of October including a riot, a case of arsenic poisoning, a couple of London’s notorious criminals, and a political crime. Register now! 4 October 1936 The Battle of Cable Street took place in London’s East End on the day of a scheduled march by Oswald Mosley’s right wing

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Revealing Roots in Lisa Hammond’s Family Tree

This week’s episode of Who Do You Think You Are? showed how family history research can reveal previously unknown histories from both the recent and distant past.  Using original documents and newspaper accounts Lisa Hammond was able to reconstruct the military service of her grandfather during World War 2, a part of his life that was unknown even to his children.  At the other end of the spectrum Lisa delved deep into her family’s past and discovered that their roots

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Caribbean connections in Noel Clarke’s family tree

In this week’s episode of Who Do You Think You Are?, Noel Clarke knew his family tree would bring him directly to the Caribbean island of Trinidad.  Both his mother and father had emigrated to England from the island.  But in telling their story, he discovered a rich, and sometimes difficult, heritage which connected him deeply to several of the islands of the Caribbean.  His family story reflects the experience of many Trinidadians, and the events which affected their lives

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Headlines from History – Local history

Westingworth school opening

Throughout the month of September, The British Newspaper Archive is taking a closer look at researching local history through the newspapers.  Currently, The Archive holds more than 800 titles and many of those are local or provincial titles.  These papers reported national and international news, but it was in their interest to report details of local news and events. In our everyday life, we are affected on a daily basis by what happens in our immediate surroundings rather than national events.  National events

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Occupations: 19th century coal miners

Derbyshire Miners Coal-getting at the Bolsover Face. Drawn by D Macpherson

    In the month of August, we have looked at occupations and employment through the newspapers.  To finish our theme this month, we are taking a closer look at coal miners, specifically in the 19th century.  An initial search for miners reveals explosions, accidents, and strikes in the vast amount of mines operating across Great Britain.  We will look at these topics in closer detail. The first coal mine was sunk in Scotland, under the Firth of Forth in

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Courage of Convictions in Fearne Cotton’s Family Tree

This week’s episode of Who Do You Think You Are? with Fearne Cotton delved into the difficult subject of conscientious objectors during World War I. The episode also exposed the precarious nature of success in nineteenth century Britain.  The episode made extensive use of newspapers, and as always we have taken the story further with our own investigations into the topics covered using the newspapers in the Archive. Fearne began her journey by looking to her Welsh roots.  As a

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Employment and Occupation History in the Newspapers

Discover more about specific occupations, industries and the history of working conditions and employment regulations in our historic newspapers.  In towns and villages across Britain and Ireland people plied their trades, from carters and hawkers, to seamstresses and tailors.  As the centuries passed agriculture gave way to industry and the ‘factory-worker’ was born.  Read our blog to discover more about the history of work & occupations. Of Cordwainers, Chandlers & Night-Soil Men There are some historic occupations that are no

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