Index of Volume 5

  • Hauntings of Ye Olde London – Part 1

  • Hauntings of Ye Olde London – Part 2

  • Hauntings of Ye Olde London – Part 3

  • Hauntings of Ye Olde London – Part 4

  • Witches of Leicester – England from 1420AD

  • Royal Mail – from 1516 AD to Present Day

  • The Ashes – A Cricketing and Sporting Icon

  • Hawk-Eye The Electronic Referee

  • British Prime Ministers – First Lord of the Treasury

  • Sir Terry Pratchett – Fantasy and Discworld Genius Author

  • Tommy Steele – Iconic English Performer

  • Monty Python's Flying Circus – British TV Icon

  • The Goodies – 1970s TV Icon

  • The Smash Alien Robots – The Funniest British TV Advert of the 20th Century

  • King Alfred the Great – The First English King

  • General Gordon of Khartoum – A British Icon

  • Battle of Trafalgar – 1805

  • Battle of Waterloo – 1815

  • History of the RNLI – Royal National Lifeboat Institution – 1824

  • History of Her Majesty's Coastguard – UK 1809

  • History of The Poppy Appeal – British Iconic Charity

  • Josiah Wedgewood (1730-1795) – Potter, Designer and Industrialist

  • History of World's First Double Yellow Lines - England 1958

  • History of Zebra Crossings England 1949

  • Oldest English Brewery and The First Registered Trademark

  • Cambridge University – History 1209 AD

  • Oxford University – History from 1096 AD

  • The Greenwich Prime Meridian

  • The Press Gang and Its English History

  • History Of English and British Astronomer Royal's

  • The British Royal Household

  • English Poet Laureates- History

  • English Christmas Traditions – History

  • Life Story Of Louis Wain 1860-1939 And His Funny Animal Art

  • Funny Pets, Sports and Animals on Fine Art Prints

  • The Neck Tie and It's History

  • The Morgan Motor Company - The Oldest Manufactured Car Maker

  • History of The Passport – England 1414 AD

  • Charles Babbage (1791-1871) (Inventor of First Computer)

  • The Venerable Bede 673AD to 735AD – Life and Times

  • British Comics and Their History

Hauntings of Ye Olde London – Part 1

London is famous for it's history, designers, inventors, fashion and music. Ghosts and Ghoulies are also endemic across London which not a lot of people know about and which I have decided to write about in this article. London is said to be the most haunted City in the world. Below I have listed just some of the spooky hauntings of London.

The Tower of London is haunted by many ghosts and one recorded haunting from the 19th century was from a Crown Jewel keeper E. L. Swifte. He and his family were having dinner in the Martin Tower when his alarmed wife spotted a moving object. Both he and his wife witnessed what looked to be a cylindrical object, resembling that of a lab tube, filled with blue bubbling fluid. Tube or not, the wife claimed it tried to grab her (not sure how a tube with no hands would do that but it gave the wife that impression). The tube seemed to be an apparition as Swifte tried to throw a chair at it but it went straight through it. it then vanished into thin air.

Other famous ghosts are Thomas A. Becket who struck down the Traitor's Gate with a crucifix, witnessed by a priest. People have also seen 12-year-old King Edward V and his 9-year-old brother Richard Duke of York in the Bloody Tower still wearing the white gowns they were imprisoned in. Foggy figures, soldiers, and 16-year-old Lady Jane Grey haunt the battlements of the Tower of London. Whole squads of soldiers have been seen marching the grounds.

Hampton Court is haunted by many ghosts including:

Catherine Howard The best known haunting at Hampton Court is by Catherine Howard, Henry VIII's fifth wife. Charged with adultery in 1541 and placed under house arrest, she broke free from her guards and ran to her husband to plead for her life. The guards dragged her back and she was executed. To this day, it is claimed, a woman in white can be seen floating down the Haunted Gallery.

• JANE SEYMOUR Henry VIII's third wife, who died in childbirth in 1537, is said to walk through the cobbled courtyard carrying a lighted taper.

• LADY IN GREY Sybill Penn was nurse to Prince Edward, Henry's only son. She died in 1562 and was buried in Hampton Church. When the church was pulled down in 1829 her remains were disturbed and it is said she returned to the rooms she once lived in.

• THE WOLSEY CLOSET The room has a 'strange atmosphere'. A phantom dog has been seen and heard here on more than one occasion.

The Spooky Hauntings of London Underground

  • Anne Naylor haunts Farringdon Underground Station. The odd screams that have been heard in this area are attributed to Anne Naylor a thirteen year old girl who was murdered on this site in 1758. She is now referred to as 'the Screaming Spectre'.

  • Tapping sounds at the Elephant & Castle Station, Northern Line. Footfalls and rapping have been often heard in the station when it is closed - on investigation, no source can be found. Another story says the last train of the night is haunted by a lone girl who walks from the last carriage to the tip of the train, vanishing as she reaches the engine.

  • A Faceless Woman at the Beacontree Station. A station employee working alone heard the door to his office rattle several times. Unnerved, the man began to climb upstairs to find a colleague but felt he was being watched. Turning around, he saw a woman standing there with long blond hair but no face - her features were completely smooth. Talking to his colleague a short time later, the employee discovered that he was not the only person to have seen her.

  • Sarah Blackhead haunts Bank Station, Central Line. Possibly the same figure that haunts the Bank of England; in life this poor girl couldn't handle news that her brother had died, and returned daily to his office to meet him. Dressed in black clothing, she is affectionately called 'the Black Nun'. A worker once chased what he thought was an old lady locked in the station during the early hours of the morning, but she vanished down a corridor with no possible exit. In addition, at least one employee has reported something knocking on an empty lift door from the inside, way after normal closing time.

  • Rebecca Griffiths haunts Liverpool Street Station. Once the site of the first Hospital of the Star of Bethlehem, an asylum for the insane, the area was haunted by the screams of Griffiths who was buried without a coin she compulsively held on to when locked away here. She also had the habit of exciting other inmates by peering through their cell windows. More recently there have been reports by underground staff of a man in white overalls on the platforms that can only be seen on CCTV.

  • Cries and Screams haunts Bethnal Green Station. A station master working alone in the station office late at night heard the soft sounds of children crying. As time went by, the cries grew louder and were joined by the screams of women. He ran from the office. One hundred and seventy-three people died in the station in a single accident during World War 2, the vast majority being women and children.

  • Grinning Man haunts Channelsea Depot, Stratford. A former British Rail employee reported seeing a tall man wearing a cape and top hat standing by a hanger. He had a terrible grin and a mouth full of white teeth, and immediately vanished, leaving the witness very cold and apprehensive. A few months later, in the same area, the witness felt a strong tug at her bag that almost pulled her over; she spun around expecting to see a colleague, but no one was in sight.

  • Silhouette haunts King William Tunnel, Under London Bridge (disused underground tunnel). An image taken by a photographer shows what appears to be a silhouetted figure along this tunnel, though no one else was there at the time. A medium called to the location claimed that the ghost was that of a man who died while breaking up a fight.

  • Old Woman haunts Aldgate Underground Station. This old woman was seen by an engineer as it stroked his friend's hair, seconds before the co-worker touched a live wire which sent 20,000 volts through his body. Remarkably, he survived. Phantom footfalls have also been reported coming from down the tunnel, abruptly finishing.

  • A Distressed Woman haunts King's Cross underground station. A witness spotted a woman in her twenties with long brown hair, wearing jeans and t-shirt. The figure was kneeling at the side of the corridor with her arms outstretched, and appeared distressed and crying. Someone walking in the opposite direction then walked through the woman. The witness said that upon reflection, it was like watching a repeating piece of film.

  • Sir Winston Churchill haunts Queensway Station, Northern Line. Witnessed waiting on the platform, Sir Winston Churchill once lived quite close to the station.

  • A Steam Train haunts East Finchley to Wellington Sidings underground. This stretch of the Northern Line is reputed to be haunted by a spectral steam engine.

  • Boadicea's haunts King's Cross Station, Platform 10 which is the final resting ground of the warrior queen which is reported to be under this busy platform.

  • A Rail Worker haunts Tulse Hill Station, platform one. Killed as he walked on the tracks, the worker's footfalls are sometimes heard echoing through the station late at night.

  • A Nun haunts London Road Depot (Bakerloo Line). This area is thought to be haunted by a nun who is connected to a nearby Roman Catholic school.

  • Many Monks haunt the Jubilee Line, from Westminster to Stratford. Since the construction of the Jubilee Line, reports of phantom monks walking the tracks have begun to emerge. The sightings may be connected to the large number of graves which were disturbed while work was commencing.

  • A Woman with a Red Scarf haunts Uxbridge (Greater London) - Ickenham Station. This ghostly figure stands at the end of the platform, close to where she fell and was electrocuted. She sometimes waves to attract attention before vanishing.

  • A Tube Traveller haunts the Elephant and Castle Underground Station, Bakerloo line. Seen by both staff and commuters, this young woman enters the train's carriages, but is never seen leaving. Some also allocate the blame on the same entity when invisible footfalls create loud echoing around the station after hours.

  • The Sounds of a Steam Train haunts Highgate High Level Station. Started during the Second World War, the station was never finished, though locals sometimes reported the sound of a steam train along where the track was supposed to have been laid. One rational explanation put forward is that the sounds of the trains came from nearby stations which were active until the 1970.

  • The Cries of the Trapped haunts Lewisham Station. A crash in 1957, caused partly by fog, killed ninety people and injured over one hundred. It is their cries which can be heard on the anniversary on the accident.

  • A Tall Man haunts Vauxhall Underground Line. This seven foot tall man was seen underground several times by diggers working on the line - he wore brown overalls and a cap.

  • A Bricked Up Train haunts an Area below Crystal Palace Park. A local legend states that there is a train bricked up under the park, complete with dead passengers and crew - sometimes the hands of the dead reach up from the ground and try to grab the living

  • A Reflection haunts the Bakerloo line, Elephant & Castle and other stations along the line. It is reported that occasionally, while travelling northbound, some passengers can see the reflection of someone sitting next to them, even though there is no one in the seat.

  • The sound of Slamming Doors haunts Kennington Loop. All passengers disembark at Kennington and the carriages are checked just prior to trains turning in the loop. However, as the train drivers sit waiting in the dark loop tunnel, at least two have reported hearing the connecting carriage doors open and close as if someone is moving from the rear of the train towards the driving compartment.

  • A Workman haunts West Brompton tube station. A man dressed in dark, old looking workman's clothing has been spotted early in the morning and late at night. He walks to the end of the platform before disappearing.

  • Man with a Tilly Lamp haunts South Island Place, Northern Line, near Stockwell Station. A trainee manager sent to walk the line by himself as part of his training encountered an old man with a tilly lamp working at South Island Place. They exchanged a couple of words in passing. When the trainee reached Stockwell Station and commented that he had seen someone else along the line, a search party was dispatched to find the worker as no maintenance work was scheduled. No one could be found, and the trainee later discovered that the old man had been seen dozens of times over the years, and was believed to be the ghost of a worker killed on the spot during the 1950s.

  • An Oppressive Feeling is felt along the Embankment Station - Page's Walk. Staff who walk along the long dark tunnel known as Page's Walk complain of cold winds, doors which open and slam shut, and an oppressive feeling.

  • The sound of Footprints haunts Baker's Street to St John's Wood, northbound tunnel. Bill, an underground track walker, sat down for a break while patrolling the line. He reported disembodied footprints which crunched down in the ballast and appeared before him. The footsteps went straight past him and stopped ten metres from his position. When he finished his rounds, one of his colleagues said that other people had also encountered the footsteps, and they belonged to a workman killed in the area.

  • A Striding Grey Man haunts Acton Green common, near Turnham Green tube station. This semi transparent entity was observed walking parallel to the railway line, wearing a knee length cape. The dark grey figure vanished when the witness momentarily looked away.

  • An Egyptian Princess haunts British Museum Station (which closed 1933). Connected to the 'curse' of the Amen-Ra's tomb, this Egyptian Princess would return from the grave late at night and would wail and scream in the tunnels. A more recent report states that these sounds can now be heard further down the track, in Holborn station.

  • William Terriss haunts Covent Garden Station, on the Piccadilly Line. The actor, Mr Terriss was stabbed to death in December 1897 at a nearby theatre. His ghost, tall in stature, has been seen dressed in a grey suit with white gloves, standing on the platform late at night.

  • A Displaced Actress haunts Aldwych Underground Station (no longer operational). Built where the Royal Strand Theatre once stood, it is thought the female ghost seen standing on the tracks migrated from the original building to the station shortly after it became operational. She is normally reported by cleaning staff working the night shift.

I hope the reader has enjoyed the ghostly and spooky tales. Please visit my Article website where I have listed many articles about many more haunting stories.

Hauntings of Ye Olde London – Part 2

London theatres are famous for the ghosts and spirits with many famous actors experiencing the ghosts for themselves. So widespread is the belief in Britain that many theaters in Britain have what is called a 'ghost light' burning on the stage all through the night. In Shakespeare's time it would have been a candle. Now it is a single bare light-bulb and its intended purpose is to keep the ghosts at bay. Below is listed just some of the most haunted Theatres.

The Adelphi Theatre, is haunted by the shade of the great actor William Teriss. He was stabbed to death at the Stage Door in 1897 by a fellow actor. Terriss is supposed to haunt not only the backstage areas of the Adelphi Theatre but also the Lyceum Theatre and Covent Garden Tube Station. Terriss is described as an imposing figure, being tall and wearing a grey suit with white gloves. His murderer was found to be 'insane' and spent the remainder of his life in a mental institution. It is interesting to note that on the day before Terriss was murdered, his understudy related a disturbing dream he had had in which he had seen Terriss lying on the dressing room steps with blood flowing from a gaping wound in his chest.

The Dominion Theatre was built in 1930 on the site of Meux's House Shore Brewery. Over the years, many audience members have reported seeing a brewery worker in the Dominion Theatre. There has also been heard the sound of a child giggling. And as with so many other haunted theaters in London, there is reported poltergeist activity. At least one book suggests that the spirit of Freddie Mercury haunts the Dominion Theatre allegedly because the theatre is the home to the musical,'We Will Rock You'.

The Fortune Theatre is haunted by a woman dressed in black, who is often seen in the hospitality bar and in one of the boxes from where she appears to be watching the play. During the performance of the play,'Woman in Black', one of the actors, Sebastian Harcombe, saw two women to the right of the stage where no living person was in fact standing. At the same time, the leading lady mentioned that she felt that she had been followed onto the stage by someone she couldn't see.

Her Majesty's Theatre was the venue that saw the first performance of 'The Phantom of the Opera' should also be a haunted theatre in its own right. Her Majesty's Theatre was built in 1897 for actor-manager Sir Beerbohm Tree and he made several appearances on its stage. His favourite place in the house from which to watch performances was the top box, stage right and it appears that this is the centre for the manifestations. Occupants of the box complain of cold spots and of the door to the box suddenly opening of its own accord.
If it is Sir Beerbohm who is responsible then he does not seem to restrict his activities to this area. In the 1970's, during a performance of, 'Cause Celebre', the entire cast of the play, which included the actress Glynis Johns, watched as the ghost walked across the theatre at the back of the stalls.

Lyceum Theatre is a haunted theatre with a unique ghost. For sitting in the cheaper seats in the Lyceum Theatre has been seen an elderly woman cradling what appears to be a severed head in her lap. No-one knows the identity of the ghost or indeed the owner of the cranium (if this what it is). It has been suggested that woman might be Madame Marie Tussaud who, in 1802, showed her waxworks in the theatre for the first time, with one of her exhibits. However, why anyone would want to 'stroke' a wax head is beyond me!

The Noel Coward Theatre is one of the more modern haunted theatres, the New Theatre as it was originally called was built in 1903 a few years after the Wyndham Theatre which stands behind it. Sir Charles Wyndham is believed to have been seen walking in the corridors and appearing in the dressing rooms.

The Piccadilly Theatre is haunted by a minor actress called Evelyn Lane, who worked at the Piccadilly Theatre when it first opened. She may not have made much of an impression when alive but she is making up for it now. For it is she who is blamed for the poltergeist activity for which the theatre is known. Her photograph hangs in the theatre offices and when the picture was removed some years ago, the poltergeist became especially violent. Fortunately, someone realised the cause of the problem and when the picture was returned to its accustomed place, everything became quiet again.

The Queen's Theatre is the only one of the haunted theaters to have a gay ghost! Male staff report feeling that they are being watched as they change into their uniforms before a performance. There have also been reports that some of them have felt their bottom pinched by an invisible presence.

The Theatre Royal is haunted by the Man In Grey that ensures the Theatre Royal a place in the list of haunted theaters. The Theatre is the oldest in London and is home to an absolute gaggle of ghosts. There is actor Charles Macklin perhaps he feels remorse for 'accidentally' killing another actor in 1735 during an argument over a wig by stabbing him in the eye with his cane. The clown Joe Grimaldi has also been seen and it is he who it is thought helpfully guides nervous actors to their correct position on the stage. The music hall entertainer and clog-dancer Dan Leno haunts the building. The sound of clog dancing has been heard coming from empty dressing rooms and actors have felt his presence on stage and smelt the distinctive scent of lavender which Dan Leno always wore.

The friendly phantom of actor-manager John Buckstone has been seen many times in the Theatre Royal Haymarket. When shown a picture of John Buskstone witnesses always confirm that that is he whom they saw. As indeed did Dame Judi Dench and Donald Sinden.
Apparently, John Buckstone is still very much attached to his old Dressing Room 1 as that is where he usually manifests. However, he has been observed in other places in the building as well, including the stairwells and once on the stage. Staff backstage have heard him rehearsing his lines although he has not seen there.

Visiting haunted theatres can certainly be a 'hair-raising' experience. At least it be if you go to the Victoria Palace Theatre For there have been many numerous reports of poltergeist activity involving, of all things, wigs. They have been observed flying through the air unaided. The door to the room in which the hair-pieces are kept, opens and closes by itself And it is no use locking it as it unlocks and locks itself apparently without any human assistance. No-one seems to have an explanation for this bizarre paranormal activity.

Hauntings of Ye Olde London – Part 3

London is famous for it's history, designers, inventors, fashion and music. Ghosts and Ghoulies are also endemic across London which not a lot of people know about and which I have decided to write about in this article. London is said to be the most haunted City in the world. Below I have listed Part 3 of just some of the spooky hauntings of London.

The Old Bailey is London's main criminal court. A figure supposedly appears in the building during important trials. These appearances have been allegedly witnessed by judges, barristers and policemen.

Bruce Castle in Tottenham, North London is haunted by the ghost of a woman who allegedly appears every 3 November. The ghost is thought to be Lady Coleraine, who was kept locked up in a chamber within the castle by her husband

50, Berkeley Square is a four-storey brick town house was constructed in 1740. From 1770 to 1827 it was the home of British Prime Minister George Canning commemorated by a plaque on the house today. During the subsequent Victorian era, it was the location of reported apparitions, screams and noises. After the death of its ninety-year-old occupant in 1859, the house was unoccupied until 1880. "It is quite true that there is a house in Berkeley Square (No. 50), said to be haunted, and long unoccupied on that account. There are strange stories about it, into which this deponent cannot enter." - George Lyttelton, 4th Baron Lyttelton in Notes and Queries – 1872.

In 1873, the local council sued a new tenant of 50, Berkeley Square called Myers for not paying taxed or rates. He didn't appear in court, but the judge summed up "the house in question is known as a 'haunted house' and has occasioned a good deal of speculation amongst the neighbours."

A writer in 1880 said that Myers had leased the house for his impending marriage and began to furnish the house, when his wife-to-be left him.

"This disappointment is said to have broken his heart and turned his brain. He became morose and solitary, and would never allow a woman to come near him" said the writer.

Myers, to escape society lived in the famous top room of the house and would often walk around the house at night to see what should have been the scene of his happiness bathed in candlelight. His midnight wanderings could have laid the foundations for ghost story.

Hallam also writes that in 1907, ghost author Charles Harper revealed "The secret of the house, according to Mr Stuart Wortley, was that it belonged to Mr Du Pre, of Wilton Park, who shut his lunatic brother in one of attics. The captive was so violent he could only be fed through a hole. His groans and cries could be distinctly heard in the neighbouring houses."

So could it be the nocturnal wanders of a jilted recluse or the insane cries of violent lunatic spurned the stories of a lurking murderous ghost? Or may be the house was damned, haunted by angry ghosts, hell bent on revenge on the living.

Hauntings of Ye Olde London – Part 4

London is famous for it's history, designers, inventors, fashion and music. Ghosts and Ghoulies are also endemic across London which not a lot of people know about and which I have decided to write about in this article. London is said to be the most haunted City in the world. Below I have listed part 4 of just some of the spooky hauntings of London.

Haunted Hotels and Pubs of London

14-15 Crooked Billet, Wimbledon Village, London.
This property can date back to the early 16th century and is of course reputed to be haunted. It is an Irish ghost that haunts here, a female with most of the activity being limited to the area of the cellar.

14 Flask Walk, London.
This is supposedly the haunt of a former landlord who can become more fluid in his haunting if changes are made.

1 North Road, Highgate, London.
The ghost here is thought to be a woman who was a guest at the old pub called 'Mother Marnes.'

63 Pitfield Street, London.
Established in 1600, there are claims that the upstairs is the haunt of a female.

35-39 St. George's Drive, Westminster, London.
Since being extended it is now a much larger property. Several spirits are said to reside here, including those of children.

47 Villiers Street, Strand, London.
A delivery boy is said to have fallen to his death and still haunts the place.

7 Montague Street, London.
Haunted by a ghostly chambermaid.

18 Wilton Row, London.
Wisps of smoke have been recorded and photographed.

39 Broadwick Street, London.
Apparently the ghostly male spirit with glowing red eyes sits in a corner. It is thought to be a victim of a cholera epidemic. The pub is named after Dr John Snow who discovered that cholera is water-borne, tracing the outbreak to a local water pump.

1c Portland Place, Regent Street, London.
A Victorian gentleman with grey hair, another gentleman in Victorian dress who is said to be more active during the month of October, a German in military uniform, and even Napoleon Bonaparte are said to haunt here. There is one spirit that tips people out of bed.

58 Millbank, London.
The cellar is said to be haunted by a convict who died there. He was probably an escapee hiding out to evade capture, but the reason for his death differs from suicide to natural causes. There are also a couple of animal manifestations in the form of a squirrel and a hare.

North End Way, London.
When renovations took place a skeleton was found behind a bricked up wall. It is now the haunt of a Victorian gentleman. It is also interesting to note that medical implements were found bricked up with the body. This is only speculations but worth thinking about as Victorian London was in the grip of terror by Jack the Ripper. Did the unsuspecting doctor go out on a call, only to be waylaid thinking he was the Ripper! Or is it that the reason why the murders stopped so abruptly!

44 Essex Road, London.
The haunt of a woman and a young girl from the Tudor period, the child often looking sad. Footsteps have been heard and doors frequently open and close of their own accord.

23 Catherine Street, Covent Garden, London.
An actor from the 18th century named Robert Baddely is said to haunt the inn.

185 Clay Hill, Enfield, Middlesex.
This claims to be one of the many haunts of Dick Turpin. He is said to have used the inn as a place to lie low as his grandfather, Mr Mott was at one time a proprietor.

Spaniard Road, London.
This is one of the haunts of Dick Turpin and the hoof beats of Black Bess are often said to be heard.

126 Newgate Street, Blackfriars & St. Paul's, London.
The cellar is reputed to be haunted. There are two ghosts, one a prostitute and the other named Fred who is blamed for the poltergeist type activity.

245-247 Baker Street, London.
The ghost said to be haunting this place is that of Robert Neville. The Neville family home stood on this spot until it was burned down in 1654.

Be warned if you decide to stay at any of these hauntings you may wake up with your hair turned white!!!

Witches of Leicester – England from 1420AD

I thought as Christmas Time is the time for ghostly stories I thought it would be fun to write about the Witches of Leicestershire, England.

Abbot William Sadyngton, Onychomancer

William Sadyngton was made Abbot of Leister Abbey on 26th October 1420 and he died in 1442. The Abbot is probably best known for using the occult power of Onychomancy to catch the thief of a silver plate and some coinage. William did not by all accounts have a good relationship with the fourteen Canons he worked with and he accused one of them, Canon Thomas Asty of the theft. Asty refused to confess, so Sadyngton turned to occult means to prove his guilt. In September 1439, whilst at Ingarsby, he polished the thumb nail of a boy called Maurice and whilst he recited a magical incantation the boy stared at the nails surface and told the Abbot what he saw. The boy named Thomas Asty as the culprit, though it is feasible that William had told Maurice what he expected the answer to be.  Upon his return to Leicester he accused Asty again, who then sought absolution from the Abbot in the confessional, which Sadyngton refused to give.

The Bilson Boy

In 1620, another English boy, William Perry, accused an old woman, Jane Clark, of bewitching him and causing fits. This time, during the trial, the court was skeptical, most likely because of the results of the Leicester cases. The boy eventually confessed that he, like Smith, faked the fits because he also enjoyed the attention.

Perry didn’t let matters be. Not much later, he repeated the same fraudulent behavior. The Bishop of Lichfield, Thomas Morton, investigated. He saw the boy regurgitate different objects and was ready to concede witchcraft was involved when he saw Perry pass blue urine, but decided that there had to be further tests. A spy was stationed to secretly watch Perry when he was alone in his room. The boy put blue ink in his chamber pot to change the color of his urine.

Perry claimed that the devil caused him to have fits whenever the first words of the Gospel of Saint John were read. The boy didn’t have hysteria when the words were read in Greek, a language he didn’t understand. According to beliefs at that time, if this was the work of the devil via witchcraft, Perry would have comprehended the foreign tongue and acted accordingly.

What caused the phenomena was that a priest taught the boy how to vomit strange objects and other chicanery in order to pretend to be possessed. The priest hoped that by “exorcising” the boy, who was in cahoots with him, he would impress his superiors.

King James I of England held much legal influence of the witch-hunts of the late 1500's. He greatly feared the power of witches. He believed wholly that a storm which threatened to sink his ship and drown both him and his 15-year-old wife, Queen Anne, was summoned by witches. As a result of this belief, the two women 'responsible' were burned at the stake (one still alive at the time).

Although James believed witches were to be destroyed, he did find some court procedures to be conscientiously objectionable. "He ended one of the most dubious forms of condemnation, that of denunciation by children at a time when the courts were prepared to accept any flight of fancy by impressionable children as evidence." This injunction occurred after James took time to investigate two cases involving children. In the first, nine-year-old Jennet Device testified against her eleven-year-old sister and against her mother who were both then hanged in 1582. The second case regarded the young John Smith of Leicester. Smith "feigned fits and the vomiting of pins to frame old women for casting a spell on him. Nine were already hanged on his evidence when James I intervened. At the King's behest, the boy was dispatched to the care of the Archbishop of Canterbury. Within weeks he broke down and confessed." Denunciation by children would no longer be accepted in court.

In his later years, James came to realize that many witchcraft accusations were maliciously falsified.

Regardless, it was James I who authorized the translation of the King James Bible. Under his control, the soon to be oft-quoted Exodus 22:18 was changed fr
om "Thou must not suffer a poisoner to live" to "Thou must not suffer a witch to live."

Royal Mail – from 1516 AD to Present Day

The Royal Mail here in the UK is one of the most iconic British institutions and as such I thought it would be an idea to write about this great icon. The Royal Mail traces its history back to 1516, when Henry VIII established a "Master of the Posts", a post which eventually evolved into the office of the Postmaster General. The Royal Mail service was first made available to the public by Charles I on 31 July 1635, with postage being paid by the recipient, and the General post office (GPO) was officially established by Charles II in 1660.

Between 1719 and 1763, Ralph Allen, Postmaster at bath, signed a series of contracts with the post office to develop and expand Britain's postal network. He organised mail coaches which were provided by both Wilson & Company of London and Williams & Company of Bath. The early Royal mail Coaches were similar to ordinary family coaches but with Post Office Livery.

In December 1839 the first substantial reform started when postage rates were revised by the short-lived Uniform Fourpenny Post. Greater changes took place when the Uniform Penny Post was introduced on 10 January 1840 whereby a single rate for delivery anywhere in Great Britain and Ireland was pre-paid by the sender. A few months later, to certify that postage had been paid on a letter, the sender could affix the first adhesive Postage Stramp, the Penny Black that was available for use from 6 May the same year. Other innovations were the introduction of pre-paid William Mulready designed postal stationary letter sheets and envelopes.

As the United Kingdom was the first country to issue prepaid postage stamps, British stamps are the only stamps that do not bear the name of the country of issue on them.

By the late 19th century, there were between six and twelve mail deliveries per day in London, permitting correspondents to exchange multiple letters within a single day.

Royal Mail - Time Line

  • 1516: Royal Mail established by Henry VIII under Master of the Posts.

  • 1635: Royal Mail service first made available to the public by Charles I.

  • 1654: Oliver Cromwell grants monopoly over service in England to "Office of Postage".

  • 1657: Fixed postal rates introduced.

  • 1660: General Post Office (GPO) officially established by Charles II.

  • 1661: First use of date stamp. First Postmaster General appointed.

  • 1784: First Mail coach (between Bristol and London).

  • 1793: First uniformed delivery staff. Post Office Investigation Branch formed, the oldest recognised criminal investigations authority in the world.

  • 1830: First mail train (on Liverpool and Manchester Railway).

  • 1838: Post Office Money order system introduced.

  • 1839: Uniform Fourpenny Post introduced.

  • 1840: Uniform Penny Post introduced.

  • 1840: First adhesive stamp (the Penny Black).

  • 1852: First Post Office pillar box erected (in Jersey).

  • 1853: First post boxes erected in mainland Britain.

  • 1857: First wall boxes installed Shrewsbury and Market Drayton

  • 1870: Post Office begins telegraph service.

  • 1870: Post Office Act banned sending of `indecent or obscene` literature; introduced the ½d rate for postcards; banned the use of cut-outsfrom postal stationery; introduced the ½d rate for newspapers; provided for the issue of newspaper wrappers.

  • 1880: First use of bicycles to deliver mail.

  • 1881: Postal order introduced.

  • 1882: Army Post Office Corps formed from GPO employees (see British Forces Post Office)

  • 1883: Parcel post begins.

  • 1894: First picture postcards.

  • 1912: Post Office opens national telephone service.

  • 1919: First international airmail service developed by Royal Engineers (Postal Section) and Royal Air Force.

  • 1941: Airgraph service introduced between UK and Egypt. The service was later extended to: Canada (1941), East Africa (1941), Burma (1942), India (1942), South Africa (1942), Australia (1943), New Zealand (1943) Ceylon (1944) and Italy (1944).

  • 1941: Aerogram service introduced.

  • 1968: Two-class postal system introduced. National Giro bank opens.

  • 1969: General Post Office changes from government department to nationalised industry.

  • 1971: Postal services in Great Britain were suspended for two months between January and March as the result of a national postal strike over a pay claim.[19]

  • 1974: Postcodes extended over all UK.

  • 1981: Telecommunications services split out as British Telecom. Remainder renamed as "Post Office".

  • 1986: Separated businesses of delivering letters, delivering parcels and operating post offices.

  • 1988: Postal workers hold their first national strike for 17 years after walking out over bonuses being paid to recruit new workers in London and the South East.

  • 1989: Royal Mail establishes RoMec (Royal Mail Engineering & Construction) to deliver Facilities Maintenance services to its business. RoMec becomes owned 51% Royal Mail and 49% Haden BML in a joint venture.

  • 1990: Girobank sold to the Alliance & Leicester Building Society.

  • 1990: Royal Mail Parcels re-branded as Parcelforce.

  • 1999: A new business: Royal Mail ViaCode - or ViaCode Limited - was launched. This wholly-owned subsidiary of the Post Office offered online encryption services to businesses, using "digital certificate" technology. The short-lived venture was wound up in 2002.[20]

  • 2004: Reduction of deliveries to once daily. Travelling post office ("Mail Trains") end.[21] SmartStamp is introduced.

  • 2005: Mail Trains re-introduced on some lines.

  • 2006: Royal Mail loses its monopoly when the regulator,[22] PostComm, opens up the Postal Market 3 years ahead of the rest of Europe.[23] Competitors can carry mail, and pass it to Royal Mail for delivery, a service known as Downstream access. Also introduces Pricing in Proportion (PiP) for first and second class inland mail.

  • 2006: Online postage allows Royal Mail customers to pay for postage on the web, without the need to buy traditional stamps.

  • 2007: Royal Mail Group PLC becomes Royal Mail Group Ltd in a slight change of legal status.

  • 2007: Official Industrial Action takes place over pay, conditions and pensions.

  • 2007: Sunday collections from pillar boxes end.[24]

  • 2009: (September) CWU opens national ballot for industrial action.[25]

  • 2010: Bicycles begin to be phased out, 130 years after they were first used.

The Ashes – A Cricketing and Sporting Icon

One of the most competitive sporting traditions is the cricket series of matches between England and Australia which dates back to 1882. It is currently played biennially, alternately in England and Australia. Ask any Australian or Englishman how serious he takes the Ashes and he will reply to have the bragging rights for the two years they hold the ashes is great fun. It is taken seriously enough to be one of the world's most intense sporting rivallry. While growing up in the 1970's and 1980's one of the most memorable sportsman was Sir Ian Botham who from an impossible position helped beat the Aussies in 1981 with the greatest innings in Cricket history.

The series is named after a satirical obituary published in a British newspaper, he Sporting Times, in 1882 after a match at The Ovall in which Australia beat England on an English ground for the first time. The obituary stated that English cricket had died, and the body will be cremated and the ashes taken to Australia. The English media dubbed the next English tour to Australia (1882–83) as the quest to regain The Ashes.

During that tour a small terracotta urn was presented to England captain Ivo Bligh by a group of Melbourne women. The contents of the urn are reputed to be the ashes of an item of cricket equipment, possibly a bail, ball or stump. The Dowager Countess of Darnley claimed recently that her mother-in-law, Bligh's wife Florence Morphy, said that they were the remains of a lady's veil.

The urn is erroneously believed by some to be the trophy of the Ashes series, but it has never been formally adopted as such and Bligh always considered it to be a personal gift.

Replicas of the urn are often held aloft by victorious teams as a symbol of their victory in an Ashes series, but the actual urn has never been presented or displayed as a trophy in this way. Whichever side holds the Ashes, the urn normally remains in the Maryleborne Cricket Club Museum at Lord's since being presented to the MCC by Bligh's widow upon his death.

Since the 1998–99 Ashes series, a Waterford Crystal representation of the Ashes urn has been presented to the winners of an Ashes series as the official trophy of that series.

Cricket being a summer sport, and the venues being in opposite hemispheres, the break between series alternates between 18 and 30 months. A series of "The Ashes" comprises five Test matches, two innings per match, under the regular rules for test Match Cricket. If a series is drawn then the country already holding the Ashes retains them.

During the ashes test In 1981, England, despite being 135 for 7, produced a second innings total of 356, Sir Ian Botham scoring 149. Chasing just 130, Australia were sensationally dismissed for 111, Bob Willis taking 8/43. It was the first time since 1894–95 that a team following on had won a Test match. Under Brearley's leadership, England went on to win the next two matches before a drawn final match at The Oval to regain the ashes.

Hawk-Eye The Electronic Referee

As a fan of many sports including tennis, cricket and football and with the recent development of Hawk-Eye to sort out line calls etc. I thought it would be of interest to write about this British invention and how it came about. As a football fan I have hopes that Goal Line technology will eventually be taken up by Football clubs here in England (Hopefully Sepp Blatter will have left FIFA by then).

In a few days time the World Cup hosting city will be decided for 2018 and 2022 and if England are not awarded the hosting of the World Cup in 2018 then the earliest the cup could come to England will be in 2026 – a good 60 years since it was last held in England!!! If this is the case then I think the Premier League should just introduce Goal Line technology and ignore FIFA who are just a bunch of corrupt jumped up plonkers.

Hawk-Eye is a complex computer system used in Cricket, Tennis and other sports to visually track the path of the ball and display a record of its most statistically likely path as a moving image. In some sports, like tennis, it is now part of the adjudication process. It is also used in some instances to predict the future path of a ball in cricket. It was developed by engineers at Roke Manor Research Ltd of Romsey in Hampshire, England, in 2001. A UK patent was submitted by Dr Paul Hawkins and David Sherry. Later, the technology was spun off into a separate company, Hawk-Eye Innovations Ltd., as a joint venture with television production company Sunset + Vine.

All Hawk-Eye systems are based on the principles of triangulation using the visual images and timing data provided by at least four high-speed video cameras located at different locations and angles around the area of play. The system rapidly processes the video feeds by a high-speed video processor and ball tracker. A data store contains a predefined model of the playing area and includes data on the rules of the game.

In each frame sent from each camera, the system identifies the group of pixels which corresponds to the image of the ball. It then calculates for each frame the 3D position of the ball by comparing its position on at least two of the physically separate cameras at the same instant in time. A succession of frames builds up a record of the path along which the ball has travelled. It also "predicts" the future flight path of the ball and where it will interact with any of the playing area features already programmed into the database. The system can also interpret these interactions to decide infringements of the rules of the game.

The system generates a graphic image of the ball path and playing area, which means that information can be provided to judges, television viewers or coaching staff in near real time. The pure tracking system is combined with a back end database and archiving capabilities so that it is possible to extract and analyse trends and statistics about individual players, games, ball-to-ball comparisons, etc.

The technology was first used by Channel 4 during a Cricket test match between England and Pakistan on Lord's Cricket Ground on 21 May 2001. It is used primarily by the majority of television networks to track the trajectory of balls in flight. In the winter season of 2008/2009 the ICC trialled a referral system where Hawkeye was used for referring decisions to the third umpire if a team disagreed with an LBW decision. The third umpire was able to look at what the ball actually did up to the point when it hit the batsman, but could not look at the predicted flight of the ball after it hit the batsman.

Its major use in cricket broadcasting is in analysing leg before wicket decisions, where the likely path of the ball can be projected forward, through the batsman's legs, to see if it would have hit the stumps. Consultation of the third umpire, for conventional slow motion or Hawk-Eye, on leg before wicket decisions, is not currently sanctioned in international cricket and doubts remain about its accuracy in cricket.

Due to its real-time coverage of bowling speed, the systems are also used to show delivery patterns of bowler's behaviour such as line and length, or swing/turn information. At the end of an over, all six deliveries are often shown simultaneously to show a bowler's variations, such as slower deliveries, bouncers and leg-cutters. A complete record of a bowler can also be shown over the course of a match.

Batsmen also benefit from the analysis of Hawk-Eye, as a record can be brought up of the deliveries batsmen scored from. These are often shown as a 2-D silhouetted figure of a batter and colour-coded dots of the balls faced by the batsman. Information such as the exact spot where the ball pitches or speed of the ball from the bowler's hand (to gauge batsman reaction time) can also help in post-match analysis.

The system was also officially introduced to Tennis in the 2006 Hopman Cup in Australia. Now it is used in Tennis, it has become much more exciting and nail biting, as in Cricket..

At the World Snooker Championship 2007, the BBC used Hawk-Eye for the first time in its television coverage to show player views, particularly in the incidents of potential snookers. It has also been used to demonstrate intended shots by players when the actual shot has gone awry. It is now used by the BBC at every World Championship, as well as some other major tournaments. The BBC uses the system sporadically, for instance in the 2009 Masters at Wembley the Hawkeye was at most used once or twice per frame. In contrast to tennis, the Hawkeye is never used in snooker to assist referees' decisions.

In the future the hope is that many other sports will take up the Hawk Eye system such as Baseball, Football (Soccer), Rugby, Hockey (Grass and ice versions) and many other sports.

British Prime Ministers – First Lord of the Treasuries

Great Britain is famous for it's history, designers, inventors, fashion and music. It's amazing how many times British Prime Ministers helped in the defeat of dictators like Napoleon and Hitler. I have decided to write about who was Prime minister and when including the First Lord of The Treasury who which was the name and title of the early Prime Ministers.

My favourite PM's are Sir Winston Churchill who led the world to freedom from Hitler's tyranny and Margaret Thatcher who sorted out the militant unions and the Argentine dictator's.

First Lords of the Treasury

Earl of Halifax


13th October 1714


19th May 1715


Earl of Carlisle

23rd May 1715

10th October 1715


Robert Walpole

10th October 1715

12th April 1717


Earl Stanhope

12th April 1717

21st March 1718


Earl of Sunderland

21st March 1718

4th April 1721


Sir Robert Walpole

4th April 1721

11th February 1742


18th Century Prime Ministers, period of office and political party

  • Sir Robert Walpole 1721-42 Whig

  • Spencer Compton, Earl of Wilmington 1742-3 Whig

  • Henry Pelham 1743-54 Whig

  • Thomas Pelham-Holles, Duke of Newcastle 1754-6 and 1757-62 Whig

  • William Cavendish, Duke of Devonshire 1756-7 Whig

  • John Stuart, Earl of Bute 1762-3 Tory

  • George Grenville 1763-5 Whig

  • Charles Wentworth, Marquess of Rockingham 1765-6 1782 Whig

  • The Earl of Chatham, William Pitt ‘The Elder’ 1766-8 Whig

  • Augustus Henry Fitzroy, Duke of Grafton 1768-70 Whig

  • Lord North 1770-82 Tory

  • William Petty, Earl of Shelburne 1782-3 Whig

  • William Bentinck, Duke of Portland 1783 and 1807-9 Whig

19th Century Prime Ministers, period of office and political party

  • William Pitt ‘The Younger’ 1783-1801 and 1804-6 Tory

  • Henry Addington 1801-4 Tory

  • William Wyndam Grenville, Lord Grenville 1806-7 Whig

  • Spencer Perceval 1809-12 Tory

  • Robert Banks Jenkinson, Earl of Liverpool 1812-27 Tory

  • George Canning 1827 Tory

  • Frederick Robinson, Viscount Goderich 1827-8 Tory

  • Arthur Wellesley, Duke of Wellington 1828-30 Tory

  • Earl Grey 1830-34 Whig

  • William Lamb, Viscount Melbourne 1834 and 1835-41 Whig

  • Sir Robert Peel 1834-5 and 1841-6 Tory

  • Earl Russell 1846-51 1865-6 Liberal

  • The Earl of Derby 1852, 1858-9 and 1866-8, Conservative

  • Earl of Aberdeen 1852-5 Tory

  • Viscount Palmerston 1855-8 and 1859-65 Liberal

  • Benjamin Disraeli 1868 and 1874-80 Conservative

  • William Ewart Gladstone 1868-74, 1880-85, 1886 and 1892-94 Liberal

  • Robert Gascoyne-Cecil, Marquess of Salisbury 1885-6, 1886-92 and 1895-1902 Conservative

  • The Earl of Rosebery 1894-5 Liberal

20th Century Prime Ministers, period of office and political party

  • Arthur James Balfour 1902-5 Conservative

  • Henry Campbell-Bannerman 1905-8 Liberal

  • Herbert Henry Asquith 1908-16 Liberal

  • David Lloyd George 1916-22 Liberal

  • Andrew Bonar Law 1922-3 Conservative

  • Stanley Baldwin 1923, 1924-9, 1935-7 Conservative

  • James Ramsay MacDonald 1924 and 1929-35 Labour

  • Arthur Neville Chamberlain 1937-40 Conservative

  • Sir Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill 1940-5 and 1951-5 Conservative

  • Clement Richard Attlee 1945-51 Labour

  • Anthony Eden 1955-7 Conservative

  • Harold Macmillan 1957-63 Conservative

  • Sir Alec Douglas-Home 1963-4 Conservative

  • Harold Wilson 1964-70 and 1974-6 Labour

  • Edward Heath 1970-4 Conservative

  • James Callaghan 1976-9 Labour

  • Margaret Thatcher 1979-90 Conservative

  • John Major 1990-97 Conservative

  • Tony Blair 1997-2007 Labour

  • 21st Century Prime Ministers, period of office and political party

  • Gordon Brown 2007-2010 Labour

  • David Cameron 2010-Present Conservative

Sir Terry Pratchett – Fantasy and Discworld Genius Author

During my many years as a born and bred Englishman, one of the most iconic English authors of comic surreal fantasy writing is Sir Terry Pratchett. As a great fan of his books especially his comic Discworld series I thought I would write about the author and list his many fabulous books. Sir Terence David John Pratchett, OBE was born on 28th April 1948 in Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire.

He is more commonly known as Terry Pratchett, an English novelist, known for his frequently comical work in the fantasy genre. He is best-known for his popular and long-running Discworld series of comic fantasy novels. Terry Pratchett's first novel, The Carpet People was published in 1971, and since his first Discworld novel The Colour of Magic was published in 1983, he has written two books a year on average.

In 1987 after finishing the fourth Discworld novel,Mort he began to focus fully on and make his living through writing. His sales increased quickly and many of his books occupied top places on the best-seller list. According to The Times, Pratchett was the top selling and highest earning UK author in 1996. Some of his books have been published by Doubleday and

another by Transworld imprint.

On 31 December 2008 it was announced that Terry Pratchett was to be knighted in the Queen's 2009 New Years Honour's. He formally received the accolade at Buckingham Palace on 18 February 2009. Afterwards he said, "You can't ask a fantasy writer not to want a knighthood. You know, for two pins I'd get myself a horse and a sword."

In late 2009, he did make himself a sword, with the help of his friends. He told a “Time's Higher education” interviewer that "'At the end of last year I made my own sword. I dug out the iron ore from a field about 10 miles away - I was helped by interested friends. We lugged 80 kilos of iron ore, used clay from the garden and straw to make a kiln, and lit the kiln with wildfire by making it with a bow.' Colin Smythe, his long-term friend and agent, donated some pieces of meteoric iron - 'thunderbolt iron has a special place in magic and we put that in the smelt, and I remember when we sawed the iron apart it looked like silver. Everything about it I touched, handled and so forth ... And everything was as it should have been, it seemed to me.'"

Although in the past he has written in the sci-fi and horror genres, Pratchett now focuses almost entirely on fantasy, explaining "it is easier to bend the universe around the story".

List of Terry Pratchett books:

  • The Colour of Magic

  • The Light fantastic

  • Mort

  • Sourcery

  • Wyrd Sisters

  • Pyramids

  • Guards! Guards!

  • Eric

  • Moving Pictures

  • Reaper Man

  • Witches Abroad

  • Small Gods

  • Lords and Ladies

  • Men At Arms

  • Soul Music

  • Interesting Times

  • Maskerade

  • Feet of Clay

  • Hogfather

  • Jingo

  • The Last Continent

  • Carpe Jugulum

  • The Fifth Elephant

  • The Truth

  • Thief of Time

  • The Last Hero

  • The Amazing Maurice and His Educated rodents

  • Night Watch

  • Wee Free Men

  • Monstrous Regiment

  • A Hat Full of Sky

  • Going Postal

  • Thud!

  • Wintersmith

  • Making Money

  • I Shall Wear Midnight. This is the most recent book by Terry Pratchett – launched in September 2010 and is one of his best books.

Tommy Steele – Iconic English Performer

During the late 1967 as a 6 year old My mother took me, my brother and sister to see Tommy Steele in the film 'Half a Sixpence' and ever since I have been interested in his career.Tommy Steele OBE was (born Thomas William Hicks, on the 17th December 1936 in was the eldest of Elizabeth Ellen and Thomas Walter's four children and was born in Mason Street in the South London suburb of Bermondsey, London). Tommy Steele is widely regarded as Britain's first teen idol and Rock 'n' Roll star.

As he is an English Icon who very rarely appears in the newspapers and deserves to be knighted for his services to the entertainment industry I thought I would write about his life.

He was Evacuated during the Blitz and in 1941 he returned to Bermondsey and attendded

Bacon's School for Boys, leaving as soon as the law allowed at the age of fifteen. He joined the merchant navy for a short time and after that he formed his first band, the Skiffle group"The Cavemen", with Lionel Bart and Mike Pratt. He was discovered by his soon-to-be Manager John Kennedy in September 1956 while singing at the famous Two I's coffee bar in Old Compton Street, Soho, London.

In 1956 he made his film debut and his films include "The Tommy Steele Story" (also known as "Rock Around the World") and featured in many films after that. Among his best remembered rock 'n' roll discs are "Rock With The Cavemen", "Give! Give! Give!", "Teenage Party" (also recorded by The Blue Cats in 1980), "Elevator Rock", Rebel Rock" and Two Eyes".

As Tommy Steele he made his stage debut at Sunderland on the 5th November 1957 and had his first experience of a 'book show' in pantomime at Liverpool in 1957. The following Christmas he played Buttons in Rodgers and Hammerstein's "Cinderella" at the London Coliseum and since then his career has followed a varied and ever-developing course, embracing almost all areas of the entertainment world.

His major stage musical was "Half a Sixpence" and his one-man show - "An Evening with Tommy Steele" ran for fourteen months at the Prince of Wales Theatre in 1979/80 and is in the Guinness Book of Theatre Facts and Feats as "the longest running one-man show in West End history".

In 1974 he composed and recorded an autobiographical cycle of twelve songs under the title of "My Life, My Song". Another of his talents was shown in the album sleeve for this recording which was illustrated with twelve of his own paintings and these together with other works were shown in a one-man exhibition at the Christopher Wade Gallery. He has also developed a talent as a sculptor and two of his major works are on public display;"Bermondsey Boy" at the Rotherhithe Civic Centre and "Eleanor Rigby" which he gave to the City of Liverpool as a tribute to the Beatles. His talent for writing first manifest as a writer and co-writer of his own television specials which led to the publication of

"Quicy" a story for children, by Heinemann in hardback and Pan/Piccolo in paperback. He also wrote a best-selling novel for adults "The Final Run" published by Collins in hardback and Fontana in paperback.

History Timeline of Music and films by Tommy Steele


With the Steelmen

  • "Rock With the Caveman" / "Rock Around the Town" -#13 (Decca 1956)

  • "Doomsday Rock" / "Elevator Rock" - (Decca 1956)

  • Singing the Blues” / "Rebel Rock" - UK #1 (Decca 1956)

  • "Knee Deep in the Blues" / "Teenage Party" - UK #15 (Decca 1957)

  • "Butterfingers" / "Cannibal Pot" - UK #8 (Decca 1957)

  • "Water, Water" / "A Handful of Songs" - UK #5 (Decca 1957)

  • "Shiralee" / "Grandad’s Rock" - UK #11 (Decca 1957)

  • "Hey You!" / "Plant a Kiss" - UK #28 (Decca 1957)

  • "Happy Guitar" / "Princess" - UK #20 (Decca 1958)

  • "Nairobi" / "Neon Sign" - UK #3 (Decca 1958)

  • "The Only Man on the Island" / "I Puts the Lightie On" - UK #16 (Decca 1958)


  • "It’s All Happening" / "What Do You Do?" - (Decca 1958 )

  • "Come On, Let’s Go" / "Put a Ring on Her Finger" - UK #10 (Decca 1958)

  • "A Lovely Night" / "Marriage Type Love" - (Decca 1958)

  • "Hiawatha" / "The Trial" - (Decca 1959)

  • "Tallahassee Lassie" / "Give! Give! Give!" - UK #16 (Decca 1959)

  • "Give! Give! Give!" - UK #28 (Decca 1959)

  • "You Were Mine" / "Young Ideas" - (Decca 1959)

  • "Little White Bull" / "Singing Time" - UK #6 (Decca 1959)

  • "What a Mouth (What a North and South)" / "Kookaburra" - UK #5 (Decca 1960)

  • "Happy Go Lucky Blues" / "Girl with the Long Black Hair" - (Decca 1960)

  • "Must Be Santa" / "Boys and Girls" - UK #40 (Decca 1960)

  • "My Big Best Shoes" / "The Dit Dit Song" - (Decca 1961)

  • "The Writing on the Wall" / "Drunken Guitar" - UK #30 (Decca 1961)

  • "Hit Record" / "What a Little Darling" - (Decca 1962)

  • Where have all the Flowers gone?” / "Butter Wouldn’t Melt in Your Mouth" - (Decca 1963)

  • "He’s Got Love" / "Green Eye" - (Decca 1963)

  • "Flash Bang Wallop" / "She’s Too Far Above Me" - (Decca 1963)

  • "Egg and Chips" / "The Dream Maker" - (Columbia 1963)

  • Half a Sixpence”/ "If the Rain’s Got to Fall" - (RCA 1965)

  • "Fortuosity" / "I’m a Brass Band" - (Vista 1967)

  • "King’s New Clothes" / "Wonderful Copenhagen" - (Pye 1974)

  • "Half a Sixpence" / "If the Rain’s Got to Fall" - (Safari 1984)

  • "Singing the Blues" / "Come On, Let’s Go" - (Old Gold 1985)


  • Tommy Steele Stage Show-#5 (Decca 1957)

  • The Tommy Steele Story- UK #1 (Decca 1957)

  • The Duke Wore Jeans (Soundtrack)- UK #1 (Decca 1958)


  • The Tommy Steele Story (1957)

  • The Duke wore Jeans (1957)

  • Tommy the Toreador (1957)

  • Light up the Sky 1960) known as Skywatch in the US

  • It's All Happening (1963) known as The Dream Maker in the US

  • Half a Sixpence (1967)

  • the Happiest Millionaire (1967)

  • Finian's Rainbow (1968)

  • Twelfth Night (1969) (made for TV)

  • Where's Jjack? (1969)

  • The Yeoman of the Guard (1978)

  • Quincy's Quest (1979)

For many years it was thought that Elvis Ppressley had never set foot in England, and had only ever spent a few minutes on the tarmac at prestwick airpor in Scotland where his military plane, en route to the United States after completing his military service in West Germany, stopped to re-fuel. However, on 21st April 2008, in a (BBC Radio 2) interview with theatre impresario Bill Kenright, it was claimed that Presley, then 23, had visited England for a day, after striking a phone conversation with Steele in London in 1958. According to Kenwright: "Elvis flew in for a day and Tommy showed him round London. He showed him the Houses of Parliament and spent the day with him". Kenwright admitted on 22nd April 2008 that he was not sure whether he should have told the story.

Tommy Steele said: “It was two young men sharing the same love of their music. I swore never to divulge publicly what took place and I regret that it has found some way of getting into the light. I only hope he can forgive me."

Monty Python's Flying Circus – British TV Icon

During the late 1960's and early 70's one of my favourite tv shows was Monty Python's Flying Circus. This comedy show was a ground breaking show which was based on surreal and silly concepts which we English just loved. The television series, broadcast by the BBC from 1969 to 1974, was conceived, written and performed by Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric idle, Terry Jones and Michael Palin. Loosely structured as a sketch show but with an innovative surreal approach (aided by Gilliam's animation). If the reader has never seen Monty Python then can I suggest you buy one of films on DVD - you won't be disappointed.

The Pythons' creative control allowed them to experiment with form and content, discarding rules of television comedy. Their influence on British comedy has been apparent for years, while in North America it has coloured the work of cult performers from the early editions of Saturday Night Live through to more recent absurdist trends in television comedy. 'Pythonesque' has entered the English lexicon as a result.

List of various Shows, Films etc.


  • Monty Python's Flying Circus (1969–1974)

The show that started the Python phenomenon. See also List of Monty Python's Flying Circus episodes
  • Monty Python's Fliegender Zirkus (1972)

Two 45-minute specials made by WDR for West German television. The first was recorded in German, while the second was in English with German dubbing.
  • Monty Python's Personal Best (2006)

Six one-hour specials, each episode presenting the best of one member's work.


There were five Monty Python productions released as theatrical films:

  • And Now for Something Completely Different (1971)

A collection of sketches from the first and second TV series of Monty Python's Flying Circus purposely re-enacted and shot for film.
  • Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975)

King Arthur and his knights embark on a low-budget search for the Holy Grail, encountering humorous obstacles along the way. Some of these turned into standalone sketches.
  • Monty Python's Life of Brian (1979)

Brian is born on the first Christmas, in the stable next to Jesus'. He spends his life being mistaken for a messiah.
  • Monty Python Live at the Hollywood Bowl (1982)

A videotape recording directed by Ian MacNaughton of a live performance of sketches. Originally intended for a TV/video special. Transferred to 35mm and given a limited theatrical release in the US.
  • Monty Python's The Meaning of Life (1983)

An examination of the meaning of life in a series of sketches from conception to death and beyond, from the uniquely Python perspective.
  • Monty Python: Almost the Truth (The Lawyer's Cut) (2009)

This film features interviews with all the surviving Python members, along with archive representation for the late Graham Chapman. The Pythons will tell their life story and reveal deeper truths alongside the more tried and tested Python history lessons. “This is the documentary I always hoped that would be made – something so complete and so faithful to the truth that I don't need to watch it,” said Terry Jones.


  • Monty Python's Flying Circus (1970)

  • Another Monty Python Record (1971)

  • Monty Python's Previous Record (1972)

  • The Monty Python Matching Tie and Handkerchief (1973)

  • Monty Python Live at Drury Lane (1974)

  • The Album of the Soundtrack of the Trailer of the Film of Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975)

  • Monty Python Live at City Center (1976)

  • The Monty Python Instant Record Collection (1977)

  • Monty Python's Life of Brian (1979)

  • Monty Python's Contractual Obligation Album (1980)

  • Monty Python's The Meaning of Life (1983)

  • The Final Rip Off (1988)

  • Monty Python Sings (1989)

  • The Monty Python Instant Record Collection, Volume 2 (1991)

  • The Ultimate Monty Python Rip Off (1994)

  • The Instant Monty Python CD Collection (1994)

  • Spamalot (Broadway version of Monty Python and the Holy Grail with Tim Curry as King Arthur) (2005)

  • The Hastily Cobbled Together for a Fast Buck Album (unreleased)


  • Monty Python's Flying Circus — Between 1974 and 1980 (Live at the Hollywood Bowl was released in 1982, but was performed in 1980) the Pythons made three sketch-based stage shows, comprising mainly material from the original television series.

  • Monty Python's Spamalot — Written by Idle directed by Mike Nichols, with music and lyrics by John Du Prez and Idle, and starring Hank Azaria, Tim Curry, and David Hyde Pierce, Spamalot is a musical adaptation of the film Monty Python and the Holy Grail. It ran in Chicago from 21 December 2004 to 23 January 2005, and began performances on Broadway on 17 March 2005. It won three Tonys.

  • Not the Messiah (He's a Very Naughty Boy) — The Toronto Symphony Orchestra commissioned Idle and John Du Prez to write the music and lyrics of an oratorio based on Monty Python's Life of Brian. Entitled Not the Messiah, it had its world premiere as part of Luminato, a "festival of arts and creativity" taking place June 1–10, 2007 in Toronto. Not the Messiah was conducted by Peter Oundjian, Music Director of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, who is Idle’s cousin. It was performed by a narrator, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, with guest soloists and choir. According to Idle, "It will be funnier than Handel, though not as good".


  • Monty Python's Big Red Book

  • The Brand New Monty Python Bok

  • The Complete Monty Python's Flying Circus Volumes 1 & 2

  • Michael Palin Diaries 1969–1979

  • The Pythons: Autobiography by the Pythons


  • Monty Python's Flying Circus (1990) a computer game released by Virgin Games for 8-bit systems such as the Commodore 64, Amstrad CPC and the Sinclair ZX Spectrum[43]

  • Monty Python's Complete Waste of Time (1994) released by 7th Level for PC / DOS

  • Monty Python & the Quest for the Holy Grail (1996), official game released by 7th Level. It used footage and imagery from the film, as well as audio clips (some new) and featured an animated version of a scene never filmed entitled "King Brian The Wild".

  • Monty Python's The Meaning of Life (1997), also released by 7th Level. According to the jewel case description, it's based on the film by the same name, but it's really something completely similar yet entirely different.

  • Python-opoly (2007), a Monty Python-themed property game released by Toy Vault Inc.[44]

  • Monty Python Fluxx (2008), a card game released by Looney Labs[45]

  • Blazing Dragons

See also

  • Beyond the Fringe

  • List of Monty Python's Flying Circus episodes

  • List of recurring characters in Monty Python's Flying Circus

  • Monty Python's Complete Waste of Time

  • Python (Monty) Pictures

  • Spamalot

  • The Goodies

  • The Goon Show

On England's National Day - St George's Day, Monday, 23 April 2007 the cast and creators of Spamalot gathered in Trafalgar Square under the tutelage of the two Terrys (Jones and Gilliam) to set a new record for the world's largest coconut orchestra. They led 5,567 people "clip-clopping" in time to the Python classic "Always Look On The Bright Side of Life" for the Guinness World Records attempt.

The Goodies – 1970s TV Icon

Growing up in England during the 1970's one of the funniest and most hilarious comedy shows on the BBC was the “The Goodies” which starred Tim Brooke Taylor, Bill Oddie and Graham Gardner. An early title which was considered for the series was “Narrow Your Mind” and prior to this it had the working title “Super Chaps Three”. The show mixed surreal madness with genius comedy to create one of the funniest shows on British TV.

The Goodies was a ground breaking 1970 British comedy series, not nearly as well-known outside of Great Britain as its contemporary, Monty Python's Flying Circus. (Some view it as the Beatles to the Python's Rolling Stones.) Born from the same generation of comic talents that infused British TV in the 1960s and 1970s with such innovative work, The Goodies was far more plot-oriented than Python (it was nominally a Situation Comedy when it premièred), but at the same time it was also far more anarchic and surreal.

The Goodies basic structure revolved around the trio, always short of money, offering themselves for hire — with the tag line "We Do Anything, Anywhere, Any time" — to perform all sorts of ridiculous but generally benevolent tasks. The BBC's own historical reference for the show describes it as a "live action version of a typical Warner Brothers cartoon", which is quite accurate, although sidestepping completely much of the thinly veiled social satire the show was inclined towards. Entire episodes were devoted to poking fun at topical subjects as diverse as TV censorship, Mary Whitehouse, Nuclear testing, Saturday Night Fever and Black Puddings.

Central to the show were the exaggerated versions of themselves that the leads played — conservative royalist Tim, twisted Inventor Graeme and Hippy Bill. The intersection of these three personalities generated as much comedy as the increasingly-bizarre situations that they found themselves in. Their trademark was the "Tandem" — a bicycle-built-for-three which they invariably mounted and fell off of once per episode before riding to their next adventure.

Many episodes parodied current events, such as an episode where the entire black population of South Africa emigrates to Great Britain to escape apartheid. As this means that the white South Africans no longer have anyone to exploit and oppress, they introduce a new system called "apart-height", where short people (Bill and a number of jockeys) are discriminated against.

Other story lines were more abstractly philosophical, such as an episode in which the trio spend Christmas Eve together waiting for the Earth to be blown up by prior arrangement of the world's governments. The "Christmas Eve" episode titled "Earthanasia" was one of the two episodes which took place entirely in one room. The other episode called, “The End” Where Graeme accidentally had their office encased in an enormous block of concrete.

These episodes were made when the entire location budget for the season had been spent, forcing the trio to come up with a script shot entirely on the set that relied entirely on character interaction. These enclosed episodes often worked particularly well.

The Goodies have won many prizes including A special episode, which was based on the original 1971 Goodies' - “Kitten Kong” episode, which was called "Kitten Kong: Montreux '72 Edition", and was first broadcast in 1972. The Goodies won the Silver Rose in 1972 for this special episode at the Festival Rose d'or which was held in Montreux, Switzerland.

The Goodies also won the Silver Rose in 1975 at the Festival Rose d'Or for their episode The Movies.

More inclined to British Variety like humour than the Pythons, the Goodies never quite got the respect they deserved — despite the fact that they lasted at least three times as long on the air.

All told 74 episodes from the television series were produced: Series 1–8 — (1970–1980) Which were shown on BBC2. The last Series 9 — (1981–1982) — was made by LWT for ITV.

The series can be found regularly on Australian TV ( Which has continually been shown since the 1970's) as well as on You Tube. One of their recordings "The Funky Gibbon" has just been re-released as a charity record for Christmas 2010.

The Smash Alien Robots – The Funniest British TV Advert of the 20th Century

In the 1970's watching British TV one of the funniest adverts was the first Smash Alien Robots advert. It became so popular that it won many awards and many follow on 'smash robot adverts'. All told there was some very funny 'Smash Robot adverts' made over the years and each one very funny. The first advert I have described below which when watched is just hilarious. The robots would laugh at the silly earth people discussing how they would cut up potatoes and then smash them up before eating them (how old fashioned)!!!.

The catchphrase 'For Mash Get Smash' is still an iconic and memorable advertising slogan in the UK. The adverts featuring the Smash Martians were voted TV ad of the century by Campaign Magazine.

The Martians' behaviour and personalties were initially developed while the puppeteers were messing around on set.

The Smash Martians were designed for the advertising agency Boase Massimi Pollitt by Sian Vickers and Chris Wilkins.

Smash Mash Potatoes Advert

The story starts with the robots standing around a table.

One of the Robots has a potatoe in his hands.

One of the robots turned to him and asks “did you discover what the humans eat”?.

'First they peel the it with their metal knifes'.

'Then they boil them in hot water for 20 minutes'.

'Then they smash them all to bits. As this is announced the robots start falling about with laughter'. The vision of seeing these robots falling over in laughter is just hilarious.

List of All Smash Alien Adverts

Smash Mash Potatoes Advert 1976

Cadbury's Smash ( for mash get smash) 1980's

Cadbury's Smash Advert 1970's

Smash Baby Robot Advert

Smash Alien UFO mash Potatoes TV Ad

If you would like to see all the funny 'Smash Robot Adverts' Please click here.

My hope is one day to see the return of these funny adverts on our TV's and maybe updated and new adverts.

King Alfred the Great – The First English King

King Alfred was the first king of a united Anglo-Saxons kingdom which gradually became what we now know as England. Alfred was born in 849 AD in the village of Wanting, now Wantage, Oxfordshire. He was the youngest son of King Aethewulf of Wessex by his first wife, Osburga. Alfred was the youngest of five sons and one daughter of King Aethelwulf. His father and brothers died defending their kingdom mostly from the Vikings. In 868 Alfred married Ealhswith, daughter of Aethelred Mucil and he came to power in 871 AD at the age of 22 and reigned for 28 years,

Alfred started a building programme of well-defended settlements across southern England. These were fortified market places ('borough' comes from the Old English burh, meaning fortress); by deliberate royal planning, settlers received plots and in return manned the defences in times of war. (Such plots in London under Alfred's rule in the 880s shaped the streetplan which still exists today between Cheapside and the Thames.)

This obligation required careful recording in what became known as 'the Burghal Hidage', which gave details of the building and manning of Wessex and Mercian burhs according to their size, the length of their ramparts and the number of men needed to garrison them.

It centred round Alfred's royal palace in Winchester, this network of burhs with strongpoints on the main river routes was such that no part of Wessex was more than 20 miles from the refuge of one of these settlements. Together with a navy of new fast ships built on Alfred's orders, southern England now had a defence in depth against Danish raiders.

His great victory at Edington in 878 secured the survival of Wessex, and the Treaty of Wedmore with the Danish king Guthrum in 886 established a boundary between the Danelaw, east of Watling Street, and the Saxons to the west.

The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle says that following his capture of London in 886 'all the English people submitted to him, except those who were in captivity to the Danes'. In some respects, therefore, Alfred could be considered the first king of England. A new landing in Kent encouraged a revolt of the East Anglian Danes, which was suppressed 884–86, and after the final foreign invasion was defeated 892–96, Alfred strengthened the navy to prevent fresh incursions.

During periods of peace Alfred reformed and improved his military organization. He divided his levies into two parts with one half at home and the other on active service, giving him a relief system he could call on to continue a campaign. He also began to build burhs (fortified strongpoints) throughout the kingdom to form the basis of an organized defensive system. Alfred's brother is credited as being the founder of the Royal Navy but Alfred upgraded and had built an armada of ships which were twice as large as the Danish Viking ships and were manned by Frisians and on several occasions successfully challenged the Danes at sea.

Alfred's concept of kingship extended beyond the administration of the tribal kingdom of Wessex into a broader context. A religiously devout and pragmatic man who learnt Latin in his late thirties, he recognised that the general deterioration in learning and religion caused by the Vikings' destruction of monasteries (the centres of the rudimentary education network) had serious implications for rulership. For example, the poor standards in Latin had led to a decline in the use of the charter as an instrument of royal government to disseminate the king's instructions and legislation.

In one of his prefaces, Alfred wrote 'so general was its [Latin] decay in England that there were very few on this side of the Humber who could understand their rituals in English or translate a letter from Latin into English ... so few that I cannot remember a single one south of the Thames when I came to the throne.'

To improve literacy, Alfred arranged, and took part in, the translation (by scholars from Mercia) from Latin into Anglo-Saxon of a handful of books he thought it 'most needful for men to know, and to bring it to pass ... if we have the peace, that all the youth now in England ... may be devoted to learning'.

These books covered history, philosophy and Gregory the Great's 'Pastoral Care' (a handbook for bishops), and copies of these books were sent to all the bishops of the kingdom. Alfred was patron of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle (which was copied and supplemented up to 1154), a patriotic history of the English from the Wessex viewpoint designed to inspire its readers and celebrate Alfred and his monarchy.

Like other West Saxon kings, Alfred established a legal code; he assembled the laws of Offa and other predecessors, and of the kingdoms of Mercia and Kent, adding his own administrative regulations to form a definitive body of Anglo-Saxon law.

'I ... collected these together and ordered to be written many of them which our forefathers observed, those which I liked; and many of those which I did not like I rejected with the advice of my councillors ... For I dared not presume to set in writing at all many of my own, because it was unknown to me what would please those who should come after us ... Then I ... showed those to all my councillors, and they then said that they were all pleased to observe them' (Laws of Alfred, c.885-99).

By the 890s, Alfred's charters and coinage (which he had also reformed, extending its minting to the burhs he had founded) referred to him as 'king of the English', and Welsh kings sought alliances with him. Alfred died in 899, aged 50, and was buried in the old minster at Winchester, the burial place of the West Saxon royal family.

By stopping the Viking advance and consolidating his territorial gains, Alfred had started the process by which his successors eventually extended their power over the other Anglo-Saxon kings; the ultimate unification of Anglo-Saxon England was to be led by Wessex.

It is for his valiant defence of his kingdom against a stronger enemy, for securing peace with the Vikings and for his farsighted reforms in the reconstruction of Wessex and beyond, that Alfred - alone of all the English kings and queens - is known as 'Alfred the Great'.

Timeline for King Alfred the Great

Year Event


 Alfred becomes King of Wessex following the death of his brother Aethelred 


 London falls to Viking raiders 


 After persistent attacks by Vikings the monks of Lindesfarne travel through Northumbria and Galloway with the Lindesfarne Gospels. 


 Guthrum's Danish army invades Wessex, and Alfred takes refuge on the isle of Athelney. Alfred defeats Guthrum at the battle of Ethandune (Edington) in Wiltshire.  


 Treaty of Wedmore divides England into two. Guthrum accepts baptism as a Christian and agrees to leave Wessex and settle in East Anglia.  


 Alfred defeats the Danes at Rochester 


 Alfred imposes rules on South Wales 


 Alfred takes London from the Danes. Danelaw - the territory occupied by the Danes in East Anglia is recognised by Alfred 


 Guthrum dies. Alfred establishes a permanent army and navy 


 Anglo Saxon Chronicle, source of much early British History, begun 


 Asser, Bishop of Sherborne, completes his book The Life of Alfred the Great 


 Northumbrian and East Angles swear allegiance to Alfred, but promptly break the truce attacking South West England.  


 Naval victory over the Danes in the Solent 


 Alfred dies and is buried at Winchester. His son Edward becomes king.

General Gordon of Khartoum – A British Icon

At school in 1960's England one of the heroic failures from British history was General Gordon who was murdered and decapitated by the Sudenese natives on 26th January 1885.

Major-General Charles George Gordon, CB (28th January 1833 – 26th January 1885), known as Chinese Gordon, Gordon Pasha, and Gordon of Khartoum, was a British Army Officer, of the Corps of Royal Engineers and an excellent administrator. He is remembered for his campaigns in China and his death in northern Africa.

Gordon was born in Woolwich, London, a son of Major-General Henry William Gordon (1786–1865) and Elizabeth (Enderby) Gordon (1792–1873). He was educated at Fullands School, Taunton, Somerset and the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich. He was commissioned in 1852 as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Royal Engineers and completed his training at Chatham. In 1854 he was promoted to full Lieutenant.

From: Eva March Tappan, ed., The World's Story: A History of the World in Story, Song and Art, (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1914).

In I882 there arose in the Soudan, a province of Upper Egypt, one Mohammed Ahmed, who called himself the Mahdi or Messiah, and invited all true believers to join in a holy war against the Christians. Thousands of wild tribesmen flocked to his banner, and in the following year he annihilated an army of eleven thousand English and Egyptians that had attempted to subdue the revolt. Rather than send more soldiers to die in the deserts of the Upper Nile, England decided to abandon the province. But first the thousands of Europeans who had taken refuge in Khartoum and other towns of the Soudan must be rescued from their perilous position. In this crisis the Government turned to the one man who could effect the withdrawal if it was still possible, and in January, 1884, appointed General Gordon to superintend the evacuation of the Soudan.

GENERAL GORDON arrived at Khartoum on February 18th, and spent his time between that date and the investment on March 12, in sending down women and children, two thousand of whom were sent safely through to Egypt, in addition to six hundred soldiers. It was stated by Sir Evelyn Baring (English consul-general to Egypt) that there were fifteen thousand persons in Khartoum who ought to be brought back to Egypt---Europeans, civil servants, widows and orphans, and a garrison of one thousand men, one third of whom were disaffected. To get these people out of Khartoum was General Gordon's first duty, and the first condition of evacuation was the establishment of a stable government in the Soudan. The only man who could establish that government was Zebehr. Gordon demanded Zebehr with ever-increasing emphasis, and his request was decisively refused. He had then two alternatives---either to surrender absolutely to the Mahdi, or to hold on to Khartoum at all hazards. While Gordon was strengthening his position the Mahdi settled the question by suddenly assuming the offensive. The first step in this memorable siege was the daring march of four thousand Arabs to the Nile, by which, on March 12, they cut off the eight hundred men at Halfaya, a village

to the north of Khartoum, from the city. A steamer was sent down to reconnoiter, and the moment she reached the front of the Arab position a volley was fired into her, wounding an officer and a soldier. The steamer returned the fire, killing five.

Thus hostilities began. "Our only justification for assuming the offensive," wrote General Gordon on March 13, "is the extrication of the Halfaya garrison." The Arabs, however, did not give him the chance. They cut off three companies of his troops who had gone out to cut wood, capturing eight of their boats, and killing or dispersing one hundred to one hundred and fifty men. They intrenched themselves along the Nile, and kept up a heavy rifle-fire. Retreat for the garrison was obviously impossible when the Arab force covered the river, the only line of retreat, with their fire. Twelve hundred men rere put on board two grain-barges, towed by three steamers defended with boiler plates, and carrying mountain-guns protected by wooden mantlets; and, with the loss of only two killed, they succeeded in extricating the five hundred men left of the garrison of Halfaya, and capturing seventy camels and eighteen horses, with which they returned to Khartoum.

The Arabs, however, held Halfaya, and on March 16 Gordon tried to drive them away. Advancing from a stockaded position covering the north front of the town, two thousand troops advanced across the open in square, supported by the fire of the guns of two steamers. The Arabs were retreating, when Hassan and Seid Pashas, Gordon's black generals, rode into the wood and called back the enemy. The Egyptians, betrayed by their officers, broke and fled after firing a single volley, and were pursued to within a mile of the stockade, abandoning two mountain guns with their ammunition---"sixty horsemen defeated two thousand men"---and leaving two hundred of their number on the field. After this affair he was convinced that he could not take the offensive, but must remain quiet at Khartoum, and wait till the Nile rose. Six days later, the black pashas were tried by court-martial, found guilty, and shot.

A very determined attack upon one of the steamers coming up from Berber, at the Salboka Pass, was beaten off with great slaughter, Gordon's men firing no fewer than fifteen thousand rounds of Remington ammunition. Meanwhile, his efforts to negotiate with the Mahdi failed. "I will make you Sultan of Kordofan," he had said on arrival to the Mahdi. "I am the Mahdi," replied Mahomet Ahmet, by emissaries who were "exceedingly cheeky," keeping their hands upon their swords, and laying a filthy, patched dervish's coat before him. "Will you become a Mussulman?" Gordon flung the bundle across the room, canceled the Mahdi's sultanship, and the war was renewed. From that day to the day of the betrayal no day passed without bullets dropping into Khartoum.

Gordon now set to work in earnest to place Khartoum in a defensible position. Ten thousand of the Madhi's sympathizers left Khartoum and joined the enemy. The steamers kept up a skirmishing fight on both Niles. All the houses on the north side of Khartoum were loopholed. A sixteen-pounder Krupp was mounted on a barge, and wire was stretched across the front of the stockade. The houses on the northern bank of the Blue Nile were fortified and garrisoned by Bashi-Bazouks. Omdurman was held and fortified on the west and Buri on the east. On March 25, Gordon had to disarm and disband two hundred and fifty Bashi-Bazouks who refused to occupy stockaded houses in a village on the south bank of the Blue Nile. The rebels advanced on Hadji Ali, a village to the north of the Nile, and fired into the palace. They were shelled out of their position, but constantly returned to harass the garrison. They seemed to Gordon mere rag-tag and bob-tail, but he dared not go out to meet them, for fear of the town. Five hundred brave men could have cleared out the lot, but he had not a hundred. The fighting was confined to artillery fire on one side, and desultory rifle-shooting on the other. This went on till the end of March. The Arabs clustered more closely round the town.

On April 19, Gordon telegraphed that he had provisions for five months, and if he only had two thousand to three thousand Turkish troops he could soon settle the rebels. Unfortunately, he received not one fighting man. Shendy fell into the hands of the Mahdi. Berber followed, and then for months no word whatever reached this country from Khartoum.

On September 29, Mr. Power's telegram, dated July 31, was received by the "Times." From that we gathered a tolerably clear notion of the way in which the war went on. Anything more utterly absurd than the accusation that Gordon forced fighting on the Mahdi cannot be conceived. He acted uniformly on the defensive, merely trying to clear his road of an attacking force, and failing because he had no fighting men to take the offensive. He found himself in a trap, out of which he could not cut his way. If he had possessed a single regiment, the front of Khartoum might have been cleared with ease; but his impotence encouraged the Arabs, and they clustered round in ever-increasing numbers, until at last they crushed his resistance. After the middle of April the rebels began to attack the palace in force, having apparently established themselves on the north bank.

The loss of life was chiefly occasioned by the explosion of mines devised by General Gordon, and so placed as to explode when trodden on by the enemy. Of all his expedients these mines were the most successful and the least open to any accusation of offensive operations. The Arabs closed in all round towards the end of April, and General Gordon surrounded himself with a formidable triple barrier of land torpedoes, over which wire entanglement and a formidable chevaux-de-frise enabled the garrison to feel somewhat secure. On April 27, Valeh Bey surrendered at Mesalimeh, a disaster by which General Gordon lost one steamer, seventy shiploads of provisions, and two thousand rifles.

General Gordon was now entirely cut off from the outside world, and compelled to rely entirely upon his his own resources. He sent out Negroes to entice the slaves of the Arabs to come over, promising them freedom and rations. This he thought would frighten the Arabs more than bullets. On April 26, he made his first issue of paper-money to the extent of ,2500 redeemable in six months. By July 30, it had risen to ,26,000 besides the ,50,000 borrowed from merchants. On the same day he struck decorations for the defense of Khartoum---for officers in silver, silver-gilt and pewter for the private soldiers. These medals bear a crescent and a star, with words from the Koran, and the date, with an inscription,---"Siege of Khartoum,"---and a hand-grenade in the center. "School-children and women," he wrote, "also received medals; consequently, I am very popular with the black ladies of Khartoum."

The repeated attacks of the Mahdi's forces on Khartoum cost the Arabs many lives. On May 25, Colonel Stewart was slightly wounded in the arm, when working a mitrailleuse near the palace. All through May and June his steamers made foraging expeditions up and down the Nile, shelling the rebels when they showed in force, and bringing back much cattle to the city. On Midsummer Day, Mr. Cuzzi, formerly Gordon's agent at Berber, but now a prisoner of the Mahdi's, was sent to the wells to announce the capture of Berber. It was sad news for the three Englishmen alone in the midst of a hostile Soudan. Undaunted, they continued to stand at bay, rejoicing greatly that in one, Saati Bey, they had, at least, a brave and capable officer.

Saati had charge of the steamers, and for two months he had uninterrupted success, in spite of the twisted telegraph wires which the rebels stretched across the river. Unfortunately, on July 10, Saati, with Colonel Stewart and two hundred men, after burning Kalaka and three villages, attacked Gatarnulb. Eight Arab horsemen rode at the two hundred Egyptians. The two hundred fled at once, not caring to fire their Remingtons, and poor Saati was killed. Colonel Stewart narrowly escaped a similar fate.

After July 31, there is a sudden cessation of regular communications. Power's journal breaks off then, and we are left to more or less meager references in Gordon's dispatches. On August 23, he sent a characteristic message, in which he announces that, the Nile having risen, he has sent Colonel Stewart, Mr. Power, and the French consul to take Berber, occupy it for fifteen days, burn it, and then return to Khartoum. All the late messages from Gordon, except a long dispatch of November 4, which has never been published, were written on tissue paper no bigger than a postage-stamp, and either concealed in a quill thrust into the hair, or sewn in the waistband of the natives employed. Gordon seems to have been the most active in August and September, when the Nile was high. He had eight thousand men at Khartoum and Senaar. He sent Colonel Stewart and the troops with the steamers to recapture Berber. A steamer which bore a rough effigy of Gordon at the prow was said to be particularly dreaded by the rebels. OnAugust 26, he reported that he had provisions for five months, but in the forays made by his steamer on the Southern Niles he enormously replenished his

stores. On one of these raids he took with him six thousand men in thirty-four boats towed by nine steamers.

After his defeat before Omdurman, the Mahdi is said to have made a very remarkable prophecy. He retired into a cave for three days, and on his return he told his followers that Allah had revealed that for sixty days there would be a rest, and after that blood would flow like water. The Mahdi was right. Almost exactly sixty days after that prophecy there was fought the battle of Abu Klea.

Stewart had by this time been treacherously killed on his way down from Berber to Dongola. Gordon was all alone. The old men and women who had friends in the neighboring villages left the town. The uninhabited part was destroyed, the remainder was inclosed by a wall. In the center of Khartoum he had built himself a tower, from the roof of which he kept a sharp lookout with his field-glass in the daytime. At night he went the rounds of the fortifications, cheering his men and keeping them on the alert against attacks. Treachery was always his greatest dread. Many of the townsfolk sympathized with the Mahdi; he could not depend on all his troops, and he could only rely on one of his pashas, Mehmet Ali. He rejoiced exceedingly in the news of the approach of the British relieving force. He illuminated Khartoum and fired salutes in honor of the news, and he doubled his exertions to fill his granaries with grain.

On December 14, a letter was received by one of his friends in Cairo from General Gordon, saying, "Farewell. You will never hear from me again. I fear that there will be treachery in the garrison, and all will be over by Christmas." It was this melancholy warning that led Lord Wolseley to order the dash across the Desert. On December 16 came news that the Mahdi had again failed in his attack on Omdurman. Gordon had blown up the fort which he had built over against the town, and inflicted great loss on his assailants, who, however, invested the city closely on all sides. The Mahdi had returned to Omdurman, where he had concentrated his troops. Thence he sent fourteen thousand men to Berber to recruit the forces of Osman Digma, and it was these men, probably, that fought the English relief army at Abu Klea.

After this nothing was heard beyond the rumor that Omdurman was captured and two brief messages from Gordon, sent probably to hoodwink the enemy, by whom most of his letters were captured. The first, which arrived January 1, was as follows: "Khartoum all right.---C. G. Gordon. December 14, I884." The second was brought by the steamers which met General Stewart at Mentemneh on January 21st: "Khartoum all right; could hold out for years.---C. G. Gordon. December 29." On January 26, Faraz Pasha opened the gates of the city to the enemy, and one of the most famous sieges

in the world's history came to a close. It had lasted from March 12 to January 26---exactly three hundred and twenty days.

When Gordon awoke to find that, through the treachery of his Egyptian lieutenant, Khartoum was in the hands of the Mahdi, he set out with a few followers for the Austrian consulate. Recognized by a party of rebels, he was shot dead on the street and his head carried through the town at the end of a pike, amid the wild rejoicings of the Mahdi's followers. Two days later the English army of relief reached Khartoum.”

Gordon was killed on January 26th 1885, around dawn, fighting the warriors of the Mahdi. As recounted in Bernard M. Allen’s article “How Khartoum Fell” (1941), the Mahdi had given strict orders to his three Khalifas not to kill Gordon. However, the orders were not obeyed. Gordon died on the steps of a stairway in the northwestern corner of the palace, where he and his personal bodyguard, Agha Khalil Orphali, had been firing at the enemy. Orphali was knocked unconscious and did not see Gordon die. When he woke up again that afternoon, he found Gordon's body covered with flies and the head cut off. When Gordon's head was unwrapped at the Mahdi's feet, he ordered the head transfixed between the branches of a tree "....where all who passed it could look in disdain, children could throw stones at it and the hawks of the desert could sweep and circle above. After the reconquest of the Sudan, in 1898, several attempts were made to locate Gordon's remains, but in vain.

Many of Gordon's papers were saved and collected by two of his sisters, Helen Clark Gordon, who married Gordon's medical colleague in China, Dr. Moffit, and Mary, who married Gerald Henry Blunt. Gordon's papers, as well as some of his grandfather's (Samuel Enderby III), were accepted by the British Library around 1937.

Battle of Trafalgar - 1805

The Battle of Trafalgar was fought on the 21st of October 1805 off Cape Trafalgar on the Spanish coast, between the combined fleets of Spain and France and the Royal Navy as part of the Napoleonic Wars. During the battle one of the most recognised English icons was killed and will forever be remembered – Admiral Lord Horatio Nelson as one of the many saviours of England and Britain.

In 1805, the first French Empire, under the dictator Napoleon Bonaparte was the dominant military power on the European Continent. The British Royal Navy controlled the seas. During the course of the war we British imposed a naval blockade on france, which affected trade and kept the french from truly mobilising their own naval resources. Despite several successful evasions of the blockade by the french navy, it failed to inflict a major defeat upon us British. We brits were able to attack french interests at home and abroad with relative ease.

When the third coalition declared war on France after the short-lived Peace of Amiens, Napoleon was determined to invade Great Britain. To do so he needed to ensure that the royal navy would be unable to disrupt the invasion flotilla, which would require control of the English Channel.

The main French fleets were at Brest in Brittany and at Toulouse on the Mediterranean coast. Other ports on the French Atlantic coast harboured smaller squadrons. France and Spain were allied, so the Spanish fleet based in Cadiz and Ferrol was also available.

The British possessed an experienced and well-trained corps of naval officers. By contrast, most of the best officers in the French navy had been either executed or dismissed from the service during the early part of the French Revolution. As a result, Vice-Admiral Pierre-Charles Villeneuve was the most competent senior officer available to command Napoleon's Mediterranean fleet. However, Villeneuve had shown a distinct lack of enthusiasm for facing Nelson and the Royal Navy after the defeat at the Battle of the Nile.

Napoleon's naval plan in 1805 was for the French and Spanish fleets in the Mediterranean and Cadiz to break through the blockade and join forces in the West indies. They would then return, assist the fleet in Brest to emerge from the blockade, and together clear the English Channel of Royal Navy ships, ensuring a safe passage for the invasion barges.

The battle was the most decisive British naval victory of the war. Twenty-seven British ships of the line and led by Lord Nelson aboard HMS Victory defeated thirty-three French and Spanish ships of the line under Admiral Pierre Villeneuve of the south west coast of Spain, just west of cape Trafalgar.

It was also the last great sea action of the period and its significance to any invasion of England by the French and Spanish was ended and helped in the dominance of the Seas by us British for over 100 years. The Franco-Spanish fleet lost twenty-two ships, without a single British vessel being lost.

The British victory spectacularly confirmed the naval supremacy that Britain had established during the past century and was achieved in part through Nelson's departure from the prevailing naval tactical orthodoxy, which involved engaging an enemy fleet in a single line of battle parallel to the enemy to facilitate signaling in battle and disengagement, and to maximise fields of fire and target areas. Nelson instead divided his smaller force into two columns directed perpendicularly against the larger enemy fleet, with decisive results.

Nelson was mortally wounded during the battle, becoming one of Britain's greatest war heroes. The commander of the joint French and Spanish forces, Admiral Pierre de Villeneuve, was captured along with his ship Bucentaure and the Spanish admiral Federico Gravina escaped with the remnant of the fleet, and succumbed months later to wounds he sustained during the battle.

Only eleven ships escaped to Cádiz, and of those, only five were considered seaworthy. Under Captain Julien Cosmao, they set sail two days later and attempted to re-take some of the British prizes; they succeeded in recapturing two ships, and forced Collingwood to scuttle a number of his prizes. The four van ships which escaped with Dumanoir were taken on 4 November by Sir Richard Strachan at the Battle of Cape Ortegal.

When Rosily arrived in Cádiz, he found only five French ships, rather than the 18 he was expecting. The surviving ships remained bottled up in Cádiz until 1808, when Napoleon invaded Spain. The French ships were then seized by the Spanish Forces and put into service against France.

HMS Victory made her way to Gibraltar for repairs, carrying Nelson's body. She put into Rosia Bay, Gibraltar and after emergency repairs were carried out, returned to England. Many of the injured crew were brought ashore at Gibraltar and treated in the Naval Hospital. Men who subsequently died from injuries sustained at the battle are buried in or near the Trafalgar Cemetery at the south end of main street, Gibraltar.

              British Ships at the Battle of Trafalgar 
Ship           No of Guns        Commander                        Killed/ 
      (Weather Column)                                            Wounded 
VICTORY        100              Capt Thomas Masterman HARDY       57/102 
TEMERAIRE       98              Capt Eliab HARVEY                 47/76 
NEPTUNE         98              Capt Thomas Francis FREEMANTLE    10/34 
LEVIATHAN       74              Capt Henry William BAYNTUN        4/22 
BRITANNIA      100              Capt Charles BULLEN               10/42 
CONQUEROR       74              Capt Israel PELLEW                3/9 
AFRICA          64              Capt Henry DIGBY                  18/44 
AGAMEMNON       64              Capt  Sir Edward BERRY            2/8 
AJAX            74              Lieut John PILFORD                2/9 
ORION           74              Capt Edward CODRINGTON            1/23 
MINOTAUR        74              Capt Charles John Moore MANSFIELD 3/22 
SPARTIATE       74              Capt Sir Francis LAFOREY          3/20 
       (Lee Column) 
ROYAL SOVEREIGN 100             Capt Edward ROTHERAM              47/94 
BELLEISLE       74              Capt William HARGOOD              33/93 
MARS            74              Capt George DUFF                  29/69 
TONNANT         80              Capt Charles TYLER                26/50 
BELLERPHON      74              Capt John COOKE                   27/123 
COLOSSUS        74              Capt James Nicoll MORRIS          40/160 
ACHILLE         74              Capt Richard KING                 13/59 
DREADNOUGHT     98              Capt John CONN                    7/26 
POLYPHEMUS      64              Capt Robert REDMILL               2/4 
REVENGE         74              Capt Robert MOORSOM               28/51 
SWIFTSURE       74              Capt William Gordon RUTHERFORD    9/8 
DEFIANCE        74              Capt Philip Charles DURHAM        17/53 
THUNDERER       74              Lieut John STOCKHAM               4/12 
DEFENCE         74              Capt George HOPE                  7/29 
PRINCE          98              Capt Richard GRINDALL             0/0 
EURYALUS        36              Capt Hon Henry BLACKWOOD 
NAIAD           38              Capt Thomas DUNDAS 
PHOEBE          36              Capt Hon. Thomas Bladen CAPELL 
SIRIUS          36              Capt William PROWSE 
PICKLE (Schooner) 10            Lieut John Richards La PENOTIERE 
ENTREPRENANTE   8               Lieut Robert Benjamin YOUNG 
The rightmost column above  gives the numbers of killed and wounded in each 
ship of the Fleet.  
These figures have been extracted from "The Royal Navy - A History" by  
Sir Wm Laird CLOWES Volume 5 page 131.

Battle of Waterloo - 1815

I once lived in an English town called Waterlooville which was named after the famous battle of Waterloo and as such I have decided to write about one of British History's greatest Icons the Duke of Wellington who saved Europe and helped in the creation of peace in Europe for nearly 100 years. The Battle of Waterloo took place near Waterloo, Belgium on June 18th 1815. In this battle, the forces of the French Empire under the leadership of Michael Ney and the Dictator Napoleon Bonaparte were defeated by an Anglo-Allied Army commanded by the Duke of Wellington.

Napoleon’s final defeat, ending 23 years of recurrent warfare between France and the other powers of Europe. It was fought during the Hundred Days of Napoleon’s restoration, 3 miles (5 km) south of Waterloo village (which is 9 miles [14.5 km] south of Brussels), between Napoleon’s 72,000 troops and the combined forces of the Duke of Wellington Allied army of 68,000 (with British, Dutch, Belgian, and German units) and about 45,000 Prussians, the main force of Gebhard Leberecht von Blucher's command.

After defeating the Prussians at Ligny and holding Wellington at Quatre-Bras in secondary battles south of Waterloo on June 16th Napoleon’s marshals, Michel Ney and Emmanuel de Grouchy, failed to attack and annihilate either enemy while their armies were separated. Grouchy, with 33,000 men, nearly one-third of Napoleon’s total strength of 105,000, led a dilatory pursuit of Blücher.

On the 18th he was tied down at Wavre by 17,000 troops of Blücher’s rear guard, while Blücher’s main force escaped him, rejoined Wellington, and turned the tide of battle at Waterloo, 8 miles (13 km) to the southwest. At Waterloo, Napoleon made a major blunder in delaying the opening of his attack on Wellington from morning until midday, to allow the ground to dry; this delay gave Blücher’s troops exactly the time they needed to reach Waterloo and support Wellington. The four main French attacks against Wellington’s army prior to 6:00 pm on June 18th all failed in their object—to decisively weaken the Allied centre to permit a French breakthrough—because they all lacked coordination between infantry and cavalry.

Meanwhile, a secondary battle developed, in which the French were on the defensive against the 30,000 Prussian troops of Karl von Bülow’s corps of Blücher’s army. The Prussians arrived at Waterloo gradually and put pressure on Napoleon’s eastern flank. To prevent the Prussians from advancing into his rear, Napoleon was forced to shift a corps under Georges Mouton, Count de Lobau, and to move several Imperial Guard battalions from his main battle against Wellington.

Finally, at 6:00 pm, Ney employed his infantry, cavalry, and artillery in a coordinated attack and captured La haye Sainte, a farmhouse in the centre of the Allied line. The French artillery then began blasting holes in the Allied centre. The decisive hour had arrived: Wellington’s heavy losses left him vulnerable to any intensification of the French attack. But Ney’s request for infantry reinforcements was refused because Napoleon was preoccupied with the Prussian flank attack. Only after 7:00pm, with his flank secured, did he release several battalions of the Imperial Guard to Ney; but by then Wellington had reorganized his defenses, aided by the arrival of a Prussian corps under H.E.K. von Zieten. Ney led part of the guard and other units in the final assault on the Allies. The firepower of the Allied infantry shattered the tightly packed guard infantry. The repulse of the guard at 8:00 pm, followed in 15 minutes by the beginning of the general Allied advance and further Prussian attacks in the east, threw the French army into a panic; a disorganized retreat began.

The pursuit of the French was taken up by the Prussians. Napoleon lost 25,000 men killed and wounded and 9,000 captured. Wellington’s casualties were 15,000 and Blücher’s were about 8,000. Four days later Napoleon abdicated for the second time. The defeat of the Dictator Napoleon helped in the creation of peace in Europe for nearly 100 years.

History of the RNLI – Royal National Lifeboat Institution - 1824

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution ( RNLI ) was founded in 1824 and is a charity that saves lives at sea around the coasts of Great Britain, Ireland the Channel islands and the Isle of man, as well as on selected inland waterways. It was created by Sir William Hillary who came to live on the Isle of man in 1808. He drew up plans for a national lifeboat service manned by trained crews. Initially he received little response from the Admiralty but on appealing to the more philanthropic members of London society, the plans were adopted with the help of two members of parliament – Thomas Wilson and George Hibbert - the National Institution for the Preservation of Life from Shipwreck was founded in 1824.

Thirty years later the title changed to the Royal National Lifeboat Institution and the first of the new lifeboats to be built was stationed at Douglas in recognition of the work of Sir William.

At the age of 60 Sir William took part in the rescue, in 1830, of the packet St George, which had foundered on Conister Rock at the entrance to Douglas harbour. He commanded the lifeboat and was washed overboard with others of the lifeboat crew, yet finally everyone aboard the St George was rescued with no loss of life. It was this incident which prompted Sir William to set up a scheme to build the Tower of Refuge on Conister Rock - a project completed in 1832 which stands to this day at the entrance to Douglas Harbour.

In its first year, the RNLI added 13 boats to the existing 39 independent lifeboats. By 1908 there were 280 RNLI lifeboats and 17 independents.

The RNLI was founded on 4 March 1824 as the National Institution for the Preservation of Life from Shipwreck, adopting the name National Lifeboat Institution in 1854, and then receiving Royal Patronage from King George IV of England and Ireland shortly after. It now operates as an international service to the peoples of the UK and Ireland and has official charity status in each nation.

The RNLI operates 444 lifeboats (332 are on station, 112 are in the relief fleet), from 235 Lifeboat stations around the coasts of Great Britain, Ireland, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands. The RNLI's lifeboats rescued an average of 22 people a day in 2009. RNLI lifeboats launched 9,223 times in 2009, rescuing 8,235 people. The RNLI's lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved more than 139,000 lives since 1824.

RNLI lifeguards placed on selected beaches around England and Wales, aided 15,957 people in 2009.

The RNLI Operations department defines 'rescues' and 'lives saved' differently.

In 2009, the RNLI Lifeguards service was expanded to cover more than 140 beaches. RNLI lifeguards are paid by the appropriate town or city council, while the RNLI provides their equipment and training. In contrast, most lifeboat crew members are unpaid volunteers. The RNLI is funded by voluntary donations and Legacies (together with tax reclaims), and has an annual budget of £147.7 million (€168 million).

The RNLI has two main categories of lifeboat:

  • All weather boats - Large boats that are capable of high speed in extreme weather conditions and have a large range.

  • Inshore lifeboats - Smaller boats that operate closer to the shore than all weather boats and are able to operate in shallower waters and closer to cliffs.

There are other Lifeboat Services that are independent of the RNLI, available to the coastguards that provide lifesaving lifeboats and lifeboat crews 24 hours a day all year round.

Lifeboat crewmen have been awarded medals for their bravery. The RNLI awards three classes of medal; Gold, Silver and Bronze. To date the number of medals awarded are:

  • Gold: 150

  • Silver: 1564

  • Bronze: 793 (Bronze only issued since 1917).

One of the most notable recipients is Henry Blogg, of the Cromer lifeboat crew, who was awarded the RNLI gold medal three times (and the Silver four times). He also received the George Cross and the British Empire Medal. He is known as "The Greatest of all Lifeboatmen".

The youngest recipient of an RNLI medal was eleven-year-old Frederick Carter who, along with sixteen-year-old Frank Perry, was awarded a Silver Medal for a rescue at Weymouth in 1890.

The Thanks of the Institution Inscribed on Vellum is also given for notable acts.

One lifeboat received an award. For the Daunt lightship rescue in 1936, the RNLB Mary Stanford and her entire crew were decorated.

When Grace Darling was 22 years old she risked her life in an open boat to help the survivors of the wrecked SS Forfarshire on 7 September 1838. With her father, she rowed for over a mile through raging seas to reach them.

History of Her Majesty's Coastguard – UK 1809

As an Island the United Kingdom depends on the safe passage of her trading ships to and from around the world. To help in their safety Her Majesty's coastguard is the service of the government of the United Kingdom concerned with co-ordinating air – sea rescue. In 1809 the Preventive Water Guard was established and can be regarded as the immediate ancestor of HM Coastguard. Its primary objective was to prevent smuggling, but it was also responsible for giving assistance to shipwrecks.

Each Water Guard station was issued with Manby's Mortar which was invented by Captain George William Manby. The mortar fired a shot with a line attached from the shore to the wrecked ship and was used for many years.

In 1821 a committee of enquiry recommended that responsibility for the Preventative Water Guard be transferred to the Board of Customs. The Treasury agreed and in a Minute dated 15 January 1822, directed that the preventative services, which consisted of the Preventive Water Guard, cruisers and Riding Officers should be placed under the authority of the Board of Customs and in future should be named the Coast Guard.

In 1829 the first Coast Guard instructions were published and dealt with discipline and directions for carrying out preventative duties. They also stipulated that when a wreck took place, the Coast Guard was responsible for taking all possible action to save lives, to take charge of the vessel and to protect property.

Efficiency drives in the 1990s made Her Majesty's Coastguard a government executive agency and in 1998 the Marine Safety Agency and the Coastguard Agency were joined to become the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA).

The Coastguard has a museum at Sewerby Hall near Bridlington to commemorate the 200 year history of the agency. HRH The Prince of Wales is an honorary Commodore of HM Coastguard.

HM Coastguard is a section of the Maritime and Coastguard agency responsible for the initiation and co-ordination of all civilian maritime Search and Rescue (SAR) within the UK Maritime Search and Rescue Region. This includes the mobilisation, organisation and tasking of adequate resources to respond to persons either in distress at sea, or to persons at risk of injury or death on the cliffs or shoreline of the United Kingdom. The chief executive of the Maritime and Coastguard Agency is Sir Alan Massey Operational and the control of the service is the responsibility of the Chief of the Coastguard.

Typical emergencies to which the Coastguard is summoned include:

  • Sail boarders too exhausted to reach the shore;

  • Walkers and animals who slip from cliff paths;

  • Boats losing rudder control;

  • Crew stranded aboard a container ship battered by freak waves;

  • Medical emergencies;

  • Incidents involving oil rigs (such as fire);

  • Suicide victims that have jumped from cliffs or bridges;

  • Missing adults and children around the cliffs or beach area;

  • Broken Down Merchant Vessels in English waters;

  • Evacuating injured persons at sea;

  • Locating missing persons and vessels at sea;

  • Fires on Board Merchant vessels;

  • Groundings;

  • Collisions at sea;

Depending on the circumstances of each incident, the Coastguard may also arrange for other emergency services to be deployed to the incident or to meet other units returning from the incident, for example in the case of a medical emergency. A full list of 'Declared Assets' is below:

  • HM Coastguard's own CRO (Coastguard Rescue Officers) Initial Response and Coastguard Rescue Teams;

  • Inshore lifeboats, all-weather lifeboats and inshore rescue hovercraft operated by the Royal National Lifeboat Institution

  • Other nominated inshore rescue services

  • Search and Rescue helicopters under contract to the MCA

  • Ministry of Defence SAR helicopters and fixed wing aircraft operated by the Royal Air Force (RAF) and Royal Navy (RN)

  • Emergency Towing Vessels (ETV) - powerful tugs contracted to the MCA

  • Nominated Fire Service teams for cliff and mud rescue as well as fire fighting and chemical incident response for vessels at sea

  • Nominated beach lifeguard units.

History of The Poppy Appeal – British Iconic Charity

The history of the Poppy appeal is entwined with the history of The Royal British Legion which began in 1921 just 3 years after the end of the Great War. During my school days here in England in the 1960's and 1970's as part of our school curriculum we learnt the importance of World War 1 and what we owed to the generations who fought defending our country and those who lost there lives. Wearing the poppy during the 2 weeks of the Poppy Appeal is an acknowledgement of our thanks for all the sacrifices for the past and present wars.

The British Legion was founded in 1921 as a voice for the ex-Service community as a merger of four organisations: the Comrades of the Great War, The National Association of Discharged Sailors and Soldiers, the National Federation of Discharged and Demobilized Sailors and Soldiers and the Officers' Association. It was granted a Royal Charter on 29th May 1971 to mark its fiftieth anniversary which gives the Legion the privilege of the prefix 'Royal'. Earl Haig, commander of the Battle of the Somme and Passchendaele was one of the founders of the Legion, and was President until his death.

The Legion organises a fund-raising drive each year in the weeks before Remembrance Sunday, during which artificial poppies, meant to be worn on clothing, are offered to the public in return for a charitable donation. Over the course of the preceding year a team of around 50 people, the majority of them disabled and ex-Service connected – work all year round producing millions of poppies at the factory in Richmond. However, pin badge poppies are increasingly being worn, and prove to be extremely popular, with locations often selling out of the pin badges very quickly.

The idea of poppies dates back to the poem In Flanders Fields about the First World War, after which the Legion was founded. Poppies are worn until Remembrance Sunday to remember the fallen and injured of the First World War, and implicitly of all wars.

The Poppy Appeal has a higher profile than any other charity appeal in the UK, with the poppies ubiquitous from late October until mid-November every year and worn by the general public, politicians, the Royal Family, and others in public life. It has also become increasingly common to see poppies on cars, lorries and other forms of public transport, such as aeroplanes, buses and trams. Many Magazines and newspapers also display the poppy on their publications (usually on the cover page), and some Twitter users are adding poppies to their avatars as a Twibbon.

The Royal British Legion has an extensive network of Social Clubs called Legion Halls throughout the United Kingdom: sometimes these are known as United Services or Ex-Servicemens Clubs. The Royal British Legion also has branches in the Republic of Ireland, and spread around the world, mostly in mainland Europe, but also in America, and Azerbaijan amongst other world nations

In 2010 the aim of the appeal is to raise £36 Miliion ( or US $ 50 Million ).

Josiah Wedgewood (1730-1795) – Potter, Designer and Industrialist

Wedgewood porcelain is known worldwide for its quality and designs and was founded by Josiah Wedgewood. He was an English potter and industrialist born at Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent on July 12th 1730. Josiah Wedgewood was the youngest child of the potter Thomas Wedgwood, and came from a family whose members had been potters since the 1600's. At the age of nine, after the death of his father, he worked in his family's pottery where he learnt the very high standards of workmanship and a keen interest in science.

He became well respected and his customers included the rich and famous, including royalty. In 1754 Wedgwood began to experiment with coloured creamware and In 1759 he set up his own pottery works in Burslem.

He established his own factory, but often worked with others who did transfer printing (introduced by the Worcester Porcelain Company in the 1750s). He also produced red stoneware; basaltes ware, an unglazed black stoneware; and jasperware, made of white stoneware clay that had been coloured by the addition of metal oxides. Jasperware was usually ornamented with white relief portraits or Greek Classical scenes. Wedgwood's greatest contribution to European ceramics, however, was his fine pearlware, an extremely pale creamware with a bluish tint to its glaze.

Wedgwood's basalt, a hard, black, stone-like material known also as Egyptian ware or basaltes ware, was used for vases, candlesticks, and realistic busts of historical figures. Jasperware, his most successful innovation, was a durable unglazed ware most characteristically blue with fine white cameo figures inspired by the ancient Roman Portland Vase. Many of the finest designs were the work of the English sculptor and artist John Flaxman.

He produced a highly durable cream-coloured earthenware that so pleased Queen Charlotte that in 1762 she appointed him royal supplier of dinnerware. From the public sale of Queen's Ware, as it came to be known, Wedgwood was able, in 1768, to build near Stoke-on-Trent a village, which he named Etruria, and a second factory equipped with tools and ovens of his own design. At first only ornamental pottery was made in Etruria, but by 1773 Wedgwood had concentrated all his production facilities at Etruria.

Wedgewood Timeline:


Baptised July 12, 1730, Burslem, Stoke on Trent, England.


After his father's death in 1739, he worked in the family business at churchyard Works, Burslem, becoming very skilful at the potter's wheel.


Became an apprentice to his elder brother Thomas.
However an attack of smallpox seriously reduced his work (the disease later affected his right leg, which was then amputated); the result of this inactivity, enabled him to read, research, and experiment in his craft as a Master Potter.


In 1749 Thomas (Josiah's elder brother) refused his proposal for partnership and Josiah formed a brief partnership with John Harrison at Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire.


Wedgwood formed a partnership with Thomas Whieldon of Fenton Low, Stoke-on-Trent, probably the leading potter of his day. This became a fruitful partnership, enabling Wedgwood to become a master of current pottery techniques. He then began what he called his "experiment book," an invaluable source on Staffordshire pottery.


After inventing the improved green glaze which is still popular even today, Wedgwood finished his partnership with Whieldon and went into business for himself at the Ivy House factory in Burslem.


On one of his frequent visits to Liverpool to arrange export of his ware, Wedgwood met the merchant Thomas Bentley.


Because the sale of his ware had spread from the British Isles to the Continent, Wedgwood expanded his business to the nearby Brick house (or Bell Works) factory.


Queen Charlotte's patronage of Wedgwood's cream-coloured earthenware in 1765, led the well finished earthenware which Wedgwood produced to be called Queens Ware. Queen's ware became, by virtue of its durable material and serviceable forms, the standard domestic pottery and enjoyed a worldwide market.


The merchant Bentley became his partner in the manufacture of decorative items that were primarily unglazed stonewares in various colours, produced and decorated in the popular style of Neoclassicism.
Chief among these wares were:
- black basaltes, which by the addition of special painting (using pigments mixed with hot wax, which are burned in as an inlay), could be used to imitate Greek red-figure vases; and
-Jasper, a fine-grained vitreous body resulting from the high firing of paste containing barium sulphate.


Wedgwood built a factory called Etruria, for the production of his ornamental vases. Later the manufacture of useful wares was also transferred. (At this site his descendants carried on the business until 1940, when the factory was relocated at Bariston, near Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire - the Etruria site was used as part of the 'National Garden festival' and Wedgewood's great house can still be seen as it has been incorporated into an hotel.


Evidence of the popularity of Wedgwood's creamware is found in the massive service of 952 pieces made for Empress Catherine the Great of Russia.


Jasper's introduction in 1775 was followed by other wares such as: - rosso antico (red porcelain), cane, drab, chocolate, and olive wares.


In 1782 Etruria was the first factory to install a steam-powered engine.

Wedgwood's invention of the pyrometer, a device for measuring high temperatures (invaluable for gauging oven heats for firings), earned him commendation as a fellow of the Royal Society.

As a result of the close association that grew up between the Wedgwood and Darwin families, Josiah's eldest daughter would later marry Erasmus' son. One of the children of that marriage, Charles Darwin, would also marry a Wedgwood — Emma, Josiah's granddaughter. This double-barreled inheritance of Wedgwood's money gave Charles Darwin the leisure time to formulate his theory of evolution.

After Wedgwood's death in Etruria on January 3rd 1795, his descendants carried on the business, which still produces many of his designs.

History of World's First Double Yellow Lines - England 1958

I thought as Road Double Yellow lines were first created and introduced in the UK in 1958 I would write its history. At the time of the introduction of double yellow lines in the UK it was also decided to introduce them throughout the British Empire as it then stood. Double yellow lines were originally used by George Bamber in Yorkshire as boundary markers and to identify access routes to his farm when the roads were congested with other vehicles on market day. It was on one of these market days that the local mayor saw the double yellow lines realised the potential and implemented this idea to restrict access to Masham market square on Market days.

The double yellow lines are one of the most famous road markings that indicate that parking restrictions are afoot. Double yellow lines are along the edge of the carriageway indicate that parking restrictions apply to the road (which includes the carriageway, pavement and verge).

A driver may stop for passengers to board or alight and to load or unload (unless there are also 'loading restrictions' as described below). The regulation applies to all vehicles other than those with disabled parking permits - see below.

Double yellow lines mean no waiting at any time, unless there are signs that specifically indicate seasonal restrictions.

Only one wheel needs to be on the line for this to count as parked on a yellow line.

Loading is allowed on double-yellow lines unless there are also yellow marks on the kerb or at the edge of the carriageway.

A double mark on the kerb indicates that loading is not allowed at any time. A single mark on the kerb indicates that loading is prohibited at time indicated on a nearby sign. Regulations apply every day including Sundays and Bank Holidays unless a nearby sign indicates otherwise. You may stop while passengers board or alight.

Loading and unloading is defined as: 'taking the items to and from the vehicle' but does not cover packing, unpacking or assembly and stopping for a conversation. Stopping to go to the toilet is also not covered. The ban also covers pavements and verges beside the marked section of road.

In the UK Disabled Parking (Blue badge) holders are exempt from the restrictions imposed by the lines for up to three hours if there are no loading restrictions in place. The Blue Badge must be displayed and the clock must be set to the time of arrival.

Offenders who parked on the double yellow lines in 1958 were fined 4d and hence the double yellow line as we know it today was born. This system is still used today of fining motorists who park on double yellow lines.

The single yellow line originated as another restriction from the double yellow line. This parking restriction indicates that parking is prohibited at specific times of the day or week but you should refer to the sign that is in the vicinity to clarify this.

History of Zebra Crossings England 1949

As Zebra Crossings are a way of life here in England and especially after The Beatles made famous the Zebra Crossing near Abbey Studios, on their Abbey Road Album I thought it would be interesting to write its history. Since the Abbey Road photo was taken, zigzag lines at the kerb and in the centre of the road have been added to all zebra crossings to indicate the no-stopping zones on either side. The band Shriekback's album, Sacred City contains an entire song, "Beatles Zebra Crossing?", about the Abbey Road zebra crossing and its status as a tourist attraction.

There is also a tongue-in-cheek reference to zebra crossings in the science-fiction comedy The Hitchhikers Guide to The Galaxy by English author Douglas Adams, in reference to Man using the improbable creature called the Babel Fish as proof to the non-existence of God... the novel says, "Man then goes on to prove that black is white and gets himself killed at the next zebra crossing."

A zebra crossing is a type of pedestrian crossing used in many places around the world. Its distinguishing feature is alternating dark and light stripes on the road surface, from which it derives its name. A zebra crossing typically gives extra rights of way to pedestrians.

After isolated experiments, the zebra crossing was first used at 1000 sites in the UK in 1949 in its original form of alternating strips of blue and yellow, and a 1951 measure introduced them into law. In 1971, the Green cross Code was introduced to teach children safer crossing habits, replacing the earlier "kerb drill".

In the United Kingdom the crossing is marked with Belisha Beacons, flashing amber globes on black and white posts on each side of the road, named after Leslie Hore-Belisha, the Minister of Transport, who introduced them in 1934. The crossings were originally marked by beacons and parallel rows of studs, and the stripes were soon added for visibility.

The crossing is characterised by longitudinal stripes on the road, parallel to the flow of the traffic, alternately a light colour and a dark one. The similarity of these markings to those of a zebra give the crossing's name. The light colour is usually white and the dark colour may be painted – in which case black is typical – or left unpainted if the road surface itself is dark. The stripes are typically 400 to 600 Millimetres (16 inches to 2 feet) wide.

If there are no additional traffic lights, pedestrians always have right of way on a zebra crossing. In countries such as the United Kingdom, zebra markings are used only where pedestrians have permanent right of way. In other countries they are also used on pedestrian crossings controlled by traffic, and pedestrians have priority only when the lights show green to pedestrians.

Oldest English Brewery and The First Registered Trademark

As we Brits are famous for our drinking culture and our love of Beer I thought I would write about the oldest British beer and trademark. The oldest brand is actually Bass Pale Ale Beer. Bass is the name of a former brewery and the brand name for several English beers brewed in Burton upon Trent. Bass is most particularly associated with their pale ale. The distinctive Red Triangle logo for Bass Pale Ale was Britain's first registered trademark. The Bass & Co Brewery was established by William Bass in 1777.

Early in the company's history, Bass was exporting bottled beer around the world with the Baltic trade being supplied through the port of Hull. Growing demand led to the building of a second brewery in Burton upon Trent in 1799 by Michael Bass the founder's son, who entered into partnership with John Ratcliff. The water produced from boreholes in the locality became popular with brewers, with 30 different breweries operating in the mid-19th century. Michael's son, another Michael succeeded on the death of his father in 1827 and renewed the Ratcliff partnership and brought in John Gretton, and created the company of 'Bass, Ratcliff and Gretton' as it traded in the 19th century.

The opening of the railway through Burton in 1839 led to Burton becoming pre-eminent as a brewing town. In the mid-1870s, Bass, Ratcliff and Gretton accounted for one third of Burton's output.The company became a public limited company in 1888, following the death of Michael in 1884, who was succeeded by his son, another Michael, later Lord Burton.

Both Michael Bass and Lord Burton were considerable philanthropists with extensive charitable donations to the towns of Burton and Derby. Early in the 20th century, in a declining market, many Burton breweries closed down. The numbers fell from twenty in 1900 to eight in 1928. Bass took over the breweries of Walkers in 1923, Worthington and Thomas Salt in 1927 and James Eadie in 1933.

Bass was one of the original FT30 companies on the London Stock Exchange when the listing was established in 1935. Over the next half-century, Bass maintained its dominance in the UK market by the acquisition of other brewers such as Birmingham based Mitchells and Butlers (1961), London brewer Charringtons (1967), Sheffield brewer William Stones Ltd (1968) and Grimsby based Hewitt Brothers Limited (1969) (with the overall company being known as Bass, Mitchells and Butlers or Bass Charrington at various times).

By the end of the 20th century, following decades of closures and consolidation, Bass was left with one of the two large breweries remaining in the town. It also had substantial holdings in hotels, now owned by Intercontinental Hotels Group (IHG). The Mitchells and Butlers name lives on as the company that retained the licensed retail outlet business when it was separated from the Six Continents PLC company (the successor to Bass plc) in 2003.

The National Brewery Centre (formerly the Bass Museum is a museum and tourist attractions in Burton Upon Trent, Staffordshire, England. The centre celebrates the brewing heritage of Burton and features exhibits showcasing the history of brewing techniques. The centre also houses a bar and cafe, a history of the town, a collection historic vehicles, a micro brewery and a Shire horse collection.

On 18th March 2008 owner, Coors announced that it was to close the Visitor Centre which the company was subsidising to the tune of £1 million a year. The museum closed on 30th June 2008 but the attractions were mothballed in the hope that the museum could be reopened at a later date. A steering group was established to investigate reopening the museum. The museum reopened as the National Brewery Centre on 1st May 2010 and was officially reopened by HRH The Princess Royal on September 21st 2010.

The National Brewery Centre is also home to an extensive array of historical collections that relate to brewing. This includes an extensive archive of ledgers, books, photographs and film from the breweries that once occupied the site; a library containing brewing-related books and journals and objects that include paintings, ceramics, glass, bottles, cans, beer mats.

Cambridge University – History 1209 AD

As the University at Cambridge is known Worldwide and is such a symbol of England and its education system I thought I would write about its famous alumni and history. The University at Cambridge owes much to "town and gown" troubles at Oxford university. In 1209 scholars and masters escaping troubles between the university and townsfolk in Oxford began arriving in Cambridge.

By 1226 the scholars had organized themselves, offered regular courses of study, and named a Chancellor to lead them. The first great boost to the formation of a university came from Henry III, who gave the scholars his support as early as 1231. Henry decreed that only students studying under a recognised Master were allowed to remain in Cambridge.

A standard course of study consisted of grammar, logic, rhetoric, mathematics, music, geometry, and astronomy. Examinations were conducted as oral disputations or debates. Most, but not all, of the university Masters were also in holy orders of some sort. (For more on medieval universities.) Rules and regulations governing behaviour and awarding of degrees were not codified until the mid 13th century. These clergy were originally under the authority of the local ecclesiastical authority, represented by the Bishop of Ely. By the mid 15th century, however, the Chancellor of the University had taken over much of this authority, and heard cases involving discipline and morals. The Chancellor also set up a secular court for scholars, to hear cases involving minor crimes.

Like Oxford, Cambridge experienced a fair share of trouble between townsfolk and scholars. Both sides were protective of their unique rights and privileges. The university had the right to enforce laws regulating the quality of bread and ale sold in the town, and to monitor rates charged for food, fuel, and candles.

In 1381 tension between the town and university exploded into violence, with attacks on university property throughout Cambridge. The result was that even more civil authority was awarded to the University Chancellor, including the right to prosecute lawsuits arising from trade and market disputes. The university retained many of these legal rights until the 19th century.

From the 13th century private teaching institutions, the forerunners of today's colleges, were established, most with only a few Masters and students. Peterhouse (1284) was the first college, but others soon followed. These colleges were founded by individual benefactors, not by the university as a whole. Under the influence of Chancellor John Fisher (1509-35) the university attracted scholars from the European mainland, including Erasmus, who helped foster a climate of classical studies, religious debate, and reform that characterized the upheavals of the English Reformation.

Several prominent colleges were founded in the years following the Dissolution of The Monastries, taking over former religious foundations. Emmanuel College, for one, took over the buildings used by a Dominican friary. This change from a religious to a secular focus was emphasized when Henry VIII took measures to forbid the study of Canon Law. Henry also established professorships in Greek, divinity, Hebrew, physic, and civil law.

Over the centuries that followed, successive monarchs and governments sought to influence which courses were taught, and the university was even compelled to award degrees to candidates put forward by the royal court.

A royal charter in 1534 gave the university the right to print books, though this right was only infrequently exercised until the late 17th century. From the 1690s Cambridge University Press enjoyed prominent status as an academic press, encouraged by the monopoly in Bible printing it shared with Oxford.

The university continued to expand, both physically and in focus of studies. The foundation of the Fitzwilliam Museum (created after the Bequests of my Antecedent the Earl Fitzwillum) the University Botanical Gardens, to name just two, opened the way for study of art, architecture, and botany at Cambridge.

Perhaps to balance this scholarly emphasis, the university encouraged student activities, notably in sporting endeavors. A boat race against Oxford University ("The Boat Race") became an annual event in 1839, as did a cricket match between the two schools. A regular intramural program of inter-college athletics began at the same time.

In the devastation following World War I, when many students and teachers died, Cambridge received regular state funding for the first time.

The 1950s and 60s saw a great expansion of facilities, with many new college buildings added or old ones expanded. Due to space problems in central Cambridge many new buildings were established much further away from the university core. Much of the teaching emphasis was on the sciences, and as a consequence the Cambridge area became a centre for scientific industry, fueled by research at university laboratories.

Cambridge University today boasts 31 colleges and over 13,000 students.

Cambridge University Trivia

  • Peterhouse, founded in 1284, is the oldest college at Cambridge.

  • Students began university at the tender age of 14 or 15, and it took 7 years to graduate.

  • University courses of study are known as "tripos" after the three legged stools used by BA candidates in the Middle Ages.

  • Until 1869 Cambridge was only open to men. Girton College was founded for women in that year, to be followed two years later by Newnham. There are now no men-only colleges.

  • A huge wooden spoon was awarded to students coming last in the class in mathematics. According to reports the wooden spoon was deemed a great honour by the students themselves!

  • Cambridge has a tradition of each college maintaining a chapel choir. Students can receive scholarships for musical skills, and most college chapel choirs maintain a regular program of choral concerts.

List of famous Alumni from Cambridge University:

Christ's College (1505)

Richard Clerke, John Milton, Charles Darwin, Jan Smuts, CP Snow, David Mellor, Richard Whiteley, Lord Mountbatten, Colin Dexter, Sacha Baron-Cohen (Ali G), Simon Schama, Rowan Williams

Clare College (1326)

Nicholas Ferrer, Hugh Latimer, Charles Cornwallis, David Attenborough, Peter Lilley, Siegfried Sassoon, Richard Stilgoe, James Watson, Andrew Wiles, Peter Ackroyd, Roger Norrington.

Corpus Christi College (1352)

Christopher Marlowe, John Fletcher, Matthew Parker

Darwin College (1976)

Jane Goodall

Downing College (1800)

John Cleese, Michael Winner, Mike Atherton, Brian Redhead, Quentin Blake, Trevor Nunn, Michael Apted, Thandie Newton

Emmanuel College (1584)

John Harvard, FR Leavis, Fred Hoyle, Griff Rhys Jones, Graeme Garden, Cecil Parkinson, John Wallis, Michael Frayn, Graham Chapman

Fitzwilliam College (1896)

Lord Fawsley, Norman Lamont, Derek Pringle, Phil Edmonds, Lee Kuan Yew, David Starkey, Nick Drake

Girton College (1869)

Sandi Toksvig, Queen Margarethe of Denmark, Raquel Cassidy, Delia Derbyshire

Gonville and Claus College (1348)

William Harvey, Thomas Shadwell, George Green, David Frost, Kenneth Clarke, Harold Abrahams, John Venn, Keith Vaz, Alastair Campbell

Homerton College (1894)

Julie Covington, Nick Hancock, Cherie Lunghi, Sandi Toksvig, Graham Wynne

Jesus College (1496)

Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Thomas Cranmer, Laurence Sterne, Alastair Cooke, Prince Edward, Lord Snowdon, Ted Dexter, Thomas Malthus, Nick Hornby, Tony Wilson

King's College (1441)

Francis Walsingham, Rupert Brooke, JM Keynes, EM Forster, Robert Walpole, Martin Bell, Salman Rushdie, Alan Turing, David Baddiel, John Graham, Charles Clarke, Lily Cole

Magdalene College (1542)

Samuel Pepys, Charles Kingsley, CS Lewis, Michael Ramsey, Lord Tedder, Bamber Gascoigne, John Simpson, Michael Redgrave, Gavin Hastings, Charles Parnell, George Mallory, Katie Derham, Rob Wainwright, Mike Newell, Alan Rusbridger, Lloyd Grossman

New Hall College (1954)

Jocelyn Bell-Burnell, Sue Perkins

Newnham College (1871)

Eleanor Bron, Emma Thompson, Germaine Greer, Sylvia Plath, Margaret Drabble, AS Byatt, Rosalind Franklin, Anne Campbell, Dorothy Hodgkin, Shirley Williams, Claire Balding, Jane Goodall, Diane Abbott

Pembroke College (1347)

William Pitt, Edmund Spenser, Thomas Gray, Peter Cook, Ted Hughes, Clive James, Peter May, Eric Idle, Bishop Nicholas Ridley, George Stokes, Rab Butler, Tim Brooke-Taylor, Bill Oddie, Tom Sharpe, Arthur Bliss, Jonathan Lynn

Porterhouse College (1284)

Thomas Gray, Henry Cavendish, Lord Kelvin, Charles Babbage, Frank Whittle, Christopher Cockerell, Michael Howard, Michael Portillo, Richard Baker, John Whitgift, James Dewar, Sam Mendes, Stephanie Cook, David Mitchell

Queen's College (1448)

Desiderius Erasmus, Isaac Milner, Stephen Fry, Mike Foale, Charles Stanford, Richard Hickox, Osborne Reynolds

Robinson College (1977)

Adrian Davies, Charles Hart, Konnie Huq, Robert Webb

St Catharine's College (1473)

John Addenbrooke, James Shirley, Ian McKellen, Jeremy Paxman, Steve Punt, Peter Hall, Richard Ayoade, Joanne Harris

St John's College (1511)

William Wordsworth, Paul Dirac, William Wilberforce, Jonathan Miller, Douglas Adams, Viscount Goderich, Lord Aberdeen, Viscount Palmerston, Trevor Bailey, Mike Brearley, Hugh Dennis, Rob Andrew, Sid Waddell

Selwyn College (1882)

Hugh Laurie, Rob Newman, Clive Anderson, John Selwyn Gummer, Malcolm Muggeridge, Simon Hughes, Robert Harris

Sidney Sussex College (1596)

Oliver Cromwell, David Owen, John Patten, Carol Vorderman, Ian Lang, Tom Kilburn

Trinity College(1546)

(living alumni only) Freeman Dyson, Lord Mackay of Clashfern, John Nott, John Tusa, Douglas Hurd, Edward Stourton, Peter Bottomley, Leon Brittan, Prince Charles, Raymond Keene, Jonathan Mestel, Antony Gormley, Vanessa Feltz, John Crawley, Peter Shaffer, Mel Giedroyc, Stephen Frears, Alex Comfort, Edward Atterton, Thomas Gold, John Stott, Chris Weitz, Charles Moore

Trinity Hall College (1350)

Admiral Howard, Robert Herrick, JB Priestley, Terry Waite, Norman Fowler, Tony Slattery, Geoffrey Howe, Donald Maclean, David Sheppard, Rachel Weisz, Stephen Hawking, Hans Blix.,

Oxford University – History from 1096 AD

As the University at Oxford is known Worldwide and is such a symbol of England and its education system I thought I would write about its famous alumni and history. The University of Oxford does not have a clear date of foundation. Teaching at Oxford existed in some form in 1096.

The expulsion of foreigners from the University of Paris in 1167 caused many English scholars to return from France and settle in Oxford. The historian Gerald of Wales lectured to the scholars in 1188, and the first known foreign scholar, Emo of Friesland, arrived in 1190. The head of the University was named a chancellor from 1201, and the masters were recognised as a universitas or corporation in 1231.

The students associated together, on the basis of geographical origins, into two “nations”, representing the North (including the Scots) and the South (including the Irish and the Welsh). In later centuries, geographical origins continued to influence many students' affiliations when membership of a college or hall became customary in Oxford. Members of many religious orders, including Dominicans, Franciscans, Carmelites, and Augustinians, settled in Oxford in the mid-13th century, gained influence, and maintained houses for students. At about the same time, private benefactors established colleges to serve as self-contained scholarly communities.

Among the earliest were William of Durham, who in 1249 endowed University College, and John I de Balliol, father of the future King of Scots: Balliol College bears his name. Another founder, Walter de Merton, a chancellor of England and afterwards Bishop of Rochester, devised a series of regulations for college life; Merton College thereby became the model for such establishments at Oxford as well as at the University of Cambridge. Thereafter, an increasing number of students forsook living in halls and religious houses in favour of living at colleges.

The new learning of the Renaissance greatly influenced Oxford from the late 15th century onward. Among University scholars of the period were William Grocyn, who contributed to the revival of the Greek language, and John Colet, the noted biblical scholar. With the Reformation and the breaking of ties with the Roman Catholic Church, Catholic Recusant scholars from Oxford fled to continental Europe, settling especially at the university of Douai.

The method of teaching at the university was transformed from the medieval Scholastic method to Renaissance education, although institutions associated with the university suffered loss of land and revenues. In 1636, Chancellor William Laud, archbishop of Canterbury, codified the university statutes; these to a large extent remained the university's governing regulations until the mid-19th century. Laud was also responsible for the granting of a charter securing privileges for Oxford University Press, and he made significant contributions to the Bodleian Library, the main library of the university.

The university was a centre of the Royalist Party during the English Civil War (1642–1649), while the town favoured the opposing Parliamentarian cause. From the mid-18th century onward, however, the University of Oxford took little part in political conflicts.

The mid nineteenth century saw the impact of the Oxford Movement (1833–1845), led among others by the future Cardinal Newman. The influence of the reformed model of German university reached Oxford via key scholars such as Benjamin Jowett and Max Müller.

Administrative reforms during the 19th century included the replacement of oral examinations with written entrance tests, greater tolerance for religious dissent, and the establishment of four women's colleges. Twentieth century Privy Council decisions (such as the abolition of compulsory daily worship, dissociation of the Regius professorship of Hebrew from clerical status, diversion of theological bequests to colleges to other purposes) loosened the link with traditional belief and practice. Although the University's emphasis traditionally had been on classical knowledge, its curriculum expanded in the course of the 19th century to encompass scientific and medical studies.

The mid twentieth century saw many distinguished continental scholars, displaced by Nazism and Communism, relocating to Oxford.

The list of distinguished scholars at the University of Oxford is long and includes many who have made major contributions to British politics, the sciences, medicine, and literature. More than forty Nobel laureates and more than fifty world leaders have been affiliated with the University of Oxford.

Famous Alumni of Oxford University:

Balliol College (1263)

John Wycliffe, Adam Smith, William Beveridge, Gerard Manley Hopkins, Hilaire Belloc, Aldous Huxley, King Olav V of Norway, King Harald of Norway, Edward Heath, Harold Macmillan, Grahame Greene, Siegfried Sassoon, Denis Healey, Roy Jenkins, Cosmo Lang, Frederick Temple, William Temple, Herbert Asquith, Joe Grimond, Nevil Shute, Chris Patten, Lionel Blue, Boris Johnson, Lord Peter Wimsey

Brasenose College (1509)

William Webb Ellis, Colin Cowdrey, William Golding, Robert Runcie, Michael Palin, John Buchan, Field Marshal Haig, Stephen Dorrell, John Gorton, David Cameron

Christ Church College (1546)

Philip Sidney, John Locke, Robert Hooke, Christopher Wren, John Ruskin, Zulfikar Bhutto, John Taverner, Adrian Boult, William Walton, Lewis Carroll, WH Auden, Auberon Waugh, Edward VII, Ludovic Kennedy, Lord Fawsley, John Wesley, Charles Wesley, William Penn, Albert Einstein, David Dimbleby, Robert Peel, William Gladstone, Marquess of Salisbury, Anthony Eden, Alec Douglas Home, Nigel Lawson, Trevor Huddleston, Alan Clarke.

Corpus Christi College (1517)

William Waldegrave, John Keble, Vikram Seth, Robert Bridges, Isaiah Berlin

Exeter College (1314)

RD Blackmore, JRR Tolkien, Geoffrey Fisher, Hubert Parry, Edward Burne-Jones, Roger Bannister, Ned Sherrin, Robert Robinson, Richard Burton, Martin Amis, Russell Harty, Alan Bennett, William Morris, Imogen Stubbs, Will Self

Hertford College (1740)

John Donne, William Tyndale, Jonathan Swift, Henry Pelham, Evelyn Waugh, Thomas Hobbes, Charles James Fox, Natasha Kaplinsky, Fiona Bruce, Krishnan Guru-Murthy, Jacqui Smith

Jesus College (1571)

Harold Wilson, Magnus Magnusson, Paul Jones, TE Lawrence

Keble College (1870)

Imran Khan, Chad Varah, Timmy Mallett

Lady Margaret Hall College (1878)

Benazir Bhutto, Antonia Fraser, Barbara Mills

Lincoln College (1427)

John Wesley, John Le Carre, Manfred von Richtofen, Dr Seuss

Magdalen College (1458)

John Betjeman, Edward VIII, Keith Joseph, Ivor Novello, Dudley Moore, Kenneth Baker, CS Lewis, Desmond Morris, John Redwood, Oscar Wilde, Cardinal Wolsey, William Hague, Malcolm Fraser, Bertie Wooster

Mansfield College (1886)

Adam Von Trott

Merton College (1264)

William Harvey, Max Beerbohm, TS Eliot, Sheridan Morley, Roger Bannister, Frank Bough, Kris Kristofferson, Prince Naruhito, John Wycliffe

New College (1379)

William Spooner, John Galsworthy, Hugh Gaitskell, Tony Benn, Dennis Potter, Gyles Brandreth, Douglas Jardine, Hugh Grant, Brian Johnston, John Fowles, Kate Beckinsale

Oriel College (1326)

Cardinal Newman, Cecil Rhodes, Beau Brummel, Sir Walter Raleigh

Pembroke College (1624)

Michael Heseltine, Samuel Johnson, Julian Critchley, Denzil Davies, George Whitefield, James Smithson

Queen's College (1341)

Edmund Halley, Brian Walden, David Jenkins, Jeremy Bentham, Rowan Atkinson, Henry V, Gerald Kaufman, Tim Berners-Lee

St Anne's College (1893)

Edwina Currie, Penelope Lively, Simon Rattle, Iris Murdoch, Sister Wendy Beckett, Baroness Young, Libby Purves, Jancis Robinson

St Catherine's College (1963)

John Birt, John Paul Getty, Joseph Heller, AA Milne, Matthew Pinsent, Peter Mandelson, Jeanette Winterson

St Edmund Hall College (1278)

Robin Day, Terry Jones

St Hilda's College (1893)

Gillian Shephard, Zeinab Badawi, Helen Jackson, Ros Miles, Susan Greenfield, Val McDermid

St Hugh's College (1886)

Barbara Castle, Ruth Lawrence, Kate Adie

St John's College (1555)

AE Housman, Jethro Tull, Kingsley Amis, Robert Graves, Philip Larkin, John Wain, Tony Blair, Inspector Morse

St Peter's College (1929)

Peter Wright, Rev W Awdry, Paul Condon, Ken Loach

Somerville College (1879)

Margaret Thatcher, Vera Brittain, Iris Murdoch, Dorothy L Sayers, Esther Rantzen, Indira Gandhi, Shirley Williams, Dorothy Hodgkin

Trinity College (1554)

Laurence Binyon, Terence Rattigan, Jeremy Thorpe, Cardinal Newman, Norris McWhirter, Miles Kingston, Robin Leigh-Pemberton

University College (1249)

Clement Atlee, Hugh Gaitskell, Harold Wilson, William Beveridge, Stephen Hawking, Paul Gambaccini, Peter Sissons, CS Lewis, Bill Clinton, Willie Rushton, Peter Snow, Bob Hawke, Richard Ingrams, VS Naipaul, Percy Shelley, Chelsea Clinton

Wadham College (1610)

Cecil Day Lewis, Thomas Beecham, Michael Foot, Melvyn Bragg, Christopher Wren

Worcester College (1714)

Alastair Burnett, Richard Adams, Rupert Murdoch, John Sainsbury, Thomas de Quincey.

The Greenwich Prime Meridian

The Royal Observatory in Greenwich is the home of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) and the Prime Meridian of the world. Many years ago in the 1920's my great Aunt Hilda traced our family tree back to the Kings and Queens of England from the 7th. Century. This basically means I am related to most of the British Royal Family going back 1500 years and this has made me a great fan of English and British Icons including the history of GMT.

Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) is a term originally referring to mean solar time at the Royal Observatory in Greenwich, London. It is commonly used in practice to refer to Co-ordinated Universal Time (UTC) when this is viewed as a time zone, especially by bodies connected with the United Kingdom, such as the BBC World Service, the Royal Navy, the Met Office and others, although strictly UTC is an atomic time scale which only approximates GMT with a tolerance of 0.9 second. It is also used to refer to Universal Time (UT), which is a standard astronomical concept used in many technical fields and is referred to by the phrase Zulu Time.

In the UK, GMT is the official time only during winter; during summer British Summer time ( BST ) is used. GMT is substantially equivalent to Western European Time.

In 1884 the Prime Meridian was defined by the position of the large "Transit Circle" telescope in the Observatory's Meridian Building. The transit circle was built by Sir George Biddell Airy, the 7th Astronomer Royal, in 1850. The cross-hairs in the eyepiece of the Transit Circle precisely defined Longitude 0° for the world. As the earth's crust is moving very slightly all the time the exact position of the Prime Meridian is now moving very slightly too, but the original reference for the prime meridian of the world remains the Airy Transit Circle in the Royal Observatory, even if the exact location of the line may move to either side of Airy's meridian.

The line in Greenwich represents the Prime Meridian of the World - Longitude 0º. Every place on Earth is measured in terms of its distance east or west from this line. The line itself divides the eastern and western hemispheres of the Earth - just as the Equator divides the northern and southern hemispheres.

The Greenwich Meridian was chosen as the Prime Meridian of the World in 1884. There were Forty-one delegates from 25 nations who met in Washington DC for the International Meridian Conference. By the end of the conference, Greenwich had won the prize of Longitude 0º by a vote of 22 to 1 against (San Domingo), with 2 abstentions ( France and Brazil – what a surprise the French was against us Brits.!! ). There were two main reasons for choosing Greenwich as the Prime meridian:

·       The first was the fact that the USA had already chosen Greenwich as the basis for its own national time zone system.

·       The second was that in the late 19th century, 72% of the world's commerce depended on sea-charts which used Greenwich as the Prime Meridian.

The decision, essentially, was based on the argument that by naming Greenwich as Longitude 0º, it would be advantageous to the largest number of people. Therefore the Prime Meridian at Greenwich became the centre of world time, and was the official starting point for the new Millennium.

In the future, when we Earthlings set out to explore the solar system GMT will still be used as the Point Of Earth time. As an example the Earth GMT will be called: E-GMT.

History Of English and British Astronomer Royal's

As an Englishman with an interest of The Stars, Solar System, English and British History I thought it would be of interest to describe the history of the 'Astronomer Royal' and list the previous holders of this prestigious post.

Astronomer Royal is a senior post in the Royal Household of the Sovereign of the United Kingdom. There are two officers, the senior being the Astronomer Royal dating from 22 June 1675; the second is the 'Astronomer Royal for Scotland' dating from 1834.

King Charles II, who founded the Royal Observatory Greenwich in 1675 instructed the first Astronomer Royal John Flamsteed "... forthwith to apply himself with the most exact care and diligence to the rectifying the tables of the motions of the heavens, and the places of the fixed stars, so as to find out the so-much desired longitude of places for the perfecting the art of navigation."

From that time until 1972 the Astronomer Royal was Director of the Royal Observatory Greenwich. As Astronomer Royal he receives a sum of 100 GBP per year and is a member of the Royal Household, under the general authority of the Lord Chamberlain. After the separation of the two offices the position of Astronomer Royal has been largely honorary, though he remains available to advise the Sovereign on astronomical and related scientific matters, and the office is of great prestige.

English Astronomer Royal's

The first Astronomer royal was John Flamsteed who was born in Denby in 1649. Because of ill health, which was to dog his career, he was forced to leave school early and was therefore largely self educated. He started his scientific career under the patronage of William Brouncker, the first president of the Royal Society, having impressed him by computing an almanac of celestial events for 1670.

·       1675-1719 John Flamsteed

·       1720-1742 Edmond Halley

·       1742-1762 James Bradley

·       1762-1764 Nathaniel Bliss

·       1765-1811 Nevil Maskelyne

·       1811-1835 John Ford

·       1835-1881 Sir George Biddell Airy

·       1881-1910 Sir William Christie

·       1910-1933 Sir Frank Dyson

·       1933-1955 Sir Harold Spencer Jones

·       1956-1971 Richard van der Riat Woolley

·       1972-1982 Sir Martin Ryle

·       1982-1990 Sir Francis Graham-Smith

·       1991-1995 Sir Arnold Wolfendale

·       1998-present, Martin Rees, Baron Rees of Ludlow

Irish Astronomer Royal's

The Royal Astronomer of Ireland was a title attached to the Andrews Professorship of astronomy in Trinity College Dublin and the directorship of its astronomical observatory at Dundalk, near Dublin. The eight title-holders included Charles Jasper Joly, Professor Sir Robert Stawell Ball, Professor Sir William Rowan Hamilton, and Professor John Brinkley. The title of Royal Astronomer of Ireland was introduced by Letters Patent of George III in 1792 so John Brinkley was the first Royal Astronomer.

1783–1792 Henry Ussher

·       1792–1827 John Brinkley

·       1827–1865 Sir William Rowan Hamilton

·       1865–1874 Franz Friedrich Ernst Brunnow

·       1874–1892 Sir Robert Stawell Ball

·       1892–1897 Arthur Alcock Rambaut

·       1897–1906 Charles Jasper Joly

·       1906–1912 Sir Edmund Taylor Whittaker

·       1912–1921 Henry Crozier Keating Plummer

Scottish Astronomer Royal's

Astronomer Royal for Scotland was originally the title of the director of the Royal Observatory, Edinburgh, but since 1995 it has simply been an honorary title.


·       1834–1844 Thomas Henderson

·       1846–1888 Charles Piazzi Smith

·       1889–1905 Ralph Copeland

·       1905–1910 Sir Frank Watson Dyson

·       1910–1937 Ralph Allen Sampson

·       1938–1955 William Michael Herbert Greaves

·       1957–1975 Hermann Bruck

·       1975–1980 Vincent Cartledge Reddish

·       1980–1990 Malcolm Longair

·       1991–1995 vacant

·       1995–present John Campbell Brown

The British Royal Household

I am a great fan of English and British History and below is a description of the Royal Household, Its five departments and the A to Z of the various 135 senior Royal Household Positions.

There are five Departments that make up the Royal Household. These Departments are:

The Private Secretary's Office.

·       The Master of the Household's Department.

·       The Privy Purse and Treasurer's Office.

·       The Lord Chamberlain's Office.

·       The Royal Collection Department.

It seems that most of the Departments are based at Buckingham Palace, although some staff also work at St. James's Palace, Windsor Castle, the Palace of Holyroodhouse and the Royal Mews.

It also seems that some of the Royal Household employees also travel with The Queen on overseas visits and during The Queen's stay at Balmoral Castle and Sandringham, since the work of the Head of State continues even when she is away from London.

A – Z in The Royal Household


·       Personal Aide-de-Camp

·       Aide-de-Camp General

·       Aide-de-camp

·       Apothecary to the Household at Sandringham

·       Apothecary to the Household at Windsor

·       Armour-Bearer

·       Astronomer Royal

·       Astronomer Royal for Scotland


·       Bearer of the National Flag of Scotland

·       Purse Bearer

·       Black Rod

·       Blues and Royals

·       Board of Green Cloth


·       Captain of the Honourable Corps of Gentlemen-at-Arms

·       Captain of the Yeomen of the Guard

·       Clerk of the Closet

·       Clerk of the Green Cloth

·       Cofferer of the Household

·       Comptroller of the Household

·       Coroner of the Queen's Household

·       Court dwarf

·       Crown Equerry


·       Dean of the Chapel Royal

·       Defence Services Secretary

·       Deputy Clerk of the Closet

·       Director for Security Liaison


·       Ecclesiastical Household

·       Equerry


·       Field Officer in Brigade Waiting


·       Gentleman Usher

·       Gentleman Usher to the Sword of State

·       Gentleman of the Bedchamber

·       Gentleman of the Horse

·       Gold Stick and Silver Stick

·       Governor of the Military Knights of Windsor

·       Grand Carver of England

·       Great Chamberlain

·       Groom Porter

·       Groom in Waiting

·       Groom of the Chamber

·       Groom of the Robes

·       Groom of the Stole


·       Her Majesty's Botanist

·       Her Majesty's Representative at Ascot

·       High Constables and Guard of Honour of the Palace of Holyroodhouse

·       High Steward of Scotland

·       Historiographer Royal

·       Historiographer Royal (England)

·       Honourable Corps of Gentlemen at Arms

·       Horse Grenadier Guards

·       Apothecary to the Household


·       Jester


·       Keeper of the Privy Purse

·       Keeper of the Queen's Swans

·       Keeper of the Royal Archives

·       Knight Marischal

·       Knight Marshal


·       Lady of the Bedchamber

·       Lady-in-waiting

·       Life Guards (British Army)

·       List of Gentlemen Ushers

·       Lord Chamberlain (UK)

·       Lord Chamberlain's Office

·       Lord Clerk Register

·       Lord High Constable of Ireland

·       Lord High Constable of Scotland

·       Lords Justice-General

·       Lords President of the Court of Session

·       Lord Lyon King of Arms

·       Lord of the Bedchamber

·       Lord Steward

·       Lord-in-Waiting

·       List of Lords Chamberlain to British royal consorts


·       Maid of Honour

·       Earl Marischal

·       Marker of the Swans

·       Marshal of the Ceremonies

·       Marshal of the Diplomatic Corps

·       Master Carver

·       Master of the Queen's Music

·       Master of the Buckhounds

·       Master of the Ceremonies

·       Master of the Harriers

·       Master of the Hawks

·       Master of the Horse

·       Master of the Household

·       Master of the Household of Scotland

·       Master of the Jewel Office

·       Master of the Revels

·       Master of the Robes

·       Master of the Staghounds

·       List of Masters of the Horse to British royal consorts

·       Medical Officer to The Queen

·       Mistress of the Robes


·       Office of the Duke of Edinburgh

·       Office of the Duke of York

·       Office of the Earl of Wessex

·       Office of the Prince of Wales

·       Office of the Princess Royal

·       Official Harpist to the Prince of Wales


·       Page of the Backstairs

·       Page of the Presence

·       Page of Honour

·       Painter and Limner

·       Personal Protection Officer

·       Piper to the Sovereign

·       Poet Laureate

·       Press Office (Royal Household)

·       Principal Painter in Ordinary

·       Private Secretary to the Sovereign


·       Queen's Bargemaster

·       Queen's Flag Sergeant

·       Physician to the Queen


·       Removing Wardrobe

·       Royal Archives

·       Royal Astronomer of Ireland

·       Royal Horse Guards

·       Royal Household

·       Royal Households of the United Kingdom

·       Royal Librarian (United Kingdom)


·       Sculptor in Ordinary for Scotland

·       Serjeant Painter

·       Serjeant Surgeon

·       Serjeant-at-Arms

·       Surveyor of the Queen's Pictures

·       Surveyor of the Queen's Works of Art


·       Treasurer of the Chamber

·       Treasurer of the Household

·       List of Treasurers to British royal consorts


·       Vice-Chamberlain of the Household

·       List of Vice-Chamberlains to British royal consorts


·       Warden of the Swans

·       Wardrobe (government)

·       Woman of the Bedchamber


·       Yeomen Warders

·       Yeomen of the Guard

English Poet Laureates- History

The position of Poet Laureate was informally created by Charles I for Ben Jonson in 1617, however, the title did not become an official royal office until it was conferred by letters patent on John Dryden in 1670. The position became the Poet Laureate of Great Britain in 1707, when The Act of Union created "Great Britain" as the political name of England, Scotland, and Wales.

The English Poet Laureate is the realm's official poet.

·       The Poet Laureate is a member of the royal household

·       The Poet Laureate is charged with writing verses for court and national occasions such as the monarch's 
birthday, royal births and marriages, coronations and military victories

·       The Poet Laureate was originally awarded the position for life, however, from 1999 the post is limited to 10 years

·       The Poet Laureate is chosen by the British reigning monarch from a list of nominees that the Prime Minister compiles after the death of a poet laureate

·       It is the Lord Chamberlain who appoints the poet laureate by issuing a warrant to the laureate-elect

·       The life appointment is always announced in the London Gazette.

List Of Poet laureates from the 12th Century to Present Day

Gulielmus Peregrinus assigned by Richard the Lionheart
'Master Henry' assigned by Henry III
Robert Whittington serving Richard II
Geoffrey Chaucer (1340-1400) serving Edward III
John Kay in the reign of Edward IV (1461-1483)

Bernard Andre of Toulouse (1450-1522) under Henry VII
John Skelton (1460-1529) was the 'Poet Laureate' under Henry VIII
Edmund Spenser (1552-1599) was the 'Poet Laureate' under Elizabeth I
Samuel Daniel was the 'Poet Laureate' under James I
Ben Jonson was the Poet Laureate under Charles I
Sir William Davenant (a godson of William Shakespeare) was the Poet Laureate under Charles I & Charles II

John Dryden (1668-1688)
Thomas Shadwell (1689-1692)
Naham Tate (1692-1715)
Nicholas Rowe (1715-1718)
Laurence Eusden (1718-1730)
Colley Cibber (1730-1757)
William Whitehead (1757-1785)
Thomas Warton (1785-1790)
Henry James Pye (1790-1813)
Robert Southey (1813-1843)
William Wordsworth (1843-1850)
Alfred, Lord Tennyson (1850-1892)
Alfred Austin (1896-1913)
Robert Bridges (1913-1930)
John Masefield (1930-1967)
Cecil Day-Lewis (1968-1972)
Sir John Betjeman (1972-1984)
Ted Hughes (1984-1998)
Andrew Motion (1999 - 2009 ) appointed as Poet Laureate for ten years only

Carol Ann Duffy (2009 – to Present Day).

English Christmas Traditions - History

England is famous for its Traditional Christmas and as a born and bred Englishman, My Christmas involved family reunions, Christmas Dinner and watching the Queens Speech at 3pm.

Queens Christmas Speech

The Sovereign King George V appeared on the radio on Christmas Day 1932. This happened every year until 1957 when Queen Elizabeth II appeared on Television, Christmas Day at 3pm. The Christmas Broadcast is an intrinsic part of Christmas Day festivities and is broadcast UK and Commonwealth wide and In 2003, over 10 million viewers in Britain alone, settled down to watch the Broadcast on Christmas Day.

Christmas Tree

Not the oldest of traditions, the Christmas tree may have originated in Germany, but it is very popular in England, too. The first Christmas tree in England was the one Prince Albert, the spouse of Queen Victoria, placed in their royal home in 1837. There are lots of trees in public places as well, the most famous being the huge one in Trafalgar Square which is given to the UK by Norway as a thank you for our help during WW2.

Christmas Cards

Christmas cards are sent off to relatives, friends, loved ones and business contacts at the begining of December. This was invented by us English and dates back to 1840, and every year more than one billion Christmas cards are sent in Great Britain - December is decidedly not the easiest month to be a postman in England.

Advent Calender

The modern advent calendar consists of a carboard surround, usually decorated in some popular culture or chocolate-related theme which has been adjusted to look Christmassy, bearing at least 24 little doors. Behind each door will be a moulded Christmas-related shape, and there may also be small picture on the inside of the door or on the cardboard behind the chocolate. The chocolate will probably sit in a plastic tray, and may be protected by a layer of foil which is best slit open using a fingernail. Advent calendar traditions include the 24th chocolate or door bearing the words 'Santa's Coming' or a depiction of a Nativity scene, and the person opening the calendar guessing which Christmas-related item will be depicted behind each door.

Christmas Holly

It is to be noted that here in England, a strong distinction is made between the 'he holly' and the 'she holly', based on the nature of the leaves. The 'he holly' is characterized by prickly leaves while 'she Holly' is characterized by the smooth surface of the leaves. The Holly, which is strongly linked with Christmas or rather Christmas festival, has a history of its own. Though Christmas Holly history has its roots in Northern Europe, the sanctity of the Holly plant has a pagan origin. The Holly plant is characterized by green leaves that are prickly in nature. It needs a mention here that the Druids adorned their heads with twigs of the Holly plant whenever they went to the forest.

The Holly Man

The Holly Man, the winter guise of the Green Man (a character from pagan myths and folklore), decked in fantastic green garb and evergreen foliage, appears from the River Thames every January. The Green Man is thought to represent life, death, fertility and rebirth. He brings nature and mankind together. The Green Man is usually depicted in carvings with leafy vines growing around his body, from his face, mouth, eyes, nose and ears.


We English don't stop at pine trees: holly and mistletoe are equally essential natural Christmas decorations. Mistletoe's popularity obviously has something to do with the custom of kissing the person with whom you stand underneath it - a tradition that allegedly dates back to Pagan Britain and ancient Roman times, when enemies who met under it were said to have to give up their rivalries.


Wassail is an ale-based drink seasoned with spices and honey. It was served from huge bowls, often made of silver or pewter. Wassail comes from an old English term 'waes hael' meaning to be well. In Saxon times the Lord of the Manor would shout this to the crowds and they would all drink an ale based drink. This tradition continued over time as people would go from house to house with the drink and Christmas food. Some parts of the country especially in rural areas still go 'a wassailing' in January - usually the 17th which was the old twelfth night. While it's not called wassailing nowadays you'll also find that people in England will still go visiting neighbours for a glass of mulled wine (or something else alcoholic) and a mince pie. The Wassail bowl would be passed around with the greeting, 'Wassail'. Wassailing has been associated with English Christmas and New Year as far back as the 1400s. It was a way of passing on good wishes among family and friends.

Christmas Carols

The earliest carol was written in 1410. Sadly only a very small fragment of it still exists. The carol was about Mary and Jesus meeting different people in Bethlehem. Most Carols from this time and the Elizabethan period are based on untrue stories, very loosely based on the Christmas story, about the holy family and were seen as entertaining rather than religious songs. They were usually sung in homes rather than in churches! Travelling singers or Minstrels started singing these carols and the words were changed for the local people wherever they were travelling.

Perhaps the most famous carol service, is the service of Nine Lessons and Carols from King's College in Cambridge, UK. This service takes place on Christmas Eve and is broadcast live on BBC Radio (and all over the world). In my house, we listen to it and it means Christmas has really started!! The Service was first performed in 1918 as a way of the college celebrating the end of the First World War. It is always started with a single choir boy singing a solo of the first verse of the Carol 'Once in Royal David's City'.

Boxing Day

Boxing Day officially began in England in the middle of the 19 century under the rule of Queen Victoria. However, many adults and children do not know the true meaning of Boxing Day and its reasons for celebrating. It was a day to thank the community for all their effort throughout the years. The maids, drivers and other service workers were thanked with gifts of food, money, clothing, and other goods. It is important to teach students how they can contribute to society and to understand not all families are able to provide for their families all of the time. The countries that celebrate Boxing Day includes Great Britain, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and other Commonwealth Countries celebrate Boxing Day on December 26th.

Twelth Night – Twelve Days of Christmas and Lights and Decorations

Twelfth Night (5th January) is when all Christmas Lights and Decorations should be removed so as not to bring bad luck upon the home. If decorations are not removed on Twelfth Night, they should stay up all year.

Nativity Play

Another eagerly awaited event in the run-up to Christmas is the nativity play: each year hundreds of thousands of school children act out the story from the Bible about the birth of Christ. They dress up as Joseph, Mary, Jesus, the shepherds and the three Wise Men - and occasionally children get to don ox and donkey costumes.


Pantomimes are cheerful musical interpretations of classic fairy tales that are performed by professional or amateur actors - and the audience: crowd participation is a big part of pantomime fun. Pantomimes became popular in England in the 1500s. There are Pre-Christian roots to the pantomime, most notably the playing of men by women and the other way around. This probably stems back to the pagan winter festivals, where roles were reversed in plays: males would play females; masters, servants and children would play parents.

English Christmas Food

Christmas dinner is very traditional and includes a variety of the following: Turkey, Sage and Onion or Sausage or Chestnut Stuffing, Cranberry sauce, brussel sprouts, roast potato's, English mustard or Mint Sauce and for afters either: Mince pies, chocalate Yule Logs, iced fruit cake, Christmas Pudding,Shortbread or Cheese and Crackers..

Christmas Crackers

The most original English Christmas tradition, however, is the Christmas cracker: the popular small paper tubes with little gifts inside were invented by a baker from London in the mid 19th century and have gone on to conquer the world. It is traditionally opened by two people who each pull on one end of the cracker until it, well, cracks. Merry Christmas!

Father Christmas plus his Sleigh and Reindeers

Father Christmas was originally part of an old English midwinter festival, normally dressed in green, a sign of the returning spring. He was known as 'Sir Christmas', 'Old Father Christmas' or Old Winter'.

In this earliest form, Father Christmas was not the bringer of gifts for small children, nor did he come down the chimney. He simply wandered around from home to home, knocking on doors and feasting with families before moving on to the next house.

The Ghost of Christmas Present in Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol (1843) is based on Father Christmas. He is described as a large man with a red beard and fur-lined green robe.

Images of Father Christmas (Santa Claus) dressed in red started appearing on Christmas cards in the late Victorian times.

Life Story Of Louis Wain 1860-1939 And His Funny Animal Art

Louis William Wain was born in the London district of Clerkenwell in London on 5th. August 1860 and in his early years was interested in music, authorship, chemistry and art. Music was his first career choice but he was not sufficiently dedicated and turned to the world of art as an alternative.

In his early years he was a sickly child and often skipped school. He attended his early schooling at The Orchard Street Foundation school in Hackney and at The Saint Joseph's Academy, Kennington.

Wain was born with a Cleft Lip and the doctor gave his parents the orders that he should not be sent to school or taught until he was ten years old. As a teenage youth, he was often truant from school, and spent much of his childhood wandering around London. Following this period, Louis studied at the West London School of Art and eventually became a teacher for a short period. At the age of 20, Wain was left to support his mother and sisters after his father's death.

With reference to his family, Louis Wain's father had moved to London from Leek in Staffordshire where he met Julie Felice Boiteux (Anglo-French) who attended the same Roman Catholic church. They married in 1859. He had 5 younger sisters (two of whom became competent artists) and his father worked as a textile salesman and his mother designed Church fabrics and carpets.

At the age of 17 he attempted to become a musician though no evidence of any success exists today. Louis Wain then decided to study and trained at The West London School of Art ( 1877- 1882 ) and remained as an assistant teacher until he left in 1882.

After his Father - William Wain's death in 1880 he had to support his mother - Julie Wain and five younger sisters.

To help to support his family he became a freelance illustrator ( initially influenced by Caldecott and May ).

He began to make his name with Dog and Animal drawings at various Dog and Country Shows including the early British National Dog show at Crystal palace in 1882 ( which later became known as Crufts ).

In 1884 Louis Wain married Emily Richardson ( His youngest sister's governess ). Shortly after he married her she contracted Breast cancer. He brought Emily a Kitten which they called Peter and to entertain her he started drawing Peter in humorous situations and poses.

She wanted him to show his cat drawings to some editors to which some comments were - ‘whoever would want to see a picture of a cat.'

The break he had been waiting for came in 1886 when he drew several kitten illustrations for a children's book. After this, Sir William Ingram, Proprietor of the Illustrated London News, commissioned a narrative drawing of a ‘Kitten's Christmas Party'. It contained 200 cats, took 11 days to complete and according to Wain brought him ‘overnight fame.' With the success of his funny cat pictures they started to make his reputation here in Britain and in America where his humorous cat pictures were seen in Comics, newspapers and magazines. These pictures were so successful that his life would never be the same again. Alas, this was tinged with sadness as his wife died shortly afterwards, but knowing that Louis Wain had become a great success.

In the period from 1880's up to the start of the first world war he ruled supreme in cat and animal humour especially the 'Louis Wain Cat' which was recognised worldwide. The Louis Wain cats appeared in Art Prints, Comics, Newspapers, Books, Magazines, Post Cards and Annuals. The Wain cats are to be found in every human activity - from playing golf and other sports, digging up roads, Playing music, Ascot fashions, Driving cats plus lots more.

In 1886 he joined the staff of The Illustrated London News. He was the first illustrator to work consistently within the convention of depicting clothed and standing animals.

He contributed to "Comical Customers at our Fine New Store of Comical Rhymes and Pictures" in 1896 and to "Jingles. Jokes and Funny Folks" in 1898. 1902 saw the word "Catland" commonly associated with Wain's illustrations, and the publication of "Pa Cats, Ma Cats and their Kittens."
His anthropomorphic vision of the world soon brought him fame and as a result he was elected President of the British National Cat Club in 1898 and 1911.

In 1904 Louis Wain wrote a book entitled 'In Animal land with Louis Wain' which was a great success. During 1907 he invested all his savings into various Ceramic's with pictures based on his funny cats and sent most of them to America. Alas, while crossing the Atlantic, the ship capsized and all Louis Wain ceramics went to the bottom of the sea. Due to this misfortune Louis Wain went bankrupt and decided on a temporary move to the United States. He produced strip cartoons for the New York American ( 1907-1910 ) and many other American comics, newspapers and magazines.

After the death of his mother, In 1910, he returned to England and over the next few years he continued to produce books and supply pictures to various comics, newspapers and magazines.

He continued drawing fanciful cats for various newspapers and comics near the end of the first world war. During this time in 1917 he was thinking of experimenting in animation and the film was to be called 'Pussyfoot'. Alas, he decided not to persue this project and so the world lost the chance of a genius of comic cat art moving into animation. This year was a turning point in the history of Louis Wain's cats. His sister Caroline died and he fell off an Omnibus and hit his head.

After he recovered from these set backs his cats became more frenzied, surreal, jagged and pointy. During 1917 he was also diagnosed as a schizophrenic which alas, stayed with him for the rest of his life. During the onset of his disease at 57, Wain continued to Paint, Draw and Sketch cats.

In 1924 due to the economic climate and the slow recovery of GB after WW1 Louis Wain Art became less popular and he fell into poverty when his mental health deteriorated and finally his family had him certified Insane and he was committed to a pauper ward at Springfield Hospital ( Previously Surrey County Asylum ) at Tooting, London on June 16th 1924. During 1925 he was discovered by a visitor to the hospital painting his funny cat pictures. The visitor exclaimed that the artist pictures reminded him of Louis Wain's famous cats. Imagine his surprise when the Artist turned to the visitor and exclaimed he was indeed Louis Wain.  After the visitor told the world of Louis Wain's hospitalization, his admirers started a campaign which included prime minister Ramsey Macdonald, HG Wells and King George who helped set up a foundation which was set up to enable Wain to spend the last few years of his life in comfort in private asylums including Bethlehem Hospital in a private room where his treatment continued. H. G. Wells best portrays Louis Wain when he said in a 1925 broadcast, in an attempt to raise money for the impoverished artist, that three generations had been brought up on Louis Wain's cats and few nurseries were without his pictures. He made the cat his own. He invented a cat style, a cat society, a whole cat world. English cats that do not look and live like Louis Wain cats are ashamed of themselves.

Some time in the late 1920's he was sent to Saint James  Fields, Southwark where he continued to paint and draw his cats.

In 1930 he was transferred to Napsbury Hospital near Saint Albans where he continued to paint and sketch until the end of his days. Exhibitions of his work were held in London in 1931 and 1937. On 4th. July Louis Wain died at Napsbury hospital. He is buried at Saint Mary's Catholic Cemetery, Harrow Road, London NW10 ( next to Kensal Green Cemetery, London ) next to the same burial plots as his 5 sisters and parents.

He is probably best remembered through a quote from H.G. Wells "He has made the cat his own. He invented a cat style, a cat society, a whole cat world. English cats that do not look and live like Louis Wain cats are ashamed of themselves."

Louis often gave lectures on the welfare of cats and encouraged people to take in stray cats, not just purebred cats. He was elected as President and Chairman of the National Cat Club, which he served for many years, and the logo he designed for the National Cat Club is still used to this very day. He was also involved in many other animal (mainly cat) charities and groups.

I am a collector and seller of Louis Wain 1860-1939 Funny Cats, Birds, Pigs, Owls and Dogs on Art prints, so please feel free to visit my Louis Wain art prints at my Animal Gallery Page.

Funny Pets, Sports and Animals on Fine Art Prints

I have been collecting for over 25 years and I am selling my surplus fine art prints at my website store of dogs, cats, birds, horses, wildlife, pets, sports, animals by English artists from 1400's to 1900's.

Funny Kittens, Birds, Pigs, Dogs, Owls and Cats on Modern Fine Art Prints by Louis Wain 1860-1939.

Various A to Z Cat Breeds and Victorian Kittens on Fine Art Prints from 1800's to 1900's.

I have some of the funniest Sports Playing funny dogs and cats on art prints by various artists including Louis Wain 1860-1939 Funny Cats,Kittens and Animals.

I have 17 types of Sports and BILLIARDS Playing Funny BullDogs and other dog breeds on Fine Art poster Pictures.

1.  Funny Rules of Golf by Perrier and Golf Playing Funny Cats and Dogs on Art prints.

2.  Angling, Shooting, Hunting, FieldSports, Wildlife on fine art prints from 1700's to 1900's.

3.  Horses and Jockeys on Fine Art prints by Artists from 17th. To 20th. Century.

4.  Funny Kittens, Birds, Pigs, Dogs, Owls and Cats on Modern Fine Art Prints by Louis Wain 1860-1939.

5.  Various A to Z Cat Breeds and Victorian Kittens on Fine Art Prints from 1800's to 1900's.

6.  A-Z Dog breeds on Fine Art prints by Artists from 17th. to 20th. Century.

7.  Various Dog Breeds on original 1930's fine art prints by J. De Clayes

8.  Lovebirds, Owls, Budgies, Eagles, Harriers, Parrots, Kingfishers on Fine Art Prints by artists from 17th. To 20th. Century.

9.  Pigs, Cows, Chickens and Farm Animals on Fine art prints.

10.                Wildlife, Landscapes, Seascapes and Animals on Fine Art prints by Monet, Degas,Constable, Turner, Hogarth, Rembrandt, Caneletto, Louis Wain and Van Gogh from 1700-1950s.

11.                Leopards, Tigers, Lions, Cheetahs, Cougars, Lynx, WildCats on fine art prints.

12.                Dolphins and Wildlife on Fine Art prints.

13.                Rabbits and hares on fine art prints.

14.                Funny Bonzo The Dog by George Studdy on Fine Art prints.

15.                Mickey Mouse, Minnie, Goofy, Donald Duck on fine art prints.

16.                Victorian Fairies on fine art prints.

17.                Nursery Fine Art prints by various artists.

18.                Funny Victorian British Bobbies ( Policeman ) on fine art prints.

19.                Hot Air Balloons and Victorian Military Fine Art prints from 1680 to 1900.

20.                Sailing Ships and River Scenes on Fine Art prints by various artists from 1700-1900.

21.                WW1 and WW2 War planes on fine art prints.

22.                Leopards, Tigers, Lions, Cheetahs, Cougars, Lynx, WildCAts on fine art prints.

All above pictures are 15 1/2" by 11 3/4" in size ( Picture Frames can be brought off the peg at any local retailer ) and art prints are sold for GB £13-99 each + GB £8 Post and Packing per Order. Tel. 02392-431503

All Art prints are sent in a stationary tube anywhere in the UK by Royal Mail Special Next Day Delivery or signed for worldwide.

**On Special Offer**Buy 4 for GB £55 & Free P&P..Save GB £9*


24) Vintage Classic Cars 1900-1913 on 10 Types of Art Prints:

All original 10 Types of Car Pictures are 9" X 7" in size and over 40 years old and are sold for GB £7 each + GB £8 Post and Packing per Order. **Special Offer**Buy 10 for £60 and Free Post and Packing** A Saving of GB £18**

25) Decoupage Art Prints: Dickens, Floral, Fruits and Flowers on Fine Art Prints 8" X 6" in size and sold for £3.99 each + £8 Post and Packing or 10 of the same print £29 and free Post and packing **A Saving of £19 **

The Neck Tie and It's History


The neck tie in Britain is one of the stand alone style statements which during the daytime separates Office Workers from other workers. In the evening the non office workers, when going out on the town, will dress up and wear a tie and jacket. I thought it would be interesting to write about the history of the neck tie from 1800 to present day.

1800–1850: Cravat, Stocks, Scarves, Bandanna's

At this time, there was also much interest in the way to tie a proper cravat and this led to a series of publications. This began with Neckclothitania which is a book that contained instructions and illustrations on how to tie 14 different cravats. It was also the first book to use the word ‘tie’ in association with neck wear.

It was about this time that black stocks made their appearance. Their popularity eclipsed the white Cravat, except for formal and evening wear. These remained popular through to the 1850s. At this time, another form of neck wear worn was the scarf. This was where a neckerchief or bandanna was held in place by slipping the ends through a finger or scarf ring at the neck instead of using a knot. This is the classic sailor neck wear and may have been adopted from them.

1860–1920s: Bow ties, Scarf/Neckerchief, the Ascot, the Long tie

The industrial revolution created a need for neck wear that was easy to put on, comfortable and would last an entire workday. The modern neck tie, as is still worn by millions of men today, was born. It was long, thin and easy to knot and it didn’t come undone.

We English called it the “Four in Hand” because the knot resembled the reins of the four horse carriage used by the British upper class. By this time, the sometimes complicated array of knots and styles of neck wear gave way to the necktie's and bow ties, the latter a much smaller, more convenient version of the cravat. In formal dinner parties and when attending races, another type of neck wear was considered de rigueur; this was the Ascot Tie which had wide flaps that were crossed and pinned together on the chest.

This was until 1926, when a New York tie maker, Jesse Langsdorf came up with a method of cutting the fabric on the bias and sewing it in three segments. This technique improved elasticity and facilitated the fabric's return to its original shape. Since that time, most men have worn the “Langsdorf” tie. Yet another development of that time was the method used to secure the lining and interlining once the tie had been folded into shape. Richard Atkinson and Company of Belfast claim to have introduced the slip stitch for this purpose in the late 1920s.

1920s – present day

Wide short tie with print, 1953, part of the post-War "Bold Look".

After the First World War, hand-painted ties became an accepted form of decoration in America. The widths of some of these ties went up to 4.5 inches (110 mm). These loud, flamboyant ties sold very well all the way through the 1950s.

In Britain, Regimental stripes have been continuously used in tie designs since the 1920's. Traditionally, English stripes ran from the left shoulder down to the right side; however, when Brooks Brothers introduced the striped ties in the United States around the beginning of the 20th century, they had theirs cut in the opposite direction.

Before the Second World War ties were worn shorter than they are today; this was due, in part, to men wearing trousers at the natural waist (more or less at the level of the belly button), and also due to the popularity of three-piece suits, for which it is considered a faux pas to let the tie stick out below the vest. Around 1944 ties started to become not only wider, but wilder. This was the beginning of what was later labelled the Bold Look ties which reflected the returning GIs' desire to break with wartime uniformity. Widths reached 5", and designs included Art Deco, hunting scenes, scenic "photographs," tropical themes, and even girlie prints, though more traditional designs were also available. The typical length was 48".

The 1960s brought about an influx of pop art influenced designs. The first was designed by

Michael Fish when he worked at Turnbull & Asser, and was introduced in Britain in 1965; the term Kipper Tie was a pun on his name. The exuberance of the styles of the late 1960s and early 1970's gradually gave way to more restrained designs. Ties became wider, returning to their 4½ inch width, sometimes with garish colours and designs. The traditional designs of the 1930's and 1950s reappeared, particularly Paisley patterns. Ties began to be sold along with shirts, and designers slowly began to experiment with bolder colours.

In the 1980s, narrower ties, some as narrow as 1½" but more typically 3" to 3¼" wide, became popular again. Into the 1990s, as ties got wider again, increasingly unusual designs became common. Novelty (or joke) ties or deliberately kitschy ties designed to make a statement gained a certain popularity in the 1980s and 1990s. These included ties featuring cartoon characters, commercial products or pop culture icons, and those made of unusual materials, such as plastic or wood. During this period, with men wearing their pants at their hips, ties lengthened to 57".

At the start of the 21st century, ties widened to 3½" to 3¾" wide, with a broad range of patterns available, from traditional stripes, foulards, and club ties (Ties with a crest or design signifying a club, organization, or order) to abstract, themed, and humorous ones. The standard length remains 57", though 2008 and 2009 saw a return to narrower ties. While ties as wide as 3¾" are still available, ties under 3" wide also became popular, particularly with younger men and the fashion-conscious.

 The Morgan Motor Company - The Oldest Manufactured Car Maker


The “Morgan Car” is one of Britain's most famous Iconic Cars and is known the world over for its classic styling and It's sheer Englishness. As the Morgan Car Company is over 100 years old, which makes it the oldest continuous car manufacturer in the world, I thought the reader may be interested in it's long and prestigious history.


When in 1909, at the age of twenty-eight, Henry Frederick Stanley Morgan (HFS as he came to be known throughout the motoring world) designed and built
his first single-seater three-wheeled experimental car, he could never have dreamt that he would become one of the world's major manufacturers of three-wheeler motor cars.

The son of a country clergyman, HFS was lucky not to be forced to enter the church as a profession. Far from discouraging him from making his own way in life,
his parents and grandparents gave him every assistance. He was educated at Stone House, Broadstairs, and Marlborough College and then entered Crystal Palace
Engineering College in south London, and it was here that his design and artistic talents developed.

In 1906 he opened a garage in Malvern, Worcestershire. The venture flourished and HFS was then able to turn his thoughts to making a car of his own design.

The prototype, completed in 1909, was a single-seater fitted with tiller steering. It also incorporated Morgan's special form of sliding pillar independent front
suspension. With the addition of such refinement as rebound springs and shock absorbers, this form of front suspension is still used on modern four-wheeler
Morgan's. The whole car was very light and was powered by a 7 horsepower Peugeot motorcycle engine.

On Boxing Day 1910 HFS entered the first London-Exeter Two Day Trial in the JAP-engined single-seater fitted with tiller steering. He won a gold medal
and received favourable press coverage. So well did his cars do in competition that at the Motor Cycle Show in November 1911 he was inundated with enquiries
and orders. He realized that to maintain momentum he must enter as many sporting events as he could.

In 1912 the company became the Morgan Motor Company Ltd, and made a small but significant profit of 1314pounds.

After the war (WWI) public demand for motors far outstripped supply...By 1923 Morgan were being manufactured under license by Darmont in France.
In 1936 the government announced that the following year it was going to abolish the Road Fund Tax, which did away with the three-wheeler's tax advantage.

That year Morgan Motor Company introduced the four wheeler called the 4-4, for the four cylinders and four wheel car. The 4-4 model Morgan is still in production.

During World War II the company was converted to the war effort and no cars were built.

After the war the company slowly began producing cars again and they concentrated on producing cars just for export. Today it takes a year on a waiting list to receive your Morgan Car.

History of The Passport – England 1414 AD


As the passport is such an integral part of travelling the world I thought I would tell the history of the earliest passport from England in 1414 AD.

In England, the earliest surviving reference to a "safe conduct" document appears during the reign of Henry V, in an Act of Parliament dated 1414. At that time, documents like these could be issued by the king to anyone, whether they were English or not. Foreign nationals even got theirs free of charge, while English subjects had to pay. Needless to say, the monarch did not - and still does not - need a safe conduct document.

From 1540, the granting of travelling papers became the business of the Privy Council. By this point the term "passport" was being used, although whether it originated with the idea of people passing through maritime ports or through the gates in city walls ("portes" in French) remains a matter for debate. A passport from this period, issued on June 18 1641 and signed by Charles I, still exists. From 1794, the office of the secretary of state took control of issuing passports, a function that the Home Office retains today. Records remain of every British passport granted from this time, although they continued to be available to foreign nationals and were written in French until 1858, when the passport first acquired its role as a British identity document. Nevertheless, passports were not generally required for international travel until the first world war.

It was in the early 20th century that passports as we would recognise them today began to be used. The first modern British passport, the product of the British Nationality and Status Aliens Act 1914, consisted of a single page, folded into eight and held together with a cardboard cover. It was valid for two years and, as well as a photograph and signature, featured a personal description, including details such as "shape of face", "complexion" and "features". The entry on this last category might read something like: "Forehead: broad. Nose: large. Eyes: small." Remarkably, some travellers claimed to find this dehumanising. Following an agreement among the League of Nations to standardise passports, the famous "old blue" was issued in 1920. Apart from a few adjustments to its duration and security features, the old blue remained a steady symbol of the touring Briton until it gradually began to be replaced by the burgundy-coloured European version in 1988.

The passports of other countries are, on the whole, remarkably similar to Britain's, although some do have their quirks. The new Nicaraguan passport, for instance, boasts 89 separate security features, including "bi dimensional bar codes", holograms and watermarks, and is reputed to be one of the least forgeable documents in the world. The Israeli passport, through no flaw in its design, must be one of the most useless, as it is not accepted by 23 different Muslim countries, nor by Cuba or North Korea. The Vatican, incidentally, has no immigration controls, but it does issue passports. The Pope, among his other honours, always carries "Passport No 1".

The passports of the future will feature embedded microchips and biometric data, such as photographs, fingerprints and iris patterns. Malaysia was the first country to introduce this technology, and Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Sweden, the UK, the US, Germany, the Republic of Ireland and Poland, among others, have recently followed.

English Passport History Timeline




A reference is made to 'Safe Conducts' (the earliest passports) in an Act of Parliament during the reign of King Henry V.


The Privy Council Register begins, leaving us a record of Privy Council business. According to the Register, this includes granting passports.


A passport from this date still exists. It was issued on 18 June and signed by King Charles I.

1644 -1649

References in the Commons Journal show that both the House of Commons and the House of Lords grants passes to foreign and British subjects during these years.


Until this date, passports were written in Latin or English. From this date onwards they are written in French (but see 1858).


From this date, all passports are issued by the Secretary of State and their issue is recorded. (Before this date some passports were issued and signed by the king or queen.)


From this date, passports are restricted to United Kingdom nationals. (Before this date a 'passport' could be issued to a person of any nationality as a promise of 'safe conduct' from the King or Queen.) Passports start to be written in English again from this date, having been written in French since 1772.


Start of the First World War. By this point, British passports are printed on paper and contain a photograph of the passport holder. The British Nationality and Status Aliens Act is passed. Around the world, countries start issuing passports as a way of distinguishing their citizens from others they think of as 'foreign nationals'.


The first modern UK passport is issued. It is a folded one-page document valid for two years.


End of the First World War.


The League of Nations International Conference on Passports agrees on a new book format for passports.


UK passports no longer show the name of the Secretary of State.


The British Visitor's passport is introduced. It is available from Crown Post Offices and can be used for visiting western Europe.


The first 10-year UK passports are issued.


Passports are changed slightly, for example, the paper used now has a special watermark for security.


A 94-page passport is introduced for frequent travellers.


Passport photographs are now laminated for security - it is harder to change the photograph.


An overprint is added to the laminate to further increase security.


Occupation and country of residence details are no longer included on passports.


'Family' or 'joint' passports are no longer issued.
The first burgundy-coloured machine-readable UK passports are issued. A common format is introduced for European Community member states' passports.


The British Visitor's passport is discontinued.


The first UK passports with references to the European Union are issued.


New security measures include the use of a digital facial image rather than a laminated photograph and intaglio or raised printing on the inside on the front and back covers is introduced. Children under 16 can no longer be included on new adult passports but must have a separate child passport.


26 October: Passports featuring electronic chip and antenna introduced.


October: New passport design includes strengthened security features and iconic images from across the nation.


Charles Babbage (1791-1871) (Inventor of First Computer)

Charles Babbage was born in Teignmouth, Devon, England in 1791. Educated at Trinity College Cambridge, he spent most of his life trying to build calculating machines. The first of these was designed to calculate tables of logarithms and similar functions by repeated addition performed by gear wheels. A small prototype model of the difference engine was produced in 1822 and this resulted in him receiving a government grant to build a full-sized machine.

Charles Babbage was one of the key figures of a great era of British history. Born as the industrial revolution was getting into its swing, by the time Babbage died Britain was by far the most industrialized country the world had ever seen. Babbage played a crucial rôle in the scientific and technical development of the period.

Although born in London, Babbage came from an old Totnes family, and retained close links with the region all his life. The West Country, with its mining and engineering was particularly important in the early stages of the industrial revolution, and from the extraordinarily wealthy Totnes region, with its port at Dartmouth, came also Newcomen and Savery, pioneers of the steam engine.

Babbage went up to Cambridge in 1810 and with some friends effected the crucial introduction of the Leibnitz notation for the calculus, which transformed mathematics in Cambridge and thus throughout Britain.

In 1814 Babbage married Georgiana Whitmore, from a landowning Shropshire family. Her half brother, Wolryche Whitmore, was the M.P. who rose year after year in the House of Commons to move the repeal of the Corn Laws. He was also a leading member of the Political Economy Club, and played an important part in Babbage's life.

Babbage's greatest achievement was his detailed plans for Calculating Engines, both the table-making Difference Engines and the far more ambitious Analytical Engines, which were flexible and powerful, punched-card controlled general purpose calculaters, embodying many features which later reappeared in the modern stored program computer. These features included: punched card control; separate store and mill; a set of internal registers (the table axes); fast multiplier/divider; a range of peripherals; even array processing.

It has often been asked whether Babbage's Engines would have worked if they had been built. This may not be an entirely meaningful question: much can go wrong during such a project, while on the other hand new solutions may be found to any problems which might appear during construction. However the question can be put slightly differently: would it have been technically feasible for, say, Babbage and Whitworth to construct an Analytical Engine during the 1850s?

Twenty five years ago, after a careful investigation, Anthony Hyman and the late Maurice Trask formed the opinion that construction of Babbage's Engines would have been quite possible. The problems were financial and organizational, but technically the project in itself was perfectly feasible. They proposed a plan. :first construct DE2 (the Second Difference Engine; then, if wished DE1, or a version of DE2 with `travelling platforms'; and finally a complete Analytical Engine, probably following plan 28A.

After much work by many people, and particularly by Dr. Allan Bromley, a team at the Science Museum led by Doron Swade built a complete version of DE2. It was a triumphant success, vindicating Babbage's technical work. However, the far more ambitious task of constructing an Analytical Engine remains to be undertaken.

Besides the Calculating Engines Babbage has an extraordinary range of achievements to his credit: he wrote a consumer guide to life assurance; pioneered lighthouse signalling; scattered technical ideas and inventions in magnificent profusion; developed mathematical code breaking (Prof. Franksen has plausibly suggested that Babbage ran a private Bletchley Park for the British government in the middle of the +19th century).

Babbage was also an important political economist. Where Adam Smith thought agriculture was the foundation of a nation's wealth; where Ricardo's ideas were focused on corn: Babbage for the first time authoritatively placed the factory on centre stage. Babbage gave a highly original discussion of the division of labour, which was followed by John Stuart Mill. Babbage's discussion of the effect of the development of production technology on the size of factories was taken up by Marx, and was fundamental to Marxist theory of capitalist socio-economic development. A case can also be made that Babbage had an influence on William Stanley Jevons, and was thus also a pioneer of marginal value theory. However, the latter remains to be proved.

For twenty five years Charles Babbage was a leading figure in London society, and his glorious Saturday evening soirées, attended by two or three hundred people, were a meeting place for Europe's liberal intelligencia.

The Venerable Bede 673AD to 735AD – Life and Times

I thought it would be of interest to write this article about one of the earliest pieces of English prose by The Venerable Bede – One of England's earliest Icon's. Bede wrote scientific, historical and theological works, reflecting the range of his writings from music and metrics to exegetical Scripture commentaries.

Bede was the greatest man of learning of the Anglo-Saxon age. His works were known throughout Europe and his monastery at Jarrow was the brightest light of learning in 'Dark Age' Europe. Bede's importance cannot be under estimated.

He was the first man to write a history of the English and his chronological works were the most important factor in encouraging Europe to adopt the numbering of years from Christ's birth. Anno Domini (AD), The Year of Our Lord , was a phrase used by Bede in his chronological works. The system of dating we use today was first popularised by Bede over 1,200 years ago.

At the age of seven, he was sent to the monastery of Wearmouth by his family to be educated by Benedict Biscop and later by Ceolfrith Bede does not say whether it was already intended at that point that he would be a monk. It was fairly common in Ireland at this time for young boys, particularly those of noble birth, to be fostered out; the practice was also likely to have been common among the Germanic peoples in England. Wearmouth's sister monastery at Jarrow was founded by Ceolfrith in 682, and Bede probably transferred to Jarrow with Ceolfrith that year. Four years later, in 686, plague broke out at Jarrow. The Life of Ceolfrith, written in about 710, records that only two surviving monks were capable of singing "with antiphons"; one was Ceolfrith, and the other a young boy of 14, thought by most historians to have been Bede.

When Bede was about 17 years old, Adomnan, the abbot of Iona Abbey, visited Wearmouth and Jarrow. Bede would probably have met the abbot during this visit, and it may be that Adomnan sparked Bede's interest in the Easter dating controversy In about 692, in Bede's nineteenth year, Bede was ordained a deacon by his diocesan bishop, John, who was bishop of Hexham. The canonical age for the ordination of a deacon was 25; Bede's early ordination may mean that his abilities were considered exceptional, but it is also possible that the minimum age requirement was often disregarded. There might have been minor orders ranking below a deacon; but there is no record of whether Bede held any of these offices. In Bede's thirtieth year (about 702) Bede became a priest, with the ordination again performed by Bishop John.

In about 701 Bede wrote his first works, the De Arte Metrica and De Schematibus et Tropis; both were intended for use in the classroom. He continued to write for the rest of his life, eventually completing over 60 books, most of which have survived. Not all of his output can be easily dated, and Bede may have worked on some texts over a period of many years. His last surviving work is a letter to Egbert of York, a former student, written in 734. A 6th-century manuscript of Acts that is believed to have been used by Bede is still extant. Bede may also have worked on one of the Latin bibles that were copied at Jarrow, one of which is now held by the Laurentian Library. Bede was a teacher as well as a writer; he enjoyed music, and was said to be accomplished as a singer and as a reciter of poetry in the vernacular.

In 708, a number of monks at Hexham accused Bede of heresy, because his work De Temporibus offered a different chronology of the Six Ages of the world theory from the one commonly accepted by theologians. The accusation occurred in front of the bishop of Hexham of the time, Wilfrid, who was present at a feast when some drunken monks made the accusation. Wilfrid did not respond to the accusation, but a monk present relayed the episode to Bede, who replied within a few days to the monk, writing a letter setting forth his defence and asking that the letter be read to Wilfrid also. Bede had another brush with Wilfrid, for the historian himself says that he met Wilfrid, sometime between 706 and 709, and discussed the abbess of Ely. Wilfrid had been present at the exhumation of her body in 695, and Bede questioned the bishop about the exact circumstances of the body and asked for more details of her life, as Wilfrid had been her advisor.

In 733, Bede travelled to York, to visit Egbert, who was then bishop of York. The see of York was elevated to an archbishopric in 735, and it is likely that Bede and Egbert discussed the proposal for the elevation during his visit. Bede also travelled to the monastery of Lindisfarne, and at some point visited the otherwise unknown monastery of a monk named Wicthed, a visit that is mentioned in a letter to that monk. Because of his widespread correspondence with others throughout the British Isles, and due to the fact that many of the letters imply that Bede had met his correspondents, it is likely that Bede travelled to some other places, although nothing further about timing or locations can be guessed.

Bede hoped to visit Egbert again in 734, but was too ill to make the journey. He died on 26 May 735 and was buried at Jarrow. Cuthbert's letter is mainly concerned with relating the last days of Bede, and mainly has interest for two things, one that Bede was still struggling to complete works right before his death, and two, the relating of a poem that Bede composed on his deathbed. Bede's remains may have been transferred to Durham Cathedral in the 11th century; his tomb there was looted in 1541, but the contents were probably re-interred in the Galilee chapel at the cathedral.

One further oddity in his writings is that in one of his works, the Commentary on the Seven Catholic Epistles, he writes in a manner that gives the impression he was married. The section in question is the only one in that work that is written in first-person view, where Bede says: "Prayers are hindered by the conjugal duty because as often as I perform what is due to my wife I am not able to pray." Another passage, in the Commentary on Luke, also mentions a wife in the first person, where Bede writes "Formerly I possessed a wife in the lustful passion of desire and now I possess her in honourable sanctification and true love of Christ." The historian Benedicta Ward argues that these passages are Bede employing a rhetorical device, but another historian, N. J. Higham, offers no explanation for the passages.

British Comics and Their History

Growing up in the 1960's and 1970's in England one of my favourite things was buying and reading comics. My favourite comic's were ones with War Stories,Horror stories or Science fiction stories.

In the 19th century, story papers (containing illustrated text stories), known as “Penny Dreadfuls”due to their cover price, served as entertainment for British children. Full of close-printed text with few illustrations, they were essentially no different to a book, except that they were somewhat shorter and that typically the story was serialised over many weekly issues in order to maintain sales.

These serial stories could run to hundreds of instalments if they were popular. And to pad out a successful series, writers would insert quite extraneous material such as the geography of the country in which the action was occurring, just so that the story would extend into more issues. Plagiarism was rife, with magazines pirating competitors' successes under a few cosmetic name changes.

Apart from action and historical stories, there was also a fashion for horror and the supernatural, with epics like Varney The Vampire running for years. Horror, in particular, gave rise to the epithet penny dreadful. Stories featuring criminals such as 'Spring-Heeled Jack', pirates, highwaymen (especially Dick Turpin), and detectives (including Sexton Blake) dominated decades of the Victorian and early 20th-century weeklies.

Comic strips - stories told primarily in strip cartoon form, rather than as a written narrative with illustrations - emerged only slowly. Ally Sloper's Half Holiday (1884) is reputed to be the first comic strip magazine to feature a recurring character, and the first British comic that would be recognised as such today. This strip cost one penny and was designed for adults. Ally, the recurring character, was a working class fellow who got up to various forms of mischief and often suffered for it.

In 1890 two more comic magazines debuted before the British public, Comic Cuts and Illustrated Chips, both published by Amalgamated Press. These magazines notoriously reprinted British and American material, previously published in newspapers and magazines, without permission. The success of these comics was such that Amalgamated's owner, Alfred Harmsworth, was able to launch The Daily Mail and The Daily Mirror newspapers on the profits.

Over the next thirty years or so, comic publishers saw the juvenile market as the most profitable, and thus geared their publications accordingly, so that by 1914 most comics were aimed at eight to twelve year olds.

The period between the two wars is notable mainly for the publication of annuals by Amalgamated Press, and also the emergence of DC Thomson launching both the Beano and the Dandy in the late 1930s, as previously noted.

During the Second World War the Beano and Dandy thrived, due to the wartime paper shortage which forced many rival comics to close. It is these two titles, more than any other, that have come to define a comic in the British public's mind. Their successful mix of irreverence and slapstick led to many similar titles, notably Topper and Beezer. However the originators of this format have outlasted all rivals, and are still published today.

During the 1950s and 1960s the most popular comic magazine for older age-group boys was the Eagle published by Hulton Press. The Eagle was published in a more expensive format, and was a gravure-printed weekly. This format was one used originally by Mickey Mouse Weekly during the 1930s. The Eagle's success saw a number of comics launched in a similar format, TV Century 21, Look and Learn and TV Comic being notable examples. Comics published in this format were known in the trade as "slicks". At the end of the 1960s these comics moved away from gravure Printing, preferring offset litho due to cost considerations arising from decreasing readership.

By 1970 the British comics market was in a long term decline, as comics lost popularity in the face of the rise of other popular pastimes for children. Initially the challenge was the rising popularity of television, a trend which the introduction of colour television to Britain during 1969 set in stone. In an effort to counter the trend, many publishers switched the focus of their comics towards television-related characters. The television shows of Gerry Anderson had begun this in 1966 with the launch of tie-in comics such as TV21 and Lady Penelope that included only strips related to Anderson's TV shows. Polystyle Publications already published a TV-related comic for young children called TV Comic, and in 1971 moved into the older market with Countdown (later retitled TV Action).

The teenage market saw Look-In magazine feature strips solely based on popular television programmes. Another strand of the reaction to television was the launch of comics focused entirely on football (soccer being as popular as television amongst boys), with titles such as Shoot and Scorcher and Score. Those comics which didn't address the issue of television began to close, merging with the few survivors.

However, the boys adventure comic was still popular, and titles such as Valiant and Tiger

Published by IPC saw new adventure heroes become stars, including Roy of the Rovers who would eventually gain his own title. Oldham Press was a company which mainly printed new material that was adventure oriented.

In the 1970s very few boys' comics in the "slick" format were launched, although Countdown was one exception, launching in 1971 with content similar to TV 21 (which had closed by then) and TV Comic. Vulcan, a reprint title, was another, in 1976. Girls' titles which had launched in the "slick" format in the 1960s continued in that format into the 1970s; and others, such as Diana and Judy, changed to become slicks. They found themselves in the same market as teenage titles for girls such as Boyfriend and Blue Jeans, which had changed their content and were featuring mainly product-related articles and photo-strips.

Viz began life in 1979 as a fanzine style publication, before, in 1989, becoming the biggest selling magazine in the country. Based upon bad taste, crude language, crude sexual innuendo, and the parodying of strips from the dandy (among them Black bag – the Faithful Border Bin Liner, a parody of The Dandy's Black Bob series about a Border Collie), the popularity of Viz depended entirely upon a variant of Sixties counter-culture; it is still one of the United Kingdom's top selling magazines.

The Star Wars magazine lasted into the late 1980s, although it changed its name in line with each movie release. In 1982 The Eagle was relaunched, this time including photo-strips, but still with Dan Dare as the lead story. The comic moved him from the front page to the centre pages to allow a more magazine-style cover.

In the 21st Century there have also been changes in the comics market with a growth in home-grown Graphic Novels and Manga.

There have been hundreds of comics in the UK, including the following A to Z:

  • 2000 AD (1977–current)

  • Action (1976–1977)

  • Adventure (1921–1961)

  • Air Ace Picture Library (1960–1970)

  • Andy Capp (1957–current)

  • Battle Picture Weekly (1975–1988)

  • The Beano (1938–current)

  • BeanoMAX (2007–current)

  • Bear

  • The Beezer (1956–1993)

  • Bella

  • The Big One (1964–1965)

  • Birthrite (1989–1990)

  • The Boy's Own Paper (1879–1967)

  • Boys' World (1963–1964)

  • Bullet (1976–1978)

  • Bunty (1958–2001)

  • Buster (1960–2000)

  • Buster Classics (1996)

  • Buzz (1973–1975)

  • BVC (1995)

  • The Champion

  • The Chatterbox

  • Cheeky (1977–1980)

  • Classics from the Comics (1996–current)

  • Cometman (1951–1956)

  • Comic Cuts (1890–1953)

  • Commando Comics (1961–current)

  • Cor!! (1970–1974)

  • Countdown (1971–1972)

  • Cracker (1975–1976)

  • Crisis (1988–1991)

  • The Dandy (1937–current)

  • Deadline magazine (1988–1995)

  • The DFC (2008–2009)

  • Dice Man (1986)

  • The Eagle (1950–1969) and (1982–1994)

  • Fantastic (1967–1968)

  • Film Fun (1920–1962)

  • Funny (1989-early 1990s)

  • Fun Size Beano (1997–current)

  • Fun Size Dandy (1997–current)

  • The Gem (1907–1939)

  • Girl (1951–1964) and (1981–1990)

  • Giggle (1967–1968)

  • Heven & Hell (1990)

  • Hoot (1985–1986)

  • Hornet (1963–1976)

  • Hotspur (1933–1981)

  • Illustrated Chips (1890–1953)

  • Jackpot (1979–1982)

  • Jack and Jill (1885–1887) and (1954–1985)

  • Jackie (1964–1993)

  • Jet (1971)

  • Jinty (1974–1981)

  • The Judge Dredd Megazine (1990–current)

  • Judy

  • Knockout (1939–1963) and (1971–1973)

  • Krazy (1976–1978)

  • Linzy & Charcol (2006)

  • Lion (1952–1974)

  • Look and Learn (1962–1982)

  • The Magic Comic (1939–1941)

  • The Magnet (1908–1940)

  • Mandy (1967–1991)

  • Mickey Mouse Weekly (1936–1955)

  • Mirabelle (1956–1977)

  • Misty (1978–1980)

  • Monster Fun (1975–1976)

  • Night Warrior (2005–current)

  • Nikki (1985–1988)

  • Nipper (1987)

  • Nutty (1980–1985)

  • Oink! (1986–1988)

  • Picture Politics (1894–1914)

  • Picture Fun (1909–1920)

  • Pippin (1966–1986)

  • Plug (1977–1979)

  • Poot! (2009–current, 1980s–1990s)

  • Pow! (1967–1968)

  • Prehistoric Peeps (1890s)

  • Puck (1904–1940)

  • Radio Fun (1938–1961)

  • Rainbow (1914–1956)

  • Revolver (1990–1991)

  • Robin (1953–1969)

  • Romeo (1957–1974)

  • Roy of the Rovers (1976–1993)

  • Sandie (1972–1973)

  • School Fun (1983–1984)

  • Scream! (1984)

  • Sgt. Mike Battle (2001–current)

  • Shiver and Shake (1973–1974)

  • Smash! (1966–1971)

  • Smut (1989–current)

  • Sonic the Comic (1993–2002)

  • Sparky (1965–1977)

  • Speed (1980 when merged into Tiger)

  • Spellbound (1976–1978)

  • Spookhouse (1990)

  • Starlord (1978)

  • Star Wars (Weekly) (1978–1986)

  • The Swift (1954–1963)

  • Tammy

  • Tank Girl

  • Terrific (1967–1968)

  • Thunder (1970–1971) and (to 1974 with Lion)

  • Tiger (1954–1985 when merged into The Eagle)

  • Tiger Tim's Weekly (1920–1940)

  • Tina (1967)

  • The Topper (1953–1990) and (to 1993 with Beezer)

  • Tornado (1978–1979)

  • Toxic! (1991)

  • Trixton (2005–2007)

  • Tube Productions (2005–Present)

  • TV Action (1972–1973)

  • TV Century 21 (1965–1971)

  • TV Comic (1951–1984)

  • Twinkle (1968–1999)

  • Valentine (1957–1974)

  • Valiant (1962–1976)

  • Victor (1961–1992)

  • Viz (1979–current)

  • Vulcan (1975 to 1976)

  • War Picture Library (1958–1984)

  • Warlord (1974–1986)

  • Wham! (1964–1968)

  • Whizzer and Chips (1969–1990)

  • Whoopee! (1974–1985)

  • Wonder (1942–1953)

  • Wow! (1982–1983)

  • Zit (1991–2002)

Please visit my Funny Animal Art Prints Collection @

My other website is called Directory of British Icons:


The Chinese call Britain 'The Island of Hero's' which I think sums up what we British are all about. We British are inquisitive and competitive and are always looking over the horizon to the next adventure and discovery.

Copyright © 2011-2012 Paul Hussey. All Rights Reserved.



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