On the night of 30 November 1936, horrified onlookers gathered to watch as fire crews battled an inferno over 100ft high. A famous landmark, the Crystal Palace at Sydenham, was one whole sheet of flame; the blaze could be seen as far away as Brighton. When morning came, the Palace was a tangled, smoking ruin. The Palace started its working life as the showcase for the Great Exhibition of the Industries of All Nations in 1851: the largest, most ambitious international trade event ever attempted at that date. Albert, the Prince Consort, was the prime mover behind the Great Exhibition, and was head of the Royal Commission in charge of the proceedings.
The press being indignant about the failure of a bank, it would seem, is nothing new. In May 1857 the Illustrated London News carried a feature on its front page where it tried to shame the then Attorney General for his “weak and uncertain utterance" about the fraud that the promoters, directors and managers of the Royal British Bank had perpetrated on their clients. The newspaper believed that the people in charge should be prosecuted, that they should appear at the Central Criminal Court and be punished accordingly.
Have you ever been surprised to hear an elderly relative suddenly spout forth a stream of perfectly-remembered verse? At times of particular emotional import, such as family births, illnesses and deaths, even those family members who left school after a fairly rudimentary education might be known to recite a poem with little prompting. And though such verse might have been memorised by our ancestors under duress, it’s pleasing to imagine that it could well have provided them (and their families) with solace, fortitude and even joy at certain times in their lives.
Plans are now under way to create a new Chartered College of Teaching and much effort is presently being directed towards this educational reform. The history of this college is rooted in Victorian England when it was founded 170 years ago as the College of Preceptors, the word ‘preceptor’ then widely used to mean ‘teacher’.
Flight Lieutenant George Harsh was an American who had joined the Royal Canadian Air Force at the start of the Second World War and was posted as a tailgunner serving on Halifax Bombers flying out of England. On being shot down in 1942 he was sent by the Germans to Stalag Luft III and reputedly became a key member of the Great Escape’s executive committee and the camp ‘security officer’, though he had been transferred before the escape took place. Using the Prisoner of War records on <a href="https://www.thegenealogist.co.uk/" target="_blank" >TheGenealogist.co.uk</a> we can find Harsh recorded at Stalag Luft III in Poland.
Data site TheGenealogist.co.uk has launched over 220 million US records, which will be invaluable to family historians whose ancestors may have emigrated from Britain. The US Social Security Death Index is a database of over 90 million death records. These give information of those who died from 1936 whose death has been reported to the Social Security Administration.
Having examined the male shirt and collars and ties in previous months, here we cover the female equivalent of the shirt: the blouse. Technically, the word blouse derives from the French name for a workman’s loose smock and so was initially used in connection with male dress. However the feminine upper garment that we now understand by the term ‘blouse’ evolved from the female linen undergarment called a smock, chemise or shift – just as the male shirt originated as a man’s undergarment – and, similarly, initially served as a protective layer between the skin and outer clothes.
This book brings together more than 75 colour illustrations of the Great Exhibition of 1851, produced by several contemporary Victorian artists, for the first time in one volume. The images are reproduced in full colour, making this the most complete visual account of the exhibition available. Originally published across three different volumes, the images in this book give modern readers the closest possible experience to being present at the Great Exhibition in Hyde Park. Scenes explore the many international exhibits, particularly from India and across Europe and the Americas, as well as the industrial and domestic goods produced by the powerhouses of British manufacture. This book will fascinate anyone with an interest in Victorian history and the achievements of the 19th century British Empire.
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