Anybody who has ever taken Beecham’s Powders will probably have been unaware that this internationally famous cold and flu remedy began life in the depths of rural Oxfordshire, its seeds sown by a humble, uneducated shepherd boy. This rags-to-riches story is one of incredible dedication and determination.
When I was 14, I joined my local amateur dramatics society, and several years later, living in London, I joined the Garden Suburb Theatre, where I got to perform in front of the late Sir Donald Sinden. Yet I never tried to be a professional actor; my experiences of the stage were entirely spent in amateur productions. This is because, perhaps, the amateur stage showed up my deficiencies as a performer, but also it provided something else. There was the social aspect, most importantly: making friends with those with similar interests. It was also a means of embedding yourself in a local community, of getting to know others; and finally, it was a way in which you could perform to entertain others, to bring the community together for a few nights of drama at a reasonable price.
In the 1901 census of Neath, there is an entry for a single lady of 55. She is a visitor spending census night at a house of a justice of the peace in Dyffryn Clydach, near to the ruins of Neath Abbey. Elizabeth A. Dillwyn’s occupation has been given to the enumerator as spelter manufacturer, which attracted my attention for being an
This year’s Black Lives Matter movement rightly questioned the place of certain Victorian statues in today’s society, and, in the case of slave trader Edward Colston, cast that place aside altogether. An empty plinth is a powerful statement of public feeling, upending vested views of greatness. But what statues courted comment and controversy in the Victorian era?
Some people have names that just cry out for them to do a certain type of job. I don’t mean occupational surnames – such as Smith, or Carpenter – but names that have become associated with a particular type of employment. I was wondering in particular about the name ‘Sherlock’. Since the end of the 19th century, this has become shorthand for a detective, a sleuth: Conan Doyle’s literary invention of course had the surname Holmes, but we have always preferred his unusual first name as the shorthand by which to denote an individual who finds clues and solves crimes or mysteries.
TheGenealogist has released additional new RAF records that are fully searchable by name, aircraft, location and many other fields, making it simpler to find your air force ancestors. In a release of over 1.8 million records, this batch of RAF Operations Record Books (ORBs) joins TheGenealogist’s huge Military Records collection and includes entries for the famous children’s author Roald Dahl when he flew Hurricanes in WW2.
Last month we examined the English medieval leather industry, manufactures and tanneries employing skilled craftsmen. The leather trade advanced during the 1500s-1700s, remaining important countrywide. In rural areas it was often an independent cottage industry, sometimes combined with farming. However leather-working also thrived in towns where animal hides were available as by-products of meat-processing and where finished goods could be sold.
At the end of Roman era in Britain (c410 AD) the inhabitants of this area were native Romano-Britons who spoke Cumbric, related to Old Welsh. During the Early Middle Ages Cumberland formed the core of the Brythonic kingdom of Rheged. By the end of the 7th century most of Cumberland had been incorporated into the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Northumbria. Most of modern-day Cumbria was ruled by Scotland at the time of the Norman Conquest of England in 1066 and thus was excluded from the Domesday Book survey of 1086. In 1092 Cumberland was invaded by William II and incorporated into England. The region was dominated by many wars and border skirmishes, and the raids of Border Reivers.
Studying dress history teaches us much about the past. In this skilfully-illustrated, accessible and authoritative book, DYA’s resident photo and fashion expert Jayne Shrimpton demonstrates how fashion and clothes represent the everyday experiences of earlier generations, illuminating the world in which they lived.
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