Filed under 20th century history

Ghosts of Wigan Pier

Ghosts of Wigan Pier

This is from the i paper by Dean Kirby. I was surprised to see the image of Orwell’s son. The 1930s seem so much further away than living history. Orwell is also important today with the rise in alternative readings of Britain’s colonial past.  When George Orwell was writing The Road to Wigan Pier – … Continue reading

Beyond Love

I’ve become a huge fan of Ira Glass’s ‘This American Life’ podcast, especially since it provides a welcome antidote to all the bad news coming out of the states recently. Last week i stumbled upon one of the strangest stories ever, in the episode ‘Grand Gestures’ which challenges so many aspects of what we are … Continue reading

Relics,Witches & Ships in Bottles

Relics,Witches & Ships in Bottles

What happened to objects when Henry VIII closed the monasteries? This is an area of history that is often ignored or the subject of guesswork, especially in England where there was so much destruction of religious artefacts at the long drawn-out Reformation. But here’s some thoughts. Every church that conducted masses had to have a … Continue reading

St Kilda’s Diet

St Kilda’s Diet

St Kilda is one of the most isolated places in the British Isles, an archipelago in the Outer Hebrides whose final human inhabitants left in 1930. It is now home to 600,000 nesting birds each year. This is from the i paper of 29 December: A 250-year-old census has revealed that islanders on St Kilda… … Continue reading

Containing What?

Containing What?

Here’s an ad for a range of diet noodles etc that seem to be on sale everywhere. Obesity is a huge problem, and anything that helps should be a good thing, but I don’t understand what this food product is. It claims to have no sugar, fat, gluten or carbohydrate, so what does it contain? … Continue reading

Shrunken Heads

I have seen a number of these, especially the collection in Oxford’s Pitt Rivers Museum, but though vaguely aware they served some ritual function, never really pursued what they were about. No images are included as it is not possible to photogrph such human remains. This is from the i paper, by Frank Cottrell-Boyce: The … Continue reading

A Difficult Local

A Difficult Local

This is one of the strangest buildings I’ve ever seen, and I thought it was a folly, though odd for it to be so central – between the train station and a big shopping centre in Trowbridge. Apparently it was built by a local man in protest against the council refusing him planning permission. The … Continue reading

A Peerage for Farage?

A Peerage for Farage?

Don’t collapse with laughter or throw something at your screen.This is a controversial but intriguing  suggestion from Mary Dejevsky in the i paper. Having stated her dislike for the honours system and the problems with the house of lords: For the time being, though  we have the system we have, and given that reform is … Continue reading