Filed under local government

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

Blind House

Blind House

This stands beside the bridge at the edge of Trowbridge centre, a rare survivor of the many that were built to detain overnight local drunks and other ne’er do wells, so thought it was apt for today.  It is really impressive, and I wonder if there used to be a ducking stool nearby on the … Continue reading

Censorship in Charleston 1787

Censorship in Charleston 1787

In Shakespeare’s time, travelling players were considered akin to rogues and vagabonds so needed the protection and patronage of a noble to survive. In 1727 England passed the Chamberlain’s Act requiring theatres to be licensed to perform plays, to prevent the vicious satires against prime minister Robert Walpole. Life for travelling players was also hard … Continue reading

Liverpool Anglican Cathedral

Liverpool Anglican Cathedral

Most cities have a cathedral, you can expect it to be biggish, ancient and full of dead worthies and their memorials. But Liverpool was a small town until the 18th century when  it became a major port, and since then there have been a lot of Irish immigrants, so they have a catholic cathedral, so … Continue reading

Executions on Newcastle Moor

Newcastle had a temporary gallows built on the Town Moor, near the barracks of This is a list of the people who were despatched there. It is a varied and pretty comprehensive list of the types of crime that were designated capital offences at the time. It is also interesting how few there were for … Continue reading

Black is More than a Colour

Black is More than a Colour

Many years ago I visited a Steiner Community for people with learning difficulties. Their bedrooms were different colours, and they moved each week, but the yellow room had to be repainted as it was found to cause sleep and behavioural disturbances. We are all affected by colours, and some colours have negative connotations, none more … Continue reading

Punishment for Milan’s Plague

This is a miscellaneous tract from the university of Chicago, and a fascinating one on many levels The great plague of Milan in 1630 was alleged to have been set in motion by the actions of a Milanese barber and the Commissioner of Public Health. The two were executed. The officials of Milan then erected … Continue reading

Battle of Fairs

There were many problems caused by the urbanisation of Britain; houses had to be build fast, and were often overcrowded and substandard. Before railways allowed mass movement of food, fairs and markets were crucial in ensuring food supplies, especially to the ‘great wen’ of London. Markets and fairs were conducted by licence, often of long … Continue reading

Market Fraudsters

Sale of goods in open markets was seen as a means of ensuring fair trading – the goods were in clear sight, they could be investigated, but there were many scams to cheat this system. I have read of butter being sold that had a core of lard with only a surface of butter around … Continue reading