Filed under local government

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

Protecting Poor From Fraud

Eighteenth century England was riven with class differences, and the only people with a good education were those with wealth and with this came responsibility for protecting those less fortunate. Preventing the poor from being conned was not purely altruistic; if a person lost all their money to a con artist, they risked losing their … Continue reading

Georgian Care for Mentally Ill

Before mental health services were established, it is generally assumed that people suffering mental illness were locked away as with Mrs Rochester, or put on display to e mocked at Bedlam. But in small communities, matters could be dealt with on a local level. There was a wider range of employment than today; everyone could … Continue reading

Sham Execution

This is an event from Bristol in October 1780, an incredibly well organised protest against senior naval officers, and unusual for its lack of violence and drunkenness which the city was so famous for: Thursday afternoon at a stigma on some commanders who have not deserved the high encomiums justly due tot the Lord Cornwallis, … Continue reading

Mao the Mass Murderer

Mao Tse Tung was once seen as the hero of the left in the West;  his Red Book was recently waved by an MP in Britain’s House of Commons.  But Chinese archives are now being opened, and Frank Dikoetter in the current History Today explains the great man now appears one of the great criminals. … Continue reading

A School Inspection

There have been a lot of changes in British education in recent years, all of course in the name of so-called improvement, but often more to do with saving money or removing their control from local councils. This is what it used to be like to have an annual inspection, from the early to mid … Continue reading