Happy 60th Anniversary of Independence Day to Ghana & my Kente shirts!

Where would I be without my Kente shirts! Thank you Ghana - you changed my life forever! My original shirts were a present from by ex-wife after she visited Ghana to collect an African Achievers Award but they suffered a bit from wear, washing, drying & ironing so I was very pleased to find that Afrofrocks sold them online for a reasonable price! 🙂 Read more [...]
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On This Day 71 Years Ago – Churchill wins a war but loses contact with the people!

On 26th July 1945 Winston Churchill lost contact with the people he lead to victory in the war against Hitler and thereby lost the general election to Clement Attlee who lead the Labour Party to a landslide victory. Labour increased their seats in Parliament increasing from 164 to 393 giving them a majority of 159 seats over all other parties including the Conservative who limped home with only 213 seats. Following the announcement of the results Churchill went to Buckingham Palace to hand Read more [...]
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On This Day 24 Years Ago – Barcelona Olympics 1992 unites the World!

On 25th July 1992 the Olympic Games opened in the Spanish city of Barcelona with all countries present for the first time in modern history! A record 169 nations took part in the opening ceremony because of the extraordinary political changes since the last Olympic Games at Seoul in 1988. Also it was the first Olympiad since 1972 that no country boycotted the Games and all bans were lifted. The opening ceremony began with the lighting of the Olympic Flame with a flaming arrow fired by Read more [...]
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On This Day 30 Years Ago – Prince Andrew & Sarah Ferguson have a fabulous royal wedding!

On 23rd July 1986 Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson had a fabulous royal wedding at Westminster Abbey watched by a TV audience of 500 million viewers who were fascinated by the pageantry of the occasion! Sarah was driven in the Glass Coach with her father Sir Ronald from Clarence House to the Abbey while thousands of people lining the streets of London cheered ecstatically. 2000 dignitaries watched the bride walk slowly up the long aisle with a 17-foot train flowing behind her.  The Queen Read more [...]
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On This Day 25 Years Ago – Citizen’s Charter promises better public services

On 22nd July 1991 Prime Minister John Major launched a Citizen's Charter to improve public services calling it "the central theme for public life in the 1990s". He was attempting to re-define the unpopular Conservatism which he had inherited from Margaret Thatcher when she stepped down in November 1990. The Prime Minister said: "I don't pretend that I am offering a quick fix. It is a programme for a decade. The charter programme will find better ways of converting money into better services. Read more [...]
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On This Day 47 Years Ago – That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind!

On 21st July 1969 Neil Armstrong became the first man to walk on the Moon - as he put his left foot down he declared: "That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind." He had earlier reported the Eagle lunar module's safe landing with the words: "Houston, Tranquility Base here. The Eagle has landed." Neil Armstrong stepped onto the Moon's surface in the Sea of Tranquility at 0256 GMT nearly 20 minutes after first opening the hatch on the Eagle. He described the surface as being like Read more [...]
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On This Day 56 Years Ago – Mrs Sirimavo Bandaranaike becomes the world’s first woman prime minister!

On 20th July 1960 Mrs Sirimavo Bandaranaike became the world's first woman prime minister. Her Sri Lanka Freedom Party won a resounding victory in the general election in Ceylon taking 75 out of the 150 seats available. She was the widow of the previous prime minister who was shot by an Buddhist extremist on 26th September 1959. When Dudley Senanayake's United National Party failed to produce a working majority after winning the elections in March she felt compelled to enter politics and Read more [...]
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On This Day 93 Years Ago – Insulin unveiled as a remedy for Diabetes

On 19th July 1923, Insulin was introduced to the American public as a remedy for Type 1 Diabetes. It had taken two years of trials before it was deemed safe enough for use by the public. It is announced as a remedy rather than a cure for Diabetes which will nevertheless save many lives and alleviate much of the suffering associated with Diabetes. Insulin has to be taken on a daily basis for the rest of a patients life because it does not cure the fundamental cause which is the inability of Read more [...]
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Memory 2015-07-18 – My Kind of People

This is a copy of a facebook post and conversation that took place one year ago today. You can see the original facebook conversation here. I have posted it here on my website because I must never forget what the experience taught me about myself and thereby the world which is just the people in it. Everything else is just an accessory to the real business of life which is about your relationship with the people you meet. Philip Wake 18 July 2015 · Gosport · MY Read more [...]
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On This Day 16 Years Ago – British Shoppers say up yours to EU’s metric measures!

On 17th July 2000 Tesco revived imperial measures (pounds & ounces not grams) in its stores after a survey revealed that 90% of its customers think imperial when weighing their vegetables. European legislation had come into force in January to enforce the selling of loose goods in metric units at the point of sale in the UK with imperial pricing not taking precedence in labeling. Tesco found a loophole in the law which enabled them to use only the traditional imperial measures on Read more [...]
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On This Day 61 Years Ago – Stirling Moss achieves his Grand Prix dream!

On 16th July 1955 Stirling Moss achieved his dream of winning a Grand Prix. It was the first time that an Englishman had triumphed in the British Grand Prix which was held at the Aintree track near Liverpool. Stirling held off a stiff challenge from his Argentine team mate: world champion Juan Manuel Fangio who had posted the second-fastest time after Stirling during the warm-ups and led for the first couple of laps of the race but was overtaken by Stirling on the 3rd lap. Juan gained the lead Read more [...]
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On This Day 14 Years Ago – Hormone Replacement Therapy took a dive!

On 15th July 2002 research by the Women's Health Initiative (WHI) suggested that women who take Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) for menopausal symptoms are 26% more likely to develop breast cancer and may be at increased risk of heart disease and stroke. Following the report the use of HRT decreased by 50% but many women still believed the benefits outweigh the risks. I should have thought it was a no-brainer that for those women who suffer the worst effects of the menopause the extra risk Read more [...]
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Memory 2012-07-15: Flags out for the Olympic Torch Relay

On 15th July 2012 the Olympic Torch Relay 2012 went through Gosport around 5:30pm. so many people there and excited - even the policemen were joining in - particular the ones on motor bikes who were blowing a whistle and holding out their left hand for the crown to touch! It was a moving experience and reminded what it is to be British! Read more [...]
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On This Day 51 Years Ago – Mariner 4 dismissed the possibility of life on Mars!

On 14 July 1965 Mariner 4 performed the first successful flyby of the planet Mars. It captured the first images of another planet (ie not of Earth a moon) ever taken from deep space.  The pictures of a cratered, seemingly dead world drastically changed the view of the scientific community of the possibility of life on Mars - from possible to improbably if not impossible. Mariner 4 (together with Mariner 3 known as Mariner–Mars 1964) was the fourth in a series of spacecraft designed Read more [...]
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On This Day 31 Years Ago – Live Aid makes ÂŁ30 million for Africa

On 13th July 1985 the transatlantic Live Aid concert in aid of the starving people in Africa raised three times the expected £10 million! It started at noon in Wembley Stadium in London in bright sunshine with a fanfare for Prince Charles and Princess Diana followed by Status Quo performing Rocking All over the World. Stars were flown in by helicopter into the arena in a line-up that included David Bowie, Wham and royal favourites Dire Straits. At 5pm they linked up with JFK Stadium in Read more [...]
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On This Day 54 Years Ago – The Rolling Stones were conceived!

On 12th July 1962: Rock and roll history was witnessed by just a roomful of people when the Rolling Stones made their debut performance at the Marquee Club in Oxford Street. Mick Jagger had been performing regularly with Alexis Korner’s Blues Incorporated who were known in London as the kings of rhythm and blues. The band were due to perform in their regular slot at the Marquee Club that night but they were invited to perform without Mick on the BBC’s Jazz Club Radio Show. Mick persuaded Harold Read more [...]
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On This day 37 Years Ago – Skylab tumbles back to Earth

On 11th July 1979 Skylab plunged to Earth scattering debris across the southern Indian Ocean and sparsely populated areas of Western Australia. Skylab was launched on 14th May 1973 and was lived in by three teams of astronauts for periods of up to 84 days as they tested human endurance over long periods of weightlessness. While the astronauts were on board they were able to carry out many valuable scientific experiments including analysis of the sun's activity and how it affected the Earth. Read more [...]
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On This Day 78 Years Ago – Around the world in 91 hours!

On 10th July 1938 Howard Hughes began his flight around the world and arrived 91 hours later to break the previous record by more than four days! Howard Robard Hughes Jr (1905 - 1976) was an American business magnate, entrepreneur, investor, aviator, aerospace engineer, inventor, film producer and philanthropist. He was known as one of the most financially successful men in the world and gained prominence as an unorthodox film tycoon in Hollywood from the late 1920s. He made big-budget Read more [...]
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On This Day 43 Years Ago – Bahamas’ sun sets on British Empire!

On 9th July 1973 300 years of British sovereignty came to an end as the Bahamas celebrated their first day of independence. The Bahamas was the site of Columbus' first landfall in the New World in 1492. At that time these Caribbean islands were inhabited by the Lucayan, a branch of the Arawakan-speaking Taino people. Although the Spanish never colonised the Bahamas they shipped the native Lucayans to slavery in Hispaniola. The islands were mostly deserted from 1513 until 1648 when English colonists Read more [...]
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On This Day 51 Years Ago – Great Train Robbery’s Tea-Boy escaped from Prison

On 8th July 1965 Ronnie Biggs escaped from Wandsworth prison. He was one of the criminals who took part in the Great Train Robbery of 1963 in which  £2.6 million (equivalent to £49.1 million today) was stolen from a Royal Mail train heading between Glasgow and London in the early hours of 8th August 1963. Though the gang did not use any firearms Jack Mills the train driver was beaten over the head with a metal bar. His injuries were severe enough to end his career. It was the latter aspect Read more [...]
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On This Day 31 Years Ago – Boris Becker wins Wimbledon at 17!

On 7th July 1985 Boris Becker became the youngest ever player to win the Wimbledon tennis tournament at the age of 17. He was also the first German ever to win the title and the first unseeded player. Boris Becker won the Wimbledon men's singles championship again the following year and for a third time in 1989. He won a total of six grand slam titles in his career and in 1991 was ranked world number one at the age of 23.   Read more [...]
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On This Day 64 Years Ago – The last Tram rumbled through the streets of London!

On 6th July 1952 the last tram rumbled through the streets of London and arrived at the New Cross Depot in the early hours of the morning which is why some people think the date was 5th July. It was a sad day after nearly a century of service but there was a reprieve for some of them which were sent to Leeds to remain in service for a further 7 years. Phasing out this environmentally friendly system of transport was surely a short-sighted strategy. Trams are regaining popularity - for example Manchester Read more [...]
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On This Day 41 Years Ago – Arthur Ashe is first black tennis player to win Wimbledon!

On 5th July 1975 American tennis player Arthur Ashe became the first black tennis player to win the Wimbledon singles' championship. He has already won two other Grand Slam titles at the US Open (1968) and the Australian Open (1970)! In the early 1979 Arthur Ashe contracted HIV from a blood transfusion he received during his heart bypass surgery. In 1992 he announced that he had been suffering from AIDS since 1988. He began working to educate others about HIV/AIDS founding the Arthur Read more [...]
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On This Day 33 Years Ago – Amantle Montsho was born with a passion to win!

On 4th July 1983 Amantle Montsho was born in Maun, Botswana to Victor Nkape and Janet Montsho. Life was quite a struggle for the family - particularly when Janet left the family home after two years leaving Amantle in the the loving care of her father though she did meet her mother regularly throughout her childhood. Victor had been a talented distance runner but did not imagine for a moment that his daughter would one day inspire the women of Botswana with her success in a World Championship Read more [...]
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On This Day 78 Years Ago – World speed record for steam set at 125 mph!

On 3rd July 1938 the world speed record for a steam locomotive was set in the UK by the A4 Class Mallard at 125.88 mph (202.58 kph). The streamlined A4 class was designed by Sir Nigel Gresley to power high-speed trains. Its high power in combination with its aerodynamic body allowed the class to easily reach speeds of over 100 mph (160 kph) although in everyday service it rarely went that fast. No regular steam-hauled rail service in the UK reached even 90 mph let alone 100 mph. The Mallard covered Read more [...]
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On This Day 11 Years Ago – Live 8 makes G8 double aid to poor nations!

On 2nd July 2005 Bob Geldof organised the Live 8 benefit concerts to take place in the G8 states and in South Africa. They were timed to precede the G8 Conference & Summit to be held at the Gleneagles Hotel in Auchterarder, Scotland from 6th–8th July 2005 and were also timed to take place on the 20th anniversary of Live Aid. The event was intended to support the aims of the UK's Make Poverty History campaign and the Global Call for Action Against Poverty. Ten simultaneous concerts Read more [...]
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On This Day 19 Years Ago – Hong Kong extinguished the last vestige of the British Empire in Asia

On 1st July 1997 Hong Kong was handed back to the Chinese after 156 years of British rule. The British flag was lowered at Government House for the last time at midnight. It had been home to the last Governor: Chris Patten, for the past five years so the flag was presented to him before he was driven off in the official Rolls Royce which was then handed over to the Chief Executive: Tung Chee-hwa. In his farewell speech, Chris Patten said: "The story of this great city is about the years Read more [...]
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On This Day 63 Years Ago – The first sleek Corvette rolled off the GM production line!

On 30th June 1953 the first Chevrolet Corvette rolled off the production line at General Motors. This all-fibreglass-bodied American sports car with its sleek lines was one of the best car designs ever produced in the American Car Industry. Myron Scott is credited for naming the car after the a maneuverable warship called a corvette. The Chevrolet Corvette was originally built in Flint, Michigan and St. Louis, Missouri but is currently manufactured in Bowling Green, Kentucky and it's Read more [...]
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On This Day 178 Years Ago – Victoria crowned Queen of England

On 28th June 1838 the Coronation of Queen Victoria took place just over a year after she ascended the throne at the tender age of 18 when her uncle King William IV died in 1837. The procession to and from the ceremony at Westminster Abbey was witnessed by huge crowds because the new railways made it possible for an unprecedented 400,000 people to come to London from the rest of the country! Only four years later Queen Victoria became the first monarch to ride on a train! An interesting Read more [...]
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On This Day 31 Years Ago – No more kicks on Route 66 for Nat King Cole!

On 27th June 1985 the iconic Route 66 entered the realm of history after 59 years of fame because the American Association of State Highway and Transportation decertified the road and resolved to remove all its highway signs. According to a New York Times article about its decertification, most of Route 66 followed a path through the wilderness forged in 1857 by US Navy Lieutenant Edward Beale at the head of a caravan of camels. Over the years wagon trains and cattle drives eventually Read more [...]
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On This Day 53 Years Ago – Kennedy said: “I am a jelly doughnut!”

On 26th June 1963 John F Kennedy said to the crowd in West Berlin: "2000 years ago the proudest boast was: "Civis Romanus sum." Today in the world of freedom the proudest boast is: 'Ich bin ein Berliner!' Colloquially saying ein Berliner as opposed to Berliner makes the statement mean: "I am a jelly doughnut!" but in this context his audience understood that he meant to show his solidarity to the citizens of West Germany so there was hardly a pause before they cheered wildly! The director Read more [...]
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On This Day 140 Years Ago – Custer’s Last Stand!

On 25th June 1876 the Battle of the Little Bighorn began. It was an armed engagement between the combined forces of the Lakota, Northern Cheyenne and Arapaho Indian tribes against the 7th Cavalry Regiment of the United States Army lead by George Armstrong Custer. The battle was the most prominent action of the Great Sioux War of 1876 and lasted for two days near the Little Bighorn River in eastern Montana Territory. The battle is best known as Custer's Last Stand but was known to the Lakota Read more [...]
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On This Day 33 Years Ago – First American women in space returned safely to Earth!

On 24th June 1983 the first American woman in space returned safely to Earth in the Challenger space shuttle after a successful six-day flight. Sally Ride, aged 32, captured the media's attention over the weeks leading up to blast-off on 19th June as the public realised history was in the making. Read more [...]   Read more [...]
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On This Day 85 Years Ago – Around the world in 8 days!

On 23rd June 1931 Wiley Post and his navigator, Harold Gatty took off for a round the world flight in their single-engine airplane to return on July 1st having completed the trip in a record time of eight days 15 hours 51 minutes. Wiley Post & Harold Gatty left Roosevelt Field on Long Island, New York in the Winnie Mae (a Lockheed Vega aircraft) with a flight plan that would take them around the world traveling 15,474 miles (24,903 km). They made fourteen stops: Harbour Grace Read more [...]
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On This Day 82 Years Ago – The People’s-Car Beetle is born!

On 22nd June 1934 Ferdinand Porsche signed a contract with the Nazi government to begin development of a People's Car, a vehicle that would be affordable, carry two adults and three children and run with limited maintenance for many years. What emerged from this contract was a vehicle known by the German words for People's Car which are Volk & Wagen. Today, we call it the Volkswagen Beetle. Read more [...] BUT The Real Inventor of the People's Car was in fact Josef Ganz The idea for Read more [...]
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On This Day 34 Years Ago – Prince William was born!

On 21st June 1982 Princess Diana of Wales, gave birth to a boy sixteen hours after arriving at St Mary's Hospital, London. Prince William, Duke of Cambridge was born at 21:03 weighing 7lb 1½oz. He is second in line to the British throne after his father the Prince of Wales, who accompanied Princess Diana to the hospital at 5am and stayed with her throughout the day. More [...] Read more [...]
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On This Day 15 Years Ago – World Refugee Day was Initiated!

On 20th June 2001 World Refugee Day was first initiated in 2001 to commemorate the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees. It marks a time when we honour those who face daily challenges and threats we can barely fathom. There are 4.8 million registered Syrian refugees, displaced by violence and civil unrest, between 2 and 3 million are children who aren’t in education, and over 3,500 migrants who died attempting to cross the Mediterranean last year alone. Unimaginable numbers, people Read more [...]
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On This Day 68 Years Ago, The LP changed the nature of the ALBUM forever!

On 19th June 1948 the world woke up to a new kind of album - one that would change the way they perceived and listened to music forever! People were used to buying an album of 10-15 78s as pictured below but suddenly they could buy a single 33⅓ LP instead. But the album had been welded into the collective subconscious so the album continued to be used for the latest release of a new collection of songs but it changed the way the world perceived and listened to music forever!  Although the Read more [...]
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On This Day 68 Years Ago – The LP was born!

On 18th June 1948 Columbia Records publicly unveiled its new 33⅓-rpm long-playing phonograph record in New York City. The development team had exceeded by 5 minutes the 17-minute objective set by the president for a product on which could be recorded 90% of all classical music and therefore be seen to qualify for the description: long-playing record. Philco was the first to produce a marketable phonograph to play these new records. Columbia's president, Edward Wallerstein, presented a Read more [...]
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On This Day 131 Years Ago – Statue of Liberty arrived in New York Harbour in pieces!

On 17th June 1885 the dismantled Statue of Liberty arrived in New York Harbour after being shipped across the Atlantic Ocean in 350 individual pieces packed in more than 200 cases. The copper and iron statue was a gift from the people of France to the people of America and was re-assembled the following year in a ceremony presided over by US President Grover Cleveland who dedicated it as an enduring symbol of liberty, equality & brotherhood to the rest of the world!   Read more [...]
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On This Day 53 Years Ago – Valentina Tereshkova became the first woman in space!

On 16 June 1963 Valentina Tereshkova piloted Vostok 6 and became the first woman in space! In order to join the Cosmonaut Corps, Valentina was honorarily inducted into the Soviet Air Force so she also became the first civilian to fly in space. Featured Image   Read more [...]
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On This Day 50 Years Ago – the hovercraft was the most quickly progressed invention of modern science!

On 15th June 1966, at the Browndown Hovershow on the Solent, Admiral of the Fleet Earl Mountbatten said: "No invention of modern science has progressed anything like so quickly as the hovercraft!" It was patented in 1956, the first experimental one was launched on 11th June 1959 and only 7 years later the hovercraft was being promoted by the Ministry of Defence for the export market! Only 10 years since the hovercraft was invented a show attended by military from all over the Read more [...]
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On This Day 227 Years Ago – The Fate of the Mutineers on the Bounty was sealed!

On 14th June 1789 Captain Bligh and 18 crew landed at Timor having all survived the 3618 mile voyage in the 23-foot open launch from the HMS Bounty which began on 28th April 1789 on the day of the Mutiny on the Bounty. This sealed the fate of the mutineers who thought they were home free when they sent Captain Bligh on his impossible journey! Eleven months after the mutiny, and against all odds, Captain Bligh reached the home shores of England. He took rightful pride in his accomplishment Read more [...]
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On This Day 174 Year Ago – Queen Victoria is the first monarch to ride on a train!

On 13th June 1842 Queen Victoria became the the first monarch to ride on a train.  She traveled from Slough to Paddington in the Royal Carriage pulled by the Phlegethon and its tender.  A replica of this train may be seen at the Didcot Railway Centre. It is regularly steamed up to give an authentic taste of travel at the dawn of the railway era. Later in her reign Queen Victoria often passed by my house (which in the late 1800s was part of the Blenheim Pub) on the way to her favourite holiday Read more [...]
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On This Day 81 Years Ago – Ella Fitzgerald the Queen of Jazz made her first recording!

On 12th June 1935 Ella Fitzgerald at the tender age of 17 made her first recording of "Love and Kisses" and "I'll Chase the Blues Away"  in the 78 rpm gramophone record format. Both songs became big hits and set her off on a road to everlasting glory as the Queen of Jazz! Only two other queens reigned for more than 60 years and they were Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth II. Jump to 0:58 to hear Ella singing!   Read more [...]
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On This Day 57 Years Ago – Is it a boat, is it a plane, no it’s a flying saucer!

On 11th June 1959 a revolutionary new form of transport which can operate on sea and land is officially launched in the Solent off the south coast of England! The hovercraft, can be described as a cross between an aircraft, a boat and a bus which marks a new era in passenger travel by sea. Dubbed a man-made flying saucer, the hovercraft is propelled on a cushion of air created by its own fan power which means it hovers just above the waves at sea and avoids any irregular surfaces on land. The Read more [...]
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On This Day 39 Years Ago – Jaws captured in Kent pond at last!

On 10th June 1977 an elusive goldfish-eating perch with a prodigious appetite is finally netted after two years on the rampage in a Kent pond! The fish - nicknamed Jaws - was caught by two Southern Water Board engineers equipped with a rowing boat, fishing net - and a 240 volt 240 volt stun rod. Former trawler skipper Alf Leggett accused Jaws of eating 3000 goldfish in his Ickham breeding lake near Canterbury. The greedy predator, which weighed in at just 1 lb (0.45 kg), avoided several attempts Read more [...]
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On This Day 41 Years Ago – First live broadcast of Parliament – whatever next!

On 9th June 1975 the BBC & IRN radio stations broadcast the first live transmission from the House of Commons. Commentary was provided by David Holmes the BBC political editor and Edmund Boyle from Independent Radio News who shared a cramped, sound-proofed box inside the chamber. Secretary of State for Industry Tony Benn was the first minister to be questioned in Parliament live on air, starting a debate which some listeners said was difficult to follow on radio. But the BBC and IRN said Read more [...]
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On This Day 18 Years Ago – Beatles re-unite in memory of Linda McCartney

On 8th June 1998 the three surviving members of the Beatles re-unite for the Memorial Service for Paul's late wife Linda who died from breast cancer earlier in that year on 17th April at the age of 56. Many other stars turn out to pay tribute to Linda including Elton John, Spike Milligan, Joanna Lumley, Pete Townshend and Sting. Linda & Paul both became outspoken vegetarian and animal rights activists. They lent their support to many organisations such as People for the Ethical Treatment Read more [...]
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On This Day 388 Years Ago – Petition of Right passed confirming Magna Carta & Habeas Corpus

On 7th June 1628 the Petition of Right is passed Parliament. It is a major English constitutional document that sets out specific liberties that the king is prohibited from infringing. It restates the validity of Magna Carta and the legal requirement of Habeas Corpus. The Petition is seen as one of England's most famous constitutional documents which is of equal value to the Magna Carta and Bill of Rights 1689. King Charles I wasn't exactly happy about parliament passing the Petition Read more [...]
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On This Day 72 Years Ago – D-Day for the Liberation of Western Europe by the United Nations

On 6th June 1944 the United Nations began the largest amphibious military assault ever launched with the purpose of liberating Western Europe from the control of Hitler, namely the Invasion of Normandy or D-Day as it is popularly remembered by the millions of people who were liberated and their descendants! During World War II the Invasion of Normandy resulted in the United Nations liberating Western Europe from the control of Hitler. Operation Neptune (the first day of Operation Overlord) Read more [...]
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On This Day 60 years ago – Elvis Presley Scandalised Audiences with Suggestive Hip Gyrations

On 5th June 1956 Elvis Presley introduces his new single Hound Dog on the Milton Berle Show. and scandalized the audience with his suggestive hip gyrations. Mr Teenager's sexually-charged rendition of Hound Dog that evening lead to a virulent condemnation from the press and the pulpit which pushed Elvis to the forefront in the cultural battle for the hearts of minds of teenagers in the mid-fifties! Read more about the genial genius with the gyrating gonads who started a teenage revolution at elvis-history-blog.com. Read more [...]
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On This Day 76 Years Ago: Churchill Said: “We shall fight on the beaches!”

On 4th June 1940 the Dunkirk evacuation was completed with over 338,000 troops rescued to fight another day and Winston Churchill made his famous "We shall fight on the beaches!" speech. Mr Churchill tempered his admiration for the success of Operation Dynamo with these words: "Wars are not won by evacuations". "There is no doubt in my mind that the last few weeks have been a colossal military disaster." "The British Expeditionary Force had to leave behind all its heavy armour and Read more [...]
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On This Day 51 Years ago – The First American Space-Walk

On 3rd June 1965 Edward Higgins White became the first American to conduct a space-walk. The EVA took place during the Gemini 4 mission. The space-walk started at 3:45pm EDT on the third orbit when Ed White opened the hatch and used the hand-held manoeuvring unit (oxygen jet gun) to push himself out of the capsule. The EVA started over the Pacific Ocean near Hawaii and lasted 23 minutes, ending over the Gulf of Mexico. Initially, Ed White propelled himself to the end of the 8-meter tether Read more [...]
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On This Day 63 Years Ago – Elizabeth Crowned Queen of England

On 2nd June 1953 Elizabeth was crowned Queen of England in a ceremony in Westminster Abbey in London! In front of more than 8,000 guests, including prime ministers and heads of state from around the Commonwealth, she took the Coronation Oath and is now bound to serve her people and to maintain the laws agreed in parliament. After being handed the four symbols of authority - the orb, the sceptre, the rod of mercy and the royal ring of sapphire and rubies - the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Geoffrey Read more [...]
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On This Day 483 Years Ago – Anne Boleyn crowned Queen of England

On 1st June 1533 Anne Boleyn was officially crowned Queen of England but not before she had proved that she would provide Henry VIII with an heir to the throne by becoming heavy with child! How many people would have to die before this most arrogant of Kings would achieve his life's ambition which was to have a son who would be the male heir to the throne that he believed England needed for its ongoing stability! The only winner in the end was Anne herself when her daughter Elizabeth became Read more [...]
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On This Day 157 Years ago – Big Ben Rings Out over London for the First Time

On 31st May 1859 the famous tower clock known as Big Ben, located at the top of the 320-foot-high St Stephen's Tower, rings out over the Houses of Parliament (aka the Palace of Westminster) in London, for the first time! The tower was renamed the Elizabeth Tower in 2012 to honour the Queen's Diamond Jubilee celebration. After a fire destroyed much of the Palace of Westminster – the headquarters of the British Parliament – in October 1834, a standout feature of the design for the new palace Read more [...]
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On This Day 485 Years Ago – Joan of Arc Burned at the Stake for Cross Dressing

On 30th May 1531 Joan of Arc was burned at the stake for cross dressing! Cross-dressing charge Heresy was a capital crime only for a repeat offense, and a repeat offense of "cross-dressing" was now arranged by the court, according to the eyewitnesses. Joan agreed to wear feminine clothing when she abjured, which created a problem. According to the later descriptions of some of the tribunal members, she had previously been wearing male (i.e. military) clothing in prison because it gave her the ability Read more [...]
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On This Day 63 Years Ago – Hillary & Tenzing First to Conquer Mount Everest

On 29th May 1953 the New Zealander Edmund Hillary and the Nepalese Sherpa Tenzing Norgay become the first to reach the summit of Mount Everest on the Nepal-Tibet border! What a wonderful birthday present for Tenzing who reached the age of 39 on this day! They reached the top of the world at 11:30 local time after a grueling climb up the southern face. The two men hugged each other with relief and joy but only stayed on the summit for 15 minutes because they were low on oxygen. Mr Hillary Read more [...]
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On This Day 49 Years Ago – Sir Francis Chichester Sails Around the World in 226 Days

On 28th May 1967 Sir Francis Chichester arrived in Plymouth in his yacht, Gypsy Moth IV, after completing his epic single-handed voyage around the world. He crossed the finishing line at 20:58, nine months and one day after setting off from Plymouth having completed the first leg of his journey to Sydney in 107 days and the second leg back to Plymouth in 119 days. Sir Francis was the first man to sail around the world solo with only one port of call. Thousands of small boats accompanied Sir Read more [...]
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On This Day 66 Years Ago – Frank Sinatra Appears in the TV Film The Star-Spangled Revue

On 27th May 1950 Frank Sinatra made his TV debut on NBC in the TV Film Star-Spangled Review staring Bob Hope He went on to be one of the most successful and recognizable figures in music history! 1950 was a good year for Frank Sinatra: he was still married to the love of his life Ava Gardner and he made his first visit to the UK! In July, Frank topped a variety bill at the London Palladium, two performances each night, with matinees twice a week. Also billed were Wilson, Keppel and Betty Read more [...]
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On This Day 76 Years Ago – 700 Little Ships Sailed to Rescue 338,000 Soldiers Trapped on the Beaches at Dunkirk

On 26th May 1940 the 700 Little Ships of Dunkirk sailed from Ramsgate in England to Dunkirk in France between 26th May and 4th June 1940 as part of Operation Dynamo, helping to rescue more than 338,000 British and French soldiers who were trapped on the beaches at Dunkirk during the Second World War. 198,000 of the troops were part of the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) of the British Army in Europe from 1939 to 1940 during early stages of the Second World War. Commanded by General Lord Gort, Read more [...]
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On This Day 49 Years Ago – John Lennon Paints His Rolls-Royce Yellow with Romany Inspired Flourishes

On 25th May 1967 John Lennon was inspired by an old gypsy caravan he had bought for his garden to paint his Rolls-Royce in a Romany motif. In 1965, shortly after getting his driver's license at age 24, the famous Beatle bought a sports car and a luxury car. The latter was a Rolls-Royce Phantom V Limousine, serial number 5VD73, painted a sober shade known as "Valentine black." The Phantom was the carriage of choice for the upper classes. The Fab Four rode in Mr. Lennon's new limousine to Buckingham Read more [...]
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On This Day 18 Years Ago – Peace in Northern Ireland at Last

On 23rd May 1998 the referendum on Norther Ireland returned a resounding YES vote with 71% of voters in Northern Ireland and 94% of voters in the Irish Republic showing their support for the Good Friday peace agreement!  In Context After the euphoria of the positive vote for a peaceful solution to the problems of Northern Ireland came the reality. The first three years of the agreement's implementation saw accusations and counter-accusation from both sides of the divide. Unionists Read more [...]
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On This Day 47 Years Ago – Apollo 10 Astronauts Got a Bird’s-Eye View of the Moon

On 22nd May 1969 Apollo 10 astronauts got a bird's-eye view of the Moon Two US astronauts aboard Apollo 10 are on their way back to the safety of their mother ship after their lunar module came to within eight nautical miles (14km) of the Moon's surface. Colonel Thomas Stafford and Commander Eugene Cernan were carrying out a rehearsal for a planned Moon landing in the summer. See more information here.  See the Apollo 10 image library here!   Read more [...]
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On This Day 84 Year Ago – Amelia Earhart Made the Second Solo Nonstop Flight Across the Atlantic Ocean

On 21st May 1932 Amelia Earhart made made the second solo nonstop flight across the Atlantic Ocean and became the first woman to accomplish the feat. When the scarlet Lockheed Vega touched down, scattering a herd of cows, farmhand Dan McCallion crossed himself. He puzzled at the grease-smeared face and tousled hair of the pilot who emerged from the cockpit, unsure whether a man or woman had landed in his boss’ Londonderry meadow. “Have you flown far?” he finally asked. “From America,” Read more [...]
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On This Day 89 Years Ago – Charles Lindbergh Made the First Solo Nonstop Flight Across the Atlantic Ocean

On 20th May 1927 the American aviator Charles Augustus Lindbergh made the first solo nonstop flight across the Atlantic Ocean. Other pilots had crossed the Atlantic before him but Charles Lindbergh was the first person to do it alone nonstop.  His astonishing feat gained him immediate international fame. The press named him Lucky Lindy and the Lone Eagle. Americans and Europeans idolized this shy, slim young man and showered him with honors! Please see www.charleslindbergh.com for more Read more [...]
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On This Day 36 Years Ago – Mount St Helens Erupted

19th May 1980: Nine dead after Mount St Helens eruption At least nine people have died after the massive eruption of Mount St Helens volcano in Washington State, USA.Many more are missing and the death toll is expected to rise. A huge cloud of ash has turned day into night for towns and cities across north-western America. People have been told to stay indoors and wear gauze masks. Many roads have been closed, trains halted and aircraft grounded. Mount St Helens exploded at 0832 Read more [...]
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On this day 54 Year Ago – The Duke Of Windsor Had A Chat With The Queen In Paris 10 Days Before His Demise

On 18th May 1972 the Queen visited her Uncle David in Paris The Duke of Windsor was not well enough to attend tea with the Queen when she came to visit his home in Paris this afternoon. He was said to be "dreadfully disappointed" after doctors told him he was not to come downstairs because of ill health. They made their decision just hours before the Queen, with Prince Philip and Prince Charles, was due to see her uncle for the first time in five years - and the first time in his own Read more [...]
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On This Day 73 Years Ago – The Dam Busters Helped To Win The War

On 17th May 1943 RAF 617 Squadron became heroes of WW2 "The bombs themselves were invented specifically for the task by the aircraft engineer Dr Barnes Wallis, the designer of the Wellington bomber. They were barrel-shaped, and used the principle of a 'ducks and drakes' stone bouncing on the water to bypass the defences around the dams. The Lancaster bombers flown by 617 Squadron were extensively modified, and the crews trained to fly at less than 100ft (30.48m) above the water, Read more [...]
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On This Day 28 Years Ago – Nicotine Declared As Addictive As Heroin

On 16th May 1988 C. Everett Koop, surgeon general of the United States, publishes a report declaring nicotine as addictive as either heroin or cocaine. "Nicotine serves as the tobacco plant’s natural defense against insects and, in its pure form, is more poisonous than either strychnine or arsenic. Its chemical structure is similar to acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter, giving it easy access to the brain’s reward and pleasure pathways. . . . Besides his damning report on nicotine’s Read more [...]
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On This Day 76 Years Ago – The Nylon Stocking Became Something Shocking!

On 15th May 1940 nylon stockings were available for the first time at Gimbels Department Store. Some 64 million pairs of nylon stockings were sold that first year at $1.35 each. That is $21 in today's money and more expensive than silk. Over-sexed, Over-paid & Over Here 2 years later during World War 2 the American soldiers who were "overpaid, oversexed and over here" brought them to England with devastating effect! Fashion Meets Science: Introducing Nylon An fascination collection Read more [...]
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