Nineteen Years | In Times Gone By…

A picture of one of 1999 Russian apartment bombings.

A picture of one of 1999 Russian apartment bombings.

Today is the nineteenth anniversary of the start of the Russian apartment bombings, when Vladimir Putin orchestrated a series of attacks that killed hundreds of citizens across Russia in order to boost his popularity and win…

via Nineteen Years | In Times Gone By…

All in the details – A visit to Haddon Hall II


Other than the Elizabethan connection, we really had, at that point, no idea why we had felt the need to visit Haddon Hall. We knew little about the place, apart from the legend of the romantic elopement of Dorothy Vernon and the fact that ‘ye harmytt’ of Cratcliffe Crags had supplemented his hermit’s income by supplying rabbits to…

via All in the details – A visit to Haddon Hall II | Sue Vincent’s Daily Echo

Grete Schütte-Lihotzky: House Maker, Not Homemaker | A R T L▼R K

51yoyzpijvlOn the 18th of January 2000, Austria’s first female architect, Nazi resistance, as well as Marxist activist Margarete Schütte-Lihotzky died in Vienna five days before her 103rd birthday. Lihotzky became the first female student at the Kunstgewerbeschule, Vienna, where important modern artists such as…

via Grete Schütte-Lihotzky: House Maker, Not Homemaker | A R T L▼R K

A visit to Haddon Hall | Sue Vincent’s Daily Echo

The Vernons mentioned are my forbears! haddonhall

Every time we had driven past Haddon Hall, I had the feeling we needed to go there. The feeling bugged me a bit, as stately homes have not really been part of our research. We tend to be drawn to the landscape and sites things five thousand years old, rather than five hundred, so I could not see why…

via A visit to Haddon Hall | Sue Vincent’s Daily Echo

The History of the Mailrail | Enough of this Tomfoolery!

Deep under the streets of London and its snarl of urban traffic is a virtually unknown railway that for 75 years was an artery in Britain’s postal network. Seventy feet below ground, the Post Offic…

Source: The History of the Mailrail | Enough of this Tomfoolery!

The Intrepid ’20s Women Who Formed an All-Female Global Exploration Society – Atlas Obscura

Journalist and explorer Marguerite Harrison shares a meal with a group of Bakhtiari men. (From the documentary A Nation’s Battle for Life by Merian Cooper and Ernest Schoedsack) BETTMANN/GETTY IMAGES

In August 1923, Marguerite Harrison sailed from New York bound for Constantinople. The 44-year-old had returned just five months earlier from Russia where she had been imprisoned, for a second time, on suspicions of espionage. A widowed mother of a teenage boy, Harrison had thought she would…

Source: The Intrepid ’20s Women Who Formed an All-Female Global Exploration Society – Atlas Obscura

May 12, 2008 Angel of Warsaw – Today in History

All told, Irena Sendler saved about 2,400 Jewish children and infants and about 100 teenagers, who went into the forests to join partisan bands fighting the Nazis. The far better known Oskar Schind…

Source: May 12, 2008, Angel of Warsaw – Today in History

A Fond Farewell to England’s Prefab WWII Bungalows – Atlas Obscura

For decades, residents of the Excalibur Estate, London’s last community of post-World War II, prefabricated houses, have been fighting against property developers and hostile local authorities to save their lovely bungalows from demolition.

This fight has proven to be in vain, as, driven by rising land values, Lewisham Council started to pull them down in…

Source: A Fond Farewell to England’s Prefab WWII Bungalows – Atlas Obscura

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The Publican & The Historian | Spitalfields Life

Portrait of Sandra Esqulant & Dan Cruickshank by Sarah Ainslie

In this extract from his newly-published book SPITALFIELDS, The History of a Nation in a Handful of Streets, Dan Cruickshank reflects on his friendship with Sandra Esqulant, landlady of the Golden Heart, and the changes they have seen in the neighbourhood over the last forty years…

Source: The Publican & The Historian | Spitalfields Life

The Role of Greenland in WW2 and The Cold War | W.U Hstry

Although Greenland has always been one of the more remote places of the world, its position leaves it with a potentially very significant role to play in any world-wide conflict. The Geographical location of Greenland is important for three reasons, the first being that it is part of the land that forms the ‘GIUK Gap’ which is an important naval choke point in the north Atlantic that is…

Source: The Role of Greenland in WW2 and The Cold War | W.U Hstry

The Last Days Of London | Spitalfields Life

At twelve years old, he photographed the end of the trams in 1952 and, since then, Spitalfields Life Contributing Photographer Colin O’Brien has become fascinated by recording the ‘last days’ of vanishing aspects of London Life …

Thames Embankment, 1952 “When I was twelve, the trams stopped running forever so I took this picture with my box camera while the driver posed for me. I loved going out with my dad on Sunday mornings for a ride through the Kingsway Tunnel and out on to the Embankment. It was even more exciting if we managed to get the front seat on the top deck where I could imagine I was…

Source:  The Last Days Of London | Spitalfields Life.

The World’s Oldest Man Is Now An Auschwitz Survivor Aged 112.

Guinness World Records have just named the world’s oldest man as Yisrael Kristal, who is aged 112 years old.

You would expect anyone reaching such a momentous age to have a spectacular history, but Yisrael Kristal’s defies the odds.

Courtesy of Family

Kristal was born in Poland on September 15th 1903 to Jewish parents. Tragedy struck from an early age with his mother dying in 1910, and his father dying soon after the outbreak of World War One. Aged 17 he moved to the Polish city of Łódź, where he went on to work in the family’s candy factory. In 1928 Kristal married and became father to two children.

With the outbreak of World War Two, the life Kristal had built was turned on it’s head. When Poland was invaded, his family was forced into the Łódź ghetto, where both of his children died. Further tragedy struck in August 1944, when Kristal and his wife were transported to…

Source: The World’s Oldest Man Is Now An Auschwitz Survivor Aged 112.

The Roman girl buried beneath a London landmark | Flickering Lamps

30 St Mary Axe – better known by its nickname “The Gherkin” – is one of the most distinctive skyscrapers in London.  It stands on the site of the old Baltic Exchange, which was badly damaged by a Provisional IRA bomb in 1992 and subsequently demolished.  It was during excavations taking place prior to the construction of the Gherkin that, in 1995, the skeleton of a Roman Londoner who had lain undisturbed for 1,600 years was discovered.

On Bury Street, on one side of the skyscraper, there is an open paved area with seating and sculptures.  On the side of one of the low, smooth walls that double up as seats is a quite unexpected…

Source: The Roman girl buried beneath a London landmark | Flickering Lamps

Memory and identity: a personal history – Mathew Lyons

My father is in the early stages of Alzheimer’s. He will be 90 this year. He grew up close by the docks in Beckton, East London, which are now long gone. He remembers seeing the first wave of German bombers flying over London on September 7, 1940.

He was stationed in the Pacific when he joined the Navy in 1944; he has photos of Nagasaki taken a few weeks after it was destroyed by the atomic bomb.

At Cambridge after the war, he joined the Communist Party only to leave in the 1950s, disheartened by the party’s refusal to fully endorse the democratic process. At least, this is what I remember being told long ago, when facts seemed more stable than they do now.He spent almost his entire working life in…

Source: Memory and identity: a personal history – Mathew Lyons