Monthly Archives: December 2016

The last day of the year

It is the 31st December – New Year’s Eve – and many things can happen. For instance, on this day Thomas Edison gave the first public demonstration of his incandescent lamp – the forerunner of the electric light bulb! In a very different time and place – it was on this December Monday in 1945 […]

Australia are beaten – the Ashes are ours!

I think it may be sensible to tell the story of ‘The Ashes’ before going forward: ‘The Ashes’ is – ‘yes’ not ‘are’ – a Test cricket series played between England and Australia with ‘The Ashes’ being held by the team that most recently won the Test series.  The term originated in a satirical obituary […]

A rather different Christmas Eve – a close encounter with a Meteorite

The earth may not be facing a devastating cosmic impact in the near future but that doesn’t stop around 500 pieces of space debris – aka ‘meteorites’ – hitting the earth each year.  It was on Christmas Eve 1965 that the Leicestershire village of Barwell became the unexpected ‘hosts’ to one of the largest meteorites […]

Off the rails with Dr Beeching

It was on this day – Wednesday 23rd December 1964 – that it was announced by Mr Tom Fraser, the Labour Minister of Technology, that a certain Dr. Richard Beeching was to leave his post as Chairman of the British Rail Board and returned to his old job at Imperial Chemical Industries – better known […]

Britain’s youngest ever Prime Minister

On Friday 19th December 1783, at an age of 24 years 205 days, William Pitt ’the Younger’ became – and remains – Britain’s youngest ever Prime Minister. It is said that he was almost born to be Prime Minister having become immersed in political life from a young age – apparently expressing parliamentary ambitions at […]

A Russian and his Wife in London

Mr Mikhail Gorbachev and his wife were on an 8 day ‘tour’ of the West that was discribed at the time as the longest by any statesman from the Iron Curtain. It was on Tuesday 16th December 1984 that the man strongly forecast as being the next leader of the Soviet Union had a meeting […]

Not quite the tea party one wants!

Thursday 16th December 1773 was the day colonial America showed they were really getting fed-up with Britain. At the beginning of this month three ships of the East India Company – the Dartmouth, the Eleanor and the Beaver, all carrying tea for which the company had sole rights of supply, had arrived in Boston harbour. […]