Monthly Archives: March 2017

A writer’s first novel begins

The Pickwick Papers was Charles Dickens’ first novel.  It began ‘life’ in monthly instalments – and the first instalment was published on this day – March 30th 1836.  On this same day the publishers – the firm of Chapman and Hall – had also started a series of amusing stories dealing with “Cockney sporting scenes”.  These […]

Today in 1934 was the day that driving tests began in Britain

UK driving licences were introduced by the Motor Car Act of 1903 but no test was required! In the late 1920s and early 1930s the appalling number of deaths on the roads of Britain was causing considerable concern to the Government and the public. In January 1934, The Times newspaper reported on the ‘slaughter on […]

All set for the ancient Manor Court ceremony in Bideford?

In my search for something different I came across the following:- The ancient Bideford Manor Court ceremony is an annual custom dating back to the Elizabethan age – and this year is due to take place on Saturday 25th March 2017. The Court was set up by an Elizabethan charter in 1573. It was also […]

Glances on a changing country

It’s interesting to see how one man’s diary can cast light on the attitude of another and ‘paints a picture’ of the country at large.  Henry Crabb Robinson was born in Bury St Edmunds, was articled to a Colchester attorney; between 1800 & 1805 studied at various places in Germany where he met men of […]

You’ll find the answer at the end

It was on Thursday, 20th March 1727 that a very special man died. He had been born 84 years previous on 25th December 1642 and left behind him a world greatly changed.  He had studied at Trinity College in Cambridge and, in 1669, was appointed Lucasian Professor of Mathematics there.  He achieved a great many […]

Remembering some songs in Egypt

Tomorrow – Monday 20th March 2017 – Dame Vera Margaret Lynn will become 100 years old.  There has been – and there will be – a lot of stories about the lady who, during the Second World War, earned the title ‘The Forces’ Sweetheart’. I’m not going to try to compete with it all – […]

A Disaster at Sea

It was 50 years ago, on Saturday 18th March 1967, that the Torrey Canyon oil tanker ran aground on Pollard’s Rock in the Seven Stones reef, between Land’s End and the Isles of Scilly. It was carrying 100,000 tons of crude oil and, following the impact, oil immediately started to leak out. The ship had […]