Monthly Archives: September 2017

The Festival of Britain closes – but the memories linger on

It was Sunday 30th September 1951 and big crowds had gathered for the final moments of the Festival of Britain which was officially ending – where it began – at the South Bank in London. The massed bands of the Brigade of Guards played as the Union flag and the Festival flag were taken down […]

Today is the day of St Michael and All Angels – Michaelmas Day

There is a perk on this day if you are interested. By tradition one may sleep late on St Michael’s Day! This tradition says that:          ‘Nature requires five and Custom gives seven; Laziness takes nine, and Michaelmas eleven.’ 29th September is one of the four days of the year on which quarterly rents are/were traditionally […]

I can hear the radio – now I can read what to expect.

Friday 28th September 1923 was the day that the Radio Times, price 2d, was first published. It had all began in that spring when John Reith, the BBC’s first Director General, had received an ultimatum from the Newspaper Publishers Association that warned/threatened him that ‘unless the Corporation paid a significant fee, none of its NPA […]

The story behind a story that sold 4,000 copies an hour after mid-night and 100,000 by the end of the day

It was on Wednesday 25th September 1963 that the most hotly anticipated report in British history hit the shelves.  Official reports – known as Blue Books – are usually dull affairs but this one was different – VERY DIFFERENT.  Public interest was so great, remarked ‘The Spectator’ newspaper that the Stationary Office “opened half an […]

It’s 1940 and King George VI speaks to Britain from his underground shelter.

In a radio broadcast on the evening of Monday 23rd September 1940 King George VI spoke to Britain, the British Empire and America from his underground shelter at Buckingham Palace during an air-raid warning.  In the broadcast he told his people that, with the aid of “our friends in the Americas”, Great Britain will emerge […]

The Victoria Cross and two brave and special Wednesdays

The Victoria Cross was introduced in Great Britain on Saturday 29th January 1856 by Queen Victoria. Its ‘role’ was to reward acts of valour during the Crimean War. The VC takes precedence over all other Orders, Decorations and Medals and may be awarded to a person of any rank in any service and to civilians […]

A new weapon of war arrives

It was in the First World War on Friday 15th September 1916 at Flers Courcelette in France that tanks were used for the first time in battle.  Around 50 of these fearsome-looking weapons had been developed.  The tanks travelled slowly on caterpillar tracks over wheels in a way based on American farming tractors and their […]