Monthly Archives: October 2017

Today is Hallowe’en – day or night!

My most recent version of Chamber’s Book of Days [2004] tells us that: This is All-Hallows Eve, better known as Hallowe’en, when witches fly abroad and ghosts, fairies, evil spirits and other supernatural beings are at their most active.  The traditional beliefs and practices of Hallowe’en may be connected in origin with the rituals performed […]

Tomorrow – 31st October – is Hallowe’en. So – what is that all about?

  The origin of the festival is disputed, and there are both pagan and Christian practices that have evolved into what Hallowe’en is like today.  Some believe it originates from the Celtic pagan festival of Samhain, meaning ‘Summer’s End’ which celebrated the end of the harvest season. Gaels believed that it was a time when […]

Coping in a POW camp

Available through many sources, and one of the many books on my book shelves, is ‘The Diaries of Captain John Mansel, Prisoner of War and Camp Forger, in Germany, 1940-45’.  I’ve just picked up a short piece that he recorded on Wednesday 29th October 1941 during his stay at a typical POW camp: Lunch is […]

The King and Mrs Simpson

It was Tuesday 27th October 1939 that Mrs Wallis Simpson, an American socialite, received divorce papers ending her marriage to Ernest Simpson. This was part of a chain of events that changed the course of history in Great Britain. Wallis Simpson was having an affair with King Edward VIII and the relationship made him very […]

A battle; a story; a feast day – one; another or all?

25th October is St Crispen’s Day – the feast day of the Christian saints Crispin and Crispinian- twins who were martyred c. AD 286. It was on this Saturday in 1415 that the English defeated the French at Agincourt. Shakespeare’s ‘Henry V’ helps us visualise it – but is that really a true description of […]

The birth of the United Nations

It was on Wednesday 24th October 1945 that the United Nations officially came into existence.  The charter had been signed by delegates from 50 member nations in San Francisco on Tuesday 26th June 1945 at the end of the United Nation Conference on International Organization. The preamble to that Charter said: ‘We the people of […]

Popular music that helped me through the 1950s

It was on Friday 14th November 1952 that the British singles music charts were first published – but I knew nothing about it!  It was not until Friday 23rd October 1953 that I really ‘hooked into’ popular music of the day.  I kept notes and I played records – and I was told by my […]