Monthly Archives: May 2018

Ragtime moves on to Jazz in 1920’s Britain

Jazz music burst into mainstream Britain in 1919, with the arrival of the Original Dixieland Jazz Band.   The popularity of ragtime music in the Edwardian era laid the foundations for the acceptance of this syncopated music and its black (and sometimes white) musicians. During most of the First World War, Dan Kildare and his orchestra […]

The day in May when a tornado came to southern England

Do you remember Sunday 21st May 1950 when a tornado swept across southern England?  I certainly do.  The BBC reported that: ‘Two people have died in violent storms and a tornado which have devastated southern England. Several others were injured in lightning strikes and fierce winds which caused massive damage to property around London.’ The […]

Tuesday 18th May 1830 – the birth of a mower

At some time before this day Edwin Budding, an engineer from Stroud, Gloucestershire, had watched a machine in a local cloth mill that used a cutting cylinder/bladed reel mounted on a bench to trim the irregular nap from the surface of woollen cloth and give a smooth finish. This gave him an idea – ‘could […]

The conflicts are over and a new world begins

With the end of the conflict both sides of the Atlantic took a deep breath and moved on.  The third decade of the 20th century- the 1920s – looked exciting.  It would be the decade that marked the beginning of the modern music era. The music recording industry was just beginning to develop and a […]

The King has gone – God Save the King

Wednesday 12th May 1937 saw the coronation of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth. This was the day that had originally been chosen for the coronation of Edward VIII, before he abdicated. As a result the whole thing appears to have been quite a shambles behind the scenes. All the planned images of ‘King Edward […]

The war moved on as the USA took a hand

The United States had carefully kept out of the conflict in Europe while being helpful to the sufferers.  In 1917 the British intercepted and decoded a telegram from the German Foreign Secretary Arthur Zimmermann to Mexico urging that country to enter into war against the United States. The American states of Texas, Arizona and New […]

Enjoying a ‘Furry Dance’

On 8th May every year (or Saturday 7th if the 8th is a Sunday) the Cornish town of Helston is home to ‘The Furry Dance’. A Gentleman’s Magazine report in 1790 tells us that: ‘At Helstone (sic), a genteel and populous borough town in Cornwall, it is customary to dedicate the 8th of May to […]