Category 19th century

In 1941 people were asking ‘How About You’.

“How About You?“ was a popular song composed by Burton Lane, with lyrics by Ralph Freed that was introduced in the 1941 film ‘Babes on Broadway’ by Judy Garland and Mickey Rooney.  Now the lyrics of the song are often changed depending on the recording artist but in its original form it was a humorous […]

‘To Autumn’ by John Keats

Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness, close bosom-friend of the maturing sun; conspiring with him how to load and bless with fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run; to bend with apples the moss’d cottage-trees, and fill all fruit with ripeness to the core; to swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells with […]

Britain’s first known car fatality

It happened on Monday 17th August 1896 when Bridget Driscoll was knocked down by Arthur Edsell who was reportedly driving at 4mph. The Morning Post’s report on Friday 21st tells us that Mr Percy Morrison held an inquest at Penge on the body of Bridget Driscoll, the 44 year old wife of a labourer of […]

The first British Lawn Tennis Championship

It was on Monday 9th July 1877 that a Lawn Tennis championship took place for the first time at Worple Road, Wimbledon.  Records of the time record Worple Road, and the streets on the southern slopes of Wimbledon Hill, as ‘highly respectable‘. Until about 1875 ‘Walpole Lane’ as a map of the time named it, […]

1894 and disaster at a South Wales coal pit

A new colliery – the property of the Albion Steam Coal Company, Limited – was registered in Cardiff and began sinking operations in 1885 and completed them in 1887.  It was in the Taff Valley = a portion of the coalfield that was virgin until the colliery was opened. It was to the north of […]

The steamship Great Eastern takes it’s first voyage.

The steamship Great Eastern was built to carry 4,000 passengers from England to Australia without refueling.  However – for its first long distance journey it had been arranged that it would leave Southampton about 4 o’clock on Saturday afternoon, 16th June 1860 to cross the Atlantic to New York.  There were large crowds at Southampton […]

On the water for the first time – Oxford vs Cambridge Boat Race

It was on Wednesday 10th June 1829 that the first Oxford University vs Cambridge University boat race took place.  It was rowed over a two and a quarter mile course from Hambledon Lock to Henley Bridge.  The Morning Post of 12th June 1829 reported: THE GRAND ROWING MATCH BETWEEN OXONIANS AND THE CANTABS: This match, […]