Category 20th century

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 […]

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 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 […]

For many he was – and is – the jockey of all time

On Thursday, 5th May 1904 there were, I am sure, quite a few male children being born. One of them was born in Ivy Row – known to the locals as Potato Row – in Donnington Wood, Oakengates, just outside Telford in Shropshire. He was baptised Gordon, the son of Mr & Mrs Richards, and […]

It happened on Thursday 2nd May 1952

So – what was it that justifies being here to day? It was  the day that the world’s first passenger carrying jet airliner, a BOAC De Havilland Comet, call sign G-ALYP, with 36 fare-paying passengers aboard, set off on its’ maiden, scheduled flight from London to Johannesburg. It was, in fact, a part of BOAC’s […]

The world was changing – and perhaps not for the better

It’s the second decade of the 20th century and the world continues to develop and change. At this time Great Britain was at the centre of the world’s largest empire, a beneficiary of colonial resources and trade.  It occupied territory on four different continents and was at the centre of a vast trading and commercial […]