Category 20th century

I found a memory out of nowhere

Patrick Barron “Paddy” Hopkirk is a former rally driver from Northern Ireland.  He was born in Belfast and educated in County Kildare from 1945–1949 before attending Trinity College, Dublin until 1953.  He was awarded the MBE Honour in the 2016 New Year’s Honour’s list. I recently re-discovered some of my notes about Paddy that brought […]

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 […]

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 […]

Thursday 15th October 1987 and a Great Storm that was not quite what some said!

It was on the night of Thursday/Friday 15th/16th October 1987 that hurricane-force winds caused casualties and damage in England, France and the Channel Islands as a severe depression in the Bay of Biscay moved northeast. With winds gusting at up to 100mph, there was massive devastation across Britain with 18 people being killed. Some 15 […]

The Prime Minister vs The Move

It was on Wednesday 11th October 1967 that Prime Minister Harold Wilson received an apology in the High Court from a pop group called ‘The Move’. He had taken out a libel action against them claiming a “violent and malicious personal attack” after a postcard was published, promoting the group’s new record Flowers in the […]