Category 20th century

A story of times gone by

Britain has many ‘traditional’ activities that, in summer or harvest time, bring all members of the community together for a celebration – a celebration that can go on for the best part of a week or more.  The town where I now live had a reputation for their ‘Feast’ but, I’m afraid, those events seem […]

A new type of book is available.

It was on Tuesday 30th July 1935 that book publishers Bodley Head published their first ten paperback books.  They called the publication Penguin and each book cost six pence/6d – hardcover books were priced at seven (7/-) or eight (8/-) shillings each, These 10 books revolutionized publishing – and the buying of books. Within a […]

An airplane crossed the English Channel

It was on Sunday 25th July 1909 that Louis Blériot became the first person to cross the English Channel in a airplane. Blériot was a graduate of the École Centrale in Paris who had met and married Alice Vedène while performing military service as a lieutenant of artillery. He had built up a modest fortune […]

The day after Britain rationed Bread

Monday 22nd July 1946 was the first day after the introduction of bread rationing in Britain. The country had been told that the ration would be on a varying scale for differing types of workers and for children of different ages. For the ordinary adult it would be nine ounces of bread per day, part […]

A one-way ticket across the Atlantic

Tuesday 21st July 1960 saw the winner of the very first Observer Single-handed Trans-Atlantic Race reach ‘home’. 115 people had expressed an interest in taking part in the race.  In the end there had been eight entries but just five actually took part!  In fact only four were at the starting line on 11th June […]

England’s Dockers go on strike

It was on Thursday 16th July 1970 that the first national dock strike in Britain since 1926 began.  In total it involved around 47,000 dockworkers across the country. Seeking to raise their basic wage from £11 a week, British Dockers’ representatives had voted 48 to 32 in favour of strike action the previous day. As […]

Band Aid in July

In 1984 Bob Geldof had been moved by news reports about the Ethiopian famine and, working with Midge Ure, wrote ‘Do they know it’s Christmas?’  The two then ‘invited’ many of their singing friends to join them in a song.  The result was ‘Do They Know It’s Christmas?’ which was first recorded in the single […]