Category 20th century

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 […]

The Jarrow Crusade and 300 miles to London

It was on Monday 5th October 1936 when some 200 unemployed men set off from Jarrow – a north of England town on the River Tyne in County Durham – to walk to London.  Before they set off there was a special service of blessing at Christ Church in the centre of town – a […]

Britain becomes Nuclear

It was in January 1947 that a British Government’s cabinet sub-committee decided, in response to an apprehension of American isolationism and fears of Britain losing its great power status, to resume British efforts to build nuclear weapons. A key part of this project, of course, was the need to have a location to test them! […]

The Festival of Britain closes – but the memories linger on

It was Sunday 30th September 1951 and big crowds had gathered for the final moments of the Festival of Britain which was officially ending – where it began – at the South Bank in London. The massed bands of the Brigade of Guards played as the Union flag and the Festival flag were taken down […]

I can hear the radio – now I can read what to expect.

Friday 28th September 1923 was the day that the Radio Times, price 2d, was first published. It had all began in that spring when John Reith, the BBC’s first Director General, had received an ultimatum from the Newspaper Publishers Association that warned/threatened him that ‘unless the Corporation paid a significant fee, none of its NPA […]

The story behind a story that sold 4,000 copies an hour after mid-night and 100,000 by the end of the day

It was on Wednesday 25th September 1963 that the most hotly anticipated report in British history hit the shelves.  Official reports – known as Blue Books – are usually dull affairs but this one was different – VERY DIFFERENT.  Public interest was so great, remarked ‘The Spectator’ newspaper that the Stationary Office “opened half an […]