Category January

Buddy & Maria Elena – a short life sadly lost.

Buddy’s wife was born María Elena Santiago in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Her mother died when Maria was 12 years old and, in 1953, her father had sent her to live with her aunt in New York City where she worked as a receptionist for a music publisher – ‘Peermusic’.  As a receptionist Maria Elena […]

A Straw Bear with History

Back in 1882 a local newspaper in the Peterborough area reported that, in the nearby Cambridgeshire community of Whittlesey, a bear .. “was taken around the town to entertain by his frantic and clumsy gestures the good folk who had on the previous day subscribed to the rustics, a spread of beer, tobacco and beef”. […]

Fancy a day out this Saturday 6th January?

It is Haxey Hood day – the day when a part of the Isle of Axholme goes a bit crazy for the afternoon to mark one of England’s oldest traditions.  Where is it? It’s in North Lincolnshire – the only part of Lincolnshire west of the River Trent – and between the three towns of […]

Lord Byron in Italy

The ‘Life, Letters, and Journals of Lord Byron’ edited by Thomas Moore provides us with a fascinating view of the man in his travels.  It was Thursday 4th January 1821 and he was in the Papal State of Ravenna in Italy and records: “’A sudden thought strikes me.’  Let me begin a Journal once more.  […]

Katharine of Aragon’s last letter to her husband, King Henry VIII

On Friday last, 27th January 2017, the people of Peterborough and beyond came to remember the death and buriel of King Henry 8th’s first wife Katharine of Aragon. I saw little of the actual service because a group of us in appropriate costume guided some 360 chidren from St John’s Church to the Cathedral, and […]

A King prefers his Lady

On 20th of January 1936, King George V died and so his eldest son Edward began his reign as King Edward VIII. During his reign the new King travelled a lot with a Mrs. Wallis Simpson with him on almost every single trip.  In November King Edward VIII wanted to talk to his favourite adviser […]

Plough Sunday & Monday and the Wassailing Men

As a country boy, January was the time when our community started to prepare for the year to come. To do this we looked back on the past – looked forward to the future – and had fun in the present. In many rural communities across the country this sequence – well elements of it […]