HS2: The Historian’s View

Historian Steven Gray argues the case for solid infrastructure. My work on coaling the navy frequently looks at infrastructure. Coal did not simply appear at foreign stations, nor was increased demand simply absorbed by existing infrastructure. Throughout the period I look at (1870-1914) changes are made to ensure that the system employed improves the efficiency and quality of the delivery …

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Book Review: Nazis, Spies & Fakes: Ten Years at the Coalface of History

Nazis, Spies & Fakes: Ten Years at the Coalface of History By Guy Walters Lockhart Armstrong Limited It is a rather controversial time for a Daily Mail journalist to release a book entitled ‘Nazis, Spies and Fakes’, but please don’t let that stop you reading on. Guy Walters is a stellar historical journalist. The book is an assembly of Walters’ …

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Watch & Read

This month we explore the wayward world of King Charles II as seen through the eyes of film director Joe Wright and the words of biographer extraordinaire, Antonia Fraser. King Charles II in Four Hours Have you got a spare four of hours? Great. Go pour yourself a large glass of wine (it’s autumn so it has to be red), or a …

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ITV makes us Breathless

THE TELEVISION SHOW Breathless, ITV1, Thursday 9pm Last week saw the start of a new six-part medical series called Breathless. Set in a gynaecology ward in 1961, we are transported to a Britain where abortion is illegal and the contraceptive pill is only available for married women. It is the year Ernst Hemingway commits suicide, The Beatles perform at The Cavern …

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Take a trip to Sutton House to celebrate Black History Month

It is currently Black History Month and if you want an enjoyable day out for the family you could do a lot worse than a visit to historic Sutton House. For the next few weeks (until the 29th November) they are hosting an interactive exhibition exploring the lives of nine influential Black Londoners, including: John Blanke, the Lascars, Ignatius Sancho, …

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This month in history

70 Years ago 14th October 1943: Six hundred prisoners attempt to break free from the Nazi Death Camp of Sobibor. Three hundred are immediately successful, but only around fifty would live through the war.   75 years ago 30th October 1938: Orson Welles broadcast his radio adaptation of ‘The War of the Worlds’ in the USA. The transmission is met …

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Child evacuees of WWII

Gillian Mawson investigates the experience of Guernsey evacuee children in England during the Second World War.  In May 2008 when I discovered that over 17,000 Guernsey evacuees had arrived in England in June 1940, just before the Nazis invaded their island, I was astounded!  I knew that the Channel Islands had been occupied during the Second World War, but had …

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Five minutes with….Roger Moorhouse

Roger Moorhouse is an historian of Nazi Germany. His new book “The Devil’s Alliance” is a history of the Nazi-Soviet Pact and will be published next autumn by Bodley Head. What is an historian? A historian is someone who investigates and evaluates the past, making sense of it and explaining it to others. What made you decide to pursue a …

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Walk this way

Simon Abernethy examines a curious solution to the rise in interwar traffic accidents. … I saw a letter the other day from an indignant gentleman who said he walked where he liked. He intimated that this was a free country and he had every right to walk where he liked. If he walks off the pavement in Oxford Street he …

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