Category Archives: History

‘A Walk After John Keats’ by Nelson Bushnell 1936 – History, hindsight & a hike with Hitler Youth?

In 2008 I organised and undertook a charity walk in the Lake District (see my short trek blog here) to follow in the footsteps of the poet John Keats. He walked through the Lakes and Scotland in 1818 with his … Continue reading

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On the 11th hour – Wilfred Owen & a most moving poetic parable

The 11th of November, and Remembrance Sunday were days my father held above most others. Some of my earliest memories involve standing to attention by the black & white television in the back room as  Big Ben chimed, the guns … Continue reading

Posted in Family History, History, Poetry, Random musings on family life, love the universe and everything, Religion | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

An Islington murder

Or should I say, TWO Islington murders…. Readers of my blog might know that I have been undertaking research on the area around Clerkenwell and Islington generally as I work to understand the life my London ancestors led. I have … Continue reading

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Calling Clerkenwell home – roots in roguish & revolutionary soil

The line between ‘family’ and ‘social’ history is becoming ever more blurred. For me, studying my tree has always been more about the history surrounding the lives of my ancestors than finding each and every distant relation. I know I … Continue reading

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The mystery of the missing grandmother – or ‘O Bessie. Where Art Thou?’

I wrote this post last year and although I have recently discovered a little more about the strange dynamic of the Hardiman family I still cannot trace my Grandma. There are hints that as ‘Bessie’ she might be the daughter of her … Continue reading

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Sir Robert Peel, riots & the role of the police. Why ‘zero tolerance’ shouldn’t be tolerated…

I have thus far resisted the temptation to rant about the riots and the response of both politicians and the press. As a Londoner by birth I was deeply depressed at the site of many of my old North and … Continue reading

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Competing for belief: Seances, Spiritualism & The Church between the wars

Editor’s note: This is the 11th in a series of monthly mental health guest posts. This month we have a slightly different perspective. After reading my guest post on Spiritualist Helen Duncan for the Kith & Kin Research blog, Counsellor … Continue reading

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The poetry of London: Wilfred Owen and the Ghost of Shadwell Stair

Wilfred Owen is, for many (including myself) the greatest poet of the First World War. Memorable works such Dulce et Decorum Est and Anthem for Doomed Youth are part of the GCSE syllabus; Owen himself features in Pat Barker’s Regeneration … Continue reading

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Liechtenstein – life, beauty, history and THAT national anthem…

Whilst on my recent trip to Liechtenstein I sent a postcard to my blog. It was written as I felt a little homesick one evening, and included some ‘fascinating facts’ that might help a few pub quiz enthusiasts out there: … Continue reading

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Durham Cathedral & Castle – a creative viewpoint

I have visited Durham just once – it is a long journey from the south of England – and it is time I went back. My friend Anna has inspired me by showing me a short piece she wrote for … Continue reading

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