Category Archives: London

On receiving some wonderful old news……

As some of my regular readers may be aware, I was commissioned earlier this year, by the new social history imprint of Pen and Sword Books, to write a book about the impact of the first world war on the … Continue reading

Posted in Book, Family History, History, London, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Sarah’s story – family history and poetry from the darkest places…

In a previous post, I wrote of Sarah Hardiman, the first (and only legal) wife of my Great Grandfather George Hardiman. George Hardiman was a journeyman silversmith, born in 1839 in an impoverished part of Clerkenwell, North London. Sarah (nee … Continue reading

Posted in Family History, History, London, Mental health, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

‘From Clapton Pond to Stamford Hill’ – landscape, literature & Pinter at the British Library

Yesterday I made the trip from Somerset to London to meet Sarah Whittingham, author of the wonderful Fern Fever and Wendy Wallace whose recently published The Painted Bridge is my favourite fiction book of the year so far. Although we were looking … Continue reading

Posted in History, Keats, London, Poetry, Writing | Tagged , , , , | 6 Comments

‘I’m forever blowing bubbles'; or maybe this explains a lot…

Earlier this week my son wrote a blog post on The Magical Mirror in which he was debating with himself which football team he should support next season. I had to point out to him that to ask that question is not … Continue reading

Posted in Family History, London, Random musings on family life, love the universe and everything | Tagged , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Telling ‘Sarah’s Story’ – finding truth in family history

It is some time since I have written on the history of my family, or on history in any sense really. I am deep into the process of finalising a manuscript that will be published in the next few months – … Continue reading

Posted in Family History, History, London, Mental health | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

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

Posted in Family History, History, London | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

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

Posted in History, London, Random musings on family life, love the universe and everything, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments