Tag Archives: France

On This Day – St. Augustine, Taxes and the Confetti Rations

Saint Augustine

Illuminated manuscript with a forward-facing man in the middle of the large H. Man is carrying a crozier and his head is surrounded by a halo.

604 St Augustine, the first archbishop of Canterbury died. Born in the first third of the 6th century, he was a Benedictine monk who became the first Archbishop of Canterbury in the year 597. He is considered the “Apostle to the English” and a founder of the English Church.

One of Many

1670 Charles II and Louis XIV signed a secret treaty in Dover, ending hostilities between England and France.

The Tax is Here

1798 Income Tax was introduced into Britain – a 10% tax on all incomes over £200 a year.

The Last Public Hanging

1868 In the last public execution in England, Irish terrorist Michael Barrett was hanged outside Newgate Prison for causing an explosion in London which left 13 dead.

The Count of Whitby

1897 Dracula, a novel by Irish author Bram Stoker was published. The town of Whitby  has associations with Bram Stoker, as he based much of his Dracula novel here whilst staying in Whitby in 1890.

The King of Ukelele

1904 The birth, in Wigan, of George Formby, English singer and comedian. He was famous for his comic songs, full of double entendre, to his own accompaniment on the banjo ukulele.

The Magistrate in Skirt

Emily Duncan 1914

1913 Emily Duncan became Britain’s first woman magistrate.

Happy Birthday, Mr. Cushing

1913 The birth of Peter Cushing, known for his many appearances in Hammer Films, in which he played the distinguished-looking but sinister scientist Baron Frankenstein and the vampire hunter Dr. Van Helsing.


1940 The evacuation of Allied forces from Dunkirk began. Besides the efforts of the Royal Navy, 700 small ships set off from Britain to rescue 385,000 soldiers over the following nine days. The mission was codenamed Operation Dynamo.

Confetti Rations


1950 Long queues appeared at garages and motorists tore their ration books into confetti after the end to petrol rationing.

Manchester United

A black-and-white photograph of a football team lining up before a match. Four players, wearing dark shirts, light shorts and dark socks, are seated. Four more players are standing immediately behind them, and three more are standing on a higher level on the back row. Two men in suits are standing on either side of the players.

1999 Manchester United became the first British club to win the European Cup for 15 years, beating Bayern Munich 2-1 in the final in Barcelona. This gave them the coveted ‘treble’ – the Premier League, the FA Cup and the European Cup.

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Posted by on 26/05/2012 in Uncategorized


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DOUBLE TROUBLE – Two Simon Grant Mysteries in a single volume


This edition contains the two first Simon Grant Mysteries: Hiding the Elephant and Lock Up Your Daughters.

Set in Northamptonshire, they feature Detective Inspector (soon to become Detective Chief Inspector) Simon Grant,based in Wellingborough and mostly dealing with the rural areas of the county.Unlike his serene environment, Grant life and loves are complex and turbulent and the brutal crimes that he’s solving never fail to grate against one or another of his sore spots.
Written in literary style, the novels and story lines appeal to readers who enjoy immersing themselves in an opulent, lush human drama.

Kindle UK

Kindle US

Kindle DE

Kindle FR

Kindle ES

Kindle IT

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Posted by on 07/05/2012 in Uncategorized


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On This Day – Great Scot and the Glory of Pickles

Great Scot 

1306 Robert the Bruce (eighth Earl of Carrick) was crowned King of Scotland at Scone Palace, near Perth. Bruce secured Scottish independence from England, militarily, if not diplomatically, at the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314.

His statue is at the Bannockburn battlefield site,

his body is buried in Dunfermline Abbey,

while his heart is at Melrose Abbey.

The King is Dead, Long live the King (only, he didn’t)

1625 King James I of England (he was also James VI of Scotland), died. King Charles I ascended to the throne as king of England, Scotland and Ireland as well as claiming the title King of France. He later lost the English Civil War and was executed by parliament.

Waiting to Roll

1863 Henry Royce, co-founder of the Rolls-Royce auto & aerospace companies was born.

Ours is not to reason why. Ours is but to do and die

The Charge of the Light Brigade

1854 Crimean War:- Britain declared war on Russia.

Onward Christian Soldiers

1880 The Salvation Army uniform was authorized, but the distinctive bonnets for women did not appear until June.

London Calling 

1899 Italian inventor Marconi achieved the first international radio transmission (a Morse Code message) between England and France.

Oh, Dr. Beeching

1963 The Beeching Report on Britain’s railways was published. The report concluded that only half the network’s routes carried enough traffic to cover the cost of operating them. Many lines and stations were subsequently closed.

The Great Train Robbery

1964 Six months after the ‘Great Train Robbery’ in Buckinghamshire, 20 of the gang were still at large, but the ten who were arrested were found guilty of stealing more than £2.6m from mailbags. They included Ronnie Biggs. Sentences totalled 307 years in jail.

Pickles’ Glory

1966 The stolen football world cup was found in south London by a dog called Pickles, whilst it was out for a walk with its owner.

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Posted by on 27/03/2012 in Uncategorized


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