Category Archives: Britain

The Bottomless Tram

Quick Quotes 25.  The following quote is from a newspaper report in the Western Morning News, from 14th December 1898: Between nine and ten o’clock last evening a very usual and rather alarming mishap occurred in Devonport. As a tramcar was … Continue reading

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Love, Honour and Obey?

Max of the Month 2.  When reading non-fiction books from the 19th Century, one finds no shortage of great writers who have now been largely forgotten. However, occasionally a writer comes to light whose work is so entertaining, and who … Continue reading

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Missing Mail in 1862

Snippets 196.  In the mid 19th Century the postal service in Britain was not exactly in its infancy, but was certainly undergoing a rapid programme of modernisation.  The Penny Black was introduced in 1840 and the first post boxes started … Continue reading

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The Looby with a Malmsey Nose

Snippets 195.  Francis Grose (1731-1791) was a noted antiquarian who wrote a series of books about medieval antiquities. Financial difficulties inspired him to branch out into other areas of writing, and in 1785 his A Classical Dictionary of the Vulgar … Continue reading

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Hot Air Balloon Crash

Snippets 194. The Crystal Palace was a famous London landmark, built for the Great Exhibition of 1851.  After the Exhibition it was relocated from Hyde Park to Penge Common, where it stood until it was destroyed by fire in 1936.  … Continue reading

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The Early Cinema Queuing Nuisance

Snippets 193.  Looking at old newspaper articles, one thing that is often quite striking is how much resistance can be found to an idea that we now consider commonplace, but was unusual at the time.  One such example comes from … Continue reading

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Flirtation: an English Pastime

Max of the Month 1.  I have often quoted from the works of Max O’Rell over the last few years, one of my favourite travel writers from the 19th Century, now virtually forgotten.  His books are so packed with fascinating … Continue reading

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