Memorial

A statue or other structure dedicated to or associated with a famous British person or event.

Sifting through the ashes of the Great Fire

Great Fire of London

Of all the thousands, or millions, of memorials in Britain, there aren’t many one arrogant enough to be known by the definite article.  The Monument in London is one and, for the benefit of those bursting to know, it is the monument to London’s Great Fire of 1666.  The Great Fire is so much a […]

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The Grace Darling legend

Grace Darling

A neighbour was taking a short break in Northumberland, and told me that one of the reasons she was excited about it was because, growing up, she had a picture of Grace Darling on her bedroom wall.  She would not have been alone; Grace Darling was a perfect Victorian heroine who braved a violent North

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The betrayal and capture of William Wallace

Wallace Fields, Robroyston, development

Hard facts about Scottish patriot and hero Sir William Wallace are as elusive as the Loch Ness Monster.  The cult of Wallace fascinates me – and the 13th/14th century Wars of Scottish Independence between Scotland and England is a fascinating chapter in the evolution of the United Kingdom.  People have been known to get terribly

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Robert Burns, an’ a’ that

Tam o' Shanter

What is all the fuss about Robert Burns? Robert – Robbie or ‘Rabbie’ – Burns was a prolific poet and lyricist, who died more than 200 years ago.  He is Scotland’s favourite bard, still revered throughout the land, the world over by those of Scottish descent – and, in fact, by many non-Scots as well. 

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The Cambridge American Cemetery

American Cemetery, WW2, England

Something like 3 million US citizens passed through the United Kingdom during the Second World War.  The Cambridge American Cemetery commemorates almost 9,000 Americans who died while based here, or en route, in those years of conflict.  They died at sea on convoys transporting essential supplies, troops and military equipment, across the Atlantic; they died

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Exploring Trafalgar Square

Trafalgar Square, treasure buried?

Trafalgar Square is one of those places that have always seemed to be there.  It is so famous, such a focal point, and featured in so many news clips and photographs – including those taken by most of London’s tourists – that it’s easy to take it for granted.  Its name commemorates, as most people

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Our Brontë tour begins in Haworth

Haworth, Bronte Parsonage, Cemetary

Who was the third Brontë sister?  It’s a good question for quiz night down at the Olde Rupturede Ducke.  There was Charlotte and Emily, of course – the authors of Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights respectively.  But who wrote The Tenant of Wildfell Hall?  Tracy Brontë, perhaps?  Or Chelsea?  No – if you’re a literary

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Battle of Britain Day

Spitfires, Duxford, Battle of Britain

15 September is Battle of Britain Day.  It commemorates the legendary air battle that took place in Britain’s skies, mainly – though not exclusively – over southern England, during the long hot summer and early autumn of 1940.  The conflict has achieved near mythical status in British history.  With the fall of France in June,

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