Monday, 20 March 2017
I'm looking forward immensely to posting about my next little project, which has been an enormous amount of fun to research. In the meantime though, I'll be posting something great on behalf of Rowan Lennon which, while not a historical biography, it's a most interesting piece. More to follow soon!
Monday, 17 October 2016
Below is the first blog post I recently contributed to my new spiritual home of a website, the wonderful Cemetery Club. I opted not to venture into the history of London’s cemeteries and the ever-growing need for burial space. I don’t need to, as this topic has already been covered in the excellent existing posts by Sheldon, Christina and Caroline.
Instead I've posted mini biographies about two of the interesting characters I came across whilst researching Streatham Cemetery (located in Tooting and not to be confused with Streatham Park Cemetery, which I’ll be covering in my next blog). Sheldon and I only located one grave of the two people I’ll be writing about but we still enjoyed an excellent outing to a thoroughly lovely and well-maintained cemetery.
Picture from Great War London
Gilbert “Gibb” William Roger Mapplebeck’s only calling was to be a pilot. Even before the devastating outbreak of WWI Gibb had already learned to fly, earning his Royal Aero Club’s flying certificate at the tender age of 19. Following his father’s career path as a Liverpool dentist was not on the cards for Gibb who, at 6'3", was “possessed of a personal charm that endeared him to many”. Within the next two years, Gibb’s skill and courage made him a real life 'Top Gun' who enjoyed such distinctions of flying in the RFC’s seminal reconnaissance mission in August 1914, and later becoming the first pilot to bomb enemy lines in Flanders.
Wednesday, 28 September 2016
Join The Cemetery Club (as recently featured on BBC's Inside Out) for a very special tour of Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park on Sat 29th October 2016! Join us on our most atmospheric historic guided walk yet as we take you around by lamplight to celebrate the lives of the cemetery's "permanent residents" who've come before us.
Marvel as the lamplight flickers over the graves of heroes, villains and mavericks as we simultaneously step back in time to explore Victorian customs associated with Hallowmas, and taste authentic Soul Cakes, made from a recipe from the time of old Queen Vic herself. It’ll finish on a song, too – a long forgotten ditty that many of the people buried here would have known and sung themselves.
With a choice of two time slots, the tours will commence at the War memorial, by the Soanes Centre. Please wear suitable footwear and wrap up warm... All Hallows Eve can be chilly!
Please see visit EventBrite for more information and to book your places.
Monday, 20 June 2016
Saturday, 2 April 2016
In addition to the book, I've undertaken a further two biographies which will be posted here once research is completed. Once those are online, there's a very exciting history-related project waiting in the wings... I'm having a blast, be back soon!
Monday, 29 September 2014
This presented Peggy with the perfect opportunity to establish a far more respectable boxing venue and, after ploughing a large amount of his own capital into the venture, he joined forces with the Pelican’s former manager, John Fleming. Together they set up the fledgling organisation’s new headquarters at 43 King Street, Covent Garden and on Thursday 5 March 1891, the National Sporting Club opened its doors to a throng of excited sports lovers.
Images of the NSC entrance hall (above) and saloon (top) used with the kind permission of Miles Templeton (http://blog.boxinghistory.org.uk)
Images of NSC Programme (08 June 1914) and NSC logo used with the kind permission of Miles Templeton (http://blog.boxinghistory.org.uk)
Billy Wells pictured above (centre) with Peggy (right, with bowler hat and ever-present cigar) in an earlier photograph
(Image used with the kind permission of Miles Templeton (http://blog.boxinghistory.org.uk)
Peggy Bettinson image used with the kind permission of Miles Templeton (http://blog.boxinghistory.org.uk)
Boxing News (as it later became known) remembers John Murray, 27 March 1946