Random - Latest news and reviews


British Library adds a million pages of Victorian Newspapers to its archive

A resource that I find quite invaluable when researching odd bits of history is the British Library’s online digital archive of old newspapers, and this morning, they announced that the collection just increased by around a third to some three


Map of London and its Toll Gates from 1857

Another drawing from my collection of the Illustrated London News – this time of the then vexatious issue of toll-gates around the city that charged people a fee every time they passed though. A committee had been created by Parliament


Why I am willing to pay to read the news online – sometimes

There has been much gnashing of teeth over the news that the Times Newspaper is to start charging for access to its website in a couple of months time. The news (hur!) is not that unexpected as the parent company


Brown Bread vs White Bread

I don’t like white bread. Never have and probably never will. It is bland, tasteless, lacking in texture and utterly devoid of any nutritional value. I love brown bread. Always have and probably always will. It is packed full of


Buying new furniture

I am not actually in the market for some new furniture at the moment – although the sofa could do with repair work – but I do enjoy scanning down auction house website catalogues every so often. When clicking though


BBC’s Blogworld – The Best International Blogs

My attention has been drawn to a newish feature on the BBC website that aims to review blogs from around the world “for a special BBC season about the power of the internet”. …well, at least they will until the


Secret tube train to Buckingham Palace

As a bit of a fan of tunnels under London, I am often asked about the oft-rumoured tube tunnel that allegedly links Buckingham Palace to, depending on the rumour, Downing Street or Green Park.


Vulcan Bomber Flight over London Might be Cancelled

There are hopes that one of the Cold War’s most iconic military aircraft, the Avro Vulcan will make a flight over London in 2012 for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee – but the flight is under threat due to a lack


Don’t forget the pancakes on Jif Lemon Day!

Some three years ago, I wrote a short hymn to a small yellow plastic container in the shape of a small lemon that brings a smile to my face each year as it graces the shelves of our supermarkets. In


Viking Funerals in London?

As open-air funerals have now been – sort of – legalised, I propose the following for my own funeral. Yes, I know it is a really bad bit of photoshopping! Not only a fantastic way to leave the city, physically


This episode of Eastenders was brought to you by the NHS

Following on from news that TV companies can now take payments for putting products on screen as part of the plot, comes news that TV dramas can have a stronger impact on boosting contraceptive use than serious news programmes. “Researchers


David Dimbleby’s Seven Ages of Britain

There is a bit of a rant by John Dugdale over at The Guardian complaining about an increasing trend for semi-serious TV shows being fronted by a (diminishing) pool of respected and serious news journalists. Situations such as Jeremy Paxman


A Drawing of the Old Houses of Parliament in 1760

Managed to acquire this line drawing of the Old Houses of Parliament made in 1760 before they burnt down in 1834 and were replaced with our “modern” Gothic building. Click on the image for a larger (much larger!) version. Enjoy.


Steam Train to recreate the Bristolian Express service

Interesting news in the land of steam trains, as a joint project by First Great Western and Vintage Rail aims to recreate the non-stop Bristolian Express service this April. The Railway Herald reports that the details are still sketchy, as


EXCLUSIVE: How London’s snow really arrives

If you thought snow fell from the sky as a natural phenomena, then let me dissuade you of that old-fashioned thinking. In our modern age where we expect nature to confirm to our requirements and calendar – snow is imported