Filed: ABC Wednesday

Sylvester Horne

Those of us who grew up in the UK in the 1950s and 60s will recall the fruity voice of Kenneth Horne, star of the radio comedies Beyond Our Ken and Round the Horne.

But interesting though his life was, for this round of ABC Wednesday, I wanted to briefly look at the life of his father, the Congregational minister, MP, author and champion of the poor, Charles Silvester Horne. Read more ›››

Sir Humprey Gilbert

The Age of Discovery gave us the names of many great European explorers who opened up Africa, the Americas and Asia, but their discoveries often owed more to luck than judgement. And the unlucky ones tend to be forgotten.

One such is Sir Humphrey Gilbert, half-brother of Walter Raleigh, who managed to lose most of the ships under his command and both claimed and deserted Newfoundland within the space of a few weeks in 1583. Read more ›››

F is for Charles Fey

Where would Las Vegas be without the fruit machine, the invention of car mechanic Charles Fey?

Charles was born Augustus Fey in Vöhringen, Bavaria, in 1862, the youngest of sixteen children. He moved to the US when he was 23, first to New Jersey and then to San Fransisco where he worked for the Electric Works Company. Read more ›››

Edgar the Ætheling

If asked who became King of England after the Battle of Hastings, most people, me included, would say William the Conqueror, but in fact it was Edgar the Etheling (or Ætheling to be more correct, which means Prince).

There was no automatic succession to the English throne in 1066 and the king was elected by the Witangemot, or ‘wise-meeting’, a council of religious and political leaders Read more ›››

Dicky Doyle was a doctor who successfully treated a man who had been partially decapitated at the notorious Changi jail in Singapore during World Wat Two.

Born in LIverpool in 1906, Richard Webster ‘Dicky’ Doyle studied medicine at the city’s university and qualified as a surgeon in 1929. During the war, he volunteered for the Royal Medical Corps and served in the Far East. Read more ›››

Sir George Cayley

The first person to fly in a heavier-than-air machine wasn’t the Wright brothers, but an unknown coachman who did so in 1853.

He worked for the Yorkshireman, Sir George Cayley, sometimes called the Father of Aviation, who carried out the first truly scientific study of the way that birds fly. Read more ›››

Although I mean to focus on interesting individuals from the past for this round of ABC Wednesday, this post is about an entire nation who briefly joined the I’m Backing Britain campaign of 1968.

It was a time with echoes of today − the economy was weak, the national debt was high and Britain was a country full of anxiety and despondency. Read more ›››

A is for Angelsey

For this round of ABC Wednesday, I thought I would focus on people from the past, some famous, others less so, but hopefully all interesting in one way or another.

Starting with the flamboyant 5th Earl of Angelsey, who “seems only to have existed for the purpose of giving a melancholy and unneeded illustration of the truth that a man with the finest prospects, may, by the wildest folly and extravagance, play away an uniterable life, and have lived in vain.” Read more ›››

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