Rear Admiral Sir Horatio Nelson is a great national naval hero, at least in the UK, probably less so in France, but famous though he is, many of the things we think we know about him are wrong.
Where to begin? Well, he didn’t hold a telescope to his blind eye at the Battle of Copenhagen and say: ‘I see no ships’ as is often quoted. What he actually said was: ‘I really do not see the signal’ when he chose to ignore the recall signal issued by Admiral Parker. Read more ›››
One of the things that any boy had to budget his pocket money for in the 1950s was his weekly threepence for a copy of the Eagle comic, the vehicle for Dan Dare: Pilot of the Future. Little did we know that Dan had started life as a vicar.
The Eagle was the brainchild of the Anglican priest and former RAF pilot, Marcus Morris. In 1949 he had written a newspaper article condemning the import of horror comics from America. Read more ›››
World War II was a time for heroes, both on the battlefield and on the home front, and one of those was machine operator, Ruby Loftus.
Loftus was born in Llanhilleth in South Wales and in 1940 she and her sisters were assigned to work at the Royal Ordnance Factory in Newport. Read more ›››
No, I haven’t lost my grip on the alphabet. K for me will forever be associated with wrestling as I shall endeavor to explain.
The wrestling I enjoyed watching wasn’t the muscle-pumping, body-oiled, testosterone-fuelled entertainment industry of today. Mine came from a gentler time, although it bore many of the hallmarks of stage management that you see today… Read more ›››
Although I love my gadgets, one of the most popular that I’ve avoided so far is the Kindle. My problem with it is that although one might store a library within its circuits, you don’t have the reassuring presence of much-loved titles looking down on you from the bookshelf as a reminder to be re-read. One such book of mine is the collection of three works by the Victorian/Edwardian humorist, Jerome K Jerome. Read more ›››
When I was a boy scout, one of our occasional activities would be the blindfold taste test. Blindfolded and holding our noses, things like sugar, coffee and fruit juice would be placed on our tongue and we had to guess what they were.
The point of the exercise was to demonstrate the importance of sight and smell to the taste experience, and also the way that our tongue has areas that sense the four basic tastes – bitter, sour, salt and sweet. Read more ›››
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 ›››
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 ›››