Items 1 to 10 of 109 total

per page
  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. 4
  5. 5
magnificent-midlands-250x189

The Midlands are well represented in the autumn issue of This England, with, among other items, details of how a tea room at Stone in Staffordshire has received one of our special awards for its “mouthwatering menu” and “very pleasant atmosphere”, and the revelation that Trentham Gardens - just down the road - is playing temporary host to one of England’s greatest and most “capable” landscape gardeners! The most prominent coverage, however, can be found in the “Literary Landscapes of England” feature, which highlights a book about the area that was written in the middle of the 19th century.

Read More
festival-250x189

It was planned primarily as a means of celebrating British achievements in the fields of the arts, architecture, industry, science and technology, but also as a way of lifting the spirits of a nation that was still feeling the effects of the Second World War. The 1951 Festival of Britain, with its magnificent Dome of Discovery, Royal Festival Hall, futuristic Skylon and numerous pavilions with exhibitions on all sorts of subjects certainly achieved both of these aims, with over eight million people visiting the site on the south bank of the River Thames in London. Even more visitors flocked to the Festival Pleasure Gardens in Battersea Park, where families could enjoy numerous attractions including a fun fair, zoo, boating lake and the whimsical Far Tottering and Oyster Creek Railway. For those Britons who were unable to travel to the capital, there were complementary exhibitions in towns and cities across the country and even a Festival Ship, Campania, that took the celebrations to coastal venues around our island.

Read More
Passchendaele-250x189

Although I was aware that the 100th anniversary of the Third Battle of Ypres (better known as Passchendaele) fell at the end of July/beginning of August this year, when I was preparing the article about the battle that appears in our autumn issue it didn’t strike me just how closely the publication date of the magazine would coincide with all the commemorative events and remembrance services that have been taking place. In fact, if it hasn’t already been delivered to their doors, subscribers to This England will be receiving their copies during the next few days. I hope that they, and any readers who purchase the magazine from a newsagent, find the account by Tonie and Valmai Holt - renowned military historians and long-time battlefield tour guides - informative and thought-provoking.

Read More
artist-250x189

Two years ago a quiet residential street in leafy Twickenham hit the headlines when it had to be evacuated following the discovery by a team of builders of a cache of arms and ammunition in one of the houses. What made the incident all the more newsworthy was the fact that the house had belonged to a recently deceased elderly lady: not at all the sort of individual you might expect to possess a submachine gun (in full working order) or any of the other wartime bits and pieces of equipment that the men who were renovating the building uncovered. In fact, after a bit of detective work, it was discovered that in her previous life the shy and retiring Eileen Burgoyne had enjoyed a very colourful career indeed: as an interrogator of Nazi prisoners after 1945 and later as some sort of Cold War spy!

Read More
skegness-250x189

Ahead of all the others in the United Kingdom, Skegness was the seaside resort chosen by Billy Butlin for his first holiday camp in 1936, and 10 years later, in the volume on Lincolnshire in his famous “King’s England” series, Arthur Mee waxed lyrical about the town: “Holiday-makers come here by road and rail and plane; and they come here to delight in the bracing air, the splendid stretch of firm, clean sands, the safe bathing… everything, in fact, that young and old in search of recreation on holiday can desire.”

Read More
wast_water-250x189

Having, over the years, spent many happy holidays in the Lake District, whether scaling the heights of Skiddaw, Coniston Old Man or Helvellyn (and staying at youth hostels in the days before they became more like five-star hotels!) or visiting an uncle (and aunt and cousins) who tended to his Christian flock from a church on the banks of Windermere, I was delighted to learn that the area has recently been awarded Unesco World Heritage status. Although there are just over 1,000 other sites across the world that have received similar recognition for their special cultural, historical, physical or scientific significance - including the Taj Mahal in India, the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania and Machu Picchu in Peru - it remains quite a select group and the people who look after the 885 square miles that include parts of the traditional English counties of Cumberland, Lancashire and Westmorland, as well as all those men and women who live and work in the area, should be tremendously proud.

Read More
language-250x189

We have prepared an article for a 2018 issue of This England (click here to arrange an annual subscription) about some of the new words that, through increasing use in speech and writing, are regarded by compilers of dictionaries and commentators on such matters as now being part of the English language. Mind you, as many of the words and phrases seem to be the vocabulary of the “social network”, I don’t think any of them will be crossing my lips during day-to-day conversation. If they did, my friends and colleagues would wonder why I had suddenly started speaking in a foreign tongue!

Read More
sumner-250x189

It was certainly hot here in Cheltenham for the summer solstice, the longest day of the year, on 21st June. I think it was sweltering in most parts of England: looking at pictures of Stonehenge in Wiltshire, the enthusiasts who go there every year to witness the sun rising over the ancient stones, certainly seemed to be enjoying themselves. I hope the heat wasn’t too much for the white-robed druids and that they were still able to do whatever druids do. As I have previously celebrated the other seasons of the year with a few favourite poems and quotations, I thought I’d do the same for summer.

Read More
dillydally-250x189

Anybody who has written anything, whether it be a novel, an article or a letter, will have experienced a moment when choosing the correct word to convey exactly what you want to say in the most accurate way can be quite a challenge. It happened to me the other day while writing a piece for the autumn issue of This England. All was going well, my fingers were tapping away on the keyboard, my lips were humming the tune of “We’re riding along on the crest of a wave” and the page grid on my computer screen was filling up most satisfactorily with words, when suddenly, as if I’d encountered a barrier in the road while out for a drive, my progress was abruptly stopped (Or would “halted” be better there? I’m not sure.)

Read More
george-cross-250x189

I found the bravery displayed by members of the emergency services during the recent terrorist attack on London Bridge and Borough Market quite astonishing. Many ambulances and their medical crews arrived on the scene while the murderers were still at large, but with no concern for their own safety the doctors, nurses and paramedics did not hesitate to attend to the injured wherever they lay. Many passers-by did the same, either offering first-aid and comfort to those caught up in the carnage, calmly leading people to safety through a confused landscape of wailing sirens and flashing lights, or securing the entrances to bars and restaurants until the threat had passed. As always whenever they are faced with life-threatening situations, the men and women of our magnificent police force acted with incredible courage, selflessness and professionalism: running towards danger just as scores of terrified, screaming people were fleeing in the opposite direction. All of those people, for their actions on that terrible night as well as during the days that followed - whether tending the injured in hospitals, trying to give solace to the cruelly bereaved or investigating the crime on the streets - deserve our heartfelt gratitude and admiration.

Read More

Items 1 to 10 of 109 total

per page
  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. 4
  5. 5