Amberley Blog

  1. Strange Victoriana 'Wonders of the Victorian era' by Jan Bondeson

    In April 2011, after the publication of my book Queen Victoria’s Stalker, it was to be featured in Fortean Times magazine. When submitting the feature, I suggested to the Editor of this magazine that perhaps I should also contribute a series of short articles featuring sensational stories and startling Victorian images from the ‘worst newspaper in England’ – the Illustrated...
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  2. The town of Bury St Edmunds by Martyn Taylor

    When I take visitors around the wonderful town I was born into, Bury St Edmunds I am told so often “we never knew about this place before”. My job as a tour guide is to make sure they do and want to come back for more. There is so much on offer for people to enjoy with the undeniable jewel...
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  3. Stack Stevens: Cornwall's Rugby Legend by Steve Tomlin

    As the stories emerge of Britain’s medal-winning heroes and heroines returning from the Rio Olympics a common theme has been the self-sacrifice, weary of hours of travel, grinding training routines yet that they still emerged retaining an engaging joy in their chosen sport, modesty and sportsmanship. Lineout at Coventry. Alvin Williams jumps for the ball with Stack and Bonzo Johns...
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  4. 50 Finds from Essex by Ben Paites

    The Portable Antiquities Scheme began in 1997 and operates across England and Wales, promoting the recording of archaeological material found by members of the public onto their free online database (https://finds.org.uk/database). Over 30 Finds Liaison Officers (FLOs) operate across the country, ensuring each county is covered. The FLOs visit metal-detecting clubs and host events at museums and other institutions, to...
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  5. Mission to China by John Holliday

    It was 8 October 1835, and the American brig Huron, under the command of Captain Thomas Winsor, edged its way between the sand banks along the Yangtze River towards Wusong, the gateway to Shanghai, China. The gloomy weather obscured the vessel until it reached the mouth of the Huangpu River where the Chinese who were manning the forts spotted the ship...
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  6. Hill-Forts of the Cotswolds by Sean Campbell

    Hill-Forts are defensive structures, many of which are built on advantageous higher ground giving a strong position to defend from. During c.700-100BC hill-forts were built in different parts of Britain. The Cotswolds which is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) was one of them, many of these monuments were constructed here. Kimsbury Castle: great views from the top of...
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  7. Whitechapel in 50 Buildings 'History through a Lens' by Louis Berk

    The renowned British photographer, Don McCullin once said of Whitechapel “This district is the most visually fascinating in the whole of London, in fact in the whole of England.” I feel exactly the same way. Even after more than a dozen years photographing in and around the area there are days I feel I have barely scratched the surface. Sundial on the Neuve Eglise now...
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  8. A Spitfire Pilot's Story - Pat Hughes by Dennis Newton

    THEY CALLED IT A ‘STUFFY SPREAD’ Air Marshal Sir Hugh ‘Stuffy’ Dowding not only commanded RAF Fighter Command, he was its chief architect from the very beginning when it was created in 1936. He built it into the formidable weapon it became just in time for its ‘finest hour’ saving Britain in the violent, dark days of crisis in 1940...
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  9. The Secrets of London's Squares: Westminster and Bloomsbury by Alan Brooke & David Brandon

    Many cities of the world are famous for their squares. For example: Red Square in Moscow, Times Square in New York, Saint Peter’s Square in Vatican City and Tiananmen Square in China. When it comes to London many people, if asked, would name Trafalgar Square or even Leicester Square. The squares (and one might add the parks and gardens) are...
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  10. Mrs Janet Taylor — 19th Century Pioneer of Sea Navigation by John S. Croucher

    On 4 February 1870 the Durham County Advertiser included the following short obituary: At the vicarage, St Helen’s Auckland, at the house of her brother-in- law, 21st ult,. Mrs Janet Taylor, fourth daughter of the late Rev Peter lonn, vicar of Sately in this county. She was the authoresss of several books on Navigation and Astronomy and a few years...
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