Tuesday, 22 July 2014

The Benders

I wrote an article about the Benders. In the 1870s they ran an inn. A room was divided into 2 by a heavy curtain. They asked you to sit at a table with your back to the curtain. But behind the curtain was a man with a heavy hammer. When you sat down to eat your food he smashed the back of your head in. I doubt if they will win any awards for hospitality. www.localhistories.org/benders

Monday, 21 July 2014

Neil Armstrong

On 21 July 1969 Neil Armstrong became the first man on the Moon. Well done Neil. www.localhistories.org/moon 

Friday, 18 July 2014

Thursday, 17 July 2014

Origins of Old Sayings

I made a video about the origins of old sayings  http://youtu.be/LDUkTwoI7cQ 

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Sunday, 13 July 2014

Ruth Ellis

On 13 July 1955 Ruth Ellis was hanged. She was the last woman to be hanged in Britain. www.localhistories.org/capital

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Myths about old sayings

I made a video about myths about where old sayings come from. Unfortunately there are many of them. http://youtu.be/B97gnvDNv0U 

Sunday, 6 July 2014

Thomas More

On 6 July 1535 Thomas More was beheaded. But don't spare any tears for him. From 1529 to 1532 More was chancellor of England and he persecuted Protestants. He was responsible for the deaths of several people. In 1530 a man named Thomas Hitton was burned at Maidstone. Thomas More called him 'the Devil's stinking martyr'. Thomas More got what he deserved. www.localhistories.org/more

Friday, 4 July 2014


I made a new video about Gosport in Hampshire http://youtu.be/FUJACtyLMeE


I now have a patreon account. You can pledge to give each time I make a new history video for youtube.  All support gratefully received!

Thursday, 3 July 2014


Two dates in Canadian history. On 3 July 1608 Quebec was founded. On 3 July 1814 the Americans invaded Canada but they soon withdrew. www.localhistories.org/canada

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Havant, Hampshire

I made a video about the history of Havant in Hampshire http://youtu.be/eXnqisgwEzE

Tuesday, 1 July 2014


I uploaded a new video about Portchester, near Portsmouth. Its famous for its Roman fort. http://youtu.be/kI8uTcq3Y3o

The Somme

On 1 July 1916 the battle of the Somme began during the First World War. On the first day 19,000 British soldiers were killed.

Monday, 30 June 2014

North End

I made a video about the history of North End in Portsmouth http://youtu.be/3Mj80i5Jivw

Friday, 27 June 2014


I made a video about Waterlooville in Hampshire http://youtu.be/FESede20sm4

Thursday, 26 June 2014


I made a video about the history of Portsea in Portsmouth http://youtu.be/o9HgwOwC0xE 

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Little Big Horn

On 25 June 1876 the Native Americans won a great victory at the battle of Little Big Horn. www.localhistories.org/nativeamericans

Friday, 20 June 2014


I wrote a little history of Uruguay. Its a poor country and it has a tragic past but recently the economy has been growing strongly and there is reason to be optimistic for its future. www.localhistories.org/uruguay

Thursday, 19 June 2014


On 19 June 1829 Robert Pool founded the first modern police force in London. They were called bobbies or peelers after him

Tuesday, 17 June 2014


Happy birthday Iceland. It became independent of Denmark on 17 June 1944. www.localhistories.org/iceland

Monday, 16 June 2014

Planet Mercury

I wrote a history of the planet Mercury www.localhistories.org/mercury

Sunday, 15 June 2014

Magna Carta

On this day in 1215 King John sealed the Magna Carta. Its the foundation of all our freedoms so I think we should call this Magna Carta Day.

Saturday, 14 June 2014

Friday, 13 June 2014

Last hanging

The last aristocrat to be hanged in England was Laurence Shirley, Earl Ferrers in 1760

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Historical myths

I made a video about historical myths http://youtu.be/FESede20sm4

Tuesday, 10 June 2014


I made yet another video. This one is of Southsea, (Part of Portsmouth) http://youtu.be/CyEQh2_6HvM

Monday, 9 June 2014

Charles Dickens

9 June 1870 was a sad day for Portsmouth. Our most famous son, Charles Dickens died. www.localhistories.org/dickens

Saturday, 7 June 2014


Happy birthday Norway. It became independent from Sweden on 7 June 1905. www.localhistories.org/norway

Thursday, 5 June 2014


A gentleman sent me an article about Luddites in Huddersfield, Yorkshire. www.localhistories.org/huddersfield1

Monday, 2 June 2014


The great Canadian city of Edmonton began as a trading post called Fort Edmonton, built in 1795. It was named after Edmonton in England, which was then a town north of London. However in the late 19th century the settlement began to spread outside the fort. Then in 1892 Edmonton was incorporated as a town and in 1904 it was incorporated as a city. Despite its small size Edmonton was chosen to be the capital of Alberta in 1905. www.localhistories.org/edmonton

Friday, 30 May 2014


I wrote a little history of Chicago. From being a tiny settlement in 1830 it has grown to be one of North America's largest cities. www.localhistories.org/chicago

Tuesday, 27 May 2014


I wrote a little history of the Canadian city of Montreal www.localhistories.org/montreal

Monday, 26 May 2014

History of Food and Drink

I created a new page for my website of articles about the history of food and drink. www.localhistories.org/fooddrink

Saturday, 24 May 2014


On 24 May 1543 the Polish astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus died. He is famous for his revolutionary theory that the Earth orbits the Sun and not the other way round. www.localhistories.org/copernicus

Friday, 23 May 2014

World Turtle Day

Today (23 May) is World Turtle Day. It was begun by American Tortoise Rescue in 2000. I don't know anything about turtles or tortoises except that their shell was used for decoration.

Saturday, 17 May 2014

Toilets in the Middle Ages

After the fall of the Western Roman Empire in the 5th century AD sophisticated plumbing disappeared from Europe for centuries. In Saxon times toilets were simply pits in the ground with wooden seats over them. (For ordinary people that remained the case for centuries afterwards).

However in the Middle Ages monks built stone or wooden lavatories over rivers. At Portchester Castle in the 12th century monks built stone chutes leading to the sea. When the tide went in and out it would flush away the sewage.

In castles the toilet was called a garderobe and it was simply a vertical shaft with a stone seat at the top. Some garderobes emptied into the moat. People hung their robes in the garderobe because they believed the smell would ward off moths. In time the word garderobe changed to wardrobe.

In the Middle Ages wealthy people might use rags to wipe their behinds. Ordinary people often used a plant called common mullein or woolly mullein. www.localhistories.org/toilets 

Wednesday, 14 May 2014


On 14 May 1796 English doctor Edward Jenner carried out the first vaccination against smallpox on an 8 year old boy. Smallpox was a terrible disease. Queen Elizabeth I nearly died from it in 1562. Even if you survived smallpox it might leave you badly scarred. www.localhistories.org/medicine

Tuesday, 13 May 2014


On this day in 1607 the first permanent English colony was founded in North America at Jamestown. www.localhistories.org/colonial

Monday, 12 May 2014

Florence Nightingale

On 12 May 1820 Florence Nightingale was born. Everyone in Britain has heard of her. She was a famous nurse during the Crimean War 1854-56 and she helped to reform nursing in this country. However there was another nurse, a Jamaican called Mary Seacole who was equally famous in her own day. But she was almost entirely forgotten until recently, probably because she was black. 

Sunday, 11 May 2014

Spencer Perceval

On 11 May 1812 British prime minister Spencer Perceval was shot by a man named John Bellingham. So far he is the only prime minister to be assassinated.

Saturday, 10 May 2014

Myths about women in the past

There are many myths about women in history. Here are some of them. http://youtu.be/md-ueMAv11Q

Friday, 9 May 2014

Crown Jewels

On 9 May 1671 Colonel Thomas Blood stole the English crown jewels. He is (so far) the only person to steal them. However he didn't get far before he was arrested. Yet King Charles II pardoned him. 

Monday, 5 May 2014

Youtube Channel

This is my Youtube channel https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCtpO50M3p6aGlnjAdOmHsnw 

Saturday, 3 May 2014

Myths about the Middle Ages

I made another vid. This one is about myths about the Middle Ages. http://youtu.be/_xNlwU2_rGs

Monday, 28 April 2014

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Poison gas

On 22 April 1915 the Germans used poison gas (chlorine) on the western front for the first time. In 1917 they began using mustard gas. The allies also developed their own chemical weapons.