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In 1840, the Cuerdale Hoard - the greatest Viking silver treasure trove ever found outside Russia - is found in Lancashire. 2007: a father and son find an amazing Viking hoard while metal detecting in in Harrogate. The most important find of its type in Britain for over 150 years, it reveals a remarkable diversity of cultural contacts in the medieval world, with objects coming from as far apart as Afghanistan in the East and Ireland in the West, as well as Russia, Scandinavia and continental Europe.
posted by chuckdarwin on Jul 20, 2007 - 20 comments

The Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, and more...

The Internet Library of Early Journals :: A digital library of 18th and 19th Century journals
posted by anastasiav on May 31, 2007 - 23 comments

20th Century London Project

The Exploring 20th century London project draws on some 8000 items from the Museum of London, Transport Museum, Jewish Museum and the Museum of Croydon. Material includes photos, drawings, posters, artefacts, sound files etc. Browse/search by theme, timeline and location. [sitemap]
posted by peacay on Nov 4, 2006 - 3 comments

One Day in History

One Day in History is a national blogging event organised by the History Matters campaign in the UK. They want UK citizens (or anyone with UK ties) to blog a diary entry about their day today (17 October). The entries will be archived at the British Library, creating a snapshot of everyday life in 2006 for the bemusement of future generations.
posted by chrismear on Oct 17, 2006 - 7 comments

Brownlow's and Mollo's Nazi Britain

"The German invasion of Britain took place in July 1940, after the British retreat from Dunkirk". We see, documentary-style, members of the Wehrmacht trooping past Big Ben and St Paul's Cathedral, lounging in the parks, having their jackboots shined by old cockneys, and appreciatively visiting the shrine of that good German, Prince Albert, in Kensington Gardens. Kevin Brownlow and Andrew Mollo's film "It Happened Here", with its cast of hundreds (.pdf), imagines what a Nazi occupation might have been like — complete with underground resistance, civilian massacres, civil strife, torch-lit rallies, Jewish ghettos, and organized euthanasia. Shot on weekends, eight years in production, made for about $20,000 with nonactors and borrowed equipment and Stanley Kubrick's help, "It Happened Here" was originally envisioned by Brownlow as a sort of Hammer horror flick about a Nazi Britain. Thanks in part to Mollo's fanatical concern with historical accuracy, however, it became something else. The most remarkable thing about this account of everyday fascism is that it has no period footage. Brownlow's 1968 book about the film's production, "How It Happened Here", has recently been republished. More inside.
posted by matteo on Feb 12, 2006 - 16 comments

A House full of insults: an informal look at the history of parliamentary put-downs

A House full of insults is an informal look at the history of parliamentary put-downs and their inconsistent consequences in Britain's House of Commons.
posted by nthdegx on Dec 11, 2005 - 22 comments

The Fenian Raids

During the middle of the 19th Century, a series of factors combined to create a new Irish patriotic movement. This organization was a revolutionary group dedicated to the overthrow of British rule in Ireland. It had its roots in both the United States and Ireland and was popularly known as The Fenian Movement, in honour of the Fianna, the ancient Irish warriors.
posted by Shanachie on Nov 19, 2005 - 8 comments

The Union Makes Us Strong

The Union Makes Us Strong. Articles on British trade union history.
posted by plep on Aug 5, 2005 - 3 comments

Tour of the English canal system

On the revival of a forgotten piece of infrastructure: Britain's massive canal system was constructed in the late 18th century to move goods throughout the country and provided an extensive logistical network for the industrial revolution. Since the rise of rail and truck transport, the canals were left to decay for generations. Today many are being restored, providing revenue for local communities and acting as a catalyst [PDF] for urban renewal.

One group of fun-lovin' Brits has been touring these man-made waterways since the 1970's and documenting their journeys in copious detail. The canals traverse every conceivable type of landscape, and evince some pretty amazing engineering.
posted by pieisexactlythree on Apr 22, 2005 - 14 comments

The Trial of John Dicks, and other True Stories

Homosexuality in 18th Century England :: an amazing compilation of primary source material from newspaper reports and other sources.
posted by anastasiav on Mar 3, 2005 - 13 comments

Essex History

Earls Colne, Essex: Records of an English Village 1375-1854 ; and Domesday Witham, an Essex town. Pieces of Essex history.
posted by plep on Dec 31, 2004 - 4 comments

The price of greatness is responsibility.

"There is no excuse for superior authority not choosing the most suitable agents for particular duties, and not removing unsuitable agents from particular duties." With all the talk of empires and resignations, a reflection to history turns up a remarkable story about an already remarkable man:

A tense time in British India came to a head when General Reginald Dyer's brigade opened fire on an unarmed crowd assembled in Amritsar with machine guns, killing 379 and wounding over 1500. Command wanted to relieve him of duty, but patriotic (and imperialist) fervor at home led to a parliamentary debate which was expected to repudiate this decision and honor him. Enter War Secretary Winston Churchill who defended the Government so eloquently that the minds and hearts of the entire deliberative body were turned.
posted by allan on Dec 17, 2004 - 16 comments

A Manx Notebook

A Manx Notebook. Many things related to the Isle of Man.
posted by plep on Nov 24, 2004 - 3 comments

Greenham Common History

Greenham Common History. 'Greenham Common - a name linked world-wide with the awesome potential of nuclear deterrence and the protest movement it gave rise to. But there is a bigger story; here we explore the history of one thousand acres of open land near Newbury in Berkshire. ' (via)
posted by plep on Oct 17, 2004 - 3 comments

Anglo-Sikh Heritage

Anglo-Sikh Heritage. Sikhs and Britain. More at the Sikh Cyber-Museum.
posted by plep on Sep 22, 2004 - 3 comments

I Hear A New World

Meeksville centers around Joe Meek, Britain's first independent record producer, whose DIY engineering wizardry would transform record-making during the Sixties. Five years after an international #1 hit in the Tornadoes' space-age Telstar (Windows Media or RealPlayer), he would self-destruct, in an end not without tragedy or speculation. His works--along with his trademarked name--live on.
posted by LinusMines on Sep 10, 2004 - 4 comments

Reclaiming England's patron saint

Cry God for Harry! England and Saint George!
posted by nthdegx on Apr 23, 2004 - 7 comments

Clueless About History

Clueless about History Britain is a nation of history dunces with many even believing Adolf Hitler never existed, according to a new survey. A quarter of those interviewed were not sure if the Battle of Trafalgar was a real historic event, while one in seven did not know the Battle of Hastings really took place. Sadly, it gets worse. Apparently the Battle of Endor actually happened in some people's minds.
posted by Coop on Apr 5, 2004 - 56 comments

The world of double entendre

The recent post that revived the rude ‘Rainbow’ kids show sketch reminded me of the our (that is, British) obsession with comic double entendre - the ability to accept the filthiest things as long as there is a parallel innocuous interpretation. I think it is something to do our love for wordplay and subtext, our innate hypocrisy and the belief that sex is, in fact, rather naughty. Perhaps the prime example are the Julian and Sandy sketches that ran on the BBC Radio show ‘Beyond Our Ken’ from 1964-69. Over Sunday lunch, millions (there was ONLY the BBC in those days) listened to two very camp characters saying outrageous things in Polari (underground gay slang). A much earlier prime example is the great dirty joke (it’s the one in blue at the bottom of the page) that got comedian Max Miller (died in 1963) banned from the BBC for 5 years. A more recent case of innuendo is, of course, Mrs. Slocombe’s pussy. Of course the double entendre can also be unintentional.
posted by rolo on Feb 27, 2004 - 8 comments

Moving Archives

The Sorcerer's Scissors; Air Raid Practice, Knoll School Hove; and An Eye to the Future [wmv's all, I'm afraid]. These and other examples nonpareil available at the University of Brighton's Moving History: "A guide to UK film and television archives in the public sector".
posted by nthdegx on Dec 30, 2003 - 2 comments

NWOBHM!!

The New Wave Of British Heavy Metal (NWOBHM to cognoscenti) one of the lesser known but most influential movements of the past quarter century. After the innovators of Metal ran out of steam in the late 70's and were stampeded in the maelstrom of punk, heavy metal (and testosterone-soaked delindquents everywhere) found itself in a quandary). A number of UK acts took some cues from the punks, shortened the songs, reigned in the self-indulgence and speeded up the tempo, and upped the relevance and intelligence of the lyrical content, while still retaining the vocal prowess, instrumental pyrotechnics and young warrior energy that makes it Metal in the first place. Some groups became world famous. Others only big in Europe. Some great ones missed stardom by just a notch. Many of these acts have been cited as inspirations by Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer, Napalm Death and the thrash/death metal hordes, and even many post-punks. An interesting summary for fans, and a good introduction for non-mans who may have to recalibrate their opinion of the genre after checking some of these bands out.
posted by jonmc on Dec 17, 2003 - 17 comments

Beck Isle Museum

The Beck Isle Museum, Pickering, North Yorkshire, chronicles rural Yorkshire life of the last 200 years. The collection of photographs by Sidney Smith is good. Via Museophile's museums around the UK links page.
posted by plep on Nov 27, 2003 - 2 comments

The Digital Mirror: Treasures of the National Library of Wales

The Digital Mirror: Treasures of the National Library of Wales. Online collections related to Welsh history and culture - the Mary Dillwyn Album (a Victorian family photography album), autobiography of a smuggler, Lloyd George's 1886 diary, witchcraft in 17th century Flintshire, the 'Black Book of Carmarthen', a letter in the hand of Ann Griffiths, hymn writer, the Book of Taliesin (14th century), and more.
posted by plep on Nov 18, 2003 - 5 comments

Siiiiiid! What about the Farewell Drugs?

A history of UK Punk Rock from 1976-79. "Featuring an A-Z of punk bands from Adam and The Ants to The Sex Pistols to X Ray Spex, fanzines, punk girls, rare record sleeves, audio clips, fashion, punk rock lyrics, interviews and loads of pictures." It's not all about the Sex Pistols.
posted by archimago on Sep 18, 2003 - 48 comments

Staffordshire

Staffordshire Past Track. History and images of an English Midlands county : old photographs and online exhibitions on historic churches, celebrations, birth, death, serial killers and mining (and the 1984-85 strike).
Related sites :- the Museums of the Potteries, the area around Stoke-on-Trent which played a major role in the Industrial Revolution; thepotteries.org, including postcards and photographs; In Search of Agenoria, black and white photographs of the post-industrial Black Country landscape; A Miner's Son- more mining history in the Midlands (with more on the 1984-85 strike, possibly the most divisive political event in recent British history); save Bethesda Chapel, a historic Methodist chapel in Stoke; panoramic views and history of Lichfield Cathedral and other Staffordshire places.
posted by plep on Aug 25, 2003 - 4 comments

'Goyle and Trouble

The monstrous fauna of the cathedrals... although less polished than the prev. mentioned A Love of Monsters, this collection of gargoyle photographs - largely from British churches - more than makes amends with its enthusiasm for its subject.
posted by nthdegx on Jul 15, 2003 - 6 comments

19 Princelet Street

19 Princelet Street, Spitalfields. A permanent celebration of London immigrant life.
'Described as the nation's answer to the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam, 19 Princelet Street in London's East End was refuge to hundreds of Jews fleeing persecution from the Nazis.
posted by plep on May 1, 2003 - 4 comments

1953 floods

Delta 2003 Yesterday the 1953 floods were commemorated in the Netherlands and a day earlier in the UK. What happened in 1953?
posted by ginz on Feb 2, 2003 - 5 comments

1901 Census up and running online

1901 Back on it's feet again... At last it's the 1901 show!(the date not the time) and the UK Public Record Office 1901 Census is up and testing again after having crashed due to overdemand earlier in theyear. And it works! I've discovered my great grandfather was a wheelwright and that his eldest son was a labourer at the gas works (I saw my first naked girlfriend in a bedroom in the shadow of that very gasworks!) and that I had a great great Uncle Percy!
posted by terrymiles on Nov 15, 2002 - 4 comments

The British Empire in Colour -- a three-part documentary series from the producers of the BAFTA (British Academy of Film and Television Arts) award-winning Britain at War in Colour will air this month. The series is supposed to include "a treasure-trove of early colour movies filmed before 'technicolour' transformed film making in the 1930s. Unique colour footage of the Edwardian splendour of 1906 British India, soldiers of the First World War and class divided Britain in 1926 as seen for the first time by a modern visually sophisticated audience." Apparently, it also includes Horrifying footage of last days of Raj.
posted by Bixby23 on Sep 2, 2002 - 17 comments

1970: The UK negotiates with terrorists and capitulates.

1970: The UK negotiates with terrorists and capitulates. Apparently in the UK there's a 30-year rule where certain documents are revealed after said delay. They've just released documents about the "Black September" hijackings in 1970.
posted by Steven Den Beste on Dec 31, 2000 - 2 comments

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