Month: June 2020 Page 1 of 3

Guest Post: Phil Carradice

Bloody Mary – Mad, Bad or Neither?

Out of the many kings and queens of Britain it always seems to be the “bad” ones that we remember most. They are the monarchs who enthral and entertain us, compelling us to read about their activities, their depredations and their misdeeds, over and over again.

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My top 10 ways to catch more salmon – By Henry Giles

WHEN WE GET OUT OF LOCKDOWN AND BACK ON TO THE RIVERS, HERE ARE TEN WAYS TO GET YOUR ROD BENDING AGAIN TO A SALMON.

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Guest Post: Stephen Wynn

Mystery of Missing Flight F-BELV

The writing and completion of this book was a long time in the making, forty-three years to be exact.

My late mother first told me about the death of her half-brother, James Sylvester Byrne, in 1976, whilst he was serving as a Canadian soldier during the Vietnam war. I was 18 years of age at the time. I had found the story very compelling, even more so as I had seriously considered joining the Army at that time, so anything to do with the military, I found extremely interesting. The fact that in this case the person in question was related to me gave the story an extra edge.

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Children at Sea: Lives Shaped by the Waves by Vyvyen Brendon

During the six years I spent on this book I never ceased to enjoy delving into the evidence of lives shaped by early sea voyages. In March 2020 the pandemic shut down all the wonderful libraries, record offices, museums and art galleries I visited but I hope that researchers like me will soon be able to view their rich collections again, guided by their dedicated volunteer and professional staff. Here are some glimpses of the delights such investigations gave me.

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Author Guest Post: Nigel Walpole

COMPARING THE LIVES OF RAF AND EAST GERMAN PILOTS IN THE COLD WAR

My wife held up the barbed wire for me to crawl under and into the once highly secret Warsaw Pact airfield at Zerbst, in East Germany, which in the Cold War had thundered to the sound of Russian fighter-bombers, and so was a target of interest to me as a NATO fast-jet pilot. Now a sinister silence pervaded the deserted guard posts, crumbling runways and rusting hangars; it was 1998, and the Cold War was over.

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Epidemics in Britain’s Old Sailing Navy by Hilary L. Rubinstein

While we socially isolate, we might spare a thought for seafarers battling the main diseases that often reached epidemic proportions among ships’ crews in the Age of Sail, a period in which the ‘miasma theory’ — that disease was contracted by inhaling foul air — still prevailed. We glimpse the theory in the laments of a former ship’s doctor writing early in the 18th century, regarding unventilated ships’ holds, in which ‘stagnant salt water’ tended to accumulated, and regarding their lower decks, in which ‘a multitude of people breathing and constantly perspiring’ were crowded together. The long-held theory is reflected in the name of that well-known scourge of tropical climes including the coast of West Africa, malaria (‘bad air’), which we, of course, know is spread by mosquitoes. But before we look briefly at epidemics involving infectious diseases, let’s look at that well-known non-communicable disease, scurvy, which had a devastating impact on seamen’s health ever since long voyages came to be undertaken.

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Author Video: Tony Booth

In this exclusive video, Tony Booth tells us about his new book Thetis Down.

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Author Guest Post: Nigel Walpole

AIRBORNE WITH THE ‘BEST OF BREED’

An eerie silence seemed to have descended over the North German Plain, on that crystal clear Christmas morning of 1955, as we patrolled the Inner German Border (IGB) at 50,000 ft in our brand new Hunter Mk 4s, our guns loaded, looking for any suspicious activity in the air above the forbidden land of East Germany. Other than the gentle purring of our jet engines, and sporadic checks on our radios to keep us alert, our world seemed to be at peace – but this was the Cold War.

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Children at Sea: Lives Shaped by the Waves by Vyvyen Brendon

I decided to present my subject not as a general history but rather as a collection of life stories set in Georgian and Victorian times, illustrated here with pictures not used in the book. My eight characters all embarked on sea journeys as children and were never the same again. I had five criteria for selecting them.

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Guest Post: Stephen Wynn

The entire world changed with the beginning of the First World War, not just in a military sense but socially as well. Never again would the world ever quite be the same. Much had to do with the sacrifices that people and their families made during the following four years, because with this came an expectation of a better tomorrow.

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