Agatha Christie went ‘Missing’ in 1926.

At shortly after 9.30 p.m. on Friday 3 December 1926, Agatha Christie got up from her armchair and climbed the stairs of her Berkshire home. She kissed her sleeping daughter Rosalind, aged seven, goodnight and made her way back downstairs again. Then she climbed into her Morris Cowley and drove off into the night. She […]

The Black Plague is still A Deadly Force.

  Image: The Black Plague killed half of Europe’s population. In Kutna Hora in Czech Republic, the skulls of plague victims were fashioned into a chapel. (Martin Moos/ Getty) The Past Bodies were piled into mass graves—sometimes five bodies high. Towns were destroyed, families wiped out. As the Black Plague marched through Europe in the […]

The Printer’s Wayzgoose.

Pictured: A group picture of Men and Boys of the Adelaide Government Printing Office, taken during their 13th Annual Wayzgoose Outing held on 4th March, 1893, at Bridgewater, South Australia. (State Library of South Australia). According to the Oxford English Dictionary (OED), the wayzgoose was originally an entertainment given by a master-printer to his workmen […]

Was Edward the Black Prince a Brutal Murderer?

A newly discovered letter that has lain unread for over 600 years is forcing a rethink of a 14th Century prince with a controversial reputation, writes Luke Foddy. He was the superstar of his age, winning his spurs in battle aged just 16. But the reputation of Edward of Woodstock – or the Black Prince, […]

The Easter Uprising in Dublin 1916.

Dublin was still under British rule in 1916, when seven unlikely revolutionaries hatched a plan for an armed uprising during the Easter holiday. They wrote a Proclamation of Independence and chose strategic sites in downtown Dublin for their Rising, including the post office along the main thoroughfare of the city. They felt that once the […]

The Rum Rebellion, Sydney.

On 26 January, 1808, 400 men from the New South Wales Corps marched around Sydney Cove towards Government House to arrest the state’s fourth governor, Admiral William Bligh (see above). Brandishing bayonets and advancing to the tune of ‘The British Grenadiers’, the uniformed officers surrounded the governor’s residence. It took about two hours to find […]

The Horror of Chelmsford Hospital.

Doctor Harry Bailey promised people that he could cure them of drug addiction, depression, schizophrenia, anorexia, and nearly anything else. Then he sedated them for weeks. And he kept this up for 17 years. Chelmsford Hospital’s deep sleep ward was a quiet place to work. Aside from the staff, and the occasional visitor, everyone at […]

Popeye, Wingy & The Lolly Box Disaster.

Cath Wing and Frank “Popeye” Nelson (Association President) decided that on the Monday before payday they would send cardboard boxes with sample lollies and chocolates to each floor of the Office. The goodies would be discounted and by putting your name down on the list you could order what you wanted and pay for them […]

‘Phenakistoscope’ a popular Victorian Toy, 1833.

The Phenakistoscope — a popular Victorian parlour toy, generally marketed for children — is widely considered to be among the earliest forms of animation and the precursor to modern cinema. The device was operated by spinning the cardboard disc, and viewing the reflection of the image in a mirror through a series of moving slits. […]

Bags Baker and the ElevatorTrick.

To this day I do not know how “Bags” Baker and “Meggsie” Gow performed this trick but it was truly amazing stuff and I always wanted to see a replay. They would stand, on a table I think, behind the door going from the Typesetting Room towards the kitchen and toilet. They would have pieces […]