Chillingham Castle, northern England, home to the “Blue Boy” Ghost.

The Chillingham Castle, northern England, United Kingdom was originally a monastery in the late 12th century.
It attracts tourists from around the world who are eager to see the most haunted castle in Britain.
The most famous ghost of the castle is the “blue (or radiant) boy”, who according to the owners used to haunt the Pink Room in the castle.
Guests supposedly reported seeing blue flashes and a blue “halo” of light above their beds after a loud wail.
Image Credit: Photograph by David Clay.
Source: Hello From the Other Side: Most Mysterious and Haunted Places in the World – Sputnik International

Albert Pierrepoint, Britain’s Hangman.

Albert followed his father and Uncle into the exclusive club of British hangmen. There were few executions in Britain in 1932, and the first execution Pierrepoint attended was in Mountjoy Prison, Dublin, on 29 December 1932, when his uncle Thomas was chief executioner at the hanging of Patrick McDermott, a young Irish farmer.
He engaged his nephew as assistant executioner even though Pierrepoint had not yet observed a hanging in England and thus, despite being on the Home Office list of approved Assistant Executioners, was not allowed to officiate in England.
Pierrepoint’s first execution as “number one”  was that of nightclub owner and gangster Antonio “Babe” Mancini at Pentonville prison, London, on 17 October 1941; Mancini said “Cheerio!” before the trapdoor was sprung.
Karel Richter (centre) shows MI5 officers where he hid documents after he had parachuted into England.
On 10 December 1941, Pierrepoint executed German spy Karel Richter at Wandsworth Prison. Writing about the execution in his memoirs, in which he changed Richter’s name to “Otto Schmidt”, Pierrepoint called it a “terrible mess”.
When Pierrepoint entered the condemned man’s cell that morning he saw that something was wrong. Richter should have been sitting at the table with his back to the door.
Pierrepoint could then easily approach the man as he stood up and pinion his wrists behind him. Instead, Richter was seated at the table facing the door. As Pierrepoint entered, Richter glowered and clenched his fists.
He stood up, threw aside one of the guards and charged headfirst at the stone wall. Stunned momentarily, Richter rose and shook his head. Two guards threw themselves on him.
After a struggle, Pierrepoint managed to get the leather strap around Richter’s wrists. As the guards pulled Richter to his feet, Pierrepoint was called back, for Richter had burst the leather strap from eye-hole to eye-hole and was free again.
After another struggle, the strap was wrapped tightly around Richter’s wrists. He was brought to the scaffold where a strap was wrapped around his ankles, followed by a cap and noose.
Just as Pierrepoint pulled the lever, Richter jumped up with bound feet. As he plummeted through the trap door, Pierrepoint could see that the noose was slipping but it became stuck under Richter’s nose. The prison medical officer determined, however, that it was an instantaneous, clean death.
On 29 August 1943, Pierrepoint married Annie Fletcher, who had run a sweet shop and tobacconist two doors from the grocery where he worked. They set up home at East Street, Newton Heath, Manchester.
Following the Second World War, the British occupation authorities conducted a series of trials of Nazi concentration camp staff, and from the initial Belsen Trial 11 death sentences were handed down in November 1945.
It was agreed that Pierrepoint would conduct the executions, and on 11 December he flew to Germany for the first time to execute the 11, plus two other Germans convicted of murdering an RAF pilot in the Netherlands in March 1945.
Over the next four years, he travelled to Germany and Austria 25 times to execute 200 war criminals.
The press discovered his identity and he became a celebrity, hailed as a sort of war hero, meting out justice to the Nazis.
The boost in income provided by the German executions allowed Pierrepoint to leave the grocery business, and he and Anne took over a pub on Manchester Road, Hollinwood, between Oldham and Failsworth.
Pierrepoint resigned in 1956 over a disagreement with the Home Office about his fees.
via Albert Pierrepoint – Wikipedia.

The Role of Women in History and Politics.

Women played an active role in political reform in the Georgian era. 1819 ©Trustees of the British Museum
The women’s history project has been absolutely brilliant in opening our eyes to such a significant (but mainly unspoken) part of our country’s (and the world’s) history.
Our perceptions on the role of women in history is primarily based on stereotypes and uneducated inferences that women have been merely passive witnesses in the building of our current society, and it was only men who really made any impact.
A lot of us aim to excuse this by relying on the idea that women had limited opportunity.
However, the project has taught us that although this is partly true, women did a lot more than we first assumed.
These false assumptions can be argued to be a result of how women are represented on the curriculum, with us knowing lots about influential kings, prime ministers, archbishops, male scientists and authors etc. but little about not only influential women as individuals (e.g. Mary Seacole, Marie Curie etc.), but of the gender as a whole.
We were extremely surprised to learn of the Georgian political protesters, as the only thing we are taught about the role of women in politics is the movement of women’s suffrage in the early 1900s, and even then this topic is separated and highlighted as an exception and is only about their fight for equality, not the influence they have had throughout history and how they helped shape society into what it is today.
Read further via Why Women’s History? | Teaching Women’s History.

Surprise Sunset paints the Sheffield Sky.

A colourful sunset follows a drab day on the rural outskirts of Sheffield.
Image Credit: Photograph by Carey Davies
The window of my room here looks south-west, over the rooftops of a Sheffield suburb draped over the foothills of the Pennines, and through it I watch the endless traffic of the sky all day; the fleets of clouds steaming past on their journey from coast to coast, the planes etching contrails that wobble tipsily in the winds.
Recently, the sky has seemed muted, in the way it often does when the light is at its leanest and the weather settles for grey neutrality.
But a marvel of midwinter is how even the most austere, threadbare days can give rise to the most lavish of sunsets.
At this time of year, the sun sets directly before the window, often inducing me to leave my desk and walk a few streets to where, in that typically Sheffield way, the city abruptly terminates, and clean-scrubbed streets of bungalows give way instantly to expanses of high-raised farmland.
Read on via Surprise sunset paints the Sheffield sky | Environment | The Guardian

Magical Early Morning Glow, Bathampton, Somerset.

Image Credit: Photograph by Rita Long,
Bathampton, Somerset.
We woke early to find that the mist and frost had covered everything outside and it looked magical.
There was bright sunlight outside that gave everything around a mercury-like glow.
Source: Readers’ travel photography competition: March – the winners | Travel | The Guardian

Bow Fiddle Rock, Scotland by Stephen Crossan.

Bow Fiddle Rock, Scotland can be seen peeking out from the water.
Image Credit: Photograph by Stephen Crossan
Stephen Crossan’s compelling image of Bow Fiddle rock won him a landscape prize in the sea and coast category.
Source: In pictures: Scottish Nature Photography Award winners