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Arthur’s Grave at Glastonbury Revisited: The Irish connection November 16, 2010

Author: Beach Combing | in : Medieval
Arthur's Grave at Glastonbury Revisited: The Irish connection

Beachcombing thought that today he would return to Arthur’s remains at Glastonbury, that extraordinary moment in the late twelfth century when the monks of Britain’s oldest monastery ’discovered’ Arthur’s body just outside their church: diggings revealed a trunk tomb and giant bones. True, Beachcombing looked at this matter several months ago, when he suggested that the bones might […]

Dark Age Haunting in the County Durham November 14, 2010

Author: Beach Combing | in : Medieval
Dark Age Haunting in the County Durham

Beachcombing likes to think of the little village of Shincliffe sometimes as night is falling, particularly if it’s raining. True, he’s never been to this particular corner of the north of England. But he’s done the next best thing – looked at google earth and several OS maps. And he suspects that he knows it […]

The Isis Arms: Britain’s oldest pub October 13, 2010

Author: Beach Combing | in : Ancient
The Isis Arms: Britain's oldest pub

Beachcombing is having fun this week looking for off-the-beaten-track places in and around London for Canadian History Student. And this morning he is out on Tooley Street in Southwark seeking London and, indeed, Britain’s oldest pub, the Isis Arms. The pub in question was built in the first generation of Roman London, say, c. 70 […]

Going Dark Age on the Circle Line October 12, 2010

Author: Beach Combing | in : Medieval
Going Dark Age on the Circle Line

Beachcombing’s trawl around south-east England and London on behalf of Canadian History Student is now three-days old and continues here with another side of London’s Circle Line. The Circle Line for any London virgins among Beachcombing’s readership is the wonderful series of station represented by a yellow circle on the map of central London that goes […]

A Ring, A Curse Stone and J.R.R. Tolkien October 11, 2010

Author: Beach Combing | in : Ancient
A Ring, A Curse Stone and J.R.R. Tolkien

As noted in yesterday’s post Beachcombing is presently trying to pass on some off-the-beaten-track travel tips to Canadian History Student in his/her coming trip around south-east England. Beachcombing thought that for the second of his suggested visits he would counsel a quick run up to Vyne House near Basingstoke. Beachcombing doesn’t care much for the […]

Tom Wintringham and Lenin’s Tractor September 8, 2010

Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary
Tom Wintringham and Lenin’s Tractor

Of all the intellectual perversions of modern times perhaps none was as bizarre and perhaps none had more serious consequences than the fawning attitude of some western democrats towards the Soviet Union and its satellites from the 1930s to the 1970s. The paeans of nonsense that there were written about Lenin and Stalin now beggar […]

Tally-ho: From Fighter Planes to Norman Knights? September 2, 2010

Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary, Medieval, Modern
Tally-ho: From Fighter Planes to Norman Knights?

Beachcombing has indulged himself in the last two months with a total of six RAF posts: all in commemoration of the seventieth anniversary of the Battle of Britain. He knows though that enough is enough and thought that he would start to wind down with ‘tally-ho’: he promises no more than a couple new air posts […]

The Last ‘Battle’ of the Revenge August 28, 2010

Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
The Last ‘Battle’ of the Revenge

                          Beachcombing is not a great one for anniversaries but for Flores, 31 August 1591, a naval ‘battle’ – if a fire-fight between a solitary ship, the Revenge, and three dozen enemy can be so called – he will make an exception. (Actually […]

Churchill’s Dream August 27, 2010

Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary, Modern
Churchill’s Dream

                                        Beachcombing wanted to offer today an obscure bit of Churchilliana, ‘The Dream’, that, incredibly, has never been published on the internet. Whether or not it is the best thing that Churchill ever wrote is to […]

24 August 1940: The Night That Hitler Lost The War August 24, 2010

Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary
24 August 1940: The Night That Hitler Lost The War

                        The answer to the question of when the Third Reich doomed itself to extinction depends naturally on whom you ask. Some will tell you Germany’s failure to secure the Mediterranean in 1942 was crucial. Others will point to the invasion of the Soviet Union […]

Biggles Meets the Sandman August 19, 2010

Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary
Biggles Meets the Sandman

                    Beachcombing offers a post today on an unlikely WIBT meeting between two writers: T.E. Lawrence and W. E. Johns. Lawrence should need no introduction. He was a British lieutenant colonel who helped foment the Arab Revolt against the Ottoman Empire (1916-1918). And with a self-publicising genius and an […]

The Dual Death of Harold II August 16, 2010

Author: Beach Combing | in : Medieval
The Dual Death of Harold II

Beachcombing had an argument at dinner tonight about the Battle of Hastings and the fate of the Anglo-Saxon battle leader Harold (c. 1022-1066) and wants to get rid of his angst. Hastings, 1066, was, of course, the battle with which British history begins (or, according to a minority opinion, ends). William soon to be Conqueror (aka […]

Image: First light August 13, 2010

Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary
Image: First light

Beachcombing has recently being putting together a series of photographs for his WIBT (‘Wish I’d been there’) series. He decided that he would open this series with an extraordinary shot from the Battle of Britain that teases him out of thought. Four Spitfires are taking off in the morning from an airfield: the early light and the […]

Dowsing for Machine Guns August 6, 2010

Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary
Dowsing for Machine Guns

          The desperate straits to which Britain was reduced in the first year of the Second World War and Churchill’s maverick character thereafter, meant that many ideas were considered in the British military establishment, c. 1940-43, that would not normally have been whispered at an old women’s séance. Beachcombing recalls the […]

The Battle of the Somme in London August 4, 2010

Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary
The Battle of the Somme in London

                  Britain historically – before that dread day in 1973 when the United Kingdom signed the Treaty of Rome – prided itself on its splendid isolation. But simple geography meant that Britain was far closer to Continental Europe than Japan, say, was to Asia. And no amount of […]

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