On this day: Reconstruction in London

EPSON scanner image

This image, taken on the 14th of July, 1955, shows reconstruction in the City of London. The scaffolding surrounds what was left of the church of All Hallows-by-the-Tower after extensive German bombing during the Second World War.

The Tower of London can be seen in the background.

The destruction was particularly devastating as a church had stood on the site since the year 675.

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Women’s London: A Tour Guide to Great Lives by Rachel Kolsky

Women's London A Tour Guide to Great Lives by Rachel Kolsky

Women’s London is the only guidebook that focuses on the women who have shaped London through the centuries and the legacy they have left behind. This new book provides the perfect opportunity to explore sights, statues, plaques and buildings associated with famous and some not so famous women who have left their mark on London’s heritage, culture and society. Their stories include scientists and suffragettes, reformers and royals, military and medical pioneers, authors and artists, fashion and female firsts … and more. The author, a popular London tour guide and lecturer, specialises in women’s history and has provided a series of original self-guided walking tours taking you to historic areas where important women lived, worked and are commemorated. Illustrated with new full-colour photography and specially commissioned maps, Women’s London will inspire visitors and Londoners alike to discover how much London owes to women.

Women’s London: A Tour Guide to Great Lives by Rachel Kolsky

It’s always nice to have historical nonfiction that tells the stories of women. For centuries the world in general has perpetuated the myth that men were the only people who ever achieved anything, which of course is incorrect.

Women’s London gives you information about some of history’s most famous women, but it also tells you some stories about the lesser-known women in the history of the city. For example, we learn of London’s first female cab driver (women were barred from the profession until 1977!).

While interesting, the copy of the book I read had some very problematic formatting. Even big-name guidebook companies like Lonely Planet struggle to make their ebooks accessible, so that’s no surprise.

An interesting book, with some layout issues that will confuse you.

 

Review copy provided by NetGalley.

On this day: the Victoria Memorial is Unveiled

Inauguration_du_Monument_de_la_reine_Victoria The Victoria Memorial's unveiling ceremony outside Buckingham Palace London 16th May 1911

The Victoria Memorial, which stands outside Buckingham Palace at the end of The Mall in London, was unveiled in a ceremony on the 16th of May, 1911.

The monument honours Queen Victoria, whose long reign had come to an end with her death a decade earlier.

The ceremony was presided over by both by King George V and his first cousin, Wilhelm II of Germany. Both men were grandsons of Victoria.

Following the ceremony it was revealed the memorial’s sculpture, Thomas Brock, was to be knighted.

On this day: a Coronation in London

The Coronation of George VI, The Mall, 12 May 1937. The Royal Coach left for Westminster Abbey for the Coronation of King George and Queen Elizabeth. Picture taken from the roof of Bucki

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This photograph, taken from the rooftop of Buckingham Palace in London, shows the coronation procession of the new king, George VI and his queen Elizabeth on the 12th of May, 1937. The Royal Coach is seen leaving for Westminster Abbey, where the coronation was to happen.

George would be king until his death in 1952. His daughter Elizabeth inherited the throne in February of that year.

On this day: an Air Display in London

LONDON_DEFENDED_Torchlight_and_Searchlight_spectacleLondon Defended Torchlight and Searchlight spectacle, The Stadium Wembley May 9 to June 1, 1925. Red Arrows.

The British Empire Exhibition ran at Wembley Park in London over 1924 and 1925, showcasing Britain’s might to any world leaders who thought to overpower them.

One of the displays was an air display simulating battle-like conditions, and featuring No. 32 Squadron in a show titled “London Defended”. The display was first shown on the 9th of May, 1925 and continued until the 1st of June. Part of the show involved blank ammunition being fired into the arena.

This display was a precursor to today’s Red Arrows, the Royal Air Force’s aerial display team that was founded in the 1960s and today still performs.

On this day: London Library is Bombed

After a number of near misses, London Library was finally hit by German bombs on the 23rd of February, 1944.

The library, founded in 1841, is on St James’s Square.

On 23rd February 1944 The London Library came within a few feet of being totally destroyed. Bombed Second World War Two0241_-_The_Art_Room_19440238_-_

On 23rd February 1944 The London Library came within a few feet of being totally destroyed. Bombed Second World War Two

On 23rd February 1944 The London Library came within a few feet of being totally destroyed. Bombed Second World War Two 0238_-_The_Sackler_Study_1944

On this day: Britain’s Infamous Winter

Called the Big Freeze of 1963, the United Kingdom shivered through an infamous winter that began in 1962. It was one of the coldest winters in history.

This photograph is dated the 14th of February, and was taken in the London Borough of Barnet, in the city’s north.

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North_Finchley_High_Road_geograph-3384741-by-Ben-BrooksbankView southward at Kenver Avenue, near Tally-Ho Corner. That winter the snow in London lasted for two months. 14th February 1963