Author Ges Milton writes about Edward Watkin, an Englishman who wanted to outdo Gustav Eiffel and his tower on his blog Surviving History. It’s a crazy story. I had never heard of the Watkin’s Tower before.
It was the crowning achievement of his career. And it was the beginning of a feud.
At the 1889 inauguration of his famous Paris tower, Gustav Eiffel was feted as a French national hero.
But among the few who did not appreciate his iron skyscraper was a patriotic Englishman named Edward Watkin.
Read the article at Giles Milton: A TALE OF TWO TOWERS: THE FABULOUS FOLLY OF EDWARD WATKIN.
Have you heard that the Royal College of Surgeons in London has the mummified severed finger of a Yeti from Nepal? Matthew Hill of the Daily Mail writes about the fantastic journey this finger took to get to London. You can also listen to Matthew Hill’s story on the BBC (Yeti’s Finger) with explorer Peter Bryne being reunited with the finger.
Set high in a remote Himalayan mountain range stands the Pangboche Buddhist monastery.
During heavy snowstorms, it can be found only by travellers who listen for the monks’ ceremonial horns.
The walls are lined with traditional Nepalese paintings depicting the treacherous tracks to the monastery.
And among them are pictures of the legendary ape-like creature we refer to as the Yeti.
This might seem fanciful until you learn that, for many years, a shriveled hand (about the size of an adult human’s, with long, fat fingers and curling nails) was also on display in the monastery — and revered by the monks, who believed it protected them from bad luck.
I would know nothing about this story were it not for the fact that while walking around a collection of human and primate skeletons at the Royal College of Surgeons in London three years ago, I came across a withered finger which had only recently been found in the vaults of the College’s Hunterian Museum. It was labelled ‘a Yeti finger from Pangboche hand’.
Read the rest of the article at The Yeti, a severed finger from Nepal, and movie star James Stewart | Mail Online.
Could a few oranges have lead to the total Roman conquest of Britain? A new study by the Museum of London looked at the skeletons of Roman settlers and found that they suffered from illnesses related to the gloomy British weather. Not use to the lack of sunshine and the absence of traditional diet staples like fruit, lead to malnutrition and gout. The Romans could not adapt and therefore abandoned Londinium in the 5th Century BC. What would Britain look like today if the Romans could have been properly feed? Would we be speaking English? Graham Smith of the Daily Mail reports on the findings of the researchers.
Their huge empire stretched all the way from northern Britain to the Egyptian desert.
But it seems the all-conquering Romans had an unexpected Achilles’ Heel in the grim British weather.
Settlers suffered from poor health due to a lack of sunlight and a poor diet after they established Londinium in the 1st century AD, according to scientists.
Researchers at the Museum Of London are carrying out forensic tests on some of their 22,000 carefully-preserved skeletons of Londoners through the ages.
Lead scientist Dr Jelena Bekvalac said her team is focusing on the declining health of settlers during the 400 years of the Roman occupation.
She told the Times: ‘You’d think in civilised Roman society, there would be buffers to aid you, but the climate is still going to have an effect and we see some signs of that.
‘There may also have been illnesses that they were more susceptible to than the local population.’
Read the rest of the article at Did the Romans leave London because of the grim British weather? | Mail Online.
Photo by John Winfield
It was estimated that 300,000 Jewish, Irish and Anti-Fascists blocked Cable Street in the East End of London on October 3rd 1936. They were trying to stop a group of protesters from the British Union of Fascists led by Oswald Mosley from marching through. A force of 10,000 Metropolitan Police officers escorted the Fascists down Cable Street and were meet with the counter-protesters in a clash and Mosley ended the march before bloodshed ensued. Kurt Barling of the BBC reports about eyewitnesses accounts from 75 years ago.
Seventy-five years ago east London Jews and Irish labourers stood up to fascists who wanted to march through their streets.
After the Great War Europe faced the twin spectres of mass unemployment and economic depression.
The political response created tumult in democracies in Germany and France from which Britain was not immune, with ideological conflicts between supporters of communism and fascism.
The climate of 1930s British intolerance did not start at Cable Street. It had been brewing ever since Hitler’s 1933 election in Germany.
In London the Jewish community in Stepney quickly became a target.
Jews were blamed for the economic and political crisis despite the fact the vast majority of them lived in abject poverty in the East End.
Sir Oswald Mosley’s British Union of Fascists (BUF) had demonstrated their intent with a huge turnout at a mass rally at Olympia in 1934.
Read the rest of the article at BBC News – Cable Street: ‘Solidarity stopped Mosley’s fascists’.
Network Rail uncovered the remains of a bath house at London Bridge, last week.
It is shaping up as one of the biggest Roman finds ever made south of the Thames.
Now the site threatens to overturn years of orthodoxy about Roman London.
South of the river used to be beyond city limits for toga wearing inhabitants, it is widely thought.
Story by Dominic Gover – London24