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13 results for second-world-war found within the Blog

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The Chiswick V2

Posted by fairbankguy on 9th October 2016 in History | blitz,bomb-damage,bombing,second-world-war,staveley-road,v2,ww2
  Chiswick may be more famous for its eponymous Palladian house, Arts and Crafts Bedford Park and Fuller's Brewery but it’s also the site of the first recorded V2 rocket attack during the Second World War. On the evening of 8 September 1944, a rocket exploded in the middle of Staveley Road, Chiswick, outside number 5. Staveley Road lies just south of Chiswick House, the elegant mansion built in the 1720s for the 2nd Earl of Burlington by William Kent, and comprises a series of smart family houses constructed in the 1920s and 1930s. The explosion created a crater 9m in diameter and 2.5m deep. Three people were killed, including a 3 year-old...
 

A Place of Peace

Posted by fairbankguy on 20th November 2015 in History | talbot house,tubby clayton,ww1,world war one,all hallows by the tower,poperinge,flanders field
  In 1915 a young army chaplain, Philip ‘Tubby’ Clayton (1885-1972) opened the Everyman’s Club at Talbot House, in the small Belgian town of Poperinge. The club was situated close to Ypres but was a world away from the horrors of the front line. Instead, soldiers found an oasis of peace and tranquillity, where they could, for a short time, forget about the war. Talbot House was named in memory of Lt. Gilbert Talbot, the brother of Padre Neville Talbot. Soldiers called it Toc H, the army signallers’ code for TH. Formally owned by a brewer who had fled the war, it needed complete refurnishing. Gifts, including 2 pianos, hundreds of books - e...
 

In a City Courtyard…

Posted by fairbankguy on 21st April 2018 in Christianity | archaeology,ww2,agatha christie,vintners,foster lane,st vedast,wren,christopher wren
Within a stone’s throw of St Paul’s Cathedral stands the impressive church of St Vedast-alias-Foster. St Vedast was an obscure 6th century Flemish saint and Foster is the English corruption of that name, and on Foster Lane you’ll find this Wren church. The church itself is well worth a look inside, as it contains many 17th century furnishings which have been taken from other City churches. The steeple is very fine too. It’s been attributed to Nicholas Hawksmoor but there’s no actual evidence. What marks the church out is what is found to the north of the entrance. Fountain Court is a charming little garden, hidden away from the hustle...
 

Bay of Plenty

Posted by Guy Fairbank on 12th May 2020 in History | hudson bay,trading,city of london,bishopsgate,canada,hudson's bay company,north america,radisson,charles II,hasilwood house,skinners,beaver,winnipeg
In the mid 1600s two Frenchmen, the grandly named Médard Chouart, Sieur des Groseilliers (1618-1696) and his brother-in-law Pierre Ésprit Radisson (c. 1640-1710), were exploring the vast interior of what is now northern Canada. Working their way inland via the many rivers that flow into Hudson Bay, they came across a wealth of fur, in particular on a rodent with a large paddle-shaped tail and prominent teeth. “Ideal for coats,” they reported, and went to find a backer. Their fellow countrymen in Québec and France showed little interest but the English settlers were far more receptive.  The two intrepid trappers travelled to England and managed to ga...
 

Tunnelling South

Posted by fairbankguy on 14th January 2018 in History | empire windrush,clapham,underground,tube,hidden london,blitz
Thanks to London Transport Museum’s Hidden London programme, a number of lost Tube stations and forgotten tunnels are occasionally open to the public. One such gem is Clapham South’s deep-level shelter. Descending 180 steps and 36m down you get to an engineering marvel: a series of tunnels built during World War Two to protect London’s citizens during the Blitz. At the height of the Luftwaffe’s bombing raids the Government commissioned 8 shelters, capable of holding some 64,000 citizens and well away from any potential raid. They employed miners to hand dig 2x 30m vertical shafts down. Then the miners created 2 horizontal shafts, each o...
 

Ding Dong!

Posted by fairbankguy on 30th July 2015 in Government & Organisation | parliament,elizabeth tower,big ben,tower,westminster,houses of parliament,charles barry,pugin
Thanks to my fellow City of London Guide Lindsay Schussman, today I enjoyed a visit to The Elizabeth Tower, part of the Palace of Westminster, which houses Big Ben. It’s a stiff climb up the 334 steps but it’s worth it! To see the famous bell and its 4 smaller companions, then hear them chime (wearing ear plugs!) was unforgettable. The 96m tower was designed by architect Charles Barry, assisted by the Gothic genius that was AWN Pugin. The bell itself was not the first one; that 16 tonne one, built in Stockton-on-Tees, was damaged, so the Whitechapel Foundry made a new one. The new 13.7 tonne bell was hauled up by hand, 63m up to the belfry....
 
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