10 Facts About George Blake

On 26 December 2020, two days ago to day of writing, George Blake died. Known for being one of Britain’s most notorious Cold War spies, Blake is a fascinating figure with a mind-boggling story. If you want more on him, after you’ve read these 10 facts, you can listen to a whole podcast on him […]

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Coca-Cola Did Not Invent Santa

Yesterday on Instagram I saw a influencer I follow post a “fact” on her stories that the “image we know of Santa, with his red coat and rosy cheeks was invented by Coca-Cola in 1931”. While not entirely untrue it’s…mostly untrue. So let’s unpack this. St Nicholas of Myra Santa Claus originates from St Nicholas […]

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The Stephen Ward Tape

I have chosen to begin this journey into the world of archives with the subject of my first thesis: the Profumo Affair. Stephen Ward I have mixed feelings about the name ‘The Profumo Affair’ as the events that unfolded in June 1963 were about so much more than a six week affair between John Profumo, […]

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Derek Bentley: A Victim of British Justice

The story of Derek Bentley has become synonymous with the phrase ‘let him have it’, something that Bentley allegedly shouted to Christopher Craig on 2nd November 1952. This one sentence cost Bentley his life and subsequently put massive pressure on Parliament to finally abolish the death penalty in the UK. But what actually happened up […]

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Compensation for Camps

On 9th June 1964 the Federal Republic of Germany agreed to provide the British Government with £1 Million to compensate those who had suffered persecution at the hands of the Nazi regime. Although this seems like a positive idea, it posed many difficult questions: how do people apply? What is the criteria? How much will […]

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Henry’s Six Wives: Infographics

Recently I have been listening to the audio-books of Alison Weir’s Six Wives series. I have reached the most recently published (Jane Seymour: The Haunted Queen) and am dreading the moment when the gap between me finishing Jane Seymour and Anna of Kleve: Queen of Secrets comes out (published on 2 May 2019). The series […]

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The Pimping of the Poppy

Lest We Forget. For nearly 100 years the Poppy has been the symbol of remembrance of the First World War; but has the Poppy become a status symbol, a symbol of identity instead of remembrance? The Poppy, 1921 – 2019 We, the British, have come to see the Poppy as ours, but that’s not strictly true. […]

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THE STANDARD UFO LETTER

So, here’s something I didn’t know, back in the day you could write to the MOD (Ministry of Defence) about a “unidentified flying object” and receive back a ‘Standard UFO Letter’. Unless there is evidence of a potential threat to the United Kingdom from an external source, and to date no ‘UFO’ report has revealed […]

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No Man’s Land

Ben Magid’s sci-fi (and, as I’d categorise it, YA) novel is a page turner, for sure. The first of a series, it follows a strong female lead in a world populated by robots aka “Mech”. Highly enjoyable, I will definitely continue to read the series, even if there were a few cringe language choices. The […]

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six films at the lff 2020

This year was a very different London Film Festival. Mostly taking place online, I managed to catch six films, three at the BFI and three digitally. Here’s my take on each. I’ve arranged them in the order I saw them, Honeymood Directed by Talya Lavie, this Isreali rom-com follows two newly-weds as they try and […]

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