Europeenses

Scotland invented the bicycle (?)

Back in 2005 the British Broadcasting Corporation invited the listeners of its You and Yours programme to vote for their favourite invention. The winner by a country mile was the … Continue reading

March 21, 2015 · 1 Comment

Two Irish ‘Ghosts’

The supernatural has always held a fascination for mankind. Unexplained phenomena, often combined with gullibility and superstition have given rise to stories of ghosts, spooks, and spectres, many of which when … Continue reading

November 3, 2014 · Leave a comment

James ‘Jimmy’ Michael, Welsh Cycling Champion: Part 3 – American Dreams and the Race that Never Was

Jimmy’s reinstatement and return to racing did not see the end of his tribulations in 1896. In late July he failed to turn up at a meet organised by Leeds … Continue reading

October 12, 2014 · 4 Comments

James ‘Jimmy’ Michael, Welsh Cycling Champion: Part 2 – Successes and Scandals, January-July 1896

Sunday 15 December, 1895, had seen Jimmy suffer a rare defeat when he fell during the fourth lap of a 100 kilometre race at the Velodrome d’Hiver.[1] The winner, Willie … Continue reading

October 11, 2014 · Leave a comment

James ‘Jimmy’ Michael, Welsh Cycling Champion: Part 1 – Delivery Boy to World Champion, 1877-1895

Herne Hill, Saturday 30 June, 1894. Twenty-two competitors line up in the Summer heat for the Surrey Bicycle Club 100 Mile Invitation Race. Among them is a seventeen year old … Continue reading

October 9, 2014 · 2 Comments

Bikes, Dancing, Picnics and Races: Rhyl Cycling Club, 1879-1906

Picture the scene: North Wales, the seaside town of Rhyl on a sunny Whitsuntide Monday in 1885. Outside the Royal Hotel a group of cyclists from clubs in Rhyl, Oxford, … Continue reading

September 26, 2014 · 9 Comments

The Miners’ Strike in South Wales, 1984-85

“The policies of this government are clear – to destroy the coal industry and the NUM.” Arthur Scargill, President, National Union of Mineworkers “History will record that the British miner … Continue reading

September 21, 2014 · Leave a comment

Donetsk, isn’t it Boyo!

I wonder how many Russian nationalists know of the Welsh heritage of the industrial city of Donetsk, birthplace of pole-vault legend Sergey Bubka, shoe banging Nikita Krushchev, and Yevgeny Khaldei, the photographer … Continue reading

September 20, 2014 · 1 Comment

The Cucking Stool at Wootton Bassett

While browsing through the contents of archive.org I came across a copy of The Wiltshire Archaeological and Natural History Magazine, Volume I, 1854, and my eye was drawn to a chapter … Continue reading

April 23, 2014 · Leave a comment

Bismarckheringe

  ‘A plague o’ these pickled herrings’ (Sir Toby Belch, Twelfth Night, Act 1, Scene 5) The Bismarck Herring owes its name to the business sense of Johann Wiechmann, owner of … Continue reading

March 21, 2014 · Leave a comment

Mietskasernes: Working Class Berlin, 1871-1922

Following German unification in 1871 Berlin was transformed from a provincial city, capital of the Kings of Prussia, to an international, bustling, industrial metropolis in a few short decades. Its … Continue reading

March 19, 2014 · 4 Comments

Revolution: A short history of Prague

“I shall now set forth our plan for all to admire. Ultimate goal: overthrow Austria. First step: take Prague. Modus operandi: seize the citadel and lookout point on the promontory … Continue reading

March 1, 2014 · Leave a comment

Gregor Mendel

Johann Mendel (1822-1884) was born in Heinzendorf, Austrian Silesia (Hynčice, Czech Republic). After studying at the University of Olmütz (Olomouc, Czech Republic) Johann joined the Augustinian order at the Altbrünn … Continue reading

February 15, 2014 · 2 Comments

Doppler

The University of Vienna, founded in 1365 by Duke Rudolf IV of Austria, is the oldest continually operating university in the German speaking world., though it was not until 1384 … Continue reading

February 5, 2014 · Leave a comment

Horse railway

In the 1830’s the Austro-Hungarian Empire boasted the world’s longest horse railway connecting Linz in Upper Austria to České Budějovice in Bohemia. Originally envisioned in 1807 by Professor Franz Joseph … Continue reading

January 25, 2014 · 4 Comments

Europeenses, part 2

The Duc de Sully’s ‘Great Design’ for an all-Christian universal republic not only excluded the Ottoman’s but also Russia, unless it converted to Catholicism, Lutheranism, or Calvinism. Less than a … Continue reading

December 21, 2013 · 1 Comment

Rhine

Der Rhein rises in two headstreams in the Swiss Alps, the Vorderrhein and the Hinterrhein, which meet at Reichenau above Chur. The river in its various guises as the Rhein, … Continue reading

December 19, 2013 · Leave a comment