Friday 4 February 2011, 09:05
It's a sad fact that the good, old fashioned public house was, for many years, far less public than most of us ever imagined.
Half of the population of Britain was actually banned from many of these establishments, purely on the grounds of gender, and...
Wednesday 2 February 2011, 09:56
Think of it, the classic eccentric inventor, the man who designed and built a death ray and a sky projector for flashing messages onto the clouds - Batman or what? - and he's just moved into a house situated outside your home town.
Friday 28 January 2011, 14:18
It's a sad fact that upwards of 30 public houses are closing down every week in Britain.
Other countries might have their taverns, beer halls or bars but the humble British pub has always been something of an institution, an establishment unique to this country.
Every town or village once had one...
Monday 24 January 2011, 12:25
Wales has produced many great boxers over the years but none was more respected and loved than Peerless Jim Driscoll, the Cardiff featherweight who once gave up the chance of winning the world title because he had made a promise to take part in a charity show for his local orphanage.
Jim Driscoll died...
Friday 21 January 2011, 13:02
In the year 1847 the British government commissioned a report into the state of education in Wales.
Not, in itself, such a momentous event, but when the remit of the report was widened to include a study of the morals of the Welsh people it resulted in a furore that still rumbles on to this very day...
Friday 21 January 2011, 08:41
Robert Owen is now something of a forgotten figure. Yet this far-sighted visionary, a man who was arguably born before his time, was one of the most original thinkers ever to come out of Wales.
He was a socialist long before the term "socialism" had ever been invented. He was also an educationalist...
Friday 14 January 2011, 14:23
There has always been something of a debate about the Anglo-Zulu Wars of 1879, particularly with regard to the numbers of Welsh soldiers involved in the Battle of Isandlwana and at the defense of Rorke's Drift.
Often legend and romance have taken...
Friday 14 January 2011, 12:09
Most people have, at some stage in their lives, listened to the song Keep The Home Fires Burning. It was one of the most popular tunes in the trenches during World War One and still has the ability to bring a pang to the throat or a tear to the eye.
Yet how many people realise that this...
Friday 7 January 2011, 10:23
With the prospect of the forthcoming Six Nations Championship already beginning to loom large in people's minds, many red-blooded Welsh men and women (and Irish and Scots, too, come to that) have once again become suddenly conscious of their Celtic heritage.
We are all of us...
Thursday 6 January 2011, 10:01
The summer of 1715. The Old Pretender is about to land with his army in Scotland, rallying supporters of the Stuart cause to his flag. George I and the whole Hanoverian dynasty appear to be resting on the edge of disaster. Discontent is rife everywhere and in the north Wales town of Wrexham, as the...
Tuesday 4 January 2011, 09:08
Wales is certainly not lacking when it comes to stories and tales of kings or great warriors. From the mythological heroes of the Mabinogion, where legend mixes easily with reality, to genuine historical figures like the Lord Rhys or Llywelyn the Great, there are so many to choose from. Yet one of the...
Thursday 30 December 2010, 11:48
Of all the great characters in Welsh history - and there are many - none is more unusual, more fascinating and more downright bizarre than Evan Morgan, the last Viscount Tredegar.
Evan succeeded to the title in 1934 but by then his reputation for outlandish behaviour had been well established. Born...
Wednesday 29 December 2010, 09:29
Anyone who drives up the A477 from south Pembrokeshire to the northern part of the county will pass over the magnificent structure of the Cleddau Bridge.
They will wonder at the glorious views down Milford Haven towards the sea, but they will probably...
Wednesday 22 December 2010, 13:07
These days we are used to our main or major eisteddfodau being held in the summer months - the Urdd in the week of the Whitsun holiday, the International at Llangollen in the first week of July and the National Eisteddfod in the first week of August.
It hasn't always been like that and, even now, in...
Monday 20 December 2010, 10:15
Like most other parts of Britain, Wales has long had its own Christmas and New Year traditions, practices and superstitions that have now largely died out - which is something of a shame as they are fascinating examples of social history.
In the days before...
Thursday 16 December 2010, 10:00
Of all the many Welsh men and women to have undoubtedly influenced the course of British life over the centuries, none is more mysterious than John Dee.
A mathematician and teacher of navigation, an astrologer and astronomer, an alchemist and...
Tuesday 14 December 2010, 10:46
The Ryder Cup of 2010 has been over for some months now, the cup safely tucked away in the trophy cabinet of the R&A - at least for the next two years.
There is no doubt that it was a fantastic occasion, for...
Friday 10 December 2010, 14:44
On 11 December 1282, a small skirmish took place close to the River Irfon in Mid Wales.
The battle - if it can be called that - was fought between a party of mounted English knights and a group of unarmoured Welshmen who were clearly travelling on foot - an uneven contest if ever there was one.
Monday 29 November 2010, 10:21
On 10 December 1631 Sir Hugh Middleton, a truly unsung Welsh hero, died quietly at his home in London. He came from Galch Hill outside Denbigh in North Wales.
Sir Hugh was the sixth son of Richard Middleton, MP...
Friday 26 November 2010, 11:33
Most of us have an idealised version of our childhood years. In our memories the sun shone all summer long and it was always light until 10 or 11 at night.
It rarely rained apart from when there were thunderstorms, the intensity of which have never...
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